Tag Archives: food

My Top 5 Food Experiences in Rome

2 Oct

I had heard good things about the food in Rome. Amazing things, in fact, and I was excited. We did Rome with two friends and this is a list of my favourite food experiences:

5. Pane, Vino & San Daniele. San Daniele is a famous type of ham from the region of San Daniele in Italy. It’s sort of like a prosciutto, with a strong, delicious flavor. So we went to Pane, Vino & San Daniele to have some of this. We ordered a bottle of red wine, two huge plates of San Daniele, and two plates of fior di latte [which, did you know, means “tears of milk”]. Trust me, it’s all you need. Simple, high-quality food is the epitome of Italian cuisine so this was such a treat.

Via della Panetteria 42.

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4. Baguetteria del Fico. Near the well-known Piazza del Fico [fico means fig], this place is super charming and quaint. The interior is small and can probably seat about 6 people, but outside, next to an old car, there are a few wooden stools which we always used. You have to pick up your stuff and move out of the way if a car comes past, but it’s all part of the charm. The make sandwiches [as the name suggests] and you can choose from a variety of breads. Most options of 4-5 euros, and with combinations like prosciutto, mozzarella, and truffle paste, it’ll be some of the best sandwich money you’ve ever spent! Pistachio paste is another delicious spread, and I can highly recommend the pata negra, which is essentially a grilled Panini with thin slices of lard and balsamic vinegar. If you like Weiss beer, try a bottle of Mikkeller Belgian Tripel. Ideal for a long, lazy lunch.

Via della Fossa 12.

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3. Carlo Menta is proper local. We were the only people in the entire restaurant who were not speaking Italian, and that’s always a good sign! The place is packed, I mean almost shoulder-to-shoulder dining, and there are three things not to expect here: Space; quiet; and fanciness. It’s a bustling little restaurant with honest-to-goodness, well-priced, delicious Italian food.. Marguerita pizzas are 3 euro, and you should know that a plain, good ol’ Marguerita pizza is pretty the best thing to have in Rome if it’s quality. But the best dish on their menu has got to be the Gnocchi di Carlo Menta: Perfect gnocchi with a tomato-base sauce, mussels, and baby clams. Incredible flavours, well-priced, and the cause of much order envy.

Via della Lungaretta 101.

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2. Ginger was our “fancy lunch” for the trip. It was a hot, perfect summer’s day and we sat outside under the umbrellas, watching the stylish Romans go about their usual day. The interior is chic and simple but truly beautiful, and the menu is extensive: Everything from daily dishes depending on the available fresh produce to healthier options like juices and smoothies, Italian food like interesting pasta dishes and meat and cheese platters, gourmet salads – the list goes on. We had some champagne to celebrate my successful Jimmy Choo and Tiffany haul, and each enjoyed a pasta dish. The food is fresh, the décor is gorgeous, and all ‘round I think if I could have lunch at Ginger every day I would. Dishes cost less if you opt for take-away.

Via Borgognona 43/44.

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1. Da Francesco. The place where all four of us had the best meal we’ve ever had. No, really. The best meal ever, in four people’s lives with a combined age of 100. Neighbour to Bar del Fico [we’re back at this piazza], you’d be forgiven for not noticing Da Francesco. Some of the reasons you should go there are that it’s central, well-priced, the staff are delightful, and it’s a lovely spot to sit outside for lunch. The main reason to go there: Truffle and buffalo mozzarella pizza. Need I say more? I don’t think so. It was incredible. It was mind-blowingly delicious, and I pine for it daily. Truth be told I don’t have the words to explain how good this  pizza was, so go there and experience it for yourself. And bring me a slice, will you?

Piazza del Fico, 29.

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How To Visit A French Bakery

16 Aug

See you in three weeks, Paris!

25 Things I Learnt In Almost 25 Years of Living

5 Aug
  1. Quality trumps quantity.
  2. Clutter is not good for you. Whether it’s physical clutter in your home, or people you don’t need in your life, a regular spring clean is great for your soul.
  3. Good skin and good eyebrows are NB. Get these two right and you’ll solve many a make-up woe, and you won’t have to wear nearly as much of it.
  4. “Skinny arms are everything.” -Natalie Roos
  5. There’s no substitute for hard work. You can have all the best ideas, and all the talent, but without hard work people are going to overtake you at some point. Learn not to rely on your natural gifts as much, because it can make you lazy.
  6. There are only two things that cost money that make you richer: books and travel.
  7. Speak up, always. Even if it’s your boss, your new lover’s parent, or someone famous or important, I feel it’s important to speak up. I don’t mean insult their ugly shoes or tell them their face sucks. But if someone is being a racist, sexist, bigot, or general douchebag, speak up. Maybe, just maybe, you will plant a seed and that person will start to rethink their attitudes.
  8. The fear and anticipation of pain is often far worse than the pain itself.
  9. Animals are therapy.
  10. You need to rid yourself of the people you don’t need in life. I’m not saying treat people as though they are disposable razors. But sometimes we hold on to people because we’ve known them for too long, or they’re linked to someone else in our life, etc. And we forgive them over and over and over for the things they do that hurt us, anger us, or break us down. It’s not an easy decision to make, but there are times where you need to decide that enough is enough, and cut those people out of your life.
  11. Not everyone has amazing close-knit families who share everything, or a place they’ve always called home. And that’s okay! Because if someday you start your own family, or find where you belong, nothing will beat that feeling. And if you don’t? Well, that’s okay, too, because not everyone needs to have the same stuff.
  12. If you have something important or difficult to say, say it first thing in the morning.
  13. Things happen for a reason. You might have no idea what that reason is in the moment, but eventually it will become clear.
  14. There’s no better feeling than being healthy and happy.
  15. Peplums are not for everyone.
  16. Comparison will make you miserable. Especially in the  age of social media and the internet, you are constantly surrounded by pictures of strangers’ perfect lives. Firstly, people only put the good stuff online. Secondly, for every spoilt brat who had more Louis Vuitton bags than you, there are millions of people who wish they could have the basic stuff you have. Stop comparing yourself to other people, make a list of the things for which you are grateful every day, take control of the things that you don’t like about your life [or make peace with them if they can’t be changed] and be the best, happiest you you can be.
  17. Keep a journal. Even if it’s only to laugh at yourself, or see how far you’ve come.
  18. You don’t need to live by a bucket list. We are often made aware of the amazing things people want to do before they die, and I think we start to believe we haven’t lived unless we’ve been to space and flipping cured cancer. Personally, I don’t want to bungee jump, make an art film, own a vegan lodge in Bhutan, or fly a fighter jet. Not that there aren’t things I want to do in my life. All I’m saying is you don’t have to live by some insane bucket list of things the world has given you the idea you “should” do. Maybe your bucket list is 100 movies you want to watch. At home, on your couch. You watch those movies! And don’t feel like that was a life any less lived than that dude your friend knows who got his foot bitten off by a shark.
  19. Quotes are rubbish. The people in my social media feeds who post inspirational quotes about spirituality and all that deep stuff are some of the people who are least at peace with themselves. Pretty words from Oprah or Chopra are not the key to a fulfilled life. Make your own quotes.
  20. There are only two things in life that are perfect: Mathematics; and classical music.
  21. The best time to take risks and chase that dream of yours is right now. Even if it’s just taking the teensy little first step, our of a billion, stop not doing the thing!
  22. There’s a lot to be said for small pleasures. A perfect cup of tea, a good laugh, a warm bed: The happiness they bring about may be short-lived, but it’s very satisfying. And sometimes it’s enough to turn a bad day into a kind-of-okay one.
  23. Look after your skin. Hair is whatever: You could pretty much singe it off with bleach, and it’ll grow back. Skin won’t. Invest in quality skincare from a young age, and wear SPF. You absolutely will not regret this when you’re older.
  24. Surround yourself with inspiring people. It’s all good having people be complimentary about your achievements, but you need to also have those super people who make you give yourself a kick in the butt. Don’t get comfortable.
  25. Everything is temporary. I’m only 24, so I’m aware that I don’t know much. But so far, almost 25 years into being alive, I can confidently say that nothing is permanent. Broken hearts heal, and the big disappointment you think you’ll never get over fades into the background, sometimes making way for better things. Do take your time to feel all the feels, but remember that whatever you’re going through won’t last forever.

25 Random Facts About Me, Before I Turn 25

2 Aug
  1. As a kid, I had a fear of pineapples.
  2. My pinky toe on my left foot grows skew, kind of over the other toe, and when I was little they wanted to amputate it because a doctor said it would hurt me. I said no [OBVIOUSLY! It’s my toe, you sickos!] and so far I’m still alive. Phew!
  3. When I was about two and a half, and then when I was three, I had two really bad drowning experiences. The first was in the pool- I was wearing one of those Bentley belts things [is that what they’re called?]. My sister went inside and as Murphy would have it, I tipped over. The Bentley Belt prevented me from being able to right myself, so I just had to kind of drown until my sister got back [she saved me]. The second time was when this freakishly huge freak wave took me in when I was playing in the teensy little baby waves. A teenage boy tried to save me, but got taken in as well. Eventually his dad and a lifeguard saved us. Obviously this was all fairly traumatising and while I can swim, it’s not exactly anything I’ve pursued further than splashing around to cool down during poolside cocktail hour. Stupid water.
  4. My favourite flowers are tulips. Peonies are a close second.
  5. I’m a maths freak. Not in any useful way, but I can multiply big [ish] numbers in my head. I found this out when I was 11 and I am almost always doing sums in my head.
  6. I learnt to ride a bike on Christmas Day… of 2012.
  7. As a kid, I stuttered really badly. I also couldn’t really cope with people so I had to be taken out of pre-primary school for six months. If you met me now, you’d never guess. What a dud kid I was! Jokes. I was adorable and perfect.
  8. I speak five languages. English, Afrikaans, French, Mandarin, and German.
  9. I did horse riding for thirteen years. I even made the provincial team for show jumping, showing, and equitation on a tiny little thing whose owners wanted to shoot him because he threw their daughter. I miss horse riding every single day of my life, so if you’re in Cape Town and need help with your horses, call me. I will love you forever.
  10. My family and close friends call me Lili [pronounced Lee Lee], which I love. My English teacher in grade five once told me Lize is a fat girl’s name. Humph.
  11. One of the absolute highlights of my life [thus far] was seeing Goya’s black paintings when I was 16 at the Prado Museum in Madrid. I can’t explain it, I was just so moved and overcome with emotion. I will never forget that. We saw an exhibition of his sketches in Prague last year on honeymoon which was also cool, although nothing like the black paintings.
  12. The coolest job I ever had [so far] was being a rugby presenter on TV.
  13. I’m an entrepreneur! I own a CC, and so far it hasn’t made us millions but it’s early days and I’m  confident it will be a success. I’ve also gotten funding for a second business idea I recently pitched and next week, on my birthday, I’m pitching this to the woman who I hope will be my partner. Hold thumbs!
  14. My  favourite songs are Hallelujah [by Jeff Buckley], High and Dry [by Radiohead], and Milk [by Kings of Leon].
  15. I am utterly and completely, absolutely obsessed with Paris. I dream of living there someday with SC and Eponine, and I cannot wait to be there next month.
  16. I have a fear of moths, and I hate birds [except owls].
  17. I am always craving salt and vinegar crisps. Like, at any given moment, if you asked me, I would be in the mood to have salt and vinegar crisps. Even if I have just eaten twenty kilograms of food, or am dying of food poisoning, I will have them. Macarons and champagne are a close second, though far classier.
  18. I can’t do a cartwheel or whistle.
  19. I’m one of five kids: A sister eleven years older than I am, a brother eight years older than I am, and two baby half sisters who are four and five.
  20. My hair has been super long, super short, shaved off, pitch black, snow white, silver, and pink.
  21. I have a tattoo on my left side of Jimi Hendrix lyrics, in his handwriting.
  22. I’ve never broken a bone, and besides for being born I’ve never gone to hospital. Up until recently I’d never had stitches, but then I had a mole removed from my face and got two stitches. IN MY FACE. Hard core.
  23. Up until the age of about fifteen I was going to be a vet. I even used to shadow my horse riding instructor’s father, who was a vet, and I’ve put stitches in a sheep, vaccinated sheep and cows, done blood slides, slaughtered a sheep [after which I took it apart to study all its insides], and did an artificial insemination. Yup, I made a baby cow when I was fifteen.
  24. I always had this theory that I was adopted. Sometimes I still do. See, EVERYONE in my family has dark hair and dark brown eyes. Extended, too. Secondly, my mum was adopted, so she would possibly want to adopt a child too, right? Also, everyone except me got a second name. And while there are pictures of my mum and my siblings in hospital, there are none of me. Not even one! I only come onto the scene at age one or two. Suspicious? Absolutely. And till this day, no one has been able to show me my birth certificate. It’s always missing, or with the other parent. *scratches chin*
  25. I actually do believe that Unicorns exist. For real.

A Weekend In Franskraal

7 Mar

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photo 4This past weekend we drove out to Franskraal, a coastal town just past Stanford on the East Coast. Now that we’re married we are eager to have tons of “weekends away”, and the Western Cape is so ideal for that. Just a few hours’ drive takes you to beautiful coastal towns, the winelands, mountains, and more!

We drove up after work on Friday which was a good move as it made the weekend seem so much longer! Plus the drive was beautiful and we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the mountains, lighting up the beautiful Elgin valley, and finally setting the ocean on fire as we got to Hermanus.

On Friday night we drank and braaied to celebrate Stef’s birthday [the whole reason for the weekend away]. We all chipped in to buy him Settlers of Catan and an extension pack that allows up to six people to play.

On Saturday morning after a big breakfast we went to the beach. SC and I went for a jog and then walked back in the waves. I’m pretty sensitive to cold but the water was a perfect temperature and I have decided the East coast is where it’s at; I just can’t face the arctic waters of the west coast! After some reading time on the beach [still on Les Miserables, should finish in the next decade] we went for a swim and then finally headed home where we had a late lunch with some bubbly. We then went to Birkinhead Brewery in Stanford which has the most incredible mountain views and delicious beer. We watched the rugby which was not as exciting as the drinking game we invented: Take a sip every time the angry Afrikaner at the end of the bar drops an f-bomb. After that we played Settlers of Catan which I was sure I would hate but completely loved. At 2am, Chris won.

Sunday morning was another big breakfast and then SC and I went for soft serve. I’m not much of a sweet tooth but man oh man, give me soft serve on the beach and I am one happy girl! It has to be the strawberry and vanilla kind, or if it’s plain vanilla it needs to be dipped in caramel. Obviously.

After that we went horseriding on the beach. On Saturday we saw horses on the beach and jogged until we caught up with them to ask for a number. It was just Simon and I on the ride and he was a bit nervous because he hasn’t ridden much and the last time I took him riding he was put on a fairly grumpy horse. Simon got a palomino gelding Goldy, and I was put on a feisty little skewbald called Harry. He was a handful, but such fun to ride! Simon went from being nervous to even be on a horse, and having never done more than ten steps of trotting, to galloping on the beach! I was so chuffed and I definitely plan to do this again, soon. Having done horse riding for 13 years of my life, I miss it every single day.

After a really stunning ride, made better by the fact that we were the only two, along with the guide, we drove to Hermanus en route home. We stopped there for a walk around. It really is a beautiful town and was pleasantly quiet. We went to Hemingway’s which is contending with Book Lounge to be my favourite book shop in South Africa. I got a better copy of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin [ours is falling apart] as well as the complete works of Shakespeare because buying them individually is a mission and takes up too much space in our little flat.

After a lunch of gin and tonics and  fish and chips with a view, we drove back to Cape Town, enjoying another beautiful afternoon of sunshine.

It’s energising escaping the city, even if only for two days. I plan on doing more of this in future!

A Lovely Picnic Wedding

10 Dec

Last weekend we went to a morning wedding in Constantia, and I just loved how laid-back everything was! It wasn’t formal at all, but still tastefully done and an enjoyable day. Kids were welcome, and after the speeches people who weren’t enjoying the ice-cream stand were playing a spot of crocket or French cricket on the lawns at Little Stream Estate. It was a perfect summer’s day, and the bride’s father’s speech may have made me a little sniffy.

Congrats, Mr and Mrs Heslop!

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There was no seating plan- you simple grabbed a chair/bench/blanket under the trees.

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The food laid out on a help-yourself table, meaning we could go back for seconds [twice].

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Home-made lemonade!

photo 2-2And the dessert options were endless.

photo 3-1Cupcakes for the road.

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We have a tree!

4 Dec

I was never very Christmasy. Being Afrikaans and living in a small town we didn’t do the traditional gammon with cranberry whatsit and eggnog and all that. Plus, most Christmases for me involved huge family fights while I sat near the tree, grumpy that a silly spat was delaying present opening.

Two years ago I decided that I would bring on the Christmas cheer hard. Think choc mint cupcakes with candy canes and chocolate stars, illustrating personalised cards for everyone, beautiful wrapping, the works. I saved Christmas! [Well, in my own head]. 

This year I am exceptionally excited to make our flat Christmasy! We are now married, we live together, and we get to do Christmasy things as each other’s family! Hoorah!

And so we got our first tree! I wanted a real one, and not chopped down because then it would die and I would be sad and so would the earth. This one might not be the perfect cone shape, but it’s a pine tree and I think it looks lovely and we open our door everything smells like pine trees. We got this cool crumpled ceramic planter from o.live in Woodstock, and I happened upon the star-shaped lights while shopping at the V&A Waterfront this weekend.

When we switched on the lights, I literally clapped my hands and jumped up and down. Now to wrap presents and get them under that tree!

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