Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Elemental Cafe, Linden launches their new Spring/Summer menu.

Pop into Elemental Cafe for a taste of their new menu.

Vivaldi. Spring.
Listen while you peruse the new offerings that Elemental Cafe
will launch this morning

Now, if only the view was of an ocean,
instead of a main road in Johannesburg.
That being said, the owners of this VEGETARIAN restaurant
do try and make customers feel as if they are not in the city

Seeing that today, September 1 is Spring Day,
a new mural is taking shape inside the Cafe.

Not everything on the menu has changed.
The cheese muffins and home-made strawberry jam
will still be available

As will the chocolate version...

Add a illy cappuccino for your caffeine boost...

Springing up like the Jasmine in the courtyard...
Fresh Red...if you like iced Rooibos tea,
then this is for you.
Apple juice, ice and Red espresso...
This will make you sit up and take notice.

Banana Booster...
Banana, avo,almonds, dates and cinnamon.
Can there be a better combination?

Berry Whizz...
A blend of berries,cashew and dates.
A great way to start off your day

Glen, the Head Chef making food with love.

Not all pizzas have to have anchovies!
I was not convinced of that fact until I tried the Elemental Cafe pizzas.
This is the Summer serenade.
Roasted butternut, olives, pumpkin seeds, feta, basil pesto, rocket and mozzarella.

Pepperdew, feta, rocket, lashings of avo and mozzarella.

I can see this being a huge success this season.
The Mediterranean Platter.
Falafel, olives, humus, pickled cucumber and pitta bread.
More than enough for two?

Elemental Thai Rice paper wraps with maple and chili dressing.

Served as a trio, they contain carrot, cucumber, sprouts and crushed peanuts.

A fresh summer salad?
This is the Super Energy Salad.
Baby lettuce, baby herbs, mixed toasted seeds and nuts.
Strawberries and avo with a mint and cranberry dressing.
A meal on its own.

The Marcel Special.
Personally, I think it is a black bean burger with a twist.
It has haloumi  and cashew cheese added.
And, of course, it is served with fries.

Kidney bean and Kale burger.
Kidney bean patty with kale on a roll with home-made BBQ sauce,
and fries.

The owners believe in re-purposing everyday items,
like these plastic bottles that form the curtain outside the toilet. 

How do the regulars feel about the changes and additions?
Look at the smile on this face...
The new menu has a dedicated Kiddies section
Enough said?
Come and try for yourself.
Elemental Cafe is open 7 days a week.
Monday -Friday: 07h30-18h00
Saturday: 07h30-16h30
Sunday: 07h30- 15h00

To find out more about the Cafe, 


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Sunday, August 30, 2015

De Hoek Country Hotel, Magaliesberg

It has been four years since we last visited this 5 star property
in the Magaliesberg.
Although there have been some radical new additions,
the main building and bedroom wings have remained the same

A corner of the reception area,
featuring just some of the awards that De Hoek
has won over the years

This is the "New Quarters",
that was built about 18 months ago.
Aside from rooms for guests, it also houses the Bridge Bistro
as well as function rooms

In total contrast to where we stayed on our last trip.
Modern, bright and it comes with a rubber duck for the bath.
The ubiquitous soft toy we found on the bed
 is still one of the "features".

While we were at the hotel,
this was used as a chapel for a wedding

Looking from the chapel towards the dining room in the main building.
This area can also be used for functions and Sunday lunch.

Not quite time for a swim yet.
However, it is a great place to relax

There are guest rooms upstairs in the main building.
The floor houses a library and a seating area.

There are chairs, tables and snacks all over for guests to enjoy.
This table in the main reception area is used during breakfast.

Tea under the umbrellas on the veranda...

This is how you have a tea party...
A brightly coloured tea set. 

My wife, Carolyn, enjoying herself.
Actually she was trying to interact with a small bunny
that was not being cooperative at all.

There was a lack of fauna during our visit,
so I decided to focus on the flora.

Accommodation and relaxation aside,
what guests come here for is the FOOD...

There are numerous areas, both inside and out,
where guests can enjoy their meals.
This intimate table for two was set in the TV room.

Chef Michael Holenstein...

These were our choices from his menu.
Starter: Beef filled phyllo baskets with garlic mayonnaise.
Soup: Prawn & Chili with a prawn dumpling
The soup was followed by a pear sorbet, to cleanse the palate
For my wife...Seared Scotch salmon with a roast garlic peppadew and
olive crust.Spinach, mignonettes potatoes in a lemon verbena sauce.
The salmon was served exactly as she had ordered it and she enjoyed every morsel 
My choice: Roast rack of lamb, Moroccan spice rub, 
aubergine curry with almonds, sweet potato mash and mint jus.
The lamb was superb and the sweet potato mash "moreish" to say the least.
I tend to overeat when it comes to lamb, 
however the portion size was perfect and the short walk back to our room
was more that sufficient to aid digestion
Carolyn...Chocolate three ways. Actually only two as the third
option on the plate was a fruit tartlet.
I have to admit that I ate the fruit tartlet, but Carolyn did the chocolate justice.
The other two were, Chocolate Panna Cotta and a Chocolate Marquis.
For me...Creme Brulee, Creme Caramel and a macaroon.
After watching Masterchef Australia and the "Macaroon Tower" 
constructed Adriano Zumba, I was keen to see what Michael would serve.
Fortunately, there was only ONE on the plate that the two of us shared. 
The other two desserts were what I had expected and did not disappoint 
And to round off...a cappuccino each
A wonderful meal that was most enjoyable.

The small but functional bar.
Meet before dinner or enjoy a nightcap afterwards.

A Super Moon...
What a spectacle, without the city lights to spoil its glow 

Which came first...
The chicken...or the duck?

A river runs through it...
Actually at the edge of the property,
but technically, guests are able to enjoy it.

To quote from the De Hoek Rates & Information pamphlet :
"De Hoek is the epitome of what an escape to a country house should be.
Excellent food, tranquil and serene surroundings 
and it's close enough to the city to avoid a long drive..."


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