A Tranquil escape in Hout Bay

Tintswalo.jpg

Tinstwalo Antlantic, the boutique lodge in Hout Bay, which was destroyed by a devastating Cape fire in 2015, has been restored to its former glory. I was invited to enjoy their Winter Warmer package. The package includes an overnight stay and gourmet cuisine, for two people sharing – this is worth it for a five-star lodge.

CT TOTT Tintswalo Atlantic interrior

Resting on a pebbled beach at the foot of the Table Mountain National Park, directly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the view from the wooden decked terrace is breathtaking. This is where we had a refreshing spritzer on arrival while listening to the sounds of ocean waves lapping gently against the shore.

Here, seated on cushioned chairs, you will have a front row seat to the sunset or you can watch the sun go down from your room terrace, we opted for the latter.

The property boasts panoramic views of the picturesque Hout Bay Harbour, dramatic Sentinel mountain’s peak, and the ocean.

We spent the night in the elegant Sicily Island room, each suite is named after an island.

The luxurious, fully-catered villa, decorated in off white and nautical shades of dusty blues has a wooden ceiling and parquet flooring, comfortable seating area, fireplace to keep you warm during the winter nights and its own private balcony with views of the bay.

The bathroom is my favourite room. The stand-alone bathtub faces a large window with incredible views of the sea and mountain a majestic sight.

CT TOTT Tintswalo bath pic 4.jpg

Tintswalo Atlantic serves breakfast daily in the dining room or deck and the fine dining restaurant offers a variety of tastes and cuisines. Lunch and dinner are available upon request. I enjoyed hake and a salad for lunch on the deck.

CT TOTT Tinswalo breakfast.jpg

Taking a walk around the establishment, we visited theterrace which has two heated outdoor swimming pools. Although they are heated it was too cold for a swim.

There is also a spa on the premises and a 24-hour front desk which is on hand to assist in arranging activities such as horse riding and fishing, as well as an airport shuttle upon request.

Dinner consisted of five-courses with a bottle of house wine. It was prepared by the recently appointed head chef Guy Clark, who has made a name for himself in the foodies circles of Cape Town.

Tintswalo Atlantic Black salt cream. Japanese chilli cured salmon. fresh fig. gooseberries. 1MB.jpg

 

 

Dinner consisted of five-courses with a bottle of house wine. It was prepared by the recently appointed head chef Guy Clark, who has made a name for himself in the foodies circles of Cape Town.

Clark recently returned to his home town, the Mother City, having honed his skills in India and Florida (US) for the past four years.

He takes a simplified approach to cooking, focusing on flavour.

“I believe in celebrating ingredients in their purest form, using methods and techniques that enhance flavour, presentation and texture.

“Sourcing and utilising local, sustainable and organic is key to delivering an ethical and superior menu” he says.

His new eight-course Ocean & Ash tasting menu for Tintswalo Atlantic is based on different themes, whereby he cites local ingredients and foraging as important components of the process.

Unusual plating and presentation styles also play an important part in the dining experience.

The first course includes three variations of one of his new favourites, seaweed – which, he says, makes perfect sense, seeing that it is available in abundance right on the restaurant doorstep.

Our five-course meal included a berry sorbet palate cleanser, a crispy pork belly and Japanese chilli cured salmon, a delicious lentil warm salad and fresh fig and gooseberries sprinkled with black salt cream.

We had our mains and desserts in our room.

I liked that we had this option, as we had a long day and the villa offered enough comfort for you to dine in private.

Sleeping right next to the sea means listening to the rhythmic and calming sound of the waves crashing on the shore.

It does get chilly during the night so keep the fire going.

Tintswalo Atlantic Panoramic Ocean Views 2

Breakfast time is flexible, this means you can sleep in and watch the sun rise from your comfortable bed – that’s what the floor to ceiling windows are there for.

Also, enjoy the fresh sea air, it will make you feel like you are on a real island and it will make you forget that you are not far from the city.

When we eventually managed to peel ourselves from the bed we headed to the dining area for breakfast.

Now, usually in the mornings a breakfast smoothie is all I can stomach.

Therefore, breakfast was potentially overwhelming for a light eater like me.

Breakfast starts with a delicious creamy yoghurt, fruits and muesli, followed by pastries, a cheese platter and eggs of your choice.

The breakfast is a foodie heaven and satisfies Instagram goals – after all they offer free and fast wi-fi.

Tintswalo Atlantic Suite Views to die for1.jpg

Tintswalo Atlantic is the ideal destination for a romantic weekend getaway, to celebrate a special occasion or to pop in for lunch and sundowners on the terrace.

* The Winter Warmer Package at Tintswalo Atlantic will be on until August 31, an overnight offer includes luxury accommodation, as well as breakfast and a five-course dinner with a bottle of house wine, at R7000 for two people sharing.

During weekends, a minimum two-night stay applies.

Connect with Tintswalo Atlantic on Instagram and Twitter @Tintswalolodges https://twitter.com/Tintswalolodges

This feature was first published in the Cape Times’ Top of The Times on June 15 2017.

Connect with me on Instagram @Nontando58 https://www.instagram.com/nontando58/?hl=en  Find more of my work here: http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/style 

Sizzle this swimsuit season

1

RESORT GODDESS:VADA by SIVADA “The Resort Goddess collection”

Swim season is here and there are many options on offer to rock this summer in a costume that suits your shape and size. From the ongoing onepiece swimsuit trend to sporty cut-away bikinis and extreme cut-outs in solid and tropical prints, it’s going to be a sizzling
beach season.

Here is a round-up of some of our favourites to inspire you during your beach apparel shopping trip. South Africa’s online fashion retailer VADA has launched its SS’17’ Resort Goddess collection featuring the favourite, classic one-piece swimsuit in sultry reds and feminine pastel hues. The designs are flattering feminine silhouettes for those who do not wish to flash too much skin.

VADA.JPG

VADA by SIVADA “The Resort Goddess collection”

The collection also features delicate chiffon throwovers for lounging by the pool.
Order from their website: http://www. vadabysivada.co.za. Also view the collection
on Instagram @vadabysivada

2.JPG

VADA by SIVADA “The Resort Goddess collection”

Beach Cult by SDR Photo.jpgBeachCult by Joanna Hedley. Photo by SDR Photo 

BeachCult is the debut swimwear collection by designer Joanna Hedley, whose perfectly fitted, barely-there creations were showcased at last year’s Africa Fashion Week in London and at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Johannesburg (MBFWJ) in March.

The collection features high waist and high-cut bottoms, as well as strap, crochet and mesh detailing. The prints used used are by Cape Town artists and illustrators Emijl De Kock and Jade Klara.

Beach Cult 2 by SDR Photo.jpg

BeachCult by Joanna Hedley. Photo by SDR Photo 

“The collection is inspired by the dichotomy of the human form in nature, which is realised both by our natural world themed prints, alongside our neutral plains, says Hedley.
“It is a local, edgy taste on luxe swimwear and is inspired by and aimed at young at heart, confident women who are comfortable in their own skin, and looking for something striking”, she says.

To view Hedley’s collection visit http://www.beachcult.co.za and Instagram @beachcult.

The Mismatched bikini
A matching bikini top and bottom is cute, however a mismatched bikini also looks good when styled correctly. Don’t be afraid to pair clashing colours and prints.

havaianas-2

 

Shoes:  Your beach outfit requires the perfect foot gear that is both comfortable and stylish. Brazilian brand Havaianas recently held their SS17 event showcasing their latest range of flip flops and espadrilles. The shoes are available in colourful and quirky designs, including florals, nautical patterns and quirky comic designs.

havaianas-the-vue-lr-31.jpg
* Visit Havaianas at the V&A Waterfront or shop online at http://www.havaianas-store.com.

Swim Trunks: Loud, colourful and busy board shorts remain a top favourite for men who want to swim in style.

Granadilla Swim 2 by Aubrey Ndiweni.JPG

Granadilla Swim. Photo by Aubrey Ndiweni

Granadilla Swim: Granadilla is a South African brand that lives by the maxim: “It’s always summer somewhere”.  The name “Granadilla” was inspired by the iconic ice-cream sellers on Clifton 4th Beach in Cape Town (“a granadilla lolly to make you jolly!”) where Granadilla founders Adam and Josh met several summers ago.

Granadilla Swim by Aubrey Ndiweni.JPG

Granadilla Swim. Photo by Aubrey Ndiweni
Find them at www.granadillaswim.com 

This piece was first published in the Cape Argus on October 19 2016. 
Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat: @Nontando58

 

Swimwear that fits so good

6

pic by SDR photo

AN array of jewel-toned tribal prints celebrate modern Africa, while tourmaline and tanzanite tones give a sophisticated feel that wouldn’t go amiss at Coachella or the beaches of Formentera.

Celebrated South African designer Craig Port launched his latest swimwear collection at The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa in Sea Point to the delight of onlookers as the The “Port Squad”strutted around the hotel’s pool in skimpy briefs and thigh-hugging shorts. Port, whose Spring Summer 15 swimwear collection features design details that display thoughtful branding and eye-catching trims, giving it a refined edge, spoke to us about his work.

 

 

 Five words that describe your SS15 collection? Retro, athletic, bohemian, hedonistic, carefree.

Tell us about the inspiration for your collection. I was influenced by 1970s poolside utopia, retro athletics and bohemian hedonism. I want the pieces to become essential vacation companions that take you from sun lounger to sundowner with a clink of a glass.

What type of man do you see wearing your collection? I was inspired by my #PortSquad of celebrities, friends and models, and I see the collection resonating with the modern man, someone looking for a happy and carefree summer.

What do you enjoy most about designing swimwear? I am a total beach bum and travel is an integral part of my design process. I’m
incredibly inspired by the sea and the ocean. From Mykonos to Bakoven, swimwear is a huge part of my life over summer.

What are some of your favourite swimwear trends for summer? 

Square or box cut briefs and the “above the knee” swim short. I loved playing with prints and juxtaposing them with retro cuts. I had a lot of fun with this collection.

What is important when shopping for swimwear? Fit is everything. Go for a style that flatters your body shape.

When looking for models to represent your brand, what do you look for? I have a long-standing relationship with Boss Models as they have a super hot line-up of some of the world’s top male talent.

“Confidence and a bit of cheeky attitude are essential for shows.”

What are three things you feel contributed to the success of the brand?
Hard work, a clear vision and a passion for design.

What do you think about sustainability and sustainable design?
I believe that as a designer you have a responsibility to be conscious of the world around you.

5

Which other swimwear designers do you love right now? Orlebar Brown and Osklen.

What’s your favourite swimwear trend? Jewel tones and tribal prints have been getting a lot of exposure.

How would you describe your own personal style?
Modern, refined and relaxed.

What’s one item you can’t live without at the beach? My Lancier sunglasses.

Advice for aspiring designers? Anything is possible. If you can dream it then you can do it, but don’t forget to work hard while dreaming. Put your head down and go. Always look ahead and don’t let what others are doing affect you and your journey.

Where can we purchase the Craig Port swimwear? YDE stores nationwide. Pieces from the collection start from R450

For more information, see http://www.craigport.co.za.
Twitter handle: @craigport

Last words? Watch this space, London Fashion Week, here I come!

tara and I

Tara of the trendsoiree blog and I.

 

The feature was first published in the Cape Argus on December 2 2015. All pictures are by SDR Photo. 

Follow me on Instagram: Nontando58.

 

 

Walking with the crazies and rocking the daisies 2014

WTD 1

MOST of us started out as strangers, but after 48 hours of Walking the Daisies and bonding over tired legs and swollen feet, we parted as friends and
fond acquaintances.

pucture by Willem Law

pucture by Willem Law                                                               

We were the more than 120 “crazies”who took on the challenge of the 53km trek from Bloubergstrand to Darling’s Cloof Wine Estate to attend the ecofriendly music and lifestyle festival, Rocking the Daisies, at the weekend.

Walking the Daisies is an annual twoday hike that was started in 2008 by Cape Town botanist Greg Nicolson, after returning from a 700km hike from Cape Town to the Namibian border. Nicolson, a UCT student at the time, was researching endangered wildflower species along the N7 road reserve. He and a friend decided to hike back up the coast to the Rocking the Daisies festival, hoping to score free festival tickets for their efforts.
“We roughed it and slept next to the road. We also didn’t plan the route but just followed the road,” he recalls. The next year the first official walk started, with just 20 people. Now dubbed the “Walk of a Lifetime” because of its scenic route, hundreds compete each year
for a spot in the event. “It’s a way for people to experience our natural heritage, and is aimed at also stimulating conversation about environmental issues,” Nicolson says. “The event draws interesting characters and over the years has been the source of many friendships and in some cases is responsible for bringing life partners together.”

picture by Willem Law

picture by Willem Law

I joined Nicolson and others at the start of the facilitated hike. The group of walkers was mostly made up of yogis – like me, vegetarians, avid hikers, hipsters who walked barefooted, and those who just wanted a good adventure.

Each of us had our own reasons for doing the walk, but the common one was
concern for the environment – and we wanted to “rock the daisies” with a clear conscience. The festival promotes recycling, alternative energy and carbon reducing plans, among other initiatives.
Gabrielle Andrews – the “mother”of the group and a lover of the outdoors who has walked Spain’s Camino Santiago – said she was participating as a personal
pilgrimage.

“The peninsula is bursting with sacred sites and we sometimes forget to celebrate the diversity of our natural resources,” says the 55-year old life coach from Constantia.
We started at the Big Bay Mall, where we left our camping gear and luggage with event partner GreenPop to transport to our overnight camp site at Silwerstroom.

With just a backpack of essentials, such as a bottle of water, energy snacks and a change of clothes, we started with a beach clean-up at Bloubergstrand, picking up litter there and all along the way. It was a clear and sunny day as we made our way along the West Coast’s shores, bordered by the N7 and R27. We walked past Kreeftebaai, Melkbos,
Brakkefontein and around the back of Koeberg.

picture by Willem Law

picture by Willem Law

Crunching sea shells and the sound of crashing ocean waves made for an awesome
experience. But the walk is not for the faint-hearted or the unfit. There were moments when everything hurt, from my glutes to my calf muscles, and times when I felt as if my legs were about to give in.

Walking on soft sandy dunes and up sandy hills almost brought me to tears, but the camaraderie and determination in the group kept me going. There was no pressure to keep up with anyone and there were adequate breaks along the way. A good pair of sneakers was essential as the terrain was rough at times, and we made sure that we lathered ourselves with sunscreen to guard against the harsh sun . Some participants hobbled along with blisters, but there were no serious injuries.
For R330, the walkers got a fully catered experience, as well an overnight stay at the beautiful Silverstroomstrand resort and a weekend pass to the festival.

picture by Willem Law

picture by Willem Law

Spotting the occasional breaching whale along the way made the experience
even more special. The highlight on our second day was a lunch stop at Mamre, where we planted a vegetable garden for the community. The garden will be tended by a group of
unemployed women who will sell the vegetables to feed their families.

For Mzoxolo Mayongo, 28, who has attended the festival several times, taking part in the walk was about seeking a new experience. “The hike makes it extra special, it’s not just about partying at the festival. This is us being conscious about environmental issues affecting our world and doing our bit to raise awareness,” he says.
On Thursday afternoon, we descended the hill towards the wine farm as victorious gladiators who had taken took on a challenge most thought crazy.

VICTORY!!! pic by Willem Law

VICTORY!!! pic by Willem Law

As Nicolson puts it: “It’s about pushing your body to its limit. It is hard and sometimes people struggle to the end with blisters, but determination will get you there”.

[This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on October 7 2014]