Tastes of Love and Life

We have been so busy I have not blogged in a week and it was all go, so bear with me if I cover a lot of territory.

It was my turn to host bookclub this month and the girls all came to me last Tuesday. My friend Chris has her father in law Pops visiting from the UK so he came as well. As I had been at work I had no time to cook so sent Norm off with a shopping list. I just got 4 ready made roast chickens from Woolworth’s and made a potato salad with chopped boiled eggs, a big green salad and had some French loaf and olive loaf. Thank goodness for Woolies. We bought our desserts however from Oakhurst Spar, they have such divine cakes and pies. I would not have been able to pull it off without Norm or the shops, I certainly did not have time to cook. We had not had a domestic here in 6 weeks so the house was a mess, we had also taken the couch covers and cushions off for a spring clean and Norm had rented a carpet cleaner and done the carpets so the house was in a bit of a tip up until the moment they all arrived. But we pulled it off.

Last weekend was a fabulous weekend full of friends and fun.

I had an early appointment at my hairdresser Leandra from Mop on Bree Street so I dashed off, it was such a hot day and this led me to decide to chop off about 6 inches of my hair. Here is a before and after pic.
hair before

hair

What do you think? I am still not convinced, it seems so short. I was afraid it would make me look matronly but my family all think it makes me look younger, and we all need a bit of that magic.

After my hair appointment I came home and had a swim as it was very hot. It was so refreshing. I feel so lucky to have a pool in the summer. It gets so hot and has been in the high 20s & low 30s all week.

That evening we went to our friends Chris and Jeremy for drinks. We had planned just to pop in for a drink and then go out for dinner but we were enjoying ourselves so much we stayed til late. Jeremy made the most amazing home made scotch eggs, oh they were yummy. They put on some light snacks to tide us all over and we all got stuck in.

Sunday I had a long lie in which was nice and then Norm drove me out to Kalk Bay to meet up with the George escapees book club for lunch. Ironic that I had so many bookclub gatherings and have not read a book in ages.

We met at Live Bait which is part of a group of restaurants right on Kalk Bay harbour. I have been to the other venues many times but this was my 1st at Live Bait. We decided to order a few platters to share and were very pleased with our choices.

We had the fried calamari for R90, which was tender and delicious:
photo 1

a big plate of grilled prawns at R140, nice and plump and firm and easily peeled:
photo 2

and the seafood platter special for 2 people which was on for R330 which contained mussels in a gorgeous white wine and garlic sauce, grilled prawns, line fish, pan friend calamari cooked with chorizo and peppers and a whole crayfish. I adore chorizo and it really gave the calamari a gorgeous flavour.
photo 3

We washed it all down with a few bottles of Brampton Sauvignon Blanc at a very reasonable price of R122 per bottle.

We so seldom see each other so we talked and talked and talked. In fact we talked so much that we were still there at 6pm – 4 hours after arriving – when the dinner service started and the manager came over and told us we had to go as the table was booked. I found this a bit rude as there were plenty of other tables sitting empty and we had certainly spent a good bit of money, it wasn’t as if we had all shared a hot water with a spoon of tomato sauce in it and pretended it was soup.

I loved the venue and the view and the food, but that put me off a bit.

We had a few days of relaxing and on Wednesday we had booked to go to La Mouette, owned by my fave chef and his wife and one of my favourite venues. I have too many blogs about it to link them all but feel free to search for the fabulousness.

Norm had some former colleagues over from the UK and this is our go to place for all visitors. We collected Norm’s friends from The One and Only Hotel and headed off to Seapoint. The evening was very hot and windy, but the lovely thing about La Mouette is that the high glass walls keep the wind out but let all of the light in. We were seated on the balcony and were very pleased to see that there were multiple options for vegetarians. We opted for the Summer Tasting Menu of 6 courses for R295 per person.

The lovely owner Mari sent over a round of champagne for us on arrival and we sipped this and munched on the various breads and spreads while catching up.
norm mouetteme mouette

After we selected our choices for each course we were served the amuse bouche which was quite large in itself. It was a carrot puree topped with 2 of Henry’s delicious gorgonzola cheese croquettes and crunchy walnuts. Such gorgeous flavours!

amuse bouche

The next course was Burrata Gazpacho Verde, with Burrata, grilled crouton, kombu and parmesan crust. Kombu is kelp and burrata is a cheese for those scratching their heads. It was served in an interesting way, the bowl arrived with the ‘bits’ in it and the waitress then poured the soup over the top.
course 1a

course 1b

The next course was a modern ‘Vichyssoise’ Smoked leeks, leek ash, crispy potatoes, leek and potato panacotta. The thick bottom was so delicious and beautifully flavoured and the crispy potato topping was perfect.

course 2

For the next course I had the ‘Roast pork dinner’ which consisted of Triple cooked potatoes, mustard, pickled turnips, apple and fennel. The pork was done in little bite sized cubes and the roast potato bites were so divinely crispy.

pork

Norm and his vegetarian friends opted for the Truffle and cheese croquettes with mushroom pesto, truffle dressing and shaved parmesan. Norman must really love me as he gave me a croquette and they are just the most wonderful things, not sure I would have done the same for him. 😀
croquettes

Norm and I both ordered the Namibian lamb Loin, croquette, chick pea puree, pistachio crumble, shanklish, apricot and saffron for our next course. I had this before so I knew it was going to be wonderful. The loin was rare and the croquettes were full of tender pulled lamb. I could eat my weight in those, they are just wow. Shanklish is a Lebanese and Syrian blue cheese made from sheep or cow’s milk.
lamb

This and the pork were my fave courses but the vegetarians also enjoyed theirs.

Mick and Jasmine had the Mushroom Pot Sticker which was satay, charred endive, picked mushrooms and white bean puree.
mushroom main

There was a fruity dessert of Tropical fruit salad with Meringue, mango sorbet, passion fruit jelly, roasted pineapple, coconut and lime leaf foam. It was light and refreshing. I wasn’t too crazy about the chunks of jelly in the mix but I am a texture freak, I can’t take different textures in my mouth at the same time. But fool me once with the sneaky jelly baby cube and then I knew to move it out of the way and finish the rest of the fabulousness.

dessert 1

The final course was a contrast to the lightness of the 1st, it was rich and heavy and a perfect ending. Chocolate course was warm brownie, smoked caramel, coffee cream, hazelnut ice cream, and amaretto jelly. Again I was watching out for that jelly and kicked it to the curb to devour the rest of it. It was getting quite late by this stage so the pic is a bit dark, apologies for that.

dessert2

We finished off the meal and headed back to drop our friends, only getting to bed after midnight and I was rather tipsy so I struggled the next day at work. Lucky that I had a friend Gillian come meet me for lunch and a steak burger and wedges all washed down with many many giggles seemed to transform me. I went back to the office perky and refreshed.

After work I shot off to get my monthly pedicure and then straight from there went to collect Norm so he could drop me at my friend Cath’s drinks evening. It was in Noordhoek at her sister’s house and we had never been there, we followed the GPS and drove up the drive to be greeted by a strange man hanging out of the window, he said ‘Hi’ and I said ‘Hi’ back enthusiastically but then he asked me who I was and told me I was at the wrong house just before Norm drove off. Oops. Apparently the street we wanted was in 2 halves and we were on the wrong half. We started over and found our way there. There were lots of ladies there to support Catherine as she is going into hospital for an op. One of the girls made a sign for her and we all brought snacks and wine and had a lovely evening. We have such a great group of girls.
girls 2
Debbie has such a stunning home.
girls
The evening was very cloudy but the view from the balcony of Deb’s house is just amazing, I can imagine what it is like on a clear evening, you can see the entire beach from there.
view

We all toddled off quite late and Norm came to collect me from Camilla’s house as she had given me a lift. I was glad the next day was a Friday as I was taking strain from too much social activity.

I had a doctor appointment on Friday so I had to leave work early. I have been suffering with nausea and heartburn for months and I finally decided I had to do something about it. The doc is hoping it is just gastritis so he has given me meds to take and if that does not sort it out I will need to get referred off for a scope. He then gave me a list of foods to avoid, chocolate, wine, alcohol, spicy foods and rich foods. Basically everything that I normally eat. Fabulous. This depressed me so much that I had to go for a drink. Yeah, I know. Not only that but I had to try the delicious sounding chilli poppers at the lovely Julie Ragavelas’ new venue The Riverway Café.

cafe
As always Julie has outdone herself, the venue is charming and quirky and the menu is many of the usual things you find, but as always there is a slight twist.

It was incredibly hot, over 30 degrees Celsius so we had to have a refreshing cocktail and so I had a Pimms. I had just left the docs and I didn’t follow his orders very well.
poppers
The chili poppers are not breaded, they are wrapped in bacon and stuffed with pulled pork, and are hands down the best ones I have ever eaten.

Today I have done nothing at all. Norm bought a used concrete table and chairs from a friend and we had that delivered and set up. Our top had broken and we were unable to find a replacement so I am very pleased. It is so windy the concrete is great as it won’t blow away. It may not be the most attractive choice but it is sensible. So we set up our new brolly and tried it all out.

table

We can now dine out front where we have such a lovely view of the back of Table Mountain. We do have an entertainment area at the back but there is no view there so we tend to use it at night. It is nice to have a place to lunch when we are swimming as this is right by the pool.

We are having a relaxing weekend after a week of social frenzy. The girls are both away so we only have ourselves to look after. I intend to spend all of tomorrow lying by the pool and maybe having lunch under my new little gem of a spot.

Mop Hair: https://www.facebook.com/mophaircapetown
Live Bait: http://www.harbourhousegroup.co.za/livebait
The One & Only: http://capetown.oneandonlyresorts.com
La Mouette: http://lamouette-restaurant.co.za/

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One thought on “Tastes of Love and Life

  1. Pingback: The Pipes Are Calling | Kitten in the City

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