Anna and Maureen’s visit, according to my iPhone

Two of my best girlfriends have been visiting us for the past two weeks. We went on safari in Kruger and flew down to Cape Town and explored Johannesburg thoroughly. It was a blissful time and I wish your best friends could always be across the hall, a few steps away like they were in college.  It was sad to take them to the airport yesterday but if we all lived in the same place we probably wouldn’t have spent the last two weeks spotting lions together in Kruger, wine tasting in the Western Cape and eating meat and pap with our hands at a shisa nyama in Soweto. I feel so thankful that so many of our friends have come and visited us here in South Africa (and when we were in Berlin) and all the priceless memories we have running around the world with them.

Thanks for coming, Anna and Mo! xx

Cape Town, according to my iPhone

I flew down to Cape Town for the weekend with Tulin and Elisabeth, our latest visitors and good friends. We soaked up the city (and unfortunately, the rain) and ate too much food and shopped on Long Street. A lovely weekend if I do say so myself. I’ve been there so many times since moving here and it was nice to have a relaxed time instead of rushing around to get in all the sights like we usually do. I got some good ideas next time I go with P to have a slow, romantic weekend.

Wine Tasting Recommendation: Nederburg Wine Farm in Paarl, Western Cape

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

I’m not a wine expert but since I’ve been wine tasting three times in the last three months around Stellenbosch I stumbled upon a gem that deserves a recommendation. Our first couple times we stuck to guide books and tips from friends. It was always beautiful and delicious but we were never moved to buy a few bottles or enthusiastically recommend any particular wine farm (as they are called in RSA). That changed the latest time we went with our friends Jon and Katie.

To add to our usual wine route, P had the brilliant idea to visit the estate of our favorite South African cabernet sauvignon: Nederburg which is located in Paarl. We stumbled upon it at the The Grillhouse and happened to love it. It might have been the company, but it was a completely beautiful visit. Our sommelier Ferdinand was knowledgeable, not pretentious, and very sweet. He first served ice cold sparkling wine and then noted our choice of wines.  The most appealing was the mini burger flight with wine pairings. Burgers and wine: yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.  You get 5 different burgers, (not all beef), even a dessert burger with blue cheese, parma ham and greens to enjoy with the dessert wine. No one out of the four would categorize ourselves as dessert wine people but we ended up with a few bottles (and of course a few bottles of the cab sauv).

We sat outside under a trellis covered with vines overlooking the trees on the estate. It was harvest time and trucks filled sky high with grapes drove past while we sipped on wines in the shade. I like Nederburg because the feel is more welcoming and not robotic like some other big vineyards, the view is incredible, the staff makes you feel welcome and most importantly the cabernet is out of this world. We had a great afternoon getting tipsy, eating burgers, and solving all the world’s problems. I recommend you slot out a few hours there since a) it’s lovely and b) if you’re driving you need some time to process all that wine (especially if your hubs isn’t 6 foot 3).

*picture of me courtesy of the hubzies

Restaurant Recommendation Cape Town: Codfather

 Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

For delicious sushi and lovely sushi chefs try out The Codfather in Camp’s Bay.  They have your standard moving-belt sushi bar with color-coded plates. You may also make requests from the extraordinarily gentlemanly chefs, or sit at a table with a view and order the old fashioned way. Before 6 pm all sushi is half price (a happy surprise when we got the check) and the staff is friendly and helpful. Being a block away from the water it’s a nice respite from a hot day at the beach for a light, refreshing lunch and a few glasses of wine (well maybe it was just one glass but it was extremely potent since one is generally overheated after the beach).  I’ve never been for dinner but I would make a resi to be safe.

The Codfather is located on 37 The Drive, call (0)21 438 0782/3 for reservations.

Table Mountain

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

The weather gods smiled down on us and we were able to get to the top of Table Mountain on our last day in Cape Town. On the first night of our sister trip 100+km/hour winds howled through our apartment and the city, periodically blowing our rental car around the freeway. We drove to the bottom of the mountain and got lucky with a parking spot close to the cable car. If you’re doing Cape Town without a car (which is fine but I would at least hire a car for the day you do the Cape Peninsula drive, much better than a tour since you can go at your own pace and have a more private experience) there are several taxis that wait at the bottom as well. A round trip cable car ticket is kind of steep (for this country) at ZAR195 per person, so I recommend that you hike down if you have the time and inclination.  The views do not disappoint, with each sweeping vista being more breathtaking than the last. Since the sun was beating down on us we treated ourselves to an ice cream cone and enjoyed the people watching and the views. A word of advice to photo enthusiasts- we diligently positioned ourselves to get a good spot in the cable car but quickly realized it was all for naught- the floor of the car rotates as you ascend/descend so that everybody gets a 360 glimpse.

Restaurant recommendation, Cape Town: El Burro’s

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

I would like to unabashedly gush about the best Mexican food on the continent of  Africa and maybe outside of the Americas (prove me wrong, I dare you). El Burro’s in the neighborhood of Greenpoint , Cape Town: on top of delicious, authentic food they have yummy drinks like their chili margarita (pictured above), a legitimate tequila menu (if you’re in the mood), adorable décor and adorable waitresses.  If you eat pork do yourself a favor and get the chilorio pork tacos (I get it every time I go and it’s sooo good I tried to recreate it in my kitchen). Pork shoulder that’s been braising all day in an adobo chili marinade, delicious fixins’, and homemade corn tortillas. They even fly in the good Tabasco from Cali and Mexico.  Make a reservation on a weekend night or busy time of year. If you’re into seafood P strongly recommends the seafood soup (big enough for a meal).

El Burro’s is located at 81 Main Road in Greenside on the second floor, look up!,  call for reservations 021-4332364 on weekend nights or busy times of year

Fashion Friday: Sister Style

Land of Nams: living in Johannesburg, exploring the world, documenting the things I love

My little sister has been visiting us for the past two and a half weeks. She was born when I was five and a half and was the most beautiful baby. We only attended the same school once in our lives, she was in Kindergarten and I was in the sixth grade. Though I have many years on her she has always taught me about many things, like how to be a gracious and good person. She also has beautiful long legs that I have always been jealous of which gives her the ability to wear short things (I always tell her if I had her legs I’d walk around in my underwear). This week’s Fashion Friday features my sister Neha (who’s name, by the way, means love) and is turning 22 next week. Where did the time go?

Romper: Macy’s

Bag (you can only see the strap): Olivia + Joy

Shoes and Sunglasses: Target

Bracelet and Ring: a market in Cape Town