Festive Feasting with Stellenbosch’s Street Soirees

Toast with the locals when the ever-popular Stellenbosch Street Soirees return to the streets of the City of Oaks. Festive feasting and laid back mingling with fellow food and wine lovers is what you can look forward to this summer.

Presented by the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, the first soiree of the season will take place on 28 November. Stellies will share its vibrant street culture, enviable lifestyle and cosmopolitan charm – all blended with cool tunes, sizzling street food and superb wines.

The Stellenbosch Street Soirees take place once a month on a #WineWednesday and all the traffic-stopping entertainment goes down in the centrally located Drostdy Street. It’s there where cars make way for young and old to savour unique dishes by prominent eateries and food vendors, while wine farms offer delicious vintages to wash away those mid-week blues.

“Who does not like a good street party and it is a great way to get to know your neighbours. With the Stellenbosch Wine Routes one is always in good company, so why not come and unwind with us after work?” shares Elmarie Rabe, Manager of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes.

Each Stellenbosch Street Soiree features a different selection of cellars and street fare caterers with an entry fee of R100 per person which includes a glass and 12 wine tasting tokens. Food dishes are priced individually by vendors. These communal parties are from 6PM until 8PM and children are welcome.

Mark these down in your calendar:

28 November

12 December 2018*

16 & 30 January

13 & 27 February

13 & 27 March 2019*

*weather permitting

www.wineroute.co.za

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

“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.