Us millennials don't just think of food as a way to satisfy our hunger - food is a whole experience. For that very reason you expect the restaurant to be a whole vibe and 14 on Chartwell lives up to that expectation.

This classy restaurant located in Umhlanga, Durban makes the perfect destination for drinks with the girls, a date night or a special occasion like a birthday party. Notoriously usually fully packed especially on the weekend (With a reservation pretty much always necessary to get a table fyi), you can tell that it's incredibly vibey.



What makes you feel the most wanted? What does it mean to feel the most wanted? It means feeling flamboyant, passionate and authentic, feeling free, adventurous, untimeable and playful. In other words feeling the most wanted is about feeling like the most empowered version of yourself.




Waking up to the sound of birds chirping faintly in the background. You've just had the most relaxing sleep on a gigantic king size bed, lying on a cozy electric blanket. You get up, freshen up in the en suite bathroom then make your way to the lounge area of the cottage. You go straight for the curtain that covers the huge glass doors to the patio. Unlike any other patio, yours comprises of a cute little wooden stoep surrounded by a brimming dam. In the distance you see a picture picture backdrop of trees, some covered in sparse autumn leaves and some as green as emeralds. As you open the glass door you feel the midlands chill - first the cold hits your lips then your nose then your whole body. But the cold fresh air makes you feel alive. 



Saturday night is curry night at Vasco's restaurant in the Hilton Hotel Durban with their Curry Cup buffet. Is there any other food you'd want to dig into on a Saturday in a city known for its rich Indian cuisine? I think not ;)




With summer around the corner, it's no surprise if you're looking at hair removal options that are the most effective and efficient. 

Shaving? Only last like 2 days and leaves you with the worse stubble.
Waxing? Lasts a week which is great but then you have to wait another 2 or 3 weeks for the hair to be long enough to wax again - which means 2 or 3 weeks of hairy legs. So not cool for summer beach days.

There are other options like tweezing, threading and sugaring but these are more for specific areas like brows. 

As you can tell from the title of this post, we're going to look specifically at laser hair removal.

I gave laser hair removal a try 2 years ago but I messed up one fundamental thing - you need to be consistent with it. I started it again a few months ago and this time I'm hoping to go all in.

I asked Mariam Joosab from Simply Laser for her expert opinion on all your most commonly asked questions and some specific questions I got on my instagram stories. 




When it comes to steak houses I can be as picky as the next person. You want your steak to be extra juicy and just the right texture, right? I was recently invited to experience a meal at Hussar Grill - regarded as one of the premium grill rooms in South Africa - a restaurant I've had my eye on for a while, and decided to give their steak a try. They have branches throughout the country and I tried out the Hussar Grill in Gateway, Durban.


Location


The restaurant is located at Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga, Durban. Being located in Gateway Boulevard with so many restaurants around, it takes a special restaurant to stand out and Hussar Grill does just that. 


Here is a list of all the branches: 


Western Cape:
Camps Bay, Durbanville, Franschhoek, George, GrandWest, Mouille Point, Paarl, Rondebosch, Somerset West, Steenberg, Stellenbosch, Willowbridge, Worcester


Gauteng: Midrand - Waterfall, Montecasino, Morningside, The Grove

KZN: Gateway, Kloof

Eastern Cape: Walmer

Zambia: Lusaka

Saudi Arabia: Khobar




Ambiance


Walls of books from a time passed, line the restaurant - I spotted everything from volumes of the World Book, all kinds of Encyclopedia's as well as Popular Mechanics books that could easily be over 50 years old. In sections, you'll find bottles of wine and wine glasses on the shelves, overall giving it a very cosy feel. 

On the other hand, the entrance leads you straight to the bar - where I clearly felt right at home ;)






Food


Deciding on what to eat was so difficult because for any meat lover, the options are incredibly appertising. They also do a lot of house specialties, a few of which are on my list to try out the next time I visit.




Starters


I ended up having 3 starters so I can share on a few different options.  


Starter: Hussar Beef Biltong


To nibble
while I properly looked through the menu, I chose the biltong. It made me wonder, why don't more restaurants have biltong on the menu?? I love that they had the option! And biltong as a pre-starter is so satisfying.






Starter: Prawn and Fresh Avo Cocktail


This option consists of sweet queen prawn meat covered in their Marie Rose sauce on a bed of greens (Yes, with avo). As a cold option, it's a good summer starter however, in winter I prefer something warm to start off. 



Starter: Hollandse Bitterballen


Now this was my favourite part of the whole meal - and literally what I've been craving ever since! It consists of double cream Bechamel studded with beef jus and beef bits, then crumbed and deep fried with Dijon mustard on the side. Holy cow (no pun intended) this was DELICIOUS on another level! The texture is crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. And it made my taste buds so happy.





Mains


Choosing a main from 3 pages of meat options, most of which sound unique in some way and many of which are specialties is such a difficult task. I walked in knowing I want a simple Sirloin steak and while questioning all the scrumptious sounding options, ended up going with my gut feeling.





Main: Sirloin Steak


I chose a simple sirloin steak (medium) with a mushroom sauce and mash. Should I have chosen one of their specialty dishes? Probably, especially given most of them sounded amazing. It was a good steak, but not the best I've had. The texture and sauce were perfect but the flavour lacked a bit. On the other hand my choice of potato mash on the side complimented it nicely. I usually order wine with my steak but because I was driving opted not to but I've heard such good things about their house wines that I definitely will try next time.






Main: Hussar Carpetbagger 


My partner ordered the Hussar Carpetbagger, one of their house specialties. It consists of a fillet mignon stuffed with a combination of smoked oysters, cheddar cheese and topped off with a brandy and wholegrain mustard sauce. The fillet steak was tender and succulent and together with the sauce, very flavour-rich. However, whether the combination of oysters and steak compliment each other will probably depend on your personal taste - it's a bit of an aquired taste combination.




Dessert


I always end up having cheese cake or lemon meringue for dessert so I'm quite the expert at comparing different restaurants offering of the 2. There's also the option of a Chocolate Vodka Martini as a Signature Dessert on the menu, which I want to try next time. While I didn't get to taste it, my partner had the Creme Brulee and thoroughly enjoyed it.







Dessert: Baked Cheese Cake


Described as "Velvety smooth cheesecake atop a traditional buttery biscuit crust and baked to perfection" - don't these words just make your mouth water! You know that aunty in your family that loves to bake and makes the best dessert for family occassions and functions? This cheesecake tastes like my aunty made it. It's absolutely velvety and buttery melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake. It also isn't too rich or sweet and served in a huge slice, that's perfect for 2 or even 3 people.





Overall


The food was delicious with clearly a lot of heart being put into its preparation. The staff were phenomenal! I also have to mention the food was ready so quickly - the main came just 10 minutes after ordering, so it's a great option if you're in a bit of a hurry.


Fun fact: On the day prior to my visit, there was a petty theft with some of the table clothes having been stolen (As they were delivered outside the restaurant). The funny thing is, I hadn't even noticed it. But the manager made a point of apologising for it immediately - I thought it was part of the aesthetic since the lovely green tables matched the seats anyway!



Rating


These are my personal ratings based on the above experience. It is of course subjective.


Location: 10


Ambiance: 8


Food: 8 


Service: 9








Cetaphil is well known in the skincare space for affordable products that hydrate, replenish and protect. They have a few new products on the market, which I’ll give you a review of after having trialed them for about a month.



Looking for accommodation in Johannesburg? The Capital Melrose is part of The Capital Hotels and Apartments group and is located next to the Melrose Arch precinct in Johannesburg. The hotel only recently opened on 1 May 2019.


I stayed in the 1 bedroom apartment at the Capital Melrose recently and here’s everything you need to know about the hotel.





On a cold 10 degree Monday night I went to Lanser's on Main for dinner. Greeted by Lanser himself and served by him and his friendly staff, my night just got better and better.

Lanser's on Main is a Bistro located in Johannesburg, Gauteng. They specialize in home styled Italian and French food. I recently enjoyed a dinner at their restaurant and here is an overview of my experience.





LOCATION


Lanser's on Main is located in Bryanston in the Sandton region in Johannesburg. It's just off the main road. The restaurant is in an easy to find complex and has secure parking outside.


AMBIANCE 


The ambiance is old school French and Italian. The decor is warm and inviting and has lots of cute elements like the empty frames on the walls. The music is calm and just softly in the background allowing you to engage in conversation. While it makes the perfect date night restaurant, unlike many others it's warm and inviting making you feel right at home.


FOOD


A unique element to Lanser's on Main is that their menu isn't "set in stone". They often have specials and options that aren't on the menu. Their menu is also very diverse with lots of different options for any craving.

Starter: Clam Chowder


This is an option that wasn't on the menu and was part of the night's specials. Clam chowder is a chowder soup containing clams and broth, and a few other vegetables. It was also my first time having clam chowder. The soup was filled with such rich tastes and flavors and the clams were delicious. However, I didn't particularly enjoy the diced potato (and there was a lot of it). Would I have it again? Yes, I would just ask them to hold back on the potato.


Main: Pork Belly


Again, I was being adventurous and having something I wouldn't usually. I don't eat pork often at all but Lanser himself recommended it so I have it a try. It consisted of a crisp pork belly, roasted potatoes, vegetables and a pineapple honey glazed sauce. Personally I don't think I'm much of a pork person (The texture is a bit weird for me) BUT however it is something I'd like to have once in a while and especially in the style it was served at Lanser's on Main. The honey glazed sauce blew me away, it added so much flavor to the meal.


Main: Steak


My partner had steak, medium to rare, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Again, the flavors were rich and complemented the steak perfectly. It was also a large portion that included veggies and french fries.


Dessert: Lemon Meringue 


I ordered the lemon meringue for dessert (My usual is either cheesecake and lemon meringue). The portion size was huge - so much so we had to share it and still didn't finish it! It tasted fresh and delicious. It was however a bit sweeter than I would have wanted it to be.


OVERALL


Overall, Lanser's on Main is perfect for a date night. The ambiance puts you at ease and the attention to detail is memorable. The food was lovely and they have so many different options to suit any preference.

RATING


These are my personal ratings based on the above experience. It is of course subjective.

LOCATION: 8
AMBIANCE: 10
FOOD: 8










Since 2016 I've had almost every hair color under the sun - black (natural), brown, blonde, ginger, red and even purple. I've been fully embracing the different hair dying trends of our time (Platinum blonde, I've got my eyes on you). I won't even deny that this has led to my hair getting very damaged. Luckily for me, my hair is very thick and hasn't thinned due to it but it's definitely gotten more dry and doesn't look as healthy as before.

You gotta admit, when it comes to local TV and movies we aren't exactly spoilt for choice. You get the classics like 7de Laan and Carte Blanche but apart from that? Recently there have been some gems that were produced in the motherland and that actually give Hollywood a run for their money. While the South African film industry seems to still be finding its feet, I have high hopes for the content that will be produced locally in the next few years.

I'll include selections from DSTV, Netflix, Showmax, BoxOffice and even the cinema to give you some options for your next binge watch session.



More often than not, the world passes us by. Be it because we’re caught up in reaching the next deadline or because we are simply too tired to notice, but some days just go by. We can’t account for what we’ve done nor can we fathom a memory that is worthwhile to speak about. Although sad, it's not uncommon. That's why, when you live life, you need to make sure you are living it for yourself and for those dependent on you. 

A skincare range that is tailored to your age instead of skin type? This really intrigued me! A new skincare range in South Africa by professional skincare brand Nimue, AgeWell is their retail arm which can be found in Foschini stores and purchased online on their website.


With the New Year, New Me mindset wearing off it's time to go back to doing what we do best - binge watching series and movies on Netflix! It's actually the best time to do it considering the academic year has barely started, and most of us have some free time on our hands before things get crazy.



No family is perfect - that's the tagline for the new local movie, 3 Days To Go. Can it get any more relatable?




In 2019 I’m leveling up my New Year’s resolutions by setting realistic goals and actually pursuing them with help from the Uber Eats app.







It's that time of year again; year end functions, family time but most of all long queues to do Christmas shopping! *sigh* I'm the least patient person when it comes to waiting in a queue at the mall, much less facing the traffic. That's why I'm looking for cool alternative gifts that you can simply shop for online and have delivered straight to your door in a matter of days.

One such option is a lego mini me!


Mini Asha with her camera and trusted laptop

Our childhood favourite is back with a bang (Not that it ever left!). Vaseline has stepped up their game with the new Vaseline Lip Therapy Products.




High quality skin care products are something we shouldn't have to compromise on. While I'm all about that saving money life, I'm also someone that believes in investments and investing in good skincare products is super beneficial in the long run. 

While I personally use just a few essential skincare products, I like to incorporate one or two other more intensive products into my routine from time to time depending on my skin's needs. For 3 weeks I incorporated the Environ Focus Care Hydrating Oil Capsules and Environ Focus Care Youth+ Revival Masque into my routine.





With Halloween coming up I figured it's the perfect time to do something scary - LIKE GETTING BLOOD INJECTED IN YOUR FACE, ALL IN THE NAME OF BEAUTY. Well, kind of.

I decided to try out the Vampire Facial. The vampire facial is a PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) treatment that uses your own blood to promote the healthy activity and regeneration of your skin cells. I first heard of it a couple years ago when Kim Kardashian posted a bloody selfie in IG (Eeeep!)
In actually fact, as you will see in the video, it isn't bloody at all. The red blood cells aren't used. 


PROCESS (VIDEO)


STEP 1: YOUR BLOOD IS DRAWN AND YOUR FACE IS NUMBED USING NUMBING CREAM.

STEP 2: THE BLOOD IS RUN THROUGH A CENTRIFUGE TO ISOLATE THE PLATELETS.

STEP 3: MICRONEEDING OR MICROABRASION WITH THE PRPs (i.e blood) TAKES PLACE ON YOUR SKIN

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW!


AFTERCARE

Right after the treatment your skin might be a bit red with a sunburn texture (i.e cancel any plans you have for the rest of the day!). You have to apply sunblock and should not wear makeup directly after. Make sure to continue applying sunblock even after, although you should be wearing sunblock anyway. After a day or 2 your skin may be very dry and start to peel off (which is what I experienced). Then, after around 3 days you should see results - beautiful, glowy skin!

Disclaimer: My treatment was complimentary but all opinions expressed are my own.

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