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House of Kink – bachelorette party!

22 Aug

Sex shops scare me. Especially when they are called things like “Kink”. But add a bar and suddenly it becomes far more comfortable! House of Kink mixes a classy sex shop upstairs, with a cocktail bar and kitchen downstairs. This blends together for their fitting bachelorette party venue.

One of the upstairs rooms was cleared of merchandise for the party (I was pretty glad about this; I don’t know if I could have lasted the night with those things staring at me!). A private bar in the corner was filled with whatever the bridesmaids chose to stock it with and anything else for the cash bar.

Then the food arrived and, wow, did it make an entrance! The delicious snacks made by the House of Kink kitchen were brought in by Bare Butt Butlers! I must say the snacks were tastier than the bare bums on display. These poor boys had to wear only bowties and very small aprons – now that takes guts in a room of pretty girls. The boys were clean and not at all sleazy, which was great because I was not at all interested in seeing greased up male strippers!

The food was great – platters of sushi, calamari, prawn, sesame chicken skewers and bruschetta with parma ham and tomato. Peanut, tartar, tzatziki, pesto – the sauces were brilliant. I loved every mouthful, but could only have wished for a little bit more on the platters.

With flowing wine, chilled background music, bare bums and good food, House of Kink made for an excellent venue and I’m sure the Bride (because she deserves a capital) loved the atmosphere and being surrounded by her girlfriends.

House of Kink is also open as a sex shop, restaurant  and cocktail bar from Monday to Saturday. I’m sure the more adventurous (or maybe I’m just a scaredy cat prude!) will enjoy venturing upstairs. And for the rest of you, Kink serves up a mean cosmopolitan and snack platter!

House of Kink: 3 Park Road, off Kloof Street, Gardens, 021 4240757. Bare Butt Butlers: www.barebuttbutlers.co.za

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The Old Biscuit Mill, continued

17 Aug

And now for the food, because everyone knows that you have to head to the Old Biscuit Mill on an empty stomach. Be prepared to find it difficult to choose between crepes, rostis, fresh fish, bagels, samoosas and all manner of foods just waiting to be discovered. Here are a few of my favourite food stalls:

 Ocean Jewels

Tuna and burgers have never really rung true for me, but what a mistake that was. Ocean Jewel makes succulent tuna steaks on a roll with a teeny bit of salad and mayonnaise. The tuna is perfect – just a little more cooked than seared and warm in the centre. Each bite is soft and tasty. Yum! And only R25.

If you don’t like the idea of tuna on bread, then there are tuna noodles to try: egg noodles with tuna steak cubes and soy sauce – equally lovely.

Fresh fish is also available from Ocean Jewels and you can order from them during the week too.

New York Bagel

The revamped New York Bagel in Sea Point is lacklustre compared to their old store. But at least their bagels remain the same. The best part about their stall at the Biscuit Mill is that you can choose your type of bagel, from plain or onion and then delicious sweet ones like honey and oat.

For me, I love the traditional lox (smoked salmon) and cream cheese bagel, with a squeeze of lemon, optional pickle (no, thank you!) and a twist of fresh black pepper –  R35, not too bad considering the price of smoked salmon in Pick’n’ Pay (a travesty).

Bagels also have the added bonus of being easy to eat while walking around the market, leaving your mind free to soak up the atmosphere, and one hand to try the testers at some of the stalls.

 Princess Pesto

 Garlic, basil, parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil – Pesto combines everything good in life. And when you add olives or rocket or walnuts, life can only get better!

Princess Pesto is available at most good grocery stores, but the large pots of tasters with little squares of brown bread are my first stop at the Biscuit Mill every time I visit. The prices are also much more reasonable than at shops. Dip, taste, and smile! My favourite pesto is rocket and walnut, but olive fans will probably fall in love the Greek pesto.

 Queen of Tarts

Cupcakes are something of an obsession for me. Especially ones decorated with panache. Queen of Tarts takes cupcakes and cakes to a whole new level. Her creations are beautiful. Meringue icing, sweetie pie topping, hearts, chocolate ganache and all things nice make up the table of the stall at the Biscuit Mill. The cupcakes are really decadent, but they will go so well with your coffee after wandering around and tasting all the savoury goodies on offer.

Queen of Tarts has a store in Observatory, a range of baking books and does catering for functions. And don’t be deceived by their name – the savoury tarts are just as good as the sweet!

 Queen of Tarts: Old Biscuit Mill on Saturdays, Shop: 213 Lower Main Road, Observatory, 021 448-2420 Monday to Saturday

The Old Biscuit Mill – a selection

16 Aug

This is what being Capetonian is about. Saturday mornings turn Woodstock into a veritable hive. Everyone who wants to be seen, wants to taste awesome food, or simply wander around in the sunshine with delicious smells wafting over them, must head to the Old Biscuit Mill. This complex was literally the old Bakers Biscuit Mill and has been morphed into a small shopping centre with an organic food and design market on Saturdays. I love the Biscuit Mill. Here is a selection of my absolutely favourite shops and stalls.

Alexandra Höjer

Alexandra Höjer is a Swedish fashion designer, but we are lucky enough to have her in Cape Town! She is based here and has a permanent store in the Lifestyle Centre on Kloof Street. Her dresses are what have made me a fan. She uses beautiful cotton, some of which she has printed herself – and she creates whimsical (yes, I said it, whimsical) dresses that fit just right. She also has a range or shirts, tops, pants and anything you could imagine!

Alexandra’s stall really stands out at the Biscuit Mill. She is forward thinking enough to have a debit and credit card machine, which none of the other stalls do, and she has a small changing area. Alexandra herself is also part of the charm. She is a gentle woman, but always offers advice that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch.

Splash out on a gorgeous dress for this summer – I can guarantee you will wear it all season!

Visit the store at Lifestyles on Kloof, 021-4224149, Monday to Friday, 10-4.30 or the stall at the Old Biscuit Mill, Saturday 9-2 pm.

Mü & Me

Mü is a gorgeous little bird, drawn by Daley Müller. Luckily she has a whole crowd of lovely characters that make up her world. Cute design, whether it is on stationery, clothing or interiors has always made me feel a little dizzy with glee, especially if it has African flavour and involves animals. Enter Mü & Me. Bliss. Mü & me is a design company that ticks all the boxes – children’s clothes, stationery, stickers, grown up T-shirts, badges, stickers, bags and now they have upholstery fabric for children’s furniture.

The designs (or illustrations) are fresh, brightly coloured and all round gorgeous. They use animals, boys and girls in Western or traditional African clothing  and stunning motifs like cupcakes, rainbows, hearts and all things that make my heart melt a little and wish I was still a little girl.

The newest range of cards is stunning, moving away from simply having one or two characters to having whole scenes drawn in detail. Yay! The postcards I send my sister in England have been a big hit, so I can’t wait to send some of these new gems.

Visit the Mü & Me store, Shop E102 Old Biscuit Mill Woodstock, 021 447 14 13, or find their stock at various stores around the country, like Wordsworth and Exclusive books. If you’re further afield Mü & Me is even available at Selfridges and Liberty in London!

More Old Biscuit Mill in tomorrow’s post…