Beginning Our Adventure, South Africa

Jim and I landed in a cold, dark and gloomy London at 5am this morning returning from the most magical trip of our lives. If it weren’t for us missing our puppy, Martha, I don’t think we’d have ever wanted to come back (and if you know me and my travel worries you’ll know I must have had the best time as I am usually always ready to come home!) Until about October, Jim and I didn’t have our honeymoon planned at all and had no idea where to go. We wanted adventure, magic and relaxation, but didn’t know where to find it (anyone else get totally sucked into Trip Advisor reviews and then get scared off the place you’ve set your heart on when you read an angry review and then have to start all over again??) In late September I was in L.A meeting casting directors for my acting career and in one of those meetings, I met a lady called Lisa. I was quite nervous as she is a big deal in casting world and casted some of my favourite comedies like We’re The Millers and Wedding Crashers. We spoke about acting for all of 2 minutes until she noticed my wedding ring and proceeded to ask me a lot of questions about the wedding, our honeymoon, Jim etc. When I told her we were saving our honeymoon until January she pleaded with me to take her advice and go to South Africa! Lisa spent the next hour showing me photos on her iPad of her trips there (giraffe’s poking their heads through the window of the lodge she was staying in!) and I was sold. When I was back in the UK she put me in touch with her friend Patrick who runs Luxury Africa and he helped Jim and I plan our South African adventure (with a little excursion to Mozambique)! I took so many photos whilst we were away and I can’t wait to share them with you guys. I think I’ll do a blog post for each of the places we went to as I have way to many photos for one post! Now I have to warn you, I have a lot of raving to do about the places we stayed as I loved them all so much and so I just want to make it clear that none of our trip was given to us complimentary. I just loved it very much so don’t have anything bad to say.

Our adventure began in a gorgeous, old, little town nestled between the mountains called Franschoek. It’s in an area called the Western Cape Province, not far from Capetown and it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Franschoek is known as the food and wine capital of the world, so as you can imagine, we didn’t get up to much other than eating. We arrived at our hotel, La Residence, at lunchtime and were greeted by the staff and handed a glass of their homemade Rosé and shown around the hotel. I got quite emotional as we walked around (luckily I had my sunglasses on), because I was so blown away by the beauty of the hotel, the scenery and the tranquil feel of the place. I just couldn’t believe such a place existed and I was lucky enough to be there. We only had two nights at La Residence so spent our first afternoon enjoying the pool and catching some rays (it was a good 30 degrees warmer than the UK!) then we had dinner at the hotel that evening. I drank an incredible wine called The Chocolate Block – you can actually taste chocolate in it! – and  Jim and I ate the tastiest food. If you are in the area, but not staying at La Residence, please book a table for lunch or dinner, we ate some of the best food we’ve ever eaten there. *drools at the memory of their chocolate fondant*

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We spent the next morning just chilling out at the hotel reading our books and then went for lunch at a place called Bread and Wine, which is part of a family run vineyard. We sat outside in a sweet little courtyard surrounded by gorgeous greenery and flowers. The food was so delicious and we had the nicest time walking around the grounds after lunch.

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We went back to La Residence for the afternoon and read in the shade and watched the sun set from our balcony before heading out again that evening for dinner at Grand Provence, one of the towns oldest wine estates. I was in Instagram heaven as we arrived and I saw the fairy lights everywhere. The food was really good, but I was disheartened by the staff as they weren’t particularly friendly unlike every other person we’d encountered on our trip so far. Although, I must say the beautiful setting made up for it.

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The next morning we left for the airport at 7am, sad to be leaving such a special place after such a short amount of time, but excited to embark upon the next part of our journey…safari! I will try and get my next blog post up telling you all about our three day safari and showing you our photos tomorrow.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful day!

Love, Tanya