When I left the U.K. I was just about to lose my driving license due to too many speeding fines. The U.K. system is points based and I was a ticket away from running out of points. This week I paid almost 2 thousand rand in traffic fines. Some behavior never changes. I’m a road raging speed demon. Hooting and swearing my entire journey. I need to chill out.
With this in mind I am so torn between the need to be aware of the travesty of the effects of The Furher’s decisions and my need for peace in my heart and the preservation of my sanity.
Instead I’m going to try and reduce my stress levels. I’ll watch beautiful images and listen to soothing sounds to amuse me.
My heart needs a break.
This week work was all meetings and workshops as I’m working with a team on a set of deliverables. Saying that the week flew by!
We again tried to stay relatively low carb most of the time. The weather was hot so we cooked on the gas grill a few nights. We did a mix of veggies or salad. One night I made a salad of mango, avo and feta, it was a great combo! Sweet, salty and tasty. Another night I steamed cauliflower and fried mushrooms in garlic butter. I chopped up brussel sprouts and cooked them in chicken stock then fried them in butter to brown. These are so tasty and divine when cooked like that.
Maybe it is because I am an only child and never learned to share nicely but I have a bit of an obsession with fairness.
This week I signed up to attend a dinner function at Pure Restaurant which is in Hout Bay Manor. It was a wine and dine event publicized at R425 per person with the food produced by Pure and wine chosen to compliment each course from Eikendal Winery.
I booked via the Manor email address which had sent out the above image advertising the event and I received an invoice to settle in order to book our seats and noticed I had been charged two additional line items on top of the advertised R425 per person so I was surprised and rather annoyed. There were surcharges for gratuity and vat.
I was annoyed that the staff would not be incentivized to provide good service and that I could not use my own judgement to decide what their service merited in regards to a gratuity. I was also pretty sure it is illegal to charge VAT over and above the advertised price. I emailed back in response giving my opinion on their invoice and asking them to remove me from their distribution list. It felt so shady! I hadn’t gone to their events for a long time as I felt the energy of the place was dulled and I wasn’t a fan of the menu last time we did. I also find it incredibly bad practice to not publish the menu for a dinner event. What is it a lucky packet? The wine may be the cherry on top of a wine pairing but the food is what gets our attention and gets us salivating. I had to write to ask for the menu every event. this time I got it from the winery! I gave up asking them and therefore have not been in a while.
We are desperate for rain and when I woke on Friday morning it was spitting with rain as I drove in so I put on my rain coat to traipse into the city. It did not rain even a tiny drop on my journey across to work from the hotel where I park.
I left the office to go and get my coffee at the cafe and I didn’t bother with my raincoat and while there the heavens opened and it poured down rain, sheets of it.
There is a secret passage from the cafe to my office so I thought I would be clever & go through there. However I got lost in all of the dimly lit passageways which look exactly the same.
Cue panic attack.
I was hyperventilating when I finally saw a security guard in the distance, I ran to her and hugged her like I had been lost in the jungle for a month. She thought I was insane but let me travel in the freight elevator with her. All this happened before 730am. I worked and headed home early to get ready for the event at HB manor.
We arrived at the Manor promptly at 645pm and it was still quite bright outside. As I opened my door their staff was on hand to block me getting out of the car. Usually when you arrive at the hotel a parking attendant is swiftly there to open the ladies’ doors. He said hastily ‘Sorry ma’am but we are closed.’ I asked him whether he meant the event was not on? I told him we are booked and paid to attend the Eikendal Wime and Dine. He said ‘sorry I was told not to let anyone in.’ I finally convinced him we were booked and he let us in. Do I look unworthy for your establishment? It felt very unwelcoming.
We were welcomed at the bar with a giant smile however and we were quickly given a chilled glass of rose.
A few minutes after we arrived we were served an Amuse Bouche and it went perfectly with the beautiful light rose. It was Asparagus shavings and fig. There was a creamy base too but not sure what it was. I thought it was fresh and lovely. I adore figs.
Norm thought it tasted like grass clippings.
The next course was billed as Pork belly with apple gratin and apple salsa. It also had a crunchy little bed under the salsa. To me it was more of a sorbet, not a salsa. It was ice cold and to me the contrast of cold with the other items was odd. The flavours were gorgeous, I thought but I could not get past the cold sweetness combined with the pork belly. I adored the apple crisp. It was delicious pork belly, some of the best I have eaten. They served it with both an unwooded Chardonnay as well as a wooded Chardonnay. I’m not usually too keen on wooded so I concentrated on the unwooded and it was divine!
Oddly enough the next course was the one I was least looking forward to but turned out to be one of my favourites. It was Ostrich with red cabbage salad and smoked truffle aioli. The ostrich was so tender and it was not at all gamey which is what puts me off most ostrich fillets. This was served with a rich gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m not a huge red fan but I enjoyed it.
That truffle aioli was to die for!
Beef short rib was the next course, served with duchess potatoes and gremolata. There was a beautiful cluster of sweet baby tomatoes on the vine which had been roasted to perfection. The wine served was Charisma. This was my absolute favourite of the reds. It was delicious.
Dessert was a white chocolate semifreddo layered with strawberry jelly and topped with two little bits of delicious chewy almond nougat. There was a little quenelle of strawberry sorbet and crunchy ground almonds. This was delicious! I’m not a huge fan of jelly so wasn’t enamored of the texture of the jelly combined with the creamy semifreddo but overall it was lovely. The wine was a Pinotage.
We ended up tipping the waiters almost twice what they would have made had I given them the 12% requested on the invoice. The staff were attentive, polite, smiling and pretty fabulous. The singer was light and played some nice relaxing dinner tunes. All in all, despite the rough start, I give the evening 4 Kitten Stars.
The next morning I was off to the hairdresser in the city. I had my hair coloured but didn’t cut as it is falling nicely still.
Once he stopped working he walked the dogs and we decided to go out for dinner. We spotted a table outside at Indian Oven and so we stopped there.
We ordered a few Starters. We had prawn pakora at R65 which had large whole prawns in a crispy batter and was so delicious! We also ordered our usual fave, spinach bahjees at R45.
On our way home I was so glad Norm was driving as he is so much more patient than I am, so when a big pick up truck almost pulled out of a stop street in front of us Norm stopped and waved him on. I would have hooted, glared and sped past. Norm had to wait ages for the guy to pull off but when he did the dude rammed his petrol pedal and shot off down main road, I felt uneasy and said to Norm that I thought the guy was drunk. Next he veered left and headed for the cars which were parked in front of Cheyne’s and just before he hit them he jerked hard to the right, careening head on towards a Mercedes driving on the other side of the road. The Mercedes driver stopped and the truck jerked left just in time to avoid a high speed head on collision. The truck carried on so fast we could barely catch him, I wanted to get his car registration to phone into Neighbourhood Watch. The driver then turned right at the new roundabout up into Baviianskloof, narrowly missing a third collision with a car which was already in the roundabout, I cannot imagine how much this guy had to drink as his driving was off the hook. However I hope he made it home to his bed with no incidents as the roads up there are narrow and winding.
Today I have been so lazy. A total day of relaxation. I did make lunch for us. There is no food in the house but out of some wilted lettuce, a red pepper, pickles, tuna, egg and an avocado I managed a rather lovely meal.