Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

Spur Seaside Village Review

Two weeks ago we had a playdate planned, the weather however, was not in our favour and we decided to look for a space to go where the moms could chat over coffee whilst the kids played.

As moms know when it rains and you have two busy boys to entertain Spur steak ranches does not disappoint.

We decided to visit Spur at Seaside villiage in West Beach, Tableview.

Why?

This Spur is my first choice in the Tableview/ Blouberg/Parklands area mostly because it always looks clean, has the best service with great presentation food and as all Spur franchises should be, it is incredibly child friendly.

Food

Our waitress pointed out the new menus. Which are a fantastic upgrade from the old ones that looked a little bit like those I chose from as a kid in the 80s. The new menu is cleaner, easier to read and still contains the old favourites that we love.

I naturally ordered the brownie to go with my coffee because it’s Friday ….and who doesn’t love warm brownies with ice cream?

The presentation was great and the food was delicious.

I ordered Hamish’s milkshake in the takeaway cup already knowing that he would only eat his pizza at home. ( Honestly, It should just be standard practice to serve kids food in a takeaway box )

My only complaint would be that I was offered a rectangle food box to take home a full round kids pizza making me have to stack the pieces on top of each other and my poor OCD mind really struggled with that but also a child with sensory issues would hate to open a square box of food stacked on top of each other.

Service

I never complain of the service here. In the years that we have visited this has to be the friendliest Spur franchise.

The waiters, management, front of house staff and child minder are always pleasant.

Child friendly

I would give this branch a 20 out of 10 for being child friendly. As a young girl I loved Spur, as an adult I still look for the same features that I loved as an 8 year old.

Things like your parents not having to ask for a colouring sheet and crayons, a special child’s menu, the waitress treating you like a ” big person” and patiently letting you order, fun food options that are presented well and a great play space.

This Spur ticks all those boxes.

Play area

A huge, clean play area with only one entering and tons of natural light from the windows awaits your child.

The friendly child minders engage and play with the kids and are hands on to watch that no one gets hurt .

Just a reminder that if you do use the facility, whilst it’s never required, leave a gratuity tip for your child minder.

Safety

The first thing you notice as you walk through the don’t is that they have a tag system to ensure the kids can’t leave the shop without someone being alerted.

A tag, similar to those found on clothing, is attached to your child’s outer clothing and you can rest assured that they are safe whilst playing.

Should they try leave the store, an alarm at the door will be activated. This offers parents peace of mind whilst dining.

Overall, many of us use a Spur as our go to meet up place or kids restaurant. Sometimes that means Spur know that parents will support them regardless of the type of service or level of food quality, so its great to find a Spur franchise that pride themselves on delivering the best parent and child experience from the moment you enter the door.

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

Brent’s been on leave and other tales

Brent’s been on leave for most of April and the beginning of May. We’ve loved having him at home and it’s been a fun mix of chaos and busy !

He heads back to work today and we will slowly find our routine again after weeks of sleeping in a little later and adjusted schedules to fit in weekday outings.
We have enjoyed some really great staycation memories during his leave, as we explored Cape Town, because let’s be honest, there is always something to do in Cape Town.

Holiday moments

We tried to put in as many special trips with Hamish as possible and managed to visit the following places while Brent was on leave :
  • Ysterplaat Airforce Base museum– This museum is free and divided into 2 parts. The first is the museum, which has a ton of memorabilia of the SAAF. The second is at hangar 4 where you get to get up close to the aircrafts and climb into some.
  •  Ten pin bowling at Grand west – This was a really fun outing for all of us and Hamish has asked to go again. At R60 an adult it was also super affordable as far as activities go.
  •  Canal walk kids world imagination station – Here Hamish got to create his own masterpiece for only R50
  • Games arcades – There were a few visits to the arcades at both Canal walk and Grand west. I’m not a fan of arcades but Hamish loves them.
  • Ratanga park– Also several visits here to ride bikes. I really love this park .

 

  •  The museum of Childhood- Another free museum. The museum of childhood is a wonderful space for children to learn, play and express themselves.
  •  The beach – Is it even a holiday without beach visits? We have found a local spot with rockpools that has become our favourite
  •  Spur and other fast food restaurants– Because who cooks when on holiday right?
  • SANCCOB– This was a great visit to learn more about the workings behind the scene at SANCCOB penguin Rehabilitation center. If you are going please book in advance.
  •  Cool runnings – A fun family taboggan track with 1.2km of track to wind down . The guys loved this. You can see how much the guys enjoyed this here
  •  Majik forest – Another space we love. An open forest to picnic at or wander around. You can also feed the ducks on the water.
  •  Melkbossie animal farm – This farm yards Sanctuary is free to enter and animal food is R10 a bag . We love going here, grabbing some coffee and playing putt putt. Hamish enjoys feeding the animals and riding the horses.
  • The Labia– I had a few invites to some screenings while Brent was on leave and we took Ronan on his birthday with Shaun to watch the lost city.  The Labia has some great date night specials if you are looking.
  •  Intaka Island– We spent Easter Sunday doing a fun Easter egg hunt at Intaka Island. This little wetland is under R30 for an adult to enter and aside from watching birds, taking a hike you can also book a boat ride on the canals.
  • Tablebay mall Easter veggie garden – Hamish got to join the fun at Tablevay mall over Easter and plant his own strawberries.
  •  Ostrich farm – We headed to the ostrich farm and Hamish loved the museum, learning about ostriches. He also stood on ostrich eggs, fed ostriches, sat on an ostrich and went to the scratch patch on site.
  • McClaren circus – I don’t support animals in a circus so this was a difficult choice for me because I wanted Hamish to experience the joy, just once of going to the circus.
And in-between outings, keeping Hamish entertained and the copious amounts of coffee I’ve made we managed to find some down time, some rainy days and a few lazy pj days.
Honestly though, I’m quite greatful to get back to our routine although adjusting to him being back at work full time again is going to be hard.
Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

5 of the best Putt Putt courses for kids in Cape Town

Two years ago we took a 3 year old Hamish to play putt putt for the first time.

It was Brent’s birthday and we had won a voucher to play putt putt at Putt putt SA in Muizenberg.
It was so much fun. We all enjoyed the morning and Hamish ran around inventing his own game which was very much a sad combination of hockey and golf.
But, thus began a birthday tradition and for both Brent and Hamish’s birthday each year we head off to play putt putt.
Brent & Hamish starting their Putt Putt birthday tradition

 

This year however Hamish has found every reason to throw in several games in between as putt putt is a firm favourite.

Here are our 5 best putt putt courses to play at.

1.Melkbossie Farm Animal Sanctuary

This cute putt putt course on the grounds of the Melkbossie Farm Animal Sanctuary is top of our list.
It’s clean and out in the fresh air with ample space for parents to sit and wait on kids playing.
The course is relatively easy and fun for parents and adults alike.
Price : free 
Melkbossie Farm Animal Sanctuary is free but donations are appreciated. The putt putt course is free to play at.

2. Cave golf – Scratch patch V & A Waterfront

I very much enjoy this course though it can get very confusing to follow. The course itself varies in degrees of difficulty and certainly offers a few challenging spots.
Because it’s in a cave, it tends to get increadibley hot and over weekends and holidays the cave golf is extremely busy.
Price : R35

3. Cave golf – Scratch patch Simon’s Town

Whilst I haven’t played this course personally, I know others who have and have thoroughly enjoyed it. This is on our bucket list of courses to play at and is on this list as the Cave golf at V and A is a great course.
Price : R35
cave golf

4. SA putt putt – Sea point

I love the fresh sea air and breath taking views as you play one of two courses here.
Again this is a very popular spot during weekends and holidays so its advisable to go early.
The course is outside and offers a few seats but mostly you will need your sun block when visiting.
The course was well looked after when we last visited.
Price: R35

5. SA putt putt – Muizenberg

This charming course is slowly outside and offers a variety of difficulty.
Being outside you will need your sun block but just like the SA putt putt in sea point on our last visit the course was well taken care of.
Price : R35 
Putt putt in Sea point
Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

Expresso Cafe Bayside Shopping centre -review

This has to be one of my favourite little coffee shops.

I’m a frugal mom, and years of raising 6 kids on one income, has meant that I will always look for a great bargain and a way to stretch my budget.
Expresso Cafe in Bayside shopping center allows just that.

About

This little store stands alone, inviting you into a peaceful ambiance where you can sit down or order a takeaway.
The benches, chairs, and tables were spotless on our visit and the tabletops were divided by clear plastic screens allowing for Covid restrictions to be upheld.
The staff are warm, friendly, and eager to assist. In South Africa, great service is often overlooked so I always appreciate someone who is helpful and polite whilst doing their job.
The menu is extensive and you can grab a coffee, slushies, soft drinks, pastries, pies, and even pancakes.
The food is fresh and the pies are delicious.
Best of all ….everything in the store costs R12 an item.
Yes, you read that correctly. R12 for anything you buy.

Our order

I visited with Hamish and Ronan.
Hamish ordered a slushie, pie, and donut which came to R36
Ronan ordered a slushie, pie, and brownie. His food also cost R36.
I ordered a coffee, water to go, and pie and my order was R36.
This meant that all 3 of us got to eat out, with a drink and pudding for only R108
Where else can you still buy a meal, dessert, and drink for under R50 per person?
So, next time you are in the area …pop in and enjoy a budget-friendly meal.
Posted in Blog posts

The Bucket List Book – Cape Town edition

One of my top reasons for loving Cape Town is the abundance of things to do as a family.

There is always something new or fun to do and we have an incredibly long bucket list each year of all the things we want to try or do with Hamish. As you can imagine, doing these activities can become quite costly when you add in entry fees, lunches and petrol to travel to the destination.
But what if there was a way to save on some expenses and enjoy more?

The Bucket list book

Well, now you can with The Bucket list book.
The Bucket list book is a beautifully designed A5 hardcover fun, interactive guide book and journal for kids to record and rate their adventures, add photos, get creative by drawing, learn the snippets of information and enjoy pages of activities.
With bright fun maps and updated details of the businesses, the book highlights some fun places to visit and allows your child to build up a keepsake album to look back at over a year.
Your child can also create their own top 10 places to visit bucket list and start to tick off the best ice cream places to try.
Best of all the last pages of The bucket list book includes over 40 vouchers to save you money whilst visiting this bucket list of family-friendly places in and around Cape Town.
The Bucket list book retails at R650 each. Inside You will discover more than R1800 worth of FREE activities and over R12 000 worth of discounted activities.
All vouchers last until November 2022, giving you more than enough time to enjoy and redeem these fun experiences.
This year give the gift of experience and memories to your children. Let’s keep our children exploring.

Our experience

Hamish loved filling in the pages of his book prior to our first adventure.
We made his Top 10 list and then sat together to read the facts about Cape Town and choose somewhere to go….he chose the Blue train park and ice cream.
The book was known at the venues and we had no problem redeeming the tickets. However, it is wise to first show your book and card inside the book and explain that you will be using a voucher.
We noticed there were restrictions with the ice creams we were ordering and thus it’s good to know beforehand what your vouchers entail so that you can use them correctly.
Also recommended is to do your homework and Google the business you want to visit first as I noticed the bike park only take online bookings, which I would not have known if I hadn’t google to try to see if their track was suitable for Hamish to ride on.
Some businesses may have food restrictions, rules to obey or not be open on a Sunday, etc, so it is always good to know the information you need before venturing out.
It’s always a good idea to plan your visits before heading out and I like to see the local business around where we are heading as well. This way I can plan my day and ensure our adventure goes off smoothly.

My thoughts on the book

I am really impressed with the book and as a family that ventures out each weekend, I am sure we will use all the vouchers and save enough to enjoy some extras along our adventure.
I mostly love that it becomes a keepsake album recording our experiences with Hamish.
I also love that the book has added a few kindness vouchers along the way. Things like smile at someone, hold the door open, and give a hug. This really spoke to my mom heart.
Yesterday we saved just over R100 using 2 vouchers and with January being such a long and costly month, the free vouchers allow us to still enjoy family outings. Playdates and homeschool days out on a limited budget.

To order

To order your book go to http://www.thebucketlistbook.co.za
Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Family Life, Family Time

SA National Park Week 2021

As a South African citizen you can visit any National Park for free during this year’s 16th annual SA National Parks Week from 22 – 26 November 2021.

Everyone over the age of 18 years must produce an SA ID or SA driver’s license to enter the Parks. It’s important to note that no electronic copies of ID will be accepted.

Extensions

The Bontebok, Tankwa Karoo, and West Coast National Parks in the Cape Region will be extending SA National Parks Week until Sunday, 28 November 2021.

The Agulhas and Table Mountain National Parks will host SA National Parks Week until Friday, 26 November 2021.

Cape region parks

If you are in the Cape Region during SA National Parks Week, here are some things you can do:

• SANParks – Agulhas National Park Explore the Southern Most Tip of Africa which boasts magnificent views. You can also take a walk along the shore to view a graveyard of shipwrecks along the Agulhas coastline.

• Bontebok National Park – SANParks

One of the smallest parks offering you sightings of countless Bontebok roaming around. You can also go canoeing along the Breede River Dam, and enjoy endless hiking trails to explore and embrace what nature has to offer.

• SANParks – Tankwa Karoo National Park

Experience the quietness and most scenic 4×4 routes that this park has to offer.

• SANParks – Table Mountain National Park

Enjoy a braai at one of the many braai spots such as Tokai Forest, Newlands, and Oudekraal, and indulge in the essence of the Cape of Good Hope with the many activities it has to offer.

• SANParks – West Coast National Park

Just inland from the secluded harbor of Saldana Bay, and only 2 hour’s drive from Cape Town’s City Centre, you will find the azure waters of the Langebaan Lagoon, the focal point of West Coast National Park.

So put on those hiking shoes, grab your cameras and head out to nature.

Posted in Cape town accommodation

Tyger Hills guest house – A Place called home

When travelling you want to know that your accommodation is welcoming and offers all the comforts of your home.

Photo credit: Tyger Hills Guest House

Which is why guests refer to Tyger Hills Guest House as “A Place Called Home.”

Tiger Hill Guest House is an owner-managed 3-star Guesthouse and you can expect top quality in the overall standard of facilities, furnishings, service and guest care.

Tyger Hill Guest House offers both Self-Catering or Bed & Breakfast Accommodation with enclosed Lapa with braai facilities.


Easy access to main routes. Close to the airport and Cape Town Central as well as to various popular tourist attractions.

Photo credit: Tyger Hills Guest House

For more information contact

Tyger Hills Guest House
265 Uys Krige Drive
Loevenstein Bellville
Contact Person: Martin Nel
Phone (021) 9132050
Email: info@tygerhills.co.za

Posted in Cape town accommodation

Taylor’s Place Self Catering Accommodation- a little haven of peace and tranquility in Durbanville

As we travel locally and discover all the hidden gems our country has to offer I thought I’d share this little haven of peace and tranquility in Durbanville with you.

Photo credit: Taylor’s Place

TAYLOR’S PLACE, situated in Durbanville Hills,provides fully equipped and furnished Self-catering accommodation that ensures comfort in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.

Photo credut: Taylor’s Place


It is conveniently central to many of the tourist attractions and offers great value for money to all travellers, holiday makers, relocating families or business men and women.


Secure Parking, swimming pool, private garden with braai and air conditioning are all provided in your comfortable stay.

Photo credit : Taylor’s Place

Note :

A minimum of two nights stay is required.

Credit Cards are not accepted.

Photo credit: Taylor’s Place

To book or for more information contact:

Taylor’s Place Self Catering Accommodation
4 Hangklip Rd Durbanville Hills
Contact Person: Marlene Taylor
Call +27(0) 21 976 8554
Email: taylor@taylorsplace.co.za

Posted in Family Life

2021 …

As the new year rings in my phone is usually alive with pings and posts.

Well wishers sharing New year blessings from long before the stroke of midnight until the middle of a new days afternoon.

But

2021 hasn’t brought about any of the fan fare.

My phone has remained quiet, subtle hints at new year messages are scattered in social media pages and images of candles burning for those we lost during 2020 have replaced the jovial party images of popped champagne corks and fireworks.

2021 has arrived, quietly. Almost too afraid to bring too much hope as we watch the numbers of those infected by the virus climb and remember those who we lost in 2020.

2021 feels cautious. Aware that not much has changed in the world around us and yet at the same time understanding just how much our lives have changed.

2021 in her subtleness, offers support and empathy.

Knowing, full well, that we are still trying to digest the events of the last 9 months and like a pregnant mother she is prepared to ease us into a new way of life.

2021 ….

May she bring you a year of good health, sufficient wealth and abundant happiness as you start to write the story of this blank book.

May this be the year that we continue to show empathy and gratitude.

A year of growth and progression for us all.

A year where we keep our families and homes our core focus and continue to stay close to nature.

May we in 2021 learn to be kind …mostly to ourselves.

And may we be blessed with opportunities to learn and flourish.

May 2021 be the year you remember , not for struggles or sadness but for love.

Happy New Year !

With love

Judy & Hamish

Posted in Family Life

The brass leopard of Chapman’s peak

I love slow Sunday drives to nowhere and today we drove the coast from Muizenburg back to Tableview, over the majestic Chapman’s peak.

As we wound our way down towards Hout Bay, taking in the crisp cool blue ocean and the stunning scenery Brent stopped to show me a statue he had heard about somewhere.

We pulled up at the scenic lookout and just below us on a rocky throne stood an aged green/blue statue of a leopard.

My curiosity was awakened.

Who would place a statue in the middle of nowhere and why a leopard? After all I would have assumed if they were going to erect a statue here it would be a seal prehaps?

Brent was no help as he had no idea about why the statue was here just that it was.

As soon as we got home my mind needed answers. So I did a quick Google search.

A bronze tribute

According to the Hout Bay museum the bronze leopard of Hout Bay is a national landmark.

This famous 295kg statue was sculpted by Ivan Mitford-Barbeton who also sculpted the famous Jock of the Bushvelt statue in Barberton and Pan at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

The elegant statue stands tribute to all the wild animals that once roamed the forests and mountains of the Cape Peninsula and it’s interesting to note that the last leopard seen in Hout Bay was in 1937 on Little Lions Head.

The project was supported by Pepsi-Cola who donated all the bronze used to make the lonely leopard who was placed on his rocky pedestal on the 14 March 1963.

Over the years the bronze leopard has gained a green/blue colouring because of oxidation of the bronze and the salty sea air.

I’m sure that in an evening shadow this statue could be mistaken for a leopard on the rocks enjoying a moonlit ocean.

Images : my own and Google

Information : Hout Bay museum