eiffel always love this tower

Eiffel Tower

On 5 March 2017, with the rain gently and steadily falling, I came up the stairs from Trocadéro station, frantically looking for the famous metal structure. A few more steps forward and out of nowhere, there it was… Le tour Eiffel.

Eiffel Tower

I had no words. I was completely overcome with emotion. Like a small child, I jiggled on the spot before tears just came rolling down my cheeks. It could not be helped. For years it’s been a dream to visit Paris and see the Eiffel tower. The food, the pastries, the accent and yes, the tower, have all been at the top of my bucket list, and there, standing in the rain, my umbrella lying in a puddle, the box suddenly had a tick in it and it was overwhelming, to say the least.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

First, we posed for photos of course, and then croque monsieur with hot chocolate from a street vendor before making our way to the tower. A multitude of selfies, more photos and souvenir Eiffel tower key chains happened. Obviously.

Eiffel Tower

A quick bunker and behind the scenes tour before heading up to the second viewing deck. It was cold, it was wet and it was windy, but nothing could spoil that moment. Standing on the deck, taking Paris in from all possible angles, as there’s nowhere for her to hide from the tower.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Another hot chocolate and glorious Ladureé macarons before going up 300m to the top. Wow. Another emotional breakdown. But I don’t care. I could have stayed up there all night. It was simply magnificent. Mind-blowing. Wonderous. A dream come true moment.

Eiffel Tower

It’s not often that you get to tick those bucket list items off. If the opportunity comes around, go for it, mes amies.

Cheerio

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find the light

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So often you get caught up in the daily humdrum. Every morning and every evening start and end the same with a blurred middle that hardly ever delivers any value to life. In this mess of daily routine, you forget that there are simple things that can add a hint of excitement. A dash of something different. My friend, Mishka, highlighted this the other day when she asked why I don’t try a mini content series on Instagram and use it as writing inspiration.

Thanks, Mish… I enjoyed the challenge and here’s the result. A mini content series focused on being aware of light and simply capturing it.

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Morning light. It does all the work and you just have to be ready to savour and save it. This little String of Pearls succulent is the perfect example of that. Patterning shadow lines add a bit of drama, thanks to window blinds.

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Someone teach me the art of portraiture, please! I love capturing a hint of the essence within a person, but my eye needs a lot of practice. Here’s Candace with the light hitting her from behind. Unaware that I’ve got the camera on her. Don’t you think she looks somewhat like a perfect porcelain doll?

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Trinket shopping and milling through piles and piles of unwanted glassware in a secondhand shop in Muizenberg led to a colourful shot as random vases, plates and glass bits and bobs come to life with an uncovered window as a backdrop.

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Often you discover an interesting shot when you’ve opened your eye up to opportunities. This puddle of water in an alleyway at the office came to life when the sun burst through the rain clouds. It’s not a pretty picture, but the movement in the reflection is quite captivating.

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This one’s an oldie from last year when I was in Amsterdam. I was just about to go into the Rijksmuseum when the movement of cyclers caught my eye and I was just in time to shoot them coming in from the outside light. Of course, the illuminated arches above add quite a bit of artistic flair as they themselves are playing with the light.

I enjoyed this little series and will certainly be doing it again, soon.

Cheerio

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black & white captures in the mother city

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Some mother city exploring. That’s Cape Town, in case you didn’t know. It’s a city bursting with colour, but today it’s caught in monochrome. 😄

Cape Town, black and white

Sundays in the city are quiet. There’s not even a soul around…

Cape Town, black and white, graffiti

Grafitti, I suppose like in most cities, lurk around every corner. When the city is quiet, it’s just a little more visible.

Cape Town, black and white, graffiti

Cape Town, black and white, graffiti

Cape Town, black and white, graffiti

Cheerio

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lunch in philadelphia

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About 30 minutes outside of Durbanville you’ll find Philadelphia. A quaint little village with friendly shop owners and great little artsy finds. Philadelphia means ‘brotherly love’ – from the bible. Hmm, okay.

Quiet streets, filled with gems like art galleries,  a cheese shop and eateries await discovery. Beware the camera fearing beast outside the gem shop. That guy was not a happy chappy.

philadelphia, photography, cape town

One of the most popular gathering spots in Philadelphia is most likely The Peppertree, which is well known among the Cape weekend roadies.

philadelphia, photography, cape town

Another rustic haunt that’s well priced with friendly service and a pretty decent menu is The Deli Shed. The chicken mayo sarmie, which comes in an interesting round shape, is out of this world. They add some chutney, fresh thyme and a hint of grated raw onion – just the way I like it! The coffee is good, there’s a selection of fresh fruit and veggies, a variety of homemade breads and some other pantry fillers that you can add to your bill to take home.

philadelphia, photography, cape town

The quiet streets are a welcome escape from the city hustle. Philadelphia is a treat to any enthusiastic Instagrammer with it’s old school patios, zinc roof sheets, lazy cats, weather worn doors and interesting (slightly weird) warning signs about pinching geranium cuttings.

 

Endless calming fields of wheat singing with a persistent hum in the the gentle breeze surround the little village during the wheat growing season (don’t ask me when that is – we have Google now). All and all, a trip to Philadelphia is a Saturday morning well spent.

wheat fields, cape town, philadelphia, landscape

Cheerio!

 

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on the go in amsterdam

Amsterdam Food Vending

Before visiting Amsterdam, I was informed about vending street food and thought to myself,  that’s a little weird and probably not something I’ll give a try. But goodness, was I wrong! All over in the streets of Amsterdam, in small little wall-shops, you will find warm, food vending dispensers from which you can instantly get your hands on on array of delicious Dutch morsels.

 

There’s also burgers and some sweet treats available from these food havens. Over indulgence on croquettes! Any and all the varieties you can think of and let me tell you, the quality is not half bad.

Amsterdam Food Vending

If only we can these glass boxes of yum in South Africa…

Cheerio

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discovering sosso’s

Cannelles

There’s a new little bakery come patisserie tucked away at the back of Heritage Square in Durbanville! Be sure to pop into Sosso’s Bakery the next time you’re in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. The counter lady promises that everything is made, prepared and baked on the premises, with fresh ingredients and REAL butter – which is always a bonus as so many places take the cheaper marge road these days.

Croque Monsieur

They make a killer CHOCOLAT CHAUD (real French hot chocolate) and the croque monsieur is really tasty. They have an assortment of sweet and savoury bakes like cannelles, tartlets, petits gateaux and delicious fresh croissants.

Chocolat Chaud

It’s a quaint and comfortable little breakfast or light lunch spot. Perfect for Saturday mornings.

Cheerio

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frenchsunset picnic in hout bay

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What is the frenchSUNSET picnic about? It’s a quick escape to the heart of Parisian fare with scrummy eats, live entertainment, poetry and cooking lessons. There’s no need for a visa, ’cause it’s happening at the gorgeous Glenellen Farm in Hout Bay, so there’s no excuse to miss out!

The frenchSUNSET pop-up picnics started in 2014 and was hugely successful, so on 9 April 2016, you can bring your picnic blanket, basket and happy vibe to enjoy a line-up which include the likes of:

  • Comedian Siv Ngesi as the event’s host
  • Poet Kyle Louw
  • Acoustic Elements
  • Upcoming french singer Savannah
  • Mapumba and band
  • Soul Power Circus Band
  • Dj Didier
  • Dj Ozy and more

Apart from the fab line-up, visitors will receive a few picnic starters like French cheese, baguettes and a bottle of wine to add onto their own picnic stash.

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There’ll be something for everyone in the family, even a jumping castle and other fun activities for the kids (and kids under 15 get in for FREE)! Don’t miss out on French chefs Nadège Lepoittevin-Dassé and Kamel Hamzaoui who will be enticing those interested with cooking tips and pastry how-to’s. There will be a raffle with amazing prizes; the main prize being a trip for two to Europe.

Visitors should remember to pack a jersey or an extra blanket, to keep cozy during the the movie that will be screened after sunset.

So what do you need? Use this checklist:

Picnic Checklist

What will you be wearing? Well, it’s a French affair, so red, blue and white will do just fine! Have a look at our frenchSUNSET Picnic Style Pinterest board for some more inspiration.

Tickets start at R175 and can be bought at www.frenchsunset.co.za.

Get social with frenchSUNSET: Twitter, Facebook and Pinerest.

Hope to see you there!

Cheerio

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blomboy workshop and more at spier werf market

Spier Werf Market

Every last Saturday of the month a lively and fun market is hosted at Spier Wine Farm just outside Stellenbosh. Stands with fresh fruit, vegetables, sweet and savoury bakes, an abundance of wines and not to mention the wine cocktails can be found in the shade under the trees. Live music, plenty of activities for the kids and just a good old time can be expected.

I received tickets to attend a flower arranging workshop hosted by Alwijn Burger, also known as BLOMBOY. It was a relaxed and engaging workshop with Alwijn leaving us, mostly, to let our own creativity shine. Some people’s creativity shone more than others, but all and all it was a really fun workshop.

Follow theblomboy on Instagram for a glimpse of Alwijn’s exceptional creativity.

Be sure not to miss the next Spier Werf Market and take your picnic blanket along – sitting under the trees on the lawn is a definite must!

Spier Werf Market

Cheerio

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revving up rosé

Revving up Rosé

I won tickets to the Revving Up Rosé festival off the fabulous Mzansi Style Cuisine Facebook page a week ago. This festival was a grand old celebration of Rosé from the various wine estates in the Franschhoek Valley.

Rickety Bridge Winery

I arrived, a little late, at Rickety Bridge just outside of Franschhoek on 13 February 2016, to find a lovely relaxed vibe on the lawns of the winery. The wine estates who had their rosy gold on display, were friendly and forthcoming with sharing just what makes their Rosé so special. I tasted ALL of them, of course, while enjoying the company of friends on the lawn. It was a slightly overcast day in the Franschhoek Valley, which made it perfect for a little chinwag and wine-ing.

Revving up Rosé

Here’s a small collection of images from the day:

There was upbeat music to keep the feet tapping, which was later replaced with a live performance by a local group. Jumping castles kept the kids busy while mom and dad could enjoy the wine and some tasty dishes from the Rickety Bridge restaurant. You had to book a table beforehand or, like we did, simply make yourself comfy on the lawn. Picnic baskets could also be ordered from Rickety Bridge.

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The atmosphere was very relaxed and the Wolftrap guys even had their Boston Boxer there, chilling in the background.

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I will certainly keep an eye out for the next one, secure a table under the umbrellas and be there early!

Cheerio

 

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