After a busy year, Deon and I at last have some time to explore new restaurants again. We discovered a little bistro close to home in Durbanville recently. It is called Urban Wines and Bistro, situated at the corner of New Street and Koeberg Road.
Lisa, the owner, comments: “Urban Wines is a dream I have had for many years. A dream to create a space where people are inspired by what they experience, where friendships are made along with great memories through the experience of damn good wine and coffee.” At this little bistro you taste, eat, drink, shop and experience Urban Wines.
It was love at first sight when we entered. It is a beautiful, creative space which serves breakfast, lunch, drinks and coffee. They have special events during the week, e.g. wine tastings on Wednesdays and Fridays, steak nights, or simply visit them with friends and enjoy a bottle of wine over cheese and charcuterie. There is no wine list, you have a choice from the wine displayed on the walls. There is indeed a wide variety to choose from.
The menu is out of the ordinary and the light meals are created by a talented chef, hiding in the kitchen. Deon ordered a bunless beef burger, topped with melted mozzarella, smothered in a spicy tomato relish and served on a bed of cucumber ribbons, with a side of zingy courgette and corn warm salad. It sounds like a mouthful, but it was excellent, and Deon did not even miss the traditional burger with a meat patty. This was gourmet par excellence.
I ordered a hash brown veggie pizza which was a crisp potato hash brown, topped with grilled courgette, aubergine, asparagus and roasted tomato. It was not only beautifully presented, but also very tasty.
While we were halfway through or lunch, the power suddenly went off and we realized that it was time for South Africa’s famous loadshedding to kick in. The manager took it all in her stride and soon we were eating lunch by candlelight.
It was a great Friday afternoon. Well done, Urban Wines Bistro, we’ll be back soon.
We spent a lovely afternoon at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on Sunday 19th November, listening to the music of Senegalese singer, multi-instrumentalist and actor, Ismael Lô. The 2017/2018 summer concerts at Kirstenbosch started off on 11th November with Cat Stevens, on his first tour in South Africa. The gates opened at 16:00 and the garden where the concert took place, was soon filled up with people sitting on blankets, unpacking their … Continue reading →
We recently discovered a new restaurant in Welgemoed, Cape Town. It is called after the rocket plant, Arugula. We were hesitant to try this restaurant, as it is situated in a shopping complex, but it turned out to be a little gem. As we entered the restaurant, we were immediately attended to by friendly staff. We were seated at a window table which had a beautiful view over the Simonsberg. … Continue reading →
At last – another family wedding, always a favourite event to attend. We were invited to the wedding of my nephew Angus and his fiancé, Michelle, both teachers at Gill College, Somerset East in the Eastern Cape. On 22 September 2017 we were on our way to P.E. We arrived at lunch time and decided to have lunch at Bluewaters Cafe. On our way to the restaurant, we were greeted … Continue reading →
We have visited SlipWay Waterfront Restaurant in the main harbour of Saldanha many times and every time we visit, we love it. The restaurant is not all that visible from the road, but there are sign boards to guide you to this beautiful little venue, situated on the lagoon. When our friend from France visited us for a couple of days, we decided to take him to this little gem … Continue reading →
I accompanied Deon in August to Langebaan where he had to meet with clients. As their meeting was late afternoon on a Saturday, we decided to overnight at the Farmhouse Hotel which overlooks the Langebaan Lagoon. Langebaan is situated 120 km north of Cape Town and is very popular among tourists. The Langebaan Lagoon is a salt water lagoon which stretches for 17 km from Saldanha Bay to Geelbek in … Continue reading →
The history of cheesecake Cheesecake was already well-known in ancient Greece. It was served to athletes during the first Olympic games on the Isle of Delos. The recipe fell into Roman hands with the Roman conquest of Greece. They introduced cheesecake to Great Britain and Western Europe. Cream cheese saw the light in 1872 and that was the start of the Modern Age cheesecake. Today, whichever cheese is used, we … Continue reading →
There are certain streets in Cape Town that are very inspiring to foodies – Breë Street in the Cape Town CBD area and Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, are two of these fascinating streets. Spek & Bone on Dorp Street is owned by South African chef and TV personality, Bertus Basson. In Afrikaans we have a well-known saying – “jy werk vir spek en bone” – meaning you are working without getting … Continue reading →
If you like traditional food, Barrique Restaurant is where you should go. It opened in 1998 and is situated in the Stellenbosch winelands, a beautiful setting surrounded by the Helderberg Mountains. As you enter the Vredenheim estate, you are met by a variety of game such as gems buck, ostriches and zebra. There is also a Big Cats Park with lion, tiger, leopard, cheetah and caracal. They also have Angus … Continue reading →
Deon and I decided on Friday to visit De Grendel Restaurant in Plattekloof. Before we left, I googled the wine farm and read that it has been in the Graaff family since 1891. Today the farm is owned by Sir De Villiers Graaff and is known for its award-winning wines. The chefs are Ian Bergh and Garth Davids who serve food with locally sourced ingredients, changing the menu every day … Continue reading →
As we are at last entering winter in the Western Cape, Deon and I are getting more housebound (read lazy) and prefer to stay at home on Fridays. But last Friday I felt like exploring and Deon suggested that we find a restaurant around Franschhoek. It was a lovely sunny day and we enjoyed the scenic drive to Solms-Delta where we would have lunch. When we entered the restaurant, called … Continue reading →
Deon and I recently re-visited Durbanville Hills Wine Estate, one of our favourite wine estates in the Durbanville Wine Valley. It has magnificent views, great food and excellent wines. Their Chef’s Platter was launched to celebrate the 2016 summer season. We were a bit late for this experience upon our almost autumn 2017 visit, but the chef informed us that we could have the platter for lunch. The platter was … Continue reading →
On Friday, 17 March, we decided to celebrate my birthday a day early, as we would both be working on Saturday. I wanted to have lunch in one of Cape Town’s oldest towns, Riebeeck Kasteel, named after Commandor Jan van Riebeeck, the Dutch founder of Cape Town. The town of Riebeeck Kasteel was laid out around the Dutch Reformed church and the Royal Hotel, South Africa’s oldest hotel. The Riebeeck … Continue reading →
The restaurant Giovanni is situated on the Eikendal Wine Estate close to Somerset West in the Western Cape. On a rather windy Friday afternoon, we were seated at a table close to the dam with its impressive fountain. The scenic view of the Helderberg mountains encouraged us to forget about the slightly uncomfortable breeze. The restaurant seemed to be very popular, especially with families, as many children were having fun … Continue reading →
Today bobotie – spicy mince with a custard topping – is a typical South African dish. According to Wikipedia, the first bobotie was prepared by Apicius, a Roman, some 2 000 years ago. South African writer, C. Louis Leipoldt, wrote that bobotie was known in Europe in the 17th century. Some people think that it originated from an Indonesian dish called bobotok Whatever the origin, we know it as a Cape … Continue reading →
Deon fondly remembers the lunches he and fellow student friends enjoyed under the trees at the Lanzerac Hotel when studying at Stellenbosch University. Those lunches took place many moons ago. Today, as it was Friday again, after a hectic week at work for both of us, we were off to the Postcard Café at Stark-Condé wines in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch. Deon made a reservation earlier the morning. Strangely, when we arrived … Continue reading →
If you are a fan of tiramisu, Italian for cheer me up, this decadent cake is for you. With ingredients like chocolate, Amaretto liqueur, cocoa, mascarpone cheese and espresso, it will certainly cheer you up. It was Friday again, but as we had an exhausting week, we decided to have an at home day. I have always wanted to make a tiramisu cake, and this was the perfect day for … Continue reading →
We love Greek food and the ambience of a Greek restaurant. And yes, we love Greece with its relaxed atmosphere, the magnificent islands and blue water and last, but not least, its moussaka and meze! During Johan and Paula’s visit last year in October, we attempted having lunch at Spiro’s, a Greek restaurant in Hout Bay, but on our way we spotted another interesting looking restaurant in Kloof Street and … Continue reading →
On a very hot Friday afternoon during the December holidays, we were off to Vrede & Lust Wine Estate, situated on the Simondium-Klapmuts Road, close to Franschhoek. On a previous trip to Franschhoek, we noticed this wine estate and it has been on our restaurants-to-visit list for quite a while. The trip to Vrede & Lust was not so peaceful as the name of the wine estate suggests, as there … Continue reading →
We read a few very negative comments regarding Lemon Butta restaurant, situated at the Willowbridge Life Style Centre, Bellville. We decided to try the restaurant last Friday as we were at the centre for some Christmas shopping. The ambience is not too bad, but should you choose to sit outside on the patio, your view would be of the cars in the parking area. So, we were seated inside the … Continue reading →
After our visit to Jardine Restaurant in September 2016, next on the list of restaurants headed by acclaimed chef George Jardine, had to be The Bakery at Jordan Wine Estate, Stellenbosch. It is a scenic trip along beautiful vineyards and blue mountains on the way to the restaurant via Stellenbosch Kloof Road. The restaurant itself is situated in a picturesque spot with massive willow trees, green lawns and ducks floating … Continue reading →
Why do we always return to Diemersdal? It must be the beautiful scenery, or the cosiness of the restored stable in which the restaurant is situated – or it could be the always changing menu which draws us back to this graceful wine estate. Whatever the reason, it is always a happy event when we visit the eatery, especially on a beautiful summery day with blue skies. Chef Martin de … Continue reading →
Today was the second time in a short while that we visited Bistro on Beach, a small restaurant situated at the Melkboschstrand beachfront. We were on our way to the popular Orca restaurant on both occasions, but on the first attempt the restaurant was closed and on the second it was full and we had to wait for more than an hour to be seated. Bistro on Beach is beautifully … Continue reading →
We haven’t been to the V & A Waterfront in a while and decided that it was time for a visit. Lunch would be at an old favourite, The Greek Fisherman. The restaurant opened its doors in 1992 as an informal and hearty Greek restaurant. Their Meze was fabulous and therefore the restaurant was always on our to-do list during our visits to Cape Town. After moving to Cape Town … Continue reading →
Described on their website as simply nirvana for carnivores, is not really what I have in mind when I visit a restaurant for lunch, but the beautiful setting of the restaurant, situated 7 km from Wellington, makes up for the statement on their menu. The Local Grill is the restaurant at the Val du Charron Wine and Olive Estate. The estate was established in 1699. The farm was named Val … Continue reading →
In spring it is wild flowers in abundance along the West Coast and we were off to the southern part of the Langebaan Lagoon, which is part of the West Coast National Park. The flowers are spectacular in August and September and then the Postberg, which is situated within the national park and privately owned, is opened to the public. The flowers usually grow on granite or limestone rocks. We … Continue reading →
Waking up on Friday to a glorious sunny day, we decided to take a slow drive to Paarl and enjoy the scenic view while the good weather lasted. Luigi’s Mediterranean Inspired Restaurant was on our lunch menu. It was not long before we reached Paarl and started searching for the restaurant, situated on 311 Main Road. It took us a while to locate Luigi’s, as you have to enter from … Continue reading →
It was Friday and Deon’s birthday, 9 September 2016. Both reasons to find a new restaurant for lunch. Since moving to Cape Town at the end of 2010, we visited quite a number of restaurants. Many of these restaurants were great, others not so great, but after today, we have two that are competing for the first position on our own Best Western Cape Restaurant list. We love a variety … Continue reading →
We had visitors (my brother Johan and his wife Paula) for a couple of days and on the Friday of their visit, we decided to have lunch at a Greek tavern in Hout Bay, called Spiros. However, on our way to Hout Bay, while waiting at a robot in Tamboerskloof, Deon spotted a Portuguese Restaurant in Kloof Street, Beleza (“beautiful” in Portuguese), and on the spur of the moment we … Continue reading →
Since discovering our local Tyger Waterfront, we cannot stay away. On Friday we were contemplating staying home, but then decided to go for a quick lunch at a restaurant we spotted at the Waterfront a while ago. It was a chilly day, but we preferred to sit outside where we had a view of the water. We were seated on the deck in a sunny spot by a friendly waitron. … Continue reading →
It is a privilege to live in Cape Town. It is a joy to live less than thirty minutes from beautiful Stellenbosch, second oldest settlement in the Western Cape. The town is home to Stellenbosch University and it is situated on the banks of the Eerste Rivier. Stellenbosch overflows with students and tourists, bicycles and vehicles, coffee shops, restaurants, theatres, beautiful buildings and huge oak trees. On the first Saturday … Continue reading →
It was time to get away for a weekend. We have not done this in a while, so we were looking forward to visit the village of Stanford. Deon booked two nights in a quaint little village house and before we knew, it was time to pack our bags. Stanford was founded in 1857 and named after Sir Robert Stanford who was the owner of the original farm. It has … Continue reading →
My mom from Port Elizabeth came to visit us for a week and naturally we had to find interesting restaurants to make her visit as pleasant as possible. Early Friday morning Deon googled to find a restaurant with a fireplace. The name, Oude Wellington Restaurant, came up with good reviews. So, off we went to experience a new adventure. As we were a little early, we drove around in Wellington … Continue reading →
Ingredients 4 naartjies, unpealed 1 vanilla pod 350 g self raising flour 6 extra large eggs 250 g caster sugar Seeds from 5 cardamom pods, pods discarded Icing sugar for dusting Syrup Simmer together 175 ml caster sugar, 175 ml water and the juice of 2 naartjies. Remove from heat when it starts to boil. Method Place naartjies in a saucepan, cover with water and cook for an hour, then … Continue reading →
On a very cold Friday we decided to have lunch at the Crown Restaurant. It is situated on the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville. The picturesque farm is one of the oldest wine estates in the country and dates back to 1702. The estate has a chapel for weddings; a hotel, deli and restaurant. It also has a mountain bike trail, that explained the many bikers we saw. First of … Continue reading →
Going Greek again, after the previous Friday lunch at a Greek restaurant, we were in the mood for everything Greek. We even watched our favourite film, Shirley Valentine, again! Situated between Somerset West and Stellenbosch on Helderberg Road, we found the unpretentious white building George’s Greek Restaurant is situated in. A donkey with a wide grin welcomed us on the patio. On the inside the family owned restaurant is decorated … Continue reading →
Our love for Greek food was ignited in Port Elizabeth when we first visited Zorba’s Taverna in Central. When visiting Cape Town, we could never resist The Greek Fisherman, a Greek restaurant at the V&A Waterfront. We spent a couple of weeks in Greece in 2010 and what a feast it was to live on a diet of Greek food. It was Friday again and time to search for a … Continue reading →
It was Friday again and time for adventure. We were heading to Avontuur Estate Restaurant, which was a very suitable name. The Afrikaans word Avontuur, translated into English, indeed means Adventure. Avontuur Estate is situated against the Helderberg, between Stellenbosch and Somerset-West in the Western Cape. When you drive up to the building in which the restaurant is situated, a beautiful tranquil scenery of mountains, white washed buildings and pure … Continue reading →
What do the three restaurants, Indian Chapter; Moksh and Annapurna have in common? The answer is easy – curry. Whether you like tandoori, madras or vindaloo, or a cashewy korma if you prefer your food less spicy, these three Cape Town restaurants are well-known for delicious curries. The first Indian restaurant we visited in Cape Town after relocating from Port Elizabeth at the end of 2010, was Annapurna. This restaurant, … Continue reading →
Gastao’s Restaurant I love the unexpected – well, if it is positively unexpected. It was Friday again, but we decided not to have lunch at a restaurant this time. Having lunch at home seemed like a very good idea. Around twelve in the afternoon Deon asked if I wanted to accompany him to Edward Street in Bellville as he needed something at one of the shops in that very interesting … Continue reading →
I’ve fallen in love with the idea of living
This quote by the main character in Shirley Valentine was the spark that lit the fire for the creation of our blog, In Search of a Good Life. Years ago before we knew that blogs existed, we followed a Newsgroup with daily posts by an American researcher, Earl Evleth, who was living in France with his wife Donna and Gaston, the Dachshund. His posts were about the everyday events which were part of their lives in Paris. He would describe the lunch they had enjoyed on an afternoon at their favourite restaurant, or maybe something about the antics of Gaston. Earl had a special way of writing and making the reader part of his life.
After relocating to Cape Town in December 2010, Deon and I decided to do something similar and to write about our experiences. The name of the blog originated from the movie Shirley Valentine, which is one of our favourites. Shirley’s words, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of living, describe our life in Cape Town. We are totally in love with beautiful Cape Town and the whole of the Western Cape and love to share some of our experiences.
We love to have lunch on Fridays in a restaurant we have never been before; we love cooking; reading; photography; traveling, art, movies, music, animals (especially Leica our cat) and nature. That is basically what the blog is about, stories about our lives. The best part of the blog is that there are many people who read our blog, which is really very special.