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Time For The Hilton Arts Festival
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Time For The Hilton Arts Festival

I am so looking forward to this weekend; we are meandering our way to the village of Hilton and will be attending not one, not two but three productions at the Hilton Arts Festival! Now in its 22nd year, the Festival, which takes place from September 18th to 21st at the very beautiful Hilton College, is the largest theatrical event of its kind in KwaZulu Natal. There are a large number of different events happening over the four days of the festival and they range in genre from drama, comedy, physical theatre, music, cabaret, mindscape, performing arts, children’s theatre, music revival, ch...
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The Marvellous Makaranga Botanical Gardens
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The Marvellous Makaranga Botanical Gardens

I had wanted to go to Makaranga ever since I first saw photos of it on a friend’s FaceBook page and although we made a first attempt earlier this month we didn’t quite make it so were determined to get there this time around. Located in the KwaZulu Natal suburb of Kloof, the main attraction at the 30 acre property (named Makaranga after the wild poplar trees and a Zimbabwean tribe of the same name) are the simply stunning gardens. We took our shoes off and strolled barefoot around the gardens for at least an hour – following the wheelchair friendly paths that wind their way through this...
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Umhlali Coffee Cafe Crawl
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Umhlali Coffee Cafe Crawl

I had the most wonderful morning last Saturday; enjoying a long overdue catchup with a very dear school friend. We had last seen each other at my 40th birthday lunch in November and here we were in July … where had the time gone too? As she lives in Durban North and I live on a farm just outside of Stanger we decided to meet in Umhlali which is pretty much halfway for both of us and would not be the chaos that is Ballito on a Saturday morning! I had heard a bit about a new coffee spot called Wonderland Coffee that had recently opened at the LINC church campus and suggested that we ki...
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The 10 Best Eateries in Durban
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The 10 Best Eateries in Durban

Durban as a 'foodie destination' is a recent concept. The Roma revolving restaurant was about as good as it got. Recently areas like Greyville, Berea and Glenwood have mushroomed into trendy alternatives to the always buzzing Florida Road, and places to nosh have restored the city's lunch and dinner scene. Here are 10 of the Best Eateries in Durban, for a variety of reasons... Freedom Café, Greyville (for the novelty) If fire-engine red shipping containers and ceramic sausage-dog salt and pepper holders sound like fun, then the food is sure to please you too, for this little café is both av...
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La Piazza – Ooh La La
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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. La Piazza is new on the Ballito restaurant scene but judging by...
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A Visit to Harold Johnson Nature Reserve
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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. Harold Johnson (as it’s fondly known to North Coast locals) is a small reserve of only 100 hectares and is to both my husband and I, the place of childhood memo...
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Burnedale Farmers Market
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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! The market aims to bring organic, fresh produce and beautiful homemade goods to the North Coast and we loved what was already on offer. We stopped at the ...
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De’Ma Restaurant in Umhlanga
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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 a...
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The Press Club in Umhlanga Centre
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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. Luckily for me, my journalistic dreams might not be dead and buried as The Press Club is back again; the original owner reopened the restaurant last August! Now located in th...
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Best 4 craft beer producers in KwaZulu-Natal
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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. Gr...
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Visit the Up.market in Umhlanga
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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. The space itself is large, at first I thought it was perhaps a bit too large but I had arrived early and as the mor...
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When the sun doesn’t shine in Durban
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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... On our first night, none of that happened.  The rain kept pouring and we were in no mood to explore.  So we went...
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Enjoy the splendour of La Loggia on Broadwood in Umhlanga
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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 sparkli...
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Bistro 98 at Dunkirk Estate – A Review
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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. The chef at Bistro 98 is internationally trained and it shows in the meals she plates up – simple but elegant and most importantly tasty fare! I started off with one of my favourites; halloumi cheese wrapped in Parma...
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Sunday Lunch at the Fig Tree Restaurant
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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 ref...
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