Lucky at Lola’s

I’ve known the brain behind Lola’s Bistro since she was a little sister to a rather fabulous friend of mine (spoiler: fabulous runs in their family). So it was with great glee that I, along with a selected crowd of Durban’s best blogger crew popped in for a tasting dinner menu at Lola’s this week.

Here’s the thing you don’t know about Lola’s: It’s been a lifelong dream for Lisa to own her own coffee shop. After travelling abroad and saving up, she came home and opened up Lola’s coffee shop. After an interesting turn of events, that saw Lola’s being highly successful and then shut down by the landlord, Lisa didn’t take this as a sign to kill her dream. Instead, she grew it, and snapped up an opportunity to open a full-scale restaurant at Quarters Hotel in Florida Road.

Lola's Bistro Bar

It was good catching up with her, and my fellow fun friends but, once the food came out, it was really quiet. Why? Because when you have great (not just good, GREAT) food set before you, it’s impolite to chew and chat simultaneously. Giving us a glimpse into the menu, and the thought processes that go into creating it, I’m very certain that this new eatery is in darn good hands.

Lola's Bistro Interesting spaces


The highlights, for me:

*Gin and Tonic on tap from Standeaven Brewery.

*Wasabi Mash Balls – I’m told she dreamt about this creation and now you can enjoy them at Lola’s

*Espresso Brulee – way to ruin every other brulee I’ve ever had.

*Chocolate Lava Cake – the most melty-on-the-inside-magnificent-on-the-outside one I’ve ever had.

*Watching up close as I see my friend succeed at making her dream come true, despite a range of obstacles. She’s not deterred by them – she’s inspired by them.


The lowlights, for me:

*That I woke up the next morning and didn’t have a healthy stack of Wasabi Mash Balls to feast on.

*Dinner at home the next night was terribly boring.


Lola’s sets out to create a fine dining menu that’s affordable, while guests enjoy an amiable setting that’s not frantic, but friendly. Catch up with Lola’s online here and here but, do yourself a favour and go eat there (also, invite me along, please). 


Disclaimer: I was invited to enjoy a tasting menu at Lola’s along with a select group of Durban bloggers during November 2015. This is not a paid-for review. 


Hello at Hello Square.

The lovely Karla of Hello Square mailed me the other day, with a fun opportunity. So, because I am rather fond of those, I jumped!

The opportunity? Spend the day in their rad space, hang out, eat and abuse their WiFi. So, here I am, doing just that. I arrived this morning after an *interesting* altercation with someone and walked in, flopped down and have been sitting here enjoying this space since.

So, what am I talking about? I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

View from the roof at 39 Station Drive.
Durban…looking pretty today!
Hello, indeed 🙂
And Hi 🙂


And yes, I baked.

Hello Square is a Durban-proud web design and development agency, who I’ve taken an interest in for a while now (Yes, Wayne, I do mean it when I say I have read about you! Haha). They moved to their current offices earlier this year and have made it very much a homely, airy space. As part of the Station Drive Precinct, Hello Square joins a bunch of Durban’s best and brightest creative talents, in an effort to imbue a sense of renewal into this area. I love the energy and ambience of this creative district, because it’s honest, gritty and pretty, all at the same time. Sitting here, with the gentle buzz of traffic and the sweet sounds of Oui in my ears, it’s a damn nice day to be  a Durbanite.

Thanks for having me, Hello Square!


Sometimes I also speak.

One of my personal goals for 2014 was: “Get over yourself and public speaking”.

And, if I know anything about myself, it’s that the only way out is through. So, I’ll be doing 2 public speaking gigs during June. I am extremely honoured that the organisers of each event invited me to speak. That kind of opportunity does not come by my desk every day, and I’m stoked to be sharing the stage at each event with some very big brains I hold in high regard.

Screen Shot 2014-06-04 at 10.10.29 AM

Coming up first, is the Durban, Mobile, Digital and Social Media Workshop. The lovely, superstar folks of Always Active Mobile (a division of AAT) are hosting a workshop specifically designed for brand and marketing managers.
The workshop brings together industry leaders that will cover the mobile and digital marketing landscape in South Africa, including the latest AMPS stats  provided by the Mobile Marketing Association; digital content marketing; digital best practices & communities and digital innovation in Africa. Speakers for the day include myself, Alan Haarhoff of AAT; Barry Tuck of Paton Tupper Digital and Jonathan Darker. I can’t wait to hear their insights on our online world! You can catch more details on this event here. Registration is essential so you can book your space here. At time of writing, there were just 35 spaces left!


And then, coming up on the 28th of June, SABloggers are hosting their very first #WBFLLearn Workshop in Durban. Tickets are selling pretty quickly for this one so, check if you can still grab one here. The brains behind SABloggers, Sandy Nene is whirlwind of passion and wit, and has put together quite an exciting programme for those of us who share our lives online. Again, I’ll be sharing the stage with a number of fantastic speakers and cannot wait to hear their stories!

And, for five lucky people who book their space for the #WBFLLearn workshop super-quick, they’ll get a discount on their tickets, if they use the following code: CathJenkin. So book your tickets here and remember, that code is only valid for the first 5 people who use it!




I’m incredibly excited and honoured to be a part of both these events coming up, in Durban in June. If you can make it to either of them, don’t forget to book your space! See you there 🙂


Dear Durban, it’s time I told you.

I’ve written this after a conversation with a friend, and after experiencing the most divine day in my home town with another friend. I love these people like they live in my house every day. I just wanted to say that out loud. Or, at least, write it.


I have tough feet. By tough, I mean, I am not a soft-heeled, immaculately pedicured footsies type of gal. I have rough, strong and tough feet that don’t like wearing shoes. In fact, I think the first time my folks were able to get me to wear a pair of shoes as a kid for longer than an hour, was the day I started school. I love my feet though, because they’re mine, and all the stories of adventures I’ve taken are wrapped up in those toes.

Growing up, I played under a sky of sunshine and rested in the shade of trees. I lived outdoors, and had a propensity towards – almost always – ending up in my undies as I frolicked in the garden.

An Afrikaans teacher I once had told us that the closer a child is allowed to get to the earth when they’re growing up, the happier an adult they will be. That’s why, even though we live a very “modern suburbia” type of lifestyle, my kid still gets out there and dirty, sweaty and rolling in the grass. That sweet aroma of playing around with friends outside, is – for me – the meaning of childhood.

But, I will admit…I have sucked at making this happen a lot recently. We’ve become a little secluded and I found that we were missing a little sunshine. Yes, sunshine in Winter.






You see, my hometown, good old Durban, has the BEST sunshine in Winter. This is when it’s not so humid you can’t see in front of you, and it’s not so hot that the only thing you can do is chew ice and moan about it. Winter in Durban is the very best time to be here. May, specifically. I mean, right now.

Our weekends together as a family always seem too short, and are often set upon by other life demands, be they work, events or otherwise. But, as we head into a very busy part of our family calendar, we decided to take one day, just for us, and devote it to the sunshine.

We headed down to the beachfront. People who haven’t visited Durban’s beachfront in a long time, will raise their eyebrow at that. The promenade used to be a little worse for wear, and the area grew a little reputation for being a bit on the kak side. But, it’s undergone an incredible revamp over the past few years and, now, I truly believe our Golden Mile is back.

We enjoyed a gigantic breakfast at Circus Circus Beach Cafe, before heading into Mini Town. The last time I visited Mini Town, I was six. I worried, as I paid for our tickets and entered, that it’d be a little rough around the edges. It wasn’t. Mini Town is gorgeous, and a magnificent outing for kids. Most of all, I never realised this before, Mini Town exists as a fundraising initiative for the Quadriplegic Association of KwaZulu-Natal. We loved meandering through along and giggling at the little buildings, watching the model boats and marvelling at the minute detail paid to the models. 

After that, we headed down to the skate park and rented pedal cars (also known as gokarts). Now, I’m no cyclist (I have no idea how to ride a bicycle…I have never learnt), nor am I much of an athlete (but I do like my morning run and walk!). But there is something to be said about pedalling your way along the promenade and enjoying the ocean view, under a sky of sunshine. As I was pedalling along with my kid in the cart next to me, I felt free. I felt light, safe and happy.

And as I looked around at all the families, walking along the promenade, soaking up the sun, I remembered that I’m not just a visitor here. I don’t have to pack my bags and head back somewhere when my day in the sun is over. This is my home.

Durban, as a city, has its problems. What city does not? But if anyone can hop into a pedal car, zoot along the promenade and afterwards NOT have a grin on their face, then I don’t think they’re human.

I love you, funny city. You’re full of quirks. People who don’t live here sometimes think you’re backwards or slow.
I laugh in their faces. If anything, sweet home town, you’re soaking up the sunshine.



(Disclaimer – not a sponsored post)

More on Camden031

I’ve written about Camden031 before but today was a pretty extra special day so I’m writing about them again (more on why I popped in at a later stage…). I’m writing about them this evening because, after a morning of fongoolery (it’s a word!) on all fronts, I popped in to get a little inside look at what makes this little black and yellow place tick, and they turned my Tuesday-that-was-all-too-much-like-a-Monday into a sweet day. Just for the record, because I get asked this, this is not a sponsored post nor was I asked to write it.

By now, thanks to a riproaring trade during their first few weeks of being open, you’ve probably heard the words “comedy”; “cuisine” and “good times” bandied about. But, as I learnt today, Camden031 isn’t just your typical night out (it’s open during the day too!)

I’ve known one of the brains behind it, Glen, for years. The other brain behind Camden031? Dave Boyter, who I met today. What’s become very apparent to me after chatting with both of them is that they have not ventured into the insane world of running an establishment with an “eyes closed and hope for the best” approach. Glen and Dave share a deep love for making fine food, and I fear that when I take my kid down there for lunch, she’s probably going to give me a speech about how my culinary skills could do with some work (Thanks guys :P). More than that, they plan for and actively participate in every facet of the establishment’s operations.

The Stanhope. This might just be one the best pictures I’ve ever taken.

Whilst their lineup of events has been, up until this point, primarily focused on stand up comedy and related entertainment, they’re not stopping there. Glen told me today:

“We’ve got a venue that can offer Durban a diverse set of entertainment. We’re looking forward to hosting musicians, comedians and a bunch of events that’ll give our city’s people a unique place to have a little fun”. 

In chatting to Dave, his extreme (he’s not just an excellent chef, he’s also into extreme sports!) devotion to getting things right and creating good in the world is evident. When I asked him about his approach to food, he said:

“Food is life…and life is life. We have to take the tumbles, try everything and confront risks. A lot of the time, very exciting things lie beyond taking that first step!”

As for the food (because, let’s be honest now, I like being fed…), that’s where the Camden031 team like to take risks. I enjoyed an incredible fig-grape-roasted-almond-camembert dessert that I’m currently daydreaming about it again, and sampled some of Dave’s incredible ginger vanilla vodka. He makes it himself, using vanilla pods brought in from Madagascar.

Dave and Glen

As for the rest of the menu, Dave and Glen create new menus each week, making use of fresh seasonal produce and experimenting with what’s available locally.

I want to eat this every day, for the rest of my life.

Maybe the best part for me about Camden031 is that it’s not just a night-time outing. It’s also open during the day for coffee, lunch, cocktails and – yes – there’s free WiFi. Many people have said that Camden031 will be the home of Durban’s comedy scene and I believe that too. But I think it’s becoming a little bigger than just a comedy venue – for me, who is not the late night joller she once was, I see this place as being the “nightclub that’s grown up”.

Camden031 has quite an event lineup over the next few weeks, including Thursday’s Diners/Drive-ins & Dinner, comedy events over the weekend and a scrub-up Sunday lunch too.

I’m looking forward to spending more time down at Camden031 and, if you’re in Durban, I think you should too. 





Durban. You’re doing it right.

Today’s been a busy, busy day. I’m settling down now to fire off some work but first, this day deserves a blogpost. I feel spoilt, proud and excited, all at the same time.


The #DbnBloggerMeet – 25 of us Durban Blogger Gals were treated to the most insane day. Honestly, I feel like I’ve been on Oprah, had Christmas and turned 10 ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Aside from the incredible goodie bags, I loved seeing old friends, making new ones and noshing down on some fantastic food. Most of all, I was so beautifully reminded that the blogging *scene* I’ve been a proud part of since *cough* 2005, has grown. More than that, it’s become a way for so many different types of people to express their lives, capture their important moments and reach out into the world in a way that was previously unknown. It’s funny, you know, looking back, when blogging wasn’t as popular as it is now…back then, not many people understood why it rocked, but the few of us who slogged behind our keyboards late at night hoped, very often, that it’d become something much bigger than just us. And it has. A very, very big thank you to the fantastic organisers, inspirational speakers and amazing sponsors who made this day magnificent. Durban bloggers, you’re a community I always hoped would come alive. And you have.

A sidenote – thank you to these incredible sponsors (and an extra special shoutout to our venue, Hashtag):


And, sponsors:
Carly & Monique from Lenovo. I now miss the Yoga 8 terribly
My prize! I love this phrase.
Not even Oprah could’ve topped this goodie bag
The Fry’s Guy – he’s excellent (and so is their vegelony)
Me & The B. I love this chick. Mostly when she has nice smelling things around *private joke*


And that was how I spent my day. This evening, I popped out for a quick drink to check out Camden031. It opened last night with a full house and tonight, again, they’re fully booked. Best part, for me? Camden031 is a fully home-grown, Durban venue. I’ve spied their menu and cannot wait to eat there, but…here’s a little rant I’ve had for a while. Durban often gets it in the neck for having a less-than-average nightlife. Worse still, if you’re not keen on bopping to the latest Bieber song, you’re pretty much out of luck trying to find something to do at night. Yes, there are a few excellent places to go, restaurants to try out but, guys, I’m no joller anymore. Camden031 is a comedy venue with a heck of a difference. Their focus lies on three things: 1) Patrons having a relaxed, good time; 2) Excellent food and 3) Promoting Durban talent (whether that be comedic, musical or, heck knows what else they have up their sleeve!) I can’t wait to spend a proper evening there! Durban, get keen, because your nights now have a place.



Get keen, Durban!


And, lastly. My home town’s been battling a bit recently, thanks to a bunch of, well, less-than-ideal events. I say, sod that, Durban. You’re one damn fine city, and heck, you rise. I am so very proud to be Durban-proud.


(and nobody paid me 500K to say that)



I put it to you…that I love my City.

So when I see this rubbish, I get angry.

I will, I realise, piss certain people off with this post. I am okay with that.

I spent a lot of time yesterday in talking about this, when this story appeared on the front page of the Sunday Tribune. If you want to know more about why I’m pissed off, read here. I thank my friend who wrote that piece for englightening me when he did…which was months ago. And that’s why I have NEVER supported the campaign. There are numerous respected voices in my life who have expressed their concerns to me about the “campaign”.

I’ve watched people ask questions about it, and been rebutted. I’ve asked questions about it and been rebutted.

As a Durban-proud person, I fully reject the manner in which this “campaign” has been implemented.  I reject and abhor the manner in which people have been led to believe that this is a “good campaign for Durban”. It has become a self-enrichment vehicle that’s run on dishonesty. 

Then I read this, and I am reminded again how it runs on dishonesty.

Finally, and properly…The Durban digital landscape is an exciting place to be a part of. I have been lucky to have worked with some good, honest people, because of where I live. I am a lucky witness to the way it is growing and the creation of magnificent deliverables and programmes that make me smile. I will not stand by and watch that wonderful community be painted with the same brush as this nonsense. We are a Durban community, and we do not tolerate dishonesty. 

Another Spiga = Another Smile.

My family are wannabe foodies. In fact, we all share a common dream that if we could be restaurant critics, we’d have the ideal career for all of us. Spiga d’Oro – or, as us Durbanites know it best – as Spiga – is a firm favourite on our list of places to eat.

So when we heard they were opening up a second branch in Durban North, we jumped at the chance to try it out, on a quiet Saturday evening with a couple of other Durbanite food-lovers.

I love this deck!

Spiga D’Oro Florida Road is renowned for it’s late night hustle, excellent service and hearty food. Spiga D’Oro Durban North does not depart from that atmosphere, though. It expands upon it.

With the same menu as is served at the Florida Road branch, and the same smiling service we’re accustomed to, it was easy to settle in and select our dinners for the evening. But what is different, is the venue. This venue lends itself more to a relaxed vibe, and I can foresee it becoming a favourite family spot very soon. With it’s large deck and ample space for bigger tables, I think it’ll also be excellent for functions.

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 14.17.24 PM

Simply put, it’s gorgeous. Airy, with an interesting ceiling and skylights to let the sunshine in, it still retains that signature Spiga cosiness we all know and love. They’ve got big plans for this space, that will see them growing their operations into a variety of interesting things (you’ll have to wait and see – trust me, it’s worth the wait!)

Screen shot 2014-03-04 at 14.17.01 PM

For the meantime though, go there. Go and enjoy that same Spiga love you’d expect and relax in their gorgeous new Durban North setting. You’ll find the Durban North branch of Spiga D’Oro in  Mackeurtan Avenue.

Durban Digital Dinner.

The very clever folks who created and hosted Durban Digital Day are back! This time, they’re hosting a Digital Dinner in Durban on 03 March 2014.

I’m really looking forward to this one (and a bit relieved I’m not speaking – public speaking still stresses me out but I need to do it more often and get the heck over myself!)


I’m excited to listen to Matthew Savides (senior journalist, Sunday Times). In terms of using social media as a journalist, I often feel like I don’t know enough about best practice mechanisms and am keen to learn! No pressure, Savides.

Mike Stopforth, the CEO and brains behind Cerebra, is also speaking. I’ve had the pleasure of listening to Mike speak before, a few years ago, so am keen to listen to him again!

I’m told there are 2 other keynote speakers, and it’ll all be MCed by the rather-funny-has-no-filter-or-capacity-for-BS (I like that, a lot!), Glen Bo.

Durban Digital Dinner will be hosted at the beautiful Beverly Hills Hotel, and you can pick up tickets from Webtickets for R250 (dinner included!).

 I love that my hometown is coming alive like this. Let’s make some industrial strength networking happen at Durban Digital Dinner! Will you be there? Don’t forget to follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook!

Durban Designer Does Us Proud!

It’s no secret that I’m a seriously Durban-proud citizen of the East Coast. So when I hear things about Durbanites doing great things, I get ridiculously excited. Sometimes, I feel like we get seriously overlooked when it comes to the talent leagues because we’re often regarded as a ‘small, laidback town”. Fact is, nothing could be further from the truth!

So, when I heard our very own Hylton Warburton had won the Russian Bear “Urban Expressions” Design Challenge, I did a little jig around the lounge. Hylton is an renowned illustrator and graphic designer and you can check out his personal website here.

Winning Design

Entrants into this challenge were encouraged to represent their understanding and influence of urban culture, using black-coated Russian Bear bottles as their canvas. After a two-week public voting process, a trio of shortlisted designs was identified and our Hylton was chosen as the ultimate winner! Aside from the cash prize, his winning design will be produced as a limited edition run within the first quarter of next year.

Aside from the Durban-proud angle here, it always makes me grin when I see a company supporting the arts in unique ways. Ten points to Russian Bear for this competition and campaign.