“Meeting” Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl

It was a social call I’ve been meaning to make for a few months now. A visit with Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl at Delaire Graff Estate. She was a gracious hostess, it’s not often that a multimillion rand painting waits for you in the foyer!

Despite being one of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s most reproduced paintings, Chinese Lady is still worth quite a pretty penny. In March last year Laurence Graff paid £982,050 (around R17 million) in auction for the painting and instead of hiding it in a safe he has made it available to the Tretchi loving masses. What a nice guy. The-Chinese-Lady

That said, Delcaire Graff Estate is the most out of reach places I have ever visited. Not that I felt unwelcome, quite the opposite. From the moment we passed through the gates and the security guard introduced himself, the security guards in the parking lot with ear pieces that make them look like secret agents who gave us friendly directions down to the doorman opening the dauntingly huge doors and receptionist happily pointing us to The Chinese Lady next to her desk.

The restaurant is off limits to children under 12 and since we have 2 of those we ate breakfast en route and made ourselves comfy in the Wine Lounge after ogling The Chinese Lady for a few minutes.Elements-Tasting

In the end we found a way to get a little closer to the restaurant by ordering the Elements tasting which consists of 4 canapés paired with wine from the estate. As out server Randall explained, the goal is to create a completely new flavour, 1+1 does not equal to 2, it’s 3.

The first taster was the most exquisite, an oyster in a delicate tomato extract paired with Sauvignon Blanc. The next two followed the principle of “oaky pairs with smoky”. An oaky chardonnay was paired with smoked carb with roasted potato while the heavy red Botmaskop enhanced the flavour of pork with beef dust topped off with prune puree. Both good pairings but it had nothing on number 4, dark chocolate macaroon with Cape Vintage. Divine. Delaire Graff Estate

For a few glorious minutes I thought about saving up and spending the night at one of the 4 accommodation options on the estate. The Plus One smashed this dream when he looked up the going rate… R10,000 – R30,000 a night. I’ve never been much of a saver anyway.

A day at the Delaire Graff Estate is like buying a Hermes keychain when you really wanted the Kelly bag. As much as I love my prints, nothing quite beats an original Tretchikoff.

Address: R310, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch
Telephone number: 021 885 8160

Theatre Review: Understudy Blues

Behind every successful leading lady is another lady praying she’ll break a leg, in at least 2 places… Candice van Litsenborgh is probably one of the most talented performers you’ve never had the pleasure to hear, because often she gets paid not to perform. Or as they say in the biz, she’s an understudy. Understudy-Blues-banner In Understudy Blues, van Litsenborgh shows off her amazing range, her voice and acting chops, through a selection of Broadway tunes. She swishes through comedy and more dramatic songs with the elegance of a theatre veteran, making me want to say HA! to all the casting directors who didn’t make her Queen Bee in their plays. The production benefits greatly from 2 sets of international eyes in the form of British director Richard Wright-Firth and musical director Drew Rienstra on keyboards from the US. Despite having seen van Litsenborgh in Pieter Toerien’s Sunset Boulevard last year I had no idea she was THIS good. Doing theatre on her terms really suits her. It is also a testament to having a director who really understands the performer, Wright-Firth is also a partner in van Litsenborgh’s production company, Canned Rice Productions. Candice van Litsenborgh The Galloway Theatre is situated in the former singing studio of the Waterfront Theatre School, although nothing about the space, with its elegant Victorian chandeliers and perfect acoustics, screams student. The studio was converted into a theatre earlier this year as a space for experimental theatre that won’t cost the performers an arm and a leg.

Understudy Blues goes beyond providing a voice to disenchanted understudies, it embodies the spirit of all underdogs. The production could have gone in many ways, for instance an expose of the theatre industry might have caught a few headlines but could have come across as bitter. Instead it’s extremely honest, cynical, witty, desperate but above all hopeful. I left the Galloway Theatre with a greater love for theatre and a deep respect for its unsung heroes.

Understudy Blues runs at The Galloway Theatre at Waterfront Theatre School, Port Road until 31 May at 20:00. Tickets are R100 and R50 on student night (Wednesday).

Beefcakes: Where bingo is bitchy and the boys are pretty

All good intentions to be, well good, were tossed out the window when a drag queen named Champagne Le Roux labelled our table the “book club”. Soon “Dean” was the table centre piece with caramel vodka in his belly-button. It was Beefcakes’ Bitchy Bingo and the anniversary of B’s 21st after all, not the time to crack open the Jane Austen. Beefcakes Bitchy Bingo

Beefcakes isn’t a Girl’s Night hotspot for the superb entertainment, dangerous cocktails or the onion rings. It is all about the pretty boys. The gay establishment knows just how to hire these lovely creatures as waiters, barmen and bingo ball boys. That evening they all seemed to be the same height with similar sandy blond dos, someone obviously has a type. Our waiter had a slight resemblance to Supernatural’s Dean (Jensen Ackles), who just happens to be the lady of the evening’s type.

Our hostess for the evening, Champagne Le Roux, is my kind of drag queen; with a rockabilly vibe proudly showing off her cleavage of chest hair. Her personalised rendition of Blurred Lines was way more scandalous than Robin Thicke’s attempt. Champagne Le Roux  Beefcakes Bitchy Bingo

Bitchy Bingo is fun to play but only the brave and extremely competitive have any desire to win the bragging rights and a hamper made up of craft beer and sparkly paraphernalia. Winning means going up on stage with Lady Le Roux and only she leaves that stage looking cool.

The perfect companions for Bitchy Bingo is a table full of non-bitchy ladies, one I was lucky to be part of. Amongst them a body shot didn’t seem quite as sleazy. Oh who am I kidding it still was, but it was twice as funny. Especially when B got value for money when the shot glass fell over and she had to chase after the caramel vodka running down Dean’s 6 pack. After all, it’s no use crying over a spilled body shot.

* All images stolen off the Beefcakes Facebook page

* Bitchy Bingo takes place every Tuesday night at Beefcakes.
Cost: R50 (this will be automatically added to your bill)
Address: Sovereign Quay, 34 Somerset Road, Greenpoint
Book: 021 425 9019/capetown@beefcakes.co.za

AfrikaBurn.

For the weeks leading up to AfrikaBurn I could not talk about anything else, all my conversations lead to the Tankwa Karoo. Damn, I must have been so annoying. Yet here I am, with the Tankwa dust barely scrubbed from my pores and I don’t know what to say to the people who are actually asking out of their own accord.

* Click here for my 2015 AfrikaBurn post with images 1544370_10152404075353970_4838156274535401157_nLife changing? Not quite but I do feel lighter somehow. I also like people a lot more now. I like Hennie and Maired who kept us a wonderful camping spot for a week overlooking the highest structure. I like the wonderful man who gifted us with jaffels just after we finished our 3 hour shift greeting and searching cars at Die Hek (the gate) in the blistering heat. I don’t even like jaffels but those were made with love and were just so perfectly timed. I like that people go to so much trouble to look fabulous in the middle of the desert.

AfrikaBurn

We gifted Polaroid style instant Fujifilm photos

I loved the larger than life structures and watching as they burn to the ground.

I loved that everyone had their own way to express themselves at AfrikaBurn. We went on a walk about far into the field the Saturday and was accidentally flashed by a girl who was completely naked under a loose robe. She covered herself up so fast my brain almost didn’t process it. She wasn’t one of those girls prancing about completely in the nude; she went were she should have been alone with her man. How beautiful is that?

I loved sitting in the middle of nothing watching the sunset with my Tankwa husband and a bottle of Pongrantz.

As you can see I just don’t have the words to express what AfrikaBurn meant to me. The Plus One took a few amazing pics that will do a better job. 10170682_10152404076348970_2353830811699156652_n 10170959_10152404078593970_4793402825873648817_n 1480764_10152404078418970_5331304300525102179_n 10290643_10152404078163970_1000921148302698687_n 10246669_10152404077668970_8280398802137681752_n 10262057_10152404077578970_4295724570553542594_n 10257001_10152404077283970_7648839748814852184_n 10252179_10152404079118970_4740711285117128939_n 10257696_10152404075958970_2707535876222946071_n 1486589_10152404077593970_5759898053758939026_n  10342814_10152404075278970_7444170274508679985_n 1922516_10152404075043970_8559735729623029367_n 10311890_10152404074688970_7572914226285425913_n 10169231_10152404074618970_6406766508555739186_n 10250205_10152404074708970_4851626145484370656_n 10258947_10152404074203970_534169657590056832_n 10273451_10152404075448970_4918163423424665145_n 10174909_10152404076438970_1268398094051792990_n 10276005_10152404078803970_2823748476695876737_n