25 October 2014

30th Birthday - What To Wear?

I've been scouring the interweb for some birthday outfit inspiration. My actual birthday night out is pretty low-key. It's being held in a local pub with my lovely friends and I'm not making a massive deal about it therefore I want to keep my outfit low-key too. The other thing is Jamie is treating me to dinner, now I know it's in one of three places: The Witchery, Howies or Chaophraya with drinks beforehand at The Devils Advocate, so for that I am looking for something a little more dressy.

So getting the easy ones out the way I thought something like these for my night out with friends, simple and low-key.
 Birthday Night Out

 When it comes to the second part, my birthday meal. I'm at a complete standstill if I'm honest. I've been looking over my old favorites ASOS and AX Paris and so far have come up with the following: now don't even get me started on shoes and accessories.

Birthday Meal

So what do you think? Can you suggest somewhere else I should check out?

21 October 2014

Winter Wedding Dilemmas

In the coming months I have two evening wedding receptions to attend. One of which the female guests were asked to wear a floor length gown, and for which I've chosen this black JS Collections maxi dress. I spotted this dress about two years ago in House of Fraser but with no reason to buy it the £150 price tag made just a little bit pointless. I missed it in the Summer sale and then it hasn't been back in stock since *sob*. 

I did however keep a close eye on ebay and picked in up 'as new, worn once' for £15.95, how's that for a bargain? I do have to get it altered slightly but I would have had to get that done regardless.
Jamie's mum has given me a pair of earrings to wear, they were the first pair she bought when she got her ears pierced so a lovely pair of vintage that look similar to the ones below. 

The red dress I bought back in February in the ASOS sale, mainly because although I have a few lovely dresses there was nothing I could lift out at short notice and with a boyfriend that attends quite a lot of corporate events you just never know. However this one hasn't made it out the wardrobe yet.

I'm trying to be a little thrifty so close to Christmas so have been looking for shoes and a bag I can use for both, Jamie being the only person who will be at both, and have settled upon gold or black. So with the help of Polyvore I've been putting together some ideas for both events.

Winter Wedding

To go with the red outfit I've decided to have my hair down and hope to god it will actually keep a curl. I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos and going through Pinterest to get some suggestions and I think it should be OK. I may add in a few extensions just to give some volume. 
For nails & make up I'm going to go light & natural. I think I will DIY French Manicure my nails and keep my makeup to nude shades. 

For the black outfit I'm going to go for a 'messy side bun', which again I've been researching lots. Having fine hair that doesn't back comb well is a bit of a nightmare. But a few lightweight products and plenty kirby grips should help. For nails I'm thinking a deep maroon, slightly 'gothic' vibes that will tie in with the Ghillie Dhu but again I'll probably keep my make up subtle and light. Mainly as my little eyes don't carry off a lot of make up, but I have almost two months so I may practice a lot and see what I can achieve, any advice is more than welcome.

So any fashion bunnies out there, what do you think? Does this work? Black or Gold? Something different altogether? And all you lovely beauty bloggers - HELP!

20 October 2014

Guts, Ghosts & Gore Oh My! Edinburgh Dungeons Review

When I was asked recently if I fancied popping along to Edinburgh Dungeons I absolutely jumped at the chance. I LOVE all things scary (we're currently watching 'Would You Rather' on NetFlix) so couldn't wait to sample the guts, ghosts and gore of Auld Reekie.

Being a local I have been to the Dungeons before but it was a very, very long time ago so I was looking forward to seeing how much it had changed. I wasn't disappointed.  From the first few steps inside I was feeling a little nervous. The ambience, the creepy music, the decor, all fantastic.  

The tour was filled with Scottish history, from Burke & Hare to William Wallace, the Cannibalistic Bean family and much, much more. 
I don't want to give too much away, there were certainly more than a couple of jumps & screams from our group, myself & Jamie included and you have to go in with an open mind because they do pick on members of the audience. Jamie ended up in front of the judge and one of Sawney Beans creepy-as sons wanted me to be his girlfriend. It was a great laugh. The staff were fantastic and it's definitely something I'd recommend. 
Our whole tour lasted about 1.5hrs and with tickets costing from just £9.50 for kids and £10.95 for adults (online pre-booking), there's also special offers for Family and Group tickets - it's definitely worth it. 
After the tour you do have an opportunity to buy some pictures that are taken of you during the tour. We got a picture from the final part of tour, the Drop Dead, it wasn't the most flattering of me but I think it captured exactly how I felt. 
Maybe if enough of you lovely people click through to the Dungeons link I'll share it with you all. Until then it's staying safely on the fridge. 

*disclaimer: I was given two free tickets for the purpose of reviewing the Edinburgh Dungeons. All views are my own and all reviews are 100% honest.

16 October 2014

It's a prawn thing!!

This months Degustabox contained 'Carnation Cook with It', which Nestle claim:

"Made using fresh milk, and with half the fat of single cream*, Carnation Cook with it! is a fantastic, low-fat cooking crème that's great for your favourite savoury dishes – from hearty soups and casseroles to pasta bakes and sauces."

So I decided to rustle up one of my favorite dishes 'prawn thing'. My friend Jen passed the recipe to me and over the time I've been doing it I've tweaked it and this is one of the final forms. Sometimes I add some spinach in at the end too. 

Ingredients: prawns (cooked or raw), 5-6 mushrooms, garlic (as much as you can handle), chilli (ditto), red onion, salmon (optional) and some sort of pasta/spaghetti, (I used chilli linguine that mum had brought me home from Rome) - we love a bit of spice.

This is one of the easiest, but tastiest dishes. Great for when you get home from work and just feel like laying on the sofa. Just a few simple steps. 

1. Pop a pot of water on the boil and add your chosen pasta to cook away whilst you do the 'hard work' 

2. Gently fry the garlic and chilli - top tip, put the garlic in whilst the pan heats, it stops the garlic hitting the pan hot and burning straight off. 

3. Add in the onion and gently fry until the onion softens slightly. 
4. If you're prawns are raw add them now to give them a few minutes to cook, otherwise add in the mushrooms for 1-2 minutes, followed by the cooked prawns (and salmon if you're going the whole hog).

5. Let this cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding your cream, usually I'd use Créme Fraîche but as we're giving the Carnation Cook with It a go I added this. 

6. Lastly, if you're adding spinach now's the time, give it a minute or so before draining your pasta and mixing it through. 

Voilá, you're done. 

And the verdict on the Carnation Cook with It? I couldn't tell the difference if I'm honest. As this can be kept in the cupboard and has a good shelf life I think it's something that would make it's way into our monthly shop. 

This months box came with two of these so I'm keen to try something new, Carnation have a few suggestions on their website but if any of you lovely lot have any suggestions do let me know.

14 October 2014

South Aftica Part 2: Madi A Thavha Mountain Lodge, Limpopo

Friday 12 September – Tuesday 16 September

We arrived in Johannesburg airport to meet Jamie's folks around 11am, whilst we were waiting I had my first Wimpy, remember we used to have those?! I was pretty delicious, although having table service at a fast food restaurant was odd. Yesterday had been the verdict of the Oscar Pistorius trial. Newspaper headlines 'Oscar May Walk', 'Could Oscar Walk?' Headlines we'd never get away with in the UK. 
From Johannesburg airport we drove 450km to Madi a Thavha, which is 5km out of Louis Trichardt. We arrived around 6pm, just as the sun was setting, it's pretty spectacular. 

Dinner was prepared at 7pm and it was delicious. Our starter was smoked chicken orange segments, although the orange was a little bitter, almost like a grapefruit but not quite. Our main was beef in a sauce (don't ask me what), roasted veg and potatoes individually roasted with cream and garlic. Pudding was baobab cheesecake, which I may have nicked the recipe too.
There was also rye bread, red wine, rosé wine and it was all amazing. 

Saturday 13 September
We went up for breakfast 8.30. 
Breakfast was 3 courses, yogurt, muesli and fruit followed by pancakes with creme cheese (not like ours) and cinnamon, rye bread & muffins, THEN eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato and toast. Also tea, coffee and orange juice. Just unbelievable.  
Jamie's mum and I are going to a craft day out tomorrow so we had a look around the little shop. Madi a Thavha stocks items from local crafts-folk, everything is fair-trade with 100% going back to the people. Some lovely place mats etc but a bit wasted on us when we don't have a dining table yet.  

After breakfast we headed to Louis Trichardt to the local shops and picked up some wine, lunch and we managed to get some Fairview cranberry cheese. I am definitely going to look on line to see if there is anyway we can get it here.  

Jamie and I went for a walk around the reserve after lunch. We seen some turtles, frogs, a erupting spiders nest and Jamie almost stood on a Rock Python – not scary at all. There was lots of animal poo but sadly/thankfully not any animals. 

Afterwards we had some 'sundowners', sparkling rosé, olives and cranberry cheese, and we had a look at each others photos from earlier in the trip. Dinner was butternut squash soup, Thai chicken curry, and pear panna cotta. Again, it was superb. 

Sunday 14 September  
Today was our craft day out and we were taken to see 5 different people by our guide Musa.
We started in Louis Trechanrdt where he drove us around one of their typical town-ships. There were a real mix of 'rich' houses and what the refer to as 'Mandela Huts', what we would refer to as Social Housing. The difference being that people in the local community help build these huts for each other. People pay for their electricity, water and sewage only. The good thing about these is if the owner then gets a job or they earn more money, they can expand on their huts and make them bigger.  

There is still a lot to be done here but it's getting there. Jamie's folks have been going for 20 years so it must be interesting to see the changes. 

Next we went to one of the local markets, most people were selling fruit & veg. A bag of avocado would be about R20 – about £1.30, we pay that for two at home. I hope the profits go back to the seller but knowing large supermarkets probably not. We were taken to a small take-away which was selling cooked cows head (teeth and all) and a full chicken carcass. Thankfully (without offense) we weren't asked to try anything.  

Our first visit was to a chap called David who is a wood carver, all his work is traditional. Jamie's mum picked up some salad servers which were lovely (R90 each) but a lot of it, whilst nice, wasn't to my taste. His work looks great in the lodge where we were staying, and is Jamie's mum & dads house but ours just doesn't have the right look. 

Next we went to see an old lady named Hlamarisa. I'd say at a guess Hlamarisa is about 70 years old. She was born with what I think was a curved spin which over time has worsened. These days something like this would probably be treatable but that long ago there would have been no chance. She does traditional bead work, which was very detailed and very nice. However, personally I felt her family were just wheeling her out to make money. Her daughter-in-law came out with a suitcase filled with items to buy, we watched her do some bead work for about 5 minutes, were shown some pictures then it was awkward silence as they waited for us to buy something. 

Jamie's mum bought me this lovely wood & beaded basket which they asked R500 for, which works out about £30. In itself it isn't much but it would have been interesting to see prices on her items in the lodge. She did give me a little red beaded bracelet as a gift which was nice. After we stopped at a maize mill where woman meet to clean, grind and packet up their maize. All the ladies were working as a team to help each other out and that was lovely to see. We then stopped for our (HUGE) packed lunch at Musa's grandma's house.

After lunch we had three more stops, first was Mukondeni Pottery. This is a cooperative set up for women in the area which I believe was part funded by the Scottish Government (I will need to check my facts on that though). This was built to give the woman somewhere cool to work as working outside, temperatures can sometimes reach 40c+ in the Summer. We were given a pottery demonstration by the lady who happened to be there. It was a Sunday so many people were at Church. It was interesting to watch her make the pot, it probably took her less than 5 minutes, no turntable, just her hands and some pieces of plastic to smooth it down. 
We then went to see the second wood carver Thomas. His work is more abstract. He will look at a piece of wood and decide what it should be. He had some massive pieces carved from one piece of wood, just spectacular. This man has a very special mind. 

Lastly we went to see a lady who does embroidery and bead work. This was definitely 'saving the best till last'. Her work was superb. We met her daughter who was sticking and stitching the panels of material to make the main part of a cushion. Later her mother would add in contrast colour stitching, beads and embroidery to each panel. The colours were brilliant, so vibrant. Jamie's mum picked up a bright green cushion which she'll probably have framed. She bought Jamie and I a tapestry which we'll have framed for our new house and I bought us a cushion cover.
One of the cushion covers in the lodge shop

The work that goes into these, proper hand, hard work, I don't think I'll look at mass-produced things back home the same way again. (Not that I won't buy them but it will make me think)
Dinner tonight was feta, mushroom and leek tartlet, main was fish which a sauce, roast potatoes and spinach. It was a beautiful piece of fish. Pudding was chocolate mousse. Three course dinners and breakfasts, I'll be going home the size of a house. 
Monday 15 September
We're now officially a week through our holiday, scary how quickly it's going. Today is our last day in Madi a Thavah, tomorrow we drive to the Kruger for game viewing – exciting!!
We were going to go to a local game reserve today but the lady who runs the lodge explained that the place we were going to go to was very run down these days so she gave us directions to two other places.
The first was to a farm in run by a man named Otis, so we went to see him first and he was lovely. We even had to force him to take some rand for us to take a walk around his land. It was suppose to be R30 each, he said R60 in total, we settled on R25 each.
We took quite a bumpy walk around his grounds, the temperature was about 30c so very warm. Only when we got to the end of the walk did we see a sign warning us that leopard were roaming. Thankfully we didn't see any. Ooops. 
We sat with Otis for a while afterwards and he gave us some home-made lemonade, it was delicious. He told us about how he built his house himself, and a bit about his life. He was a fascinating man and genuinely a nice guy. 
We then drove and stopped for our packed lunch, again it was HUGE. Sandwiches, wraps, fruit, nuts, juice.We tried to find the second place our host had mentioned but without any luck. So we headed back to the lodge hoping for some red meat for dinner (it wasn't!). Tomorrow we head to the Kruger National Park. Odd to think that this time next week we'll be sitting in Jo'Burg airport waiting on a 10.5hr flight to London.

12 October 2014

30th Birthday Wish List ft Radley, Harris Tweed, River Island

In case you didn't know, because I haven't mentioned it enough of course, in 54 days (4 December) I turn 30. 

Now I know, age is just a number, you're only as young as you feel and all the other sayings but in a huge way I do feel a bit depressed about it. Probably because I'm not exactly where I thought I'd be at 30. Now don't get me wrong, I love my life. I have a nice little *rented* flat, some of the best friends I could ask for and my boyfriend is pretty amazing, I guess as-yet I'm not fulfilled in life, there is so much I still want to do and achieve but that's not a bad thing, I have a lot of time left on this world to do them. 

So moving on swiftly from that slightly depressing part to the fun part about birthdays, presents. Now I don't necessary need anything, anything I want I tend to buy myself (Independent Woman yo!) but to make things easier on my friends and family I have been roaming the worldwideweb to get some ideas. 

Disclaimer* I'm not into blogging for just for free stuff but if any of the feature companies are feeling particularly generous .....

The first on my list are two biggies: Radley Aldgate Medium Grab bag in Burgundy and Harris Tweed Classic Satchel in 'dark' tartan. 

I wouldn't say I'm a huge handbag person, I usually grab something from ASOS, New Look, Primarni etc if I'm being honest. However, I think the Radley would be brilliant for client meetings, I absolutely love the burgundy colour. 
The Harris Tweed satchel I fell in love with during our visit to the Scottish Game Fair, however I didn't have £99 to pop down on a bag there and then.

Secondly, I do need a new watch, or rather I need to get the batteries replaced in the two watches I already own. But scouting the Watch Shop I came across this Radley ladies watch (can you see a theme developing). At the moment of writing the watch is half price at £57.50, absolute bargain. 

Now I have to admit, when it comes to sparkly, shiny things I fall in the 'typical girl' category and I occasionally check out what's new on the Rox website. When I noticed the bracelet before I instantly thought it was something subtle but also classy, something that I could wear daily or could keep for a special occasion and for £45 it's a great deal. 

 Going back to my #1, if you're going to go for a new bag, you may as well have a new purse to go with it right? And as much as I wouldn't say no to a Radley (medium sized Heritage purse in navy), I would grudge someone paying £55 for one. So I took to some of the high-street shops/online retailers and found this beauty from River Island

08 October 2014

You're A Winner: Orocco Pier, Champagne Breakfast

Just before I nipped off on holiday I was very lucky to win Champagne Breakfast for 4 at Orocco Pier in South Queensferry via their Facebook competitions. These are run quite regularly so if you're in the area I'd recommend giving them 'like'. 

I took along my friend Jen and Jamie, we had parked a fair bit away - lots of narrow streets and a Saturday morning did not make for easy parking, so we got a little look around before we went for breakfast. One thing about South Queensferry, it's lovely, the views are amazing and it's (to an outsider) a beautiful little town.  

Forth Rail Bridge

South Queensferry

Orocco Pier itself, to be honest, it isn't well advertised and if we hadn't been looking for it I would have walked straight past but I guess if you aren't a local you would have done some research before heading along and probably noticed it on Trip Advisor or the such. 

The RRP price for the breakfast is £13.75pp, this gets you: a Glass of Brut Champagne and strawberries with your choice of full Scottish or vegetarian breakfast. Served with fresh orange juice, tea or coffee, toast, homemade strawberry preserve and marmalade.

The 'full Scottish' (which we all went for), had 1 potato scone, half a tomato, 1 sausage, 1 piece of black pudding, 1 slice of bacon, mushrooms, haggis and some crispy potato pieces. We were given two rounds of toast (4 slices in total), a glass of OJ but unfortunately no tea or coffee - maybe because it was a freebie or maybe the staff just forgot. 

For the RRP of £13.75 I probably would expect more - none of us were asked how we wanted our eggs (is that too picky?), there wasn't an option of white or brown bread (again, it's the small things that matter!) and the lack of tea or coffee really bothered Jamie who hadn't had his morning fix yet. 

I guess to sum up, even if I wasn't asked to personal review my experience. The restaurant is nice, there are some lovely fairy lights on the ceiling which I'm sure look amazing in the evening. And the view of the Forth Rail Bridge and the water would be a lovely spot in the right weather. But personally I wouldn't go out my way to eat their again, if I was in the area I'd give it another shot to see if it was down to the fact we weren't paying customers or if was standard service. 

I know a few people who have had amazing wedding days at Orocco, so I wouldn't rule it out as a place to revisit, I would say for the price I could get a better breakfast elsewhere.

05 October 2014

Part 1: Cape Town, SA

So I thought I should do a little blog post on our time in South Africa. We were very lucky enough to visit three areas during our trip, this part is about Cape Town. 

Saturday 6 September
8.30am and we were on out way to Jamie's mum and dad's out at Edgehead. The first part of our journey was Edinburgh – London. We had a little wait in Edinburgh airport so we had some beers and some pizza at The Gathering. It wasn't bad but boy was it busy. Scotland were playing Germany the next day so the airport was full of kilts, (we only lost 2-0, not to shabby!)
Our flight was British Airways, I like flying British Airways, a little cuppa goes a long way.

Once we landed in Heathrow we had around a 3 hour wait. Jamie's mum had packed some salmon sandwiches and treated us to two bottles of Moet champagne – well, start as you mean to go on I guess.

Our plane was a giant double decker jumbo jet and I'd reserved us a two seater upstairs. We had a little cubby-hole on the side, lovely big seats, entertainment system. It was pretty good, it would have been better if our arm rest could have gone all the way back and we could have snuggled properly to get some sleep but never mind. For dinner I went with the veggie curry, it smelt so good and to be honest it wasn't bad. They did run out of Heineken which was a little bit annoying. We didn't get much sleep on the flight, two hours maybe, just couldn't get comfortable. Maybe it's one of those things that come if you travel more.

At 7am Sunday we arrived in Johannesburg OR Tambo airport, said good bye to Jamie's folks (they were off to game view at Impodimo in Madikwe)

Sunday 7 September
We arrived in Cape Town at 1.30pm, 28 hours after we left the house – yikes! We had reserved a room at the Cape Town Lodge, mainly because we could use up some of our Avios points. Five nights B&B cost us £240 which wasn't bad at all.

As it was our first time we had arranged a pick-up from the hotel. Our driver was so nice in his suit with a framed sign 'Mr Simpson'. Our holiday had began. We got to our hotel about 2pm, showered and had a wander around. Almost all shops were close as it was a Sunday but we found a place called NomNoms and had some food. Jamie had ribs & chips, I had a pasta dish and a pint of Castle lager each.....it came to about £8. I think this was when we realised just how cheap it was.

I was asleep by 6pm, Jamie not much later.

Monday 8 & Tuesday 9 September

Today we're going to visit the V&AWaterfront, Aquarium and the Springbok (Rugby) museum

The V&A Waterfront has a lot of shops, restaurants etc, a bit like putting Ocean Terminal, The Gyle and Omni together. But with amazing views of the ocean and Table Mountain. 

Firstly we went to Two Oceans Aquarium, it cost us R150 each (about £7) but it crapped all over Deep Sea World. It was really good, very interactive. And we got to see penguins being fed. This happens twice a day and so worth it. The penguins were literally 2ft from us.

Afterwards we went to the Springbok Experience. Jamie is a massive rugby fan and plays so it made perfect sense. The cost for this was R50 each (£4). It was more for Jamie but I had fun too. Again this had lots of interactive things to take part in, videos to watch etc. Worth it for any rugby fan or even just to pass a few hours.

During these we had stopped at the local 'Scottish' bar, Mitchelle's Ale House, this and their neighboring bar, The Ferryman, became regular 'to-go-to' places. I tried their 'Milk and Honey' beer which was lovely. I can't see this appearing at home any time soon as it only has a 7 day shelf life.

We then had a 'posh' lunch before returning for drinks & dinner. Our posh lunch was at Tasca I have never had such nice mussels before, they came in a creamy garlic and white wine sauce with a side of fries which quick swifty got dipped in the left over sauce. Jamie had the lobster, which I have to say was overpriced compared to other places in the area. Our two dishes and a bottle of wine was about £70. But you'd probably pay that in some places just for the lobster. Our view was amazing too.

On Tuesday I had pre-booked us a days wine tour with Luhambo Tours we were picked up by our guide Cedric at 9.00am and we didn't return till 5.30pm. Usually the maximum people on these guides is 7, we got very lucky and it was just the two of us. Cedric was brilliant too, we spoke about everything and anything, and I even got an email from him a week later about the Scottish Referendum. 

We visited five vineyards and had around 36 wines and 14 cheeses. It was brilliant.

We went to:
Simonsig in Stellenbosch
Fairview in Paarl
Kanonkop also in Stellenbosch
Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek
and one other in Franschhoek which I didn't catch the name of.

All the people in the vineyards were lovely, we weren't forced into buying anything or looked upon for not buying anything.

Before our last two vineyard we stopped for lunch at Roco - we had no idea what to expect but we were blown away. The view was stunning. 

Jamie had ostrich and I had a chicken & pasta dish, along with a few glasses off wine (you'd think we would have had enough by now!!)
The total for our tour was R850 each (£53). It was so very much worth it.

We nipped out for some 'fast food', ribs & chips for Jamie, pizza for me and two cokes. Cape Town is strange place at night, lots of security around but also lots of beggars (even though they are polite about it). I wouldn't recommend walking about alone, even having a 70kg weight-lifting, rugby playing boyfriend in-toe it was still a little unpleasant.

Wednesday 10 September

We decided to go to Robben Island as Table Mountain was extremely cloudy. If, like me, you aren't schooled up on Robben Island 'Since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of mainly political prisoners' – most notable would of course be Nelson Mandela.

We booked our time slot for 1pm (advisable on busy days) and it was R250 each (£14). The boat journey across took around 50 minutes. Once of the boat we were taken around most of the island by mini bus – it's pretty big and you only have 2 hours.

Our first stops were things such as the church, the leper cemetery, the shop that the guards who lived on the island could use. Our first proper stop was Robert Sobukwe's cell. Sobukwe was kept in solitary confinement but permitted certain privileges including books, newspapers, civilian clothes, bread etc. He lived in a separate area on the Island where he had no contact with other prisoners. The only contacts were his secret hand signals whilst outside for exercise. Despite this he succeeded in giving his approval to the external PAC to adopt a Maoist political program. He studied during this time and received (among others) a degree in economics from the University of London.
It is speculated that the South African administration had profiled Robert Sobukwe as a more radical and difficult opponent than the regular ANC prisoners. Sobukwe was released in 1969. He was allowed to live in Kimberley with his family but remained under house arrest. Kimberley was suggested as an area where he could not easily foster subversive activities and also a place where he could live and work, while being easily monitored by the state. He was also restricted through a banning order, which disallowed political activities.
Sobukwe died in 1978 from lung cancer.

Next we stopped at the limestone quarry where the prisoners would work for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. The prisoners with an education, some lawyers, some teachers, would also teach those in a small 'self-made' cave. The prisoners had a saying during this time 'each one, teach one'
At the top of the limestone quarry there is a pile of rocks – you may not think of this as sentimental unless told. This pile of rocks was started by Mandela, he wandered off during a reunion around 1200 ex detainees and placed a rock, the rest followed. 

We stopped on at the Lighthouse after this for some photo ops, amazing views of Cape Town from the Island – I can't imagine what it must have been like seeing land so far from reach. Some prisoners never had visits from family members, some didn't know how to visit, others just didn't know where their loved ones were.

We were then taken to the main prison and given a talk by a guide. Our guide had actually spent time in the prison himself as a youth. He wanted to make it VERY clear that not all the guards were brutal and that there were some nice ones.
Lastly we got to see Nelson Mandela's cell. He spent 11 years on Robben Island and in this cell. The cell couldn't have measured more than 6x4. It felt a little wrong being there but they are trying to promote it as a place of peace, courage, determination, strength and good.
Our journey back was choppy and we got soaked!!

We headed back to our hotel, showered and went back down to the Waterfront. Dinner was flatbread, a prawn and chicken basket, loaded potato skins & chips at Ferrymans. Yum.
That evening there was live music and the guy was was great. Lots of covers, lots of classics. I had a few mojitos in jam jars, beer, Sky vodka. A good night.

Thursday 11 September
Today was our last day so we took the chance and headed to Table Mountain......the cableway was closed!! We still had amazing views but it would have been great to get to the top. Always next time.

Afterwards we headed to the V&A and went to a restaurant called Belthazar's (the best Steak restaurant in Cape Town) Jamie made the right choice and went for a 450g steak, I went for mussels again. These weren't as good and almost made me throw up at one point. The sauce was good as were the fries for dipping.
We went back to our hotel and had a nap before our last dinner at Ferrymans. Burger & fries, ribs, wings & fries, 5 beers, mojito and a sky vodka - £34! Insane.
We headed back to pack the rest of things for our 9.00am flight the next day and  watched Despicable Me for the 3rd time. Next stop – Madi a Thavha, Limpopo.