Mouth-watering chocolate recipes from Beyers Chocolates

It's A Date, Let's Eat!

This was the first time I attended the chocolate demos hosted by Beyers Chocolates at the Coffee & Chocolate Festival.

ABOUT BEYERS CHOCOLATES
Beyers Chocolates was founded 30 years ago by Belgian-born, Kees Beyers. They manufacture their own range of confectionery, including local favourites like Sweetie Pie, Amarula, and Dream Bear, and also supply an extensive range of sub-brands and private label products to airlines and the hospitality industry, which makes them the largest independent manufacturer of boxed chocolates in South Africa.

 
THE CHOCOLATE DEMO AT THE COFFEE & CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL CAPE TOWN 2017
During the Chocolate Demo, the Beyers team showcase a series of chocolate treats and desserts, offering tips, tricks and hacks for working with chocolate while preparing each dish. Here’s are a few snippets from the demo:

Chocolate tempering/Chocolate moulds

 

Piping

 

Pretzel Monsters

 

Understanding cocoa percentage

 

Caramel pots

 

Chocolate mousse

 

Here’s a full list of the recipes they shared with attendees*:

Tempering Chocolate

Ingredients

Dark, milk or white couverture chocolate

Method for stove

  1. Put a glass or metal bowl of chocolate on a pot full of simmering water, but be sure the bowl does not touch the water
  2. Slowly met two thirds of the chocolate until it reaches a temperature of 45-50⁰C, then remove the bowl from the pot
  3. Add the remaining third of the chocolate, stirring until all the chocolate has completely dissolved
  4. Check the temperature. This should be 32-33⁰C for dark chocolate, 30-32⁰C for milk chocolate and 28-30⁰ for white chocolate. If the temperature is too high, keep stirring the chocolate until it reaches the correct temperature.

Method for microwave

  1. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl
  2. Melt it in short bursts (15 – 20 seconds at a time), stirring each time it stops, to evenly distribute heat
  3. Keep doing this until the chocolate has melted and has reached a temperature of 45-50⁰C
  4. Follow steps 3 and 4 above

Salted Caramel Pots with Caramel Sauce

  • Servings: 6
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Ingredients

300ml cream

400g milk chocolatengs

50g butter

6 tbsp caramel sauce

A few pinches of black sea salt (or Himalayan sea salt)

Method

  1. Heat the cream in a pot until it comes to a boil. Add the chocolate and butter and mix until incorporated
  2. Pour a tablespoon of caramel sauce into the bottom of six small ramekins and swirl it around a little to coat the bottom
  3. Distribute the chocolate mixture evenly between the ramekins, on top of the caramel sauce
  4. Place the ramekins in the fridge for a couple of hours or until fully set
  5. Once set, sprinkle a pinch of salt on the top of each dessert and serve

Superfood Chocolate Bark

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Ingredients

Tempered dark chocolate

Dried fruit and nuts of your choice

Method

  1. Line a tray with a greaseproof paper
  2. Pour some tempered chocolate on the lined tray and use a palette knife to spread the chocolate as evenly as possible but not too thin
  3. Sprinkle the fruit and nuts on top of the chocolate before it sets
  4. Place the tray in the fridge
  5. After it has set, remove the tray and break the chocolate into medium to large pieces
  6. Enjoy!

Chocolate Dippers

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Ingredients

Tempered dark chocolate

Tempered white chocolate

Mini marshmallows

Sprinkles

Lolly sticks

Method

  1. Pour some dark chocolate into a chocolate mould about halfway up. You can also use a ice cube tray.
  2. Into each mould, quickly add one lolly stick, two to three marshmallows and sprinkles
  3. Add a layer of white chocolate to each mould
  4. Place in the refrigerator until all the chocolate has set

Serving suggestion

You can use one type of chocolate for your dippers if you prefer. You can also use different sweet spices such as cinnamon or aniseed for a spicy option.

Coffee and Chocolate Martini

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients

160ml Kahlua

90ml chocolate liqueur

60ml vodka

60ml low fat or full cream milk

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and add a few blocks of ice
  2. Give it a good shake to mix all the ingredients
  3. Pour into two martini glasses and serve immediately

Serving suggestion

Coat the rim of each glass with chocolate or dip the glasses into cocoa powder, ground coffee or sugar. To impress, decorate the inside of each glass with chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Pretzel Monsters

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Ingredients

150g pretzel sticks (broken)

200g white chocolate (melted)

Dark chocolate

Green or purple food colouring

Pre-made eyes

Method - Monsters

  1. Put the white chocolate in a bowl and start adding your colour, small quantities at a time and stir. Keep adding the colour until you are happy with the shade
  2. Stir in the broken pretzel sticks
  3. Scoop up a tablespoon of the mixture and place it on a greaseproof lined tray and then add two eyes. Keep doing this until the mixture is finished
  4. Place in the fridge until completely set

Method - Eyes

  1. Place some white chocolate into a small piping bag
  2. Pipe small white dots onto a tray of greaseproof paper
  3. Allow to set
  4. Put dark chocolate into a small piping bag and pipe smaller dots in the centre of the white chocolate dots
  5. Allow to set

Chocolate Mousse

  • Print

Ingredients

110g milk

425g dark chocolate, chopped

900g whipped cream

Method - Monsters

  1. Bring the milk to boil
  2. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and mix until the chocolate has melted
  3. Cool the mixture down to 50⁰C
  4. When cooled, fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until well combined
  5. Spoon into cups or bowls and place in the fridge to set

Please note

Make sure the chocolate mixture has cooled when you add the whipped cream. If it is too cold it will separate, too warm and wit won’t be smooth.

Layered Chocolate Dessert

  • Print

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse

Crushed Oreos/chocolate biscuits

Whipped cream

Mason jars/glass tumblers

Method - Monsters

  1. Scoop or pipe a layer of chocolate mousse into the bottom of the Mason jars or tumblers
  2. Gently spoon in a layer of crushed biscuits
  3. Scoop or pipe a layer of whipped cream
  4. Follow with another layer of chocolate mousse and another layer of crushed biscuits
  5. Serve immediately or leave in the fridge until ready to serve

Serving suggestions

Decorate with chopped chocolate. You can also top the dessert with whipped cream or start with any ingredient when creating the layers.

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

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Ingredients

A bag of marshmallows

Tempered chocolate

Sosatie sticks

Sprinkles

Method - Monsters

  1. Insert a sosatie stick into the middle of one marshmallow and repeat until you have three marshmallows on each stick
  2. Dip the sticks into the tempered chocolate, making sure all the sides of the marshmallows are covered with chocolate
  3. Gently shake each stick to get rid of any excess chocolate
  4. Before the chocolate sets, decorate the marshmallow sticks with sprinkles
  5. Leave upright in a cup or container until completely set

Serving suggestions

You can replace the sprinkles with nuts or smarties.

Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate

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Ingredients

150 ml milk

150 ml cream

50g milk chocolate

100g dark chocolate

Mini marshmallows

For decoration

For the decoration:
Digestive biscuits (roughly crushed)
Melted chocolate (milk,dark or white)

Method - Decoration

  1. Dip the rim of the mugs into the melted chocolate and shake off the excess
  2. Then dip the rim into the crushed biscuits, ensuring all the chocolate is coated with the biscuits
  3. Allow to set

Method - Hot chocolate

  1. Heat up the milk and the cream
  2. Add your chocolate and stir
  3. Pour the hot mixture into two mugs, leaving space at the top for the marshmallows
  4. Place a generous handful of marshmallows on the top of the hot chocolate mixture
  5. Using a kitchen blow torch, gently toast the marshmallows
  6. Serve immediately

Moulded Chocolates

  • Print

Ingredients

Tempered chocolate of your choice

Sprinkles (nuts/fruit/sprinkles)

Chocolate moulds (silicone/plastic)

Method

  1. Using a spoon, scoop the chocolate into your mould until each cavity is full of chocolate
  2. Take a scraper and carefully scrape the top of the mould to get rid of excess chocolate
  3. Sprinkle your toppings on the chocolate while wet
  4. Refrigerate until set
  5. When set, turn the mould upside down over greaseproof paper and gently knock out the moulded chocolates

Please note

Silicone moulds are very pliable, so you can “pop” each chocolate once set, instead of knocking them out.

Chocolate Stout Float

  • Servings: 2
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Ingredients

Chocolate ice-cream

2 tbsp chocolate syrup

340ml bottle of chocolate milk stout

Whipped cream

Method

  1. Put three scoops of chocolate ice-cream into two separate glasses
  2. Add the chocolate syrup to the ice cream
  3. Tilt the glass ad slowly pour the stout into the glass
  4. Stir the float just a bit to incorporate the syrup
  5. Add whipped cream to the top of the float
  6. Enjoy!

Serving suggestions


Add a chocolate flake, chocolate sprinkles or drizzle chocolate syrup on top of the stout creation.

Chocolate Popsicle Sticks

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Ingredients

2l of cream

2 tins condensed milk

10 ml vanilla paste

Cocoa powder

Tempered chocolate

Sprinkles

Ice lolly moulds

Method

  1. Whip the cream, condense milk, vanilla and cocoa powder together
  2. Pour into the moulds
  3. Place in the freezer until set
  4. Once set, drizzle the tempered chocolate onto the lollies or dip the lollies into the chocolate
  5. Decorate with sprinkles of your choice and place on a greaseproof lined tray and allow to set in the freezer

Sweetie Pie Cupcakes

  • Print

Ingredients

Chocolate cupcakes

Tempered dark or milk chocolate

½ cup sugar

¼ cup water

2 egg whites

¼ tsp cream of tartar

Method

  1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Allow it to come to a boil and remove from the heat when there are no visible sugar crystals
  2. Add cream of tartar to the egg whites and use an electric mixer to whip until stiff
  3. Slowly add the hot mixture
  4. Into the eggs with the mixer on high speed
  5. Keep mixing until the consistency is thick, shiny and fluffy
  6. Pipe the mixture onto the chocolate cupcakes
  7. Carefully dip the cupcakes into the tempered chocolate, covering the whipped mixture
  8. Leave to set

Chocolate Dirt Pudding

  • Print

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse

Crushed Oreos/chocolate biscuits

Sour worms

1 Mason jar or clear cup

[/recipe-ingredients ]

Method

  1. Nearly fill a mason jar or large clear cup with chocolate mousse
  2. Insert the worms into the mousse, so that two thirds of each worm stick out
  3. Carefully add the crushed Oreos or chocolate biscuits to the top
  4. Enjoy!

Strawberry Dream Bear Craft Milkshake

  • Print

Ingredients

3 scoops of strawberry ice-cream

½ cup cold milk

2 tbsp strawberry syrup

2 strawberry Dream Bears

1 large glass mug

1 straw

Ingredients: Decorations (optional)

Candy floss

Melted chocolate

Sprinkles

Mini doughnuts

Whipped cream

Strawberries

Strawberry syrup

Method

  1. Blend ice-cream, milk, syrup and Dream Bears on the lowest speed in the blender
  2. If the mixture is too thick to drink through a straw, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency
  3. Pour the mixture into a large glass mug

Method - For decorating

  1. Dip the rim of the glass mug into the melted chocolate. You may add some sprinkles to the chocolate
  2. Pour in the milkshake
  3. Add the doughnut to the top of the glass and insert your straw through it
  4. Place the strawberries and whipped cream on top of the milkshake
  5. Place the candy floss on top of the whipped cream
  6. Drizzle strawberry syrup on the top

*Disclaimer: Please note that all recipes are courtesy of Beyers Chocolates. Click here for more recipes from Beyers Chocolates.

 

 

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Good tunes out at the Coffee & Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017

It's A Date

One thing I was looking forward to at the Coffee & Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017 was the live music. I’m not sure if I’m just really out of the loop (which I think is probably the case) but Cape Town’s live music scene doesn’t seem as buzzing as Joburg’s, so I was keen to see what these Cape Town peeps had to offer.

CoffeeChoc acts

The line-up included:

  • Astrafunk & the Space Cats: They’re a Cape Town-based live looping band made up of a trumpet, trombone, multi-instrumentalist soul singer/rapper, and drummer. Their music production is fantastic – the quality is superb! Take a listen. An Astrafunk and the Space Cats collab with Power of Thought and Greedy Greg would be AMAZEBALLS – hint hint, nudge nudge!
  • Stone Jets: They’re an Afro/Pop/Rock Cape Town-based band. Listening to them on SoundCloud right now and I’m sure lovin’ what they have to offer.
  • Grace de la Hunt: She’s a singer-songwriter from Cape Town and semi-finalist for SA’s Got Talent 2015.
  • Sean Hayz: He’s the lead singer from The Motherland, a popular (and my favourite) Indie/Folk/Rock band down in the City of Gold and the only act I knew.

Since I was there on the Saturday, the only act I didn’t see was the Stone Jets.
Verdict? Astrafunk & the Space Cats and Grace de la Hunt are absolutely awesome – definitely my kinda vibe. Here are some snippets of their performances. What do you think?

 

Grace de la Hunt

 

 

 

 

Astrafunk & and the Space Cats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S: Astrafunk & the Space Cats will be out at Beerhouse Cape Town for First Thursdays this November. Head on down if you can. I’m hoping to pull through too.

 

Have you heard of these guys? Do you like or do you hate them? Is there anyone else you can recommend? Let me know!

Coffee and Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017… disappointing!

It's A Date

Late, I know! Work’s been busy and no Internet access at home, but i was out at the Coffee & Chocolate Festival Cape Town this weekend and oh my, what a disappointment. Even the SA on Tap Craft Beer and Music Festival was better and you know how I hated that.

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VENUE

It was held at the Durbanville Racecourse so the venue was absolutely shit, literally (yes, I am swearing, that’s how bad it was). You really don’t want to be walking in random shit when you’re trying to make your way around. There was really no effort in presentation from the event organisers and and from the vendors. Stage looked sad. Vendor stands looks sad. Toilets… horrible. I hate those portable blue toilets. Please find out from Monte Casino where they hire their toilets from.

 

AMBIENCE, FOOD & DRINKS

Boring. Went alone because I was “in a working capacity” but even then you should enjoy yourself and feel some sort of ambience in the air but nothing! Food… nothing outstanding. There were like two craft beer stalls (if I’m mistaken, I’m sorry). But I found new live music peeps to check out so that’s a positive (will post that soonest). There was Coffee In A Cone, always a plus, and the Chocolate Demo by Beyers Chocolates wasn’t too bad either! Other than that it was terrible.  Seriously disappointing. I realise now why they record those website videos in Johannesburg.

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Chocolate Demo with Beyers Chocolates

 

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Layered Chocolate Dessert (left) and Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate (right)

 

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Lager Ale from Riot Beer

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Death By Chocolate Stout from Havoc Brew

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Chocolate Mousse (right) and Layered Chocolate Dessert (left)

 

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Chocolate Pretzel Monsters

 

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Chocolate Dippers

 

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I’ll share some stuff over the next few days, dudes.

 

RATING: 1/10.

 

Did you enjoy it? Or, did you absolutely hate it too? Let me know! xxx

It’s Coffee & Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017 this weekend: Let’s recap JHB 2016!

It's A Date

It’s the Coffee and Chocolate Festival Cape Town 2017 this weekend! Whoop-whoop!

[PICTURE COURTESY OF itickets.co.za]

Now, I’m not a big fan of chocolate and I’ve cut down quite massively on coffee but I’ve always just loved the vibe at the festival. Nothing quite like lazing in winter sun with great food, cold beer and great live music.

Unfortunately, I missed the Coffee and Chocolate Festival Johannesburg earlier this year since I was driving down to Cape Town so I’m super keen to check it out down here. But one thing that stuck out last year at the Jo’burg league of the festival last year was that the vibe wasn’t quite there. The music line-up wasn’t particularly amazing except for The Graeme Watkins Project and even though they pulled in Lady Lea, her set was quite a let down so I’m not sure what to expect this year.

It’s bound to be the usual in Cape Town though: some coffee over here, chocolate over there, a workshop here and a pairing there. I’m not too familiar with the music line-up except for Sean Hayz (yes, from The Motherland, my all-time fave Jo’burg band so super excited for him).

Anyway… didn’t take many pics last year but here are some short snippets of performances by The Motherland, The Graeme Watkins Project and Lady Lea!

 

The Motherland

The Graeme Watkins Project

 

Lady Lea

 

See you this weekend 😉 !

It’s Pure & Crafted SA Festival 2017 this weekend – Let’s revisit 2016!

It's A Date

It’s Pure & Crafted SA Festival 2017 this weekend. Let’s revisit 2016…

[PICTURE COURTESY OF zabikers.co.za]

Pure & Crafted SA Festival 2016 was two-day music, motorcycle and new heritage festival held at the Ground venue in Muldersdrift on 26 and 27 November 2016 and is inspired by the German Pure & Crafted festival.

I was lucky enough to win two weekend pass tickets (YAY!) so I was super excited. However, from what I saw, it was expected to be a motorcycle festival so I wasn’t too sure on what to expect and went into it a bit sceptical; but, boy, did it surprise me!

 

VENUE
The event was held at Ground venue in Muldersdrift – a bit far out but I absolutely love just getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city so that was a plus for me. Although mostly full when we got there, there was still ample parking as well as security on-site. The checking in process was quick, easy and well-controlled (at least when we got there). Only downer when walking in was the hay and sand at the entrance, especially after it rained on day 1.

The event organisers made good use of all the plot space. Although the different sections were quite spread out, whatever was happening at one section didn’t interfere with what was happening at another- total thumbs up!
The toilet facilities were terrible. They were the usual portable toilets, which I HATE! They just feel so unhygienic and I just feel so dirty after using it. Guess I’m probably just use to the toilets used for the outdoor Monte Casino events.

FOOD & DRINKS
Great selection of food but limited selection of drinks. Can’t remember who the beer sponsor was but I recall I wasn’t too happy with it but drank it anyway.

Milk tart churros from Paquitos Treatery

Gajoun chicken strips and salad from Sumthing Fresh

ENTERTAINMENT, VENDORS & AMBIENCE
There were three music stages: Main Stage (big acts), Forest Stage (club vibes) and the Munich Beer Stage (covers and old people). We popped in at all three and there was something for everyone. Although there were big acts including Prime Circle and The Parlotones, we didn’t really enjoy the main stage entertainment much. I enjoyed the Bad Peter performance at the Main Stage on day 1 and the Forest Stage was such fun come night-time – what a party. On day 2, Mi Casa took the cake!

There wasn’t much to see at the exhibitor tents. The BMW Vintage Museum, though small, was super cool. Motorcycles were absolute beauties. The stunt section was a let-down – nothing amazing. If you did want to learn how to ride, there was that too.

What I liked about the vibe at this festival was that it was quite chilled. It wasn’t too packed or rowdy.

BMW Vintage Museum

WHAT TO EXPECT THIS YEAR
This year they’ve cut it down to a one-day festival – understandable since day 2 was quieter than day 1. There are two international acts and 18 South African acts (about the same as last year if I’m not mistaken). They have, however, cut down on the number of stages, opting for only two stages: The Four Cylinder stage and the Vintage stage. Most of the line-up is made up of house, dance and electronic acts – also understandable since the Forest Stage was the more popular stage last year.

Windhoek is the beer partner for the 2017 festival. I, personally, don’t like Windhoek so the beer sponsor is a let down again. Progues Whiskey is the whiskey sponsor. I can’t really comment here because I don’t do whiskey.

I haven’t seen anything else that sticks out. However, if last year’s festival is anything to go by I’d say tomorrow is bound to be a super awesome day. Even if the entertainment isn’t up to scratch or bikes are just not your thing, it’s an awesome day out in the sun and out of the city.

Be sure to check it out tomorrow (30 September), 11am – 2am at Ground venue in Muldersdrift. Pre-sold tickets are R250 and tickets at the door are R300 (both excluding ticket fees and credit card commission)

 

TIPS:

  • Wear boots
  • Take a picnic blanket
  • Take an umbrella (for rain or shine)
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Be prepared to walk
  • Drinkers, get a taxi
  • If you’re planning on staying late, arrange to sleep over at accommodation in the area

Enjoy, lovelies! xxx

Hanging With Leanne… is feeling annoyed at the SA on Tap Craft Beer, Food and Music Festival

It's A Date, Meet Me At The Bar

I can’t even begin to describe how I’d been looking forward to this event for the past few months, liking each and every post on social media like a complete idiot and, sadly, I was annoyed from the moment I stepped in.

sa on tap

[PICTURE COURTESY OF SA on Tap]

THE EVENT
It’s suppose to be the biggest craft beer spectapular 😒

PRICE
Tickets were R130 online and R150 at the door (if I remember correctly). If you bought your tickets online you got a free beer and obviously a discount, which I thought was awesome! That free beer? You had to go get it at a bar about 5 kms away. Does that honestly make any sense? So that annoyed me from the get-go! Getting upset just thinking about it. Always a thumbs up though for the discount for buying online.

You had to buy tickets according to sessions, which I didn’t like. You don’t want to rush to the event, you don’t want to be limited to the time you are spending at the event and you don’t want to be kicked out of the event.

FOOD & DRINKS
I didn’t really eat because I had already been put off. They did have grilled sandwiches and pizza slices, which looked lovely, and also had those knock-off churro peeps. There was definitely a wide variety of beers available. Wanted to get through all but didn’t because of the time limit – no shocker there! 😒

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Growler Brewing Company Lager and RedAle

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Riot Real Beer Lager Ale

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Drifter Blonde

SETUP & EXPERIENCE
When I heard it’s being held at the Bell Towers section of Monte, I already had my doubts about the setup – and it was horrible. You can’t use that area for a craft beer event. The food section and the beer & music section was completely separate. There was not a lot of seating area available at the beer and music section because they used a tiny patch of grass. There also wasn’t a lot of cover available. We sat in the sun throughout the entire session. I didn’t enjoy this event at all.

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RATING
1/10. This event was horrible. I mentioned it on Facebook and the Facebook Community Manager was an absolute dick, which completely put me off of ever attending the event again! I complained about their behaviour via the SA on Tap website and I’d like to give a huge thank you to Gavin for his wonderful customer care approach. Hoping to give this event a better review next year!

What was your experience at the SA on Tap Craft Beer, Food and Music Festival? Let me know!

Never Thirsty at the Sandton Craft Beer Fair

It's A Date, Meet Me At The Bar

I’ve seen this event pop up on my Facebook page over the past few years but I’ve always been too broke to go. Not this year! Even if I was broke I was going to go!

THE EVENT
Sandton Craft Beer Festival is a craft beer and food festival held in Sandton. 2017 was the 5th instalment of the event.

PRICE
It was R200 pp.  I thought it was a bit pricey at first but I think the price was absolutely worth it! Great entertainment, great intimate setup, great venue! I was happy!

FOOD & DRINKS
We ate before we got there – yes, we’re cheap like that – so I didn’t really take note of the food that was available. We did, however, buy churros (MY FAVE!) from some knock off of Paquito’s Treatery. Their churros were decent but they WERE NOT Paquito’s Treatery. I mean who can compare to their milk tart churros (please post me some if you guys see this 😛 ?) The craft beer selection was awesome! Definitely something for every kind of craft beer lover – my personal favourite is the Cream Ale from 3 Fransen Street. And, thumbs up for the branded cups!

SETUP & EXPERIENCE
Everything was awesome! The event was held at The Sands in Sandton and I really enjoyed the intimate setup. When you entered, you had all the food, craft beer stalls and some seating and once you went up to the upper deck (not sure if that’s what you referred to it as) you had a wonderful couch seating area close to the pool and music area (it was my first time at The Sands so excuse me if this is the usual setup). It would, however, have been quite packed if you arrived late.

The entertainment was amazing! They included Jerry and the Bandits (love them!), We Are Charlie, Tidal Waves, Desmond and the Tutus and the act that really took me by surprise was Power of Thought and Greedy Greg (Power of Thought’s hands are SOOOOO soft, ladies!). By far some of the best acts I have seen.

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Jerry & the Bandits

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Greedy Gregg & Power of Thought

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We Are Charlie

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Tidal Waves

RATING
10/10. Loved, loved loved!

What were your thoughts on the the Sandton Craft Beer Fair?

Getting Down and Dirty at Sexpo 2017

It's A Date
sexpo image

PICTURE COURTESY OF Sexpo 2017

Ah, Sexpo. Over the years I’ve met many people who have attended Sexpo and told me: “You’ve just got to go! It’s so fun!” So, this got me all excited thinking it was a really awesomely nasty and naughty event. Naughty? Maybe if you’re not familiar with the stuff on display. Nasty? Yes but definitely not in a sexy way.

THE EVENT
Sexpo is an annual sexual lifestyle.

PRICE
General access tickets were R150 and VIP tickets were R299.

Although I was determined to go this year, I grew increasingly less excited the closer it got to buying tickets. I honestly believed that the setup would be a dull expo setup that leaves you with absolutely nothing to do once you have checked out each stall and I didn’t think that experience was worth the price even if general access was only was R150. I was right!

We went on the Wednesday and received a R50 discount and I honestly don’t think this event is even worth R100, let alone R150 or even R300 for VIP access.

FOOD & DRINKS
I didn’t really eat at the event so I can’t really comment on the food and they also didn’t have the best selection of beers and ciders. If I remember correctly it was slightly overpriced.

SETUP & EXPERIENCE
The stalls were a complete let down. Nothing amazing or out of the ordinary, unless you are not familiar with what’s out there. The main stage? Oh, what a failure! We managed to catch some strippers from Teazers on stage. That show was horrible. There was, however, a decent dance act called ‘Hot In The City’. They were decent – not incredible or amazing or spectacular but decent.

The emcee kept giving out lube for some reason – I’m sure there were better “prizes” that could’ve been handed out. Who really wants lube? They did eventually hand out tickets for the Thunder From Down Under show. Now that was a treat! I’m not really one for male strippers but their show was the only amazingly entertaining show we saw so I’ll give a big ups where it’s due! I didn’t get a lap dance, unfortunately. This is definitely one to see for a fun, naughty night out with the girls.

The lounges were on a floor separate from the expo setup. It was about R50 to get in. By this time we were already disappointed so we weren’t prepared to pay even more for this let down. Sadly, we paid to go into Teazers. What a mistake! We saw two 5-minute strip shows – yes, that’s how long a girl stayed on stage then you had to wait another hour until another one pitched up on stage. It was horrible. It was traumatising. The strip industry in South Africa is appalling.

RATING
1/10. Will definitely not be going again!

Oyster, Food and Wine Festival 2016 – Monte Casino

It's A Date, Let's Eat!, Meet Me At The Bar

Here’s a bit of a late one!

I have been crazy busy on my side and haven’t had much time (or data) to upload recent event pictures.

Here’s some pictures from this year’s Oyster, Food and Wine Festival 2016 that took place at Monte Casino.

We attended on the Friday which meant ample seating space. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much entertainment. Oysters and wine were great, although, there were many complaints of food poisoning from those who attended on the Saturday and Sunday. That was sad to hear because the oysters we had on the Friday were so fresh and yummy.

The prawns and rice was tasty too but I have to say that garlic butter prawns would’ve been so much better.

The cheese we had from Lorian’s Cheeses was fresh and tasty as usual. You can never go wrong with them!

We bought a bottle of champagne as well. I, unfortunately, can’t comment on whether it was good or not because I’m not really one for champagne.

Yes, it is months later (apologies!!!) but how did you find this year’s Oyster, Food and Wine Festival?

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Leanne

xxx

Happy Chinese New Year 2016: Celebrating the Year of the Monkey

It's A Date

A few weeks ago we headed over to First Chinatown in Commissioner Street, Johannesburg CBD to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year celebrations, organized by the Chinese Association Gauteng, takes place annually in the two Chinatown’s in the Joburg CBD, Commissioner Street (old Chinatown) and Cyrildene (new Chinatown).

In Chinese culture, New Year celebrations usually run from the evening before the first day until the Lantern Festival, on the 15th day of the first calendar month. The first day of the New Year falls on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February.

First Chinatown didn’t disappoint as they welcomed their new year with colourful and vibrant performances which included Chinese drumming, dancing and singing, tai chi and kung fu displays, lion and dragon performances and an amazing fireworks display.

 

The highlights of the evening for me were definitely the dragon and lion dances as well as the fireworks display which lit up the Joburg CBD skies beautifully.

The dragon and lion dances are a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture and is usually performed at festive celebrations like the New Year. During the dragon dance the team of performers carry a dragon structure, with a recommended size of 34 meters and is divided into 9 major sections, on poles and mimic the movements of this mystical creature. In Chinese culture, the dragon is thought to possess attributes of great power, wisdom, fertility and dignity, amongst others.

 

The lion dance, on the other hand, is performed by two people inside a lion figure who perform movements that mimic Chinese martial arts. During New Year celebrations and other festivals, the lion visits stores within the Chinese community to perform the custom called “cai qing” (採青) translated to “plucking the greens”, where the lion picks vegetables strung up outside the store by a pole or layed out on a table as well as the red envelope attached to it which contains money and maybe fruits. During this performance, the lion dances and approaches the greens and envelope, eating the greens and spitting out its contents and keeping the red envelope as a reward. In Chinese culture, it is believed that the lion dance brings good luck and good fortune to the business. In this particular performance we witnessed, the lion also lit fireworks in front of each store after performing the cai qing custom. The longer the fireworks went off, the more prosperous the coming year would be for the respective business.

On the Chinese calendar, 2016 is the year of the monkey, which begins on 8 February 2016 – 27 January 2017. The monkey is the 9th animal in the 12 animal Chinese zodiac, with a monkey year occurring every 12 years. 2016 is the year of the fire monkey, whose character is ambitious and adventurous, but irritable.

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!

Leanne

xxx