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KwaZulu Natal

The province of KwaZulu Natal is home to a multitude of attractions, with something to suit every taste, budget and relaxation requirement. Having formerly been an independent homeland, the kingdom of the Zulu, the province is touched by this great nations culture. But with many immigrants, this has become a vibrant and cosmopolitan destination, with different cultural experiences on offer … MORE \ Discover KwaZulu Natal \ or to find a place to stay in this Province, visit KwaZulu Natal Accommodation or KwaZulu Natal Hotels on SA-Venues.com. (Popular regions include Durban, Unhlanga and the Drakensberg).

Monday, 30 June 2014

La Piazza – Ooh La La

My husband and I went out for dinner on Friday at a restaurant we found almost by accident. My first choice was for Thai but on arrival at the restaurant in Umhlali, it appeared that it has closed its doors for business (either that or they only operate during lunch hours), our second choice was for Chinese but the restaurant was lacking a lot of ambiance and so we settled on pizza and pasta at La Piazza.

Clearly the good people of Ballito know more than we do … we hadn’t made a reservation and were lucky to get a table. Continued

Friday, 27 June 2014

A Visit to Harold Johnson Nature Reserve

When you live on a farm, like we do, and the closest Ster Kinekor is an hour’s drive and two toll gates away, it is sometimes necessary to make your own entertainment.

We did this a few Sunday’s ago when I suggested breakfast at the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve. The Skottel and breakfast supplies (including a tin of condensed milk …necessary for any game reserve cup of coffee) were loaded into the double cab and off we went. Continued

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Burnedale Farmers Market

We tried out the fantastic Burnedale Farmers Market over this past weekend. Having only started in mid-May, this market is going from strength to strength with the 25 stalls offering a wide range of products. I was particularly impressed with the purposefully built covered market area; stall holders and market goers will be dry on a rainy day but the light and airy space is perfect for the mostly sunny days the Dolphin Coast provides! Continued

Thursday, 1 May 2014

De’Ma Restaurant in Umhlanga

Tucked away in a corner on the 2nd floor of the Gateway Theatre of Shopping is a brightly decorated little restaurant in Umhlanga called De’Ma. It had been recommended to friends of ours who were on holiday in Umhlanga from Cape Town and we joined them there last week for dinner.

To be honest I was not bowled over by the service; when my husband and I arrived at approximately 18h30 we were the only customers in the restaurant and we still had to signal for the waiter’s attention in order to get ourselves a beverage! The food however, was delicious and once we’d got over the shock of being asked to pay R75 corkage (this was dropped to R35 after a call to the restaurant’s owner) we got stuck in and really enjoyed our meals. Continued

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Press Club in Umhlanga Centre

As a youngster, my parents would often treat my brother and I to a toasted sandwich and a milkshake at The Press Club on our monthly jaunts into Durban from our home in Zululand. Located in the centre of town, I thought it was the coolest place ever; with its newsprint wallpaper I entertained romantic notions of becoming a journalist and memories of this little coffee shop have remained with me since the mid ‘80’s. Continued

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Best 4 craft beer producers in KwaZulu-Natal

Craft beer – the kind brewed using artisan methods, no chemicals or artificial additives, usually in microbreweries with savvy names like Three Skulls, Triggerfish, or Porcupine Quill – is now firmly favoured by foodies around the country. Craft beer is beer that is not brewed by any of the mega-brewery guys – the SABs of this world. Usually the brewers are small, independent and traditional. The result is: good beer.

The craft beer industry in South Africa is at once small, yet growing. Small, because everyone in the industry knows everyone else – in some cases brewers are even friends. Growing because in 2013 alone around 20 breweries opened, according to the Craft Beer Project. Continued

Friday, 24 January 2014

Visit the Up.market in Umhlanga

A new market has recently opened in Umhlanga and being a market fundi, I organized to meet friends there on Sunday to see what it was all about.

Up.market in Umhlanga takes place every Sunday from 09h00 to 14h00 in the covered parking area of the Umhlanga Centre. Being under cover is ideal, shelter from the intense heat during the summer months (the thermometer peaked at 40˚ this Sunday so shade was a necessity) and of course, shelter should the heavens decide to open… Continued

Monday, 13 January 2014

When the sun doesn’t shine in Durban

When we arrived in Durban from the sunny Drakensberg, we expected warm, humid weather.  We checked into Durban Backpackers right on the promenade opposite the beach and relaxed after driving for a few hours.

Out on the beach the wild waves and grey skies indicated that this rain was going to continue for the next while and we wondered what we were going to do in Durban in this miserable weather.  One thing was for sure, we needed to taste a bunny chow and get into the water… Continued

Wednesday, 8 January 2014
Choosing the perfect hotel

Where best to stay in Durban – our guide to choosing hotels in Durban

Durban – the country’s third largest city – is known for its 100 kilometres of beach, all-year-round warm weather, and thanks largely to the colonial British Indian indentured labour system, more people of Indian descent than anywhere else in the country. With attractions like uShaka Marine World, upmarket curry and seafood cuisine, a gammet of new and stylish hangouts in Florida and Helen Joseph Roads, trendy neighbourhoods like Glenwood and Morningside, a thriving business sector in Umhlanga and Durban North, and easy access to the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the Drakensberg, Durban is an easy contender for visitors’ attention …

Here is our guide to help you find hotels in Durbandepending on why you’re there … Continued

Monday, 9 December 2013

Enjoy the splendour of La Loggia on Broadwood in Umhlanga

Welcome to the very beautiful La Loggia on Broadwood Guesthouse in the stunning area of Umhlanga. This is an ideal location for holiday makers and business travelers alike, being only minutes away from the lovely beach and near to Umhlanga Ridge Business Centre. There are a number of wonderful attractions and things to do only a short drive from this marvelous guesthouse including the Gateway Theater of Shopping,  dolphin spotting, golf courses and day safari tours to name but a few.

If you don’t feel like venturing out you can relax in the lush tropical gardens by the exquisite sparkling pool and enjoy the sights and sounds of a number of magnificent bird species that flock to this gorgeous garden. La Loggia on Broadwood is the perfect family friendly spot where you can kick back, relax and enjoy a well deserved break. Continued

Friday, 29 November 2013

Bistro 98 at Dunkirk Estate – A Review

I am always eager to try out new places to eat on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu Natal and because Bistro 98 had been recommended to me, we booked a table for dinner on my birthday. Located within the Clubhouse of the gated Dunkirk Estate in Salt Rock, Bistro 98 is open both to the public and to residents of the estate, serving up beautiful food in a chic and stylish setting… Continued

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Sunday Lunch at the Fig Tree Restaurant

I have just got home from a dear friends birthday lunch … when she turned 40 last year she convinced a group of us to go camping at Mt Splendour in the Drakensberg but luckily for us this year the celebration was a bit closer to home and didn’t involve setting up a tent. It was instead a long, leisurely carvery lunch at The Fig Tree restaurant at Simbithi in Ballito.

Part of the Simbithi Country Club located in the Simbithi Eco Estate, the Fig Tree Restaurant takes its name from the majestic fig tree which is situated in the centre of the club house. The restaurant is gorgeous; recently refurbished it is light, airy and the floor to ceiling glass sliding doors affords diners stunning views of the golf course. There is a large wooden deck beneath the fig tree; the perfect spot of al fresco meals! Continued

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

When the Drakensberg stole my heart

Having lived in Cape Town all my life, I couldn’t believe that this was my first visit to the Drakensberg region of South Africa.  Having driven for over eight hours from the Kruger National Park, we found ourselves moving sluggishly along at a designated 40km per hour.  The heat continues to scorch the dry grass on the road side and on the mountains to our right.

It was hot, we were tired and hungry and just wanted to get there.  The mountains in the distance drifted closer to us and the empty farmlands continued to span past us.  Out of what seemed like nowhere, we saw the sign for Amphitheatre Backpackers. Continued

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Tea at Durban Botanic Gardens

At the beginning of November we spent the weekend in Umhlanga and being in the area, I used the opportunity to revisit, after a 20 odd year hiatus, the Durban Botanic Gardens. These gardens hold very fond memories for me; a place where, as a student at the nearby Technikon Natal, I would go to escape the heat and humidity of the summer months. The gardens are absolutely beautiful; manicured lawns, massive trees, paved pathways … the perfect place to relax and escape the city. Continued

Tuesday, 19 November 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Sentinel Peak Hike – Drakensberg

Driving into the Drakensberg just the day before and seeing Southern Africa’s highest escarpment rise up in sheer cliff’s before us was jaw-droppingly beautiful and filled us with a sense of wonder mixed with a tinge of anxiety for we knew that one of the things we came here to achieve was summiting at least one of these impossibly tall peaks… Continued