Category Archives: SPACES

Picnic in the Parc

Two things I generally find about “cool, hip” Durban restaurants:

1. They are fantastic but assume that you don’t need food or coffee on a Sunday and decide to close on the most important day of the weekend. (Brunches, coffee dates, eggs benny hangover cures etc are not necessary on the Sabbath, apparently…)

2. They have this amazing and trendy concept/decor but food that doesn’t come out the kitchen tasting quite as impressive as you’d hope for after all the hype. 

Well Parc Cafe happens to be:

A. A unique Durban restaurant 

B. That has food equally as amazing as the decor and vibe (Fa’real!)

C. Which you can get, even on Sunday! HEY HEY!

While this may be old news to some, it was a surprise to most that their favourite local haunt was open when they most needed it. Good food, value for money, amazing staff and a vibe upbeat enough to make me forget about the mistakes I had made with vodka the night before. I can’t wait to go back and try out the avo shake!

More from Parc here.

Sol-Sol Durban Pop Up Store

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Assuming you’re all up to date with the Sol-Sol menswear trend, assuming you all want to cop some, assuming you want to know where to get your hands on the merch… 

Sol-Sol is running a little pop-up shop at 150 Florida Road.

Monday to Thursday: 1 – 4 pm

Friday: 1 – 3:30 pm

Read about the brand here.

Can’t get to the store? Then shop online! CLICK HURR.

Mooki Noodle Power

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An asian concept restaurant by no means new to the Durban scene, but also by no means waning in appeal. 

Mooki Noodles is one of my go-to restaurants in the 031. Sunday night take-outs or date night – Mooki’s has enough yummy options, even for this here here vegetarian. Wonton wrappers, ramen noodles and chilli-chocolate sake shots, you name it! This place has taken asian street food and made it local.

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A menu as quirky as the decor and staff, remember Mooki’s next time you’re in a dinner-debacle. You can even treat your momma bear to a Mother’s Day 3 course meal this Sunday. Bookings essential!

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Peep their Facebook page for more details.

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Weekend Getaway to Mei Pen Lai

Last weekend the boyfriend whisked me away for a spontaneous night’s stay at the beautiful Mei Pen Lai. While at first glance it may seem we spent an opulent evening at an Asian resort, our destination was actually a lot closer to home…

Mei Pen Lai is a sweet little beach house in Umdloti, owned and managed by a travelling legend called Rory. He may greet you in a speedo, he may greet you in a straw hat and hippie pants – either way he is a special human being to cross paths with.

Beautifully asianesque and exotic with the beach on our doorstep, we really did feel like we were having a rendezvous in Thailand. Paul had a great surf, we had the best dinner of our lives at Bel Punto’s and the shops were just a walk away to grab some beers and coffee.

If you’re looking for a mini holiday that comes with sun, sea, surf and speedos then check into Mei Pen Lei for the weekend.

Click here for their Website

or call 031-5682415

Rainbow Jazz Lounge

A few weekends ago I had the experience of heading into the “seedy” depths of Pinetown to watch my (wait for it) boyfriends’ sister-in-laws’ father play some pretty dang incredible jazz music.

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I fell in love with this colourful venue almost instantaneously. What a beautiful vibe, mind blowing music and delicious traditional food. I couldn’t have felt more at home at a glorified beer-hall if I tried.

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We got buzzed on some quartz, ate beans with steamed bread and chatted to a few colourful characters before only heading home late afternoon.

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Without getting too soppy, I have to say that I left feeling like I had a truly South African experience – one where colour, age or wealth genuinely had no baring and everyone was relaxed in each-others company. There was such a surprisingly diverse mix of people, all just happy to chow down and appreciate good jazz. Everyone I interacted with, was friendly and helpful – which is sadly not a common experience to have these days. 

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I can’t wait to venture back and I’d love it if more people would support such a historical and culturally rich venue such as this. In fact, I’m sure we all would. 

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Mo’ info here. Click click!

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Spiga Durban North

I was fortunate enough to be invited to one of the test-driving nights of Spiga Durban North and am very excited to announce to you all that after months in the making, it opens up today to the public. Cue stampede.

Classic Spiga vibes with a just a little more chicness, making it my next go-to place for birthday bookings or predrinks. Hearty Italian food, boss service and the friendly, relaxed Spiga atmosphere us Durbanites have all grown to love.

Best part is that soon they’ll be opening up a deli as well as a collection of unique kitchen gadgets and decor especially sourced for the discerning Spiga customer. I say!

Paul and I were treated to a three course meal. Artichoke hearts, carpaccio, seafood pastas and a volcano chocolate pud, lawdy lawd, did we leave there with a fat food baby.

Spiga Durban North

Mackeurtan Avenue

The Chairman

After my first experience at this new spot a couple weeks ago, I was very hesitant to blog about it. I wanted this little slice of heaven to forever remain a secret. But I know that it won’t be before long that the hungry masses sink their teeth into this unique venue and it becomes the most popular spot for every Matric dance in 2013.( Think back to the final days of GMT at the Bat Center)

I have decided however,to share my experience in hopes that the inevitable exposure of this sort of place will result in this developing strip in Point Road,getting some positive attention. Maybe if we sacrifice one super cool venue as collateral damage, we can create a potential platform for a new strip of jols, to satiate the locals starving for new hangouts. I alone don’t have the power to stop this place from becoming The Next Big Thing, but maybe it ain’t so bad if word gets out.

When you walk up to the big rusty gates in a rather seedy part of town, you imagine a swish shebeen to be bustling behind the entrance guarded by intimidating bouncers in chic black suits. However after convincing them that you didn’t know there was a dress code and promising you’ll swop your slops for heels next time, you are ushered behind the doors and exposed to a whole other world.

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The venue is dimly lit with ornate chandeliers and stacks of candles melting in to one another. It is the definition of cool: Mysterious, decadent and luxurious. Think cigars, vinyl and ceiling high cabinets of sought after alcohol. The decor is all apparently imported from India and other exotic places abroad – Persian rugs, enveloping couches and white washed antique frames line the face brick.

I got talking to the hostess ( yes, that is how swanky this spot is) to find out where this gem sprung from. Apparently the architect is the eccentric fellow who is responsible for the spontaneous shuffle of furniture and importing of ornaments. This jazz lounge was intended to be a Gentlemen Only sort of Blind Tiger/Speakeasy, but no one was about to kick out the fabulous women, draped in fur and sipping tumblers of expensive brandy in the corner.

The maze of rooms and coves is rather titillating and you sort of imagine yourself to be in this hazy, moody atmosphere where you could get swept off your feet by a mysterious tycoon at any given moment.

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This place is still in the beginning stages but all I know is that as I sat sipping my SoCo and lime, sucking on an acid pink hubbly pipe and succumbing to the familiar and soulful sound of Electric Ladyland wafting from the record player, that I had reached a personal state of Nirvana.

Don’t expect this place to have a Facebook page anytime soon – they are going for a low key, guest-list only sort of vibe. I really hope this this space remains sacred a little while longer. But whatever happens,no one can take away the evening that I went up to heaven, high-fived Jimi, came back down to earth and understood the meaning of self. It was just that good, that unique and that elite.

These pics don’t do it any justice,but here they are none the less.

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J xx

Spring at Shongweni Farmers Market

Spring has sprung!

The grass is riz’!

To celebrate the change of season , I decided to revisit Shongweni Farmers Market this past weekend. I remember many years back as a kid, my folks would wake me up at some godforsaken hour to trek around a dewy field before the sun was even up. It was always freezing cold and winterish and we would snuggle into our scarves while buying freshly farmed produce,snapdragons and a cuppa hot chocolate.

This small early morning market has turned into quite a production these days. Shongweni Farmers Market no longer simply offers fresh veg and an arena to show off your beloved mutts, but now has everything from freshly baked bread to handmade picture frames. It’s still pretty spectacular to drive up and defrost in the early morning sun while grabbing some breakfast and having a meander through the rustic stalls.It’s a great sense of community within the market,usual attended by familiar faces from the upper highway area.If you haven’t been yet and are looking for some fresh flowers, crystal jewelry or gourmet breakfast it’s worth getting your ass out of bed a little earlier than usual on a Saturday morning.

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J xx

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