Steam train trip to Vredenheim

 

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI don’t know about you but I have a list a mile long of all the things I want to do and the experiences I want my children to have. I managed to check one of those things off the list yesterday and we took the steam train to Vredenheim as a family. Once we got there the children also managed to see zebras, ostriches up close and lions for the first time but more about that later.

Steam train trip to Vredenheim

Someone tweeted something about this trip about 6 weeks ago and my interest was piqued. I immediately went to find out some more and boy, was I glad I did! I had no idea that Atlantic Rail  runs 2 steam train trips every month mainly going from Cape Town to Simonstown but every now and then they include a Winelands trip as well. To be honest I sort of knew about” Jenny” the steam train going to Simonstown since I’d seen pictures of the train going along the beach but I didn’t know about “Katie” and her wine route.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs  cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsThis was the first time that Vredenheim made up a package where the return journey by steam train included lunch in their restaurant and a tour of their lion park and I hope it won’t be the last. What I lovely day out. We had beautiful weather and I’m glad we chose to have lunch at the earliest session of 11:30am. I chose this because I wanted to explore the grounds at my leisure afterwards and not have to rush through anything to get to back to the train in time for departure at 3:15pm.

Wait, let me backtrack a little. We took the MyCiti bus into town at about 7:30am (just in case there were any delays on that service) and got to Cape Town CBD just after 8am. This made us WAAAAAYYY too early for the departure of the steam train at 9:35am but I hate being late for anything. It was a lovely walk to The Train Lodge just behind Jaguar on the Foreshore and it was nice to see that part of the city while it was still cool and quiet.

Getting their so early meant we had time to see “Katie” pull into the station and then had time to take loads of pictures before everyone else arrived. It was a full train with coaches 1,3 and 5 being reserved for those disembarking at Spier and coaches 2 and 4 for those of us going to Vredenheim.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsMy daughter quickly made friends with the family seated across the aisle from us as they also had a little girl of around the same age and this gave the kids the benefit of swapping between the windows on either side of the train as they followed the activity of the rails on both sides.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAfter about 90 minutes on the train we were getting excited for what we would see at the wine farm and lunch couldn’t come fast enough. After disembarking at Vlottenburg station we were led across the tracks and down a path for a walk through the reserve.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAfter admiring the views for a while we were just starting to get a bit tired and then we saw an ostrich. We wondered why she was giving us the beady eye until we saw the pile of eggs she was guarding. After taking a few pictures we moved along swiftly as it looked like she might make a run for the fence at any moment. Across the path we were met by the curious sight of a dazzle of zebra (or is it a zeal of zebra?) …which included an ostrich…and a donkey.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsWe were glad to see to parking area of the wine farm up ahead as we were all gasping for a comfort break and some water. Once we had refreshed ourselves we headed out to the patio where tables had been allocated for each family or group. We had a choice of bobotie and rice with sambals or chicken schnitzel with basil mayo and fries.

The kids could choose between pizza, calamari, chicken strips or schnitzel and chips with a dessert choice of Italian kisses or ice cream and chocolate sauce. Once we had placed our orders the kids ran off to climb trees or explore the garden. We were offered wines to taste while we were waiting for our food and the kids could “taste” grape juice. I love it when a venue includes children in the experience rather than expecting them to be seen and not heard. A major plus in my book!

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Once we had finished a leisurely lunch it was time to go see the big cats. So much awe and so many aaawwws. The majesty of the lion, the lionesses lounging in the shade, the Bengal tigers drinking from their pool and the leopard purring and growling at the same time. Have you heard a cheetah “talk” before? Seriously! The cutest thing ever!

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

You have to experience this for yourself so book the next available wine route trip on the 2nd of November. Vredenheim  is planning to put together another package for the day and it is well worth going.

cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs cape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggscape town, wine route, vredenheim, wine farm, big cats experience, lion park, train, steam train, atlantic rail, things to do with the kids, south africa, explore, travel blog, tourism blog, travel writer, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsIf you don’t want a package deal but just need the basic info, tickets for the train are R250 for adults and R150 for kids with entrance to the lion park at Vredenheim  costing R50 per adult.

The package is only slightly more than that and includes a 2 course lunch (from a set menu), wine/grape juice tasting and entrance to the lion park so I would recommend that you keep an eye on Vredenheim’s timeline  for more details.

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/on-the-steps.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon

Playstation vs Playing Outside

playstation, playing outside, gaming, getting fresh air, parenting, 10 year old, which is better, gadgets, tech, tablets, how much, advice, boys, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsMy brother-in-law was horrified that my almost 10 year old couldn’t drive on X-Box. It made me think that I’m probably raising my kids a little bit differently than most. We don’t have iPads, gaming consoles or hand held gaming devices in our house. At best our kids are allowed 10 minutes each on my husband’s Lenovo Yoga or my HTC Desire where they scribble to their hearts content using digital paint brushes and canvas or see how many bananas they can collect in Banana Kong.

Playstation vs Playing Outside

I quite like the fact that my kids still wreck the garden digging up sand and filling bottles of water from the hose to make “potions”, jump on the trampoline or climb trees. On windy days they beg their dad to walk them to the park so they can fly kites or hang on the monkey bars.

My son battles to process overwhelming amounts of sensory input. This means movie theatres are too much for him to handle with the loud noise and bright flashing lights. Even TV is limited to Saturday morning cartoons from 7-8am (none at all on school days). When it comes to cellphones and tablets the same applies. We try to teach him coping mechanisms to handle the overload and he is managing admirably but it is hard for him.

He is on Ritalin during school hours only so the rest of the time he has to use every bit of self control he has to behave well despite his challenges. He is the most amazing little boy I know and I am so proud of how far he has come and how much he has achieved. It makes me think that many grownups have probably become so used to the sensory overload that we rarely stop and think what loud noises and big flashing pictures look like to a little person who still has so much growing up to do.

More often than not my kids have their noses in books or are playing imagination filled games together in their rooms on days where the weather is not ideal for outside play. They love going puddle hunting on rainy days and scootering on the non motorized transport path built between the MyCiti Bus stations.

I do wonder if they are missing out though. There were loads of things I didn’t have when I was growing up like Lego and TV games and while I knew I was missing out, I grew up to be a fairly well rounded human being. All parents worry about doing enough for their kids. The last thing I want is to make a decision that will disadvantage them in the long run.

There are so many amazing apps available for tablets and educational games available for gaming consoles. Would they be better off if I incorporated this into their lives? Does playing outside with friends not teach them enough for them to be well rounded individuals in the real world? I would love to know what you think!

 

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/zac-and-dino.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon

The Market Barrow

market, barrow, the market barrow, free range, produce, delivery, cape town, free range produce delivered to your door, online orders, great deal, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsA few weeks back I tweeted about a fantastic new service available in Cape Town. It’s called The Market Barrow and it delivers free range produce to your door. You can expect to find all your market favourites like big ass, delicious chickens from The Fowl Woman, chorizo, pork grillers, free range lamb (half a lamb at R77/kg) and a tray of 30 (THIRTY you guys) free range eggs for R50!!

I’m pretty sure no one can beat those sorts of prices and you never have to come home from a market disappointed that you didn’t get there in time to snatch up the best stuff. The deadline for orders  is every Wednesday for delivery the following Wednesday. The owner is super awesome and will do his best to get everything you need but will let you know before delivery if there wasn’t any stock of a particular product. You are only invoiced the night before delivery and payment is only expected once you have received your goods (cash or EFT).

I bought a number of items and once I tried the chicken I was sold. There is no way I am ever buying chicken from a shop again. The whole free range chickens are R66/kg and 1 medium – large (1.8-2kg) chicken made a roast, a pie and chicken mayo toasties. I mean really now!

I’m making The Food Fox’s Orzo Salad with Chorizo tonight with the chorizo I bought from The Market Barrow and I’m salivating already. My next order was going to include some of that free range lamb but when I found out they actually give you HALF A LAMB (i.e. 10kgs of it) I realized there is no way I have enough space in my tiny freezer built into my fridge. Anyone want to go halvsies with me? ;) *Note to self: Buy a chest freezer*.

I hope you’ll give this service a try and let me know what you think if you do.

DISCLAIMER: I was not asked or paid to write this post. I wrote it because I enjoyed the service and I think you will too.

 

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/The-Market-Barrow-logo.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon

#CTMeetUp and a Giveaway

#CTMeetUp, Cape Town, blogger, event, Cape Town bloggers, Lifestyle, Food, Parenting, I love my Laundry, dim sum, out and about,give away, iPhone 5 cover, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

Want this IPhone 5 cover? Willing to collect in Cape Town? Comment below!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was pretty sure my next blog post would be about #CTMeetUp. After debating backwards and forwards for a while I decided not to take my camera along as I was going to use public transport into Cape Town CBD after most stores had closed for the day and I was wary of the SLR making me a target. I chose to rather travel light and it was a good thing I did as I was accosted (not touched though, thankfully) by a man who wanted to tell me his life story so that I would give him some money. Thankfully I had nothing valuable with me to draw more attention to myself and got away safely.

The other reason I didn’t take my camera along was because I sometimes find my approach to events like this is less about having fun and meeting people and rather being “the photographer”. I’m trying to find a balance here and it was an interesting experiment as to how different my experience was when I wasn’t seeing the opportunity as “work”.

Since there were around 50 bloggers at this awesome event at I Love My Laundrythere will be loads of blog posts going up within the next few weeks so I’ll keep this post short. My fellow bloggers Se7enRobyn and the organizer Cindy have already put together lovely posts and you are welcome to go and read about the event some more. This will probably give you some serious FOMO if the #CTMeetUp hashtag didn’t already on Saturday so I look forward to seeing you at the next one.

The goody bag was amazing. The sponsors were generous. And the event was loads of fun. It was great to put faces to Twitter handles and it was so nice to chat face to face rather than over the internet. We are a great bunch of people. Super nice and friendly and we are ALL approachable. No egos allowed here thank you very much. It would actually be great if loads of brands and PR people can attend the next one…not to schmooze but to see how nice we are in real life. I think a lot gets lost online depending on how well we write and brands would see a whole other side to us that would make them want to partner up with us for campaigns. We are a friendly, fun and a little crazy (we are “creatives” after all) and we don’t bite, I promise.

**GIVEAWAY** Out of all the wonderful things in the goody bag, the only one I couldn’t use was the iPhone 5 cover you can see in the picture above. I am an HTC girl through and through and this is highly unlikely to change anytime soon. So, if you have an iPhone 5 and you would like the cover, so the 1st person to comment that they want it will get it :). Since you would have to come and collect it from either Tableview or Cape Town CBD, this offer is available for Cape Town readers only. There is also a complete goody bag up for grabs on Cindy‘s blog so be sure to enter ASAP.

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/iphone5-cover.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon

All the Cookies

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAll the cookies

I’m typing this while wearing a brace on my wrist thanks to a Jiu Jitsu injury. I can’t tell you exactly when and how it happened as you tend to get so involved learning a new technique that you often don’t feel it until later but now I’m not allowed back on the mat for 3 weeks. Meh! When I started out I found it a little hard to believe when the trainers told stories of guys who broke their arms in competition and didn’t notice until after they won the fight. Hardcore!

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

L to R: Zirkie, Jasmine, Teresa, Me, Jessica, Nicola

#CookieSwap4 went very well. We raised close to R30 000 for Learn to Earn and this money will hopefully go a long way to help those who are trying to claw their way out of poverty. People who apply to go on this course need to raise R200 by themselves in order to show their commitment and desire to learn new skills. The ones who show initiative are then accepted into a training course worth R9000 where they learn how to bake for profit. I love this idea and wish everyone all the best in this endeavor.

We are still working through the box of cookies we swapped over the weekend and doing our best to make it last so I won’t be putting up a recipe post this week. I also went to collect a box of cookies from Royal Dansk at the post office yesterday and will be reviewing these delicious Danish butter cookies shortly.

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsI took a day’s leave yesterday to attend the Good Housekeeping Magazine #GHBakeStars event yesterday and got to learn some icing skills with Alex and Jackie from Charly’s Bakery“Gourmet Sisters” Sue Ann Allen and Ilse Fourie also demonstrated how to make a decadent chocolate swirled cheesecake that I’m hoping to try over the next few weeks. I am so grateful to be invited to attend these events. Knowing how well these events are arranged and how much fun is had; it’s a great way to spend R295 for a morning of fun and laughter with some of South Africa’s top food celebs who are willing to answer any burning question you may have about food and cooking. This year’s goodie bag was a treasure trove of everything you would need for baking and the value of the contents alone justifies the ticket price.

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

The value of the hair/grass nozzle. A worthwhile investment. Cupcake done by Alex from Charly’s Bakery.

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggsAugust is a crazy month for our family. It’s lovely to have something exciting to do almost every weekend and my next post will probably be about #CTmeetUp that is happening at I Love My Laundry this weekend. The following weekend we are going to Day of the Dinosaurs at Cape Town International Convention Center and at the end of the month we are looking forward to a trip on a steam train to Vrendenheim.

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

The decadent chocolate swirled cheesecake made by Sue Ann Allen which I will be trying for myself shortly.

Before you start thinking that these are all “freebies” that I’ve been given let me stop you there and let you know that all of these events were paid for. I’m sorry that I even have to say this but there has been so much hatred for bloggers in the media lately about how much we get “given” and how few of us disclose this when we write a post, it seems that it needs to be said. I will always disclose. ALWAYS!

#cookieswap4, cookie swap, bake stars, good housekeeping, #GHBakeStars, Cape Town, coming up, bloggers with integrity, blogging, freebies, tami magnin, rumtumtiggs

I loved this Brownie kit done by Kenwood and placed into the goody bag amongst loads of other things.

Before I start writing an entire blog post on whether the freebies are really free let me sign off for now. If a blogger has to say they have integrity then they probably don’t have any. It’s one of those things you should be able to see clearly in the way they write their blog and manage their social media accounts. While brands are still falling for flattery and bloggers who suck up so they can get free stuff I will quietly carry on with the job at hand and hope that one day my value gets recognized.

http://food.rumtumtiggs.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/bird-cookies.jpgShare via email
Submit to StumbleUpon