Meet: Tayne Draper

December 3, 2014









Images: Wokshots, Maxine Elphick, Instagram

Anyone that knows me well knows about my obsession with coffee – and please note, not freeze dry, add hot water and milk kinda thing – I’m talking freshly brewed, rich bodied, ‘gourmet’ java – and so I was elated when I heard about a cool new spot in Durban North that specialises in not only mean coffee, but also craft beer, boutique wine and gourmet burgers – dream combo right?

Republik’s mission is to cultivate a healthier, happier world by spreading goodness through nourishing foods, honest words and conduct that is considerate and forever kind to the environment. They encourage everyone around them to Eat Responsibly & Act Responsibly through means of handcrafted, great tasting, high quality natural and free-range produce, while striving to act in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner  – I like that.

I recently interviewed Tayne Draper, co-owner and founder of Republik (along with her business partner Matt Richardson), to get a little more insight into this local Durban spot and generally just chat about good food, good coffee and good people.

I hope you enjoy meeting this epic lady – and make sure you stop by for a coffee and a burger, bru.

Republik can be found at Unit 8 Broadway Shopping Centre, in Durban North (the corner of Broadway and Kensington.) They are open for breakfast from 6:30am weekdays/7:30am on weekends and open til late in the evenings for dinner and drinks. Silly season is now upon us so they are giving us some Sunday session love from 5pm – 8pm (snacks and drinks only).

For bookings call 031 573 1429 or visit their website or Facebook page for more details.

Tell us about Republik; the food, the people, the vibe…

We like to define ourselves as a “meeting place” and our motto is “for the people.” We wanted to create a fun different place for the people of Durban to come and hang out – and we didn’t want to be defined as a bar or restaurant or even a coffee shop. The food is single focused, we do burgers and we like to think we do them pretty darn well. All of our meat is locally sourced, free to roam, grass fed, routine anti biotic and hormone free, our rolls are made especially for us from Madison’s bakery in Waterfall and all our fresh produce is delivered daily – if we can’t get it fresh we won’t serve it. We pour Tribe coffee which is roasted in Cape Town and is Matty’s favourite coffee brand – it’s insane, we love it and it even got me to start drinking coffee. We focus on Craft beers and awesome boutique wines at a reasonable price and we’ve just introduced a tasting boards; so EPIC! The vibe? Well the vibe is what you make it I guess.

What inspired you to start up the Republik and open up shop in Durban North?

Sjoe, now that’s a long, round about story, should we just say it was the right timing for both of us? Haha, no seriously, it’s been a dream we both unknowingly shared and the timing was right so I guess we figured if not now, then when? Durban North was an easy decision really, we were originally looking in Umhlanga but, decided against it for a number of reasons. When our little corner became available we just knew we had the right spot. Durban north is awesome, the people are great and it just seems to be getting better. I think Mackeurtan Avenue started it off and we hope with the opening of Lupa next door to us we will continue the growth of this area.

Best thing on the menu?

Dude, you can’t go wrong with a cheese and bacon burger – but then again we change our toppings as often as possible, so you never know…

I LOVE good coffee and really got into the coffee culture in Sydney. What, in your opinion makes a good coffee?

From my limited experience I’d say consistency makes a good coffee, something that consistently pours well (this is generally down to how well the coffee is roasted), is smooth and being a chocolate addict I like a mild chocolate undertone. Matt reckons that a well extracted shot that provides the best balance of flavours.

Any restaurants/cafes around the world you’d highly recommend?

Well we might be a little biased but the Tribe Coffee shop in Woodstock Cape Town is an epic spot to go if you have the chance. Zumbo in Melbourne, Australia was a life changing experience for me, best macaroons and cronuts I have ever had in my life, EVER.

Do you love living in Durban? And why?

We both frikkin LOVE it. What’s not to love? The weather is awesome, the people are laid back and friendly, you are never further than 20 minutes from the beach or 2 hours from the mountains and we have an awesome variety of food – the flavours you can find in Durban blow my mind! The sky is the limit and Durban is only getting better.

What does living with soul mean to you?

I think to me living with soul would mean living with purpose, finding happiness in a useful life, try look at what it is you can do to better other people’s lives and you will begin to see your life change for the better. Make an impact, dare to be different…

Who inspires you?

As cliché as it sounds, my parents do and I know Matt feels the same way. Every day I woke up to see my dad work long hours to achieve his dream no matter how hard things got, I saw the support my mom gave him and I saw how that support gave him the courage and energy to carry on even when things got tough. And in a huge way Matt inspires me, we are so different and I know there is a lot we can learn from each other, he’s one of the most passionate and hardworking people I’ve ever met and every day I’m grateful for our partnership.

One piece of advice you’ve never forgotten?

A lion does not lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.

Meet: Lola Berry

November 5, 2014

lola berry_CVR SI.indd

Images: Lilli Waters (top) and Pinterest.

I know I’ve said it before, but three years of living in Australia really opened up my eyes to nutrition and it’s direct link to wellbeing. In my early 20’s as a Uni student and then when I went on to live in London, I used to eat a lot of food that was high in sugar or carbs because it was quick and easy and gave me instant energy. Over the years, I have learnt the importance of a proper diet and how you can really nourish your mind and body through what you eat. As well as living in the health hub that was Bondi, where you could get green juices at your doorstep and banting, gluten, dairy or sugar free options at just about every cafe, it was people I was exposed to like like Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar and Lola Berry who inspired me to take the first steps to leading a healthier lifestyle through my diet.

I was very fortunate to have Lola, a leading Australian nutritionist  as one of my yoga teacher’s in Bondi – I used to get such a high from her energy-fueled sessions in which she combined her DJ’s skills with yoga. As well as a nutritionist, DJ and yoga teacher, Lola is also a television, writing and radio personality, chef and author of a cookbook – talk about an over-achiever! Lola’s colourful personality and passion inspires all of those around her  so I really hope you enjoy my conversation with her x

Check out recipes from Lola’s 20/20 diet cookbook here and follow Lola at or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

What does living with soul mean to you?

It means doing what you love, being real and coming from the heart, and you know what – I think that’s pretty rare. You know when you meet someone who’s truly real; they’re the ones with that extra little spark and they always make your head turn.

What or who inspires you?

Anyone who has the courage to live their dreams. Steve Irwin is a huge inspiration for me. And my Dad, he’s pretty ace too.

What’s your food philosophy?

Eat real food, listen to your body, nourish yourself and share food with the people you love most.

Biggest food myth?

That low fat is healthier and all the fake sugars, those artificial sweeteners are not cool at all.

We know that you love a good quote – hit us with one of your best!

‘Authentic people are enigmatic because more people are so comfortable in their hiding, conforming, dis-empowered state that someone brave enough to be simply real is fascinating.’ – Jamie Catto

Have you ever been to South Africa? If so what do you think and the big question – do you like our food? 

I would love to visit South Africa, my Dad went last year and his photos looked amazing. I’d been keen to try as much of the local produce as possible, I love spices so i think there’d be so much I could learn.

We know that you used to be a DJ – what music are you listening to at the moment?

Ahh – yes, I am still a big music nerd. At the moment I am loving Chet Faker, Ta-ku, Hozier and Sigur Ros.

Are there any awesome yoga playlists that we can find online?

I’d  say so but I collect my music for gigs – I love going to live gigs and I’ll try to make a playlist around things I love listening to at that moment.

And finally, one piece of advise you’ve never forgotten?

When I moved away from home to pursue my dreams, my dad said to me at the airport (when iw as crying); “Kick some goals girl” –  so that’s what I always try to do – be kicking goals.

Meet: Bron Fourie

October 20, 2014

10744497_10153346637534815_218820572_n    10733536_10153346640229815_2101970155_n

1907403_662321133844028_8039488084719937003_n 10525973_669735419769266_4111364448279320162_n

10730999_707227189353422_8870957696495260218_n Images: Vanilla Photography and portraits of Bron by Alexis Diack

Part of the reason I started this blog was to profile and celebrate great, local talent – Durban based freelance photographer Bron Fourie from Vanilla Photography is one of these people. What started as a hobby, fuelled by Bron’s passion for creating memories in photographs, has now materialised into a flourishing career that keeps her very busy taking beautiful images of everything from weddings to engagements, families and commercial shoots. Like me, Bron is passionate about living in Durban and gets super excited about local people following their dreams and doing exciting and innovative work.

Bron specialises in weddings and portraiture, but is open to all ideas and opportunities. Follow her incredible work or book Vanilla Photography for your own shoot at

I hope you enjoy meeting this lovely, talented lady x

How did you get into photography?

I knew from a young age that photography was what I really wanted to do. My dream was having my photo on the cover of Elle Magazine or Cosmo! But instead of following that dream, I decided to go into Interior Decorating. After 5 years working in the design industry, I realised that my heart was still in photography, so I did a few courses to up my skills, quit my day job and dived head first into the unknown. And instead of the cover of Elle, I’ve hit the covers of wedding magazines! So although my dream has altered slightly, I’m definitely living it.

Top tips for taking a great photograph?

My passion is trying to capture the emotion in the moment – something that tugs at the heart strings and triggers a memory. I feel that that is a sign of a great photo.

Why do you love living in Durban?

Wow, where to start? The fact that we have the sea at our feet, the Midlands at our shoulders and the Berg as the cherry on top! Who wouldnπt want to live here? The diversity of the people, the old school feel of the city centre, the amazing drive of the entrepreneurs in our city- it makes my tummy tingle knowing there are so many youngsters in our city trying to break the mould!

Best places to go in Durban?

For food- Marco Paulo
For coffee and working out the office – I want my coffee
For markets – The Wonder Market
For a chilled weekend away – Nottingham Rd
For awesome quirky decor – Antique Cafe in Churchill Rd
For drinks- Franks

Fave accessory (other than your camera of course!)?

I LOVE a good watch and a good chunky necklace. And I have a leather jacket that I wear all the time!

What does living with soul mean to you?

Living out your dreams, and feeling passionate about life, and everything in it. I love the freedom of being able to do what I love, and meeting the most amazing people while doing it. Connecting with strangers fills my soul! I’m a big believer in following your passion, and doing everything within your power to make it work for you.

Best place you’ve ever travelled to?

I’m an avid traveller, and have extremely itchy feet. I feel like this world was not made to have your feet planted in one place. There is too much to see!! I would say Barcelona is my favourite city, Croatia is my favourite country, and China is an incredibly fascinating place to visit. The Great Wall should be on everyoneπs bucket list too. But at the end of the day, there is no place like home (or Cape Town!)

Who inspires you?

My mom. Sheπs is the strongest, kindest soul I have ever met. When I grow up, I want to be just like her!

One piece of advice you’ve never forgotten? I have 2 things I live by:

1. Take the time to do the things that make your soul happy
2. Life is uncertain, you should eat dessert first!


Meet: Marisa Van Vuuren

October 9, 2014




yoga zanzibar5


yoga zanzibar6

Images: Nicole Leftwick, and Fine Art Photography

Meet Marisa van Vuuren, the founder of Yoga Zanzibar. I was fortunate to meet this lovely lady and spend a week under her wing on the island a few months ago during my travels through East Africa.

As part of the retreat I practiced yoga twice a day, morning and night for 7 days in a very intimate group. I learnt so much more than I had learnt in years of doing yoga in overcrowded classes. It was the one on one attention and little tweaks that helped me become so much more in tune with my body and improve my practice dramatically. Things I loved were; the focus on different types of breath, becoming more aware of the way we position and ground our feet, feeling the alignment in our bodies through wall and partner work and trying out the more challenging poses after seeing Marisa illustrate them for us – proving how far we could go with our practice. Granted that doing yoga in front of  a beautiful sunset every evening helped a little too! Marisa is a beautiful lady with a beautiful soul as you will see from our conversation below – enjoy!

You can read more about Marisa and her yoga retreat packages at

Q&A with Marisa -

Why do you love yoga and why does it make us feel so great?

I think yoga gives us the time and space to reconnect with ourselves. Yoga allows us to live from our “soul center” instead of the ego or mind. The ego is limiting. Our true self is unlimited and full of potential. Yoga helps us to get out of our own way.

Any tips for complete newbies to the yoga game and wanting to give it a try?

Just do it! Just give it a try and do the best you can according to what your body allows you to do at this point in time. You don’t need to be “flexible’‘or strong to do yoga. You just need you – just the way you are.

Tell us something that a lot of people don’t know about yoga?

There are probably a lot of people that don’t know that yoga is much more than just physical postures. It is a scientific technique of arriving in the present moment and allows you to live your life to the full potential, to be the best version of you and allowing acceptance – acceptance of yourself and others.

We keep hearing a lot about ‘mindfulness’ – what is it?

Mindfulness for me means to become aware of our emotions, thoughts, tendencies and habits in the present moment. Through observing without judging, noticing, becoming aware of it – it will lessen or even gradually disappear gradually over time. Don’t beat yourself up about your thoughts, tendencies or habits which are not serving you for the best. Just simply observe, accept and embrace instead of resist. Embrace your dualities – your positive qualities and less positive qualities.

What does having or living with ‘soul’ mean to you?

Living with “feeling.” Living and doing the things that makes you feel alive – that spark which lights the fire within, living with passion, living from the heart!

What are your top tips for living a soulful life?

Bring as much love, laughter, music & dance into your life. Just BE YOU. Don’t overthink. Live with passion. Know that you have to power to create your life and to live your dream. Do what makes you feel alive! Be in the present moment. Know yourself. Connect with nature. Follow your heart. Be real. Take responsibility of what you attract and create in your live. Living from a sense of abundance and not from lack thereof. Accept and love yourself which in return will determine the quality of  your relationship with the people around you.

What is one piece of advice that you’ve never forgotten?

I do love Irene Cara’s 80”s song: What a feeling! “Take your passion and make it happen!” However, I don’t think we should  follow any rigid advice or philosophy in life– just feel and be true to yourself, follow your heart and your gut feeling within. Our gut and heart are our road map in life – it is when we follow these feelings and do the things we love that allow us to be in the right place at the right time – being in flow, being in harmony. Science is even teaching us how to create coherence between the mind and heart and how that brings about balance in the physical body, making us overall happier. Check it out here.



All rights reserved © 2014 Style and Soul - Theme by Blogmilk