HOW A SPA HIGH TEA CAN SOLVE YOUR YEAR END PARTY DILEMMA.

Askari Spa, a little hidden gem on the outskirts of Magaliesburg has just launched a High Tea menu. Call me crazy, but I can’t think of a nicer way to spend and afternoon with girl friends nibbling on mini doughnuts, chocolate fudge brownies (my all time favourite way of kilojoule intake) , mini milk tarts and chocolate dipped strawberries. And did I mention the selection of cupcakes – think: red velvet, vanilla and chocolate. Sounds seriously yum to me.

Feeling that you need to go the healthy route – then the cucumber sandwiches and Spinach and feta quiche will work for you. There is also a Tika Pizzamoosa on the menu which I have  absolutely no idea what it is, but my guess would be a cross between a dainty samoosa and pizza? (Mental note to self – have to ask the Spa a photo of what this looks like!)

At R150 a person its a steal – keep in mind that if you plan your day well, you could lay down your sorrows in the capable hands of a miracle-working massage therapist and still see the elephants drinking water in front of the main restaurant  during lunch.

Women rule the world and also the diary, so keep in mind that this also makes an incredible alternative for a year end function for the girls in the office. Send the men for some bush-whacking or a Big 5 game drive at Askari Game Lodge to keep them busy while you drink, pinky in the air, yet another cup of glorious tea.

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Still thinking about the chocolate fudge brownies like I am right now? Thought I should share my easy-peasy recipe with you (courtesy of Food24.com)

Ingredients: 250 g butter | 500 g icing sugar |250 ml good quality cocoa powder |1 egg, slightly beaten |1 tsp vanilla essence | 1 packet Marie biscuits broken into pieces (bash in a packet or use a food processor)

Method: Melt the butter in a large pot until melted. Remove from the heat and add the icing sugar and cocoa. Mix well until well combined and there are no dry bits.
Stir in the beaten egg and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Add the broken biscuit bits and stir until well combined and evenly coated with chocolate.
Spoon the mixture into a greased 24 x 24 cm and smooth out with a spatula.
Once cooled and firm (pop into the fridge to speed up the process), cut into 16 squares and keep in an airtight container.

I told you it was easy !

BOOKINGS AND  ENQUIRIES: spa@askarilodge.co.za | Tel 014 577 2658 | http://www.askarispa.co.za  |Valid 2016

 

IN VINO VERITAS.

SIMONSIG FOOD AND WINE PAIRING 29 SEPTEMBER

I’ve always been a huge fan of Simonsig wines and exactly 12 months ago the extended family hopped onto a train and spent a few glorious days in Cape Town which included  a wonderful day at Simonsig Wine Estate.

Fast forward to 2016 and we are sitting high and wine-dry up in Johannesburg with the wisdom of  Francis Bacon top of mind: “If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad then Muhammad must go to the mountain.” Originally coined from a Turkish saying, it has every application to our Simonsig Wine dinner, we thought, as we extended an invitation to the wine farm to host a food and wine pairing dinner at The Fairway Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort in Randburg.


The venue for this Simonsig Wine evening is  our up-market Balata Restaurant, which scooped its 5th American Express Fine Dining Awards last week. Dinner is at 19h00 on 29 September with the menu prepared by Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Siegenthaler. (Insider tip: Arrive a bit earlier to enjoy an aperitif in Bar Verve.)

The menu looks tantalizing and includes the following food and wine combinations:

ON ARRIVAL : Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2016

STARTER 1: Marinated West Coast mussels salad with ciabatta croutons |paired with Simonsig Chenin Blanc 2016

STARTER 2:  Garlic snails Gougere, pork rillette and sautéed duck liver |paired with Simonsig Sauvignon Blanc 2015

MAINS:  Chicken supreme en croute forestiere | paired with Simonsig Tiara 2011 and Pinotage 2014

DESSERT:  Three strawberries Meringue pancake, sorbet and jelly | paired with Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel 2014

R350 per person

Being the responsible adults that we are, we recommend that you make use of this great stay over offer or at least Uber home after your wine dinner out: Receive 50% DISCOUNT on accommodation – from R1200 per couple sharing, including breakfast.

ALL DINNER AND ACCOMMODATION BOOKINGS: Contact us:  (011) 478 8000  | Stefaniep@thefairway.co.za 

Some personal flashbacks to wine tasting at the real McCoy – Simonsig Wine Estate:

ABOUT SIMONSIG WINE ESTATE

Simonsig Estate upholds the legendary status of pioneering wine excellence shaped by the Malan dynasty’s devotion to quality and innovative winemaking. Named after its dramatic views of the Simonsberg Mountain, the estate is ideally situated in Stellenbosch, South Africa’s premier wine region, 45 km east of Cape Town. Here the cool maritime Mediterranean climate and quintessential terroir flawlessly intertwine to create world class wines. Since French Huguenot Jacques Malan first set foot in the Cape Winelands in 1688, the knowledge imparted over more than ten generations has equipped the Malan family to excel as one of the leading private producers of estate wines in South Africa. Read more….

Follow our Facebook page for more wine dinners at The Fairway Hotel:

Diarise the following dates:

Innis & Gunn:           20 October 2016 (Scottish Craft beer tasting)
Warwick:                  24 November 2016

R350 per person | Contact us:  (011) 478 8000  |  anushav@thefairway.co.za

 

 

BALATA RESTAURANT DOES IT A 5TH TIME AT THE AMERICAN EXPRESS FINE DINING AWARDS.

American Express® last night revealed the country’s most coveted culinary list, the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards, at a chic event held in Johannesburg.

Balata  Restaurant at The Fairway Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort was acknowledged for its excellent standards by winning this award for the 5th time in its six years of existence, which places them under the Top 100 restaurants in South Africa.

“The 18th edition of these esteemed awards marked the introduction of a definitive list of the country’s 100 exceptional restaurants by American Express, the authority on extraordinary experiences and saw the highest number of first time recipient restaurants receive recognition””, according to the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards organisers.

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Jean-Pierre Siegenthaler, one of the world’s most celebrated chefs, is the Executive Chef at The Fairway Hotel. A Swiss national who speaks no fewer than five languages, has stamped his mark on the South Africa culinary scene since his arrival in the country in the mid seventies. Since then he has held court at some of the country’s most famous establishments, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Mr Mandela at his Presidential Inauguration Ceremony in 1994.

Chef Siegenthaler was recently honoured as a “Chef of Distinction” during a celebratory event in honour of Swiss National Day where he prepared a five course dinner which was paired with excellent Klein Constantia wines.(Click here to see the brand new Balata Restaurant menu)

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A very proud team from Fairway Hotel pictured at the Amex Awards 2016. FLTR: Mark Alexandrou (Sous Chef), Jean-Pierre Siegenthaler (Executive Chef), Yves Forget (Restaurant Manager) and Jan du Toit (Executive Sous Chef)

 

 

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Mr Christopher Trimble, GM of The Fairway, ascribes the  award to the consistent standard of excellence at Balata Restaurant:

“To be acknowledged as one of the Top 100 restaurants in the country is a tremendous testament to the craftsmanship of our culinary team at Fairway Hotel. As a hotel-based restaurant we have to go the extra mile to compete with the privately owned restaurants and our success is due to a great team who operates like a well-oiled machine. A restaurant is not only successful because of its chefs, but the restaurant manager  Yves Forget and his team who are always there with a warm welcome, is also part of the success story. They’ve done a great job and I am extremely proud of them”.

 

The Fairway Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort is a proud member of

the Guvon Hotels &  Spas group.

www.thefairway.co.za | Tel 011 478 8000

 

 

CLEVER IDEAS FOR PET-FRIENDLY WEDDING DECOR AT WARTHOGS BUSH CAMP.

There are some insanely cute and clever ideas when it comes to pet-friendly weddings. Every single time I pin new images to our fabulous Pinterest board, I have a #feelgoodfriday. (Yes, I do know its only Tuesday today!)

Part of the fun of having a pet-friendly wedding at Warthog Bush Camp is the many ways which the theme can be rolled out and incorporated  into your wedding:

NEED SOME INSPIRATION?   4 SURE WAYS OF HAVING WOOFING GOOD WEDDING

1 – Make your table numbers dog-centric. Use all those cute puppy photos and mad moments for personalised table numbers.

2 – No cake is complete without a memorable cake topper. Make yours one to remember with  a fun figurine of your favourite pet.

3 – In the spirit of giving, share the love with a wedding favour to take home. Your guests’ furry friends would be most impressed. It certainly beats another engraved wine glass which will just gather dust on the guests’ shelf.

4 – Keeping it real with wedding decor at a Bush camp is a must-do. Ambrosia Events did this wonderful rustic, proudly South African set up for us at Warthogs which we love to bits. Let the creative Christina Roussetis in on your pet-friendly wedding ideas:

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For more inspiration on pet-friendly weddings, visit our fun Facebook page! www.warthogs.co.za |Tel 014 577 2658

 

 

52 PLACES IN 52 WEEKS. A BMW-ER TEST DRIVES ASKARI LODGE.

Starting this fresh Monday morning with a lovely guest blog by BMW biker Stuart Crous: onmybmw1200gs.  It is his mission to visit 52 places in 52 weeks and share his experiences with us about  food, accommodation and general comments. 

 

“We found this gem by absolute chance. We were just out riding through Muldersdrift and Hekpoort when we came to a t-junction in the road. Left to Magaliesburg or right to Hartebeespoort, we decided to go left. About 3 kms down the road we came across a large Askari Game Lodge signboard and decided to take a look, we have never been allowed in at game lodges before as the bike is either dangerous or noisy. We got to the main gate and asked if we could go in as we wanted to go for breakfast at the lodge. To our surprise they allowed us in.

imageSo we took the ride up to the main lodge, on the way we were able to see many buck, zebra, giraffe and we even saw 2 elephants drinking at the watering hole. WOW what an experience our first viewing on the BMW GS. We got up to the lodge very excited and talking about this unique experience not knowing what else Askari has to offer.

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We were then shown where the restaurant and spa was situated. We were taken back in time to the Voortrekkers with the Ox wagons surrounding the restaurant. They also have an old museum in a barn with numerous old wagons and carts.

The breakfast was a delight at R225 per person for a full buffet and we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the view. We only realized afterwards that this was a very popular wedding venue and couples select Askari to get married at because you can have your photos taken with these beautiful huge elephants. They also have a nice selection of accommodation available from self catering, to garden cottages and deluxe suites. Check out the Askari website for details.”

 

Blog and photo credit: https://onmybmw1200gs.wordpress.com/2016/09/11/askari/

WIN A 5 DAY HONEYMOON ON THE KRUGER PARK’S DOORSTEP WHEN BOOKING A WINTER WEDDING AT GLENBURN LODGE.

Glenburn Lodge in Muldersdrift and Umbhaba Lodge in Hazyview, Mpumalanga have teamed up to offer three romantic five night honeymoon prizes to brides and grooms who book their wedding during May, June or July 2017 at Glenburn Lodge & Spa in the Cradle of Humankind.  A winner will be chosen each month.

With three spectacular wedding venues to choose from, brides are spoilt for choice for weddings from 60 to 250 guests.

Glenkyle overlooks an impressive waterfall, and is situated on the Blaauwbank River, while Glencove is nestled on the Crocodile River in a beautiful country garden setting. Glenwillow is situated at the foot of the majestic Zwartkops Mountain in the Bush Willow Tented Camp. (click here for our image gallery)

Winter wedding savings include: 

  • No venue hire  in June & July
  • 50% venue hire discount in May and August (Glenkyle & Glencove only)
  • One complimentary night’s bed and breakfast accommodation for the parents of the bride and groom (max 2 rooms) the night before the wedding,
  • Complimentary toasting bubbly
  • Complimentary lit fire in the venue

( and the chance to win a honeymoon)

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The Honeybee wedding package  (valid 2016 and 2017) is ideal for couples who prefer the no-fuss route when it comes to décor, as the R390pp includes the menu as well as décor items.

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After tying the knot at Glenburn Lodge & Spa, it is off to Umbhaba Lodge for five days of rest and relaxation in the beautiful town of Hazyview, a small farming town in Mpumalanga, South Africa which has been named after the shimmering haze that occurs during the heat of summer.

Just 5 minutes from the Phabeni Gate of the Kruger National Park,  this is the ideal departure point for Big 5 excursions, sightseeing at the majestic Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Pot Holes. The Kruger National Airport is minutes away. This venue is very popular as an expat destination wedding for families who want to celebrate both their wedding and honeymoon with friends and family who traveled from far.  (click here for our image gallery) 

Please contact our banqueting department on 011 668 1600 / banquet@glenburn.co.za for a wedding site inspection.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Competition only applicable to weddings booked over May, June and July 2017
  2. Prize must be taken up within the week after the wedding Sunday to Friday
  3. Wedding must be paid in full prior to the competition draw date
  4. Competition draw; 1 April for May wedding / 1 may for June wedding / 1 June for July wedding
  5. Excludes long weekends, public holidays, peak holiday periods
  6. Alternative dates may be granted by the general Manager upon request
  7. Please note that this prize has no cash value and is not transferrable between Guvon Hotels
  8. Beverages, travel expenses and sundries are for winners own account
  9. Excursions such as Game Drives at neighbouring properties are for the winners own account
  10. Winners have to make their own arrangements getting to and from Umbhaba Lodge
  11. Photographs and guest feedback may be used by Guvon Hotels for promotional purposes

http://www.glenburn.co.za | http://www.umbhaba.co.za

 

 

KEEPING IT LIGHT, HEALTHY AND FRESH AT KLOOFZICHT SPA.

As you are catching up on your daily dose of social  media, the brand new Kloofzicht Spa Cafe Menu is going to print. We are super excited about using the freshest of ingredients, keeping it healthy while adding a touch of decadent sweetness just because we can.

My ultimate favourite must be the Parma Ham, fig and goats cheese,  crisp garden greens with  cocktail tomatoes, cucumber & olives, but the Camembert, pear & pecan nut with crisp garden greens, cucumber and feta come a close second.

Jamie Oliver calls his version of our parma ham and fig salad the “sexiest salad in the world”. (Although his version features Mozarella)

Want to try it out? Scroll down for the recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 4 figs
  • 4 slices quality Parma ham or prosciutto
  • buffalo mozzarella
  • green or purple basil
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

I love his comment on prepping the salad:

“One thing I do is to criss-cross the figs but not quite to the bottom. Then, using your thumbs and forefingers, squeeze the base of the fig to expose the inside. At this point you’ll think, ‘Oooh, that looks nice, I think I’m quite clever …’ or at least I do. More importantly, it allows your dressing to get right into the middle of the fig. All these little things really help to make a salad special. Simply place the figs in a dish, weave around 1 slice of Parma ham or prosciutto per fig, throw in some slices of buffalo mozzarella and rip over some green or purple basil. Mix the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper together in a bowl and drizzle everything with this dressing. As far as salads go, it’s pretty damn sexy.”

For more Jamie Oliver inspiration visit this post: http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/the-easiest-sexiest-salad-in-the-world/

Or just pop  into Kloofzicht Spa and we will make you our version. It goes well with a full body massage, I hear.

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www.kloofzichtspa.co.za | Tel 011 317 0600 | www.guvonspas.co.za

WARTHOGS PET-FRIENDLY BUSH CAMP – A SHOWSTOPPER AT THE WEDDING EXPO.

“We were not prepared for the tremendous response we received this past weekend at The Wedding Expo”, says Christa Badenhorst, Group Marketing Manager of the Guvon Hotels and Spa group. “Collaborating with the SA Guide Dogs Association, we created a genuine showstopper of frolicking puppies and gorgeous Golden Retrievers who guided their owners along the Wedding Expo isles, with cute wedding signs around their necks”.

Warthogs Bush Camp just outside of Magaliesburg recently opened its doors after a refurbishment and the announcement that this small bush camp will be pet-friendly, has been received with huge excitement from the general public.

Wedding Expo guests were delighted to know that their much-loved pets can now be part of their wedding ceremony as a ring bearer. Excitement mounted as brides starting to realize that  ”Save the date” photos and engagement shoots with their pets in tow, now is a real possibility.

Warthogs Bush Camp just outside of Magaliesburg lends itself to family gatherings, weddings, and action-packed weekends filled with nature-themed activities such as trail runs or mountain biking. Tucked away in the Magalies meander, an hour’s drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria, Warthogs Bush Camp has 10 chalets accommodating 20 people sharing. The ambiance of the dining area, outside lapa and rock pool allows you to escape the buzz of city life and enter the tranquil African bushveld.

Big 5 game drives and Spa treatments are available from our sister property, Askari Game Lodge & Spa just 2km down the road. Warthogs itself has a selection of Kudu, Blesbok, Rooihartebees and off course warthogs. Bird clubs love this venue with its dedicated walking routes and often book the entire lodge for birding weekends.

Guest staying at Warthogs Bush camp are welcome to enjoy Askari Lodge’s Big 5 game drives and Spa facilities although pets will not be allowed on the property as it is a fully fledged Big 5 game lodge.

“We recommend that camp exclusivity is taken by guests which opens up a world of possibilities for your weekend, as the dog breeders clubs and dog trainers can vouch for”, Badenhorst noted. She further urged dog owners to keep an eye on their pets as on any farm or bush camp, there are snakes at the lodge.

Badenhorst hinted at a future collaboration between themselves, the Wedding Expo, The SA Guide Dogs Association and suppliers in order to offer an all paid for wedding for sight-impaired person in the coming year. More info about this exciting initiative will be released once plans have been finalised.

For fun pet posts and Pins, do join the Warthogs Facebook page and visit our “The pleasure of Pets” Pinterest board!

All Guvon Hotels properties were present at the Wedding Expo offering their excellent wedding services to prospective brides and grooms:

 

 

 

 

 

GUVON HOTELS TAKES ASIA BY STORM!

We are so proud to be represented by the sales-savvy  Daniell van der Merwe at the Africa Showcase taking place in Singapore, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur this week. Daniell  who joined Guvon Hotels just over a year ago, was previously at the Starwood Group and stepped up to the challenge without thinking twice. She reports back that its been a productive few days: “We are looking forward to opening up a brand new market segment for our game lodges and golf resort”.

Askari Game Lodge is the closest lodge to  to Johannesburg to have the Big 5,  while The Fairway Hotel is the only luxury hotel on a golf course boasting two to  golf courses.

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Askari Game Lodge & Spa is situated on the Plumari Africa Game Reserve in the Magaliesberg, just over an hour from Johannesburg or Pretoria and offers guests a memorable Big 5 wildlife experience within a malaria free environment.

Two game drives, each approximately 2 – 2,5 hours in duration, are scheduled daily. Elephant interaction includes an educational talk followed by a ‘touch and feed’ experience.  The main lodge, which is in fact the old Bodenstein family farmhouse, overlooks the Elephant Dam and invites guests to take a step back in time while admiring South African décor pieces dating back to the 1800’s.Askari Lodge has one of the largest private collections of ox wagons, carts and other animal drawn vehicles from the period 1800 to 1900.

Fairway Hotel Spa & Golf Resort

Hidden in the leafy suburb of Randpark, two minutes from Cresta Shopping Centre and right on the Randpark Golf Course, is the most magnificent golf resort you can dream of.  Award-winning interiors meet excellent service and matching food quality, in this 5 star environment. Dining options at The Fairway include Balata Restaurant with its fine dining and wine pairing dinners and Roundabout bar which hosts happy hours on Friday and snacks all day round.  With A luxury Spa and two golf courses on the property, this is the ideal business or leisure destination.

http://www.guvonhotels.co.za

 

 

 

SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING IS EASY AT FAIRWAY HOTEL’S ACOUSTIC SATURDAYS.

The Fairway Hotel calls their Cosmopolitan “Sex in the city, in a glass”.   For those in the know, this  claim to fame can only be enhanced by the live afternoon acoustic sounds planned for every first Saturday  of the month, starting in September, from 13:00 to 16:00.

Enjoy the relaxed sounds while savouring the golf course view along with a light lunch and drinks at Roundabout Bar. Justin Serrao  will be performing September, October and November. He may even bring a friend or two to do some duo songs. Lost & Found – a new and exciting Folk Rock duo consisting of Glen from the Parlotones and Jason from Van Coke Kartel and Black Cat Bones, will be performing in December.

Entrance is free for all, but bookings are essential to guarantee a table – bookings to please be directed to Balata Restaurant.

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For a few proudly South African cocktail ideas we knocked on the door of Living Lifestyle and found a few brandy-based gems for you to try out at home:

THE AMA-LEKKERLICIOUS

Sweet and peachy-keen with a hint of bitter, is what you can expect from the “ama-lekkerlicious” cocktail created by Kurt Schlechter, the winner of the 2011 FHM SA Brandy competition.

INGREDIENTS

25ml brandy | 5ml peach syrup | 50ml cranberry juice |1 tbsp. lemon juice |3 splashes of bitters.| Ideally, you’ll need a whiskey glass for this one.

METHOD

Combine all the ingredients. | Pour into the whiskey glass. | Serve with a smile.

THE FYNBOS

FHM Brandy Cocktail 2012 competition winner, Eugene Thompson, has shown that “local is always lekker” with his brandy cocktail named “The Fynbos”.

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp. honey | 5ml ginger liqueur | 50ml brandy | 25ml sugar syrup | 50ml chilled rooibos tea. | You’ll need a martini glass too.

METHOD

Chill the martini glass before creating the cocktail. | Combine the rooibos tea, honey, ginger liqueur, sugar syrup and brandy.| Shake well.| Strain into the chilled martini glass.| Garnish with a piece of lemon peel.

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Source of “local-is-lekker” cocktail recipes: For more info: http://www.living-lifestyle.co.za/proudly-south-african-cocktails-to-shake-up-this-weekend/