Lifestyle // My 3 Favourite Vineyards in Cape Town

Cape Town is recognised internationally for it’s fine wines…and rightly so! It is the favourite destination for many wine connoisseurs from around the world, and some of the best and oldest wine farms can be found around the region. I definitely do not count myself as a “connoisseur”, more so an avid wine lover. I’ve put together my top 3 vineyards, from food, to wine to pure beauty surrounding the wine farm. It’s not all about wine I promise!

Boschendal 

Boschendal was the first wine farm I ever visited. I instantly fell in love with it. Situated in the beautiful Drakenstein valley a little further on from Stellenbosch and in between Franschhoek, it is well worth the drive. One of the oldest farms in South Africa founded in 1685, their focus is on producing organic sustainable food and delicious wines.

Click here to read Trip Advisor reviews/book the rooms

DSC_0061Things to do at Boschendal

  • Wine Tasting – A must do; try their fine wine and have a giggle with the master of wines. One gentleman (who is there all the time) will go into detail explaining each wine, grape and history
  • The Werf Restaurant
  • Farm Shop and Deli – You have to try the Droëwors and Borenkaas, so very delicious
  • Walk around The Boschendal Gardens
  • Cellar Tours
  • Vineyard Tours
  • Stay at the farm
  • Farm Spa
  • Horse and Carriage Rides

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Vergelegen 

Vergelegen is a historic wine estate founded in 1700. It is a 35+ minute drive from Cape Town, in an area called Somerset West. Out of all 3 wine farms featured in this post, as you walk around, you uncover more and more…being here made me feel like Alice in Wonderland. There is so much to explore from the rose gardens to having a picnic lunch in the mystic Camphor Forest. Vergelegen focuses on conserving the heritage that has formed the foundation for Capetonian’s today.

Click here to read Trip Advisor reviews

DSC_0244.JPGThings to do at Vergelegen

  • Wine Tasting – Overlooks an octagonal herb garden that gives a feeling of serenity
  • Stables Bistro Restaurant
  • Camphors at Vergelegen – Signature Restaurant
  • Picnic in the Camphor Forest
  • Cellar Tours
  • Heritage & Garden Tours
  • Various Events – Check the website here for details

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Warwick 

The youngest wine farm and closest of the 3 vineyards to Cape Town, Warwick wine estate lies in-between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts. A family owned vineyard, their most famous wine “The First Lady” is named after Norma Ratcliffe (along with her husband they made the farm what it is today)  as she was one of the first women to make wine in South Africa. Warwick wine estate has a well deserved reputation for their gourmet picnics…I can vouch for this!

Click here to read Trip Advisor reviews

DSC_1196Things to do at Warwick

  • Wine Tasting
  • Cellar Tours
  • Big 5 Vineyard Safari
  • Gourmet Picnics – Menu below:
    • Sichuan pepper crusted beef fillet with aioli
    • Rosa tomato, mange tout and butter bean salad
    • Baby potato, red onion and fried caper salad tossed in a light whole grain mustard aioli
    • A chunk of matured cheddar
    • Warwick’s famous biltong pâté – Absolutely DELICIOUS
    • Trio jar of homemade sweet chili sauce, cream cheese and basil pesto
    • Herbed stretched homemade bread
    • Loved Ponies onion marmalade
    • Homemade smoked butter
    • Gluten free Key Lime pie jar

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I hope my photos do each vineyard justice and show off the sheer beauty Cape Town vineyards have to offer. Do they entice you to explore? Let me know!

Keep up to date with my travels on my Instagram.

24 Hour Guide // Boston, MA – USA

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. – Henry Miller

My airport standby surprise resulted in flying to a city that stays close to my heart, Boston, MA. I have visited this city numerous times with my family over the past few years.

With our rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and legacy of arts, culture, and education, Boston has something for everyone. – boston.gov/visiting-boston

Boston as a city is unique; having visited many cities in the US, to this day,  it ranks top of my ‘favourites list’. I tend to find many US cities ‘concrete jungles’, whereas Boston with it’s heritage and contrast between old and new makes it an exciting place to explore.

DSC_0176Breakfast – Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe

As I had a full day to explore, I decided to start with a proper breakfast. From Back Bay we had a short walk to a famous diner to get our hands on some classic American breakfast.  Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe has been described as “equal parts old-school diner and neighborhood coffee shop” but among the locals, it is known for its breakfasts…Boy are they right! Getting a seat was hard enough, be prepared to wait…if you’re British bring your humour, they like to tease us a little.

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DSC_0179French Toast, Bagels and Coffee…YUM.

DSC_0183The thing I love a lot about Boston, is that everything is in walking distance. There is the option to ride the T (Boston underground) all over the city, however with the amount there is to explore, you do not want to miss out being underground on a train. Best way to see the city is to follow the Freedom Trail. This takes you to all the prominent history points and there are free tours too, which is a bonus.

DSC_0188The beautiful contrast between old and new, right in the heart of the City. Above is Trinity Church a short walk from Back Bay.

Boston Public Gardens

Continue walking past Trinity Church you will come across Boston Public Gardens. We were heading towards Quincy Market and had the opportunity to walk through this quaint park. Boston Public Gardens is adjacent to Boston Common. We did have a little wander through Boston Common, but came upon a large rally, so we were advised to divert by the police for our own safety.

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DSC_0197Quincy Market / Faneuil Hall / Freedom Trail 

Quincy Market is a shopping district in Boston made up of 3 historic market buildings and a promenade. If you are looking for food and shopping, look no further. We walked though the main market hall (middle photo) and safe to say, it was food heaven! Offering local foods famous to Massachusetts such as: Boston Cream Pies, Clam Chowder and Maine Lobster Rolls – every kind of food your heart desires.  After visting Quincy Market, we were back onto the Freedom Trail onto our next location.

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DSC_0210Christopher Colombus Waterfront Park / Harbour

Down to the waterfront to the historic harbour where the famous Boston Tea Party happened. The New England aquarium is also situated at the harbour front.

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DSC_0223North End – Little Italy 

As mentioned before, Boston is easily accessible by foot. From the harbour, we walked slightly back on ourselves and ended up in North End, Boston’s Italian neighbourhood. It is a maze of narrow streets with some of the city’s oldest buildings. On the Freedom Trail, you will pass historic sites like the 1680 Paul Revere House and the Old North Church, which played a key role at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

Italian restaurants, coffee shops, pastry shops and delis pack the area, especially on Hanover Street. We stopped off at Caffe Vittoria, the first Italian coffee shop in Boston. Just a few stores up the road you will find the famous Mike’s Pastry shop. You can get your cannoli fix there, just be prepared to queue up… it’s super busy!

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DSC_0237Other Recommendations:

  • Harvard University – Especially if you’re a Legally Blonde fan
  • Boston Trolley Tours
  • Boston Duck Tours – On Land and Water tour
  • Fenway Park
  • TD Garden
  • Salem – If you have time, get on a 35 min train to learn about the historic witch trials
  • Gilette Stadium – Home of the best NFL team, The New England Patriots of course!
  • Prudential Center Boston Skywalk

Click Here to book your Boston hotel

Hope you enjoy exploring Boston.

Keep up to date with my travels on my Instagram.

48 Hour Guide // Seoul – South Korea

I was able to venture to a country I had never expected to visit in my lifetime…South Korea. This guide provides a short but sweet itinerary for spending 48 hours in Seoul. I stayed just outside Seoul in a place called Incheon which took about 1hr 45mins by train to the centre. Unfortunately, because of this I wasn’t able to fit in everything I had planned (if you are centrally located, this would be easier). This is therefore a mix of what I did and what I recommend to do in 48 hours.

Seoul.jpgGyeongbokgung Palace 

The Gyeongbokgung Palace was built in 1395 and is one of the largest palaces in South Korea. It was destroyed by the Japanese in the early 20thcentury and has been gradually reconstructed since then.

Gyeongbokgung Palace is a huge collection of Traditional Korean style buildings behind the Gwanghwham Gate, with architecture that is reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Just behind the Palace sits the beautiful Bukasan Mountain.

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DSC_0134Gwanghwham Gate & Changing of the Guards

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DSC_0125Bukchon Hanok Village 

A mix between old and new. Explore the streets of Bukchon with traditional Korean neighbourhoods overlooking a modern city.

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IMG_6405.jpgMyeong-dong Shopping District 

Myeong-Dong is a lively shopping district in the heart of Seoul. If you’re into your Korean beauty trends, this is right up your street. Filled to the brim with food stalls and local street sellers there is something everyone will enjoy. You will also find your favourite western shops eg. Zara, H&M etc. Continue walking up and you’ll find the road ventures off into little streets just as lively and colourful. If crowds aren’t your thing, this won’t be for you. Myeong-dong attracts over 1 million people daily…just bear that in mind.

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DSC_0172Eat: Korean BBQ

Meat. BBQ. What’s not to love? Simply order off a menu and cook it yourself on grills built into the dining table. Do not pass on the opportunity to experience this authentic Korean Cuisine .

My other recommendations:

  • Cheonggyechon Stream
  • Dongdaemoon Market
  • Namdaemun Market
  • Gangnam…Yes do it Gangnam Style 
  • Seoul Tower

Hope you enjoyed the post! Keep up to date with my travels on my Instagram.

 

 

Day in the Life of Cabin Crew

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page. – Saint Augustine

I am frequently asked by friends, family and even strangers…’What is it really like to be crew’?

Rise and Shine – Like yourselves, crew have to be at the airport approximately 2 hours before their duty. Flights from Heathrow don’t leave before 6am and after 9pm, so from anytime between these hours, lots of crew members will be heading to the airport. Yes, this sometimes means a 3am wake up…gross I know. Been there, done that.

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London at 6am during the descent

However, even at a horrendous time in the morning, we are expected to be polished and tidy ahead of our flights. There is no room for a sloppy appearance. I usually take pride in how I appear and feel it makes us a lot more approachable to our customers as we are meeting their expectations.

Briefing Time – Before we brief, I usually arrive to the Crew Report Centre early to grab a coffee or snack and make it a habit to text my family before I jet off (Shoutout…you know who you are). The pre flight brief is the first time the crew working on the flight will meet. Yes, we fly with a different crew every time. Now and again, a familiar face will pop up which is always fun. Yassss.

The team gathers for approx. 20 minutes as we have a critical path to stick to in order that everything runs on time. A series of Safety and Medical questions will be asked by the Cabin Services Manager (CSM) to ensure everyone’s knowledge is up to date and we are legal to fly. We also cover working positions – each depends on the aircraft type, number of passengers (PAX) onboard and any other information regarding the flight.

To the Aircraft – Once again, we follow the normal routine of any airport and pass through security. This is always the “fun” part begging with the staff to let your liquid through…yeah or not. Once you’ve redressed yourself after taking off most of your uniform, we head to the gate or bus (depending if you are in another terminal). Once onboard, we start all our checks to make sure you are safe of course! Imean I’m not going to put anyone else’s life at risk let alone myself, so this is a key part to our role. We check all the safety equipment is legal and there is no funny business on board. Not on my watch!

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The World truly is my oyster

Here we go, Here we go, Here we go – During boarding we usually stand in the cabin to greet the passengers and give them a big grin…as well as accidentally getting in the way of everyone. #CrewProbs. Once the doors are shut and boarding is complete, standard checks are made. Baggage is put away, seat belts are on, 1A has their champagne, you know the usual. We also have to do the standard cabin crew dance – pointing out exits during our safety demo. Once the cabin is secured, we are good to go.

To Infinity and Beyond – Once it is safe for us to leave our seats and cruising at 35,000ft we begin our onboard service. Starting with drinks and then food. I’m sure you’ve heard “Chicken or Beef” plenty of times. Depending on your flight duration we may serve a second meal nearing the end of the flight. One question I often receive “What do you do in-between services?” Well, my favourite bit. We sleep. Yes! We do. Half the crew will be on first break and then we swap for the second break. While you’re all chilling in your seats, we are snug as a bug in a secret compartment. However, when not on break, you will usually find me doing Sudoku in the galley or waiting to jump into action if needs be.  I’m trained to be a Midwife, Paramedic, Policewoman, Firefighter as well as just being there for the customer. We don’t just serve food!

Touch Down – Ok so this is my favourite bit. Touchdown in one of the many incredible destinations of the world. The world is my oyster and this is my chance to explore.

I love my job as cabin crew and without it I would not have had the many opportunities I’ve come across or met some of the people who mean the world to me (pardon the pun). If ever the opportunity to fly comes knocking, grab it with both hands and make the most of it.