Zero Two One

Staycations is not just a term used for those who are on a budget but still need a break, a staycation presents you with an opportunity to be a tourist in your own city. I love the idea of discovering hidden gems, appreciating heritage sites mostly visited by tourists and falling in love all over again with the  sometimes crazy, sometimes chaotic  metropolis.

So I’m inviting you to be a tourist in your own city. To help you plan your Staycation in Cape Town and surrounds I have compiled a list of must do/must see attractions stamped with my  seal of approval.

 

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Pepper Club

1.Hotels
First things first, where to stay.When it comes to accommodation even though I have enjoyed stays at the ever popluar 15 on Orange and Protea Fire and Ice, most of the time I find myself gravitating towards boutique hotels,maybe because I love the personalised experience. Below are some of the hotels, lodges and boutique hotels I have come to love.

The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa

Address: NO 3 The Glen Road, Sea Point,Cape Town, 8060, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 439 0086

Pepperclub

Address: Loop St & Pepper St, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa

Phone:+27 (21) 812 8888

ParkInn by Raddison Blu

Address: 29 Heerengracht St, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 427 4800

Daddy Long Legs Apartments

Address: 263 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8010, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 422 3074

Boulders Beach Lodge

Address: South Africa, 3 Secluse Ave, Cape Town, 7995, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 786 1758

Dutch Manor Antique hotel

Address: 158 Buitengracht St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 422 4767

Caledon Spa

Address: 1 Nerina Way, Western Cape, 7230, South Africa
Phone:+27 28 214 5100

Columbine Lighthouse

Address: Paternoster, 7381, South Africa
Phone:+27 21 449 2400

 

2. Visit a Heritage Site

Once your accommodation is sorted why not start your Staycation (weather permitting) by having a picnic on Table Mountain, the New 7th Wonder of Nature. And if you haven’t heard The Cableway gives one free adult return ticket to South Africans, who are over the age of 18 and have a valid South African ID, on the day of their birthday.

Often we have tourists flock to our City to visit heritage sites we never give a second thought too. Have you visited the Iziko Slave Lodge  or taken a boat trip to Robben Island recently .What about  a hike at  Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens or a Summer Sunset Concert. Ever walked the streets of Bo Kaap and immersed yourself in the history, culture and maybe a cooking lesson or visited the Bo-Kaap Museum. For a more comprehensive list of heritage sites click here.

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Bo Kaap

 

3.Hop On Hop Off City Sightseeing Bus
If you did too much walking visiting Heritage sites the day before a great way to see the city without that much physical exertion is the Hop on Hop off bus. The red double-decker is a great way to discover the city and surrounds. It’s a safe cost-effective way to explore the city and it runs 365 days a year.

4.Steenberg Golf Estate
Why not visit a Golf club?! Of all the golf clubs I have been too in my city, Steenberg Golf Estate is undoubtedly the most visually spectacular I have ever laid eyes on . If playing a round of golf is not your cup of tee then a visit to Steenberg Spa is a must. Because no holiday is complete without some indulgence.

Steenberg-Golf-Club

5. Township Tours
Another great way to explore the city is to take a Township tour.From interacting with residents, to cycling tours, cooking classes, authentic  coffee shops and history lessons. There is no greater or safer way to experience Ekasi than by hiring an accredited local guide.

Ballet In The Poor Townships of South Africa
Noluyanda Mqutwana

6. The Test Kitchen
A great holiday and a great meal always go hand in hand. The Test Kitchen was voted number 28 in the Worlds 50 Best restaurants, there is no denying that chef Luke Dale- Roberts more than deserves this accolade. From smoked trout to springbok and traditional South African cheeses you can either pair wine or tea with these mouth-watering works of art.

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7.The big 5
This is a bit further than the city but worth the drive.I visited Inverdoorn in the heat of summer and on arrival we were greeted with refreshing towels to wipe away the two-hour drive. Situated in Ceres, Inverdoorn Game Reserve and Iziba Safari Lodge is the largest private wildlife reserve in the area, providing sanctuary to an abundance of wildlife. After our 3 or four-hour safari we eventually sat down to a private lunch. This is bucket list worthy.

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8.First Thursdays
If your staycation happens to fall over the first Thursday of the month you have to participate in First Thursdays. This initiative invites you to explore art galleries and cultural attractions in the City on foot. Better than that its free.This event has grown into one of the city’s foremost cultural experiences, attracting thousands of people every month.

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9. Markets
If there’s one thing I love about this city its the variety of markets. An all in one experience from entertainment to smoothies, decadent desserts and organic food to mention but a few. To get a list of the best markets in town click here.

10. Want More?
If you still have some time and money you might want to go for High Tea at Mount Nelson or a cocktail at the Leopard Bar at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa. In season you can go strawberry picking at Polkadraai Farm. And if you are adventurous why not pedal through the vineyards with a Bike and Wine tour.

Thank you for reading and happy staycationing xxxx

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Love Local!

A few years ago I started a networking event called ‘Women Supporting Women in Business’. It is with this theme in mind that I want to introduce a Women Supporting Women in Business segment to the blog. I started this initiative as a way of connecting women within a network, empowering women and most importantly supporting women run and owned businesses. I encourage supporting local, because its simple, buying local not only promotes job creation, it stimulates our economy.It is my hope that we all move towards a culture of buying & supporting local.

While browsing and looking for local I came across Isabel De Villiers. Isabel invited me to her studio where I had an opportunity to fit and feel her garments. The prints and sheer comfort of her wrap dress had me in heaven! I love the clean lines and simplicity of her garments which fits you like a second skin. Limited amounts of each style are produced to ensure exclusivity and quality of each garment.

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Autumn/Winter 2016 Dark Secrets and White Lies

Launched in 2012 the Isabel De Villiers label had a vision to design for women of all shapes and sizes. With her sizing ranging from 32 to 48, no longer does plus sized shopping need to be an exercise of frustration.

As Isabel says ‘I am very proud to be part of the Plus Size activists of South Africa. There is a lot of negative talk about the word ‘plus size’. Your size is not a reflection of who you are. The word should not be taken seriously. Curvy sizes/Plus sizes: celebrate your body, don’t put it in a box with a label on it. Rather focus on celebrating all the strong, confident, independent women around you. We have some amazing plus size women paving the way: Meg from Mind the Curves, Lala from Plus size is me, Candice from a Gorgeous Life, just to name a few.’ I couldn’t agree more, break the label and you free the femme divine.

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Mesh Insert Jumpsuit

I asked Isabel to share her top five wardrobe must have’s with us:

1. Underwear: Every great look starts with amazing, supportive underwear.
2. The Wrap Dress: The only dress that flatters any shape & size. Young & Old, Printed /Plain. You can’t go wrong with a wrap dress.
3. A Pencil skirt: To shape and accentuate your body
4. A Shirt Dress: Dressed up or down, it’s a winner
5. Jumpsuit: Effortless dressing at its best.

Thank you for reading and for loving local!

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Cape Dress

 

Not all superheroes wear capes!

My mom was my best friend clichéd as it might sound. We fought like cat and dog. Yet she was the only one I called when I decided to quit my job,  when I wanted to travel, or when I needed help deciding whether I should venture out on my own.Because if I had her approval I knew I was on the right track. She loved me unconditionally. She taught me how to be an independent woman. I shared her love for bags and shoes and she shared mine for spending money.

As a child I always had friends popping by and she always had snacks ready when they did. She was loud mouthed *which always embarrassed  me* and she laughed fiercely. When she passed away my life literally fell apart. Things I used to enjoy like birthdays, beach day’s , shoe shopping and a gazillion other things which used to give me such pleasure , felt meaningless. Most days I felt empty inside. I honestly thought she would live forever and I was shocked when she didn’t.

The months following her passing, I spent my days de-cluttering the house , reading the five stages of grief, popping copious amounts of tissue salts and having the most supportive partner in the world stop life just for me.

I don’t visit her grave because I don’t believe she is there.I imagine her soul to be where rivers of milk run freely and date palms grow abundantly this is based on stories she used to tell me. Shaded by a tree she watches over me. On the anniversary of her death I  visit the The Haven night shelter in my area. Because the biggest lesson I learnt from my mom was to do for others because it creates good luck in your own life.  But it’s not even about that. I visit the Haven so that my mom knows I haven’t forgotten, it might be a drop in the ocean but it makes me feel like things are okay.

I have learnt that grief has no time line  and that’s okay too. Because maybe I’m supposed to be reminded how it feels to lose the most important person I have ever loved.Because after that no matter what life throws at me I know I will be okay.

Sometimes when I’m out and about, I make a mental note and other times I say it out loud, “I can’t wait to tell mom….” The mind tricks you. Or maybe it’s just life reminding me that even though I cant see her she is all around me and always will be. I have finally realized that a mother’s love is eternal and transcends this earthy plane. Her teachings and who she was echoes in everything she has left behind.

Before posting this I came across ‘A letter to the motherless on Mother’s Day.’Where the author, Jenna Rose sums up what I wanted to say in words I couldn’t find.

‘Happy Mothers day to all motherless children. Today is your day too. Celebrate her,start a new tradition, live life to the fullest, and most importantly remember that even through the darkest of days,life still goes on.”

 

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SuperMom

 

 

 

To thine own self be true

On Sunday while browsing blogs I came across a post which talks about Dove and the self esteem project. Their vision is of a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. This project launched in 2004 allows them to work with leading experts offering a program to develop and increase body confidence and self-esteem in young people.

This got me thinking about my confidence and where it comes from and the fact that not many are as fortunate. Self assurance and confidence is not something I was born with. Growing up I was lucky enough to be surrounded and exposed to women of strength . My mom cultivated messages of self love through self care and fashion. Another person of influence was Dr Eve, a pioneer in sexual health and rights education. As a teenager I listened to her on radio religiously and she changed the type of conversations I was having with myself. The universe placed her on my path much later in life and I had an opportunity to work with her on a range of events hosted to fund cancer research and patient services. And when she authored ‘Pillow book’ I finally had the permission I sought to live a life of sensuality.

These experiences have helped me become self assured and taught me how to love myself. This does not mean that I do not have days where I struggle. Some days I don’t even like myself let alone love myself. But to help me in times of self doubt, I turn to my network of go to women who are like minded. Women who build me up. Women who can celebrate my successes and me theirs. These women are powerful, they make no excuses and hold their own.

To help get you started on your own self esteem project I have created a board on Pinterest and below you can watch the Dove Change One Thing | How our girls see themselves video for the self esteem project. As they say change starts with you !