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The Ultimate Relationship Test: River Rafting with Liquid Adventures



River rafting. The words have always excited me but I have never been brave enough to take the plunge. The idea of going down a river, over water falls, rocks, rapids and beating currents is quite unnerving but when a river rafting expedition of a lifetime presented itself I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and give it a go! Liquid Adventures run by Graeme, is situated on the Umkomaas River at the Hella Hella Outdoor Adventure Centre which is just outside Richmond (approx. 1 ½ hours from Durban.) You can make a day of your adventure or if you prefer, an entire weekend. They can accommodate groups as well as individuals for birthdays, corporate team buildings, bulls or hens parties (for the adventurous ladies out there!), which can include ½ day trips, full day trips. But that’s not all, a lamb-on-the-spit, paintball and even mountain biking can be arranged. The Umko (as we fondly call it) boasts grade 3 rapids which step-up to grade 4 if there has been sufficient rain.

With this knowledge on hand off our awesome-foursome set (me with my long sleeve top, sunblock, takkies, cozzie and towel… like the very unprofessional paddler I was!)

On arrival we were met by Tarryn – the photographer for the day. She was very cool, calm and collected which immediately calmed my nerves. If Tarryn isn’t worried, how hard can this actually be… right? Once kitted with helmets and life jackets, (safety comes first) we piled into the Liquid Adventure bakkie and headed down to the river for a safety induction on what to do and what not to do in our inflatable 2 man canoe.

There was no turning back now.

Just my luck, everyone else had done this before which left me feeling a bit daft, but no sooner were we paddling off towards our first obstacle of the day, a waterfall (A WATERFALL?!) No fear though, Graeme was with us every step of the way (phew!) demonstrating with his team the best way to approach going over the waterfall and thereafter one by one, each pair set off to conquer! This was how each obstacle was approached hereon after. I think Graeme could probably smell the fear on me and so kindly offered to take me down the waterfall himself. He made it seem so easy and it was then that I realised, “Hey, this isn’t so bad, it’s actually quite fun!” and so, with regained confidence I rejoined my partner (and fiancé).

I really liked the fact that there were guides with us along the way who were such a big help when we lost our groove, the river can be a dangerous place and you have to be careful at all times. I also enjoyed the orderly fashion which everyone went down the river – one by one – and that there were plenty of stops between paddling to have a rest, catch up with the group and have some refreshments.

With the drought we are all experiencing at the moment, the water level was a bit low and as such there were quite a lot of rocks to contend with. This had us stretching, bouncing and generally doing moves… not quite like Jagger. But at the end of the day we were laughing at ourselves and reminiscing on our awesome adventure which included rock jumping (for those brave enough) as well as zip-lining.

My favourite part has got to be the incredible views and the ice cold Savannah Dry at the end! I also have a new respect for every paddler out there!

Half a day later, my fiancé and I did it, we made it down the river without killing each other! We weathered the rocky bits, encouraged each other through the rough currents and worked together as a team. It is safe to say that we have been put through the ultimate relationship test and can officially get married now!

Our mates Taryn and Lyle joined us on this adventure and as they had done river rafting before, I asked for a comment on their experience, this is what Lyle had to say: 

“Having experienced river rafting before, I had a fair idea of what I was getting into when accepting the invite to raft the Umkomaas. That said, there was still a level of trepidation when you’re unloading the rafts and getting all your gear together before hitting the water. One of the highlights of this type of rafting is that you are not ‘ferried’ down the river by a guide (as is the case with a lot of river rafting tours). Two seater Croc inflatables are your craft and you’re left to steer, paddle and decide your lines. This adds to the adrenaline as if you come off, it will be entirely your own fault. For those who are now thinking this sounds bit too much, never fear! You disembark at each graded rapid to review the conditions and the guides give you suggestions on the best lines. If you are not comfortable then you can choose to either be taken down by one of the guides or to skip the rapid entirely. Overall I really enjoyed the trip. The rafting was still a lot of fun, even with the lower water levels. The guides were more than competent and we were kept sated with regular biltong and juice stops. The midway stop, where one can rock jump and foofy slide, is a good alternative activity. I would certainly recommend trying this out and will probably be on the water again sooner rather than later.”

Thank you to Graeme and team for the fantastic day out and to Tarryn Groberlar for the photies! We look forward to seeing again soon!


Contact info.


Cell: +27 (0)824945660



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With nobody travelling internationally at the moment The Oyster Box’s Executive Chef, Kevin Joseph and his culinary Team, decided to take guests to exotic places through their food instead. So the Flavour-cation concept was born. Through a variety of food experiences ‘flavour vacations’ are put together to showcase exciting new tastes… literally on our doorstep.

With the Tapas menu (Spanish word for small savoury dishes), each item, has a main ingredient and everything else on the plate contributes to the overall taste sensation. “We looked at what is popular with diners,” says Chef Joseph, “such as oysters, prawns, sharing platters etc. and then added our own taste profile and flair to each dish, to give it an Oyster Box twist. The babotie spring rolls are an example; our steamed buns are baked in-house; the Oysters harvested from our own beds and the pear chutney and hummus cooked from scratch.” The menu also offers ample choice for Vegetarians.

Tapas will be on offer in The Lighthouse and Oyster Bars until the end of November, with new and exciting dishes being added to the menu on an ongoing basis, so that our guests always have something new to look forward to.

Alongside the menu, a wide selection of wine, beer, Champagne and sparkling wine is on offer. A special mention should be made of the House Wine Selection, from our internationally-acclaimed sister winery, Bouchard Finlayson in the Hemel en Aarde Valley in Hermanus. Known for producing exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and renowned Pinot Noirs.

The TAPAS Menu is served in The Lighthouse and Oyster Bars from 12:00-19:30 daily.

Booking is essential on 031 514 5000 or by e-mail

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Diarise these upcoming Old Town Italy events



Don’t miss out on Old Town Italy’s upcoming events:

Pizza Making Class

We’re happy to let you know that Old Town Italy will be hosting regular Pizza Making Classes from Thursday, 17 June! 🍕
Old Town Italy brings you an evening filled with Antipasto’s, their house wine and an experience to create your own masterpiece with their esteemed chefs, for R325 per person🥂

🇮🇹 Book at Umhlanga between 5pm – 8pm. | 031 566 5008

Upcoming Classes:
15 July
19 August


24 June – La Dolce Vino

Join Old Town Italy for yet another incredible wine & dinner pairing, hosted at their Old Town Italy stores alongside Steenberg Wine Farm 🍷

Bring your Amico’s along and prepare to be taken on a wine journey, exploring 5 wines of which Steenberg has carefully selected to offer from their range of wines, paired with an exciting menu, curated by their in-house chef.

Allow the live entertainment to ease you into an evening filled with famiglia, fun & festivity 🎷
The evening begins promptly at 6pm on Thursday, 24 June

See the Menu below;

🥂 Welcome Drink
Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc

🍴 La Minestra
Roasted Tomato and Red Bell Pepper La Minestra
Served with Parmesan Grissini
🍷 Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc

🍴 Antipasti Board
A Selection of Imported Italian Cheeses and Cured Meats.
Served with Traditional Sides
🍷 Steenberg Nebbiolo

🍴 Fesa di Agnello
Grilled Lamb Rump
Served with Cauliflower, Baby Peas & Marrow Ribbon Salad
Finished off with Mint Gremolata
🍷 Steenberg Merlot

🍴 Dolce
Classic Tiramisu.
Served with Wild Strawberry, Balsamic and Pink Peppercorn Compote.
🍷 Steenberg 1682 Pinot Noir Cap Classique

Tickets are R425 per person. 🇮🇹

Bookings are essential.
Make your booking at your favourite store below: | 031 566 5008


3 July – Cake & Prosecco

Join Old Town Italy on the first Saturday of every month for a fun Cake-Decorating class, hosted by renowned bakers at their adored Old Town Italy stores.

Start your morning at 10am, where you will learn a series of cake decorating techniques while sipping on refreshing Prosecco.

This class is R750 per person & includes your own cake to decorate and take home, Prosecco and a selection of Old Town High Tea treats.

Upcoming dates & themes:
3 July – Naked Cake w/ Rice Paper Flower
7 Aug – Buttercream Flower

Bookings can be made below:
Umhlanga | 031 566 5008


9 July – Pasta Making Class

Enjoy a Pasta Making Class at Old Town Italy  Umhanga from 6pm for just R325 per person.
Grab your wine-loving partner and come join for a fun and pasta-filled evening.

On arrival, you’ll enjoy a light antipasto to warm the appetite as well as a bottle of wine to share during the class. Next, their head chef will teach you how to cook like an Italian and finally, prepare your homemade creation for you to enjoy in-store!

Seats are limited to 12 pax and booking is essential:
Here’s our calendar for the rest of 2021:
9 July | Spinach & Ricotta Tortellini
13 August | Tomato Fettuccine Pasta
10 September | Cavatelli Pasta
8 October | Sacchetti Pasta
12 November | Manicotti Pasta
10 December | Fusili al Ferretto

Bookings can be made below: / 031 566 5008

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The Durban Gin & Tonic Experience




The Durban Gin & Tonic Experience is supported by Hall & Bramley is guaranteed to be an unforgettable day out. Bringing you the best Gins and Mixers with Live Artists performing to keep you entertained.

Tickets include entry in to the event as well as a complimentary Festival Gin glass.

Saturday 8 May 2021
Gates open at 12:00
Event ends at 18:00

Northwood Crusaders.
The perfect setting for a Saturday sundowner in the picturesque lawns.

Please note tickets are limited to 500 so get yours early to avoid disappointment.
Early Bird – R160
General Admission – R180
Add a picnic hamper for R150

Tickets available at Webtickets:

This event is strictly over 18 – leave the kids at home
No own food or drink is permitted in to the venue
No weapons, drugs or illegal substances are permitted in to the venue
There will be cash and card facilities at the Cash Loading station
Don’t drink and drive – Arrive aliveCovid-19 protocols will be in place to make the event a safe environment for all in attendance with plenty of space for social distancing and sanitising stations. Don’t forget your face masks and personal sanitiser.

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