Towards the end of last year, I received a very vague email from the legendary folk at vitamin water asking if I’d be interested in doing a couple of “challenges” over the course of a weekend. My immediate thoughts were shark caging diving or jumping out of a plane, getting all extreme-like and shit, and even though I am not the biggest adrenalin junkie (and am terrified of heights), I knew that whatever it is that they had ready for me, I was GOING to have to do it! Closer to the time, my girlfriend, the lovely @_aimless got the same intentionally vague email asking if she’d like to join me for the weekend. All we were told is that we were going to be driving a brightly coloured vitamin water Mini Cooper S for the weekend – score!
The day soon arrived and we started our adventure at Hyde Hotel in Sea Point, meeting up with Robyn from vitamin water and Garth, our tour guide for the weekend. We immediately headed off to the Bay Harbour market in Hout Bay, hitting Coastal Road at max speeds. It ended up being a little struggle as we tried to find the perfect hangover chow (Yes, we were struggling slightly from the night before). We were then told of our itinerary for weekend. I couldn’t have asked for a better plan!
We were told we were going to hit Cape Point while doing a quick detour through Scarborough to collect the ultimate home-made picnic basket – seriously guys, I have never seen something like that! We continued our quest to Cape Point but unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side and we ended up down on Diaz Beach chilling and chowing before continuing our journey to Beau Constantia wine farm at the top of Constantia neck. This would be about the same time I handed the car keys over to Garth 😉 We got to taste a few of the wines they had on offer and guess what; I ended up taking home 2 bottles with me – a lovely Sauvignon Blanc and a fantastic rosé blend.
Waking up early for the second day of our quest, journey, what ever you want to call it, the Mini was brought to us and we headed off to the township of Langa to go on a township tour. This was the highlight for both myself and Amy – a day I will never forget. An eye opener of note! I must give a big shout out to Siviwe, our township tour guide, for making us feel extremely at home while at the same time providing us with a deep historical story about the township and how it came to be the largest township in Cape Town. Siviwe then took us off to a project that himself and Garth work closely on to ensure he grows the community, a children’s project called Happy Feet (watch the video to check it out, it was such a phenomenal and eye opening time at the Happy Feet home). Happy Feet offers children from the township the opportunity to learn how to gumboot dance and to then be a part of performances around SA. The catch is, to be a part of Happy Feet, the children need to get top marks at school, as well as being on their best behaviour – any complaints from school, family or community and the kids can be removed from the programme.
We chilled with the kids for a bit, showed them how the convertible roof of the Mini worked (they loved it!) and then zooted off to the most exciting part of the whole quest, Mzoli’s. The back streets of the township became our playground, driving through and waving to walking by-passers, whistling and shouting as they cheered us on. The fun began as we arrived at Mzoli’s. Siviwe introduced us to the owner himself – Mr Mzoli, and we immediately got into the queue to order our meat. As this was my first time at the legendary spot, I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know what we were in for! The butchery next door to the “restaurant” area has some of the most tasty meat cuts, along with all the cultural goodness you could ask for, including samp and pap. I was in heaven.
While our food was being slathered with Mzoli’s mystery basting sauce (Mr Mzoli told us that on his SA trip, even Jamie Oliver tried to get the recipe out of him!), I handed the keys over to Garth again and went with Siviwe to grab some booze and a table (He had pulled some strings and organised us a table, and our food was cooked nice and quickly). It was boiling hot, the misting system was going full blast, the beers were flowing and the house music was blaring. The vibe was indescribable and it was hard for me to come to terms with the fact that, being someone who had lived in Cape Town my whole life, I had not ventured to Mzoli’s yet. It is something I would suggest all Capetonians do, but if you do – start with a township tour first, you will NOT regret it! Unfortunately for us, all good things had to come to an end and we got driven home and dropped off safely on our front door step. Winning!
Let me just say a MASSIVE thank you to Robyn, Alex, Garth and Siviwe for an absolutely world-class weekend. vitamin water, you rocked our world. What an unforgettable experience!
Not to rub it in or anything, but @_aimless and I are off to a dinner at the Grand this evening with vitamin water… See you in the sand 😉