Friday, May 17, 2013

Parc Cafe in glenwood

Parc cafe in glenwood is something we've been waiting for for a while... The food is fresh, simple and delicious! It's only been open a week and a half and I've been there 4 times already! 

I've known Brett at his previous position as sous chef at 9th Avenue Bistro and come to expect his great meticulousness and attention to detail. Besides that, he is just one of the best down to earth, all round nice guys you'll ever meet in a kitchen! Opening Parc has been a life long dream realised for him, and you can well believe it, every dish has been thought out and it goes together really well. 

Upon my first visit, I had a bacon, mushroom and spinach quiche and salad, with the most amazing tomatoe relish I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. The pastry was soft, buttery and crumbly all at the same time and the brown butter vinegarette was really interesting. My friend had an open sandwich with hummus and grilled aubergines with great zesty preserved lemon. Nice and healthy, with great prices too. 
Another menu item that really made me stop and take note was the avocado and vanilla shake, sounds odd right? But it was like lightly whipped cookie dough- try it, it will knock your socks off! 

On another visit, I had the eggs Benedict with lemon hollandaise and capers- it was lovely and fresh with a nice zing at the end, highly recommended! And G had the streaky bacon and cheddar cheese sarnie - this was really tasty! I especially liked the beer root and carrot slaw that came with that. 

Glenwood has a great sense of community about it, and you can see it in the cafe. They use columbo coffee and use Adams bread from the glenwood bakery next door. 

Really impressed with this little place and I can't wait to try everything on the menu! This menu will however be changing when the new season kicks in, so get in quick! 0312057285 

Monday, May 13, 2013

honey-mustard chicken pasta

While recently moving into our new place, G and I are always looking for new recipes to try out and we came across this one last week and absolutely loved it. Perfect for lunches the next day too! Recipe courtesy of BBC good food. Ingredients: 300g farfalle pasta or any other pasta shape (we used screws) 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise 1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard 1 teaspoon honey 300grams cooked chicken torn into rough pieces 4 spring onions small bunch basil leaves 4 ripe tomatoes quartered and then each piece halved. Boil the pasta per packet instructions, once cooked through drain, then cool in running cool water. Mix the mayo, mustard and honey in a bowl then loosen with a little water to get the consistency of double cream. Add pasta, chicken, diced sprin onions, basil and tomatoes and mix it all together. Add a little salt and pepper if you wish. Enjoy!

So... i'm back!

Hello World! So, its been a few years since i put a post through and i'm sad to see my little blog so empty! I'm changing that, right here and right now! I'll include a few new points of interest from now on,fashion finds, wine tastings and restaurant reviews and perhaps a new recipe or too. Oh and there is also this little minor event of a wedding, perhaps i'll include some points and tips and tricks that i pick up along the way! Here's to the re-launch of Day Tripping Durban! Cheers! Vicky

Thursday, September 30, 2010

And this little piggy went off to market(S)!

Durban is perhaps a little slower than the rest of our fellow communities on the foodie/crafty scene. We have more franchise restaurants than most, and generally most people by clothes that are made in china and can be purchased, well, anywhere really! Generally we take a little longer to catch onto trends, if we follow them at all, and we tend to be happy with our lot. However, it comes with great pleasure to write about the hottests food / crafty markets that are taking us by storm!

Thank Goodness a group of people got together and decided, hey, lets see what is going on out there and bring all these earth/food/wholesome people together and put them into a market! It really has changed the way we look at things now. The best part about these markets is that we are supporting local producers, one market in particular will in fact not let you participate if you are not from Kwa Zulu Natal. Love that! I'll take you through all the markets i have been to recently, and then mention a few that i have not been to, but come highly recommended.

Shongweni Farmers Market - every saturday from about 7am till 11am.

The Shongweni Farmers like to keep everything local. Most of the farmers from the surrounding area’s have a table, selling everything from fresh free range Hormone and anti-biotic meat to fresh bread. There are also cup cakes, freshly squeezed fruit and veggie juices and homemade pies. They don't just have food, they have a carpenter, lots of people selling plants/herbs/ worm farms. There is an area which is cleaned constantly for you to sit and enjoy your breakfast, whatever it may be. Thankfully you will not be able to buy a steers hamburger anywhere! What a lot of people do is buy there weekly grocereries there, this way, you have a chance to find out exactly where they are sourced and how they are grown. this will keep your carbon foot print down and i'm sure your body will be happy with more holesome food!

Kids entertainment is taken care of while you browse, there are slides and jumping things. The trend seems to be to bring your dog along, on leash please! And make sure it has been socialised, dog fighting is not on the list of activities!

Ample secure parking and it isn't too far from town. If you take the M13 towards Pietermaritzberg, take the shongweni offramp, and turn right, you can't miss it! Great Market!

The Food Market - Last Saturday of the month. 8am -2pm. Durban North

The first time I visited the The Food Market, i spent a fortune! It was like heaven on earth! My eyes were wide and my mouth was hanging open in anticipation! I think we were only supposed to spend an hour there or something unrealistic like that, but we must of spent about 3 hours there! There was so much passion for food in one place it was almost tangible!

Ok, so you might have guessed that this is my favourite thing to do every last saturday, infact i sometimes i even debate whether or not to go away that weekend or not incase i miss the food market!
Its put together so well, there are no competing products, one cheese girl, one olive girl, one chocolate guy... you get the picture! They have the most amazing selection of baked goods, from brownies to beautifully iced buscuits. Robsons beer are there, the swiss goats cheese lady is there, the duck lady is there. Everything your foodie heart could possibly desire is there!

Everything is locally produced, right down to the coffee which is grown and roasted in Assagay. Here are some photo's that i took on my last visit.

I Heart Market - First Saturday of every Month DLI Hall, Greyville. 8-2pm

I heart market is a little less foodie, but still has the odd indulgance in cupcakes and juices. There are local designers of many kinds all in one place! It is a creativity over load! So awesome to see all this talent in Durban.

Essenwood Flea Market - every saturday of the month 8-2pm

Essenwood was one of the originals and still holds great appeal. They have a good range of locally made clothes, crafts, flowers plants, decor options. I hear that their food section has been revised a bit and has some really good offerings.

These are a good shopping mall alternative for christmas!

Happy Shopping!


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bike riding on the Promenade

Today was a toasty warm winters Day in Durban with a temperature of around 28 degrees! Tough life we have here i thought as i dabbed sun cream on my shoulders and put on my running shoes.

Gareth and I have been meaning to go riding on the Durban beach promenade for a long time now, and so being the long weekend, i thought we should try give it a go.

We started off having a very chilled breakfast at a trendy little spot in the point waterfront area called Ciao Bella. Good vibe and great food! Everything is made fresh from the Juice to the pasta and pestos. Feeling a little refreshed and much more awake, we then went to Ushaka and I hired a bicycle. For those of you who know me this is a huge stepping stone! I'm not big on bicycles, we'll just leave it at that!
So off I stumbled through the poor unsuspecting crowd and off we went all the way to the stadium. Bikes for hire are in pretty good condition and not too expensive, it was R80 for 2 hours. I have seen them at the Elangeni Hotel for R50 per hour. So worth every cent! The views are magnificent and Durban is looking amazing! The sardines were still on the run and so there was a hive of activity around North Beach. We rode to NMR avenue and turned around, we went pretty slowly and it took us around one and a half hours. Because the promenade is pretty wide, there is lots of space to ride in and you shouldn't have any collisions! Its pretty flat with just a few little inclines here and there.
After the ride we went to Moyo On The Pier for a drink! Its Moyo's new development, which is really doing well, but is hugely dependent on the weather. Their theme is an African one with lots of North and West African influences. You can see their website to get a better understanding of what to expect here. There are couches and chairs all over the place and is very chilled! There was a guy singing and strumming away on his acoustic guitar, which was so good i thought it was a CD playing! By the looks of things they have a DJ downstairs in the afternoon, we saw him setting up when we were leaving. I thought upstairs was more impressive in terms of decor, downstairs was more rustic with just being on the pier surface. You can get most cocktails and wines and Stella on tap. Food is limited to finger snacks and platters, we saw a few people with platters and they looked fantastic! Moyo is generally a bit more pricey than some, but not too bad. My cosmo was R35 and Gareths dr
aught was around R40. Platters range from R80 to R350 depending on what is in them.

Another highly recommended days activity in Durban! Enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Park

This last weekend my friends and i headed for the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Park in Northern Kwa Zulu Natal.

The reason for our stay was for the annual mountain bike challenge which my boyfriend and his friends do every year. It is limited to 300 riders and is a very special, not only for its unique location but for its cause. Its main object is to raise funds and awareness for the wild dog population in the park. Since its inception the population has gone from 35 to 90 dogs in just a few years. This year around R25000 was raised for the wild dogs in particular and around R300 000 for nature conservation for the park. From what the riders say its one of the better rides and with its setting certainly one of the most special. What made this year even more special was that on the way to the start on the race, the bus that was carrying some of the riders saw the largest pack of wild dog on the reserve, which is around 20. Hluhluwe Imfolozi has the largest population of wild dog in the world and what people don;t know is that it is one of the most highly endangered animals on the planet. We camped in a specially set up and secured area which is only done for this race, but there are many other places to stay on the reserve.

Hluhluwe Imfolozi is the oldest game reserve in Africa and it is the place where King Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and implemented the first conservation laws. It was established in 1895 and has seen many successful projects throughout its years. One of the most successful was the white rhino conservation project in the 1950's and this ensures that good rhinos sightings are guaranteed. The Park covers some 96 000 ha and contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora. For a detailed history and other information of the park you can visit their website on the link below. It has good articles and is well worth the visit.

They offer plentiful accommodation options from self catering to a fully catered hotel. We normally stay in the Mpila camp. which is on the Imfolozi side. For rates and other options visit the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife website here. They offer guided walks in the morning and the late afternoon and game drives in the evenings as well as 5 day guided walks. These options are extra but well worth it as i feel you miss so much when in the car. The guides are phenomenal and are all well experienced, with many of them growing up in the area.

Our group were very fortunate to see Leopard, Cheetah, Lion, Wild Dog, Hyena, Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo as well as Impala Nyala and a Terrapin. Although this is a great list, it is not always the case, which is what i appreciate so much about this park, you are never know what you will see, you could go a whole day without seeing anything besides the odd Impala and Warthog, i feel it makes you treasure your sightings that much more.

The one thing to remember is it is not a zoo, these animals are wild and you are in their territory. Two big rules are: Don't get out of your car while in between designated areas (accommodation/picnic sites etc). It is dangerous! And secondly, to keep on the roads and never leave the the paths. There are other rules to keep to too, you will be advised of these as you enter the park.

You could do this trip is a day, it took us around 2 and a half hours to get there, however, best viewing times are morning and afternoon, especially in Summer as the animals tend to keep to shady areas and aren't very active during the heat of mid-day. There is a great picnic site on the Sontuli Loop which has braai/BBQ facilities. The sontuli loop is always very rewarding in terms of game viewing potential, especially Rhino. I also find making friends with the rangers is also very rewarding as they are always happy to share a bit of information with you as the where abouts of the animals.

Hluhluwe Imfolozi has a very special place in my heart, I just find it so peaceful, perfect for recharging batteries and putting things into perspective.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Inanda Heritage Route

A few weeks ago i was fortunate enough to drive along the Inanda Heritage Route with a friend of mines Dad who is very involved in the project. I think this day trip was one of my best yet...

First of all, how to get there! If one drives north on theN2 highway towards Gateway, you will see the Inanda off ramp, take that. There are signs along the way to help you so you don't get lost.

Inanda and Kwa Mashu were historically set as Black and Indian areas. As you drive along, you'll notice a house built in the shape of a airplane and another of a Boat. These were original homes by one of the successful businessmen at the time. If my memory serves me correctly he started one of the first bus services in the area. No historical significance, but just interesting to look out for.
Our first official stop was Ghandi's House when he was staying in the area. He lived there with his wife and children. The house was burned down during an anti Apartheid protest, and this is a replica of the house. Mr Harbour (My friends dad) said that he was one of the first people to visit his house after the flames were out and all his litreture was burned but he found a book by Leo Tolstoy and in the book was a personal inscription to Ghandi from Leo Tolstoy himself. WOW! To prove that Ghandi was not above anyone else, he slept on a mat on the varandah, with just a blanket, this is shown by a triangle on the varandah. There are plans to build a restaurant and a BnB on the premises. Good one to look out for. There is also an information centre and crafts centre which is run by the local community.

The next stop was at the Ohlange school. This was one of the first dedicated black educational school set up by John Dube. His house (below) was built in 1908 and was were he started the Ilange newspaper, which is still in publiation today. For those of you who don't know John Dube was the first president of the African National Congress. This is also the site where Nelson Mandela voted in 1994. The guide told us that Mr Mandela went stright from voting to John Dubes' grave and said, "We've done it my brother, from today we are free!" WOW!! Inger and i were in tears! So this is truely significant ground here!

Further on down the route you will come across the Inanda Seminary School for Girls. It is a boarding school originally for black girls. Mr Harbour said that it was originally there to help educate the black women which were taken on as companions of the white colonialists. Not normal education mind you, they were tought how to make a good cup of tea and how to make bread and be good sevants / wives. Then it was taken over by missionaries who made it what it is today. A lot of the current black women in parliment attended this school. The grounds are beautiful and kept in prestine condition. The school fees are a mere R1600 a year which includes board and tuition. The girls are all very polite and you can see that they are proud of thier school, which was really good to see.

Then we went to see the Inanda Falls, which is truly breathtaking. They are currently building a viewing deck. Its perfect spot for a mid afternoon picnic!

I would suggest taking a guide with you as i would imagine one would miss out on a lot just driving through. I felt pretty safe during the trip and didn't think i was in any immediate danger.
For contacts on guides you can call the Durban Tourism information.

Happy Day Tripping!