The Chocolate Garden turns One

Yesterday we drove to De Charmoy Estate in Canelands to celebrate the first birthday of the Chocolate Garden.

For those not in the know, a Chocolate Garden is a garden inspired by chocolate; including chocolate colored plants, chocolate scented flowers, chocolate mint, chocolate sunflowers and vines.

The chocolate garden at De Charmoy Estate is Africa’s very first, and was planted in early August 2017. All the plants selected were chosen with great care, balancing water needs, selecting non-invasive plants and bearing in mind the climate in KZN.

The delectable menu at The Chocolate Garden has guests coming back week after week. I for one, cannot get enough of their brinjal fries.

The weather held out over De Charmoy Estate this Sunday as a small crowd gathered over cocktails, canapés and an array of sweet delicacies to mark the momentous event.

We found ourselves at the heart of the The Chocolate Garden’s new party venue, the setting was informal and intimate. Children delighted over milkshakes and candy, while their parents were treated to welcome cocktails, and savory delights.

A Gin Bar tended by the effervescent Siyabonga was a hit, as were the individual cheesecakes and chocolate mousses.

The showstopper of course, was the birthday cake: spectacular chocolate (what else?) brownie layers with a cookie dough centre, topped with Ferrero rochers, chocolate chunks and chocolate buttons. (Did I mention the chocolate? Lol)

Seriously though, the cake was beyond delicious.

It was a beautiful moment when the staff came out to join Lauren and we all sang Happy Birthday.

Afterwards we headed to the beautiful stretch tent area were the ever-able Zama performed her magic in the form of a neck and shoulder massage. Harper even got a turn!

We spent the rest of the afternoon mingling with the other guests (many of whom I’ve come to know from Instagram!) and enjoying watching our children play and have their faces painted.

The Chocolate Garden is such a stunning venue to host a party – big or small. The restaurant is one of my favorite places to spend the day: with great food and really good coffee. There’s a spa offering a much needed break from the daily grind, and more importantly, theres a lovely kids play area to keep the Twincesses thoroughly entertained!

Here’s wishing The Chocolate Garden a happy first birthday. May it grow from strength to strength. Thank you to Lauren and her wonderful team for hosting us. We had such a wonderful time, and will be back soon!

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First Birthday Parties: Yay or Nay?

Many of the moms in my local baby club have refrained from throwing their babies a huge 1st birthday party.

For me, the thought of NOT celebrating a year of surviving with a newborn (let alone 2!) just wasn’t gonna fly.

What struck me, was that many of the moms who chose not to make a fanfare over a birthday party were not first-time moms.

Is it true? Do second or third babies get a raw deal?

Or is it that BTDT (been there, done that) moms are that much the wiser?

I can totally understand the reasoning.

– Birthday parties are ALOT of stress on the organizer (typically, mom).

– Your kid won’t remember if the balloons matched the tablecloth. They’ll see the pictures of a lovingly baked cake and will still get all the feelies.

– You can never please everyone, and there is bound to be that one annoying person that complains about something (too much sugar for the kids, the jumping castle isn’t supervised enough, etc, etc)

– Parties, even the simplest, cost a lot!

But then, I thought about the past year with the Twincesses… The ups and downs, the tears and triumphs, and I knew it was something I wanted to celebrate. For me, as much as for them.

So with the help of a sweet little company called Tricks and Treats we came up with an amazing candy buffet and picnic set up in a dazzling Ladybug theme to celebrate my 2 Love Bugs.

We celebrated with a picnic in the park (bless Durban’s magnificent weather), and the Twincesses were surrounded by people they love, as we laughed and sang and shared baskets of picnic goodies.

Admittedly, we did all get a slight sugar buzz by the time we left, but it was well worth it as the red velvet cake pops were to die for!

All in all, I’m so glad I celebrated their first birthday in style. The Twincesses received lovely gifts and time spent with friends and family was priceless.

I doubt I will go overboard for their next birthday. Hahaha! Yeah right!

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