We used to visit the kid friendly Mondeor Restaurant at the Cape Garden Centre in Somerset West (close to Monkey Town) quite a bit in the past. Unfortunately though, the restaurant changed ownership and honestly – the change did not go all that smoothly and resulted in a restaurant that is a lot different in tone from what it used to be.
Nevertheless, politics and people aside, the venue itself remains a great one for those of us with small kids, and so if you are looking for a bright and breezy spot complete with entertainment for small children, then Mondeor still nicely fits the bill.
As always, if you are going to visit and the weather is good, make sure to pack in your kids’ swimming costumes – they might not forgive you otherwise!
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”52570,52571,52572,52573,52574,52575,52576,52577,52578,52579,52580,52581,52582,52583,52584,52585,52586,52587,52588,52589,52590,52591,52592,52593,52594,52595,52596,52597,52598,52599,52600,52601,52602,52603,52604″]
Oh, and yes, as is tradition, the girls did their sand art.
In an effort to get out of the house on a Sunday afternoon, but facing the challenge of not actually feeling like driving anywhere, Chantelle and I opted to take the kids for lunch and some play time at Mondeor Garden Restaurant, a perennial favourite of ours out in Somerset West.
Although it is too cold for the girls to make use of the fun splash pool on the premises, there is more than enough space for them to run around and make a noise, while enjoying the multitude of jungle gyms, swings and trampolines scattered around the outside lawn.
The weather on the day was great, meaning that instead of sitting under the porch area like we usually do, we opted to enjoy some of the winter sunshine by grabbing one of the outside benches.
The girls made and tucked into their own pizza creation, while I went for the delicious Fat Bastard Burger – always a winner!
Naturally, as she does every time we go there, Jessica begged us to be allowed to do some sand art, which we eventually gave in to and then essentially lost her for the rest of the afternoon to that particular craft station.
Not that it was a bad thing mind you! ;)
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”39529,39530,39531,39532,39534,39535,39536,39537,39538,39539,39540,39542,39543,39544,39545,39546,39548,39549,39550,39551,39552″]
Related Link: Mondeor Garden Restaurant
Of all the things to catch, I was stuck at home in quarantine with German Measles for a week. My period of quarantine ended the day before Thursday’s Youth Day public holiday, so I promptly escaped my cabin by taking the kids out for supper at the Sunset Bay Spur here in Gordon’s Bay. (Which naturally they rather enjoyed.)
The next day was of course the public holiday, and so after making pancakes for the girls and myself for breakfast, doing a bit of gardening and DIY, and chilling for a teeny tiny bit, I took the girls out with me for a walk around Paardevlei in Somerset West. (Which they kind of enjoyed, but less so than the previous evening’s trip to the Spur!)
Anyway, by the end of our stroll Chantelle’s shift at work had finished, so we rung her up and organised a coffee date at Mondeor Garden Restaurant – always a hit with the girls thanks to their great outdoor play area.
Despite the chilly weather, the girls ran around and entertained themselves, leaving Chantelle and myself to enjoy some nice coffee and every now and then, steal a sip from the girls’ milkshakes.
Oh, and because we were in no rush to get back home, we then strolled around for a bit in the adjacent Cape Garden Center, marveling at all the pretty flowers and wishing that they would somehow just transplant themselves straight into our garden without any intervention from us at all!
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”38616,38617,38618,38619,38620,38621,38622,38623,38624,38625,38626,38627,38628,38629,38630,38631,38632,38633,38634,38635,38636,38641,38637,38638,38639,38640,38642″]
Oh, and an embedded map, because I think that this might become a sort of regular thing for the blog…
For some or other reason, Chantelle decided to challenge herself by having not one, but two birthday parties for Jessica (turning five) this year.
The first one would be for all the local Gordon’s Bay friends (i.e. from Vergeet-My-Nie playschool and our Country Mews complex), and the second one for our family and other friends out in Bellville.
To be fair, Chantelle didn’t want to do setup twice, so the first birthday party was organised to be held at Mondeor Garden Restaurant, the same place we had Jessica’s fourth birthday party last year.
Jessica had decided on a Frozen themed party in the end (originally she was leaning towards a super hero Barbie party, but changed her mind at the last moment, much to Chantelle’s relief), and as such dictated that no boys were allowed at her princess party, the girls had to all wear dresses and have plaits in their hair (not that she wore one on the day mind you!), and of course, that she needed a Elsa cake for her birthday.
Mondeor is actually very nice for hosting kiddie birthday parties, as they do a pretty cool little setup for the kids, have a great outdoor play area for the little guys to run riot (sucks if it’s raining though – which is actually what happened a few weekends before on Lisa’s – one of Jessica’s friends – birthday party), and have more than enough space, seating and menu options to keep the adults pretty happy for the duration of the chaos too.
In the end I think that we had about 10 or 12 little girls having a thoroughly fun time on a Friday afternoon which brought pretty okay weather along with it, whilst all us big people happily chilled at a long table with wine and pizza pretty much flowing all session long.
So, Jess loved her cake, had a great time with her friends, and also got loads of cool gifts from everyone – sounds like a successful fifth birthday party to me! :)
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”35345,35346,35347,35348,35349,35350,35351,35352,35353,35354,35355,35356,35357,35358″]
Related Link: Mondeor Garden Restaurant
Oops. Found this folder of photos I completely forgot to post to the blog last year November, taken on one of our outings post Jess’ birthday party to Mondeor Garden Restaurant.
How do I know it was post-birthday? Well mainly because Jessica was totally rocking out in her brand new (and thoroughly awesome) Rainbow Dash swimming costume! :)
Oh, and we spotted our first Father Christmas statue in November as well (at Willowbridge Mall).
Can’t say I quite remember as to why we were both at Willowbridge in Durbanville and then Mondeor in Somerset West on the same day though!
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”35198,35199,35200,35201,35202,35203,35204,35205,35206″]
At the beginning of the month, whilst Chantelle was working her weekend shift, Jessica, Emily and I nipped out to surprise her by buying some flowers from the Paardevlei Farmers Market.
The market was a lot, lot quieter than last time, so it was a more relaxed visit for the girls and me, with us picking up a fun toddler story book for Emily and some pancakes for Jessica.
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”34647,34648,34649,34650,34651,34652″]
Speaking of the Paardevlei Farmers Market, I actually received a mail from the organiser Elsje Schoeman regarding my post about our visit to her market on opening day, and whilst annoyed at some of my commentary, she was quite upbeat about the fact that they had secured an official Parkrun association for next year and that they were in the process of looking for a better premises to run the market out of (one of my gripes had been the unsuitable building that the market currently operates out of).
However, things appear to have gone downhill since then – on October 23 Paardevlei Farmers Market released the following to their Facebook page:
“PAARDEVLEI FARMERS MARKET STATUS: Due to the non-compliance of Trigger Fish for illegally selling beer without an on consumption licence, we have decided to retract from operating our market on their premises. We have been victimised, our marketing signs for directions have been removed with intent, we as the market owners were dictated to what and how we can sell. We were promised a building size of 300 square metres and ended up trading mostly outside the Trigger Fish Building. Due to the ongoing bullying by the owner and the enforcement of signing a very one sided contract [which will be also published], we will endeavour to continue with our market in another building. For now, the market will be closed until further notice. Extensive alterations to this heritage building has been done prior to the opening of the market without any approval from the City of Cape Town.”
And given the “strong” character of Elsje (who we had worked under a few times during her involvement in managing the Slow Food Markets – Stellenbosch and Willowbridge), it was no surprise to see this even more angry post come in two days later:
“Luckily social media is a platform to open discussion, and yes, the market is very prepared to face the music for any negative feedback, the sequence of events: 1. we applied for an event at The Foundry Building and was granted a permit; 2. we were bulldozed to trade at Trigger Fish with a contract that was limiting us to grow organically and dictated by someone who wanted to open a market on his premises 2 years ago; 3. on the launch date of the market, Saturday 29 August, someone reported the non compliance of Trigger Fish to the police, a huge reputational risk for us 4. the market was not allowed to sell any coffee, wine or mcc to pair with food dictated again by the current tenant, 5. we sourced our own vegetables and we take the risk at the end of the day, 6. the original 300 square building was promised to us, we could only use less than a 1/3, 7. the times of the market was dictated to by the owner of Trigger Fish, it changed 3 times, 8. we were bullied many times, threatened that they can close the market anytime, 9. they tried to find a reason to work us out when they realised we are sourcing a new building 10. our signs were damaged and removed, the security went into our store room without our consent, 11. R5000 fines were introduced if we exceed our market times, but we were the only ones bringing feet to Trigger Fish 12. this is our story and we do not have anything to hide and carry a very transparent authentic business ethic. Bullied, victimised and discredited is an understatement in the manner in which we were allowed to trade.”
Pity. So for now Paardevlei Farmers Market remains closed, which is sad because I rather enjoyed the closeness of the location. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing what they have up their sleeve when they make their big return!
Seeing as Chantelle was feeling a little left out on the day though, I organised for the girls and I to meet her for a milkshake at Mondeor Garden Restaurant during her split, which of course was a hit with the girls.
Milkshake, jungle gyms and sand art – what more could a girl possibly ask for? ;)
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”34653,34654,34655,34656,34657,34658″]
Back in April this year we enjoyed a nice long weekend thanks to Freedom Day falling on a Monday, and looking back at the photos, it looks like we might just have filled up the weekend with visits to perennial weekend favourites of ours – namely Root 44 market, Mondeor Garden Restaurant, and of course, ponies and pancakes at the Blaauwklippen Family Market.
Seems like a decent way to spend a family-orientated weekend to me! :)
And Monday the public holiday? Well that saw us drive through to Grabouw of all places.
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”35025,35026,35027,35028,35029,35030,35031,35032,35033,35034″]
Related Link: Freedom Day
Two weekends ago we were out and about on the Saturday furniture shopping (Chantelle was working, so it was during her split), a completely pointless task if you have a toddler and a four year old tagging along, because invariably they quickly get bored and you end up being more busy getting them to stop touching things than actually looking at the furniture and making a decision!
Needless to say, we didn’t buy any furniture. (Though I do think that I may have spotted the lounge table I’m quite interested in buying. Plus, I continue to shudder at the thought of just how much money Poco must be losing in that horribly located new megastore of theirs… yeah, not so sure about that one.)
Anyway, in the end, we settled for a nice coffee break and play time with the kids at Mondeor Restaurant instead:
We don’t get to see my Mom and Dad that often, so it was quite a nice surprise to get a phone call from them asking if they could pop in for a visit on Sunday. Instead, I suggested that they join us earlier for a nice Sunday afternoon braai, which pleasingly they accepted.
Needless to say, Jessica was particularly thrilled to have Grandpa and Granny around for the day in her own backyard! :)
And although we kind of forgot to take some nice pictures on a Sunday well spent, I thought it worth including these couple that I got when we popped in at Mom’s house a week or so earlier when we were in the area (Dad and Ryan were out playing golf):
So yeah, always nice when the family drop by here in our little corner of the woods! :)
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”33427,33428,33429,33430,33431,33432,33433,33434,33435,33436,33437,33438,33439″]
There’s been an argument brewing here in the Country Mews Lotter Stronghold for a while now – is it faster to get onto the N2 proper by going right into Dennhof, onto Sir Lowry’s road and then on to the N2, or is it quickest if you go left into Dennehof, travel along the newly completed road that takes you into Broadlands, and then up onto the N2?
I’ve steadfastly sided with the former from the beginning, as I am convinced that the faster speed limit cancels out the slight distance advantage of the latter, and besides, I’m pretty sure that my route has less stopping points than the new one.
Chantelle on the other hand insists that the new route is quicker, and with neither one of us wanting to budge from our position, there was only going to be one way to properly prove which route is fastest – a race!
As luck would have it, there is actually a very easy and accurate way for us to determine the victor in this challenge, because both routes meet up at one defined point on the N2 – at the robots leading on to our perennial favourite, Mondeor Restaurant (and Monkey Town of course).
The rules were set out – there was to be strict adherence to the speed limit and other rules of the road. Full stops at all stop streets and robots was required. No cheating whatsoever, and with a gentleman’s handshake shook, we fired up the stopwatches on our phones (both Huawei Ascend P6s, so no discrepancy there), and set out to the starting point – the stop sign leading into Dennehof itself!
With a timid roar (remember, speed limit), Chantelle sped off left and I sped off right, me confident in easily winning this particular challenge.
In fact, in almost no time at all, I was on the N2 and racing towards the Mondeor robots, pleased as punch at the thought of my imminent victory, when suddenly my stomach turned and my heart sank… at the sight of Chantelle happily waving to me as she drove past in her Hyundai Accent, already on the return leg of the journey.
Disgusted, I reached the robot, stopped the stopwatch at around seven minutes twenty, and did a u-turn in my Getz to head off and join her at the Garden Kitchen over at Mountain Streams Nursery, our designated debriefing spot.
Needless to say, when I finally arrived at the destination, I sat down to a gloating, smirking face, as Chantelle proceeded to question my time over her steaming cup of coffee. I mumbled my number and showed her the clock – to which she gleefully laughed out loud and turned over hers – her route had beaten mine by almost a minute and a half!
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is complete and utterly soul crushing. I was wrong.
Sigh. I hate being wrong.
Well done Chantelle, it looks like you remain the champ at picking out routes… for now!
(I’m hoping for a rematch where we drive at more realistic, real world speeds. That said, I’m not sure that even that will save my bacon – I’m pretty sure that she’s got me by the short and curlies this time!)