Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

One of the things I learnt last year, is that it's important to have a routine. It's good to wake up at a certain time every day, and have certain little rituals you perform and tasks that you execute daily. You probably think "Uh, yeah. Obviously" right now, but honestly, this is news to me. Since high school, I've pretty much lived up until right now in a flurry of  what-the-hell-time-is-it-i-don't-even-know-what-day-it-is-every-day-is-friday. Super early mornings, followed by mornings of lie-ins. Days where I work for 16 hours, and days where I don't work at all. Sometimes I shower and sometimes I bath. Breakfast whenever, lunch whenever. It was all just a little too much to handle actually.

Towards the end of last year I started to feel a little depressed about it all, to be honest. When you go for a very long time without any routine, your life starts to become one very, very long weekend where all your friends are working so you have to play by yourself.

So my mission for this year, is to find routine and get a real job. My boyfriend LOVES routine. He thrives on it. From getting up at exactly the same time every morning, to washing his face first, then his hair, then his ears (??) in the shower. The same breakfast, every day. On Sunday movie nights, he gets his treat (normally a slab-milk chocolate), a glass of juice, a glass of water, and all the remotes in the whole world (house) and lines them all up on the coffee table before he can relax. He's a nutter! And you know, I think there might actually be some method to his (extremely routine) madness.

So I'm following some routines. I'm starting small, by making the bed, then brushing my teeth, then showering, then lotioning my body, getting dressed, and lastly doing hair and make-up. Oh, "this is boring" you say? Well, its not boring to me. It's a bloody challenge. Its a challenge not to be tempted do my hair before getting into the shower, then trying to keep it dry while in the shower. And I have to train my hands not to apply my make-up before brushing my teeth.

And now, I fear I may be becoming anally routine. Addicted, if you will. Like one of those people who can't sleep over at other people's houses because they are afraid their mom will die if they don't do 6 pushups, say "twinkle little star" and turn in a circle to the right three times before climbing into the left side of their bed and rolling over onto the right side. Or those people who murder their husbands because they moved the....anything!

I'm getting distracted here. I suppose, like everything, routine has its positives and it's negatives. Example: Positive; a little structure in my life. Negative; I keep forgetting my routine.

Anyway, my actual point is: This blog is going to have a little more structure from now on. Starting today. With Wellness Wednesday. Every Wednesday I'm going to post a healthy recipe, or a picture of something nice that will make your brain smile. That kind of thing. Every Wednesday. Like clockwork. If clocks didn't actually run on actual hours.

Hey! Can I Live In You?

I have been obsessed with tree houses since I was just a little thing. They seem so flippin' magical. I've never actually been in a tree house, but I just know I would love living in one. So if you have a big garden, and a big tree, I have a boyfriend who can build stuff and loves me very much.

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Weekend: 27-29 January 2012

This weekend was one for ice creams in Hout Bay, Cape Tattoo convention, dinner at Woodlands Eatery, make-up jobs, having my car "misplaced" by a hotel valet, swimming and braaiing, reading Game Of Thrones and outdoor showering, music watching at Assembly, sushi and summer menu at Sevruga and relaxing in the sun.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Combo at Icedream.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

WIN! A Tasting & R500 Lunch At Nitida

Last week I was treated to a tasting and cellar tour at Nitida Handmade Wine with their winemaker RJ. The beautiful farm out in Durbanville and incredible wines are made all the more lovely by RJ's laid back attitude and fuss-free introductions to his wines.

Winemaker RJ. Looking chilled.

Today I'm giving you the chance to see Nitida for yourself. To taste the wines, relax on the beautiful farm and have a lunch to the value of R500,00 at their restaurant, Cassia.

Take your boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad/grandma/bff out to Durbanville and taste the fine wines Nitida has to offer. Ask questions. Gulp it down. Sip it slowly. Smell it. Savour it. But especially, ask questions.

If there is one thing I feel passionately about, it is the fact that wine should be accessible to everyone. Wine tastings are not just for people who already know lots about wine.

If the label says "flavours of yellow peaches, hay and honey" and you taste flavours of gooseberries and ice cream, that's ok! You're not wrong. That' what you taste.

And that's why I want you to visit Nitida.


1. "Like" Nitida Wine on Facebook

2. Follow Siris Vintners on Twitter

3. Tweet the following:

 "Hey *insert your friend's Twitter handle here* I just entered the @nitidawine comp here: You do it too!"

Example: "Hey @bangersandnash I just entered the @nitidawine comp here :  You do it too!" 

4. Comment in the comments section below with your name and email address

Enter now and good luck! Competition closes on Friday, 3 FEBRUARY.

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Daydrinking Friday": A Trip To Nitida & Anura

If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that I am a fan of daydrinking. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that daydrinking is my forte. "What is daydrinking?" you may ask. From the Scientifical Dictionary Of Natalie: "Daydrinking [verb] is the act of partaking in alcoholic beverages between the hours of 11am and sundown."

This week I was invited to join a few others on one of Siris Vinters infamous Farm Trips to Durbanville Wine Route & Paarl Wine Route to taste a few of the wines on their portfolio. We were picked up at 11am in Siris's Landy, handed a glass of bubbles & Red Bull (by the way, try this) and shuttled out to Durbanville, where we were going to see a winemaker called RJ. Texx, Zahra, Bubbles, The Stunman, Terence and myself, were in for a bit of daydrinking.

Nitida is only 8km's from the ocean, and South-facing which makes it a cold climate farm. The wines are crisp, with lots of green flavours like green peppers, gooseberries, grass and acidic fruit. The wines are handmade, meaning they are made in small quantities by the winemaker and his assistant themselves. There are no sorting machines on the farm, and during harvest RJ gets in 10 other people to help him sort the grapes by hand. RJ won Young Winemaker Of The Year in 2009, which isn't a small feat for a first generation winemaker.

Nitida's wines have done exceptionally well since the farm's inception in 1990. Owner Bernhard and his wife Peta, along with their farm hand Klaas knew nothing about wine farming. Bernhard was an engineer, Peta was in advertising, and Klaas knew about sheep and cows. But the three of them had a dream to produce fantastic wines- even if that dream started as "just a few bottles". Fast forward 20 years and the farm is recognised as a benchmark Semillon producer and as 2009's Top Producer at the Michaelangelo International Wine Awards.

 My personal favourites were the Coronata and the Noble Late Harvest. Yes, the Noble Late Harvest. A wine can never be too sweet, or too fruity for me. Another one my favourites was the Club Select Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and beautiful with a full flavour, perfect for a hot summer's day.

Nitida also has a fantastic restaurant on the farm, Cassia, where we settled in after our cellar tour for a couple of bottles of RJ's first ever bubbly and a glass or two of Sauvingon Blanc. But the time had come to say farewell to Nitida and make our way out to Paarl, where, 6 degrees warmer, Anura was waiting.

Settled out in the heat of Paarl, at the foot of the Simonsberg mountians, lies Anura Vineyards. Producers of fine wine and cheese. Anura's selection of wines is very interesting and some of their red's are not very common for a  South African farm. The warm climate lends their wines fruity flavours and a smooth, soft palate. Anura is another farm which sorts their grapes by hand, insuring the finest quality wines with the best handcrafted flavours.

But Anura is not only famous for their award-winning wines. Their range of cheeses makes for the perfect accompaniment to their beautiful wines, and combined with the view at the farm, it makes for a pretty magical experience. Brie, Camambert, Marisch- a mixture of mozarella and edam, a Mountain Cheese, and a Camembert/Brie blend all go fantastically with their range of preserves, drizzles and dips. The whiskey marmalade was my favourite, with the spicy carrot pickle a close second. Add to this "12 Pigs", a boutique charcuterie that produces incredible handcrafted cured and smoked meats and my day was pretty much made.

Our tasting was lead by Percy, who has been hosting tastings for the past 20 years. His knowledge and personal touch added so much to our experience. We tasted so many wines, I can't even remember them all, but the two that really stood out for me were the Sangiovese and the Syrah. Both not very common wines for South Africa, and both absolutely incredible. Oh, and the Viognier. My goodness, the Viognier.

After a long day of tasting some of the finest handcrafted wines this country has to offer, in some of the most beautiful settings this country has to offer, we made our way down the N1 back to Cape Town. Sea Point was our next stop, for pizza's at Posticino (my first time there) before tequila, goat taco's and general mayhem at El Burro.

The next time you feel like taking a trip out to the winelands, don't just go to the farms you always hear about. Don't just go to the farm you went to last time. Try some new ones. Try some smaller ones. There are incredible boutique winefarms just outside of Cape Town where you'll find yourself having a tasting with the winemaker, talking about his wines and his journey's to get to them.

And if you don't know where they are, or what to expect, send me an email to and even if I don't know, I'll ask Siris Vintners for their advice. There is so much to see, so much to taste. All you need to do, is know where to look.