Sunday, 28 May 2017

South Africa with a Toddler - Hout Bay - Part IV

Day 8 - Oudtshoorn to Hout Bay

'The only journey you will regret is the one you do not take'

After an immense scenic drive we arrived into Hout Bay around 5pm to our final accommodation for the holiday at the Cap Serein Guesthouse, Petra checked us and was great throughout the stay for local information and also providing Bubs with lots of fun toys, he also loved feeding the fish each morning. 

Cap Serein is located on the top of the hill therefore the views at any time of day are beautiful, the only downside I felt was wifi is only available in the common areas and not in the rooms themselves. 

After a quick shower and change we headed out to enjoy dinner at Kitima, a delicious thai restaurant that was very busy on a saturday night, despite being the only child in the restaurant Bubs was really well behaved and loved all the attention he received. After demolishing a bowl of noodles he fell fast asleep in his pushchair whilst we continued enjoying our wine recommendation and dinner. 

Day Nine - Hout Bay - Chapman Peak Drive 

Breakfast at Cap Serein was really fresh and homely, with lots of fruits, cheeses, hams and breads alongside yoghurts, granolas and cereals, the best bit being the early morning views and peacefulness. 

We soon hit the road to do the world famous Chapman Peak drive and it definitely delivered on the views with several stop off points along the route to park up and take it all in. 
Our first stop was Noordhoek Beach, one of the largest and whitest beaches I have ever seen in my lifetime. Bubs just loved the freedom of being able to run in any direction he could see, he stopped near the waters edge though as despite a blue sky and warm temperatures it was still freezing. 

Our second stop of the journey was at Boulders beach, probably one of the only places in South Africa we saw other tourists, unfortunately you cannot actually go onto the beach with the penguins much to Bubs disappointment but you do get to see them sunbathing from a raised wooden bridge surrounding the beach. Bubs had to make do with buying a cuddly penguin rather than getting a cuddle from a real one. 

For lunch we stopped off at Imhoff Farm and whilst Bubs had his afternoon snack we enjoyed huge bowls of delicious salads at the Blue Water Cafe 

Chocolate Cake not as good Deer Park Cafe

We spent most of the afternoon at the farm enjoying the family activities on offer before heading back to our B&B to freshen up for our last dinner.

Sunset in Camps Bay
That evening we headed to Camps Bay for dinner at The Butcher Restaurant, me and Bubs shared the grilled chicken with my favourite extra crispy onion rings whilst Mr S had his final steak of the trip.

Day Ten - V&A Waterfront and the journey home

After breakfast we loaded the car up one final time before heading into visit the V&A waterfront, this area is very famous but for us after seeing how much more South Africa and Cape Town had to offer we were glad we had not spent more time here. There are several markets, shops and malls along with lots of restaurants much like any other large leisure complex anywhere in the world.

For our final hour or so before we had to leave for the airport we escape to the tranquility of the Cape Grace hotel for a final tea and cake. 

Last drive back to the airport

Final Thoughts and Holiday Video

South Africa was one of our favourite destinations, the stunning natural beauty, the oh so delicious food, the small amount of wine we did get to enjoy, the friendly people and beautiful weather made it a great trip for us. It is not often we feel compelled to return to a country again but we will definitely be coming back to SA one day. 

A few people were concerned before we left regarding safety and driving around especially in Cape Town following the recent media attention it has had, however in our case I can truly say we never felt unsafe. It is like anywhere in the world there are bad parts and things do go wrong but you can try and avoid it by staying  out of certain areas, not wearing valuables, having secure bags, locking car etc. All the usual safety measures you would take anywhere including when at home. Our little family was made to feel very welcome by everyone we met along our 10 day journey and I cannot recommend this country enough - please go and visit it for yourself.

'The only journey you will regret is the one you do not take'

A short video clip showing some of the highlights of our magnificent trip to South Africa made by Mr S himself. 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Mexican Burrito bowls

A great midweek dinner based on an existing recipe for my Mexican Black Bean Chicken and Guacamole that I turned into a much more fashionable burrito bowl. 

Black Bean Chicken
1 Cup of Rice
2 Cups of Chicken Stock
1 tsp Oil
1 Garlic Clove finely chopped
1/2 Lime
Handful of fresh Coriander finely chopped
2 Corn on the Cobs
1 knob of butter
Salt and Pepper
Romaine Lettuce chopped
Grated Cheese
Lime to serve

1.Make up the black bean chicken and guacamole as per the recipes in the link
2.Heat oil and add garlic, fry for 2 minutes before adding the rice, stock and lime.
3.Cook rice for 15- 20 minutes before finishing with the chopped coriander
4.Boil the on the cob and char the kernels either on the gas cooker or under a hot grill for a BBQ effect
5.Cut kernels off and combine with butter and salt and pepper
6.Grill tortillas until crispy
7.Build bowls - start with rice, black bean chicken, guacamole, sweetcorn and lettuce, finishing with cheese and lime wedges

Mr S no carb version
Mummy Bears version

Bubs no guacamole version - he had already finished all his corn

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

South Africa with a Toddler- Driving the Garden Route - Oudtshoorn- Part III

Day Seven - Plettenberg Beach and drive to Oudtshoorn 

We began our last day in Plett with breakfast on the beach, followed by a few hours relaxing for me whilst Mr A and Bubs played in the shallow waters. Most of the beaches in SA were white powdered sands. Just after lunch we packed up a day earlier than planned and headed for Oudtshoorn to check into the boutique Earthbound B&B. A really cool place with a very quirky room, Marie the owner was very welcoming and lots of small homely touches made a perfect pit-stop for us. 

After relaxing by the pool and catching up on wifi after the drive we headed out to Buffelsdrift Lodge for dinner. A large terrace overlooks the water full of hippos and other animals such as deers roam freely around the grounds. I tried the traditional South African Bobotie, which was tasty but a bit too sweet for my liking. I preferred the traditional pudding of Malva instead. We headed back for a very comfortable sleep before a long drive back to Cape Town the next day. 


Springbok Burger

Malva Pudding and custard - Bubs favourite

Day 8 - Oudtshoorn to Cape Town Hout Bay

We shared a lovely breakfast by the pool at the Earthbound B&B including homemade muffins, eggs to order and fresh yoghurts before hitting the road for the long drive ahead. The weather that day was set to be hitting around 40 degrees and driving along it certainly felt like we were in the middle of the desert with the surrounding terrains. Thank god for air conditioning. 

Our first stop of the day was at the appropriately named Ronnies Sex Shop, perfect place to take a kid who cannot read yet. Mr S told me the history, originally a local shop named after his owner Ronnie, whose friends decided to play a prank one day and add the word sex into the middle of the name, this ended up backfiring and it now brings in lots of tourist for a drink in the pub who often leave behind either a piece of underwear or signature on the graffiti walls. We cooled off by enjoying an ice cream at Ronnies before hitting the road again. 

Our second stop off was at Overhex Winery and Bistro for lunch and a play, one thing I loved about eating out in South Africa was literally every single restaurant has its own huge kids play area attached to it, this one even had a smaller indoor area  for Bubs to play in whilst he waited for his pizza.

Part IV - Hout Bay

Part I  - Cape Town