The Republic of Hout Bay: Bay Harbour Market and Snoekies

My fellow blogger Julia writes about the Hout Bay Market in a recent blog. I myself have on occasion frequented the Hout Bay Market – mostly to sample the delicious baked goods, but it doesn’t hurt to take a gander through the interesting craft stores. If you are from my side of the mountain, and do not venture to The Republic of Hout Bay often, make a day trip of it! It happens to be home to one of my absolute favourite restaurants – Deli Delish. A post on Deli Delish coming soon!

TheCapetonianTourist

The perfect Sunday afternoon outing: a scenic drive through to Hout Bay to stroll through the Bay Harbour Market and then some deliciously fresh ol’ fish n chips at Snoekies. Sounds good right?

So first, why is Hout Bay jokingly called the Republic of Hout Bay you might ask? Here we go: A long time ago someone made his own passport which said he lived in the Republic of Hout Bay. He travelled the world with this passport (it was obviously waaaay before 9/11…) without any officials noticing his false document. The passports were actually made as part of a publicity stunt, but being able to travel the world with a fake passport is a shweet bonus.

Anywhoo, back to the Market and Snoekies… I’ve been to the Bay Harbour Market before, quite a while ago when it opened, but wow it has grown! The Bay Harbour Market is an…

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A Classy Affair – Casa Labia

Many a time, people have driven down Main road towards Kalk Bay, distracted by the beautiful view of Muizenberg beach, and have let one of the most idyllic cafés I have ever visited, pass them by. Casa Labia was built in 1929, to be home to the Count and Countess Natale Labia. However, over the years the house was neglected and passed ownership many times, until 2008, when Count Luccio Labia (son of Count Natale Labia) regained ownership of the property. The house was lovingly restored to its former glory and opened as a multi-functional cultural centre and up-market venue just 2 years later. The house, in its design and décor, encapsulates the spirit and extravagance of 18th century Venice. It is timelessly elegant – a quality that comes only from its rich cultural history and authenticity. The interior is stunningly adorned with genuine Venetian antiques–from the priceless paintings to the lavishly tiled ceiling panels and chandeliers – which were shipped to South Africa over a century ago. Situated in the former reception area of the house, the Casa Labia café exudes an inviting atmosphere of warmth and charm that is virtually unrivalled. In the summer months, tables are extended out onto a charming Italian-style courtyard and immaculately kept garden.

Top: View of Muizenberg  Bottom left: ceiling mural Bottom right: ceiling panels

Top: View of Muizenberg beach
Bottom left: Ceiling mural
Bottom right: Ceiling panels

I first visited Casa Labia only recently, under the ruse of a “business meeting” with my boss and fellow colleagues, although it really was just a good excuse to go for tea with the girls. I picked up one of my besties, Tay, on the way and together we headed off into the relatively unknown. Although Casa Labia is on Main road, it would seem really hard to miss, but as you can probably guess I am not the best with finding places – even armed with fancy GPSs. So we were casually cruising down Main road and Brad (my GPS) announces that we have arrived at our destination. We completely drove past it. After a very skilful U-turn, (if you live or have ever visited Muizenberg/ St James you will understand) we found our way back and managed to find a parking just a little way down the road. We were late. Naturally. Once inside we were escorted to an extravagant lounge area where the rest of our party was waiting.

The lounge area

The lounge area

We were then shown to our table in the front of the house, overlooking Muizenberg beach, and the four of us got down to the tough decision of what to order.  In the picture below, from the top left going in a clockwise direction – I ordered caramelised banana pancakes with seasonal berries and Crème fraîche; Tayla ordered Italian chocolate cake; Tee (my boss) ordered a chocolate brownie with NICE homemade ice-cream and lastly, Bernice ordered espresso and walnut cake. Sounds absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious right? YES. I quickly wolfed down my pancakes – they were too good to share! – and then helped Tay finish off her decadent chocolate cake. Needless to say, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to bring my Mom here for afternoon tea.

Delicious sweet treats

Delicious sweet treats

So this past weekend, my darling mother and I visited once again at the Casa Labia. And as my mom so aptly puts it “they go that little bit extra here”. When placing an order at the café – whatever you anticipate your food to taste like, it will be a thousand times better. Nothing is ordinary. Everything is exceptional. On this fine Saturday afternoon, enjoying our tea, we were treated to a live pianist playing softly in the background. Wow! Couldn’t think of a better way to spend the day!

Treat yourself and your nearest & dearest to a lovely meal at Casa Labia!

Girl's tea date

Girl’s tea date

For more details on Casa Labia:

Website: http://casalabia.co.za/

Twitter: @CasaLabia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/casalabia

Call (booking essential): 021 788 6062

Email: cafe@casalabia.co.za

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There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Celebrating All Things Pink! – Pink Coffee Boutique

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In the residential area of Kenilworth, lies a hidden gem – Pink Coffee Boutique, situated at 46 Goldbourne Road, the perfect tea date is waiting to happen.  Although the house may seem quaint from outside, a creative packaging company operates out of the front room (almost a reason to visit in itself!), and the coffee shop takes up the remaining space inside and spills outside onto a covered patio adorned with pink bunting. Thus patrons are able to pick up some great gifts and unique home décor items after they have enjoyed their tea. At Pink! everything is done a little old-school, from the décor – vintage, shabby chic,  to the cubed sugar, and milkshakes served in glass bottles. The menu is short and sweet and the specials and tea time snacks are listed on many blackboards scattered around the coffee shop. The sweet treats (my fave!), are invitingly displayed on tables both inside and outside, and house a selection of delicious cakes, brownies, tarts, and muffins. The atmosphere is very laid back and one really does feel at home once seated in the over-stuffed couch on the patio, listening to the relaxing music selection, sipping on a lovely cup of tea.

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The shop celebrates everything that is pink with quotes such as “Pink is more than a colour, it’s an attitude” and the famous quote by Audrey Hepburn “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles” displayed amongst the many other cute quotes on the walls.

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The first time I went to Pink! was in 2012 when I was invited to my friend Katie’s 20th birthday tea. After much Google mapping and GPS-ing I finally made it! Pouring with rain, in true Cape Town style, and unable to find a parking, I ran up the stairs, in search of a warm cuppa (of anything really – desperate times!). Outside (thank goodness for the covered patio!), my friends were already gathered around a large table snacking on fruit kebabs, sandwiches and mini Lindt cakes covered in pink (obviously) glitter. Time to order drinks arrived and I was thinking – a coffee boutique, almost a sin to order tea, so I settled for good old hot chocolate instead – delicious! Needless to say, I soon learnt through my many subsequent visits, that everything at Pink! is delicious. Their tea, served the way it should be – in a transparent glass teapot with a sieve alongside, infusing while you chat. Many think that they have found the best lemon meringue – I am afraid they are horribly wrong. Pink! has undoubtedly the BEST lemon meringue I have ever had the pleasure of devouring, definitely worth the extra calories, and the 20 minute drive down taxi-infested Main Road. Lunch is another treat all together – with salads, wraps, sandwiches and burgers that are too tasty to possibly be considered healthy.

Katie, Tayla & I at Katie's birthday tea

Katie, Tayla & I at Katie’s birthday tea

Definitely a must see for tea-lovers and coffee-lovers alike. Pink! really is a special place.

For more details about Pink Coffee Boutique:

Call: 021 762 5510

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pink.coffee1

Email: sandra@faxpack.co.za

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“Would you like an adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?” -Peter Pan

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It’s all in the detail – High Tea

High Tea is a cosy little café located in the tranquil gardens of the Farriers Centre, just off Constantia road in Wynberg. The centre boasts a number of speciality stores, perfect for a leisurely afternoon browse. There is ample parking space, but never fear, if it is a beautiful sunny summer day, one can always park on the grass verge across the road.

High Tea offers a delectable selection of mini cakes and tarts, amongst other goodly things including breakfast, lunch, tea & coffee. The shop has a very relaxed atmosphere and the décor has a very rustic charm: meals are served with albeit fancy, completely mismatching cutlery, crockery and serviettes. This little coffee shop really has thought of all the small details, from the rainbow crystal sugar to the perfect music selection. One wall of the shop is lined with shelves laden with interesting snacks and gifts including speciality teas, spiced nuts, caramel popcorn (DELICIOUS – literally can’t leave without a bag), hand-made tea-cosies, and biscuits amongst other things. The menu reflects the restaurant owners’ mantra, simple and straightforward, with very few options available and only slight variations with changes in season. In addition to the restaurant, High Tea creates exquisite cakes (both in appearance and in taste) for order for weddings, birthdays or any other celebrations. My Mom has already picked out my wedding cake from High Tea, even though I am 20 and marriage is not even a wild possibility in the near future.

For one day in the future :) stunning isn't it?

For one day in the future 🙂 stunning isn’t it?

I was introduced to High Tea by our estate agent, Mary Bailey, in 2009, when my family and I were down for three days to do house hunting (don’t know if it was desperation or efficiency?). Since moving to Cape Town, just over four years ago, I have been there many a time and have shared this delightful spot with many friends and family. With such an amazing spread of cakes, it is really hard to have a favourite, but dozens of tea dates, hundreds of Rands, and thousands of calories later; I have definitely found mine – the SERIOUSLY chocolate cake, followed closely by the lemon meringue.

My SERIOUSLY chocolate cake

My SERIOUSLY chocolate cake

On each of my countless visits to High Tea, I have always been impressed with the service I have received. On one occasion, I was enjoying an almost weekly mother-daughter date, when my mother saw a heart –shaped coat hook on the wall that she just HAD to have. The owners, much to our surprise, kindly obliged and unscrewed the hook from the wall, and let my mom purchase it.

I highly recommend, that if you are a sweet tooth like me, that you make your way to High Tea ASAP – you will not be disappointed, nor leave empty handed.

Me and my Mumsicle <3

Me and my Mumsicle ❤

For more details about High Tea:

Website: http://hightea.co.za/

Call: Cakes 083 7640 760 and Restaurant 021 7971 421

Email: cakes@hightea.co.za (Irma) or restaurant@hightea.co.za (Kerneels)

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“If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you” – William Gladstone

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Welcome!

1011875_10151923171926518_774179254_nAbout Me

My name is Tamsyn Clark, born and raised in South Africa, currently residing in the beautiful mother city, Cape Town. Cape Town is home to many marvellous attractions, my favourite being the cafes, deli’s, bistros and the like.

I am a self-professed lover of tea and all things sweet. I tend to agree largely with what C.S Lewis has to say, especially that “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me”. As you can probably guess I am an absolute bookworm too – my favourite authors include Nicholas Sparks, Tess Gerritsen, and Kathy Reichs. I can think of no better day than one which is spent curled up in a blanket, with my adorable cat, reading. I love cooking and baking and I am in the kitchen creating delicious food every chance I get. I like to think of myself as an aspiring foodie and my dream is to one day open my own gourmet deli and bakery.

When I am not dreaming about my future, I am a third year Marketing student at the University of Cape Town. Although my true passion is to be working in the food industry, I also have an interest in brand development and management; thus the pursuit of a degree in Business Science.

About the Blog

Through my endeavors to satisfy my love of tea and all things sweet, I have frequented a number of different tea spots – all of which have provided a wealth of memories and experiences which I will share here on my blog. I feel as if by sharing my personal experiences at all the places that I love, I will be able to introduce fellow tea-lovers to a new favourite tea spot and possibly even convert some of you coffee drinkers ;) . I will try to post on a weekly basis, so please follow me for updates, and please feel free to share, like and comment!