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Fat Plump October

Fat Plump October

Posted in Recipes

Now’s the time to get Grand’Mere off the shelf, dust her and riffle through her pages to the two stuck together when I baked last year’s Christmas cake. It’s eight weeks to go and that’s how long one needs to mature a cake. This fact struck me like a blow to the solar plexus this afternoon when...


Decidedly Dilly Divas and other Dramas

Decidedly Dilly Divas and other Dramas

Posted in Travel

Confucius say “short man who dance with tall woman get bust in mouth”. That is indeed a pearl of wisdom! As we were privy to local lore we were treated to strange customs in Ha Noi.  So instead of watching the famous Water Puppets we went in pursuit of Fre Astair and Ginga Roger (in keeping...


Oranges and Lemons ring the bells of Citrusdal

Oranges and Lemons ring the bells of Citrusdal

Posted in Review

Just a quickie before I forget, do not pass through Citrusdal without stopping for brunch and coffee in the main road. The chocolate cake is the best in the west and the baked cheese cake is celestial.   At the Grapevine Coffee Shop the instruction is clear, "greet everyone with a smile!"  and...


Street food in the fast lane

Street food in the fast lane

Posted in Travel

Streets are swarming with scooters, rickshaws, hookers and hawkers. The sidewalks bustle with traders, pedestrians, street cafes, and panhandlers This frisson is like a needle in a vein and addictive. The steamy life on the street is heady and the cacophony of sound and raw energy makes any...


Serenading Sundays

Serenading Sundays

Posted in Recipes

More lyrics have been written about a Sunday than any other day of the week. From Queen to Joni Mitchell.  Here Sundays are a day of worship, thankfulness and rest. Panama hats, cheesecutters and blazers, the old school tie, and Church Schools are still a firm favourite in our neck of the woods...


Cheese Souffles

Cheese Souffles

Posted in Recipes

There’s nothing nicer than waking up to a freshly mowed lawn, Cape White-eyes splashing in the birdbath and that special feeling of well-being when the sun shines. Perfect Porcelain blooms cover rosebushes; I spot the neighbour’s cat unwinding himself from his scratch-pole. All this calls for...


Having street food without being a pavement special

Having street food without being a pavement special

Posted in Review

Si! “The Italians and Spanish, the Chinese and Vietnamese see food as part of a larger, more essential and pleasurable part of daily life. Not as an experience to be collected or bragged about - or as a ritual like filling up a car - but as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music,...


The Church Boutique Hotel Hanoi

The Church Boutique Hotel Hanoi

Posted in Review

Imagine our excitement when we touched down in Ha Noi, we’d had a brilliant flight, been attended to hand and foot, but, a cunning little cottonwool cloud floated over our sunny, autumn horizon as we were being ripped off at the Tourism counter when we ordered a taxi. Charging us an arm and a...


In a Singpore Grip

In a Singpore Grip

Posted in Travel

Lets agree prohibition sucked and led to all sorts of mischief. Imagine a government that bans chewing gum? The fear of the law was put into me and I had visions of sniffer dogs discovering my Imodium and Vomifene so I rushed to my G.P for prescriptions in case I got the chop, no questions...


Green Mango Salad

Green Mango Salad

Posted in Recipes

Sing-song voices of ladies walking and the chitter chatter of birds wake me up on quiet mornings, summer's here, it's flip-flop-sunhat season and we need refiguring for the beach. Salad days are back, perfectly timed are the fresh summer fruits and vegetables appearing on our shelves. GREEN...


Lemon Grass and Turmeric Chicken Skewers

Lemon Grass and Turmeric Chicken Skewers

Posted in Recipes

When the sun shines evenings are balmy and a perfect reason to have a mid-week celebration, light a fire and barbeque something easy, fragrant lime and delicious. Sip cold crisp green Sauvignor blanc and listen to evening sounds. LEMON GRASS TURMERIC CHICKEN SKEWERS(this recipe has been...


Ruffled in Raffles

Ruffled in Raffles

Posted in Review

This I’ve got to get off my chest. When in Rome do as the Romans do, right? So off we went to the iconic Raffles bar for the famous Singapore Sling. It was a typical hot and humid Singapore day so we didn’t need much encouragement to visit this famous landmark. The beautiful Raffles Hotel...


Yikes bikes, peddling power

Yikes bikes, peddling power

Posted in Travel

“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realise fishing is stupid and boring.” Desmond Tutu, high-fi! This afternoon I donned my cycling shorts and reluctantly went off to the gym to attend a Spinning...


Clams Crabs and Cookery Courses

Clams Crabs and Cookery Courses

Posted in Review

Slipping into a sexy, starched apron with a new recipe in one hand and a flute of bubbles in the other is bliss. The olive in my Martini is attending a cookery course re-kindling my passion for food, where delicious recipes are shared, prepared and then enjoyed by the group.   Good food and...


V Lavender Hotel Singapore

V Lavender Hotel Singapore

Posted in Review

Singapore is someone’s vision come to fruition and for that I admire the man and his dream, but, it’s just another large, modern city with a beautiful skyline at night when the lights are shining bright. We were very spoilt whilst there and enjoyed sundowners at a rooftop bar, had delicious...


KOK Coffee - Ha Noi - Vietnam

KOK Coffee - Ha Noi - Vietnam

Posted in Review

A week ago I opened my eyes in Saigon; today I awoke, like most mornings, by the exotic aroma of a  freshly brewed cup of coffee and the golden sunshine pouring into my bedroom from the azure sky.   My Dad has been making his “Sleeping Beauty” her first cuppa every day now for 60 years and...


Baked Pumpkin Pie

Baked Pumpkin Pie

Posted in Recipes

Here it's summer blue, sun-yellowed gentle days, which is  a reminder of the harsh weather many ex-pats are going into. Celebrate a table laden with the essence of summer with joyful Thanksgiving. BAKED PUMPKIN PIE - South African style.“without bread, without wine, love is nothing” Anon...


Trekking in Sa Pa with Zer-Zer

Trekking in Sa Pa with Zer-Zer

Posted in Travel

On 24th August Butch Googled “trekking in Sa Pa Vietnam” and found a guide called Zer-Zer followed by a telephone number. Little did we know that a life changing experience was awaiting us. To contact Zer-Zer: phone +84 16 75312817 Butch was quick out of the blocks, phoned the number and...


Fowler's Grill

Fowler's Grill

Posted in Review

In a one horse town this is where the horse is. It's had it's ups and downs but it remains a landmark in Church Str.  Locals love it, as there're no surprises here. Not even Chef has a bad day. When I arrived in Worcester thirty three years ago there was a landmark restaurant called Albert's...


Flights of Fancy

Flights of Fancy

Posted in Travel

Boozy lunches can lead to  trouble and this one was no exception, at our table there's always good food, good company and copious amounts of champagne and wine.   As the afternoon unravelled we decided we’d flip a coin, September was a good month to either start Banting or to travel. It was...


Les Girls are Frenching It - First Reunion

Les Girls are Frenching It - First Reunion

Posted in Review

My beloved spends a weekend with his four ex-wives and a girlfriend, that's how he described himself when asked what he was doing! Our friendship is a gift which we re-live as we savour it. In a wink a year has passed.    Les Girls got their act together and we enjoyed a fabulous weekend...


Les Girls are Frenching It - Menerbes

Les Girls are Frenching It - Menerbes

Posted in Travel

Au Revoir Paris! All too soon we had to pack our bags and make our way down our narrow staircase to our taxi to board the TGV to Avignon.   Thankfully we had someone who very kindly carried our bags down those stairs and waved and airkissed us, shouting "Au revoir" to us as the door closed...


Les Girls are Frenching It - Paris

Les Girls are Frenching It - Paris

Posted in Travel

The three days in Paris were just fabulous, our apartment in the Hotel Verneuil Saint Germaine  beautifully appointed, modern, immaculate and slap in the middle of Saint Germaine, pure indulgence. A stones throw from the Louvre, the Seine, the shops, eateries, cafés, bakeries and all...


Inverroche Classic Gin

Inverroche Classic Gin

Posted in Review

Most people remember their Grandmothers because they smelt of Violets or Lavender,  when I think of my Glam’ma I imagine Gin and cigarette smoke, two of my favourite things! Femme fatale. She was glamorous, worldly, beautiful, graceful, well travelled, she spoke the Queen’s English and...


Have NO Passport. Will NOT Travel.

Have NO Passport. Will NOT Travel.

Posted in Musings

Picture the scene:   you're late, you're brushing your teeth and above the whine of the electric toothbrush you hear this "Darling! have you got your passport?"  by now you've had it and shout back "yesh" loudly.  Spraying toothpaste foam all over your new black cashmere sweater.   I received...


Ranthambore National Park - India

Ranthambore National Park - India

Posted in Travel

We travelled halfway around the world to visit Ranthambore National Park for one reason only. To see the mightly and very elusive Bengal Tiger. I wonder if they exsist?In Ranthambore village Precious decided to employ the services of a tailor to make some shorts, after a lot of haggling...


India by Rail

India by Rail

Posted in Travel

Whether you travel like a Prince or a pauper, in India there will be a train to suit your needs and your pocket.  It's poplular and a great way to experience the culture, landscape and the people.   You can dine with a Maharajah on the Rajastan Express or enjoy street food on the platform on...


 Vietnam

Vietnam

Posted in Review

 They say “a secret’s only a secret once you’ve told someone”. So I have a confession to make, jip, I have a crush on Luke Nguyen, I’d record his cooking programmes, he filled my disc space, which was awkward to explain. So when we decided to visit Vietnam I rushed out to the nearest Book...


Being Catherine De Nerve

Being Catherine De Nerve

Posted in Travel

"Work is a sideline - Live the holiday I’ll probably never see the Voyager blast off into space, but, it’s like Cape Canaveral in this house as we start the countdown to lift-off on Tuesday. Old habits die hard.   When I was growing up there were certain things that had to be done before...


What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

Posted in Musings

“Jason scratched his head.”You named him Festus? You know that in Latin, ‘Festus’ means ‘happy’? You want us to ride off to save the world on Happy the Dragon?”            Rick Riordan, The Lost Hero My nephew and his wife are expecting their first child, my first grand-nephew and my...


Zucchini and Oregano Quiche

Zucchini and Oregano Quiche

Posted in Recipes

 Celebrate the days getting longer and warmer with a family favourite. Simply serve a crisp green salad and Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing. Don't forget to pack a bottle of Bubbly and Strawberries.   PASTRY 500g Flour 2,5ml Salt 1,2ml Paprika 250g Butter 250ml Cheddar Cheese, grated 125ml...


Meditteranean Baked Tomato Salad

Meditteranean Baked Tomato Salad

Posted in Recipes

Nothing beats a beautiful plump sun-kissed bright red Rosa Tomato, in our house they're a staple and this recipe is a winner for it's versatility and simplicity.   Use a variety of tomatoes. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C On a lined (line with baking paper or tin foil) baking sheet spread out a...


Herb Crusted Pork Neck

Herb Crusted Pork Neck

Posted in Recipes

Be bold and ring the changes with this simply delicious de-boned Pork neck. The fresh herb crust is versatile and can be used successfully with either fresh fish or chicken breasts.  Lemon zest adds zing.   8 Pork neck steaks, trimmed into palm-sized portions 1" thick Salt and pepper,...


Moon over the Sea

Moon over the Sea

Posted in Review

If you should read a book with the title "100 places to go to before you die" then this cottage is one of them.   Right there on the beach in Tofo, a seaside village not too far from Inhambane in   Mozambique,  just North of Maputo the capital.   Whatever you do, try to  get there either by...


Nutty Carrot Cake

Nutty Carrot Cake

Posted in Recipes

This cake has stood me in good stead for 30 years, it never fails to please and I've shared it many times.  It's easy to bake and flavours improve with time which makes it perfect for weekends.   3          Extra large eggs 375ml   Sugar 250ml   Canola oil 750ml   Grated carrots...


Bather Blues

Bather Blues

Posted in Musings

It’s taken me forty years to figure out why old ladies wear last decade’s bathers: it’s because that’s their only choice.   When I left school I started working in a Department store and there were a few things that fascinated me about our “older” female clients. For one, they always...


12 Facts

12 Facts

Posted in Musings

If/when I see myself in a mirror I automatically look behind me! I have to go to spinning classes for my blood circulation I've got my Mom's hands and Grand-mama's liver spots. I'm not a blonde anymore Clothes' sizing has changed; a size 12 is the new size 9 Having the Apple...


Gorilla De Ville Goes Camping - Botswana

Gorilla De Ville Goes Camping - Botswana

Posted in Travel

“Precious”, promised himself that he would go to the bush in 2014.  Reservations were made with Banks, the Camp Official at the Khwai Community Camp.   This is bush camping at it's best, hard to beat and hard to find.   We camped for eleven nights. N.B here's a link to "Youtube link to...


Have Passport Will Travel

Have Passport Will Travel

Posted in Musings

For weeks we’ve spoken about nothing except Princess Open Book's holiday to Tofo, Inhambane, Mozambique.   The child’s tired, over-worked, stressed and fatigued and needs to detoxify of all her physical, mental and emotional toxins.   We’ve sent lists of what to haves, what to take, what not to...


Can't Live Without Books

Can't Live Without Books

Posted in Musings

For the past 34 years I’ve been a member of a Ladies Evening Book Club. I rarely miss a meeting and  can't wait to see the new books, my love affair is with the books, I adore my  friends, but I can’t do without the books. The smell of the paper makes me swoon. My love of stories and books...