Cape Town cool

June 4, 2015


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 Images: Nicole Leftwick

Cape Town – always cool, classy and breathtaking.

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, but I have been mulling over a little winter getaway to Cape Town and as I was going through some old pics of my trip back in December I decided that this post would be the perfect segway to get me back into ‘the space.’

So if like me, you like to plan ahead here are some of my must sees if you’re in the Mother City over summer – or winter (wrapped up accordingly) x

For market meandering – Hout Bay Market

Blown.Away by this market. Set in an authentic old fish factory, Hout Bay Market is a melting pot of uniquely South African arts and crafts. It’s one of those places where the creative energy and the vibrancy of South Africa come alive and you just get that proudly Saffa shiver up your spine. There’s something for everyone there – I personally indulged in a delicious salmon and poached eggs brekky, impeccable coffee at ZA cafe and got me some blue mirrored sunnies from one of the many to die for fashion stalls.


For road trippin’ – Kalk Bay and Boulders Beach

When I’m in CT I always squeeze in a road trip to see the little penguin men at Boulders Beach – and with the picturesque little retro town of Kalk Bay en route, it’s definitely one of my highly recommended ventures. Penguins and boutique stores – what’s not to like, really?

For wining and dining–

Ok it’s no brainer – in Cape Town, we drink wine. There are so many beautiful wine farms it’s hard to recommend one – just get a driver to chauffeur you around! Some personal faves of mine are Tokara, Meerlust, La Motte, Spier and Beau Constantia. I am looking forward to visiting in the colder months – sipping on some red wine around a fireplace is my kinda holiday.

For fresh air and exercise – Lions Head

Table Mountain’s little sister, always a goodie for a Sunday morning hike with a rewarding breathtaking view at the top. No more words of persuasion needed, you’ll see why…

For the health nuts – Wellness Warehouse

I died and went to health nut heaven here. 3.5 hours later (and I had only just moved over from the food and into the skincare) and I was convinced I needed everything from coconut yoghurt to kale chips and every superfood supplement under the sun – eventually had to get outta there… My fave part was the lovely wellness café inside that offers delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten free meals – something still lacking in Durban I am finding – but we’ll get there.

Wellness Warehouse is situated in the Lifestyles on Kloof centre, 50 Kloof Street.


For an authentic township vibes party – Mzolis

This was newbie for me and man I am glad I ventured out to Gugulethu. Mzoli’s is a butchery and grill bar on the outskirts of the township. I was at the outset, a bit concerned that it would be far too touristy for my liking, but was pleasantly surprised! Aside from the queue taking a good two hours – made a bit more fun by meeting many energized and festive spirits and being able to buy a few cold ciders and soft drinks from a mama’s homemade shebeen across the road – it was a really authentic experience. You choose and pay for your tray of meat and then head to the back where you wait in a smokey kitchen for your chosen cuts to be cooked (doesn’t sound fun but it was!). After that you take the charred cutlets back to your table inside the bar area where you proceed to devour it savagely with your hands, quickly clean up and then dance the night away to some really great African and RnB beats. A rustic and tasty African experience – I smelt like braai afterwards but it was well worth it!

For sun downers with a view – The Grand

And this is why you go to Cape Town (aside from the wine), to sip a cocktail on a private beach. A lovely spot for a Sunday sundowner x


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.

Local love

October 19, 2014







Images (top to bottom): MaXhosa by Laduma, Shoppe, Supergra campaign featuring Poppy Ntshongwana, Zana bags, Mr Price Home, Shoppe on Marriot Road

Since moving back home I’ve been having the best time exploring SA brands – you could say I’ve been getting back to my roots in the best way I know how – by shopping! These are some of my fave finds so far – and I’m sure there will be more to come x

MaXhosa by Laduma - An innovative Xhosa-inspired knitwear brand. I first noticed this eyecatching range in Supergra’s new campaign featuring Poppy Ntshongwana (above), where she rocked one of his fabulous knit pieces – and then I saw the full range and Laduma journey during a designer feature on Top Billing. I’m in love with the bright prints and unusual shapes – it’s modern African fashion at its best. Shop Laduma here

Zana - Decor, accessories and fabric in beautiful prints from a team of creative lovelies based in Woodstock, Cape Town. Adore everything they create, especially their cat prints. Read their blog here and shop Zana here 

Shoppe - If you’re into quirky decor pieces then Shoppe is a must-see if you’re in Durbs. It’s conveniently located on Marriot Road (number 40) in the same space as Market Restaurant – so you can pick up a mean coffee and a unique decor gem in one trip :) I could spend hours in this shop perusing though all the little treasures. Their ceramic bunny monsters and Sonia Vosloo pineapple cookie jars are to die for – and as for their Marmite stools and Zoo Biscuits cushions – I can’t! Check out their Facebook page here

Mr Price Home - It just keeps getting better and better – this brand is going to take over the world. They are so on the pulse with new trends, from gold pineapples to neon print pillows, you name it, they’ve got it. With their wide selection of items from lighting fixtures, to ceramics, bedding, garden and even stationary, you could literally style your entire home and office beautifully. Love love love. Shop Mr Price home here





October 5, 2014








Images: Nicole Leftwick

Some days leave you both empty and full at the same time, today was one of those days.

I visited The La Lucia Baby House for the first time – something that I have wanted to do for a long time and I’m so glad I finally did.

The Baby House is a transitional home for abandoned babies in Durban, run by crisis parents Skip and Sheila Collins. They are both originally from the USA but have been in South Africa since 1989. By day, Skip is the Creative Arts director at Grace Family Church in Umhlanga and Sheila is on staff at the church as well as a graphic designer.

We had a beautiful day on the tree shaded balcony of the baby house with Sheila, the two lovely ladies who work at the house; Thuli and Thando and of course the five baby boys currently staying at the house, that range in ages from one month to 10 months. Needless to say that once you’ve met these adorable little souls you can’t believe that they have been orphaned, but the sad reality of life in Africa is that poverty, the lack of family support and many other factors have affected these babies lives.

I didn’t know much about the adoption process so Sheila spent the time telling me about how it works and some of the babies stories. They work tirelessly to try and give each baby a chance at a new life with adoptive parents – it isn’t easy but the good news is that it isn’t as difficult as many people think it is and can be done a lot quicker than I had previously thought – especially for people already living in South Africa.

Volunteers to the house can visit the children to play, feed and bath them. Yes, I will admit, it is sad, but seeing the incredible and selfless work that Sheila and Skip do every day, and knowing that you are enhancing a little ones life  just by spending some time with them is worth the sadness you may feel and so fulfilling for the soul. It was a Sunday well spent and I will definitely be going back to give these little guys as much love as I can x

More about the La Lucia Baby House -

The Baby House is a project of The Peace Agency, a registered on-profit and public benefit organisation. It depends soley on donataions. If you want to support then find out how here 

Follow the La Lucia Baby House on Facebook 


October 2, 2014


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Images: Nicole Leftwick

After 3 year’s of living in Sydney, I can now safely call myself a ‘market veteran.’ I lived opposite the famous boho-chic Bondi markets, where fresh food and affordable fashion were literally at my doorstep – and as for the coffee, let’s just say a girl never had to go far to get herself a beautifully creamy cappuccino!

Coming back to Durbs, I didn’t expect my penchant for market perusing would be as satisfied as it was in Aus, but when I heard about 8 Morrison Street’s ‘Morning Trade’ I had to go and see what Durban had to offer in the way of markets…

8 Morrison is in the Rivertown Precinct (basically town side), an initiative by Durban City as part of an urban regeneration strategy for the area – aptly coined ‘Durbanism.’ I must say that coming back to Durban has thus far left me not only exceptionally proud of my hometown, but completely inspired. It seems that since SA hosted the World Cup a number of years ago, old buildings and areas are constantly being renovated, new cafes are popping up everywhere and markets or local events on the weekend are never amiss – and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, even CNN recently named us ‘the coolest city in South Africa you’ve never seen.’ It’s an exciting place to be right now.

The verdict? #Durbanism at its best. We drank frothy coffee, bought fresh flowers and veggies (they even do juice packs!) and browsed through the delicious delicacies ranging from beautiful cheeses, to cakes, paleo dishes and a spread of rainbow coloured macaroons – oh and did I mention the coffee?

The Morning Trade is open from 8am – 2pm on Sundays.

For more details find @8morrison on Facebook

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