Last Saturday Norm and I joined our friends Dave, Julie and Darren for lunch at Chef’s Warehouse which is a beautiful restaurant at the Beau Constantia Vineyard. They also have a designated area for wine tasting or just to imbibe in a social setting. We have so many choices of first class restaurants on our doorstep and we realised that within one month we have been privileged enough to hit 3 of the best restaurants in the Western Cape. The venue’s website uses terms like ‘seasonal’, ‘sustainable’ and ‘local’ in regards to the Chef’s Warehouse kitchen’s ethos so that is always an extra point in my book.
Beau Constantia is literally about 10 minutes from our house and the views out across the wine farms dotted throughout Constantia valley are exceptional. It really is a privilege living on the wine route.
The weather was a bit dodgy and at one point it poured with rain. The view from our table meant we could watch the storms and even a brief rainbow that popped up. As always in Cape Town we had the full range of weather in a single day.
There are several menus to choose from at the restaurant. We chose the set menu of 4 courses for R650 per person, where each course has two different options to choose from as shown below. At least one of the group tried each of the dishes offered.
For our 1st dish Norm and I had the Coal Fired Tuna. I chose this as it made me reminiscent of the Balinese Tuna we had recently at Foxcroft. I preferred the Foxcroft version but this was divine. The horseradish emulsion and the sambal gave it a wee kick and the little wedge of crispiness on top gave it a lovely crunch. The tuna was beautifully fresh.
Julie, Darren and Dave all had the market fish. I had a wee taste of the sauce and was not a fan, I was happy with my choice but they all slavered over this. Not literally slavered, as in a drool fest of disgustingness, but verbally, with words of admiration.
I did not particularly fancy either of the dishes offered for the second course but the boys and I finally settled on the pressed venison tartare which was not at all what I expected. Dave only ate about half of his as he did not enjoy it at all. It was incredibly rich and then they poured a rich sauce over it. I think I expected more of a traditional textured chunky tartare but this was really more of a parfait than a tartare. Or maybe that was the chicken liver parfait and I missed the tartare completely? I am a pleb. Anyway, I enjoyed it but it was incredibly rich, however I did not find it too greasy or heavy.
Julie and Norman had the blue cheese mousse and pear flan dish. I do not really like either of those things so it did not even sound slightly appealing to me but it was ever so pretty and artfully arranged. Julie and Norm seemed to like it.
For the third course I chose the risotto. I am not usually a risotto fan as it is often a bit claggy, but my friends assured me that it is always delicious at Chef’s Warehouse so I risked it and was pleasantly surprised. The risotto was just the right amount of al dente and the sauce was rich and creamy.
They topped it with a rich burnt butter sauce and when Julie asked me what it was I answered in such poor French that she thought it was another thing entirely. ‘Beurre Noisette’ pronounced in Southern consists of about 115 syllables. They all took a great deal of piss out of me for that but they all speak fluent French which I forgot. Darren used to get so annoyed when I ordered a ‘cruhsaaaaawnt‘ for breakfast at work (croissant has a silent ‘t’ and does not have 37 syllables according to Darren).
Norm was the only one who ordered the eggplant and potato sandwich. It came with a little dish of sauce which the server said he should dip his ‘sandwich’ into. Norm said he really enjoyed it.
Next Julie and Dave had the hake. How cute is the little quail’s egg?? They enjoyed the hake but they felt that the strong fishy taste of the orange pâté was overwhelming the delicate hake. They shoved the pâté away and seemed to enjoy the rest of the dish.
Norm, Darren and I all had the pork belly. It came with a little herb salad and a gorgeous nutty coconut rice. I loved this dish and it was my favourite of the day. I loved the crispy pork skin, the perfectly cooked pork belly and the coconut rice was well seasoned and full of the rich flavours of cardamom and caramelised onions.
Everyone except Julie had dessert after our 4 courses and we all chose the same one, apparently this is one of their signature dishes and it has remained on the menu since they opened.
I was quite full and would have been happy with a single bite but I was weak. The texture of the wild honey and lavender cream was gorgeous, it was a cross between custard and crème brulée. The lavender was subtle and not overpowering. I am such a fan of honeycomb and that was the star of the dish for me. The ice cream is both flavoured with and sprinkled with cinnamon which I am slightly allergic to but ‘cinnamon’ was not mentioned in the description and how TF was I supposed to know cassia bark is aka ‘Chinese Cinnamon’? It made my nose and lips tingle like mad but at least it did not kill me, it was good but certainly not worth dying for.
I give my food 4.75 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨.
We stayed for coffee and a chat as Julie and Darren leave in 3 weeks for France and who knows if we will ever see them again. They have sold their beach house as well as their main house and have managed to arrange to work for their existing companies in Europe, so at least I will be chatting with Darren at work meetings.
Last Sunday I had a low key lazy day. Norm popped down to let the dogs wee and make us a coffee then he and I had a long lie in bed with all of the dogs.
Eventually we got up when the rain finally stopped as it was such a beautiful day it was too nice to spend it in bed.
Norm frothed about in a cleaning frenzy all day but I avoided him and sat outside watching my birds at the feeders.
The birds which are diving around the feeder in the video are Cape White-Eyes. I also had a pair of Cape Bulbul come to munch at the suet balls. There is the occasional Southern double-collared Sunbird drinking the nectar from the many honeysuckle vines surrounding the pool. I have also had several visits from the pair of mousebirds I mentioned in last week’s post. I love that I am starting to identify the different types of birds. Just sitting and watching them gives me such pleasure.
As a move towards getting myself out there, I’ve just joined the Cape Bird Club. I love birds and I love being out in nature and they do various outings. Maybe I will find some other bird loving geriatric hippy to hang with?
Last Sunday afternoon I smudged my new sheepskins with white sage. I used my beautiful feather smudge wand made by my friend Michelle. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to enquire about her beautiful work. She is very artistic and talented and along with her husband, conducts various ceremonies.
Finn had to ‘assist’ me of course. That meant he had to get smudged as well. He was very curious about it all but he was surprisingly calm.
I prayed over the skin and thanked the sheep for their sacrifice in providing me with their pelts. I asked my ancestors to bless the skins and to remove any energy which does not reflect my journey and to help me to have the right mindset when I am using them in prayer. I asked my ancestors to always answer to me when I am asking for their guidance and to keep me on the path of the red road.
Since I was smudging I decided to smudge the whole house as it is always good to do an energy clearing every so often and I cannot remember the last time I did one. All in all it was a great weekend.
The desk chair I recently ordered arrived on Monday morning from Mr Price Home. This shop is a bit of a down-market version of a posh shop and it was on sale if I bought it online so I am quite chuffed with my deal. My last chair was really comfortable but it was black fabric and was constantly covered in dog hair so it was impossible to keep clean. This new one can be wiped off easily. As my desk is in the middle of the lounge it needs to look more like furniture than an office and this one fits that bill perfectly. It is pleather rather than proper leather but it looks great and it does the job.
I also ordered a new throw for my lounge from one of my favourite shops, Masquerade. I mentioned previously that I had bought new cushions for my lounge to try and tie in my ochre coloured Buddha painting. But at that point we had our lounge rug put away to stop Finn eating it. Now that he is a bit better behaved we have brought it back out as it is nice on the cold tiles in winter. But the mish mash of colours was bugging me, so I am hoping this ties in the greys and yellows with my reds. My lounge is a bit like a colour blind unicorn threw up in it. However, it makes me happy as I love colour and as long as it is not too overwhelming for Norm that is all that matters.
I also ordered some new candle holders from Masquerade for my battery powered candles Mom gave me. I am not sure if they will stay in this spot I just wanted to set them up and look at them when I unwrapped them.
I’ve mentioned my obsessive thinking. Here is an example of a normal every day interaction causing me mental anguish for days. I had a phone call from the delivery company on a Friday afternoon asking if they could bring my new desk chair on Saturday at the time that we were going out for lunch and I told them I would not be home. Then the guy corrected himself and said it was actually Monday that it was being delivered, so then I panicked about whether the guy and his gang of retail delivery hooligans was going to rob us while we were having lunch. That went around and around in my head, no matter how many times I told myself that it was silly. It only calmed down after we got home. It was so bad I asked Norm to drop me at home before he went to get Finn from Mark’s.
I’ve not been sleeping very well lately since the pharmacy is out of Phenergan. The phenergan shortage has triggered a crisis in middle aged women across SA. I’ve always been insomniac and my natural pattern is that once I get to sleep I go into a deep sleep for 4 or 5 hours then PING I am wide awake and there is no dozing off again. Once my brain is engaged I am not sleeping. If it takes me hours to get to sleep then I only sleep until it is light and the birds start to sing and the dogs start to wiggle about.
The other challenge I have been writing about is my isolation and my desire to find more women friends as strange as I am. The messages that keep coming to me are that I need to start with loving and accepting myself. These messages came up as Elder’s Meditations of the Day:
“Oh my great Creator: Help me this day to love myself. I can’t give away anything that I don’t
have myself. If I am to love others, then I must love myself. If I am to forgive others, then I
am to forgive myself. If I am to accept others as they are, then I need to accept myself as I am.
If I am to not judge others, then I need to lighten up on myself. Let me experience this power
“My Creator, today I will be gentle with myself and with others. I will listen to the whisper of
my heart and learn the power of being gentle.”
I am very self-deprecating, that is just my sense of humour but maybe these ‘jokes’ are also subliminal jabs I am making at myself? Would I allow someone else to speak about me the way I speak to myself? That little voice runs constantly in my head. I am going to try and recognise those damaging messages and flip them or counter-balance them. Each time the little voice criticises me, I will find something positive to say about myself.
The clincher was the necklace I ordered from I am Boho arriving with a message so personally relevant to me that it took my breath away.
I may question my sanity, but I never question my bravery. I do feel that I am a Warrior. I have endured more than what most can even imagine and I recently fought to get my health back on track. It took hard work, focus and determination and I must not undervalue those efforts.
I am continuing my spiritual path and I am praying to the 4 directions each morning and trying not to be distracted by anything, but sometimes it is a huge challenge. On Thursday morning I was on the hill praying when a voice called out to me from the gate. It was the builders dropping off some river sand so I had to call Norm to deal with that right between my move from East to North. Then Pixie came outside to investigate and Finn was pestering the hell out of her, pulling her tail and just generally teasing and tormenting her with both of them barking like lunatics. Not very inducing for peace or concentration. But I finished my prayers and apologised to my creator for the distractions. I am sure he understands I am doing my best.
I have engaged with a dog behaviourist for us to learn how to deal with Finn’s teasing of the poms and trying to swallow the cats head first (done out of love). Let’s hope she can help as I am not coping with his naughty behaviour.
Norm has booked our flights to the States for Christmas and NY and we are trying to get a house-sitter so wish me luck. The same class of flight we took last year was twice the cost this year so instead of business class we are going cattle class. However, the government has finally approved a direct flight from Cape Town to Atlanta, so at least it is a single shot there. I will take a sleeping pill and at least I am not going to ooze over the arms of the seat since I am smaller and we do not have to change flights or stop in Johannesburg for people to board. #TryingToBePositiveAboutIt
Load shedding has started again (that means the electricity grid being constrained and then shut down across different areas of the grid). Last night we had no power from 6-8pm. It looks quite romantic but it is actually a pain in the arse.
Today Norm and Mzudumo are building the wall around my succulent garden in our new back garden project. The furniture I ordered for my front garden is due to arrive today. They sent notification via email and I had such a giggle at the customer name. It must have pulled that from my gmail address I use for my brand. Oops.
Later on Caitlin is collecting me as we are going to the jeweler to discuss her wedding ring. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and week ahead. Stay safe.
Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0x0x