Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lovely Long Weekend

Friday started out well with the arrival of our bonus & increase letters. Let's just say I'm smiling :)
Later we flew on 1time, 20 minutes late (apparently they've only been on time one time - pahahaha :P) only to land in Cape Town and be told that the everyone's luggage would be arriving on the following flight. They'd left it behind in order to carry more fuel for their next flight. Not impressed.
But we did eventually get settled at home in Cape Town. Saturday was a fairly relaxed day. I visited Gum and he was quite chatty. Everyone gets fairly nervous and tries their best to prepare me every time I see him. I guess because I see him so seldom that the changes in him are more drastic. But I guess that's what happens as someone slowly deteriorates due to Alzheimer's and old age.
Didn't do much more on Saturday but prepare for Mom's 50th Birthday Party in the evening. She'd booked out the Acanthus restaurant in Kalk Bay. It was a beautiful evening with a stunning view over Kalk Bay Harbour. There were loads of people (50 or so) and plenty of good food and wine and some crazy dancing to all the golden oldies :) Hope you had a blast, Mom!
Varen & I gave her a paid for flight to Joburg for her birthday ... now I just need to get moving and buy a new double bed for the spare room so she can actually come and visit. Can't wait :)
Sunday morning we were up as early as possible (admittedly not very!) and Varen & I set off on a whirlwind drive of the Cape. He was moaning that the last time we visited Cape Town, he didn't get to see much more than my folk's house. We drove over Ou Kaapse Weg to Noordhoek and around Chapman's Peak to Hout Bay, enjoying all those amazing sea views! We stopped at The Lookout Deck in Hout Bay for some calamari and seal-spotting in the Bay. The cocktails were good, but the food was an extreme example of Cape Town's overcharging.
After that, it was back home over Constantia Neck for tea at our house with the family. Man, do I realise every time I visit how much I miss Mom's baking :) And truth be told, Varen & I spent a lot of time this weekend discussing the merit of moving to Cape Town.
After that, I took Varen for sundowners at La Med - no good Capetonian could leave this off a weekend visit, but usually we're flying back by this time on a Sunday. La Med was just how I remember it, crazy busy with those Out-to-be-Seen typical Capetonian folk and bad service but, with it's huge saving grace ... perfect sea and sunset views. Admittedly we didn't stay for the whole sunset, it happens kinda late in Cape Town and we were getting peckish (since the service wasn't obliging) so we decided to move on.
And so, after an un-scheduled wee-stop at The Peeb's place, we ended up having dinner at one of Cape Town's best restaurants (in my opinion), Five Flies. The food was divine and unfortunately we were a little alcohol-ed out from the few drinks at La Med in the sun. I had their pan-fried scallops with home made linguini and saffron veloute as my starter and Varen had the even better Norwegian crawfish with avocado, baby leaf salad and seafood dressing.
Oddly enough we stuck with seafood for our mains as well. I had their rosette of Sole fillet with shrimp thermidor, creamed tatsoi, sweet potato mash and basil beurre blanc. It was divine, I was completely amazed at the way the basil and sweet potato flavours complimented each other. Would definitely recommend this :) Varen had their seared Scottish salmon with lemon risotto, mange tout and light thyme jus. The salmon was cooked more perfectly than I've ever tasted! All in all, completely delish but, no room for dessert after tea earlier in the afternoon!
Monday was another designated Cape-oriented day for Varen. Mom took us out to Franschhoek for some Wine Tasting and lunch en-route to the airport (after a quick breakfast at home and a surprise hello for Lovedalia) :) We stopped first at the Hillcrest Berry Orchard for a drink and some scones (to line the stomach and taste some of their various jams). It is a beautiful setting over looking the mountains and highly recommended for breakfast (apparently it gets pretty busy over the weekends tho so booking in advance is advisable!). We tried 4 of their jams: 4 Red Berry, Blueberry, Hanepoot Grape and Cape Fig & Walnut. I stuck to the Red Berry and Fig & Walnut (divine!) although Mom & Varen seemed to really recommend the Grape ?!
And then it was on to the Wine Farms. First we visited Plaisir de Merle. We tried 4 or 5 of their wines, but only really enjoyed (most surprisingly!) their Sauvignon Blanc - ordinarily I'm so not a white wine sorta girl!
And then we moved on to Mom & Daddio's favourite, Lynx. I've tried their wine before and generally enjoy it. Mom & Daddio generally stick to their Blanc du Noir and I was surprised how little I liked their Reds, except for their Blend. Varen really enjoyed their Cabernet Sauvignon tho, so we ordered 6 of each :)
And then it was time for some lunch. Lunch was supremely un-impressive because we were starting to be pressed for time. We ended up at a little coffee shop across the road from Reuben's (they were fully booked) called Essence.

And then it was off to say goodbye to Daddio at his new work before being dropped at the airport in time for our flight - in retrospect we could've hit another wine farm on our way home tho. Yup, you guessed it, 1time was late leaving again. I'm thinking of writing an email asking
what exactly the "More Nice" they promise in their by-line is ... and suggesting they update it to be a more honest reflection: Less Nice, Less Price. But as they say, you get what you pay for. Although my flight ticket price should in no way affect the general running of the airport and them sticking to their own schedule :P Either way, we arrived home and got a good night's sleep back in our own bed after a fairly exhausting but super fun weekend visiting the folks in Cape Town.


The Divine Miss M said...

It's the same here with low cost airlines, Ryan Air and Easy Jet hardly ever leave on time and your flight can be cancelled at the drop of a hat and you just have to get on the next one.

In my opinion if you want a perfect flight then pay the cash for the better airlines ;) When I pay £15 return from London to Brussels I don't care if they're an hour behind schedule - but the luggage thing has to go! That is shocking!

The Divine Miss M said...

By the way the CT holiday sounds like it was amazing! I love Five Flies, it is my favourite restaurant in CT :)

Tara said...

Eeek La Med. I have not been to that place in over five years and I really don't mind. Despite it's many bad qualities, you are right, it is one of the best places to go for those views.

Tales of the City said...

well if my friend L gets married.. I hall be in Cape Town next Feb and hope to try some of the places you mentioned. So fab-tastic. Oh to be in the sun drinking wine... First I have to convince the better half about travelling to SA. I have been trying for the last 3 years.. The muttered reply was something about the crime and power cuts.
Well PG you wont believe the weather we have been having here.. freezing nights but days are super sunny and hitting 16c. sunday we all sat outside on a terrace having lunch and drinking!! In Feb. In London.

Tales of the City said...

PS. British Airways and Virgin have both sent my luggage on a later flight. A bit of a bitch when that flight is 7 and 10hrs respectively. Not funny when you have no clothes at 3am in a foreign land. Still the plane could have stopped because there was a power cut... :=)

Lopz said...

Hey hun, sounds like you had a blast! Sorry I never replied to your text about La Med.... was in the middle of dragging the Bloody Bag home from Heathrow (see today's post). I must say, having read both yours and Miss M's comments, I might try Five Flies again. I've been once and was distinctly unimpressed. It struck me as overpriced (for very small and not particularly fantastic portions) and pretentious. Maybe it was the company? :-)

SouthAfrica said...

Great blog entry. I run a travel blog, and I'm going to link to this post from our newsletter on 1 March (www.southafrica.to).

ExMi said...

less nice more price.

that airline is shite.

at least kulula make a joke out of being a budget airline.


you should list your blog with twenty-something-bloggers.


needs more south african bloggers...

but i've been getting a lot of traffic from there.

phillygirl said...

@missm - yeah, 20 minutes here or there I can live with. It's the luggage thing that kills me. But hey, at least we got it before Saturday :)

@goblin - yup, and since I have to take the boyf touristing, I couldn't be leaving it off the list :) Although I doubt it'd be on my list of regular haunts if we did move back! Wa-ay too snooty for little old me.

@toc - pahahaha, I guess we should be glad down here "in the South" that the planes don't need charging via an outlet! But I was a little worried on landing about whether Eskom might load-shed the airport and switch off those much needed landing lights!

@lopz - you should definitely give 5Flies a 2nd try :) And I'll forgive your lack of reply since it means you got back to London safely!

@yzerfontein - Thanks for the link love, always appreciated!

@em+ct - will give it a browse :)

Sheesh, who thought replying to comments could take so long!

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