Events

Fancying it up with Nespresso

Towards the end of last year, we and Stacy from A Ring to It were treated to a VIP Nespresso event hosted by Hirch's Homestore in Milnerton.



Scott, the man behind this video, takes ourselves and our job very seriously as you can see.

We got to meet several members of the Cape Town blogging community and media, to sample our selection from Nescafé's broad selection of Nespresso coffee pods, and best of all: be schooled about espresso. As it turns out, your pods are great for a lot more than a pick-me-up or cappuccino. Pay attention:

Cocktails. And. Coffees.

There are espresso cocktails for days! The bar-tists (see what I did there?) gave us a demonstrations of how to make a few of Nespresso's espresso-based cocktails & mocktails (including which pod is for what).

Try out some of the recipes on the Nespresso website and let us know what your favourites are. Stacy, Scott and I voted a tie between The Melktert, and the Peppermint Crisp.

And of course, this post could never be complete without me showing you some locally-made companions to enjoy with your drinks.

1) Obviously you can only store your Nespresso pods in this magnificent pod dispenser by Native Decor.
2 & 4) Come on man, don't be a savage. Use a coaster. Click here for the King Protea coasters by Hallo Jane, and the hashtag coasters are called the Bamboo Warp coasters by Bambou.
3) Matt white ceramic cup and timber saucer by Cabo Design.
5) Sandy Godwin's earthenware dinner plates.
6) A lace-print cheese platter by Ck-Ramics.
7) A small matt white milk jug with a dandelion, by Cabo Design.
8) A set of two yellow square pattern napkins from Handmade By Me.

 

The drinks pictured above, with a link to their recipes, are:
    Tiramisu Coffee
    Yellow Indriya Coffee
    Cafè Banana Split
    After Eight Coffee
    Gingerbread Coffee
    Freshpresso Orange
    Cafè Banana Split
    Nespresso Martini Coffee
    Vanilla Iced Coffee Storm
    L'Amandine Café
    Semi-Freddo Pistachio Coffee
    Mojito Café

It was a treat of a day. Thanks millions to Hirch's, Nespresso and Grey for including us in your fantastic event. It was so well organised, and such an enjoyable way to indulge in a sneaky bit of time out of the office.

 

A visit to the Marie Claire Beauty Playground in Jozi

We were invited to the Marie Claire Beauty Playground in Braamfontein in Johannesburg last year. Maybe because we are sometimes fancy (have you seen us when we're out of our PJs??) -- I'm not sure but that's what I'm putting it down to.

It was filled with beautiful people, and beautiful products. We were greeted at the entrance by this ridiculously good-looking foursome which felt briefly intimidating, until we'd slugged down the glass of JC Le Roux Method Cap Classic (the good stuff - and it was good) that they handed us. Marie Claire is fancy that way.

The event was held in a gorgeous, large and bright open space in Braamfrontein in Jozi, with floor-to-ceiling sweeping views of the city. There were a range of things for all budgets within the show and I made a point to stop in at each and every booth.

First stop was, of course, the A Ring To It stand. It never disappoints and because I am a sucker for rings and unable to control myself, I left with one.

A Ring To It's neighbours to the left were Vintage Zionist. We met the two owners and this is a brand that I hadn't heard about before but am really freaking excited about. Keep on the lookout for this one, they're almost certain to get huge soon. Two hip guys with superb taste, in the business of upcycled fashion. They source and upcycle high quality leather and make leather jackts (and some other things I think? I was mesmerised by the jackets.) They're young and they're unique, and can be headed nowhere but up. Get on it before you can't afford it anymore when people like Rihanna are buying them.

The show also had an OPI stand with nail polishes in every shade, to make your heart race a little.

There was the Moroccan Hair stand (yes.. I left with 1.5 litres of hair products. Don't judge.), Vogue eyewear (who were doing a mini photoshoot of everyone who tried on a apair of glasses), and Optiphi facial products (which have won awards, and I tested and they were good).

A new discovery for me is a brand called Harrison Lee & Co. They do hand-crafted leather things, and they're beautiful ones. A unique and fabulous product in their range is a gorgeous leather pouch for your makeup brushes.

Inglot had a makeover service. I was keen to get in there, but unsurprisingly it was popular and had a queue to heck and gone. So I just took photos of these other two pretty gals getting made up.
 

Last stand on my travels through the Marie Claire Beauty Playground show was the Karen Murrel stall, who had top quality cosmetic products. I hadn't heard of them before and I was very pleased to discover them. If you happen to stop them, try them out and then email me to say thanks ;)

Next time Marie Claire holds one of these events in Jozi I can't recommend enough that you head over and spend a couple of hours browsing, being pampered and perhaps shopping.
 

Sometimes we're fancy and get invited to launch events for new online stores.

The launch was hosted in a very beautiful art gallery called Rust-en-Vrede in Durbanville, and Simone from Yellow Papaya did all the catering, as well as putting out the decor and gifts, on her own because her partner Yolandi wasn't well and unfortunately had to miss the event that she'd been working her butt off for, what a shame. Hope you're feeling better, Yolandi.

Cecilia's Farm operates on the same principle as many of designers, summed up on their website:

"Here on the farm we believe that the best tasting fruit and nut products are made from only the best fruit, and then crafted using a blend of traditional skills and modern know-how. We search the world for the best quality ingredients and then bring them back to the farm where we craft each Cecilia’s Farm product by hand to ensure that it is the best quality possible."

If you want some inspiration for what to buy, this is what Scott and I ordered last week: two cranberry almond nougat bars, two bags of roasted & salted mixed nuts, two bags of smoked almonds, a bottle of their Koelfontein 2011 Chardonnay (we had this at the launch - delicious!), and a bottle of their Koelfontein 2010 Shiraz.

Our order hasn't arrived yet but I'm looking forward to when it does so that we can get nut-drunk.

The Consol Mixology Theatre at Taste of Cape Town

I'll let you in on a little secret: Promise cocktails to Team HP, and we're pretty much putty in your hands. So when Consol invited us to join one of their Mixology classes at Taste of Cape Town last week we were beyond thrilled.

(Side note: Mixology is, basically, the science and art of making fancy cocktails. No tequila sunrises here!)

After a tough week, we were all more than ready to get stuck into some delicious beverages. Here's the bit about the Mixology Theatre that's both a blessing and a curse: While you walk away with three very delicious cocktails, you do have to make them yourselves!

When you arrive, you find a spot at one of the many stations - they're all equipped with standard bartender's tools, cubed and crushed ice, Consol bottles and jars, jars of fruit and garnish, and several bottles of interesting things ranging from wine to a buchu cordial. A quick overview of what's what, and you're off!

Let me tell you, I have newfound respect for bartenders who make cocktails. It's exhausting. Between the shaking, and the muddling, and the having to keep track of half a dozen different things at the same time...people, tip your bartenders!

Can't take him anywhere.

We learned how to make 3 delicious cocktails: The Blue Dissolve, the Citrus Burst, and the Vinfusion. The awesome guys from Thirst were there both as teachers, and as a helping hand when you got stuck. Team consensus? The Citrus Burst was our favourite.

Looks good, right? Want to know how to make one? Sure you do. Here's what you'll need:

  • 4 lime wedges
  • 4 naartjie segments
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • 25ml (single shot) elderflower syrup
  • 50ml (double shot) Absolut Citron
  • 25ml Red Espresso
  • A Consol jar
  • A muddler and bar spoon
  • Crushed ice
  • Straws, lime, and mint to garnish

Put the lime, naartjie, and lemon into a Consol jar. Add a single shot of elderflower syrup, and a double shot of Absolut Citron. Then, use a muddler to gently crush as much juice as possible out of the fruit. If you don't have a muddler, try using a fork - but gently does it!

Once you've got a good amount of juice, fill the jar up 2/3 of the way with crushed ice. Use a bar spoon to mix the juice and fruit segments into the ice - go slowly, and use lifting movements. If you don't have a bar spoon, a regular tablespoon and a delicate hand will do the trick.

For the last stage, add even more crushed ice - you want to aim for a little heap going over the top of the jar. Gently pour the Red Espresso over the top of the ice. Then, add two straws to the side, and garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Ta-da!

We walked away with slightly fuzzy heads, as well as the jars we'd used, and a nifty booklet with tons of great cocktail recipes. Huge thanks to Consol for including us! We can't wait to get our mixology on at home (where no one can see us drop things and spill).

You can stay connected with them on Twitter and on Facebook, and see more of our photos from the event here.

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