Cape Town – Charlys Bakery

I recently spent a few days in Cape Town on holiday. Here, I am sharing the first of several of the Amazing places I visited during my stay.

Today’s ‘place’ is none other than Charly’s Bakery. Charly’s is to be found in the centre of Cape Town about a block and a half away from the Castle of Good Hope in a old, funky, painted building which used to be a Jewish bookshop!

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Charlys Bakery

Who doesn’t love a cup of hot, sweet tea or a foaming cappucino and a slice of delicious, melt-in-the-mouth cake, or a beautifully iced muffin or a decorated cookie (all the rage now) or even a pastry? Charly’s has it all and more, much more as I discovered on my early morning visit on the last day of my holiday which fortunately, was their first day in operation again after their holiday break!

Oh, Charly’s is definitely worth a visit. Go hungry – not straight after you have eaten a meal! As there is such a selection, choosing just one is not an easy decision.

You can sit outside on the covered deck or inside the shop and just enjoy the vibe. It’s such a quirky vibe. I just loved it. The vibe of an old building with creaky, wooden floors and high, beautifully decorated ceilings. The vibe of the quirky, but so appropriate, chandelier hanging in the entrance, It’s a beautiful chandelier,  what makes it so special are the miniature teacups hanging off it. I couldn’t resist taking a photo!

The chandelier
Decorated ceiling and chandelier

The vibe of the Artists working and decorating the various cakes and cookies. And they are Artists, those cakes, cookies and muffins are masterpieces, a feast for the eyes and tastebuds too. You can see the Artists hard at work, behind the cake counter, if you are able to take your eyes away from the many, many delectable choices on the counter, that is. Yes, here you can have your cake and eat it too!

Chocolate Petit-four
YUM!

The vibe in the sense of humour that can be found in the various signage both in and outside the store … Hilarious! The best one for me was the sign outside stating … “Do not feed the birds… as they are getting Diabetes!”  Love It!

No worries if you are short on time, you can take a masterpiece or two away with you. You may want to take one for a friend as these are so good, they need to be shared!

So glad I made the stop and was able to enjoy a small piece of the quirky vibe that is Charly’s Bakery. I left with a full heart, full tummy and a Big smile on my face.

Oh, Charly’s Bakery you really are a treat! ❤

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Thanks (alot) to British Airways (BA) #BARoyalty

OUR #BAROYALTY COMPETITION PRIZE HAS BEEN DONE
IT REALLY WAS APPRECIATIVELY WON

FROM START TO FINISH ALL WENT WELL
OF COURSE, BRITISH AIRWAYS, ONE COULD TELL

OUR BRITISH AIRWAYS DOMESTIC FLIGHT
WAS A PLEASURE AND A SHEER DELIGHT

THE TWELVE APOSTLES HOTEL VISIT
COULD ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS SIMPLY EXQUISITE

ALL OTHER ARRANGED ACTIVITIES WERE A REAL TREAT
ALL SO ENJOYABLE WE WISHED FOR A REPEAT

WE TRULY HAD A BLAST
JUST SO SAD IT COULD NOT LAST
FORTUNATELY ONE HAS MEMORIES OF THE PAST

WITH ALL THAT IN MIND ALL THAT REMAINS
IS TO GRACIOUSLY THANKS BRITISH AIRWAYS FOR OUR GAINS

BRITISH AIRWAYS YOU ARE THE BEST.
(NO NEED TO EVEN THINK ABOUT THE REST)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:-
BRITISH AIRWAYS – THANKS FOR A MOST TRULY WONDERFUL AND ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC PRIZE.

LUANE LAVERY (BRAND COMMUNICATION MANAGER BA) – THANKS FOR THE EFFORT YOU PUT INTO ORGANISING OUR TRIP.
THE TWELVE APOSTLES HOTEL – WOW ………, AMAZING PLACE, AMAZING SERVICE, AMAZING PEOPLE AND AMAZING FOOD AND BEVERAGES.
AVIS CAR RENTAL – THANKS FOR A GREAT VEHICLE AND YOUR FLEXIBILITY.
NAC HELICOPTERS – A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE PROVIDING A TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.
GROOT CONSTANTIA WINE ESTATE – VERY INFORMATIVE AND WONDERFUL WINE.

Ode to British airways (#BARoyalty #IndependentTraveller)

British Airways strikingly “dressed” in blue, red & white

You truly are a lovely sight

Be it day or night

Even whether or not in flight.

 

Waiting on the ground you look so imposingly proud

But where you really want to be is soaring high in the fluffy clouds

With all the travellers you have easily wowed.

 

Operational reliability is impeccable

Making British Airways very dependable

Earning praise which is commendable.

 

Rushing through the boarding gate

I don’t want to miss our scheduled date

Very soon it will be time to sit back and contemplate.

 

On board cabin services are tailored like a glove

Flying high like a gracious dove,

Makes it Oh so easy for you to be my love.

 

My desire to travel is oh so true

And bears testament of my love for you

The only way to travel is with the crew of the red, white & blue!

 

No need to listen to just any other voice

British Airways (BA) is my airline of choice

Once on board you will rejoice!

 

British Airways (BA) …. I ❤ You!

6 steps to making delicious chilli jam

Ok, here are my 6 quick steps to making a delicious, chilli jam that anyone can make. Yes. Anyone. Why 6 steps? Easy, 6 is less than 10. One more than 5. And it may have been one of my winning numbers in Tuesday’s Powerball game had I not somehow lost my ticket soon after buying it on, yip, you guessed it, lucky Friday 13th! Not so lucky after all!

Anyhoo, we’re making chilli jam in 6 steps, so let’s go…

1. First, get all your utensils and cooking gear together. You will need.. 1 x large saucepan, 1x wooden spoon, 1 x spatula for scrapping all the jam out the pot, a sharp knife, blender or chopper, friend or partner to finely chop chillies, 2 x plastic gloves for handling chillies, 1 x saucer which you place straight in the fridge to keep cool (You will understand why later) and that’s all. Easy Peasy. Next …

2. Time to assemble the ingredients … chillies between 20 and 30 in total are needed and you can use any chillis here – jalapenos, habaneros, red hot chilli peppers, bird’s eyes or even a mix. I used pepperdews as I currently have a glut in my garden. Plus, 1 x 500ml bottle apple cider vinegar, 1 x 1kg bag of brown sugar and 1 lemon. That’s it. Just 4 ingredients. Normally, in jam-making to set the jam to a firm, jam-like consistency, one uses pectin. I didn’t have any, so I asked Suri to have a look and see if it was possible make jam without using pectin. After a few seconds Siri came up with some interesting articles. God, how I Love Siri And Google! To cut a long story short, lemon juice was suggested as a suitable substitute for pectin. And I happened to have a lemon. Cool.

3. Let’s start. First, put on the plastic gloves. On both hands. All chillies burn. And if like me, you suddenly develop an itchy nose or eye while working with chillies and scratch the itch without thinking, no gloves means your eye or nose, or heaven forbid, both will Burn and I mean BURN for what will feel like hours. Next, get to work on the chillies, slice the end off, then slice down the centre of the chilli so it is in half length-ways, remove the seeds, then place the 2 halves into a blender or chopper to finely chop. Don’t worry if a few seeds somehow get in, it is a chilli sauce after all. You can use for this recipe, between 20-30 chillies. You don’t have to weigh out an exact amount. Use what you have. I had loads, so I used 33 to be exact.

4. Once the chillies are chopped, place into the saucepan. Place the pan on the stove and crank the heat up to high. Next, add 2 x cups apple cider vinegar to chillies, followed by 3 and a half cups brown sugar. You can use white sugar too. The recipe called for 4 x cups of white sugar. I prefer to use brown when cooking, nicer flavour and I also cut back a little as I didn’t want the jam too sweet. I always feel so Heston Blumenthalish when I substitute ingredients in recipes! Finally, add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. (Not bottled!) Mix altogether and bring to the boil. An old wives tale is that if you lay a wooden spoon over to top of your pot, it won’t boil over. I tried this and I can happily report, my pot didn’t boil over! Once the chilli mixture is boiling. Turn the heat down, slightly. But keep the mixture boiling. For 20 minutes the recipe said and then the mixture would start to thicken. 20 minutes is a fair while. I didn’t just want to stand and stare at the pot and a watched pot never boils! So, I figured I had enough floor space in the kitchen, I rolled out my yoga mat and for 20 mins practised some yoga moves, checking and stirring the pot every 5 minutes to prevent burning. After 20 minutes my mixture was still thin and runny, maybe using less sugar and lemon juice affected the cooking time? Back to the boil and back to the yoga mat for me.

5. Finally, another 20 minutes later, my mixture had thicken and was looking jam-like. (Total boiling time of 40 mins) Thank God, I was feeling pretty knackered and was glad to get off the floor! Time to test … take the cold saucer from the fridge and drop a small drop of the jam onto the chilled saucer, it should drop and hold it’s round shape, not run or slide around the saucer. If it does, it’s ready. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

6. Once cooled, the jam will thicken more on standing. You can decant into sterilized glass bottles and store in the fridge. To sterilize glass bottles wash on the highest temperature setting in your dishwasher and allow to dry before using. Can also be hand-washed in hot water and dried off in a hot oven.

This jam is so versatile – with goat’s cheese or even cheddar cheese on biscuits, on hot pork chops off a braai, in a stirfry, add ‘zing’ to a cheese sauce, pasta sauce, a dollop on a slice of pizza, with steak. Oh, the list is endless!

I am definitely going to make more and maybe next time use a mix of chillies. Watch this blog ….💋

Gin-tasting ….

Blush …. “be or become pink or pale red”

I was fortunate to take part in some “gin-tasting” this weekend. I am a G&T girl, but lately I have noticed  all these new gin cocktails that have been popping up on the drinks menus at my favourite restaurants, so when the chance came up to do some gin-tasting with a friend,  I leapt at the chance.

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Locally-produced gin

Who knew there were so many gins available? So spoilt for choice as I discovered. And very exciting for several reasons :

Gin is no more a colour-less, liquid resembling vodka or cane. It comes in an assortment of colours, including blue that turns to pink when the mixer is added to it. So pretty!  A gorgeous pink (blush) colour and a malt colour that looks like a fine whisky, just tastes much nicer! Those are just the ones we sampled. The blue gin (Six Dogs) was voted the favourite, both in taste and looks!

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Who knew? .. blue gin – so pretty!

Tonic water, the usual mixer for gin is no longer just tonic. Oh No! This quinine-based, distinctively bitter, liquid has been upgraded and overhauled into 2018 into a sparkling rose and cucumber blush. Perfect mixer with the gin. Prefer the original? No worries, sparkling indian tonic is still available.

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G&T

The most exciting news is that now gin is being  locally-produced. Locally being in the Kwa-Zulu Midlands here in sunny South Africa. In Original and Pink Gin. Gorgeous to look at and gorgeous in taste. What girl does not love a pink (blush) coloured cocktail? And one that delivers on taste too!

So, we had a variety of differently infused gins and mixers. But …  wait ….. there’s  more! Botanicals in the forms of slices of cucumber, grapefruit, pineapple, lemon, juniper berries (one of the base flavours of gin) and spiky rosemary leaves. To add, according to taste. So, take a sniff of the gin, get that aroma. Then, add a mixer, pink or white and one or two cubes of ice. Sip. Savour the taste. Add a botanical, or two, mix. Sip again, and again. Ooh, yum! Smile! Delicious. So many combinations, so many delicious flavours.

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Gin tasting “paddle”

There are loads of different gins out there and if you haven’t tried a G&T yet, well, maybe, just maybe, you should. Taste a blush.  You never know, you may just like it. Cheers!❤

via Daily Prompt: Blush

The fact is ..

The fact is, I love the beach.

No. I Love, Love, Love the beach! It is my happy place. I love the feel of sand between my toes, the sand exfoliating my feet as I walk over it.

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Footprints in the sand

The gasp of delight as the cold waves wash up against my legs. The breeze gently blowing through my hair, the warm rays of sun on my face. The sound of the waves crashing on the sand.

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My happy place

The cry of the seagulls. The salty smell of the sea that tells me I have arrived. The laughter and shouts of children playing on the beach. All my senses are engaged and I feel alive, but yet relaxed at the same time.

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Evening on the beach

To end a day sipping a cocktail on the beach with a loved one watching the sun slowly disappear over the edge of the ocean is truly magical.

Aaah! Bliss …

via Daily Prompt: Fact