Monday, October 15, 2012

Cafe Des Arts

A good friend of mine just introduced me to a little gem in Franschhoek called Cafe des Arts, this was previously owned by renowned cook Topsi Venter who was one of our mentors at the chef school where I studied as well as throughout my career. You will still find her popping in at the cafe on a regular basis.

Cosy, welcoming and vibey, I felt very at home in this rustic cafe situated amongst all the great restaurants in Franschhoek's gourmet valley, it's very down to earth with real food you just want to tuck your teeth into as well as the friendly couple who own the place, greet you and spend time with all the guests explaining how they came to purchase this wonderful place where you can also buy the artwork on the walls.

The menu changes daily and is written on a chalk board, 3 or 4 starters, 5 or 6 mains and 3 desserts had a good mix of everything from light to rich foods and although the linefish which looked so delicious as it whizzed past was sold out on the night I was very happy with my meal.

My starter was pickled fish on crostini with salad, crispy, sweet, sour with an addictive bite. A tasty local dish done well. R65

Another starter, Tomato and basil soup was very tasty, good bread and concentrated tomato flavours. R45

My main course, a smokey cooked to perfection Kassler chop with ratatouille and mustard mash. R95

Lamb's Liver with roast potatoes, bacon, baby onions and balsamic vinegar, this is one of their recommended dishes perfect balance of richness with the balsamic vinegar R70.

Sirloin Steak, mushroom sauce, mustard mash and salad, another recommendation for the evening also cooked perfect. R125

We all enjoyed ourselves,  left with full stomach's and felt like we had made new friends with the owner's Chris and Louise, I hope to see you soon to try out the chalkboard breakfast and lunch offerings.

Cafe des Arts
021-876 2952

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pinotage on Tap

I attended this absolutely fun wine makers festival this weekend at the Diemersfontein wine Estate out in Wellington. It's called Pinotage on Tap and there really is wine on tap in large barrels dotted around the festival area.

There is flowing wine, live music and food outside in the sun on a large estate filled with life and colour, a great party to start off summer in Cape Town. This is also the estate's opportunity to launch the new vintage which went down a treat, very easy drinking and I will add it to my list of favorite wine's.

We were all given goodie bags with food tickets inside, waitresses walking around with bowl foods to keep you full while you wash everything down with wine, wine and more wine.

The best part of the event was when Good Luck played getting everybody on the dance floor jumping around to their fun upbeat songs, you will definitely be tapping your foot if you get the opportunity to see them live.

Loads of fun, I will be buying tickets next year for sure. R325pp included goodie bags, wine, live bands and games and takes place mid October so diarize this date for 2013.

Article and Pictures Copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dinner and dancing at Pigalle

It was one of my good friends birthday this weekend and she is always my most glamorous friend, dressed to the nine's so it was fitting for her to host her party at Pigalle with a dress up theme of 1920's pin up. Pigalle is one of the very few places where there is sit down dinner and dancing in Cape Town.

The birthday girl is also the owner of Absolute Collection a wedding and corporate event company so we were all spoilt with goodie bags filled with fun 1920's treats like red lipstick, feather boa's and black eyeliner, stationary on the table matched the theme and we entertained ourselves with Polaroid camera's capturing all the fun of the night.

We had a shortened A la Carte menu and my starter was a moreish plate of calamari, just enough garlic, lemon and butter with tender calamari, we both said we could just eat this all night and I could not resist mopping up the sauce with their very fresh baked bread. The other options were a Carpaccio and a Mussel pot.

For main course I chose the Beef Fillet with red wine jus, mashed potato, spinach and caramelized onions. This was although a standard beef dish that you could find in many restaurants around town, I could not complain about anything, all seasoned perfectly, cooked just as I asked and really tender and juicy. The other options were a plate of prawns which I would have loved to eat at home where you can get messy or Norwegian salmon with mashed sweet potato.

For dessert we were treated to a great birthday cake idea from Cakes by Wade which was a doughnut cake glued together with marshmallowy Italian meringue, just the perfect ending to the meal sweet and gooey, what more could a girl want, worked off by dancing to the live band and lots of laughs. Happy Birthday my friend.

Pictures and article copyright by Tamsyn Wells

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Win R300 from Spar for October fest

So it's spring, the summer sun is starting to shine, it's October which means lots of beer, food and social gathering's for October fest.
Spar has contacted me to give away a R300 voucher to use in any of their stores which is so exciting as it's my first give away on my blog.

Anybody may enter who frequents Spar stores nationwide, use your favorite Freshline ingredients to create a dish that you love to eat with an ice cold beer from your local Tops at Spar of course, for October fest. It may be a starter, main, dessert, Braai dish, snacks or tapas, the easier the better.  First "like" the Spar Facebook page and mine Olivia's Kitchen then just send the recipe to

I will announce the winner on World Food Day which is the 16th October 2012. I will also recreate the winning dish and provide the recipe on my blog.

Final entries must be in by the 12th October 2012 and you may enter as often as you wish.
Good Luck.