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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wes and Claire's "sandy toes and salty kisses" beach wedding weekend!

Eddie and I are thrilled that our Wes and Claire have chosen to get married at the beach right here in Port Elizabeth and we welcome you all to our beautiful little bay!
Keeping our fingers crossed that we will all be able to go barefoot in the sand to witness their union....

Most of you might not know about their secret hangouts so I thought I'd put together a few of their favourite spots and include my "Top few" list of where to hang out when in PE!

Once you have settled into Isango Gate Boutique Hotel, you might like to explore a little of our "city" ...
as Claire likes to express....our peak hour traffic along Marine Drive is "cute"! So know that you are all in for a very chilled affair  where you can just let your hair down, take your suits off and join in with the local Eastern Cape people.

When Wes first brought Claire to PE, the first place he whisked her off to was Hobie Beach...and a lovely little breakfast place that we all enjoy, Angelos on the beach.....before heading to our home to introduce his stunning girl to us!

On Friday evening the close family will witness the civil ceremony whilst all other guests will be free to have dinner along the beachfront or other.

Should you wish to try out one of Wes and Claire's favourite hangouts, I have listed them below:

The Coachman on the Bay @ Brookes Pavilion is a gorgeous upmarket restaurant serving delicious steaks and seafood...
The Stage door @ The Phoenix hotel is an authentic old fashioned English Pub &; Grub in central just off White's Road.
Stanley Street is a night time hub of a variety of restaurants serving anything from artisan pizzas, pastas, Greek food, steaks and delightful sushi at Fusion.

Or how about one of their favourite drinking holes....Barneys at the Boardwalk on Hobie Beach,
the Beeryard just off Stanley or Bridge Street Lower Valley Road.
Should you not want to venture too far from Isango then try Charlies Superstar for the best pizza in town or Something Good Roadhouse on Pollack Beach.

Then of course, there's the Boardwalk Complex and Casino up 2nd Avenue off Marine Drive....with a wide variety of restaurants, hotels and stores....

 Saturday morning wedding fever will be running high and whilst the bridal party will be preparing and booking into spas and salons might like to take in one or two of our sights.....
So after  breakfast at Isango overlooking the ocean, how about.............
a walk along the pier to take in our beautiful beaches of Hobie and Pollack.

Should you wish to venture further, the Kragga Kamma Game Park has most of the animals you would see at Addo or Kruger :-)  or any of the other greater parks and boasts a magnificent display of the rhinos all in natural environment

SAMREC on Cape Recife Beach where the 2 love birds are getting married later, is a rescue shelter for the penguins. After their recovery here , they get released every Saturday at 9.00am.

If none of the above tickle your fancy and you'd like to do some last minute shopping we have the Walmer Park Shopping Centre and Stanley Street, where you could browse through Camden, Cupboard Love, Melville and Moon amongst others...whilst taking in a spot of coffee at Vovotelos!
Ahh... and the latter... we have the original one that put Vovo's on the map!

On the more historical side...why not take in the central area as a group, see the historical houses, visit No2 Castle Hill, a peak at our beautiful Grey Schools where Wes matriculated and the Grey institute, where the Grey School first opened and to where our boys march on the eve of their valedictory or the South End Museum ....

 a stroll through the Donkin Reserve opposite the Grey Institute is a  feast for your eyes as our local artistic talent has truly jazzed  up the area...from there, make your way down the steps to the Phoenix Hotel to stop off for a pint at the Stage Door and a light lunch that will cost you almost nothing before heading off back to the guesthouse just in time to get ready for "our beautiful beach wedding" where no shoes are permitted at the ceremony!

Please all be seated here by 3.30pm to await our gorgeous bride and her dad....
After the ceremony, join us back at the guesthouse for champagne and canapés whilst we await the arrival of the bridal couple and enjoy the wedding feast and party until late to send off the couple in an old- fashioned traditional way.

Sunday morning, after a late breakfast, we bid farewell to those travelling back and those remaining,  are welcome to join us for a braai (Eddie style :-))  whilst reflecting on a fantastic wedding weekend!

Just a little reminder to  remain security conscious if you are in the central area and rather not to venture out on your own.

Should you wish to book anything in advance, please contact Claire, Liezel (Isango Gate) or I and we would gladly do so for there is a spa at Isango Gate or you could make use of No5 Art Boutique Hotel which is equally as enjoyable....please remember to book in advance.

These are just a few places that we enjoy...there are many others~

I trust that your stay will be as happy as Claire's first visit to Port Elizabeth  and so ....with sandy toes and salty kisses, I wish you all the happiest time in our beautiful Bay!

Important telephone numbers and info:

The Penguin Beach ( Cape Recife beach) where Wes and Claire are getting married,  is along Marine Drive....
from the guesthouse at Isango...turn right into Marine Drive and carry on along that road  for a will see the board marked Pine Lodge Resort and SAMREC..turn left and drive through the boomed area ..... however, we will try to accommodate most with transport.
The ceremony will take place near the lighthouse.

Telephone Numbers:
Isango Gate Boutique Hotel: 041 8112225
Coachman  041 5840087
Fushin in Stanley  041 8117874
Charlie's (Summerstrand Shopping Centre) 041 5832832
Hair on 6th ..6th Ave Walmer  041 5810825
No 5 Boutique Hotel and Spa  041 5026000

PS...Happy 30th birthday our Wes!  

For more info visit the PE blog....


Tsala Treetops and Hunter's Hotels

We have celebrated a very special anniversary a little while back...
We booked into the magnificent Tsala Treetops to celebrate....

We were welcomed by our most gracious host who spent at least an hour talking to us about the history of their "little piece of heaven" the way...tsala means elevated resting place in Xhosa...
I made no mention that it was a celebratory weekend however the attention to detail was unbelievable....the first night on returning to our suite, champagne on ice and a romantic turn down awaited us with candlelight from the entrance to the magnificent bathtub .....

the entrance....elegantly furnished in afro baroque ......

the treetop villas are suspended in the canopies of the trees and reached by a canopy boardwalk...

they are as romantic as you could imagine, each a large suite comprising of an exquisite bathroom, outdoor shower, bedroom and lounge area...
a large stonewalled fireplace serves as the divide....
each suite has its own  infinity splash pool 

The breakfasts were eye candy and the restaurant Zinzi, where we had dinner, is tastefully decorated and serves outstanding food....

But the best of this little Eden, is this delightful little chapel in the forest on the grounds and the old country house gardens....equally as stunning as any of the most spectacular gardens of Europe...

What an awesome venue for a small wedding!

Thank you Hunter's Hotel group for an unforgettable few days!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chicken pasta 2 ways ~

The dinner table seems to be the place where we share so many thoughts, happy, sad, stressed or mundane...after a hectic day !
it's strange how a great big bowl of simple pasta to share,  a crusty loaf to mop up the juices from my favourite baker down the road and a glass of wine can ease away the many stresses of the day....
here is such a quick and easy pasta I throw together and it looks so pretty too...after a hectic day when everyone still expects a table laden with food!

Cheats chicken pasta ~

Cook your favourite pasta to your liking
Grab a rotisserie chicken from Woolies and chop into bite size pieces
fry together a pepper, chopped onion and some streaky bacon
Boil some broccoli
and make a quick cheese sauce
salt , pepper and Italian herb spice to taste

Mix all together with your pasta and shred some extra mature cheddar and rocket on top and serve!

Voilà....  completed in a jiffy !

Jarry's deli pasta

Fry a few skinless chicken breasts in olive oil with a little chopped onion, some garlic and peppers.
Add 250ml double cream
Boil some pasta until al dente
Toss altogether and add 1 tablespoon of basil pesto
Mix together and add lashings of parmessan cheese on top!

Lovely for a lunch!

Another quick fix meal is my roast chicken stuffed with my gran's bread stuffing recipe, add root vegetables, potatoes, slices of pumpkin sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.
Rub sea salt flakes, pepper and fresh herbs on the chicken and a lavish splash of olive oil over the chicken and veg and let it look after itself roasting away in the oven at 200 deg for around 1 and a half!

Here are a few of my favourite shots of the week!

the smell of freshly baked muffins from my oven....

sharing at this table.....

my family and pets....

and  the best things I love in life are those that fill my soul! 

 Bon appetit!