Category Archives: Cape Town

A blacksmith walks into a bar

This is no joke: a blacksmith walked up to me at a bar last weekend. Granted, it the Deluxe Coffeeworks bar but the story still holds.

Now I’m not sure about you but when I am asked if I would like to make a knife, there is no other answer than “hells yeah”! So off I went to Conrad Hicks‘ studio in Obz to make myself a kitchen knife. The smell of burning embers, hot metal and car oil set in a warehouse with heavy metal tools on the walls and a  retro Chev truck was an unexpected sensory overload. I was quiet for a while. I tried to explain what was going on to my camera. I don’t think I managed to, so you might have to go through yourself.

Conrad is a Fine Arts major who makes tools. Bowls with worn copper undertones, rustic knives in varying sizes, chunky stools and pieces of wall art made out of molten slabs. It’s something quite incredible to behold because it’s a reality that most of us don’t bother to conceive of.

So about my knife. It started off as a bolt from a train until we turned up the heat and flattened it down. I wish I had taken more pics of this beginning process but I’m trying this whole “live in the moment” stuff. My journalistic side isn’t agreeing with the methodology.

I got to use a hammer and heavy tongs to re-heat the metal before taking it to an anvil (yes, an anvil) to beat the daylights out of it. It was a deeply satisfying process to truly create something.

It took about 2 hours to melt and reshape the bolt into a knife that is deliciously rough around the edges, a choice I made when I was polishing it. The blade is sharper than my Wusthof (my fault) and the first thing I did when I got home was dice a tomato. Cue Glomail voice: “Like a hot knife through butter” – it swanned through those tomatoes. I’m hooked.

Conrad offers blacksmithery lessons on a thursday evening and I can serious recommend that everyone tries it out. Contact him on FB or send me an email and I’ll send you his number.

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A Sunday In The Country

I don’t get out of town often enough. While the joke is that I break out into hives if I venture too far from Bree St, I’m always willing to take the chance. Besides the wind, this is my favourite time of year. The sun is at its optimum temperature and strength making laying out in the sunshine an absolute bliss. Being a brownie, with my #365tan, spending hours in the sun means only one thing, awful tan lines, my mortal enemy.

I recently took a drive out to Franschhoek on a Sunday-after-the-night-before and picnicked at Allee Bleue. This is a large commercial farm and while the grounds are spectacular,  much like so many others in that area, the blue pillars that line that driveway draw ones attention away from the magnificent, looming trees that tower overhead. It’s quite sad, actually.

Disclaimer: this is a tad persnickety. Do with it what you will. The service at Allee Bleue was great, the setting quite lovely and it felt as though the dappled sunshine shone in all its glory for little ol’ me. However,  for a lunch picnic at an estate of such calibre, one would (I would) expect a little more from the lunch offering. The baguette was the best part of the meal and the selection of cheese and melon preserve, while not wildly out of the ordinary, did save my bacon on that treacherous afternoon.

There were 2 other families there that day and I enjoyed the childlike shrikes from the jungle gym.  The jumping castle might’ve taken it all a step too far though, for two reasons. (1) the generator drowned out any ambient sounds (birds, trees, leaves etc) or general tranquility one might’ve had in Franschhoek on a Sunday and (2) with the right company and amount of wine, I might’ve been inspired to have myself a royal bounce.

I’m not a fan of writing reviews that aren’t gushy and glowing because overall, I had a good day. It felt lovely to leave the city and free the feet from the shoes but I doubt that I would be happy to spend R145 per person for the experience. Ah well, now you know.


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Cape Town Festival of Beer

When it comes to beer appreciation, I’m a complete noob. It was only in the last year that I discovered the truly amazing qualities of the fine brew and wa-wa-wee-wah, have I been making up for lost time. So many delicate flavours and beautifully golden hues that pair perfectly with Sunday afternoons as well as they do with matured cheese or (and I shall prove this) as flavouring for ice-cream. Malted goodness. *air punch*

There are a few of us bloggers who’ve been invited to create our very own beer. @BangersAndNash dropped off our packages that included a rathe impressive beer vat with a funky anti-explosion valve thing. The package also includes sterilizers, hops, yeast and carbonation tablets, everything you need to craft your own beer. The thing I am most proud of is that I haven’t been checking the sleepy vat every 30minutes so by the time it’s being judged at the Cape Town Festival of Beer at the end of Nov, I’m sure that it’s going to be a treat.

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Biltong Flatbread on the Expresso Show

I joined the @ExpressoShow team this morning and cooked up some Biltong Flatbread with @LeighAnne_Will. Take note of how matchy we are for Casual Day. Seems that we both found our sea legs.

PS: this is a brilliant idea for Braai Day that is coming up.

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David Tlale goes to New York Fashion Week

The golden boy of SA fashion, @DavidTlale, is off to NYC. He will be taking his unfinished collection to be the first South Africa to have a stand alone show at New York Fashion Week.

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Chicken Thai Green Curry

I joined the Expresso Show team again and cooked some Thai Green Curry. Check it out


fresh hand pressed citrus juice

braised beef brisket with oyster mushrooms, snails and garlic butter

couverture hot chocolate and dolce du leche with steamed milk and charcoal salt

I couldn’t help but lift this paragraph directly from the press release. It is what Jacques Eramus, restauranteur, interior design and all ’round artistic visionary said when asked if the bread was freshly baked.

‘It is at the crack of dawn each day that we add the happiness of bubbling yeast to flour. Strong hands knead soft dough and heirloom bread tins are gently filled to the brim with the day’s manna – in anticipation of the warm oven.  The coffee grinder groans with the perfume of coffea rubusta and citrus fruits sacrifice their last moments of wholeness…’

This wholly charming and sophisticated man has transformed the space on the fan walk into a bastion of impeccable taste and unquestionable style. It’s an ever-changing expression, clad in muted tones and inspired accents. The food is seasonal and thoughtfully presented. And the blood orange juice, which needs a separate mention, has an almost creamy texture. It’s like nothing I have ever tasted before.

Media lunches are usual set menu affairs but not for Jacques and the Hemelhuije team. I can recommend the aubergine with olive cream and a hint of gorgonzola served with walnuts, match sticks of pear and watercress, as well as the beef brisket with cauliflower puree, snails and oyster mushrooms. I also tried a forkful of the macaroni cheese bejeweled with bacon and apple sauce – it’s a flavour combination that can only be justified once you’ve tried it. Spectacular.

Take a look at what Jacques has to say about his Hemelhuijs

71 Waterkant Street, Cape Town

021 418 2042


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Gourmet Street Food on the Expresso Show

I was on the Expresso Show this morning talking about food, of course. In case you missed it, here’s the clip

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Five Flies Winter Special

Five Flies is a Cape Town institution and during these chillsome months they’re giving you a reason not to miss out. Bravo.


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Chukkachurri is one of my favourite venues in the Mother City. They’re showcasing more house beats with a new party called Spotlight. The idea is  that DJ’s from around the country get a 5 hour set to take people on a musical journey. 

The party kicks off this weekend, Saturday 4th August, with DJ Phat Jack. Jack has been in the industry since the 90’s and is a household (see what i did there) name. He is part of the Red Bull CT Studio and has played at pretty much every house-obsessed club in SA: JO’BURG: at Sublime, Monsoon Lagoon, Al Dente, Truth, Café Vogue, Foundation and Theatre On The Track and Lilo events; DURBAN at the legendary Tilt and Crash, in GRAHAMSTOWN at the Pop Art Café and Laugh It Off Productions; PE (On The Harbor) and the Essential Mix Grahmstown. He has also played over the sea.

Jack has chosen CT-based Cassiem Latief to start the night off at 9 before he takes the decks and keeps the floor going into the Sunday morning.

R50 gets you in OR tune in on Friday  to win tickets.

Tell me, @KaminiPather, what your favourite house track is and listen to #2girls1mic on @2oceansviberadio this Friday between 1&3pm.

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