Afternoon Tea at the Oyster Box Hotel

Afternoon Tea became popularized in the 19th century when the Duchess of Bedford and her ladies of leisure would sit down with tea and cream scones to fill the long gap between meals. 

Today Afternoon Tea is an elegant experience to be savoured. I have had Afternoon Tea (sometimes referred to as High Tea) at some five-star venues around the world, but for me personally, nothing compares to traditional Afternoon Tea at the Oyster Box Hotel.

Tea is served at Palm Court, which is the heart of the Oyster Box’s dining scene. The venue is drenched in natural light and surrounded by lush palm trees. Four magnificent chandeliers set the ambience while live piano music cascades and mingles effortlessly with the leisurely conversations. 

The waiters are ever attentive, and that first glass of champagne materializes almost as soon as I sit down.

The palatial surroundings and the beautiful piano sounds just give you a sense of glamour and grandeur. The tables are laid with fine porcelain and a handwritten card to add a touch of personal charm. 

The centre console is laden with mouth-watering pastries, cakes and scones. For those who have less of a sweet tooth, and may prefer the savoury aspects of life, fear not. There are quiches, finger sandwiches, samosas and even sushi on offer.

The atmosphere is elegant and refined, yet totally relaxed. Groups of people enjoy sipping and chatting, not a care in the world. There are people celebrating all sorts of special occasions. 

Indeed, Afternoon Tea at the Oyster Box makes the perfect backdrop to celebrate everything from a baby shower to birthday, bachelorette party to graduation. 

Of course, we were celebrating our ten-year wedding anniversary, and were pleasantly surprised with a special cake from the team. 

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The selection of teas and coffees are as extensive as the food choices. We lingered over cheese plates and smoked salmon sandwiches before moving on to blueberry scones with clotted cream and preserves. 

The experience is a treat in itself, the opulent surroundingsand delicious delicacies will ensure you have an experience to remember. Worth every penny in my opinion! 

I would highly recommend Afternoon Tea at the Oyster Box Hotel whether you’re a local in Durban or passing through our beautiful city – put this one your bucket list! The experience would also make a special occasion/ celebration that much more memorable.

At the time of publishing this post, the Afternoon tea at the Oyster Box Hotel is R365 per person, and includes a glass of bubbly, tea/coffee selections and the all you can eat buffet of sweet and savoury offerings. I would highly recommend booking well in advance, especially for special occasions. 

 

Sample menu can be found here.

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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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The Twincesses Turn Three

My girls are 3 years old!

As the girls (almost) share a birthday with Grandma, we whisked the whole family away to the Lake Eland Game Reserve in Oribi Gorge for a weekend celebration. They were thoroughly spoiled with presents from family and friends, as well as their besties at school.

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We enjoyed game drives and cool afternoons at the pool.

The girls got up close and personal with a few friendly giraffes and created memories that I hope will last a lifetime.

Lake Eland is very family friendly, with lots to offer in terms of activities and sights.

There are high-octane sports like ziplining and bungee jumping, as well as a suspension bridge for daredevils. Game drives can be booked via the hotel, but we opted for self-drives as the roads are fairly tame.

There are shallow kiddies pools available, as well as a lovely, large play area. There is a restaurant on site serving delicious light meals for breakfast and lunch. All this only 1.5 hours from Durban.

Of course, no birthday would be complete cake!

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Ballerina themed Party Ideas

The Twincesses turned 2 and we celebrated them with a beautiful, and very girly, ballerina-inspired party.

Think shades of pink and glittery gold, wafts of tulle and ribbon, dainty details and pretty textures… The themed was whimsical and perfect for any little girl.

We once again reached out to Tricks and Treats (our go-to event decor experts) to put together the party of our dreams!

Below are some of the awesome and intricate details that made my girls celebration so spectacular!

So if you’re looking for inspo on throwing your own ballerina themed event… look no further:

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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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