Tag Archives: Charmonix

The Surprise Continues

Saturday 8 October 2022

After a comfortable night in our luxurious suite, we were woken by Simon who has become an amazingly competent barista. The kitchen has an awesome coffee maker and the Illy beans are provided. Lauren and Allan joined us for our morning beverage and the cat came to visit too.

We all had the use of these luxurious robes
Kitty snuggled in contentedly

Breakfast was served at the bistro and we managed to get everyone there on time. Our hostess, Cathy along with the two chefs, John and Victor were super friendly and accommodating. Before we put in our egg order we were treated to fresh fruit salad with Greek or vanilla yogurt. We all had variations on scrambled eggs and the table was laden with croissants and pastries. Everybody raved about the fresh-pressed fruit juice too.

After breakfast, Simon and Allan went to fetch Shannon from Stellenbosch while Grandpa, Lauren, Josh, Lisa and I visited the Babylonstoren Gardens. Laurie and Jay decided to chill at the lodge.

It was a very warm day and as it is still school holidays there were lots of visitors around. My kids are all animal mad so when they saw the donkeys they headed straight over to pet them.

Fortunately, most of the paths were shady and all the routes were beautiful. It was amazing to see so many different varieties of clivia. The clivia walk was by far the best.

A Cape Canary cooling off in the stream
Still a little boy at heart – Josh had to climb a tree
Resting in the shade
A wonderful experience
Babylonstoren now ticked off Lauren’s Bucket List
The Cape White-eye enjoying the garden too

Allan really had every minute of my day organised. His attention to detail was amazing. After the garden visit, we went to La Bri for wine and chocolate tasting.

Entering La Bri
Our awesome sommelier – Julian

My wine of choice is sauvignon blanc so I left my comfort zone and instead choose to taste red. The menu had an interesting selection of red wines with chocolate pairings. And it was awesome. Our amazing sommelier knew her stuff and it was just such a wonderful experience to hear what she had to say and to enjoy the combination of tastes.

We also ordered a cheese and biltong platter for the table which was meant for two but was plenty for the five of us.

Lollz also chose the wine/chocolate pairing

On our way back to the lodge Shan, Si and I hopped off to explore the market. The rest of the family joined us half an hour later and we all went to the Huguenot Chocolate Shop.

Franschoek is famous for its market
At the Chocolate Shop – It was beyond awesome (Yes we bought lots)
But love is good too
This is so true

Franschoek is where the refugee Huguenots settled in the Seventeenth Century. Jay and Joshua’s dad told them that there are Huguenots in their ancestry so we had to take a photo.

Jay and Josh posing in front of the Huguenot Monument

The fun was not over yet. We all set off to Chamonix for dinner at their restaurant Arkeste.

The Restaurant overlooks the forest
View from our table

This was really the cherry on top of my surprise. The service at this restaurant is amazing and the chef came to chat to us too.

You can see how blown away I am
The starter – a selection of sushi delights

The chef explained all the specials to us and Allan and Earl chose the lamb which measured up to their high expectations.

My main was Duck – What a treat!
Allan and sister-in-law Lisa
Allan and sister-in-law Laurie

The chef pre-warned me not to order dessert as he had something special for me.

I got all four desserts in mini-portions! They were all delicious but the milk tart ice cream was the best.
Lisa really loves her dessert
Taste mine, Mom.

It was just the most awesome evening with excellent wine, wonderful food and all my favourite people around me. Who could ask for a better birthday celebration?

The Moon shone upon us too

Sunday 9 October 2022

Finally, the weekend was over. Once again we were treated to a wonderful breakfast before we left. Today’s breakfast was poached eggs on a mushroom with smoked ham and a hollandaise sauce drizzled on top. It was to die for.

Happy Family enjoying breakfast
All ten of us – Lisa, Lauren, Simon, Josh, Shannon, Allan, Laurie, Me, Earl, Jay

I feel so privileged that my son-in-law orchestrated this whole weekend for me. I enjoyed every second of it and I am blown away by the excellent organization and especially the love that went into it all. Thank you to all my family but most especially to Allan. I love you all so much.