Good food in a tranquil setting – The Litchi Orchad

While in Ballito, I took a drive to Salt rock and landed at a place called The Litchi Orchard. I had seen this nursery before and was intrigued by it, I do also have a secret love for nurseries.

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The Litchi Orchard started off as a Wholesale Nursery in the middle of over 300 Litchi trees to hosting Farmers Markets and has now evolved into a collective of food & lifestyle shops and eateries.

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I had lunch at Delish Sisters Cafe a lovely, tranquil café.

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I arrived just in time for the Harvest Table Lunch which is served from 12pm – 3pm. There was a great variety of food and decided to sample the vegetarian option that were available.

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I had the Spinach and feta quiche, chickpea and coriander flatbread, grated carrot salad and the mushroom thyme phyllo cigars. Loved the flavours and texture of the chickpea, coriander flatbread. I found the ginger on the grated carrot salad a bit overwhelming. The spinach and feta quiche tasted like a quiche, nothing special there and the mushroom thyme phyllo cigars tasted really good. Overall lunch was splendid.

Looking at the menu, Delish Sisters caters to a wide range of eaters and even have a vegan option.

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Overall, lunch was great and could not have asked for a better setting, another Splendid Experience.

Looking forward to another visit at Litchi Orchard to try a meal at The Shed, or buying some crafted baked goods from Yoli’s Bakery or sampling some coffee from Beanstruk Coffee Roastery or indulging in some homemade ice-cream from Scoop or just enjoying the farmers markets and events hosted there.

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Stay Splendid!

 

 

ONO Eatery (Illovo)

The Jozi food scene is slowly becoming an experience, I love finding and trying out these delightful eateries! Ono Eatery is my latest discovery.

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ONO meaning delicious in Hawaiian is an eatery in Illovo (Johannesburg), its Jozi’s 1st Poke Eatery. A Poke Eatery for those who need to be cultured like me, originates from Hawaiian cuisine. Poke means ‘to slice and dice, this dish is a traditional Hawaiian starter – Fishermen would take their fresh daily catches of Tuna and other meaty fish and chop it into cubes, and eat it right then and there – no compromise on freshness or flavor.’  

The menu is simple and clean, the entire concept is based on food being served fresh, on the go. There’s a variety of smoothies and protein bowls, protein shakes and house shakes. I tried the Matcha + Mint Smoothie Bowl – frozen bananas, pineapples, matcha, avo, almond milk, topped with strawberries, coconut flakes, and black sesame seeds.

With Poke being the main attraction of the eatery, they offer house poke or custom pokes. I took home a custom poke – black rice, raw slaw, tofu, avo, edamame beans with black sesame seeds. 

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Love the interior of ONO –  the glass window allows the space to be well lit with well-designed shop signage. Contemporary, organic furniture pieces, I particularly liked the leaf canopy made out of white metal and the swings by the glass windows – it’s pretty quirky.

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Looking forward too many more visits, highly recommend it!

They are open 07h30 – 19h30 during the week , 07h30 – 17h00 on Saturdays and 07h30 – 15h00 on Sundays.

Address: Illovo Junction, 1 Corlett Dr, Illovo, Johannesburg

Telephone: 073 506 3207

TS!

A vegetarian haven: Aurelie’s – the home of the natural foodie.

Finding a food place that caters to my vegetarian lifestyle is a challenge, especially when looking for a place that offers more than just pasta, pizza, butternut salad or a toasted cheese sandwich.

It was such a wonderful treat to have lunch at a 100% vegetarian restaurant that has wide selection of food to choose from.

Situated in Kyalami’s Waterfall Estate area, country estate drive Aurelie’s Health & Lifestyle Café is a vegetarian haven that shows that vegetarian food does not have to be bland.

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The menu offerings includes a comprehensive breakfast menu, wraps, burgers, salads, smoothies, veggie juices & coffee. There are vegan, gluten free and banting-friendly versions available for many dishes.

I had the Eastern Soul – a falafel patty burger with grilled halloumi, peppadews, stir-fried mushrooms & tzatziki.

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In addition to being able to enjoy a vegetarian meal, you are able to shop for health supplements, home accessories, consumable and they even offer Liquid Detox Packages.

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The focus of this place is holistic, health & wellness and it’s an ideal place for individuals who do meatless Monday’s and individuals embarking on a healthy lifestyle. It’s a great place to try a vegetarian meal.

Address: Waterfall Country Estate
Corner R55 & Maxwell Drive,
Kyalami, 
Waterval Est, Johannesburg
Gauteng

 Tel: 010 596 8900
Email:
Website: http://www.aureliescafe.co.za/

Another Splendid Experience.

TS!

Wrong turns that lead to hidden gems – Milk Bar Rosebank

Love it when I take a wrong turn and stumble across hidden gems. In this instance, I stumbled across a place called Milk Bar an African-retro styled café located on Keyes Avenue in Rosebank. I decided to grab a bite to eat and catch up on my emails.

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I’m an adventurous eater but having adopted a vegetarian lifestyle, I’m constantly disappointed at the limited selection one finds at restaurants. When I saw the menu at Milk Bar I was impressed to see that they have a nice selection of vegetarian options and a wide range of food that caters to a wide range of taste buds.

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I opted for the vegetarian bunny chow, so I asked the waiter how big it was, he told me that it was a Rosebank size bunny chow and not Durban size or the type you find in the hood:-) He was not kidding!!

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Rosebank size vegetarian bunny chow

To drink, I opted for the Iced lemonade and mint drink which was extremely refreshing. Milk Bar is lovely place to unwind, I like the fact that it’s different in a very awesome way.

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Milk Bar also has other locations:-

  • Pritchard Street in downtown Joburg,
  • Kramerville design district in Sandton – 6 Desmond St, Kramerville

Another Splendid Experience!

TS!

 

Tree Natural Concepts

I stumbled upon Tree Natural Concept this morning in between meetings in Umhlanga. Tree Natural Concept is a wellness concept store combining tree yoga, a beautiful holistic yoga studio, and tree café, a café serving coffees, smoothies, juices and light meals.

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Decided to grab some brekkie and do some work while waiting for my next meeting. I had the Foundation (Mashed avo, poached eggs on toast) the food is clean, healthy and tastes really good. They have a great menu selection.

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Love the look, its clean, fresh and earthy. I will definitely be back here, it’s my type of meeting/working environment. I do hope I can fit it a bit of Yoga when back in Umhlanga.

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  • The shop location – Ground floor of the Protea Building, Corner of Lighthouse Road & Ridge Road, Umhlanga Village.

The staff are friendly, helpful and serve you with a smile.

I’m truly falling in love with Durban again and its great to see that they are adopting a healthy lifestyle and opening these amazing places.

Another Splendid Experience!

TS!

USA – California, San Jose – Silicon Valley

I love #FlashBackFridays I get to reminisce on my travel adventures.

When I learned that we were going to run an event at my clients head office in Palo Alto Silicon Valley -the home to the world’s largest technology companies.  I was beyond ecstatic. Such a privilege to be awarded this opportunity.

The planning was tricky, we had very tight deadlines but we somehow managed to make it work. We would spend 3 days in San Jose for the workshop and 2 days in San Francisco.

As much as this trip was a long life dream, I write this post with a heavy heart. Emotionally it was the hardest trip of my life, a complete emotional roller coaster. I landed in the US on Sunday and early hours on Monday, the dreaded call came in. I learned of the passing of a dear friend and brother. We were so torn but made a decision based on the on information we had received back home. We stayed, and somehow managed to survive the emotional roller coaster. The day time was way better than the night time.

Where we stayed

Our base was San Jose, the third-largest city by population in California, the tenth-largest by population in the United States and a major technology hub in the California bay area.

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Our accommodation was booked at the Hilton Hotel, I usually like to write a basic review of the hotels I stay at but our experience at the Hilton was not great.

On arrival we had issues with our booking, the staff working the afternoon shift were clueless and credit cards were billed incorrectly.  The hotel rooms and bathrooms are old, the carpet in the room is questionable. The hotel is in need of a refurbishment.

This is the 3rd Hilton Hotel that just seem to have lost the edge slightly, the is no longer what it used to be.  The only thing that I  did like was the fact that their Affinity Restaurant & Bar had a Starbucks, I could have my morning coffee fix before going to work.

What we did

The purpose of the trip was a 3 day client workshop at HP Headquarters, 1501 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, California.

We were well received by the HP local team, all our requirements were met with a smile and were made to feel at home. The HP Customer Centre is high tech, love the fact that they use their products for everything. Its great advertising mechanism.

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                              The screens (bottom image) are the HP ENVY Curved All-In-One                                       The world’s widest curved All-in-One 
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Using the Sprout (all-in-one desktop with built in projector, a touch-mat display, and advanced 3D-scanning hardware) in the meeting room – super cool!

We got a tour of the facilities and products in the centre and got to see the original offices of the Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard. The entire experience was incredible.

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Touring Silicon Valley

Our last day was spent touring Silicon Valley, our 1st stop was the HP Garage – the birthplace of Silicon Valley. Knowing the history of Silicon Valley, HP and seeing images of the garage, being at 367 Addison Avenue was an unbelievable moment.

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HP Garage

We also got to see the headquarters of LinkedIn, Facebook, Apple, Adobe, Intel and Google. We were fortunate to go inside Intel and we visited the museum.

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Intel Museum
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Facebook Headquartes

Google was another amazing experience, we got access inside one of the buildings thanks to one of the HP managers who had a meeting and invited us all to join him. Having watched the Intern, it was lovely seeing areas where he movie was shot.

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Googleplex
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The Tyrannosaurs Rex skeleton named Stan which was discovered near Google’s headquarters. 
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Different versions of Android, named after something sweet- kitkat, froyo, gingerbread, marshmallow, lollipop, honeycomb, eclair, ice cream sandwich, cupcake, donut, jelly bean.

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We then spent the afternoon at Stanford University and did the walking tour of the university.

The leafy campus in the heart of Silicon Valley has produced some of the most influential tech entrepreneurs since the beginning of Silicon Valley, starting with Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in the mid-30s to the likes of Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, Marissa Meyer (Yahoo), Intel, Netflix, LinkedIn, YouTube…etc

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‘Founded in 1885 by California Senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, in memory of their only child, Leland Jr., who died of typhoid fever at 15, the Stanfords determined that they would use their wealth to do something for “other people’s” children.

They decided to create a university, one that, from the outset, was untraditional: coeducational in a time when most private universities were all-male; nondenominational when most were associated with a religious organization; and avowedly practical, producing “cultured and useful citizens” when most were concerned only with the former.’

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Image on the left is the Hoover Tower, a 285 feet (87m) structure on campus. The tower houses the Hoover Institution Library & Archives founded by Herbert Hoover before he became President of the United States. 
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Views from the top of the Hoover Tower

‘Today Stanford University is one of the world’s leading research universities. It is known for its entrepreneurial character, drawn from the legacy of its founders, Jane and Leland Stanford.’ ** Source http://facts.stanford.edu/about/

Stanford has a warm feel to it and get why at times its referred to as the farm. Its a beautiful campus, full of trees, fountains, manicured gardens, great student facilities and lovely frat houses. They seem to have everything there: post office, Starbucks, eateries, libraries and some form of entertainment. It truly was an amazing experience.

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Fraternity Houses

Where we ate?

I was tasked with finding dinner restaurants while we were in San Jose. 1st night we had dinner at our hotel restaurant, the Affinity Restaurant & Bar – the only good thing about the Hilton. Their menu selection was substantial and catered to most people, the food was appetizing and the service was great.

Our 2nd night we had dinner at The Grill on the Alley, a well renowned Steak house. The food here was exceptional, they serve large portions of steaks, chops, fresh seafood and pasta. The vegetable were cooked well…overall amazing dining experience. Highly recommend it, its a tad pricey but we left feeling extremely satisfied.

On the last night we ventured out to Santana Row – an outdoor shopping mall in San Jose at times referred to at the Rodeo Drive of San Jose. We had dinner at El Jardin Tequila Bar & Restaurant, we could not come to San Jose and not have Mexican food. For me the atmosphere, service and vibe were great but I was not blown away by the food. We shared Nachos as a starter and I had a burrito which tasted ok. Apparently the Tacos were not bad, should have ordered those.

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Santana Row
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Santana Row

Even though we were in San Jose for business, the trip was great. My highlight was being in Silicon Valley, definitely a place that I would visit again.

Look out for my post next Friday, I will be blogging about our adventures in San Francisco.

Till next Friday, stay Splendid!

TS!