Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Monday, 15 October 2012

'Week-End' Away for A's 50th

So while we were stomping at RTD, A was back in Cape Town (working as usual) and turning 50! Yeah so it's official Rocking the Daisies comes before anything else on my calendar... Look I did invite him along, but he had more civilized plans with some other friends and stuff. So BITE ME ok!?

Anyhow, so after rushing back - no actually crawling at a snails pace which took 3-freaking-hours because of the queues and traffic - on Sunday afternoon I packed in a whirl and didn't even have a chance to shower or even change...
(So yes I still looked like THIS!)
Before A arrived, with the most divine and decadent chocolate cake which we shared and then the boys and I showered him with gifts of personalised wine, whiskey, photo-books, homemade cookies and bath-salts etc. Then we packed up and zooted off on a surprise 'pseudo week-end' journey to a mystery location.

He had no idea where we were going, but I did tell him it was driving distance and that we could take bicycles... we went to Vindoux in Tulbagh.

Vindoux were amazing. I had originally bought a voucher for a one night stay. But as the planning for this trip evolved I ended up expanding  this to 2 nights and included a spa couple's treatment and turn down service. As it turned out the luxury tree-houses were fully booked on the dates I needed so they very generously and graciously gave us the Luxury Tree Lodge at the same price and wow it was fabulous with the most magnificent view from the deck over fruit trees and the mountains. Idyllic.

 When we arrived we had complimentary sherry, a bottle of wine and cute home-made decorated cookies laid out for us. The bedroom and bathroom were beautifully decorated as part of the 'turn-down' and there was a  bottle of sparkling wine and some divine 'Belgian' chocolates from Moniki Chocolatiers. Seriously decadently delicious!

After we'd settled in we took an evening sun-downer stroll through the vineyards and orchards. Then we got washed up and dressed for dinner and headed into town. Tulbagh is a bit of a sleepy town so it was pretty slim pickings but the hotel restaurant The Olive Terrace was open and it was very nice. A had brought along a bottle of  Mo√ęt . YUM! So my relatively plebeian bottle stayed in the fridge! We had a pleasant dinner with some poignant conversation.

Next morning we were served a delicious and generous breakfast in our lodge. It also arrived with birthday cupcakes for the birthday boy (Thanks Vindoux!). After the hearty breakfast I took myself for a 10km run and then we washed up and went to the spa for a simply blissful 1.5 hour massage. It was amazing. Once we were done with the we got kitted up and decided to go cycling to Waverley Hills organic wine farm. Based on the map this looked like 10-12kms away... well let's just say the map was NOT TO SCALE! We ended up trekking along a busy road, which is a main bypass with major road works, strong winds, and big hills. In the end it was 27 km away! And the steep gravel driveway up to the cellars nearly killed me. As we arrived and stumbled through the door they looked at their watches and indicated they were closing soon. Nooo!

After explaining how we'd trekked and missioned to get there she decided we could do a tasting after all. So we tasted (no, let's be frank DRANK) about 10 wines and ate olives and tapenades and wine jelly and crackers. Bought as much as we could carry and then went on our merry-wobbly way.

The journey back was a lot easier. Probably a combination of the alcohol numbing the pain, a tail wind and more down than up hills... Once back we bathed and dressed and went out for dinner again. This time with the cheaper bubbles. We went to Readers Restaurant which was a strange but charming place. The owner a large friendly lady who is also the chef - and was also entertaining her own guests at a big table and serving them herself and eating with them - has a complete cat obsession. There are cats and all things cat everywhere. The food though is like hearty and love-filled home cooking. It like a special meal you'd make a loved one, rather than routine restaurant food. It  was very yummy. I had a chicken breast stuffed with spinach, feta and dark chocolate! It was a perfect tummy filling meal after our cycling work-out. After dinner we walked up and down the long road out front while finishing the bubbles and before heading back for a good sleep.

The second morning came too soon, but brought with it another big breakfast of muesli, fruit, yoghurt  cheeses, cold meats, croissants and jams. We ate our fill and then packed up and bid the lovely Vindoux goodbye and drove into Tulbagh to pay Moniki a quick visit to get some more of those yummy hand made chocolates! Then we headed through to Ceres, where we parked the car and then hoped on our bikes and cycled off to Prince Alfred Hamlet, only to find it wasn't what I thought it was - I confused it with Prince Albert! D'oh. There was pretty much nothing to see of do there... So we headed back to Ceres for lunch and then cruised back to Cape Town in a rain storm. It was a really nice and relaxed couple of days and nice to chat uninterrupted by kids etc. and to see A relax, and stop working for more than a few hours.

At Waverley Hills after that looong cycle and drinking all that wine!
At Prince Alfred's Hamlet

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