I’M MOVING!!!!

Hey all! I know you might be wondering WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED to all the blogging that used to go down here. Well, things have changed a whole hell of a lot for me recently and I have closed http://www.eightlife.co.uk and shut the doors on my nutritional practice to focus on a bigger picture.

The good news is that everything on the site, as well as this here blog, will be moving over to WWW.FAITHSHORNEY.COM in September because I’m starting an awesome new project.

In summer 2015 I will be taking on a momentous challenge to travel the 18,000 miles from London to Cape Town by human powered modes of transport (swim, bike, run, kayak, row etc) all in the name of humanity and sustainability. I will be attempting to break a few world records along the way and will be making an epic documentary about innovation and sustainability in Africa. In the mean time I will be taking on a bunch of smaller challenges and taking you all along for the ride, so please do come over, follow the journey and get involved.

Dream

So… keep your eyes peeled for awesome updates about what’s going down. You will be able to follow my journey from December when the website should go LIVE. I will be documenting my training right up until the day I leave and we’ll be running some pretty rad contests on the site too so don’t miss out! There will be heaps of nutrition and training information and you can track my movements next year and all the awesome programmes we’re putting together to get people healthier and more active; there will be daily blogs as well as a daily video log so you can all laugh at me or cry with me as I attempt to take on these crazy challenges. Hope it inspires, or least entertains.

If you want to get in touch in the mean time or you have questions about what I’m up to, just fill in this here form thingy and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

 

Cape Town Favourites Guide

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while; I’ve been caught up in all the fuss over the Olympic Games since I’ve been in London and am only now getting around to putting this all down on paper, or computer to be more accurate. Having spent almost 6 months in Cape Town this year exploring and discovering all the wonderful eats and treats of the ‘Mother City’, I thought I should share some of my favourites in case you are ever down in that beautiful part of the world. I suppose we should begin at the beginning – Breakfast, my favourite meal of the day! Inner city breakfast spot Manna Epicure on Kloof street is a definite favourite if you love a good eggs benedict. Other good breakfast spots in the city include Clarke’s (though the portions are quite serious so it’s the perfect spot if you’re ravenously hungry); Dear Me, for exceptionally well crafted wholesome food. For the best pastry and bread in town, not to mention some stellar coffee and healthy breakfasts, you have to try Jason Bakery on Bree street. For something a little healthier, Skinny Legs and All on Loop street is fabulous and serves up a variety of muesli and fruity treats. Heading out of town; Rhodes Memorial up on the North Slope of Table Mountain has spectacular views and great food. Superette in Woodstock might look shabby, but the food is incredible. Empire Café in the surfer town of Muizenburg is great for a full-on, post-surf breakfast, and the stunning views over the ocean are not bad either.

Long lunches are really what Cape Town is best for, but where you go is really dependent on the mood you are in. For something laid back and interactive try the Neighbourgoods Markets at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock – the market is full of fabulous food and crafts and there are some very good restaurants in the vicinity; if you’re after something a little more up market, The Test Kitchen here is by far one of the best eateries in Cape Town. My favourite lunch spot is The Food Barn in Noordhoek – see Food Barn blog post for review. The best views in town during lunch would be Harbour House at Cape Town Waterfront, or their sister restaurant in Kalk Bay. The Lookout Deck at Hout Bay sits over the water and does fantastic seafood, and for something really special I suggest trying The Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort on a Sunday, just remember to book in advance.

If, like me, you like to be outdoors, then there are some excellent activities in and around Cape Town. If you run, try parking in Camps Bay and running out along the water’s edge to Llandudno – beware the cyclists here though. If you like a good walk there is Lions Head or Table Mountain – although Table Mountain can be done by cable car if you just want to see the sights. If you’re an adventurous soul, there are some other stunning walks outside of town which include my favourite, the Krom River Walk, Du Toitskloof in the Limietberg Nature Reserve; it’s one of the least known tracks and there are never many people around, if any, although you will need to collect a pass before you go.

There’s scuba-diving, rock climbing, hand gliding, surfing, river rafting, horse riding and plenty of ideas for kids activities – check out Uncover The Cape and Cape Adventure Zone.

As the Cape is known for its wine, I would suggest trying some of the wine estates for good food and wine tours – there are several tour operators and if you are staying at one of the hotels you can usually book something through the concierge.

Dinner spots in and around Cape Town vary; for something inexpensive but really fabulous try Society Bistro or La Mouette. For something more ‘fine-dining’ there’s Savoy Cabbage, Aubergine, Signal, Le Quartier Francais and The Roundhouse (both highly recommend you try this); or La Colombe, which is my absolute favourite and comes rated at number 16 on the World’s top 50 restaurants.  Cape Town is full of stunning eateries and it really comes alive at night – for a more comprehensive guide check the Eat Out guide which has extensive lists and good search options to help you decide.

Fashion: Waterfront, Long Street, Kloof Street and Neighbourgoods Market

Bars: Cafe Caprice, Orphanage, Asoka, Tjing Tjing (above Dear Me), and as always, the infamous Rafikis (cheaper, louder and more often than not, crowded).

Hotels on a Budget: Daddy Long Legs, 51 on Camps Bay, Ashanti Lodge.

Luxury Hotels: Cape Grace, Babylonstoren, Ellerman House, any of the Collection McGrath Hotels, The Twelve Apostles, Tintswalo Atlantic, Constantia Uitsig, Le Quartier Francais, Delaire Graff, and my favourite, La Residence.

Best Burgers: Clarke’s or Royale Eatery

High Tea: The Mount Nelson, Twelve Apostels or the One & Only.

Craft Beer is a full on thing in Cape Town and I wholeheartedly recommend checking out &Union – especially on a Tuesday night when @Texxonfire does a live music night with up-and-coming bands.

 

Dalston Street Feast and THE RIB MAN

When it comes to ribs, there is always a great debate about how to cook them, where to buy them, what restaurants make the best ribs and why. Well there are ribs, and then there are the Rib Man’s ribs. I’d been avidly following the twitter account of @theribman whilst I was away in Cape Town and as soon as I arrived back in London I decided it was time to pay him a visit at the new Dalston Street Feast market (open on a Friday night) – although you can find him at Kings Cross on a Thursday and Brick Lane on a Sunday, or here on his very own website. This man is ‘The Real Deal’, his ribs are as good as they get; Mark does all the prep work and cooking himself and you can see he truly loves what he does and cares about the food he makes, where it comes from and how it’s prepared, cooked and served; be it the plain and simple rack, or stripped off the bone and piled high on one of his famous ‘rib rolls,’ topped off with lashings of his home made hot sauce. Simplicity is the key, and love – a lot of love.

When it comes to ribs this man can’t be beat – and his hot sauce is something you will definitely want to write home about – they say food made with love tastes better and there’s no denying that this man truly loves what he does. Each and every rack of ribs is carefully marinated by hand and lovingly slow-cooked to absolute perfection before being served to his adoring fans (customers).

Back to the hot sauce; I am a chili lover through and through, I was raised in South Africa and due to the huge influence of the Portuguese cuisine from our neighbors in Mozambique, we get some of the best peri-peri (chili) sauces in the world and Peri-Peri Chicken is a staple meal in any South African’s diet (just look at the guys who started Nando’s). As I mentioned before, the Rib Man makes his own signature hot sauce; there are varying degrees of WOW when it comes to heat in these magically hand crafted bottles of chili sauce and not only that, they are also made-to-order so they taste fresh and there is limited supply at the markets so order online (here) to guarantee you get what want. The signature ‘Holy-Fuck’ sauce is pretty hot, but there’s ‘Christ-On-A-Bike’ which gets the taste buds really tingling, and then there is the ‘Holy-Mother-Of-God’ hot sauce, which comes with this warning: The absolute hottest of my sauces to date! Do not buy this if you have a weak heart or are worried about your eyesight! 

All sauces are made with scotch bonnet chili peppers and – the hottest of the hot – and I would recommend approaching with extreme caution. If, like me, you LOVE chili, then please do yourself a massive favour and get yourself some of this amazing sauce!

THE RIB MAN | KINGS CROSS EVERY THURSDAY http://www.eat.st/kings-cross | STREET FEAST LONDON FRIDAY NIGHTS http://www.streetfeastlondon.com/#!home/mainPage | BRICK LANE EVERY SUNDAY  http://www.theribman.co.uk/directions.php

Ken Forrester and the Chenin story

It’s no secret that I like LOVE wine, and being in Cape Town has recently opened up an entirely new world of wine to me; I’ve been slowly working my way through the local liquor store’s wine racks and going to lots of little wine-meets (wine tastings with lots of food and music). There are a lot of wines I’ve never heard of, a large array of South African wines you wouldn’t necessarily find in Europe, or at least not in regular stores, and a lot of them are pretty amazing – it’s all about smaller producers and hidden gems in my opinion, although some of the main-stream wines can knock your socks off too so don’t discount them.

I’ve spent a lot of time listening to people talk, finding out what the local wine lovers think of South African wines and trying out all their favourites. I’ve also been on my own journey – an exploration into food and wine pairings, something I’ve never been good at (except the red with red meat and white with fish bit – and even that, I’ve discovered, can be wrong). I’m starting to appreciate both red and white wines in an entirely new way, in particular the whites that we make here in Cape Town, of which there are several – and so begins the story of my discovery of THE Chenin Blanc.

Ken Forrester is  an internationally acclaimed wine maker whose specialty is the Chenin Blanc and this week I was invited to his restaurant, 96 Winery Road, to have lunch with the man himself (and to taste the wines, of course)! I’d been looking forward to this lunch for quite some time; I’d been invited about two months before, but hadn’t managed to make it out until the day I was due to leave Cape Town on July 10th. I just knew there was a reason that I absolutely had to squeeze this one in before I left.

Ken and his family make both red and white wines, and the reds are pretty damn good, although the estate is known best for the ‘trio of Chenins’ they produce here. The first is the ‘Petit’ Chenin, one of 5 wines in the ‘Petit’ range (others include a Sauv Blanc, Rose, Pinotage and Cab Sav) this easy drinking white is fresh, crisp  and fruity whilst being exceptionally easy on the palate, it would go well with just about anything in summer, and is definitely priced right at around R40.00  (although in the UK it’s around £9.50 and can be bought online, along with all his other wines, from Wines Direct). The second on the list is the middle-range chenin, the Ken Forrester Reserve Chenin Blanc; a full bodied chenin with lots of distinct  flavours, most notably the apple and smooth caramel. This is definitely an evening white and it’s full flavour would be well matched with spicy seafood dishes.

The third and final wine of the trio is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the chenin blancs, the FMC. Robert Parker gives this 93 points – if you don’t know wine, that’s one of the best scores around when it comes to white wines – and is the highest score ever given to a South African chenin. This is the most surprising wine I have ever had the pleasure of drinking, it comes down to this; the wine is white, yes, but the flavour is that of a full bodied red, confusing, I know, but bear with me on this one. On first taste, the apricot and vanilla are noticeable, but there is a sense of wonderment as each time you taste this wine, the flavours change and mix and come together in an unusually delightful sensory experience. I haven’t quite figured out how best to describe this wine, I’m a little lost for words. If you like wine as much as I do, BUY this wine. It’s got a hefty price tag so save it for a special occasion, it’ll set you back around R325.00 in South Africa, and £23.95 if you’re buying it online in the UK. If you happen to be in Cape Town then I strongly recommend you take a drive out to the estate and do the full wine tasting, there is no shortage of wonderful wines here as the reds are almost as good as the whites, and if you like dessert wine then you absolutely must try the T, Noble Late Harvest (made for, and named after, his wife Teresa).

Oh I almost forgot the restaurant – 96 Winery road is fabulous, try the Duck & Cherry pie, it’s the best dish on the menu and a favourite of the regulars; the sticky date pudding is also pretty fantastic.

Ken Forrester Wine | +27 (0) 21 855 2374 | info@kenforresterwines.com | www.kenforresterwines.com

96 Winery Road | Zandberg Farm, Winery Road, Off the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West  7599, South Africa – opposite the estate.

Give me a Signal

The Signal restaurant at the Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town has been one of the most revered and respected restaurants in the Cape for as long as I can remember, and rightly so; the hotel itself has seen many changes over the years, but has always remained the pinnacle of Cape Luxury. I’d been looking forward to finally having dinner at the Cape Grace for a long time, and when the evening finally arrived it was as though I was a small child on Christmas morning, full of anticipation and excitement.

From the moment you enter the hotel you feel as though you have stepped into an alternate world, a world of luxury and comfort which is homely and understated at the same time. The restaurant is warm and welcoming and the staff are attentive without being invasive; there is a sense of purpose to everything and each detail is overseen with the utmost care and attention.

The menu at Signal is simple; nothing is over complicated and they use only the freshest seasonal produce which adds to the overall authenticity and flavour of each dish; the wine list is extensive without being overwhelming and the sommelier is on hand at all times to help you make the right decisions. We started with a Sous Vide Quail which was exceptionally tender and flavoursome, perhaps a touch too much salt for my palate, but otherwise a rounded dish; the sesame aioli was particularly enjoyable. The second starter was a confit duck and Parma ham terrine served with mango and coconut atchar which was lovely and sweet, offsetting the salt in the terrine perfectly. If you like terrines, then this one should definitely be on your list.

For a main course we had a slow-roast pork belly with bean cassoulet  – the serving was quite substantial but it was so incredibly delicious that we managed to get through it in the end, although if you are having the 5 course tasting menu I would suggest sharing this dish. We also ordered a rack of Karoo lamb which was served on a bed of lentils with truffles creamed potato – the portion was much more manageable and the flavour just as intense and enjoyable, I strongly recommend trying both. I noticed all the while we were sitting there that the waiters floated elegantly across the room, always there when needed and keeping out of sight at all other times; the service, it must be said, is impeccable.

For dessert we had a pecan and caramel tart served with chocolate ganache, bruleed banana and vanilla ice cream; I am not a fan of pecans, or most tarts, but this really was something else entirely and a total winner. Textured, sweet and totally decadent – all the things a really good dessert should be. We then shared a cheese board which was small, light and phenomenally tasty, although I might have enjoyed more of an explanation from the waiter with regard to the cheese selections. All in all though, a thoroughly enjoyable, almost heavenly meal, and I will be back for more very soon.

Signal Restaurant | Cape Grace Hotel | 130 Victoria Wharf St | Cape Town | 021 410 7100

Clarkes is the name. Burgers are the game.

I have been on the hunt for Cape Town’s best burger – I do this wherever I am, hunt out ‘the best’ of certain favourite meals and drinks I am partial to. It’s a nice way of getting to know a city and it often turns out to be quite pleasantly surprising, in more ways than one. This was one of those times; a rare and unique moment in time where I was faced with meaty, stodgy, perfection – and therefore rendered completely speachless (not least because of the enormity of the burger I was attempting to devour). Sitting there, watching the sun go down on the bustling streets of Cape Town, I had to pause to take it all in – the burger in question, had just made it to the top of my list.

Simplicity really is the name of the game at Bree streets buzzing hotspot Clarke’s. Their menu is something of a quiet affair, unlike the atmosphere and the crowd which it attracts; it features only cheeseburgers, a veggie sloppy joe for the non meat eaters out there, a handful of side dishes and some sweet treats as an after thought. Thinking about it, I have never eaten anything after that burger, I don’t know how anyone could possibly think of dessert after engulfing the enormous mound of meaty amazingness which is fast becoming known as the best burger in Cape Town. I am inclined to agree, it definitely gets ‘best in show’ on my burger list; the meat is cooked medium-rare and is juicy and pink, the fries are the skin-still-on, thinly sliced and fried to perfection sort, and the tiny side dish of paper thin gherkin slices in vinegar are a welcome treat as their sharp flavour gently cuts through everything else (fat, meat, bun and all). The star of the show, however, is the bun, and oh what a wonderful bun it is.

These buns, along with some of the bread on the Clarke’s daytime menu, come from the ever elusive Trevor Daly of Worcester. He recently started baking in Woodstock too, which has made things at Clarke’s just that little bit better as they now stock an assortment of his pastry treats as well (get there early in the day to avoid disappointment). But, I digress, I was talking about the buns! They are somewhere between a croissant, a brioche and a really good burger bun, buttery and heavenly, and the perfect marriage to the deliciously simple meat which is encased between the two halves. I would love to get my hands on that recipe, but at the moment, there’s only one place I know that sells these amazing burgers and the even-more-amazing buns. So if you have a burger craving, you now know where to go.

Clarke’s Dining | clarkesdining.co.za | 133 Bree street | +27 (0) 21 424 7648

My Indoor Garden Dream

There is something really earthly about having plants inside the home, they light up the room and make things feel so much more alive – the only problem I have with them is that they can be hard work; plants take up a lot of time, require care and attention and often make a mess of things – especially if you are as clumsy as me! I have never had many plants at home besides the odd herb bush, not least because I am constantly moving. I recently found a solution to my predicament though, and an amazing alternative to the old pot plant; her name is Tessa, she lives right here in the mother city, she my totally gorgeous and super creative friend, and she makes these incredible indoor garden beauties which come in all shapes, sizes and colours. I love them! They are the prettiest, tiniest indoor gardens I have ever seen; not to mention they are also mess free, stress free and capable of travelling without too much fuss. Perfect!!

There is no limit to what this gorgeous gardener can do, from miniature forests encased in glass, to beautiful picture frames packed full of colourful things, this plant décor makes the perfect low maintenance gift and is so much more special than a bunch of roses, not to mention a lot more creative. She also makes the most wonderful wedding gifts, favours, decorations and generally very pretty things. The succulents, her trademark plant, are fabulously colourful, hassle free and will last through winter, which makes them the most worthwhile garden investment I’ve made since moving to Cape Town. My new garden looks amazing, and I can take it with me when I move house – even better!

You really should look her up, and get yourself a sustainable, pocket sized garden while you’re at it. All gardens can be made to order, alternatively you can find her wonderful works of art at any of the locations listed here. Enjoy!

Available at: the Green living store at Wellness Warehouse in Cape Town, Kloof Street | Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay | Through private orders via info@thegardencanvas.co.za