All posts filed under: Food

We Found Love in a Pink-Walled Boulangerie ~ Reunion Island

  It’s said that the trick to getting a sleepy, reluctant mind ready for a run or hike is to put on your socks and shoes and tie up the laces, nice and tight. This simple activity fools the body into thinking it’s ready. It’s a sort of rubbing of the lamp to bring out the genie. It’s not wishes it grants you, but oomph, vigour, a love and eagerness for life. Joie de vivre! There’s another trick to sparking that go-get-’em vivacity, we discovered on our way into the mountains of Réunion Island, and it lies in the sweet caress of a French patisserie. It’s the effect of delicious goods lined up behind glass windows, ready for the picking, that triggers something in the brain. The excitement centre lights up.     With Frederic of Blue Margouillat, in the town of Cilaos, in the centre of the island, our day’s hike began in a pink-walled boulangerie – our tightly-tied hiking shoes surrounded by rows of eclairs, feuilleté à la crème, mille-feuille vanille, baguettes, croissants, flan, …

The Art of the Heart-to-Heart in the Winelands

First published on the Relais & Châteaux Africa blog. conversation noun, a talk between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged. synonyms: discussion, talk, tête-à-tête, heart-to-heart, head-to-head, exchange, dialogue, parley, powwow, chit-chat, chinwag, natter. Walking along a mountain path with Autumn’s colours spanning out from our feet and across the vines, we find ourselves falling into conversation with the people at our side as naturally as we fall into step with them. Identity seems to dissolve, while we focus more on the words and ideas (the glances and silences) playing between us. While we watch our feet, as they guide us. Conversations aren’t inherently like this. Very often we are rudely aware of ourselves, but perhaps it’s the effect of being in nature and the effect of genuine understanding – talking with someone who just gets you, whom you get. So much so that you feel as though you’re talking to yourself. But a self adding new ideas and stories to the developing tale between you all. Word of mouth, things spread, things grow and …

An Epicurist’s Guide to Starting the Morning

Published on the Relais & Châteaux Africa blog here Epicurist. n a person devoted to refined sensuous enjoyment (especially good food and drink). Lemony Snicket (the American writer also known, much less excitingly, as Daniel Handler) once said that, “how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” While some of us prescribe to the winging-it philosophy of life, many have discovered and held onto set routines that have become a strict guide to living. These rituals help to make sense of and to better control the infinite routes a day can take, and to ensure that we get to fit in time for that which should always come first, like family. Or breakfast. Of all the morning routines of the world’s rich and famous, Steve Jobs’ simple but significant daily ritual speaks to me most. According to Fast Company, the late Apple CEO once said, in a speech to a graduating class at Stanford, “For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the …

The African Food Safari

In the name of seeking out those dishes that make you wonder what on earth you were doing eating anything else before, read “The 5 Stages of Dining – A Food Safari at Morukuru Family” on the Relais & Châteaux Africa blog.

Midnight in Johannesburg

Full article here. “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” ― Ernest Hemingway In the rush of wild mushroom fricassée, espresso martinis and winter moonlight, each second feels like a feast. A Moveable Feast. Champagne and cigars, a fire sizzling in the bar. I have to pace myself, remind myself of the limits. Is there ever any middle ground in a feast? It is midnight in Johannesburg, at AtholPlace Hotel & Villa, in the eddy of the City of Gold, a retreat that merges the higher and lower frequencies of the city, leaving it up to you which to choose. The initial frenzy settles as morning comes, as the hadeda take to breakfast on the lawn and the sun shimmers through the oak trees. Morning is part of life’s natural feedback system to keep you from the edge. Slowly faces start to stand out, you learn everyone’s names and histories and love affairs and it becomes less like …