The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town

The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town
The perfect lunch spot - Chefs Cape Town

If you are looking for a great lunch spot serving delicious food then I have the answer. Its called Chefs and it is a local spot here in Cape Town that really impressed my palette. You can find them on St Johns road in Gardens. They close at 3 pm for lunch and reopen at 5:30 pm.  

The experience starts with entering what seems to be a cafeteria. A simple white interior with a working kitchen and table lined up in a row. I must admit that, on arrival, I wondered whether I had just arrived at a school cafeteria to have lunch. Well as the saying goes, don't judge a book by its cover. 

The restaurant is filled with beautiful natural light and its white walls create a fresh atmosphere. The menu is viewed on an Ipad with amazing food images that leave you inspired.

The menu isn't a very long one but it also doesn't need to be as the options are cohesive, well thought out and deliver.

The food is served on classical cafeteria styled trays and is nowhere close to what you would receive from an average lunch hall. 

It delights.

I enjoyed feasting on all the 'compartments' of my meal and tasted my way through the menu enjoying the arancini balls and lamb provencal. I must admit my OCD got a little bit of a kick out of the fact that the food looks so organized on the trays. Every bite was thoroughly enjoyed. 

If you are looking for something lighter then I would recommend the fish soup. I love the fact that you can pop in at Chefs on a busy work day and within an hour be satiated without compromising the quality of your lunch. A great place for a work meeting or perhaps to treat your partner to lunch. if you haven't tried them, then nows the time! 

-Melissa

A Guide to the Ultimate Girls Day Out In Cape Town with She Said & The Truffle Journal

she said and the truffle journal

So you have 24 hours and you need to know what to do in Cape Town? Although I am lucky enough to live here, Anna-Belle my mate from Joburg is often down and I love showing off this amazing city! Its been really awesome being an entertainer and sharing all this amazing city has to offer! So we decided to put together a little list of things to do on a girls day out. Whether you are a tourist in Cape Town or local there is plenty for everyone and who says the perfect date cant be with one of your besties? Here is our list of activities that we get up to when we have time together!

The Oranjezicht city farm market on a Saturday

The market sadly only runs on a Saturday but if you find yourself available you won't be disappointed. Breakfast starts early and if you get there around 8:45 then you will miss all the crowds and get to tuck into local, fresh, artisanal food that will leave your belly in a very happy place! With each store offering something unique and different you should be prepared to do some shopping and pick up yummy gifts for family and loved ones! It is also a great place to get a snack (which we are all about) for a picnic on the beach. 

oranjezicht city farm market
oranjezicht city farm market
oranjezicht city farm market
oranjezicht city farm market

Jiva at the Taj

No date would be complete without a five-star massage at the famous and beautiful Taj hotel spa, Jiva. I honestly have never been so relaxed. The spa is five-star and the staff has hands from heaven. You will be engulfed in relaxation. With a fruit platter and detox tea post-treatment plus your very own prayer beads as a gift, you will leave feeling like you were on a months holiday in Seychelles. The hotel as such is simply spectacular and an institution of Cape Town. With the company gardens on the doorstep of the hotel, you can take a walk and explore them whilst feeding the friendly squirrels and overlook the splendor that is table mountain! 

Taj hotel
Taj hotel
Taj hotel

Visit the top of Table Mountain

The view is always better from the top and in this case its a guarantee. Table Mountain is the 7th natural wonder of the world and is truly amazing! You can catch a cable car up or hike up and catch the car down. Either way make sure to plan, book online here and take your sunblock and water. You can go up early or catch the sunset from the top. The views are breathtaking and really something to marvel at! Exploring the top of the mountain is amazing so make sure you give yourself some time at the top! 

table mountain
table mountain
table mountain
table mountain

Visit Clifton beach

From the very top of the mountain to the bottom of the beach. Cape Town has it all. The pristine beaches will leave you feeling like you are in Monaco. With blue flag beaches, Clifton is well known for its ice-cold water and its magnificent sunsets. You can pack a picnic basket and blanket and enjoy the best view in the world. Summer or winter you won't be disappointed! When I watch the sunset's I truly realize how lucky I am to call this place home. It is such a great reset from the hustle of life! 

clifton beach
clifton beach
clifton beach

Pop into the Mojo market for lunch or dinner

The Mojo Market is one of the hippest and happening spots in the Sea Point revival. It is a market filled with different food and clothing stores. It has a little something for everyone. If you want to stick to healthier food and plant-based or indulge and get ribs and ice cream you will find it at the Mojo Market. It's a great spot to meet up with friends and have a beer and a catch-up! 

mojo market
mojo market
mojo market

Catch a Yoga class 

Cape Town has some amazing Yoga studios and it is always a treat to have a flow together. Working up a sweat and letting go of our day is one of our best things to do. Yoga always makes me feel better and lighter. A perfect way to end the day. With classes scheduled throughout you can pick a time slot that works for you! Some studios are Unraveled Yoga, Wild Thing, Hot Dog Yoga and The Yoga Life! 

yoga

Dinner at The Short Market Club

As part of the Luke Dale Robert collection of amazing restaurants, The Short Market Club is one of my favourites in Cape Town. The tasting menu is sublime and the wine perfection. A true highlight that shows off the amazing food experience that we have here in Cape Town. Reservations are a must however, you can take a chance with a walk in. 

short market club
short market club
short market club

No matter where you find yourself. Love your friends, be kind and celebrate friendship. It is something to be so grateful for because, in the end, they are the family you choose! 

If you want to see how much Anna-Belle loves Cape Town then click here. 

-Melissa

shesaidsa

Abalone Pool Villas, Paternoster

Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster
Abalone seaside cottages, Paternoster

Picture pristine beaches, luxury seaside accommodation, your own sapphire blue private pool overlooking the ocean, set in a quaint fisherman's village made up of whitewashed dwellings and you have Abalone Pool Villas in Paternoster. I experienced this amazing accommodation through Miles For Style. An online platform in partnership with SAA voyager where you can shop products, experiences and of course accommodation. The cool part? You can use Voyager miles to shop or earn them when you shop! 

Situated a two-hour drive outside of Cape Town this gorgeous fishing village makes you feel as if you have stepped into a simpler time. Everything here moves slowly and a long walk on the beach or a lazy afternoon activity is just what the doctor ordered. 

The villas are self-catering and come with a private butler that will attend to your needs. The stay includes breakfast and can be (on request) set up overlooking the blue waters of the bay. The interior is elegant and the deep blue theme runs throughout the establishment. Each villa sleeps 4 in two bedrooms and has a private pool and braai (BBQ) area.

The bedrooms all overlook the private swimming pool with stack away doors that welcome in the sea breeze. With king size beds, air conditioning and big bathrooms what’s not to love? 

With award-winning restaurants a stone's throw away you will be spoilt for choice should you choose to wander out for dinner and lunch. I made my way down to a popular spot called Gaaitjie (bookings essential) which is on the beach and boasts some of the best views in my opinion. definitely, request a patio seat. 

Be sure to order the seafood as most of it has been freshly caught that morning by the local hardworking fisherman. Washed down with crisp white wine you will feel as if you are sitting in some delicate version of heaven while taking in the views and sunshine. 

With whale watching, beach visits, and west coast park day tours you will have plenty of activities to choose from or take a load off and simply soak in all the relaxation poolside or visit Abalone House & Spa, the sibling boutique hotel of the Abalone Pool Villas. They have a spa for pampering and I recommend a full body massage to work out all the city knots. 

Paternoster is a special place on the west coast and two days will leave you feeling as if you had a full week’s break on an island somewhere in the Mediterranean.

If you do it in the comfort and luxury of Abalone Pool Villas then you cannot go wrong! 

-Melissa 

*This blog post is sponsored by Miles For Style and Abalone Guest house. All opinions are my own. 

Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate

Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate
Experiencing ONE at Cavalli Estate

I was recently invited to experience One at Cavalli Estates restaurant. Run by executive Chef Michael Deg; One is a celebration of a single fresh hero ingredient from the garden showcased in classic dishes that let the ingredient shine. Created to celebrate Michaels appointment I couldn't wait to experience what he has on offer. 

Our ingredient was Celeriac. I must admit I was a little sceptical as I haven't had many great celeriac dishes. A humble root vegetable that tastes a bit like it’s cousin, the celery. 

The setting in gorgeous with a modern upmarket bistro interior with strong lines in the architecture. The patio has two fire pits, which I imagine would be wonderful in winter and overlooks a vista of magnificent mountains. Since it was a hot summers day it was most welcome to sit close to the waters edge with a light breeze, misting spray and crisp wine. 

It has been a while since I have had such a perfectly paired wine to meal experience. Farai Magwada is the sommelier and hats off to him! Each and every wine was perfectly in sync with the meals I experienced. Of course, this also meant I finished each and every glass of my five-course meal. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday in my opinion. 

The flavour journey began with a celeriac gazpacho that reminded me how much I love simple things such as the flavour pairing of pea and mint. Topped with goats cheese it was, melt in your mouth creamy. Paired with Cavalli's Vendetta, a white blend that is one of their premium flagship wines - it was by far my favourite wine. 

The journey continued through celeriac tartare topped with crisp ginger served with an easy drinking rosé. 

One of my top dishes of the day was the vegetable dumpling in an umami broth. Perfectly paired with Paul Cluver's Gewurtztraminer. Also, a spectacular wine that was matched with an equally spectacular dish. I will dream of those flavours for a while to come! 

The top dish of the day award goes to the Roasted Cauliflower and celeriac pureé. The dish was inspired. Its flavour profile reminded me of a bobotie (a South African curried mince dish) with its saltiness and curry spice but then it was elevated by the macadamia nuts and fried caper berries. Each bite had texture and flavour that was bursting at the seams. 

If you find yourself at the estate make sure to visit the Well Worn exhibition. I worthwhile visit exploring some of the amazing art from great South African Artists and a perfect way to end off a gorgeous afternoon! 

-Melissa 

*this blog post is sponsored by Cavalli estate. All opinions are my own. 

How moving my body for an hour a day has changed my life!

how moving my body for an hour a day has changed my life

I never used to be the type of person who LOVED exercise. You know, the type of person who wakes up at 5 am to be at the gym while the birds are still waking up. The type of person to push weights and run far and fast. It's just not for me. For most of my twenties, I spent a lot of time trying to be a 5 am'er and then beating myself up when I failed at being one. This resulted in me not exercising and making a million excuses as to why I can't. I also have the luck of being a competitive person. Not necessarily with someone else but with myself. This meant in my head that I was supposed to be the way I was in high school. I would keep referring to my "back in the day fitness" There was only one problem. My "back in the day fitness" was way gone and so was my perspective. Being 30 is not being 25 and being 25 isn't 16. I'm sure a few you of can relate. You look back and it feels like yesterday hence your body should be where your mind thinks it's at. It was all a big mess and to be honest just resulted in me failing. Time and time again. 

A year ago I moved to Sea Point. An area of Cape Town which is a stone's throw from the promenade. A gorgeous stretch of walkway that runs for kilometers along the shoreline. It's super inspiring because so many people are walking, running and generally getting fit. I realized because I lived so close - literally a block away that I no longer had an excuse. I tried. I found a million reasons as to why I shouldn't or couldn't. Sometimes I would even hit the prom and run. Then be in pain afterward and not do anything for two weeks even though my body clearly couldn't handle it. Eventually, something had to give. 

So I made myself a promise. A promise that for one hour a day I would just move my body. It didn't have to be with running, weights and at 5 am in the morning. It has to be on my terms. It was the only way I was going to succeed. So I found myself a pilates studio and I started with pilates. I committed to finding strength and alignment. To lay the foundations of fitness because let's get real, after years of not exercising it was all gone and I needed to start at the beginning. Coupled with the pilates I walked. I hit the prom and I just put one foot in front of another. Before I knew it a few weeks had gone by. I then started doing Yoga and more cardio building exercises. I then joined FITKEY (an amazing app) and started moving my body more based on what I felt it needed. Again there were rules. They were the following and I hope you can take something away from them. They certainly helped me find my way and still do today. They have become my mantras and my guidance to gaining strength and fitness. 

1- Show up. No matter what time suits you or what you have to do, show up. Take the time to see where you can fit your exercise into your schedule and do it. Put your running shoes on and get out the door before you come up with excuses on how to fail yourself. Honour that time slot for you because you are worthy of it. It is practicing self love. A critical important practice for all of us! 

2- Go slowly. It doesn't mean you are a failure if all you can do is go slowly. Your pace is all that matters. Be kind to yourself for how you are doing it because you already accomplished step 1. You showed up. 

3- Be gentle with yourself. This isn't about perfection and you don't have to get it right every single time. All you have to do is persevere and take it one day at a time. Before you know it a week will have gone by and you moved your body for an hour a day. It will add up. I promise.

4- Don't compare yourself to others. It is the death of joy. Just because your friends can go to a sweat 1000 class and run at full pace, doesn't mean you have to. Meet yourself where you are at and know that you are doing the best that you can. With time, you will run your own marathon. 

5- Keep swimming. There are going to be days where you will be tired and there are going to be days where your mind is tired. Know the difference. I believe you need to honour your body and know when to take a rest. I also believe that you need to push past the initial pain and not reward yourself for it. It is going to be hard in the beginning if your body isn't used to it. That is where the mental game comes in. Push past the pain and keep moving! You can do it!  

6- Be consistent. It doesn't help if you go to 4 yoga classes then you don't do anything for two weeks. Consistency is key and you will soon feel the difference. You build fitness with building blocks as you would a house, lay the foundations first. 

7- Take the time to get to know your body and what it is about. There is a lot of noise out there with people telling you what you should and shouldn't be doing. Your body knows best. If you are doing something and it hurts, back off and stop doing it. If it doesn't then keep going. Not all exercise is for everyone. I certainly know that ballistic exercise isn't my thing and I prefer walking and yoga. But that is me, you decide for you. Don't do it because of someone else's story or because you think you have to. 

8- Find your groove with your move! What moves you? Do you like being up early? Do you like calm exercise or a military muscle man shouting at you to go faster? Do you want to swim or walk? Find what makes you happy. Moving your body should be something to celebrate. It is a privilege not everyone has. Don't make celebrating your body a chore and something you dread. It really will make the process so much easier if you connect with this and do what works. 

9- Stop beating yourself up. Whether it is with the food that you have eaten or the walk that was slower than you wanted. You are not going to succeed by bullying yourself. Coulda shoulda woulda, the past is the past. Whatever wasn't 'right' just move on and try better the next day. You have got this! 

10- Be your biggest cheerleader. You can do this. You can move your body for one hour a day. You are a wonderful human being that has a beating heart and breathing lungs. You have two feet that can move and arms that can lift. You are made of stardust! So go and celebrate that! 

-Melissa