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The Patio Cafe

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Driving up Roberts Road in Pietermartizburg to number 93 you will find a little cafe known as The Patio Cafe. It is in the back of a house that has been remodeled to include a woman’s gym, a beautician and the little Cafe. We were welcomed to the Patio Cafe by chef and co-owner Bianca Westhorpe-Pottow. She led us round the back and sat us down. The setting gives off of a cafe vibe with good views, we even watched an eagle building its nest in a nearby tree. There are just three tables with seating for four; as well as two couches for those who are just looking at maybe having a coffee and muffin. There was music playing quietly in the background which allowed a chilled eating experience.

The Patio opened on the 1st of July and has had good support so far which has come about through word of mouth and the use of social media. It was a chilly day and hot drinks were called for. Penny had a pot of Five Roses which came with a shortbread biscuit. The tea was good and enough for about four cups, which was a pleasant surprise. I had a “Hot Chocolate Palette” which was very good. It’s basically a Lindt tipped chocolate spoon which you have to dunk into a cup of hot milk and stir it around until it all melts. It’s a novel idea which can become a talking point.

The menu is small and simplistic, and the dishes are centred on fresh, seasonal produce. The Patio offers breakfast and lunches, as well as an ever changing variety of freshly baked muffins. The breakfast side has muesli, toast, omelettes and a sandwich. While the lunch serves up a base choice of a tagletelli pasta with parmesan, a baked potato and low fat cottage cheese or a toasted tramezini and mozzarella. You can then choose your topping for the base.

Penny had an onion omelette filled with camembert, parma ham, topped with homemade berry jam and rocket. The omelette arrived with camembert oozing out, but cutting through it revealed all the goodness inside. It was delicious and would be a definite recommendation to anyone. I had the tagletelli pasta with pan seared beef strips, tossed in Chinese spice mix and fresh coriander. The pasta was cooked really well and the sauce was great. The only thing that could have been better was the beef. It was slightly chewy, almost overcooked. But this could have also been due to the cut of meat. Despite this, both meals were tasty. The kitchen is open weekdays from 07:30 till 15:00. The Patio is definitely worth a try and offers diners something of a Midlands Meander experience in the City.

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Attractions

New Umdloti Marine Walk Brings Convenience, Connectivity and Local Favourites to Sibaya Area

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The Sibaya node has seen much activity over recent years and the catalytic projects undertaken in the area are continuing despite setbacks faced in the KZN province over the past two years. One of the most exciting projects within the Sibaya region will reach completion and be open to the public on 30th September 2022, that will have a profound impact on job creation and tourism in the Sibaya precinct. There’s no doubt that the opening of the Umdloti Marine Walk Shopping Centre will change the landscape of the Sibaya area for the better, offering residents of nearby areas a safe, convenient and family-centric retail space right on their doorstep.

Project lead on the Umdloti Marine Walk Shopping Centre, Devmco Group’s Brad Winstanley, believes that convenience and connection are two of the most important factors for people looking to change and improve their lifestyles. “We have set our sights on improving the quality of life for people in the area through this shopping centre. We are proud to have created a curated collection of retailers in a safe shopping space, with an open-air courtyard and restaurants that spill out into nature. It is a space that inspires relaxation, entertainment, and connection,” says Winstanley.

Finally opening its doors this week, the much-anticipated shopping space was built around the same philosophy of sustainability and environmental consciousness that Durban-based developers Devmco have weaved throughout the Salta development. The stylish retail space boasts large open areas and landscaped terraces for families to enjoy before, during and after their shopping – as media, influencers and stakeholders got to experience first-hand during a sneak preview event on Thursday 29 September 2022. According to Winstanley, the new mall will not only offer convenience to local shoppers from the surrounding areas but will act as a platform for local businesses to thrive.


Mzokoloko Gumede (Vuma FM) & Joel Magic (Durbanite)

“We have purposefully looked to include tenants in the centre who comprise of some of South Africa’s most popular and loved brands like Dischem, Kauai, Mr Price, Woolworths, Spar, Milady’s and Mugg & Bean. We have also hand-picked a number of owner-run and managed establishments and stores that are considered local treasures,” explains Winstanley.

Umdloti family-run business Casa Nostra have relocated their popular restaurant to the new shopping centre that has established a reputation and following in the community for 27 years. Considered a true family institution owned and run by Emanuele and Vanessa Cantatore, their authentic Italian home-style cuisine, with its focus on quality ingredients and authentic Italian flavours, will undoubtedly be a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike to the centre. “We are looking forward to offering our customers, who are like family to us, the same tried and tested menu favourites, but with a new dining experience that has something for the whole family to enjoy,” says Vanessa Cantatore.
In addition to local favourites such as Waxy O’Connors, Moustache Barber, Petland and Frozen For You – shoppers will get to enjoy the very first Woolworths W.Edit store in KZN. In a strategic move to expand their footprint to smaller malls and locations that wouldn’t necessarily be able to include the full Woolworths offering, the new W.Edit store is a boutique offering of the very best of Woolworths Fashion, Beauty, and Homeware items, curated especially for customers in the area.

Similarly, a new SUPERSPAR will welcome local residents to a flagship store that is employing and extensively training 67 previously unemployed staff members. “It has been a privilege to work with a blank canvas and build a SUPERSPAR from scratch at the Umdloti Marine Walk Shopping Centre”, says Paul Jason, co-owner of SUPERSPAR Salta. “Our vision is to exceed customers’ expectations through unbelievable service and an extraordinary shopping experience. With notable additions like a dedicated Gelato counter, a freshly made sushi station and a wood fired pizza offering, and an in-house café to sit, work, chat and eat at – not to mention a menu built by Durban legends Paul Sheppard of Marco Paulo and Raymond Friedman of Ray’s Kitchen.”

Devmco Group Director, Charles Thompson says, “We have created a shopping and lifestyle space where convenience is at the heart of this offering as we work towards redefining the customer retail experience. Retail is shifting, and customers are embracing the move to smaller, more intimate shopping zones. They no longer need to travel to the larger “city centre” malls to get their shopping done, when they can do it right here, and enjoy the same service excellence from their favourite local brands, in the fresh open air on the coast – close to home.”

As an increasing hub of residential and commercial activity, Salta Sibaya is ticking all the boxes with its exceptional product offering. A vibrant coastal lifestyle with sporting facilities and popular amenities, a close-knit community of like-minded people, and the ultimate convenience with popular retail brands, grocers, and restaurants all within close and easy proximity to your front door. A welcome addition to the area, Maine Walk during its opening weekends will offer families entertainment like LIV Choir performing on Saturday 1st October with massive opening specials at most stores during the opening weekend. Veranda Panda will also be performing at Waxy O’Connors on Friday 7th October and there will be kids entertainment over the rest of the weekend to keep youngsters entertained during the school holidays.

For more information about the Umdloti Marine Walk and all the activities on offer – follow their Instagram and Facebook pages, or visit www.marinewalk.co.za.

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Food

Dinner Time Stories at The Beverly Hills, Durban

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Dinner Time Stories is a two and a half hour dining show that tells the story of how the world’s smallest chef follows the route of Marco Polo.

The show’s 6 course menu takes guests along a culinary journey across the regions visited by the legendary traveller.

The 3D show is complimented by a unique gastronomic experience full of fun and surprises. Diners engage in a 5-senses spectacle as they savour the tastes of the story along its sights, sounds and aromas.

The 3D mapping concept uses animated optical illusion techniques which project a little chef cooking on your plate and table top.

Durbanite was invited to experience this unique dining setting.

“Upon arrival at the Beverly Hills Hotel around 7:00pm, we were given a glass of bubbly each and seated in the waiting area outside.

Our host for the evening came around to collect our tickets and told us our seat numbers for the evening. He also asked whether we had any dietary requirements, to which we responded with none.

Shortly after, we were ushered inside to a beautiful room where we spotted the projectors pointing downwards towards the tables.

Sitting down at the dining table, we greeted and met the other guests who we were sharing our table with. Our glasses were filled with wine and the show kicked off around 8:00pm.

For starters, we were served a slow roasted carrot puree & carrot top pesto macaron. We have never heard of nor tasted a savoury macaron before! A vietnamese panko crumbed prawn tail with fresh mango, cilantro salsa was also presented.

One word: DELICIOUS.

ARABIA

Moving on, our petit chef took us on an Arabic tasting adventure. We were served a middle eastern tabbouleh salad with chickpea falafel and arabic bread crisps. Sounds exotic doesn’t it?

It didn’t end there.

The other arabic additions were the skordalia, roasted garlic & creamy potato dip. A smoked baba ghanoush with griddled pita bread and toasted pistachio encrusted goat’s cheese truffle on green fig & date compote.

It’s enough to make you drool… and I think this has to be my favourite as I’ve never tasted anything like this before.

INDIA

The next stop was India. I was incredibly excited for the spicy food and boy, was I not disappointed! We were presented a wonderful array of Indian food.

Starting with a spicy paneer, pea & potato samosa with minted chining dipping sauce. This was served with a Beverly Hills signature lamb curry, basmati rice, sambas & poppadum crisp. Can you say, mmmm……

Let’s not forget the added touch of some freshly chopped Durban chilli! Nothing like a bit of local flavour from my hometown.

To water down the meal, we had a Bombay crush with elachi & rose syrup flavoured milk with Sabja seeds

THE HIMALAYS

We then jetted off to the Himalays for a frozen treat; a orange and finger sorbet. BUT with a twist. We’re not going to give too much away here as you need to see and do it yourself!

A short interlude followed for people to take their much needed bathroom break while the others headed down to the gorgeous poolside of Beverly Hills.

CHINA

Before long, we were back inside and off to China. Don’t worry, no Coronavirus was contracted here!

Our Chinese dish consisted of sushi, a tom yum broth, fried rice balls, spiced grilled chicken, asian veggies and fresh coriander. The additional bonus was the fortune cookie which we enjoyed reading out aloud to the rest of the table.

My fortune?

“Le Petit Chef says… The universe is simple. It’s the explanation that is complex.”

For dessert, we had an incredible decadent cardamom creme brulee, popped rich shard finished with a date biscotti. Creme Brulee is my favourite dessert, and they blew me away here, that’s for sure!

Tea & coffee were served along with candy floss sugar, because normal sugar is out of the question, right?

Just before the show, we slipped into the kitchen to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes:

These chefs are the finest, and most hard working people you will ever come across!

Thank you DinnerTimeStories!

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What a wonderful date night idea, or even for a special occasion…
Be sure not to miss out on this spectacular experience!

Book your seat for Dinner Time Stories here.

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Accomodation

The Beauty of Brahman Hills, Midlands

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Our Durbanite contributors, Shelley and her mother, Carmen were invited to experience Brahman Hills, their spa as well as the Midlands Kitchen.

Read more on what they had to say about it.

“I had been to Brahman Hills back in March with two of my friends, and I absolutely loved it! So you can imagine my delight when I would be returning, but this time with my mom.

We left our busy little city of Umhlanga and made our way towards Brahman Hills. The drive there is fairly quick and accessible, taking only an hour and a half.

THE MIDLANDS KITCHEN

Before arriving at Brahman Hills, we decided to try out The Midlands Kitchen.

The Midlands Kitchen is an eating area which hosts 15 kitchens, including Mexican, Mediterranean, Burgers, Chicken, Pizza, Indian and Vegan dishes. There’s also a harvest table for instant artisan fresh meals.

We loved the fact that is is both kid and pet-friendly!

We sat down and our waitress promptly greeted us while handing us menus to browse through. We were given a card with a table number on it. This is for The Midlands Kitchen to keep track of our orders throughout our visit.

I ordered a vegan dish which was a Cauliflower-based burger, while my mom opted for the spring-chicken burger. We added on two cappuccinos to go with our order.

The food was DELICIOUS! We were both delighted to have made the right choice, but I’m sure with any one of their options, it would never be a disappointment.

We ended off our meal with an ice cream cone each from their gelato station. Oh, and can we make a note that this was undoubtably the yummiest gelato? I mean, they had Nutella flavoured ice cream!

On our way out, we grabbed two chocolate croissants for later indulgence, because… why not?

BRAHMAN HILLS SPA

After our lunch at The Midlands Kitchen, we arrived at Brahman Hills to check into our room. We were seated in the lounge area and offered tea/coffee while our room and key was being organised.

We checked in to the most beautiful little hotel with a private garden all to ourselves!

After a quick power nap, we headed out to the much talked about spa. We were excited to experience our treatments in the countryside.

At the spa, we both had a full body massage with an exfoliation and soak off in a bath. Beforehand, we got to choose which essential oils we would like. We both opted for lavender which helps with stress and sleep.

After our massages, we headed upstairs to get a mani & pedi done. There’s nothing quite like getting a mani while watching the cows roam around outside in the open. So incredibly relaxing!

My perfect mani from Brahman Hills spa

89 ON COPPER

For dinner we had the pleasure of dining at the incredibly beautiful 89 on Copper restaurant which is underground in a cellar-like environment.

We had the two-course dinner. Both of us chose the rib wing for mains, and had the cheesecake & brownie for dessert.

Can we talk about how pretty this restaurant is?
We loved the holes in the walls where different bottles of wine was stored!

BREAKFAST AT BRAHMAN CAFE

We woke up early to start off the day with breakfast Brahman cafe.
We had the choice of choosing which breakfast we wanted.


Never in my life have I had such a good start to the day with their breakfast!

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If you’re ever in the Midlands, do yourself a favour and pop into the Midlands Kitchen and of course, Brahman Hills!

Phone: +27 (0)33 266 6965
Mobile: +27 (0) 81 370 9478
Email: reservations@brahmanhills.co.za
Address: Old Curry’s Post Road, Mount West, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

www.brahmanhills.co.za

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