Travel, Dining, Events, Decor…all things Splendid!
A Lover of all things beautiful, I’m grateful and privileged to be doing what I love - planning, designing and executing events.
As an event planner for Anglo-African Events, a company I started with a friend Sam Govender 10 years ago, I have had the privilege of working on some amazing projects and seeing some spectacular places. I love working with my clients and being part of a team that helps in creating beautiful memories and events.
It's always so rewarding once you have completed an event and the client is happy with what you have done for them.
Being in the event industry (working late nights, weekends...) I’m constantly striving to find a perfect balance between work and life. I do this by focusing on my philanthropy work and sometimes embarking on new adventures.
I always strive to think out of the box, to be creative and extraordinary in everything I do. I hope I can inspire you to be Splendid in everything that you do.
My very 1st dining experience at Zuma was in 2103, I had travelled to London with one of my besties to celebrate a milestone birthday. My travelling squad (they know who they are) happened to be in town at the same time and invited us to join them for lunch. We had one of the best dining experience.
Having had the opportunity to eat at the Zuma in New York and Hong Kong, what resonates with me the most about Zuma Restaurants is the consistency in the food prep, service and overall dining experience.
Zuma offers a chic twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya style – dishes are brought to the table continuously throughout the meal. The menu is comprehensive and appealing even to vegetarians, I was spoilt for choice.
Fast-forward to 2019, Zuma Abu Dhabi, was really a continuation of an amazing culinary experience – “the story continues…”
Located at The Galleria, on al Maryah island, representing the core of Abu Dhabi’s central business district; the Manhattan of Abu Dhabi, Zuma still captures the style and elegant ambience of the Zuma restaurants we have dined at.
Again, I cannot fault the food, sumptuous flavours and beautifully presented.
Zuma is truly a unique dining experience, great atmosphere, lovely food and top-notch service.
When I look back at this year and reminisce on some of my travel adventures, I’m reminded of how incredible it is to travel – the world is full of magical things to do, see and experience.
Early this year, I was afforded an opportunity to travel to the Cannes Film Festival. Honestly, attending the Festival was never high on my bucket list of travel adventures. However, when the opportunity presented itself, I welcomed it with open arms. (Who would refuse a working trip to the French Riviera.)
I landed at the Nice Côte d’Azur International Airport, the airport was swarming with paparazzi, waiting to catch a glimpse of celebrities. Took a transfer from the airport to Cannes – a 30m ride. I checked in at our hotel and went to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès to collect our access for the film festival.
Walking along the La Croisette, there was definitely a buzz in the air – people basking in the sun enjoying the French Riviera, others patiently waiting at hotels to catch a glimpse of the A-listers and boats out at sea.
The Film Festival attracts film makers, producers, directors, actors and celebrities from all over the world. The festival is overwhelming but filled with tremendous opportunity.
By day, the festival is all business, meetings, networking and an opportunity to catch a film, attend a masterclass.
An overview on how the film festival is structured and works, its divided into 5 Section:
These are films that are up for the films Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) – the most prestigious award, awarded by the competition jury to the best picture of the festival.
Out of Competition
These are films not competing for the top prize, but there for the publicity.
Un Certain Regard
Focusses on films from newer directors with creative storytelling techniques. Films that are usually challenging art films that aren’t quite up to competing in the mainstream.
Film by students at film schools around the world.
The meeting place for buyers, distributors, producers and industry professionals.
This area is very impressive, I was blown away by the sheer volumes of films being made and produced all over the world.
Over and above these sections, there are Special Screenings, Midnight Screenings and Masterclasses – given in public by world-renowned filmmakers. A must attend for anyone in film and tv.
By night this resort town become a party haven, it’s all about attending the ‘right’ events and parties. Thank goodness the people I was travelling with were not FOMO type people. Our evenings were spent having dinners and great conversations.
We did however have one amazing dinner experience at La Palme d’Or at Hotel Martinez. Where we were taken on a culinary journey, the chef creates a wonderful cuisine focusing on local Mediterranean foods. From the entrée to the dessert, everything was quite good.
The Film Festival is truly a unique but daunting experience, it requires proper planning and preparation. There’s a lot I took away from the festival, from just getting a sense of what it entails to put together an event of that magnitude. Every element has its own unique experience, there’s definitely something for everyone.
It truly was an extraordinary opportunity and a privilege to travel to the Cannes Film Festival and experience a bit of the French Riviera.
We discovered Sprout Cafe by chance, we happened to be in the area for Karting and were looking for a place to grab lunch and found this gem.
What I like about Sprout Cafe is the fact that the menu caters more for vegans, one is really spoilt for choice.
We ordered the Sprockets (Tofu) and the Vegan Buddah Bowl. My husband is not a fan of tofu but he was ranting and raving about the Sprockets. The buddah bowl was tasty but definitely not memorable. Overall the food looked clean, tasted good and well prepared.
We also decided to indulge in some dessert and ordered the Vegan Pancake Stack and the Vegan DoughnutHoles.
The vegan pancake stack were delectable, very large portion but i really enjoyed eating what I could. Tried my husbands donught holes, I was not blown away. These tasted slightly overcooked.
Overall, our vegan lunching experience was superb. Another place to add to my splendid dining experiences.
Address: Sprout Cafe and Salad Bar, Stoneridge Centre, Greenstone, 1609 Edenvale, Gauteng, South Africa
Last night we were treated to a Vegetarian Culinary Experience at the Luke Dale Roberts x The Saxon, celebrating 10 years of families uniting (Traditionally) with my husband bae, my ride or die, homie, lover & friend:-)
We received a warm welcome from the hostess who took us to our seats. Our waiters then explained the tasting menu options. There are 6 menu offering, a standard 5-course tasting menu with Pescatarian or Vegetarian options and an 8-course menu with Pescatarian or Vegetarian options.
After long debates on what would be a great dining experience, we went with the 8-course vegetarian option.
The meal started with a cleanser, amuse-bouche course and bread for the table. We were then transcended on an extraordinary fine dining journey completed with tea pairing from Yswara.
The food portion sizes were perfect, neatly presented and cooked to perfection. Unconventional combination of flavours and textures to tantalize the taste buds. Every meal that was served had some unique taste to it and made it difficult to select a favourite. The tea pairing worked well, we drank some really gorgeous teas.
The restaurant is well run, great ambience and not too noisy. The service was impeccable with eloquent waiters attending to us at all time, from explaining the dishes presented to the teas paired with our meals.
Overall the dining experience was lovely, we did feel that the 8-course meal was beyond substantial. By the time we got to the dessert we were tired of eating. We both concluded that the 5-course would have been enough of an experience.
An amazing way to start our year of milestone celebrations. Thanks to ‘our people’ (you know who you are) for this incredible celebratory dinner experience. It was a splendid Saturday out.
I’m on a quest to explore and blog more on splendid vegetarian dining experiences. It was great treat to finally eat at Leafy Greens Cafe, a lovely place tucked away on an farm just outside Johannesburg in the Muldersdrift area.
I have listed my Top 5 reasons why its a lovely restaurant:-
Its location – Lovely setting in the garden on a farm away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
2. The menu is TOTALLY vegetarian/vegan with an array of fresh options.
3. The food is all freshly prepared and sourced from their own organic garden.
4. The buffet selection which is available Friday – Sunday looked extensive and very fulfilling. We opted to order from the menu, I had the Beetroot Burger – Homemade beetroot and bean patty, with vegan BBQ sauce, greens, sprouts, avocado, salsa and artisan mustard. One of the best burgers I have tasted in while.
My husband had the Baked Pizza – Gluten-free base with toppings of your choice. spinach, olives, garlic, fresh tomato, rocket, avocado, eggplant, onion, artichokes, peppers.
5. There’s a shop that sells organic vegetables, a selection of vegetarian food items and skin care products.
The cafe has a relaxed natural feel in beautiful surrounding. Our timing was perfect as the restaurant was not that busy, which apparently gets, especially on weekends.
Singapore is one of the most visited tourist destinations of South East Asia and I totally see why. This island city-state is architectural marvel with a diverse range of exciting activities and attractions to suit different visitors interest.
There are many reasons why one should visit Singapore, I have taken the liberty of listing my top reasons.
Visa free travel
Coming from South Africa this is awesome, there’s nothing that I dread more than applying for a VISA. The process can sometimes be lengthy and cumbersome. It’s great to know that one can visit Singapore at anytime (should the travel budget allow for it).
The city landscape, architectural marvel and cleansines
Singapore’s gorgeous skyline will take your breath away. As you wander around Singapore, you’ll notice a mixture of modern skyscrapers with heritage buildings all around.
Another thing that you will notice is how clean the city is, it’s simply refreshing.
A great starting point to marvel at the architectural icons and attraction that Singapore has to offer. From the Marina Bay Sands to the Merlion Park to the Art Science Museum, the helix bridge the list is endless.
In the mornings, we ran at the bay, we walked around the bay to get to places of interest and the kids managed to ride bikes. It’s the simple things that make this place a splendid experience by day or by night.
Gardens by the Bay
The gardens by the bay is Singapores top attraction, a truly unique experience – it blends nature and cutting-edge architecture and features the following: –
The Flower Dome, the world’s largest glass greenhouse – an impressive 1.28 hectares of flowers under glass.
The Supertrees which can be found around the garden, they are man-made trees of up to 16 storeys tall, with 12 at the Supertree Grove.
At night one feels like they are in Pandora with the way the trees light up. It’s a just simply majestic.
The Dragonfly Lake and Kingfisher Lake are a rich source of aquatic life and also act as an eco-filter to cleanse water pumped in from the Marina reservoir.
The family-friendly attractions
Singapore offers a number of family-friendly activities, making it ideal for travellers looking for an exotic vacation spot with options for children.
Sentosa Island – is Singapore’s premier island resort getaway, a man made island that was built for fun and recreation. It includes Resorts World, Universal Studios Singapore, Tiger Sky Tower, Singapore Butterfly & Insect Kingdom, and one of the largest collections of aquatic animals in the world, SEA Aquarium.
The night safari is another great experience for the little people, coming from South Africa, we were impressed by the animals in the park. Its home to over 2,500 animals across 130 species –– of which 38% are threatened.
The food culture is big in Singapore with an array of different culinary experience, from your local to international cuisine. I might just have to arrange a separate trip to this city-state just to explore the different culinary experiences. On our visit, food was something that we did when we remembered we were hungry, we did manage to eat at some lovely child friendly places.
A modern industrial restaurant and bar, located at the Marina Bay Sands, was a perfect late lunch/early dinner place for the family. Its family friendly and I really liked the kiddie’s menu, very creating.
The food all round was a hit, I enjoyed my Quinoa salad with cucumber, avocado, baby spinach, dried cranberries, toasted almond. The dessert was lovely, I also had the Chocolate Fondant with salted caramel, mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Attention to detail, friendly staff and great food is what makes the Bread Street Kitchen a must eat place.
This was the little people’s choice, at 1st glance you have your doubts about this place but surprisingly enough, it was a magnificent experience.
This café-retail experience is home to the DC comic universe and the one we ate at is located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
The menu has everything from your salads, to burgers, to sandwiches, a patisserie and ice-cream station. They cater to vegetarian which is great. The meat eaters enjoyed their meal, I found my Quesadilla (Hals source of green energy) a bit blend.
I’m not a big shopper but I appreciate seeing the local clothing brands whenever I travel. Singapore is paradise for shoppers, from high-end to affordable fashion brands there’s something for everyone. There’s the Shoppes at the Marina. the famous Orchard Road, theres’ Vivo City, Suntech City, Marina Square…the list is endless.
Places to Stay
It seems that the place to stay is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel (should the budget allow) the resort boasts luxury accommodations, upscale shopping and an infinity pool with unparalleled views of the city.
In my personal opinion, we found the hotel overwhelming and we were not even staying there. Its very busy with guests checking in and out, people walking around from Tower to Tower and going to eat, people going to the casino and the SkyPark. If you like big hotels and a hectic vibe, then this place can work for you.
There’s ample accommodation for every type of traveller.
Where we stayed?
We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental – a great business and leisure hotel on Raffle Street, opposite the Marina Bay. The hotel is linked to the Marina Square Mall and near Suntech City.
The hotel features: –
The hotel has rooms and suites – Our room was comfortable and had great views of the Marina Bay.
6 restaurants and bars – The hotel offers a range of food choices from Japanese to Cantonese to Italian. The melt café has by far the best international buffet selection. A great way to sample local cuisine and explore an array of food choices.
Gym – A decent size gym with great equipment. I had every intention of working out at the gym but it’s not everyday that one has the opportunity to run in such perfect environment.
Spa – A tranquil sanctuary with talented therapist.
Pool is surrounded by lush green gardens with spectacular views in all directions.
The service at the hotel was great and staff were friendly and extremely helpful. It was a lovely, comfortable stay.
Singapore is a true gem, it does cater for everyone. It can be a perfect girlfriend / boys getaway, a couples retreat, family holiday and shopping paradise.