Thursday, June 30, 2011

{ dining out - pomegranate restaurant }

Group dinner dates are always a good way to spend an evening with friends. I’ve been really lucky to meet a great group of people in Oudtshoorn who, amoung other things, enjoy doing just this and in Oudtshoorn we really are spoilt for choice. However, perhaps this choice is a little daunting as we tend to frequent a little Italian place, Bello Cibo, quite often.

So in a break from tradition we visited the Pomegranate Restaurant located at the Boudlers Spa, just off Baron van Reede Street, on you way out of town toward the Cango Caves. Boulders Spa is the oldest spa in Oudtshoorn and offers a range of treatments and packages aimed at the more discerning tourist. Pomegranate Restaurant has lovely understated decor, with a warm inviting colour palette and a fireplace for those cold winter nights. While the food was not fantastic, considering the slightly higher price range, it was tasty and rather filling despite the seemingly small portions. I’d recommend for mains, the orange and white wine infused ostrich steak, and for dessert the coffee chocolate mousse, or a glass of De Krans port if you need something sweet to finish things off.

All in all a good night out with friends - After a few bottles of wine and the plummeting temperatures, the jacuzzi was looking rather inviting - luckily they’d just chlorinated it, or knows what might have happened ;)

Images: Boulders Spa

Thursday, June 23, 2011

{ diy crockery: cake on stands }

There is nothing like starting creative hobbies to meet people and make friends in small towns! Everyone does something to keep in shape, be creative, or socialise (primarily the latter) - from belly dancing, to horse riding and yoga, Oudtshoorn has something for everyone :)

So... I recently started taking pottery classes! The lovely rustic studio is located on the highest point of our teacher's small holding on the edge of Oudtshoorn, just off Langenhoven Road. I’m slowly getting back into things after not working with clay in almost five years! Long time. But I’m looking forward to getting my first completed pieces at class tonight – hope nothing has exploded! Hold thumbs. 

Until then, I’m planning my next project: a homeware series - practical and crafty for when I eventually move into my own space. This choice has definitely been influenced by my super cool high school ceramic teacher, Wendy McLachlan, who now makes and sells amazingly creative ceramic "homeware" full time - no more teaching naughty school girls! Be sure to check out her homebakes range, available on Anthropologie!

First item on the list is... a cake stand! I'm loving # three, planning on giving it a bash - Trial and error posts to follow :) 

Images: one, two, three

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

{ 100 day challenge }

Women’s Health, in my opinion the most interesting of the local women's fitness mags, launched  their 100 Day Fitness Challenge a little while ago. Despite missing the bus re: the collective call to arms, I have been keeping this in mind. Just try taking the dog for a walk every day, or walking to the shops instead of driving - it's a great way to explore your city and get another perspective on your neighbourhood! You’ll be surprised that despite work, friends and creative hobbies, you can find time for something active EVERY DAY. It’s not necessarily only about fitness, because even if you do something small, you'll still feel a sense of achievement - and it'll help you to get outdoors and stick to your fitness plan even on your off days. 

Follow the movement on Twitter - add the hashtag #100daychallenge.

Surprise yourself! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

{ la evolución silenciosa }

The Silent Evolution: 400 statues, 9m under the sea,  off the coast of Cancun/Isla Mujeres, Mexico. 

The work of Jason de Caires Taylor is awe inspiring! I read about this underwater marvel when it was installed late last year and can't get enough of it's genius and artistry. The philosophy behind this massive installation is layered, but one central idea is, by providing a 'man-made' alternative coral reef, to decrease the pressure placed on the natural reef systems by the thousands of tourists who visit the area. 

The installation is located in the in the National Marine Park of Cancúnand is the first project of a new underwater museum called, MUSA, or Museo Subacuatio de Arte. The artist, Mexico-based British sculptor, Jason de Caires Taylor, used body casts of local residents to create the figures - talk about 'embodied symbolism'. 

See the before and after images below. One day the statues will be so completely covered in coral they'll be totally unrecognisable...

{ winter solstice }

I had a very fitting start to my Winter Solstice, which I have to share. What should end in a 'Midwinter's Dream' of cuddling by the fire with a book, while sipping hot chocolate, almost didn't begin at all... 

This morning I ran out of the house to find my cute city car covered in FROST! I come from Cape Town, South Africa, I've NEVER had to deal with frost. I couldn't see through the windows at all, and my car wasn't heating up fast enough for the frost to melt. There was literally a layer of ICE on the windscreens. So I drove to work with my head stuck out of the drivers window - felt like I was in an episode of Mr Bean - where's Teddy? :) 

When I finally reached the office, a colleague noted how his windscreen wipers broke because the mechanics had frozen over night! (So grateful this did not happen to me!) How's that for a happy Midwinter? Of course I was a little late for work and too rushed to even think of taking a photo, but I've been assured that the Oudtshoorn mountain-top snow is well on it's way - along with a host of photo opportunities! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

{ amazing }

Found this cool print around about the blogs a while ago. And you know, she's right. I've been increasingly concerned about my future of late. But somehow I'm really feeling the optimism today - not bad for a Monday :)