Celebrate HG Wells & DH Lawrence this September

Social Kitchen & Bar has established itself as a haven for lovers of both literature and fine food. Located in one of Johannesburg’s most exclusive areas, the warm wooden interior lends itself to conversations with old friends that continue late into the night.

September heralds the arrival of Spring, and it’s the month we celebrate two of the world’s most acclaimed romance writers. Both DH Lawrence and HG Wells celebrate their birthdays during September – on the 11th and 21st respectively. Now, Social Kitchen & Bar invites you toast their lives while sipping on cocktails inspired by their greatest novels.

World Class cocktail competition winner Dom De Lorenzo has created a bourbon-based drink as a tribute to H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man and another which harnesses the passionate grapefruit notes of the Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence cocktail.

Although the Festive Season may still be months away, you just can’t help but think of Christmas when tasting the bourbon, apple, nutmeg and vanilla flavors of The Invisible Man. The novel itself is filled with unexpected psychological twists and the cocktail is just as deliciously deceptive. Arriving at one’s table looking like a glass of water, it turns out to consist of an explosion of understated elements that blend into a perfect, comforting moment.

The Guardian newspaper describes Women in Love as one of the two greatest novels (the other being Ulysses, another one of Social Kitchen & Bar’s tribute cocktails) written in English in the 20th Century. This cocktail certainly does that lofty reputation justice. The passionate spices of Don Julio work in perfect harmony with the subtle notes of vanilla and grapefruit. Much like the love of a woman, this passionate cocktail will have you coming back for more.

www.socialkitchenandbar.co.za

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“Sisters-and-sweet” will celebrate diversity and heritage

September is “sister”-time at Stellenbosch Hills. To celebrate Heritage Month this year, the popular winery has tweaked its famous Local-is-Lekker Biltong & Wine Pairing at its cellar – for a limited time only – to also feature a most traditional confection: the koe(k)sister.

The quintessential South African dessert treat will be the kicker on the Stellenbosch Hills‘ experience that pairs its wines with biltong and droëwors. Extending the celebration of cultural diversity, tasters will be offered the choice of two versions: a plaited, sweet and crunchy koeksister or the Cape Malay-style equivalent koe’sister. The latter generally comprises a spiced dough-ball that’s deep-fried, dipped in boiling hot syrup and rolled in desiccated coconut.

Launched in 2005, Stellenbosch Hills’ Local is Lekker Biltong & Wine Pairing pioneered a genre that has subsequently been taken up by wineries far and wide.

Heritage Month is an extension of South Africa’s official Heritage Day, celebrated annually on September 24, officially launched in 1995. Like biltong, koe(k)sisters are regarded as an unmistakable part of the South African culinary lexicon.

Stellenbosch Hills’ Heritage Month offer will feature the full meaty experience of six wines, with the koe(k)sister paired with Stellenbosch Hills Muscat de Hambourg.

With a colour reminiscent of sunset, the wine is explosively fragrant with aromas and flavours of candy floss, boiled sweets, rose petals and violets. It shows best when served with koe(k)sisters, on crushed ice, over vanilla ice cream and strawberries or at room temperature in winter.

Other members of the pairing board are:

Springbok Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve White: A perfect balance between lean, dry game and the wine’s sumptuous citrus and buttered toast flavours.

Moist Beef Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills Polkadraai Pinotage/Merlot: Succulent complexity matched with sweeter notes of the premier red blend.

Ostrich Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills Merlot: Milder game meat perfectly complemented by the plummy, ripe fruit flavours of a well-rounded companion.

Smoked Beef Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills Shiraz: A unique oak-smoked and cured biltong, gently spiced, connects seamlessly with smoky flavours of a wine that exhibits a hint of dark chocolate.

Kudu Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills Cabernet Sauvignon: Subtle, yet rich game flavours – the perfect match for silky tannin and notes of ripe black fruit.

Traditional Beef Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve Red: Exotic zest of roasted coriander offsets the wine’s clean spice and ripe tannin.

This exclusive and proudly South African pairing is available only for the month of September at R75 per person. Bookings can be made on 021 881 3828/9 or info@stellenbosch-hills.co.za.

www.stellenbosch-hills.co.za

Jekyll & Hide’s Take on Travel Trends

Founded in 2003, Jekyll & Hide is a bespoke leather fashion brand based in the seaside town of Cape Town, South Africa. With a dedication to timeless leather craft and design, the Jekyll & Hide team travels far and wide across South America, Asia, Africa and Europe to source the finest leather the world has to offer.

Travelling Mystery Guest recently had the opportunity to chat to Bernard Bultemeier, the founder of Jekyll and Hide, about his opinion on travel trends and what to look forward to from them.

New products have to keep up with the modern techno lifestyle. According to Bernard, laptop bags are the most popular modern techno product.

“As people’s lifestyle changes (working from coffee shops, on-the-go, etc.) the use of functional business and laptop bags has become a big part of our business.”

Jekyll & Hide’s laptop bags are very functional and are created for the modern business person. They have built in padded laptop pockets, RFID protected cell phone- and wallet sleeves and multiple compartments for diaries and iPads. Jekyll & Hide adapts their laptop bags to the size of laptop screens so that one can shop a product that suits your computer perfectly.

According to Bernard, dual-purpose products like the laptop backpack, or the cross-body bag which can carry a tablet will eventually replace conventional handbags. “As our lifestyles change (we commute to work on bikes or on public transport) the need for practical and well-designed products is key. With the increase in cell phone use, people now don’t have a free hand to carry a bag because they’re constantly on the phone. With multipurpose backpacks, you can carry all the essentials while still cycling and using the phone at the same time. Backpacks are also better for your posture (if worn properly). People are becoming conscious of the way they walk and move. Standing desks, yoga and Pilates are all big trends so the more we can do to help with this lifestyle, the better.” 

Leather bag colours change as the seasons and trends do, however, Jekyll & Hide try to keep a traditional feel to their products. They focus on items and colours that are lasting and as coloured leathers are very easy to fake and it’s a lot harder to produce a real-leather looking piece in natural colours, Jekyll and Hide’s traditional colours are a clue of the quality and authenticity of the brand.

Jekyll & Hide’s Oxford travel bags are probably their most iconic and recognisable products. The Oxford range is also their best seller with its classic look that never seems to go out of style.   

At first, we thought that the brand was named after the 1886 detective novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. We now found out that the brand actually has nothing to do with the novel. “Some people remember the name, Jekyll and Hide, but can’t pinpoint where from, so there’s often an existing connection with new customers but they don’t really know why. The word hide comes from the leather hides we use and Jekyll just had a nice ring to it and was nice and different from all the Italian style names that launched into the market at the time.”

Jekyll & Hide tries to bring a bit of colour and design into the lining of their bags instead of the actual outer design. Funky colours and patterns are seen when one opens a bag or purse which is always a welcoming surprise. They aren’t necessarily bringing in local South African designs (as it’s a global brand) but they do bring in trending patterns like the Aztec look of the Ndbele range. Jekyll & Hide tries not to box the products into a tourist category, though, so they just use very subtle pops of local or trending elements. 

Jekyll & Hide is now also expanding into other fabrics. They’re creating a canvas backpack for example that still has a lot of leather elements in, but they’re starting to mix materials. They also have a travel bag with poly carbon elements.

“We try and create products that are light and make life easier, which means being open to other developments and materials. We’ll always bring through the luxury leather elements of the brand, but we’re no longer focused on 100% leather items.”

Something new for Parktown North

After three years of serving up some of the best wild boar Mac ‘n Cheese in Parktown North, The National has closed its doors. But, not for long.

Chef James Diack is giving his Parktown North speakeasy a face lift, transforming it into a wine and food bar, which will be called Douglas + Hale. “I’m always keeping myself busy, and I am really excited about this new concept for the Johannesburg restaurant scene,” he says.

“I have always had a passion for wine and cocktails – having originally studied viticulture in Stellenbosch.”

The name pays homage to both Diack’s grandfathers – Douglas Diack and Mathew Hale. They’re also James and his brother Nick’s second names.

Douglas + Hale will serve an incredible range of fine wines – by the bottle, but mostly by the glass, all in Riedel Glassware,” says James.

“We’ll also have some absurdly good cocktails made by our in-house mixologist.”

For the food, James is keeping it simple and he’ll keep some of The National’s favourite dishes. “It’s a small, simple eating menu that will keep you interested through the evening,” he explains.

The rustic and relaxed atmosphere is set to become a local must for after work cocktails, pre-meal drinks, or a final night cap before you head home (in an Uber – no drinking and driving allowed!).

Douglas + Hale will open to the public on 25 September 2018. For bookings, contact them on 011 327 3030. Find them at 19 4th Avenue, Parktown North.

Cape Town Hospitality Enthusiasts: We are looking for you!

Travelling Mystery Guest is searching for individuals interested in becoming mystery guests based in Cape Town.

The company assists hotels, restaurants, guesthouses, lodges, shopping centres and other tourism destinations with Customer Journey Evaluations. With Customer Journey Evaluations, Travelling Mystery Guest sends a mystery guest to evaluate the establishment’s brand promise and the overall customer journey. The mystery guest is responsible for taking notes and compiling a comprehensive report on the experience.

As Travelling Mystery Guest is continuously expanding, we’re looking for Capetonians that would like to become mystery guests. Ideally, we are looking for well presented individuals with a passion for and some experience in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Successful candidates will undergo training on the company’s mission and vision, assessment standards, requirements and quality assessment reporting.

If you think you have what it takes to become a mystery guest, send your CV to enquire@travellingmystery.co.za or alternatively to admin@travellingmystery.co.za.

Sanlam Top Destination Awards honours Hospitality Establishments

Discount Traveler celebrates National Tourism month this September by honouring South Africa’s leading hospitality establishments with the fourth annual Sanlam Top Destination Awards. The awards have been specifically designed to honour South Africa’s key players within the South African Tourism sector and serve as a platform for nominees to compete for the title of Top Destination in ten categories and five star gradings respectively, as voted for by the public. Winners will be announced at a Gala Award Ceremony held at The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay on Thursday, 20 September.

Votes are now closed and the finalist establishments across the categories and star grading are being contacted. Jonathan Pepler, Managing Director of Discount Traveler and Founder of the Sanlam Top Destination Awards explains:

“The support for this year’s awards has been incredible, with more nominees than ever before.”

This year the Sanlam Top Destination Awards has added the Water Sustainability Award. The award has been created in conjunction with Water 4 Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism to reward the country’s most water conscious establishment.

The prestigious ceremony will be hosted by radio and TV heavyweight, Tracey Lange – presenter of kykNET’s Bravo! and KFM’s mid-morning show. Tracey will be joined by voice over artist, MC and fellow KFM presenter, Mamohau Seseane.

Title sponsor of the awards is financial giant Sanlam, while finalists can expect treats from David Green, Disaronno, Carabao, Ayama Wines, Romatex Hospitality Textiles, Healing Earth, Sir Juice, Zang Chocolate, Foxbox and Jekyll & Hide SA to name a few. Additional sponsors include Santam, Phangela Group, Cape Town Tourism, Water4CapeTown, 3-D Virtual Africa, Travel Africa TV and Magic 828 AM.

For those who didn’t manage to get a ticket to this year’s award ceremony, the evening will be streamed live via facebook.com/sanlamtopdestinationawards. Alongside the winners’ announcements, viewers can expect live performances by Ricky Botsis, Danielle Bitton and an authentically African dance presentation by Blush Productions.

Travelling must-haves

When travelling, packing smart is just as important than packing light. With these essentials, you’ll be prepared for any trip. Choose items efficiently and make sure you can manage with your luggage by yourself.

Hard-shell Rolling Suitcase

Although soft suitcases are great for squeezing in extra items, when it comes to rainy weather, no one wants to sit in a situation where you must drag your bag through the rain. We recommend a hard-shell rolling case like the K-Way Spinner 65L Roller available from Cape Union Mart.

Backpack

Not only does a backpack spread the weight, it also ensures that you can easily access all the essentials while travelling hands-free. The Anti-Theft Waterproof Travel Laptop Backpack is available at R499 from Takealot.com.

Foldable Down Jacket

A warm jacket is a definite travel essential. Down Jackets like the K-Way Tundra Down Jacket is very compact and won’t take up much space in your suitcase. Roll it into its pouch and it doubles up as a travel pillow.

Scarf

A large scarf can serve a variety of purposes – keeping warm, dressing up, covering your head or padding a fragile souvenir. Poetry has a wide variety of scarves to choose from. Go check them out on http://www.poetrystores.co.za.

Multi-Purpose Shoes

Two pairs are all you need. Leave behind the high heels you’ll only wear once and rather take one pair of waterproof, sturdy sneakers and a pair of comfortable shoes that can be used on long walks as well as for going out.

Wipes

When travelling, you want to avoid getting ill at all costs. We always prefer Dettol’s Personal Care Wipes, available at Clicks, to keep you feeling fresh and clean.

Customized First-Aid Kit

We suggest that you pack pain-pills, anti-itch creams, motion sickness tablets, stomach meds, cold/flu medicine, bandages and eye drops. Don’t forget your multivitamins!

Flip Flops

In addition to the above-mentioned two pairs of shoes, a pair of flip flops is also an essential. Flip-flops are water resistant and are flat enough to take up minimal space in a suitcase. Our favourite is the tried-and-tested Havaianas.

Pen

A pen will always come handy. Think filling in customs forms, doing Sudoku puzzles or doodling on a napkin.

Notebook

Be it for diarising memories made on an adventure or writing essential numbers – one simply cannot travel without a notebook. Hello Pretty has a variety of notebooks to choose from.

Noise-cancelling earphones

One way to make the best of a situation where you have noisy plane neighbours is to block out the noise while keeping yourself entertained. The Gadget Shop stocks most of the top noise-cancelling earphones.

Portable Power Bank Charger

Make sure to pack a portable charger. You don’t want to waste time waiting for your electronics to charge. A great portable charger is the 10000mAh Ultra Compact Power Bank available from Chargedpower.com. 

Face Essentials

Cleansing and moisturizing are the two smartest steps you can take for your skin when travelling. Look for a cleanser that is both soothing and that can gently remove makeup on the go. Once your face is makeup-freeClinique’s Dramatically Different moisturizer will hydrate even the driest complexion.

Sunscreen

Did you know that it is advisable to apply sunscreen in-flight, especially if you’re in the window seat? The altitude can expose you to harmful UVA rays.

Lip Balm

The Proudly South African Zam-Buk lip balm is all you need. Cherry Kiss Zam-Buk lip balm is available at Clicks and is perfect for all day use.

Small bag of toiletries

Luggage get lost so easily when travelling. The last thing you want to do is spend R500 on all the toiletries you’d need when your bags get lost. Pack a small bag with necessary items to keep in your hand luggage. Make use of Dischem’s Travelmate bottle set for some of your hair and skincare products.

 

Written by: Katrien Nel