Ice Cream, You Scream

Sunday, 20 October 2019

If you live in Durban, or have experienced a summer in Durban, you know how hot and humid it gets around here. It gets the kind of hot where you sweat in places you didn’t even know you could sweat kind of hot!

Hello summer!
Today it felt like the first official day of summer in Durban, and while I was in Petland, I spotted doggie ice cream. “Who buys dog ice cream?” I thought to myself…10 minutes later it was me, I was reaching into that deep freeze and heading to the counter with a new treat for Benji. And oh boy was it a hit! Seeing Benji enjoy that ice cream was worth every, single penny.

Ice cream mustaches 
I was so impressed with the brand Cool Dogs and their aim to use good ingredients (like lactose free yogurt, real venison, probiotics and collagen) in their products that I couldn’t wait to share Benji’s new favourite summer treat with you. I hadn’t heard of this brand before so if you haven’t either, definitely keep an eye out next time you’re stocking up on pet products. If you want to know where you can get Cool Dogs ice cream from just look here. We will be adding all the flavours to our deep freeze to get Benji through the summer.

PS this post is by no way sponsored. We just love sharing our favourite products and knew that if Benji loved this, your pooch would too!

Summer and ice cream, is there any better combo?


Mauritius

Monday, 14 October 2019
I can’t believe I am writing about our BABYMOON! Last month we went on a magical 10-day holiday to Mauritius with our little baby bump. The horrendous morning sickness eased up a few days before, so I made the flight without having to use a vomit bag (win!)  It was pure bliss and relaxation. This is definitely the place to go if you want to experience a slice of heaven.

Hello 16 week bump, Baby Airey's first holiday

WHEN TO GO

From 20th September to the end of November. I am very specific when I say from the 20th September as we have been twice the week before in September and it has been raining and cloudy every time! Murphy’s law, the week we left was always beautiful so go later in September or October / November to get the most gorgeous summer weather.


WHERE TO STAY

We love the area Trou-aux-Biches on the northern side of the island. It is a small, seaside town that boasts one of the most beautiful beaches on the island and it is also close to Grand Baie and shopping malls which are just a short drive away. We always opt for a self-catering spot and there are so many great apartments available. However if you want to splash out somewhere extra special have a look at this list of the 10 best hotels in Mauritius or if you fancy something smaller, I do always love a boutique hotel!


DOG FRIENDLY

Benji had to stay at home because of the logistics of flying with him but if we had had the option of flying Air France and him coming in the cabin with us, he definitely would have come! There were so many people there with their dogs and local restaurants were all accommodating. However, saying that it is important to note Mauritius have a huge stray dog population. Every beach and street have a few dogs so it would be important to always have your dog up to date with their injections,  on a lead and to only travel with them if they are well socialized because there are dogs everywhere you go in Mauritius!

Dogs of Mauritius

WHAT TO DO

You can drive across Mauritius in one or two hours so regardless of where you choose to stay, go exploring!
  • Visit a different beach every day. A few favourites are: Trou aux Biches Beach, Mont Choisy Beach, Pereybere Beach, La Cuvette BeachBlue Bay Beach or the very secluded Black River Beach.
  • Visit China Town. Even in Mauritius they have a China Town and this can be found in Port Louis. If you want something to do on a cloudy day, save this one to your list.
  • To experience the local culture, go to the Market of Mahebourg.
  • Take a walk through the Black River Gorges, one of Mauritius’ remaining native forests. Here you might spot one of their rare bird species or orchids as you make your way to the waterfall.  
  • Feed the stray dogs. You might be rolling your eyes at this one but you will come across so many furry souls who need a little helping hand so if you adore dogs like I do, keep a packet of dog food, bottle of water and a used ice cream tub or bowl of some sort in the boot of your rental car to feed a hungry dog you will definitely find along your adventures. There is nothing worse then passing a skinny stray dog and not feeling like you can help in some way.
  • Relax and truly unwind! Spend a few hours on the beach, reading a book, sipping on fresh juices or cocktails made by the vendors and do not look at your watch. Here time really does seem to stand still.
La Cuvette Beach

Feeding the stray dogs in Mauritius because every little but helps

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

I personally find that eating out in Mauritius can be very hit or miss and often the more “affordable” (still expense in rands!) places served very mediocre food. We generally ate out every second day this time around.  We would buy fish from the local fisherman in Grand Baie (they bring fish straight off their boats from 3pm each day) and we would have a fish braai at home.  The other nights we would go somewhere a little more “expensive” but where you were guaranteed to have good food. Oh, and make breakfast at home or eat breakfast at your hotel. I have tried so many places but there is a gap in the market for good coffee and a good eggs benedict there! So rather go out for lunch or dinners. Here are some of my recommendations of places to eat in Trou-aux-Biches / Grand Baie.

  • Le Bask for the perfect date night. The food, ambiance and service is exceptional!
  • Le Capitaine to dine by the sea. The restaurant itself needs a lot of TLC as this time around our menus were falling apart and stapled together which you don’t expect with this price tag but you can watch the sunset over the ocean, hear the sea lapping against the shore and they do a great seafood platter.
  • Sincontru Italian Restaurant for the best pizza on the island. I have no idea what any of the other dishes taste like as I order the pizza every time! But I hear the risotto is good too.
  • Luigis is another good, reasonable Italian.
  • La Table du Château for a long, lazy lunch. I had the fish and eggplant curry and it was probably one of the best meals I have ever had in Mauritius! Sit outside and take in the beautiful grounds of Chateau Labourdonnais. There is also a rum tasting you can do next door if you want to experience their locally produced rum. Brett enjoyed this!
  • Hong Kong Palace at the Super U comes highly recommend by Brett’s parents and is a place we still need to try.
  • The Beach House for sundowners or lunch straight after the beach. Sandy toes are welcome here and it has a relaxed, laid back vibe. 
  • Paradis de Nourriture is takeaway truck on Grand Baie Beach who do great, fresh lobster. Now this is dining on the other end of the spectrum. A Friend recommend having lobster from here and if it hadn’t been for them, I would have walked straight past. At first glance it looks like a place where you might get food poisoning, but this is a local little gem!
  • Sakoa Hotel for cocktails / mocktails when you need to escape the sun and quench your thirst. Just a short walk away from Trou aux Biches Beach.
  • 1974, da Antonio e Giulia situated in an ex-aquarium building this is a place to go for a variety of dishes like steak, seafood and pastas. Good food and good prices.
  • La Botteghita if you are craving good Italian. You can’t go wrong with pizza here either!
  • Le Fournil. This ain’t no French patisserie like you would find in France, despite Mauritius being French, but if you’re in the mood for a cake you may as well pop in. The croissants and pastries are so greasy and not great at all but the brownies are ok.
  • Vida e Café. Now I know you don’t want to go all the way to Mauritius and then visit Vida e Café but this was the only place I could get a good almond milk ice coffee. So if you get desperate like me, pop in even though you have this on your doorstep in South Africa.
Left - Paradis de Nourriture & Right - lunch at The Beach House

Mocktails for me & cocktails for him at Sakoa Hotel

Lunch at La Table du Chateau. I could live on their warm bread rolls and pickle alone!

TOP TIP


Rent a (small) car if you are staying in an Airbnb or self-catering unit. You will want to explore all the beautiful beaches and have the ease of grocery shopping. There is public transport if you are on a tight budget but for convenience and the ability to easily explore, I would say rent a car. Or even a scooter! There is not much parking, so a small car or scooter is perfect to get around.

Sunset over Troux aux Biches Beach


Our family is growing

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Well hello there! Goodness gracious, it sure has been a while. But this is me just dropping in to let you know that I am alive and have some exciting news to share with you… our family is growing, and Baby Airey will be joining us in February.

My first 17 weeks was hell as I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum which are basically two words I cannot pronounce but meant I had the most severe, 24 hour, nonstop, unable to leave the house kind of morning sickness so this poor little blog suffered with me.

Each week gets better and better now, little Baby Airey is as healthy as can be and I am feeling more myself so expect to be seeing more of us soon! I cannot wait for you to share in this new adventure with us.

xoxo


The Skin and Nail Bar – Escape the Ordinary

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know the Skin and Nail Bar is like a second home to me. I have been going to their Durban North branch for all my waxing, facials and manis for the past two (or is it three!) years now and the team of therapists have become friends I trust to keep me preened all year round. Now they are expanding and have opened a brand spanking new salon in Salt Rock.


I was invited to their Media Launch day today which was such an honour as I hadn’t seen their new space until today. And oh boy, is it beautiful up there! I was welcomed with a glass of bubbles as I stepped into another world adored with antique charm and a touch of modern flair. The décor is refreshingly different… charming, full of character and splashed with colours. A bright neon sign declares, “escape the ordinary” and in this moment, you really feel like you have. My favourite spot must be the mani and pedi station, it reminds me of the cowshed spa at Soho House, London which I Adore. How beautiful is it?



I was treated to a Bare Naturals facial on the house. I wasn’t familiar with this brand before but was excited to learn it is all natural, contains organic ingredients where possible and is made in KZN. If you are looking for something more natural to add into your skin care routine consider supporting this fantastic local brand. I will definitely be trying out a few products in future.  

If you want to feel extra pampered or want a beautiful place to have a bridal pamper, pop into the new Skin and Nail Bar in Salt Rock. Next month a coffee shop is opening next door so it’s a win win in my books!


Ps – even Benji received a little treat from the lovely team at the Skin and Nail Bar! Look how chuffed he is.