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Spaghetti aglio e olio with roasted tomatoes and olives

If there’s one pasta dish that is the easiest to make with the most flavour, it is spaghetti aglio e olio. Spaghetti aglio e olio is a traditional Italian pasta dish from Naples. It is made by sauteeing fresh garlic and chilli in olive oil and topping with parmesan cheese. If you’re a regular reader of Minkys, you will know that every pasta dish is my favourite dish, but this is definitely one of my firm favourites.

What is nice with this pasta dish is that you can add anything extra and it will still be tasty and flavoursome. So in this blog post I am going to share the recipe for spaghetti aglio e olio with roasted tomatoes and olives. I made it the other day, for the umpteenth time, and my gosh, it was delicious! I think a pasta dish like this gets better each time you make it. The reason for this is because every time you add more delicious ingredients to make it tastier than the last.

This pasta dish takes a maximum of 15 minutes to make. It is quick, easy and like I said, flavoursome.

Here’s the recipe:

What you need:

250 grams spaghetti
olive oil for cooking
3 garlic cloves – crushed
A dash of chilli flakes
250 grams baby tomatoes
50 grams calamata olives – depitted and chopped
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil
Parmesan cheese

What to do:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions until al dente. Once cooked drain and set aside. I like to sprinkle olive oil over the pasta so it doesn’t dry out.
  2. Cut the baby tomatoes in half. Place them on a roasting tray, drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle the crushed garlic on top of the tomatoes.
  3. Roast the baby tomatoes in the oven for maximum 10 minutes.
  4. Once the baby tomatoes are ready, toss them together with the garlic from the roasting pan into the spaghetti that is ready, over a medium heat. Add some chilli flakes, chopped up olives and salt and pepper.
  5. Toss all the ingredients thoroughly through the spaghetti. If it starts drying out, add more olive oil or a little bit of water.
  6. Once everything is warmed through, serve up on a plate, with the parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
  7. Enjoy with a glass of wine, obviously.

Another recipe worth trying: Recipe for my famous chicken noodle soup

21 Things To Do In Cape Town This Summer

There is no better place to be this summer than in Cape Town. Scorching hot beach days, visiting the wine lands, bar hopping, exploring all the touristy little areas, and just soaking up one of the best cities in the world.

Here is a round up of 21 of the best things to do in Cape Town this summer:

1. Go up Table Mountain on the cable car to see the most breath taking views of Cape Town.

2. Head to one of Cape Towns beautiful beaches for a beach day.

3. Wake up early and climb the world famous Lions Head. The best time is in the early morning or late afternoon.

4. Watch a summer concert at Kirstenbosch Gardens.

5. Take a drive along the very scenic Chapmans Peak.

6. Visit the Oranjezicht City Farm on a Saturday morning and stock up on fresh produce.

7. Take a drive up the West Coast and head to Paternoster for a few nights.

8. Visit Babylonstoren for a delicious and healthy lunch. Don’t forget to stroll through the gardens.

9. Go restaurant and bar hopping on Bree Street.

10. Do some retail therapy at the V&A Waterfront.

11. Take a walk along the sea front from Camps Bay all the way to the V&A Waterfront. Don’t forget to look out for dolphins and whales along the way!

12. Hop in the car and take a very scenic drive along the world famous Chapmans Peak Drive.

13. Take a drive to Blouberg Beach to see Table Mountain in all her glory from the other side. Gentle reminder: make sure the weather is good so the mountain is visible!

14. Book a night or two stay in the winelands and go exploring all the beautiful wine farms.

15. Pack a picnic hamper and head to Clifton beach for sun downers and snacks at sunset. 

16. Take a drive towards the Garden Route and explore some of the prettiest little towns such as George, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

17. A walk through Kalk Bay is a must and be sure to have lunch at one of the many seafood spots. 

18. Treat yourself to a spa day at one of Cape Towns most luxurious hotels.

19. Visit The Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront.

20. Go see where the two oceans meet at Cape Town. 

21. Horse riding on Noordhoek Beach.

How to get around?

It doesn’t get easier than hiring a car through SANI Car Rental. All you do is select your pick-up and drop-off locations from a host of options across major cities and airports, choose your desired vehicle, and complete the online booking swiftly and securely. SANI Car Rental is a South Africa homegrown rental company with 35+ years of experience in the industry. With the largest independently owned fleet in South Africa, vehicles available to rent include compact cars, economy cars, premium cars, people carriers and SUVs. SANI Car Rental serves customers throughout South Africa and Namibia including at all major local and international airports.

Where to see the Jacarandas in Johannesburg?

Every year, around late Spring, which is from the beginning of October to the beginning of November, the suburbs and streets of Johannesburg go from green to purple as the jacaranda trees are in full bloom. It is really so beautiful! Because the jacarandas in Johannesburg last for a short while, it’s definitely a must see! It is also perfect for photo shoots – to stand under these purple trees make for great photos!

So if you want to see the jacarandas in Johannesburg, grab your camera, get in the car and take a drive to one of these famous spots and you’ll be sure to find these beautiful purple trees:

• Melville – The little suburb of Melville is full of Jacarandas. Head to 4th Avenue and take a stroll through this lovely street. You can also make your way to Melville Koppies for breathtakingly beautiful views over the Jacaranda tree lined streets. What makes Melville extra spectacular is how the purple of the jacarandas are entwined with bright pink bougainvilleas.

• Rosebank – Take a walk along Tyrwhitt Avenue or Jellicoe Avenue and across Oxford Road into Melrose. The trees form an incredible purple canopy over your head and it is absolutely magical to stand below and look above.

• Saxonwold – In Saxonwold and the neighboring suburb of Parkwood you will find plenty of Jacaranda lined streets, so take a drive or a walk through. If you’d like to see the most gorgeous Jacaranda filled panoramic views of these suburbs, head to Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff. The best time to visit is just before sunset, so not only will you enjoy beautiful views but also a breathtaking sunset.

• Linksfield – Take a drive on Linksfield Drive (just off Club Street) all the way up towards Linksfield Ridge where the views of this suburb are also beautiful! Take some snacks with you and enjoy a sunset from here too!

• Houghton – One of Johannesburg’s most scenic drives, Munro Drive, also boasts gorgeous panoramic views of the Jacaranda lined suburbs.

Exploring the Innovation and Comfort of On Shoes in South Africa

When it comes to athletic footwear, On has captured the attention of runners and athletes worldwide with its revolutionary design and innovative technology. This Swiss-born brand has not only gained popularity on a global scale but has also made a significant impact on the running scene in South Africa.

On is a Swiss sports shoe company that specialises in creating innovative running shoes. Their shoes are known for featuring a unique cushioning technology called “CloudTec,” which consists of individual pods or “clouds” on the sole that provide cushioning and support while also adapting to the runner’s gait. This design is intended to offer a combination of cushioning during impact and a firm platform for propulsion.

On has gained popularity among runners and athletes for its distinctive design and performance-oriented approach to running footwear. The brand has a range of models designed for different types of running and terrains, and they’ve expanded their product offerings beyond just running shoes to include other athletic footwear as well.

The CloudTec Technology: A Step Above the Rest

At the heart of On’s success lies its patented CloudTec cushioning technology. These “clouds” on the sole of On shoes provide a unique blend of cushioning and responsiveness, making them well-suited for the diverse terrains that South Africa has to offer. Whether navigating urban streets, tackling rugged trails, or hitting the coastal paths, runners in South Africa can experience the comfort of CloudTec underfoot.

Thriving in South African Terrain

South Africa’s landscape offers an array of running challenges, from the bustling city streets of Johannesburg to the scenic trails of Cape Town. On shoes have managed to seamlessly adapt to this wide variety of terrains, making them a versatile choice for runners across the country. The cushioning pods on the sole not only provide a cushioned landing during each stride but also offer a solid platform for a powerful push-off, essential for tackling inclines and sprinting on flat surfaces alike.

Embracing the South African Running Culture

The running community in South Africa is vibrant and diverse, with marathons, trail races, and fun runs taking place throughout the year. On shoes have found their place within this culture by offering models that cater to different types of runners. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner aiming for a personal best or a casual jogger enjoying a weekend run, On has a shoe for you.

Style and Substance: On’s Aesthetic Appeal

Beyond performance, On shoes are recognized for their stylish and modern design. South Africans appreciate the fusion of innovation and aesthetics, making On shoes not only functional but also a fashion statement. The distinctive appearance of the CloudTec pods, coupled with a range of color options, adds a touch of individuality to each runner’s stride.

On shoes have undoubtedly made their mark on the running landscape in South Africa. With their CloudTec technology, versatility across terrains, and ability to align with the country’s dynamic running culture, it’s no surprise that On has gained a strong foothold in the hearts and on the feet of South African runners. As the brand continues to innovate and expand its offerings, runners across the nation can look forward to a comfortable and exhilarating running experience that On shoes are known to provide. So lace up, South Africa, and embrace the comfort and innovation that On shoes bring to your running journey. You can find out more about purchacing On running in shoes in South Africa on the Tifosi Sports Website: https://tifosisports.co.za/

The Best Pizza Spots in Johannesburg

Just like Dean Martin said “like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”. It really is love! Tell me who doesn’t love pizza. Whether it’s a Napoletana style pizza or a classic thin crust and it is made in a wood-fired pizza oven, it most certainly is a love affair. Joburg has a pizza restaurant for everyone. Here’s Minkys guide to the best pizza spots in Johannesburg.

Franco’s Pizzeria and Trattoria

First up we have a little hidden gem of a real proper trattoria just like in Italy. Hidden in a little shopping centre in Tyrone Street Parkview, you will find the best little family-run old fashioned style Italian restaurant that just oozes atmosphere. Better than Franco’s you won’t find. The pizzas are made in view of the diners. You able to see them go straight into the oven and come straight out piping hot. The pizzas here are real perfection, trust me!

Address: 54 Tyrone Avenue, Parkhurst

Cafe 28

Known for serving the best Neapolitan style pizza in Johannesburg, in an outdoor setting, Cafe 28 uses quality ingredients most of which are imported from Italy as well as fresh organic produce grown in their own garden. Before you start googling, a Neapolitan pizza has a very thin crust at the base, with dough that puffs up around the sides and provides for a very airy crust. It is known for its simplicity as it is a style of pizza made with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Address: 54 Wierda Rd E, Wierda Valley, Sandton


The Saint

Put on your Sunday best and head to The Saint, one of Sandtons most fanciest dining establishments, for gourmet pizzas fresh out of the gold mosaic pizza oven. The pizza menu takes inspiration from Milan’s pizza-masters with some of the chefs having spent time specially in the kitchen of Gennaro’s where dough has been rolling out since 1935! You can choose between tomato based pizzas or a no-tomato cheese only based Bianca pizza. Both kinds are mouth watering good!

Address: The Marc, Corner Rivonia and Maude Street, Sandton


If ultra thin crust pizza is your jam, then Trabella Pizzeria in Illovo is an absolute must visit. The pizzas are thin and crispy and menu selection is exciting! A must try is the Porcini Mushroom Pizza – it is extremely tasty. As delicious as the pizzas are, so are the salads. Especially the artichoke, avocado and cashew nut salad.

Address: First Floor, Thrupps Centre, 204 Oxford Rd, Illovo, Johannesburg

Settebello at The Italian Club

Settebello offers an undeniable authentic Italian experience and serves some really really good Neapolitan pizza. So good that a weekly visit here has become a habit! What makes these pizzas absolute perfection is that the dough is made using only four components. The pizzas are topped with artisanal cheeses and mozzarella and a signature sauce of Italian tomatoes. The bread-flavoured crust takes a mere 90 seconds in the wood-fired oven, at close to 400 degrees. Remember to save some space for some homemade gelato after!

Address: Italian Club Johannesburg, 7 Marais Road, Bedfordview

There you have it, the best pizza spots in Johannesburg. Which is your favourite?

Recipe for a very easy Peppermint Crisp Pudding


Peppermint Crisp Pudding. Need I say more?

Peppermint Crisp Pudding

I love a good braai. Boerewors, chops, potato salad, pap and gravy and lets not forget the ultimate dessert – Peppermint Crisp Pudding. It is a proudly South African dessert that is definitely everyone’s favourite.

I decided to share this super easy, ultra delicious recipe that is not only going to earn you major brownie points with everyone at, but you might be lucky and have a little bit leftover for breakfast the next day.

Peppermint Crisp Pudding!

What you need … 

250ml cream
One tin caramel treat
One packet tennis biscuits
As many peppermint crisps as you like, chopped up

Peppermint Crisp Pudding

What to do …

  1. Beat the cream with an electric beater until thick.
  2. Then add the caramel treat to the cream and mix with the electric beater until its mixed and beaten through properly.
  3. Layer your dish with the tennis biscuits.
  4. Then pour the caramel treat/cream mix onto the tennis biscuits layer (without moving any of the tennis biscuits).
  5. Crush some tennis biscuits over this and then finally add the chopped up peppermint crisps.
  6. Put into the fridge to set for an hour or so or overnight.
Peppermint Crisp Pudding

And voila! A masterpiece!

I call this a deconstructed peppermint crisp pudding for the following reasons:

  • instead of using crushed tennis biscuits, I kept them whole.
  • I chopped up the peppermint crisp instead of grating them (like I normally would.
  • I made it as simple as possible without having to construct it together too much.
  • This literally took me 10 minutes to make, if not less!
Peppermint Crisp Pudding

So anyone can make this simple dessert without any excuses.

Here is a recipe for the best cupcakes ever, if you’re looking for something else delicious to make!

Peppermint Crisp Pudding

South Africa: A World in One Country

South Africa is a very beautiful country. Every corner of the country boasts it’s own unique beauty and diversity. This country has it’s downfalls as most countries do, but one should always remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The grass is green where you water it. Let us take a glimpse into South Africas diverse beauty and remind ourselves.

This inspired post has been a long time coming and is a tribute to the guys over at Good Things Guy.

I’ve travelled extensively throughout South Africa and am beyond privileged to have experienced the unique beauty this country has to offer. I can confidently say from all my travels, that South Africa is a world in one country!

⬆️ This isn’t Paris, it is French Toast Koffie Kafee in Hartbeespoort

⬆️ This isn’t Hyde Park in London, it is Huddle Park in Johannesburg

⬆️ This isn’t Switzerland, it is Nottingham Road in the Midlands Natal

⬆️ This isn’t Greece, it is Paternoster in the Western Cape

⬆️ This isn’t Burano near Venice in Italy, it is BoKaap in Cape Town

⬆️ This isn’t Provence in France, it is Franschhoek near Cape Town

⬆️ This isn’t Cornwall in the UK, it is Knysna on the Garden Route

⬆️ This isn’t the South of France, it is Clifton in Cape Town

⬆️ This isn’t Florida Keys, it is Thesen Island in Knysna

⬆️ This isn’t Malibu California, it is Plettenberg Bay

Which is your favourite?

All photos are taken by Loren. For more on beautiful South Africa, follow on Instagram: @minkys.co.za

Read: Rice Krispie Treats with a secret ingredient

Read: The Pretty Town of Plettenberg Bay

Some tips for self driving The Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is the best place in the world.

There is honestly no place like the Kruger National Park. We visit every year without fail and each year is always better than the previous. We see more spectacular sightings, we make more magical memories and we fall more in love with the best place on earth.

I am going to share with you some simple tips for visiting and self driving the Kruger National Park that we have gathered over time. Surely visiting every year for the past 10 years warrants some amazing tips! These tips are aimed at any one visiting the park be it for the first time or if you’re a regular like us.


Make sure you are excited!

The excitement is real! As soon as you drive through a main gate and into the park you don’t know what animal will welcome you. This is our favourite part because it is just so exciting! As we drive in we all start guessing what will appear first from the bush or is waiting for us on the road. Be it in an elephant or even a lion. We’ve once driven in and not even a kilometre of driving we saw cheetah. So this is why you have to make sure you are extra excited!

Be prepared to sit for hours in the car

You are going to be driving for hours at a time so be prepared to sit for hours in the car. You’ll wake up to be the first out the gate in the morning as this is the best time for sightings, then you’ll drive and drive and drive. I do recommend going back to your camp for a midday nap and lunch because firstly, the animals are normally less active at this time, and secondly, to freshen up before your afternoon drive.

Wear comfortable clothes

Tracksuits, leggings and hoodies are your best choices. It is not a fashion show in the Park and because you’re mostly in your car, no one will see you wearing tracksuit pants that you also wear as pyjamas. Don’t even think about taking high heels, a dress or anything uncomfortable. I don’t even wear jeans for that matter.

Take weather appropriate clothes

I know this is an obvious one but I have to still mention it. Summer in Kruger is not your normal South African summer – it gets HOT! Scorching hot. 42 degrees hot! So if you’re going in summer, take the lightest clothing you have. A light t-shirt and shorts. Even a few swimming costumes. And come winter, take a thick jacket. The early mornings and late evenings can get rather icy.

Keep snacks and refreshments in your car

Because you will be driving for hours at a time, you will get peckish along the way. There aren’t shops on every corner, as they are a number of kilometres away from each other. So you need to make sure you have everything you need in the car. We keep a cooler bag in the car and we fill it with sandwiches, fresh fruit and yoghurt. We try snack on the healthier options because sitting in a car all day can make you feel quite sluggish and junk food will only make that feeling worse.

Keep your eyes on the road

When driving through the park you have to look left then right and in the bushes and up the trees but don’t forget to keep your eyes on the road. We have had a few encounters where we’ve had to slam on brakes because there was something in the road. And by something I don’t mean something big. I’m talking about a chameleon, a snake and even a tortoise. These little creatures make it so much more exciting!

Look up in the trees

Because we are so focused on looking in the bushes we forget to look up in the trees for the elusive leopard. I have a very funny story that goes with this tip. We went to the Kruger Park one year with friends so there were six of us in the vehicle. We were driving from Olifants all the way down to Satara and that road can be quite boring as it is quite a long stretch. So after some time went by where we didn’t see a thing, we started getting quite bored. Then someone in the car said “guys don’t forget to look up in the trees”. I kid you not, as we looked up into the tree there was a mother and baby leopard. It was by chance he said that and luck was definitely on our side. We had this sighting all to ourselves and watched the baby leopard jump from tree to tree playing.

Carry your binocular and camera with you at all times

You never know what will pop out from the bush so you have to be ready at any given time. We were once driving and after not seeing anything for a while as we turned the corner there were two leopards sitting on the side of the road. We approached as slowly as we could so they wouldn’t run off. But as we got there they got up and walked off. I still managed to take a perfect photo, because thankfully my camera was on my lap. I don’t know if its about luck or being at the right place at the right time.

You can go for hours without seeing anything

Now this is no ones fault, not the drivers nor the passengers, but hours can go by and you won’t see a thing! It is all about being in the right place at the right time. You just have to be patient, relax and enjoy the peace of the bush. But don’t get despondent though. Keep your eyes peeled at all times because you never know what can appear!

Make sure you go on a night drive

Night drives are the best because this is when all the nocturnal animals come out. Lions also prefer hunting at night! So make sure to go on at least one night drive while you are in the Kruger Park. Luck may be on your side and you will see everything or you won’t but that is the bush for you. My favourite thing to see on a night drive is the hippo’s out of the water grazing. You only ever see them in the water or on the river bank in the day so it is a real treat to see them out the water at night.

Even if you don’t see much on the night drive, just that feeling of driving in the bush under the clean African night sky is breathtakingly beautiful and magical!

Watch the sunrise and sunset

There is so sunrise like an African sunrise nor is there a sunset like an African sunset. Watching the sunrise and the sunset in the Kruger Park is definitely one of my absolute favourite things! Make sure, wherever you are, you stop and savour these moments. I promise you it will be worth it! I mean look at this …

Have you visited the Kruger Park before?

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Explore more of beautiful South Africa!

Read: The 5 best things to do in and around Cape Town

Soft serve at The Pantry in Johannesburg

What is soft serve?

Well firstly, it is delicious! Secondly, soft serve is similar to ice cream but it is softer, lighter and creamier. It is made by churning air into the ice cream mixture as it freezes. The end result is a melt-in-your-mouth consistency that you simply cannot get enough of. Well at least I cant!

And where do I go for my soft serve fix?

None other than The Pantry. Located on Jan Smuts Avenue in Rosebank, The Pantry is the most gourmet garage shop that has opened up. It is a hybrid of a supermarket, deli, takeaway and a retail store. It is open 24 hours a day making it the most convenient convenient store – literally! Whatever you are looking for, you will find. From delicious foodie items such as fresh produce, gourmet pantry essentials, ready-to-go meals and bakery delights to beautiful flowers, good wine and everyday essentials, as well as a bespoke retail selection.

They are also offering ready made sushi, the tastiest prego rolls and pizza’s straight out of the oven!

But I’m here to tell you about the soft serve …

When that late night after dinner craving for something sweet hits, it seems that soft serve just does the trick! And I’m speaking from experience here. The soft serve at The Pantry is ultra creamy, airy and totally satisfying. They bring out different flavours all the time but I recommend chocolate, strawberry and turkish delight. I can also highly recommend the butter caramel flavour (when available) with fudge crumble sprinkled over. When you do try this flavour combo, think of me.

The Pantry:

Website: www.thepantry.co.za

Address: 170 Jan Smuts Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg

Read: Recipe for spaghetti aglio e olio with roasted tomatoes and olives

The Pretty Town of Plettenberg Bay

My heart belongs to the little town of Plettenberg Bay. It is impossible to describe this towns beauty in a few words or even a few paragraphs … So these photos will just have to attempt it.

Read more:

Minkys Ultimate Guide to Plettenberg Bay

10 Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit Plettenberg Bay

Have you been to Plettenberg Bay?

The best breakfast spots in Johannesburg

My favourite meal of the day without a doubt is breakfast. I love that you can either have something sweet like flapjacks or something savoury like eggs and toast and no one will judge. I always say the earlier I go to sleep then the earlier I can wake up which means the sooner I can eat my breakfast … And also have my coffee.

I have put together a list of my best breakfast spots in and around Johannesburg that we frequent all the time. What I love most about these places is firstly, the food; secondly, the coffee and thirdly, the atmosphere. I will also tell you what I always order at each restaurant. I am a creature of habit and don’t often veer from my favourites.

Tasha’s in Bedfordview

The best thing about Tasha’s is they serve breakfast all day! So if you rock up here at 4 in the afternoon, you will definitely get your scrambled eggs on toast happily served to you. I also like that you can change up the menu however you like and there won’t be a problem. Often at other restaurants when you swop this for that or say no x but extra y, they hesitate before saying they’ll have to ask the manager. At Tasha’s you can create your own dish without any hesitation!

My favourite things to order: Dr Paw Paw, Citrus Sunrise, or fruit salad and yoghurt.

More info: www.tashascafe.com

The Fat Zebra Parkhurst

Linden and Parkhurst are both my favourite neighbourhoods based on the fact that there are so many different restaurants to choose from. It has fast become a foodie’s haven. One of my absolute favourite breakfast spots though is The Fat Zebra. I cannot tell you enough how much I love this little restaurant. The food is outstanding, the service is impeccable and the atmosphere is so cozy! They also make the best poached eggs ever – they are always perfect every time. And the best thing is, they don’t taste like vinegar!

My favourite things to order: two poached eggs, macon, creamy parmesan mushrooms and ciabatta toast. I also love the maple crumpet mountain.

More info: www.thefatzebra.co.za

Glenda’s – Hyde Park

A restaurant oozing with style and chic, it is no wonder we love to eat here on Sunday mornings. The food is just as glamorous as the decor. I always feel like I’m in a café in the heart of Paris when I eat at Glenda’s and I just love it!

My favourite thing to order: nearly everything on the breakfast menu as you simply cannot go wrong with anything.

Address: Hyde Square, Corner Jan Smuts Avenue and North Road, Hyde Park.

More info: www.glendas.co

Nice in Parkhurst

We have been regulars at Nice ever since my university days (which is a long time ago!). We just love this cozy little restaurant in Parkhurst’s very vibey 4th Avenue for a lazy weekend breakfast. Nice is famous for their egg baskets. The egg baskets are made from 2 slices of toast and are filled with eggs, bacon and tomato relish. My favourite though is the vegetarian basket which is filled with eggs, mushrooms, tomato relish and avocado. Be also sure to try a slice of their Belgian Chocolate Cake. It oozes deliciousness!

My favourite thing to order: half and half.

More info: www.niceon4th.co.za

Pauls French Bakery at The Neighbourhood or Melrose Arch

We visit Pauls so often, I could definitely be part of the furniture. Whether it’s for a simple cup of coffee and a croissant or a full on long lazy breakfast, it’s a go-to spot. The French music in the background really contributes to the atmosphere. And just a little heads up: the next time you’re at a Pauls, and you thought you saw me on the TV – well you did!

My favourite thing to order: the Paillasson Saumon Fumé which is poached egg, hashbrown, cream cheese, capers, smoked salmon trout and Hollandaise sauce.

More info: www.pauls.co.za

PS: Good news for Cape Town: there’s a Pauls opening soon at the V&A Waterfront!

Shuk Deli at Blubird Shopping Centre

A deli serving up a delicious Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired menu? Yes please! Think Shakshuka or Turkish Eggs which are poached eggs with a creamy yoghurt sauce and a burst of spices) as well as a spread of freshly prepared mezze, bagels, flatbreads, Turkish rolls, dips and bakes. And don’t forget the coffee! Johannesburg was in desperate need for somewhere different and delicious, and Shuk Deli has definitely delivered.

My favourite thing to order: the Shakshuka. It’s as good if not better than what I had in Israel!

More info: www.instagram.com/shukdeli

Where is your favourite breakfast spot in Johannesburg?

Read: The Best Bagel Spots in Johannesburg

5 things to know when planning a trip to Zanzibar

The island of Zanzibar is famous for its mix of exotic beaches, spice plantations, history and diverse culture and has fast become a favourite holiday destination for us South Africans. After a short and sweet stay on the island, I can see why … It is a tropical piece of paradise just 3.5 hours away.

On my recent trip, I learned a few interesting things that I ought to share with you all and save you a few google searches.

Here are 5 things to know when planning a trip to Zanzibar for the first time:

getting there …

In the good old days it was quite a mission to get to this tropical island of paradise but now you can fly directly from Johannesburg to Zanzibar on Fly Safair. Fly Safair flies from OR Tambo to Zanzibar every Saturday and the duration of the flight is a little more than 3 hours. This is a ridiculously quick flight to be transported all the way to paradise!

Don’t forget your passport though. Just because you are flying on a local flight, you are still flying international. And last thing, for us South Africans with a South African passport, we don’t need a visa when entering Zanzibar.

malaria tablets …

There is a high risk of malaria throughout all of Zanzibar at all times of the year, so malaria tablets are a huge must! I took Malanil tablets because I don’t like to play with fire! And I used a strong insect repellent every few hours (every hour to precise!) and I wore thin long sleeve pyjamas at night. I also slept under a mosquito net which was very cozy!

For us South Africans, the yellow fever vaccinations are no longer required.

the food …

Zanzibar is rich in culture and as a result of various influences, the cuisine is beautiful! Some of the various influences include Arab, Indian and Portuguese. Some of the things Zanzibar is famous for includes exotic fruit, fresh seafood and various spices. No wonder Zanzibar is known as the Spice Island.

I tried a few of the local favourites but the two that stood out for me was a stewed banana in a tomato and onion gravy thing and a curried octopus dish. I wish I tried more of the seafood dishes though. And I had a pizza at my hotel, because I just needed some carbs in my life.

currency …

Make sure to always carry cash on you because there are no ATM’s except for at the airport and in Stone Town. Although the national currency is Tanzania Shilling, people are happy to accept US Dollars. Any other currencies won’t be accepted and it is difficult to exchange on the island.

Just for a little conversation starter around the dinner table, 10 000 shillings is equal to R65.

the best time to visit …

The best time to visit Zanzibar is from June to October during the cool, dry months of Spring. A popular time to visit is from December to February when it is hot and dry. Rainy seasons are from mid-March to late May and again from November.

So there you have it, just a few simple things to know when planning a trip to Zanzibar.

Read: Staying at Diamonds La Gemma Dell’Est in Zanzibar

Watch: Zanzibar in HD

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Guide

  1. Cosy sheepskin slippers: www.karuslippers.co.za
  2. Personalised zippo lighter: www.engraving.co.za
  3. A pretty Maxwell and Williams mug: www.yuppiechef.com
  4. Peony tablecloth: www.dsalinen.co.za
  5. Honeysuckle candle: www.amandajaynecandles.com
  6. Charmed phone case: www.dote.co.za
  7. Leather boots: www.tsonga.co.za
  8. A good book: www.exclusivebooks.co.za

OTHER GIFT GUIDES: Ultimate Gift Guide: My Favourite Things