Antie Evelyn se Eetplek in Nieu-Bethesda

Some people have eating in a 3 Michelin star restaurant in Paris on their bucket lists. Others want to eat in a restaurant because a certain famous chef designed the menu. I wanted to have dinner at Antie Evelyn se Eetplek and when the opportunity arose I packed my overnight bag and headed into the Eastern Cape's Karoo Heartland to the village of cement owls, fossils, leivore and Auntie Evelyn. Nieu-Bethesda. Auntie Evelyn Oliphant has been running her little restaurant…

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Inspirational food in Nieu-Bethesda

One of the things you can always be sure of while traveling through the Karoo Heartland of the Eastern Cape is that you will get good food, fantastic hospitality and a full tummy. Visiting Nieu-Bethesda one would expect your meal to be lamp chops, a hearty stew or something straight from granny's kitchen. So finding a place with inspirational fusion foods straight out of something you'll expect on a Master Chef cooking competition was totally unexpected. Enters Barbara and Johan…

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Mahai Campsite – heaven in the Drakensberg

Nestled in a beautiful valley in the Royal Natal National Park of the Northern Drakensberg is a campsite that regularly makes lists of top campsites in South Africa. Six years ago we discovered Mahai Campsite for the first time and spend an unfortunate holiday there during major floods that hit the area that summer.  Even with all that it still counts as one of our favorite holidays and when we left that year we vowed to be back some time.…

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Master Chef judging, the Firefly version – Ginger Restaurant

Port Elizabeth is very quickly getting a reputation as a good food destination with visiting bloggers and journalists raving about the variety and quality of restaurants and food markets available around the city in their articles.  Now I'm not food expert although I am known to enjoy a good steak / pizza / chop and braaibroodjie / plate of home cooked food / cinnamon and sugar pancake / or > insert whatever food here< on occasion.  I'm not the judgmental…

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Butcher Block Umhlanga – the BEST steak I have ever had

I don't think there is anybody out there (except obviously vegetarians or vegans) who doesn't love a good steak.  Not everybody can make a good steak though.  I have tried many times and just can't get it right.  It's always either done to much or not enough and I think the Damselfly may even have given up on me finally producing her the perfect steak.  But there are those who CAN make the perfect steak and on my visit to Umhlanga recently…

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“Surprise surprise” at Holiday Inn Express Umhlanga

"How about a weekend in Umhlanga with the Damselfly?" So the email I received from the InterContinental Hotels Group didn't quite say that, but it could just as well have.  A weekend at any of their South African hotels and I got to choose which one.  I could have chosen the luxury Intercontinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers or any of their other hotels in Jozi, Cape Town and Pretoria, but we decided on the Holiday Inn Express in Umhlanga.  Firstly because of the…

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Tip a glass at the Le Vino Wine and Tapas Bar

Last night I joined some media friends at the Boardwalk for the opening of the newest restaurant offer in the complex.  In recent months the Boardwalk has opened two new restaurants, Coast and Craft, and these are now joined by Le Vino Wine and Tapas Bar.  All three of these fall under the Boardwalk's own banner and is managed by the Boardwalk's F&B department.  Le Vino itself is located in the old Dulce Cafe premises and offers a great spot…

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Baviaans Lodge – a special oasis in the southern Baviaanskloof

The Baviaanskloof must be on the bucket list of a lot of South African travellers.  Stunning scenic beauty which, if she was a person, would put her in the top three of a Miss Universe competition.  Isolation, but not like just around the corner where you can't hear the traffic.  A true wilderness area.  UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Overnighting in caves or on a river beach next to sheer cliffs.  Challenging roads.  Unfortunately for us mere sedan drivers a big part…

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Dune Ridge – a country jewel in the St Francis Bay crown

When you think St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape you tend to think beautiful coastline and black and white houses on the canals.  If you had to spend a weekend in St Francis you would probably expect your guesthouse to have stunning sea views or be situated right on the canals.  Yes, but not always.  We spend a fabulous weekend at Dune Ridge Country House just outside (and with this I mean literally only a stone's throw away) St…

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Trying new menu items at Fratelli Foods

A couple of weeks ago I had to meet a friend of mine for a business breakfast and she suggested we go to the newly opened Fratelli Foods in the Lower Baakens Valley.  Fratelli is an Italian Deli and Coffee Bar and at that stage they hadn't even had their signage up yet but I had a feeling that it would turn into a very popular spot very soon.  I immediately joined their Facebook group to keep an eye on them. …

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