Sunday, December 9, 2012

Woodlands Eatery

Happily ensconced at 2 Deer Park Drive, Vredehoek in Cape Town, South Africa, the Woodlands Eatery is serving delicious food that defies any stereotype.  Yes, it does do pizzas and burgers, but they are especially wonderful pizzas and burgers. But it is not just a pizza and burger place! This little gem of food happiness produces dishes to satisfy all tastes and palates.  Wonderful antipasti, dishes of the day that make choice impossibly difficult and desserts that include a chocolate fondant that is the stuff of dreams. (Incidentally, before you tar and feather me for appearing to cast doubt on the nobility of pizza and burger places, let me hasten to assure you that I am in total awe of good examples of those particular cuisines.)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Two New England Eating Adventures

New England Diaries.

This article combines 'Back Chat Eats Out' with 'Travels With Back Chat'.   Eating and travel are two of Back Chat's favourite things.  It is the story of two special  experiences that Eugene and I enjoyed during our New England odyssey:

River House, Portsmouth, USA

Constantino's Venda Ravioli, Providence. USA

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

La Belle Café & Bakery

‘The Alphen' in Constantia, Western Cape, has always been there, much like a benevolent maiden aunt at every family occasion.  Now a fresh breeze has swept through the lovely old place and given it new life.  A new owner, Paul Kovensky, whose innovative refurbishment allowed the spirit and ethos of the old Alphen to remain and voila, the Alphen once again stands tall and proud.  And nestling in amongst all this loveliness is La Belle Café and Bakery, the brainchild and province of Simone, Paul Kovensky's wife.

It was a rainy, grey day when Eugene and I first visited La Belle.  The gracious old Cape Dutch building beckoned its welcome and we happily left the inclement weather behind as we entered the warm heart of the restaurant.   The welcome was smiling and friendly.  I always find this so important.  It sets the tone and standard for the entire experience.  There is nothing I hate more than snooty, uncaring front of the house staff.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Boston The Third Adventure

New England Diaries

A lovely lazy Sunday in New England and our gang was back in Boston, this time to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  But first lunch at Joe's American Bar and Grill at 181 Newbury Street.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Boston - The 2nd Adventure

The New England Diaries.

During our second adventure in Boston, we visited the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.  We had an hiliarious and delicious dinner at P.F. Chang's China Bistro and spent an evening at the theatre experiencing the controlled lunacy of the Blue Man Group.  Do join Back Chat on a wonderful day in Boston.

On a rainy day in June we visited the JFK Presidential Library and Museum.  The sight of that splendid concrete building with its majestic glass pavilion was triumphal.  The great Chinese American architect, I.M.Pei,  who designed the library, was the personal choice of Jackie Kennedy's.  She picked him from a bevy of major talents because in her view he had the imagination and promise to realise her vision for the project.  I love his startling glass pyramid above the Louvre in Paris and was overjoyed at the prospect of seeing more of his work.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Boston: The First Adventure.

The New England Diaries. 

Happily settled in our amazing billet in Seekonk, Eugene and I were constantly delighted by its close proximity to some of the great cities in that north eastern corner of the United States.  Robin and James remained unfazed by distances or the prospect of driving those distances.  So a distance of 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Providence to Boston was dismissed as a mere bagatelle.  During our time in New England, we would visit Boston three times, each time an adventure.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gardener's Cottage.

Eugene and I love eating at The Gardener's Cottage in Newlands, Cape Town.  It has been in existence for 19 years and for as many years we have been delighted by their lovely homemade food . Visiting the restaurant is a bit like going back in time. There is a gentle and relaxed feel that harks back to another time when life was less trammelled and cluttered with modernity.  Let me hasten to add that it is a very modern and up to date establishment.  However, the owner, Lee Barty, has created a sanctuary of calm and peace in her cottage under the ancient trees.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

New York! New York!

 The New England Diaries.

Of course New York is not in New England.  However, our wonderful New York interlude took place while Eugene and I were staying with Robin and James in their beautiful New England home.  Therefore I have included it under 'The New England Diaries' banner.  Please forgive me and Back Chat our literary licence.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Midnight In Paris

Midnight In Paris 

Directed and Written by Woody Allen

Starring:  Owen Wilson
                Rachel McAdams
                Marion Cotillard
                Kathy Bates
                Adrien Brody
                Carla Bruni
                Michael Sheen

Eugene and I love Paris and all things French.  We are intrigued by every detail of the 'lost generation' and are really quite disappointed that we didn't live during that glorious time.  So, Woody Allen's 'Midnight In Paris' was the looking glass through which we stepped to capture wisps of a dream.  A dream of sharing the Paris of the 20's and 30's with all the extraordinary and brilliant people who created the magic that has us in their thrall

Join Back Chat as we 'Go To The Movies' and enjoy Woody Allen's tribute to Paris with us.  I would love to know your reaction to this remarkable film.  Do contact me at or leave a comment on Back Chat, I look forward to hearing from you.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Harbour House Restaurant Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay has a wonderful, bustling, working harbour and happily ensconced on a breakwater in the harbour is  Harbour House Restaurant.  There she sits, perched on the edge of the ocean, eyeing all the goings on.   In order to reach this lady of the bay, we made our way up some stairs and into a lovely place that seemed all light and white.

The interior of Harbour House Restaurant is divided into various rooms, terraces and cosy nooks.   Each space has a number and the tables in that area are numbered accordingly.  We sat in the 60's at a table number 61.  Our table was in a corner of a room with floor to ceiling windows.  Waves broke and crashed over the rocks below us and birds wheeled overhead.  I am told that whales can be seen at various time of the year, frolicking and blowing up plumes of spray, sadly not for us that day, but still a vista spectacular and breathtaking.