Categories

This a special one since I stayed at this hotel this New Years Eve as well as 3 times before and it's definitely one of my go to hotels in Umhlanga. Located at Gateway Theatre of Shopping, the biggest mall in Durban, aha Gateway Hotel is the ultimate choice for shopaholics that want convenience at a modern hotel.

FYI this is more of a quick mini review since I just had an overnight stay but will hopefully do another one after a longer stay :)


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.
Cetaphil Daily Scrub Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion Cetaphil Rich Night Cream



In the South of France over 20 years ago, Panier des Sens, a brand of natural resources was born.

Panier des sens, panier des sens review, panier des sens rose geranium, panier des sens south africa, panier des sens hand cream, panier des sens orange blossom, panier des sens uk, panier des sens jasmin, Christmas gift south africa, gift for her



Under the shade of cypress trees and mimosas, the founder Jerome
Lambruschini, combined his love for the region and typical south of France lifestyle to create a committed brand of natural cosmetics.
Inspired by the natural resources of France and old Mediterranean know-how, the company creates perfumes, soaps, luxurious creams and oils as well as candles and home fragrances – all of which magnify the beauty of Provence.

Panier des sens, panier des sens review, panier des sens rose geranium, panier des sens south africa, panier des sens hand cream, panier des sens orange blossom, panier des sens uk, panier des sens jasmin, Christmas gift south africa, gift for her



Over the years Panier des Sens has developed its product with master soap makers from Marseille and master parfumers from Grasse utilising their artisanal skills and unique know-how.

The natural and vegan formulas are designed and conceived in Provence, always encouraging short circuits and local partnerships. These natural and organic products have rich textures and delicate fragrances all carefully formulated and constantly reworked offering a minimum of 95% ingredients of natural origin.

Panier des sens, panier des sens review, panier des sens rose geranium, panier des sens south africa, panier des sens hand cream, panier des sens orange blossom, panier des sens uk, panier des sens jasmin, Christmas gift south africa, gift for her



Panier des Sens is always working towards a greener future working with farmers who cultivate using sustainable farming methods and using eco-design packaging that is 100% recycled and recyclable.
Preserving the natural heritage and protecting and managing the nature of the French region. Members of the 1% for the Planet association, an international movement engaged in an economy that is more respectful of people and the planet.

All their solid soaps are members of the RSPO (Roundtable on sustainable Palm Oil) meeting the associations very precise corporate social responsibility and sustainable development requirements, and is traceable throughout the supply chain.

Panier des sens, panier des sens review, panier des sens rose geranium, panier des sens south africa, panier des sens hand cream, panier des sens orange blossom, panier des sens uk, panier des sens jasmin, Christmas gift south africa, gift for her



Breathe a new life into your home with Panier des Sens!
Panier des Sens asserts its olfactory expertise by a NEW HOME FRAGRANCE COLLECTION: scented candles, reed diffusers, room sprays and universal refills.

This brand new collection represents well-being and art de vivre, key words for a range which embodies pure sensory emotions. The
collection features three major olfactory families from the world of perfumery, in a range of varieties with floral, fruity or woody scents.
An exceptional olfactory journey around eco designed, natural, safe and sensorial products that respect the environment and the health of our users.

Panier des sens, panier des sens review, panier des sens rose geranium, panier des sens south africa, panier des sens hand cream, panier des sens orange blossom, panier des sens uk, panier des sens jasmin, Christmas gift south africa, gift for her



“A perfectly balanced collection, Panier des Sens are the Masters of Fine- fragrance development, each scent deliciously unique and appealing to all sensibilities and tastes thus creating a harmonious feeling of luxury and well- being in the home. The collection rings true to the brands pillars of sustainable living, the refills are multi-use and the containers beautiful enough to use over and over again”, says one director of The 51 Group, Nitsa Comninos-Rose.

Experience the magic of Christmas in Provence with the Panier des Sens CHRISTMAS COLLECTION. Decorate a place setting or hang on your tree, these delightful little gifts are a great surprise for your guests and are enriched with active ingredients from Provence. An affordable gift that combines the joy of giving with the pleasure of decorating your tree.

“Instilling the spirit of Christmas, the collection evokes feelings of nostalgia and the comforts of home and nature. The scents envelop you like a warm hug and the packaging is beautifully designed as only Panier des Sens can do. Affordable yet indulgent, perfect gifts to yourself or a loved one!”

Panier des sens, panier des sens review, panier des sens rose geranium, panier des sens south africa, panier des sens hand cream, panier des sens orange blossom, panier des sens uk, panier des sens jasmin, Christmas gift south africa, gift for her



Limited edition Christmas scented candles light up year-end celebrations with a 100% cotton wick, 55 hour burn time, reusable glass containers and fragrances developed in Grasse.

Sweet Madeleine: freshly baked madeleine cake, bursting with the aromas of almond, citrus and vanilla-caramel take you on a mouth-watering trip down memory lane.

Enchanted Forest: Under a starry sky, step inside and let the magic of
Christmas whisk you away over the hills to the enchanted forest. Woody amber notes with a hint of smoke conjure a mysterious and mystical atmosphere.

Gingerbread: Indulge in the heart-warming aroma of gingerbread. An
explosion of spices and vanilla notes create a festive a cosy atmosphere.

Panier des sens, panier des sens review, panier des sens rose geranium, panier des sens south africa, panier des sens hand cream, panier des sens orange blossom, panier des sens uk, panier des sens jasmin, Christmas gift south africa, gift for her



Using centuries of artisanal know-how and traditional methods, combining sophisticated formulations that not only benefit the skin but highly developed and evolved fragrances and essential oils that nurture the mind. Utilising sustainable farming methods, and presenting itself in beautifully curated eco-packaging, Panier des Sens is brand that looks to the past while caring for our future.

It's that time of year again where all the couples on instagram seem to compete for "most romantic Valentines Day" spent in luxurious destinations, with captions that adorns more hearts than a cardiac hospital and soppy messages that the rest of us just double tap without reading and scroll past. *Sigh*

Sounds pitiful right? Lol, JK.  We're all lowkey jealous, let's be honest. 

This month, The Capital Hotel & Apartments embraces the #LoveUnderLockdown so that no lockdown formed against us can prosper. You can book a romantic staycation and experience a uniquely amazing and luxurious Valentine's Day whilst still staying safe and making the most of some one-on-one time with your bae

I was lucky enough to get to experience their romantic February package at The Capital Menlyn Maine in Pretoria and was absolutely blown away by what was probably the most spectacular Valentine's I've had ever. But don't take my word for it - check out the insanely beautiful set up!




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.

environ focus care hydrating oil capsules and revival masque
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.


Agewell, best affordable skin care products south africa


In August 2022 I got to experience world-class, 5-star luxury right here in Johannesburg, at Four Seasons The Westcliff. This hillside gem overlooks the Rosebank and Johannesburg CBD skylines.


 When we think of "treat yourself" what comes to mind is face masks, champagne and massages but I for one believe wash-day should be a whole pamper session too. If you have curly hair you're probably already accustomed to wash-day being a whole occasion that you have to schedule out in your diary. But instead of it being something you dread (Washing my hair takes at least 3-4 hours out of my day) make it something to look forward to.

Head & Shoulders is one of those OG brands that take me back to childhood, and this time they've come up with a new premium and feminine range, Head & Shoulders Supreme infused with Argan oil. Without compromising their anti-dandruff technology, Supreme is more conditioning and nourishing than ever thanks to the added Argan oil and micro hair nourishers.

If you haven't read my full review of Four Seasons The Westcliff, what are you waiting for? During my stay I also visited the acclaimed Flames restaurant at the hotel. Here's my experience of the dinner and breakfast at Flames.


 

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.





Cellphone? Check. Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Facemask? Oh shoot!

Life By Asha Singh wearing a sequins COVID-19 fabric mask

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 ;)






Hey you. Yes you, the one procrastinating and reading this blog post - you should be studying!


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. 



AWARD WINNING UK CELEBRITY HAIRDRESSER ANDREW BARTON LAUNCHES HAIRCARE BRAND IN SOUTH AFRICA.



It's not everyday that a celebrity hairdresser whose client list includes Kate Moss and Kylie Minogue develops a haircare range at a fraction of the price of professional haircare products.

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







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

It's that time of year again - time to go on 10 mall trips and STILL not find good enough Christmas gifts for everyone! Christmas shopping can be so frustrating, I for one know the struggle.

That's why I'm hoping to make Christmas shopping a little easier for you and give you some gift inspo so that you can go to the mall with a plan and know exactly what to get everyone! This should save you from the multiple mall trips that end up being a waste of time and energy. You'll find something for everyone (and then some!). Hope this helps!




When people think of KwaZulu-Natal they don't usually think of a holiday in the countryside. This often means they miss out on one of the best destinations in the province - the Midlands Meander. Nestled among the green, lush rolling hills of the Midlands is where you'll find Brahman Hills.

Blogger website Created by ARMAN