Review: Cooking tour with Marlene Van Der Westhuizen (Charroux)

This entry doesn’t really belong here I know. I wanted to post this review of Marlene Van Der Westhuizen’s Cook’s Tour on Tripadvisor, but sadly they don’t allow reviews of multi-day experiences and so my review was not approved. I am posting it here in the hope that it prevents other people from wasting a whole lot of money on what should be a “once in a lifetime” experience. It isn’t. It falls short in many ways.

If you have Googled Ms V D Westhuizen’s offering you will most likely have ended up on one of a handful of posts about it as she doesn’t seem to have a website of her own. You will most probably have read this or that – 2 positive, glowing posts that really blow smoke up her arse. After spending 2,500 Euros each on this experience I wish we had dined on home-made cassoulet with the neighbour, drunk Stellenzicht wine, gone snail “hunting” or learnt something about cooking. It seems things have certainly changed since these posts were written.

So without further ado here is what I thought about this “cook’s tour”…

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still here

Wow I can’t believe the last thing I posted was Happy New Year for 2014. And here we are in March already…almost the end of March for pity’s sake. How did that happen? As we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and I had some, I promise, about the things I would share.

Yes we did see the great big impressive fireworks display for New Year – it was amazing despite starting late and having a weird gap in the middle. In fact we watched from a friend’s roof in Jumeirah, and when it seemed to be over I climbed down only to realise the finale was yet to come. I have to admit that I watched the ending on the TV..haha. But it was amazing. Yes it could be considered a waste of money by some, but the child in me really enjoyed it.

New Year 2014 record breaking fireworks

record breaking fireworks

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restaurant week

So I am sitting here writing this from our lovely hotel room in Chablis, France. The birds are tweeting in the trees, lovely green trees, outside. Its slightly chilly, about 19 degrees C, but the sun is shining and the air is free of dust. All good. But I thought I better get some thoughts down about last week, when Stu and I visited two restaurants during the Jumeirah restaurant week in Dubai. That is before the wonderful food and wine we are having here in France makes me forget all about it.

The restaurant week runs for…a week obviously, and is intended as a way to encourage you to try new restaurants in the group. Offering a set menu for a special price, excluding grape beverages sadly, the idea is to highlight a few of the dishes on offer in each case.

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another food festival

I just received an email from BBC Good Food ME about a foodie thing, their World Food Festival to be precise, happening at the Burjuman Centre from the 14th May. You may not know about it (I didn’t) so I thought I would share it with you just in case you might fancy popping down there.

Happy Mother’s Day as well to all my lovely lady readers.

Enjoy the week!

Burjuman World Food Festival

Burjuman World Food Festival

Dubai food styling workshop

I’m one of those people who takes photos of my food when I’m out at a restaurant. I guess a couple of years ago people would have considered this odd behaviour, but nowadays with the increase in the quantity and quality of food bloggers it’s not a surprising nor unusual thing to see when you are out and about, especially when trying a new restaurant or attending some kind of foodie event. Whilst I love food and I enjoy sharing my experiences with you I don’t presume to call myself a food blogger. The pictures I have been taking are little more than snaps, in my humble opinion (IMHO).

However this may soon be about to change. Armed with my still-new DSLR camera, and lucky enough to have time on my hands (more or less), I attended a Food Styling Workshop last week, here in Dubai. With a fair amount of trepidation I might add – I had no idea what to expect. Food styling is essentially what happens when a photo shoot for a cookbook, or even a food blog, needs to take place. The food, being the star of the show, has to look its very best. So a lot of the workshop was (as you might expect) about how to set up your camera for the all important shot, and then some post-processing hints and tips to tweak your photo (if needed). What I didn’t expect, to be quite honest, was the amount of AMAZING food that we got to consume, prepared and served up to us by some truly talented chefs. Honestly it felt like we didn’t stop eating for two days. And we probably didn’t.

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Animal Rescue

If you would like to contribute a few dollars towards my TNR work with stray cats I would be most grateful

what you missed