Diary of a Blogger: October 2018

Edition 2 of Diary of a Blogger is here! This is a synopsis of all the brands I worked with over the month of October 2018. If you watch my Cape Town InstaStories, you’d have joined me for many of these occasions. If not, here’s what I’ve been up to of late:

Launch of Coco Carissa from Inverroche

I wasn’t even meant to be at this event but my darling friends Dean & Tracey invited me to pop in at the Silo. I missed the introduction, however, Coco Carissa is a new limited edition chocolate inspired gin from one of my favourite gin brands, Inverroche. We had an array of cocktails with a DIVINE chocolate pairing overlooking the glittering city of Cape Town. If you see one of these bottles, grab it! It’s a limited edition with a very small production number (I think they said 30k?).

 

World Pinotage Day at Durbanville Hills

Durbanville Hills kindly invited me to celebrate World Pinotage Day at their restaurant in the hills. I’d visited once before and really enjoyed my meal, but my meal this time was REALLY excellent! The included little touches of pinotage like flavouring the butter and adding it in the couli’s.

We spent the afternoon feasting (they spoilt us so much I wanted to pop when I left!), drinking their beautiful pinotages and chatting away as we looked over the incredible neighbouring hills. They always go out of their way to make guests feel like family.

Between courses, we were also taken on a quick cellar tour. Both into the section with the barrels as well as into the larger steal tank section. Durbanville Hills produces 3 millions litres of exceptional wine per season (year). They export all over the world and provide hundreds of jobs for the local market. Owned by Distell, this is definitely one of the farms we can be most proud of as South Africans.

Thank you SO much to the Durbanville Hills team for having me, I loved it!

 

Eat Out Awards 2018: Local Eateries

The famous Eat Out Awards! I’ve heard good things, I’ve heard bad things, but I’ve personally never attended any of the events so I was keen to see what they were all about. Luckily, my favourite people, Dean from InstaEats and Tracey-Lee from Fitness Girl were also attending so I was in good company.

I arrived at the flagship Mercedes Benz store at Canal Walk and immediately offered a glass of chilled Durbanville Hills. Delicious! We proceeded to have a few snacks before the awards began.

Local eateries were awarded according to reviews on the website, a panel of judges and votes (apparently). It was a great evening with many deserved winners.

A few thoughts about the aggregation of votes though:

I noted that there were a lot eateries who won from outside Cape Town city. How many times have you voted in the awards, let alone left a review?

I get the impression that users live mostly on the outskirts and are voting for their local restaurants, while most tech savvy city dwellers aren’t participating.

This is not to intimate that the winning restaurants don’t offer an excellent service. I just feel that a brand as large as EatOut has a responsibility to include as many local eateries as possible.

To my recollection, I’ve not seen any paid media about voting – if I had perhaps I would have participated. It would be great if they were truly inclusive so that all local eateries are included and supported.

Odd Bins Artist Collaboration

I was invited to the launch of the Checkers’ Odd Bins collaboration whereby 4 artists were given the opportunity to design a label. The First Thursday event saw art fans from across the city having a toast to Karabo Poppy Moletsane, Musonda Kabwe, Lauren Fowler and Rose Chaston’s creations.

The four wines included a coastal region 2018 sauvignon blanc, a Stellenbosch 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, a Paarl 2018 Chardonnay and a Cape South Coast 2016 Shiraz.

I like Lauren Fowler’s design as the best label (but wouldn’t have the art in my home) and Rose Chaston’s art the most (although I didn’t like it as a label), which left me wondering, “Do you drink the wine of the cover you love or the type wine you love?”

Try them all and to find your answer? Look out for the Odd Bins Artist Collab wines in Checkers, Checkers Hyper and Checkers LiquorShop stores across South Africa from early November.

 

Dan Mace Launch of Humankind

Well known local filmmaker Dan Mace, screened his latest YouTube collaboration short film, Humankind, in early October. Mr John and I headed down to the bar to support he local creator and catch the first screening of the event. It was lovely to meet Dan in real life and to chat about his adventures with Casey Neistat. I love that he’s had so much success following his passion. He’s obviously one talented dude.

  

International Gin & Tonic Day with Botanist Gin

One crazy Friday after work I was invited to Orphanage by Botanist Gin. I was super tired (and a touch cranky) when I arrived to celebrate International Gin & Tonic Day. I was stressed because I had explained I would come a bit later and then the event seemed to be over!

But, luckily for me, Botanist Gin rep, Caitlin Hill (ever the professional) welcomed me in, poured me a beautiful, much needed gin and had a beautiful cheese board delivered to our table (I had invited my friend Su to join me).

Stress and panic turned into, “Hm, I might actually like foreign gin afterall!” Up until today, I’ve only ever really enjoyed South African gin. Well, Botanist changed my mind. It was delicious! And International Gin and Tonic Day was something worth coming out for afterall.

Halloween “Night of the Bat” at the Village Idiot

Bacardi invited me to party with them at the Village Idiot on Halloween. Having been ill the previous weekend, I was ready for some summer fun in town. I channelled my inner David Bowie and did some lightening bolt makeup!

I visited with two of my friends, had some chow and a few fun cocktails while the DJ kicked off some Halloween beats like Thriller. Loads of people dressed up and I think I left before things got really weird and wild with DJ Invisible!

   

Wade Bales Gin & MCC Affair

I was NOT prepared for this day! I love the Grand Cafe when it’s quiet and chilled. WELL, did I underestimate how busy the Wade Bales Gin & MCC Affair would be!

I totally made the mistake of arriving later in the afternoon thinking it would be a moderately full. I was wrong, it was packed! I don’t know much about Wade Bales, other than it’s a wine club, but it’s clearly a well loved venture.

Despite the event being full, I still received my plate of Mediterranean snacks (non-sea food option) and found a seat. It was a bit tricky walking around with a glass of bubbly, snacks and a handbag (I brought strapless, EISH) but we still enjoyed the experience as it was well laid out, sign posted and parking on the hill meant my car could rest in the shade.

The event had LOADS of gin and MCC offerings and I’d love to attend again, but next time I will make sure to be EARLY and possibly attend on the Saturday, not Sunday, so I enjoy far more of the offerings.

Thanks for having us Wade Bales! I hope to spend more time with you in the future 🙂

Pernod Ricard Media Mixer

I’m a huge Jameson’s fan so I was really pleased to have been invited to the owning company, Pernod Ricard’s Media Mixer in the News24 building. I invited my brother, Dan, to join me as I thought it would be a fun sibling evening to enjoy together.

We arrived at the centre was were greeted with the new Beefeater Pink Gin, which is strawberry flavoured and absolutely delicious. Finger foods followed before we were welcomed to the educational part of the evening – learning about the brands through the “silent disco” headphones.

In total, there were 6 stations with our experience starting at the 141 water station – Pernod Ricard’s brand new bottled water. Pernod Ricard advises consumers to have one water for every one alcoholic beverage, hence 141. I love that the bottle is stackable and eye-catching; if I saw these in a bar it would definitely remind me to pump the breaks and have a water between all the dranks!

This followed with a London Beefeater presentation, Omega Alto Tequila presentation, Havanna Rum presentation – which I really enjoyed having been to Mauritius and having tried their rum. The final station was Absolut vodka. We tried the plain, lime and Exlr. On the night I learnt a few fun facts:

5 Facts I Learnt About Liquor:

  1. Beefeater Gin is the only London dry gin still made in the heart of London.
  2. Not all “gold” tequilas are aged, many are coloured. Alto is a reposado – an aged tequila.
  3. Absolut vodka is one of the only single source vodkas in the world, meaning only 1 source of water in Sweden (country of origin) is used to produce the liquor.
  4. Rum should not be swirled as the alcohol content is too high (unlike wine where swirling is encouraged).
  5. Absolut was also at the fore of the cocktail revolution in New York City in the 70’s and 80’s.

Thank you for having us Pernod Ricard, it was a fantastic evening!

 

Thank you to all the brands for having me! Here’s to a summer of fun coming up 🙂

Disclosure: I was not paid to feature any of this content nor brands on my site. Hence, the lack of exclusivity. Should a brand like to work with me exclusively, please feel free to mail me on bctcblog@gmail.com.

 

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