Bowls of Bali and the spaces in between, practical tools to aid emotional wellbeing

Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!
Bowls of Bali and why you need to visit!

I have come to realize that I have an obsession with bowls. This might seem fairly obvious because I created an entire cookbook around bowls but… even long after the release of WHOLE - bowl food for balance; guess what? the obsession continues. Maybe it's the comfort that they offer. Maybe the ease of eating. Or perhaps its the fact that the beauty of a bowl is the empty space between its walls and what that space can hold. I wanted to share some of these magnificent bowls from Bali a few of the thoughts that followed capturing them.

These bowls made me think deeper about the body and space in between. The spaces in our bodies and in our lives. How do we fill them? How do we celebrate them? Do we stop to admire how glorious our bodies really are?
With the constant diet culture surrounding us, pushing us to be thinner because well, thinner is celebrated more than overall health and wellbeing. How do we find a moment of stillness to recalibrate what it is that we want? How do we drown out the noise? The noise these days is even bigger than just weight. It's a mental health battlefield for so many on a daily basis. It's not always easy, especially if you are in the woods and can't see beyond your own nose. I've been there. In the dark space where nothing seems to make sense, you aren't sure what you should eat or even how to move your body. You've heard so many thoughts and opinions that now rather than breathing you are riddled with anxiety. Who do you listen to? Who do you trust?

Stop. Take a deep breath. Tune into your intuition.

Your body is a magnificent creation of biological engineering. The universe’s magnum opus. It allows you to get up in the morning and show up for your day. It can chase your children in the garden or hold your lover in its arms. It's something to be celebrated. It can heal itself without you thinking about it. Those are the moments or spaces in between your life that happen because of your body. How often do you scan your body and send it messages of love?

So how do I get myself out of the woods? I thought I would share some practical tools for those bad days where emotionally and physically you just aren't in a good space. I hope it offers light into those dark sticky moments when you wake up and think, how am I going to get through today? Or perhaps that moment when you look in the mirror and your inner-bully pops up telling you your thighs should be smaller. These are the tools that I use for my spaces in between.

When you wake up, before you get out of bed, close your eyes and scan your body. Start at your toes and work your way to your head. Breath. Feel into your body and check in with any sensations you might be having. Are you stiff or perhaps tired? Do you feel energized and well-rested?

After your body scan name three things that you are grateful for today. Is it your beating heart, a roof over your head? Perhaps it is something as simple as the ability to smile. An attitude of gratitude can go a long way. Repeat this daily as often and as much as you can! At first, it might seem difficult but don't worry - it gets easier.

Move your body in a loving way. Moving your body is always a good idea as long as you meet your body where it is at. If all that you can do is a 20-minute walk then you have done well! Walking three to four times a week is wonderful and something to be proud of. Before you know it, endorphins will come and you will feel emotionally lighter. I recommend walking outside, somewhere you can take in nature and feel the sunshine on your skin.

Don't believe everything you think. Remember you are not your thoughts. You are a conscious being having thoughts. Not everything you think is true and certainly not to be believed without question. Attaching to the story can cause a lot of pain. Everyone has a bully in their heads. A bully that sets us up with limiting beliefs and tells us all about our shortcomings. Over and over again.

Meet your bully with humour or strength. It takes practice and it isn't always easy but realising that the proverbial “bully” gains ground through unchallenged toxic thoughts about yourself and that you can and do have the power to change those thoughts can be incredibly motivating to clean up your headspace.

Ground yourself in routine. Whether it is morning routine, evening or your weekly schedule. Finding a routine that works for you will not only ground you but set you up for success. What morning routine do you have? Do you just rush out of bed and spend the rest of the day rushing to crash at night? Do you meditate for five minutes each morning setting your intentions for the day?

Be gentle on yourself. You are doing the best you can with what you have. Fill the spaces in between with people that make you feel good, moments that nourish you and healthy whole real food. Preferably in a bowl!

-Melissa



Spectacular La Colombe, Spring Menu

La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
IMG_5452.jpg
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate
La colombe, silvermist wine estate

La Colombe is so much more than a dining experience. It is theatre and art. A taste sensation and a journey through the senses.

Situated a mere 35 minutes from Cape Town CBD on the hillside on Silvermist wine estate this world renowned fine dining establishment is nestled amongst the trees and has a peaceful atmosphere.

I recently visited the team after they returned from international travels to the USA, Mexico and Japan. Chef proprietor, Scot Kirton, and executive chef, James Gaag have created a menu that is delicately thought out and executed with the utmost brilliance and flair.

With spring being in the air the tables are decked with gorgeous wooden pieces that become part of the dining experience. Florals and flavours are part of the symphony and every mouthful utterly delicious.

The journey begins with a fresh Yuzu and white chocolate palette cleanser that you pick out of a 'nest' on arrival that bursts in your mouth and is testament for what is to come.

I had to start my journey with a cheeky gin because it should be gin o' clock all the time. What's even better? The gin is homemade by La colombe and taste of a warm summer day at a cooling poolside.

I highly recommend doing the full tasting menu along with the wine pairing. Just a warning - you will need an uber post lunch and you will need about 3-4 hours for this experience because you don't want to rush it.

With crisp white table clothes and world class service you are in for a mind blowing treat. The staff move around you seamlessly, adding to the experience with their in depth knowledge and impeccable service.

The food journey begins with a selection of amuse bouche that will tickle your taste buds and wow your senses. Presented as a garden selection with florals, wood and stone, my personal favourite was the delicate lamb roti which quite literally fell off the bone coupled with the margarita it was the perfect fresh, complimentary punch. (Yes we have moved on from the gin keep up!) The selection included Marlin with burnt lime to squeeze and release the glorious juices and then lick off with aplomb. The mushroom parfait was decadent and dreamy, cased between delicate brick pastry.

The sweet potato wagyu drippings, bone marrow and craft beer were next for the bread course. With pull apart bread that you submerge into the drippings it was the bread course of my dreams!

Their sommelier Tongai Joseph Dhafana will drift in and out of service sharing his knowledge on the grapes, wines while keeping you abreast of the flavours you can expect from the immaculately paired combinations.

To keep us on our toes the signature dish of Tuna in a can (this time with a mexican twist) was served with a blind tasting of wine (read: in a solid black glass). I can proudly say I managed to guess the wine correctly but not the estate and it brought a lot of fun to the course.

Followed by the Kerala style Quail, prawn, and coriander which was delicate in its flavours and perfectly executed. Each plate is a work of art with colours and textures complimenting each other.

The fun didn't stop with the naartjie palette cleansers that was fresh in its flavour and brought out on an awesome display of dry ice thearics.

Next, was the fish course of Malay style line fish that is typically paired with Chardonnay however Tongai kept it exciting and shared the Groot Constantia Chenin Blanc reserve which was beyond delicious and the best partner in crime to the malay flavours.

The meat course invites you to select your knife which, for those that appreciate a beautiful sharp knife is the perfect touch. The attention to detail throughout the experience is what makes it so profoundly exciting and memorable. It is so much more than just eating at a fine dining restaurant.

The cheese course asks you to select your desired cheese from various options of blue cheese to mature cheddar but to be honest - I savoured one of each. I simply could not choose only one! I mean who has a favourite child? (The boerenkas won)

Ending off with a banana, Hazelnut tonka and the yummiest Delhiem Edelspatz 2018 - I was in pure bliss. To make my way through a menu where every single bite is more inspired and delicious that the last is just wonderful!

To top it off it doesn't end with dessert but rather with a display of final sweet touches in another spectacular garden display. One of Salted caramel, cashew and almond ice cream with pancakes. Chocolate disguised as acorns and ice cream in pancakes? SOLD!

Bookings are essential for this amazing experience and the menu is subject to change. It is worth every second.

What a spectacular experience at one of the top restaurants in South Africa that had truly made its mark for the rest of the world to see!

Congratulations to La Colombe for being named the 12th Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the World by the acclaimed TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice® Awards 2019.

-Melissa


10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand

DJI_0857.jpg
10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand
10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand
10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand
10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand
10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand
IMG_3926.jpg10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand
10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand
10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand
10 Photographs that will make you want to visit Thailand

Why Thailand? The answer is simple. Its a magical place with the perfect balmy weather, delicious food and steeped in rich culture! With summer at our doorstep and December holidays around the corner, I thought I would share a little dreamy travel inspiration.

Exploring this magical place is something I would recommend to anyone that is not sure of where to have the next adventure. When I think about what I love most, I get caught between the food, the people and of course, the ocean. So to assist with my wanderlust I thought I would put together a few images to inspire travel, to help you fall in love. Like they say, buy the ticket and go get the tan.

Did you know that there is a Thailand Tourism office located in Johannesburg? Don’t think only beaches (Phuket), as there is so much more to Thailand. So if you need info or digital brochures etc, be sure to contact them or better still follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

I would also like to give a big thank you to Singapore Airlines for flying me to this dream destination.

-Melissa


Having high tea at The Cellars-Hohenort

Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort
Cellars Hohenhort

On a sunny afternoon in Cape Town, I managed to find my way to one of my favourite establishments. So much so I have visited all three hotels and dined at all their restaurants and you cannot blame me - home to The Green House and under the watchful eye of Farrel Hirsch the The Liz McGrath Collection The Cellars-Hohenort is in a league of its own and now, you can go and have high tea whilst overlooking the impeccable gardens. A fast way to feel very grand and indulge in decadence.

The high tea runs daily from 15h00 to17h00 at R245 per head including coffee or tea. If you are more than 12 people then the offer moves to a buffet-style high tea. The stands are extensive with the perfect journey from savoury to sweet and each bite offering a unique taste sensation. I must confess that I had to have a mouthful of each unique tart, quiche, brownie or macaron. It couldn't be helped and it was well worth it. The quiche won my heart and I will return for it!

It made the perfect girls date with a bestie and loved every moment of sitting outside in the winter sun taking in the views whilst catching up. After high tea taking a stroll through the gardens is a wonderful attempt at burning off the calories consumed. However, not to feel bad because life is full of indulgences and the high tea experience at Cellars should be one of them!

Bookings are essential.

For more information or bookings, contact:

reservations@collectionmcgrath.com | +27(0)21 794 2137

-Melissa








Visiting Viande at Grande Roche

viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche
viande grande roche

Last week I was invited to visit the Grande Roche Hotel. Situated just 40 minutes from Cape Town CBD in the picturesque town of Paarl. Recently acquired by entrepreneurs Hansie and Theresa Britz who have given the grande old dame a breath of fresh air. The hotel was closed for a month, while painters, decorators, designers and landscapers set to work refurbishing the suites, buildings, and public areas. A much-needed love punch for this majestic establishment.

The refreshed look has seen each of the 18 luxurious Terrace Suites completely refurbished. Striking fynbos-inspired wallpapers celebrate the local flora and provide a flash of colour on arrival, while the sash windows, wooden beams, and exposed thatch neatly encapsulate the farm’s Wineland's heritage.

The restaurant housed the previously known Bosmans. Newly reimagined by the legendary mastermind Peter Goffe-Wood (kitchen Cowboys) and interior designer Francois du Plessis, the new space has been modernized with elegance and has a sleek new feel to it. Viande means ‘meat’ in French, and with elegant nose to tale dining. Goffe-Wood and his capable kitchen crew are already hard at work curing, smoking new delicacies, with selected cuts dry-aged on-site in imported German meat-fridges. Brandy will be the star of the brand-new Viande Bar, stylish new addition to the restaurant space. Here cozy couches and a brass bar counter cry out for pre-dinner cocktails and after-dinner digestifs.

We dined on a four-course meal beautifully paired with Under Oak wines. The crispy pork and lamb being the stars of the show. The dessert was decadent and the coffee a perfect pairing with its bitterness to counter the sugar hit of creamy chocolate.

I am excited for the new chapter of the Grande Roche as well as wishing all the best to Goffe-wood and his team at Viande. The future is looking or bright or as some might say - pretty grande!

For more information about Grande Roche Hotel and Viande Restaurant, and to read more about the property’s two-night stay special from 1 September to 31 October 2019; click: https://bit.ly/2PXLit5

-Melissa