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Author: Abigail

Foraging for Food and Getting it Cooked at the Table Bay Hotel!

Foraging for Food and Getting it Cooked at the Table Bay Hotel!

I had the most amazing opportunity given to me by Woman & Home Magazine SA and Sun International recently that I just have to tell you about it. Two friends and I went on a foraging adventure and afterwards we had our meal cooked by the Table Bay Hotel’s executive chef Jocelyn Meyers-Adams!

Our adventure started in ideal Cape Town autumn weather for a short hike. We arrived at the Table Bay Hotel at 9.30 am and were already taken in by the splendour of the building and very friendly, relaxed hotel staff.

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The Table Bay Hotel

We had half an hour to spare so took in the ambience of the hotel foyer, used the lavish restrooms and then we were off to Newlands Forrest, just below Rhodes Memorial. Driven by Abraham in the hotel’s mini van.

During our drive Chef Jocelyn informed us about the food we could expect to find during autumn. The best time of the year for foraging is during spring, we were told, so pickings might be slim. But we would still find edible fruits and leaves to incorporate into our lunch dishes.

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Foraging in Newlands Forrest

And so we picked up acorns, picked Noem-noems (Natal plums) and snow peas. We looked for edible mushrooms, but the weather was too dry for them and pine nuts. The squirrels had already been collecting their winter grub!

So off we went to Mouille Point beach to look for more wild plants to add to our lunch.

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Looking for seaweed at Mouille Point

We gathered seaweed from the ocean and sea spinach from along the promenade! Good heavens! We had no idea how this delicious food was growing right under our noses. We also picked sour figs and on route to the hotel, hibiscus flowers.

In the hotel garden Chef Jocelyn picked some carrots and wild garlic and then we were lead into the kitchen to prepare our 3-course meals. Vegetarian for me and fish for my friends main meal.

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Preparing our salad in the kitchen

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We helped prepare some of the salad ingredients, watched the professional chefs in action and then it was off to our table to enjoy our meal.

All our foraged food items were incorporated in the three dishes served.

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My Vegetarian Main

My main dish looked BEAUTIFUL and was filled with an explosion of flavour. I don’t remember eating anything like that even in Melbourne.

My friends savoured their silver fish.

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My friend's fish dish

Our final course was dessert! Another explosion of sweet, delicious flavours! Some of the Noem-noems were poached and the rest were made into a purée then served with homemade ice cream, hibiscus flowers and a lavender meringue.

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Dessert!

I hadn’t seen my friends in about 18 months, so this was a fantastic way to catch up and share a once in a lifetime experience.

After our meal, we sat in the relaxed atmosphere talking about our special day. And finally made our way home.

If you are interested, you can book foraging package for 4 people at The Table Bay Hotel. It’s an experience I would highly recommend!

Review: Goji Spa and Organic Hair Colour Systems

Review: Goji Spa and Organic Hair Colour Systems

Recently I was very fortunate to be invited to visit the Goji Spa at the Willowbridge mall in Tygervalley. Since I was unable to make the appointment, my niece’s friend Maunel went instead.

She is a 23 year old college student who lives in the Northern Suburbs, close to the spa.

She arrived late! However the ladies at the spa were so friendly and accommodating, she was made to feel welcome within minutes.

First she had an “amazing” – to quote her – 30 minute Swedish massage and then she was skin tested for allergies before the Organic Hair Colour Systems (OCHS) treatment.

She made another appointment for the hair colour treatment and styling for the following week.

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When she arrived back at the spa, Luciano gave her the full hair treatment which she thoroughly enjoyed. It took about 6 hours from the the time she arrived until she left the salon.

However, it felt like no time at all.

Maunel said she would definitely recommend Goji spa as well as the Organic Hair Colour system. She loved her hair so much, she sent me these pictures the following day.
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Thank you to Goji spa and OHCS for giving Maunel such wonderful treatments that left a lasting impression.

Enter the competition below to Win a wonderful, relaxing Spa Treatment at Goji Spa at the Willowbridge Wellness centre.

Included in the prize package are the following:

  •  Swedish Deep Tissue Massage: 30mins
  •  Organic Colour Systems (OCS) consultation / organic hair colour treatment
  •  Wash / Blow or Cut

Get the full spa treatment at Goji Spa different forms of massage, facials orbhair and beauty treatments while being pampered with 100% natural products.

You can find Goji Spa at the Willowbridge Wellness Centre in Tygervalley in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.

The Organic Hair Colour systems contains none of the ammonia, resorcinol or parabens that most other hair colour systems do.

Follow Goji Spa on

Facebook
Twitter @Gojispa
Or visit their Website: www.gojispa.co.za/

And Organic Hair Colour Systems

On Facebook
On Twitter @OCSouthAfrica
Or visit their website

Follow Goji Spa on Twitter or Facebook and enter your details below before 28 January 2015.

Entry Form

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Terms and Conditions

  • The prize is not transferable. The winner must be able to visit Goji Spa in the northern suburbs of Cape Town.
  • The prize is provided by the sponsor. Any arrangements for the spa treatment date will be made with the sponsors.
  • The closing date for the competition is 28 January 2015.

Congratulations to Jenny Nieuwenhuys the winner of this giveaway.

New Years on Melbourne Station #tbt

New Years on Melbourne Station #tbt

This is one of my favourite pictures ever! It was taken on New Years Eve 1997 at the train station in the middle of Melbourne.  It’s my brother and I waiting for the fireworks to start. My sister in law took the photo.

We took the train to the city quite early in the evening,  to watch the fireworks along the Yarra River. But the crowd was too big so we headed to the station.

Not being a huge fan of fireworks or crowds,  I was more than happy to put some distance between me and the Yarra. Although there were more than a few other people who had the same idea as us.

At 2am we took a taxi home. I was amazed at how safe it felt to be out wondering the streets at that hour! 

A few months -around 4 months  after – I had my Lasik surgery. And everything changed! I cut my hair, had my eyebrows waxed and put earrings in my ears for the first time and changed my wardrobe from the usual 501s, Adidas gear and Doc Martens to heels and formal pants and skirts.

Getting rid of the spectacles was the biggest change, bigger than I could have imagined. The world just looked brighter and bigger and more friendly.

Great memories 🙂

The Joys of a Cape Town Winter

The Joys of a Cape Town Winter

I was making coffee this morning – a bit worse for wear – when I had a light bulb moment! It occurred to me that I might actually have been a cranky, lazy grizzly bear in a former life.  Or maybe even Big Foot himself!umbrella

It would explain A LOT! Like why I get cranky and lazy during winter.

Seriously! I love working out and running and doing all sorts of things during spring and summer and even autumn, but come winter I refuse to move. The only exercise I am remotely interested in is walking the metre and a half from my couch to the stove to heat milk for hot chocolate. If that hot chocolate was able to make itself, believe me, I would be the happiest person on earth!

During summer I see fruit and I see a meal. Yummy and healthy! In winter I see fruit and I see dessert stewed in sugary syrup and cinnamon, topped off with rich creamy, hot custard.

Then there’s the small matter of bread! All kinds! With lots of butter/margarine. Panini and ciabatta and ordinary wholewheat and white bread rolls. Eaten with vegetable soup and followed by dessert as mentioned above.

What, you may wonder, is my problem.  All the above sounds quite enjoyable.

My previous life as a grizzly bear (if I’m right about that) makes me want to hibernate and sleep for 3 months.   That’s not exactly acceptable behaviour for a human being though.  Or is it?

The thing about winter that is beyond me is the cold weather.  The rain! And I’m born and bred in Cape Town.  I have never spent winter anywhere, except in Cape Town. And the Cape has cold and wet winters.

I have tried doing positive affirmations, gone for walks on the beach, cooked delicious meals, dated winter loving men.  All these only brings temporary relief.

The only cure is 1 September.

My Two Oceans Half Marathon Mistake #OMTOM2014 #capeblogpost

My Two Oceans Half Marathon Mistake #OMTOM2014 #capeblogpost

My third Two Oceans Half Marathon turned out to be my worst so far! Even though I felt better prepared physically at the start than the previous times.

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It all started with a slight groin injury a few weeks previously, but that ultimately wasn’t the main cause of my bad race.

I arrived at the start with lots of time to spare. So went for a toilet break. And then picked my spot amongst the many thousands of runners, soaking in the atmosphere. It was amazing standing there when the anthem was sung and then listening to the excited, nervous chatter.

Out of absolutely nowhere came the urge to go to the toilet again! I say out of nowhere because I drank the same amount of liquids at home about an hour before my run as I usually do ! Even on long runs I am able to run easily without needing a toilet break! Obviously I am not usually nervous before a training run!

Anyway,  I stupidly (in hindsight of course) thought, there are portable toilets along the route.

At around 3km I felt a slight tinge in my groin area. So now I had two things on my mind. Toilet break + groin injury. I could do something about the heavy bladder.

Then the portable toilets appeared in view. The line looked quite short from the road.

But then the waiting started. I thought of going into the bushes…but the line moved. Slowly it turned out.

I refused to look at my watch. Eventually my turn came and I went about my business as fast as I could.

When I joined the road once again, there were only a few runners left! What the heck! And a combi with Sweep 1 in a large font on a hardboard label.

I knew I was in serious trouble!

Now I had to run harder and faster to just stay ahead of that combi! And I am not exactly a rast runner. Gone were my race plans. Disappeared!  Poof!

It was survival mode, baby! I could not let my race end at 11km.

Worse was when I saw the 3 hours bus disappear into the distance.

Quitting is not something I am familiar with, but I would be lying if I did not say that it crossed my mind. But it wasn’t really an option – medal or no medal – although I wondered what in heavens name possessed me to run another Two Oceans Half Marathon! Why, Abby, why!

Southern Cross drive was never ending torture and the finish line was an eternity away. But I ran and walked the last few kilometres; fortunately always ahead of that sweep combi.

I knew 3 hours was gone. My legs and breathing, for that matter, was too heavy. The awesome people along the way calling out encouragement pushed me forward.

At last the finish line appeared showing 3.13. What agony! Later an sms arrived showing my provisional time as 3.03.

I received my medal gratefully and then spent the next few hours at the finish catching up with an old school friend. No time for race dissections right then.

I’m left to wonder what might have been.

At the same time I learnt a lesson about who I am when the chips are down. And of course never to stop again for a toilet break during the race.