‘Entertainment’ Category

Chasing The Summer!

Chasing The Summer!

Day dreaming about our upcoming travels. Its Winter here in Joburg, but in just less than a month, we satisfy that persistent itch to see some world, and chase the Summer. We cannot wait! This is what August will look like for us… #NewYork #Mykonos #Paris

Summer 2013 Collage

Mahiki, London

Mahiki, London

If you are in the Mayfair area in London and looking for cocktails to unwind, Mahiki
next to the swank Ritz Hotel in the heart of prestigious Mayfair, serves mean cocktails. A trendy tropical escape and top clubbing venue Mahiki has been a white-hot celebrity hang-out since its 2006 opening by Piers Adam and Nick House.

Two floors of posh Polynesian playground, the Mahiki is known for ultra-delicious cocktails, and a funky resort ambience. Despite its popularity with the glitterati, the super-cool Mahiki has retained an open-door policy, though lines may form later in the evening. Try to slip in early on the popular Thursday theme nights. Friendly and relaxed as a South Sea beach-front sunset bar, the Mahiki delights with vibrant Hawaiian cushions, cheeky Tiki statues, wicker furniture and flickering lamplight.

Truly tropical, Mahiki’s innovative fresh fruit cocktail delights are served in coconut and pineapple tiki-cups, while the Island Grill serves up some tasty tapas. Relax in the laid-back Lanai cocktail lounge area, or let your hair down, flowers and all, in the campy and colorful Aloha Room, where rockin’ DJ’s bring cool beats to this Polynesian playground.

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For general enquiries or or bookings, you can email honey@mahiki.com or contact them on 020 7493 9529.

Rooftop Gardens, London

Rooftop Gardens, London

The best part about London nighttlife, is it is virtually impossible to run out of places to explore. One amazing find was Rooftop Gradens. Situated 100 feet above bustling Kensington High Street, the Rooftop Gardens and Babylon Restaurant are truly spectacular. There are three themed gardens, with over 70 full-size trees, a flowing stream stocked with fish and resident flamingos.For over 70 years this unique venue has played host to countless events, parties and weddings.

Originally above Derry and Tom’s department store which opened in 1933, The Roof Gardens were the dream child of the vice president of Barkers, Trevor Bowen, who employed landscape architect Ralph Hancock to realise his vision. The Roof Gardens is part of Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s portfolio of unique retreats.

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High up on the 7th floor with amazing views over London's skyline, only their mouth-watering cuisine will compete for your attention at Babylon!

High up on the 7th floor with amazing views over London’s skyline, only their mouth-watering cuisine will compete for your attention at Babylon!

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And in the evening, when you feel like putting on your dancing shoes, you can visit their hugely popular and trendy club on the 6th floor, with top DJs working their magic in chic and contemporary surroundings.

London’s only rooftop Private Members Club is as glamorous as it comes. Open Friday and Saturday nights only, the dress code is simply “no effort, no entry”. Entrance is strictly over 21 years.

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Whether you come to the Roof gardens for an event, for a night at the private members club, for a meal in Babylon Restaurant or just for a wander around the gardens, you can be guaranteed a mind blowing London experience!

Call them on +44 (0) 207 368 3993, book a table online or email babylon@roofgardens.virgin.com

The Bungalow, Clifton, CPT

The Bungalow, Clifton, CPT

Anyone who knows me well will testify to the fact that when I travel, most of my travel plans are based on great dining experiences. I will always seek out the best restaurants in any city that I travel to. Firstly because, well, I just love to eat good food, and secondly, because I believe that through its food, you get to know every country/city a little bit better.  Upon the good advice of a friend who lives in Cape Town, we made a reservation for lunch at The Bungalow in Clifton. And thank God we did, because its always packed, especially during peak season.

The Bungalow opened its doors in December 2011, and is also sister  to the Paranga / Pepenero / Zenzero and The Kove restaurants. The restaurant has been described as “Clifton’s hottest restaurant and lounge”, and after spending a very lazy Summer’s day eating the most divine seafood, and sipping on bubbly all day, I have to agree that The Bungalow is as “hot” as its been said to be.

With its chic interior and excellent food & wine menu, a relaxed vibe, and beautiful clientele,  The Bungalow has given Cape Town a fine dining restaurant at one of the best locations around and therefore created an excellent destination to spend long Summer lunches that turn into dinner.

We love Cape Town Summer days, but we love Cape Town Summer days spent at The Bungalow a little bit more :-)

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Their seafood platter is sooo good!

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Tequila, anyone?

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Stunning view!

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Good people, good food, good weather, plenty bubbly…enough to make a girl smile!

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Cheers!

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Happy times!

 

The Bungalow Restaurant (The old La Med)
Address: 3 Victoria Road, Clifton
Telephone number: +27 (0)21 438 2018.

TBT: Nice, France 2011

TBT: Nice, France 2011

After being in Paris, I was quite excited to go to the South of France where so many people have raved about it and the pictures just told a beautiful story.

I was just looking forward to soaking up the sun on the beach and swimming in proper bikini gear and not my underwear like I did in Switzerland.

I spent the first day doing some shopping as well as looking for an outfit for Monaco as we were going there the next day for dinner and to party, so I needed to make sure I fit in with the money dripping folk of Monaco.

What was lovely about where our hotel was situated is that it was close to all amenities, well the important places such shopping district, bars and the beach. Everything was a walk away.

We had dinner at a place called Le Ligure where the food was just delicious. We then all went our separate ways to enjoy the rest of the evening. Going clubbing was our first option, but after we were denied entry into one club we quickly shutdown that idea and opted to go bar hoping instead.

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Romain and I

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Topdeck troop

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Gorgeous girls of Topdeck

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The Cathedral

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Crazy and awesome couple, Joan and Romain

Crazy and awesome couple, Joan and Romain

After a hectic night of partying, we woke up had a delicious breakfast and decided to go to the beach and roam the streets of Nice.

We were lucky that our place is situated approximately 10 minutes walking distance from the beach and famous Promenade des Anglais. Its full of runners, people just taking a stroll, people on roller blades and cyclists. The atmosphere is just amazing. After enough walking, we then decided to find a spot on the beach and have a swim. The only eeky thing about the beach is that the beach is pebbles, so it makes your bum sore. Yip I spotted the odd three women walking around topless, aint no thang. They had nice boobs so for me it was ok, however I did not think it was smart for me to do the same. I just kept my African titties covered.

Promenade des Anglais

Promenade des Anglais

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Beach of Nice

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View of Nice at top of Le Chatea

After the beach we headed off to Le Chateu where its quite a climb to get to the top, ok i’m being dramatic, I was just unfit. I was taking breaks just to get back into the idea of going up more steps. But trust me that once you get to the top, you are grateful you didn’t turn around. The top gives you a panoramic view of Nice. Its truly breath taking. I remember thinking when I was up there “This is where people take all these beautiful pictures of Nice”. We came across a guy playing his cordian. I tried to speak to him, but with a combination of my lack of French and his limited English vocab, it wasn’t much of a conversation because all he said was “You are beautiful” and I was like “Music is beautiful”.

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View of Nice

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Myself, Romain and Joan at top of Le Chatea

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French man playing his cordian

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After the Le Chatea we took a walk to the famous  Cours Selaya Market which is not far from the beach. It was perfect timing beacuse we were in need of a mid day snack just before lunch. You need to contain yourself, other wise you might want to buy everything you come across. We ended buying some berries and croissants as our snack. We were in France, of course we had to have croissants even though we had them for breakfast, but these were sold at a market, very different. The market is surrounded with souvenir shops and cafes everywhere, so if you want to stop for a meal its not too far.

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Croissants sold at the Cours Selaya Market
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Delicious berries found at the market

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Cheese, glorious cheese sold at the Cours Selaya market.

Wandering around a town and finding gems and hidden places is just one needs to do and Old Town seemed like the perfect place. There are so many small shops and cafes everywhere. While wondering the streets we came across a Durex machine. Yip, slap bam in the middle of the streets. Everyone does the deed, so why not make sure you doing have a disappointing evening because you don’t have the goods. So I just had to take a pic of it. Romain and Joan dared me to go and buy a pack and they will take a pic of me, I wasn’t going down like that. Taking the pic of it was enough.

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With these on the streets, you cant say “I have run out”. Sorry for you, no holiday babies should bepopping up.

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This shop was just so inviting and just so Frenchy.

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Streets of Old Town

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Streets of Old Town

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I had an amazing time. Nice is nice, nice is beautiful and the views breathtaking. The French riviera definitely gets a high five from me. Whether I am back to find that French man, or just back because its a place to go back to, I’m excited to experience it from another angle.

TBT: Monaco ‘09

TBT: Monaco ‘09

Looking back at a brief but lovely trip I took to Monaco back in September 2009. I had just spent a few glorious days in beautiful Paris and then made my way to Monaco to visit my friend Adjoa who was studying at the International University of Monaco at the time.

The six hour ride from Paris to Monaco on the Euro Star offered a glimpse of the scenic French countryside. Vast green fields that went on forever, beautiful farm houses, and grazing cattle were some of the sights we saw along the way. Eventually, we arrived in the spectacular principality of Monaco, situated along the breathtakingly beautiful French Riviera.

My impressions of Monaco? Beautiful, extravagant, and a glimpse into what REAL (and old) money affords those who have it. High-end restaurants, designer shopping, a stunning harbour, the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo, and opulent nightlife are some of the things you can expect from Monaco.

Overall, I found that Monaco was somewhat over the top, but who can ever be mad at spending a few days of luxury living at its best?

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Stunning French countryside as seen from the train.

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Sheep enjoying their lunch :-)

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As we drove into Monte Carlo

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Place du Casino

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View from our hotel room. The MOST phenomenal view I have ever woken up to.

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The sheer beauty of the French Riviera.

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Walking the streets.

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The harbour

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I want one!

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Dinner and drinks with the girls!

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Caribbean Living…

Caribbean Living…

So someone I know decided to live out a dream and go and spend a month – a whole month –  chilling in the Caribbean! That is life! Her name is Barbara Makumbi, she’s a doctor, and she’s my new hero.  Read this feature for her beautiful Caribbean experience!

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I’m a junior doctor and after working hard (at the bottom of the hospital food chain) as an intern for 2 years, I decided its time for a break, a celebratory break, a time out to see the world.

So I put the next chapter of my career on hold and took a month off.

But when the world is your oyster where do you go?  Well, that was easy. My old childhood friend Fiona is living on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla. We’d been talking about my visiting her for ages. Perfect!

So, the time finally came to leave. I bid farewell to my old job, my old town, friends & family and headed off for my one-month adventure.

After a 20 hour flight to the USA, I landed in Las Vegas. This is where I met up with Fiona. Vegas was everything you would imagine it would be and now I know why they say, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. So, moving on swiftly ;)



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3 days later, we were off to the Caribbean. We flew from Vegas to Miami, and then from Miami to the Caribbean Island of St Maarten, or as I like to call it… Paradise!!

St Maarten is situated in the north-west of the Caribbean.  It is divided into a French territory (the French side) and a territory of the Netherlands (the Dutch Side).

The St Maarten airport is located a few meters from Maho Beach.

Upon landing, one can look out of the airplane and see people soaking up the sun and enjoying the beach. The ocean is turquoise & crystal clear with white sands. This was a sight to behold from the air. I instantly became excited.  Regardless of how many hours we’d been travelling or how jetlagged we were, Fiona and I were going to hit that beach, immediately.

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A rush to our hotel, the Caravanserai Beach-Resort ensued. We dropped off our luggage and got ready for the beach. This hotel is located in the same vicinity as the airport and the beach. Everything we needed was in the same area. We had chosen our hotel very strategically. It was beyond convenient.

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Ready to go, Fiona and I were off to explore. We headed to Sunset Beach Bar, an iconic hot spot in St Maarten.  At this bar, you will get the best view of planes landing overhead at the airport.

The planes fly at such a close proximity that is feels as though they may land on the beach.  While viewing the magnificent sights, Fiona and I indulged in the island’s trademark cocktails.

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In the evening, we were keen to try some local cuisine however this wasn’t easy to find so we settled for a restaurant/lounge, called YOLO- You Only Live Once. This soon became the catch phrase for our trip together.

Dinner was fantastic, and with our bellies full and happy, it was time to paint the island red. We headed to a local & popular nightspot and danced the night away.

The next morning it was time to leave for Anguilla, the place I’d call home for the next 3 weeks.

Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory & located just north of St Maarten. It is a small island with a population of approximately 13 500 people.

We caught a Ferry from St Maarten to Anguilla, via the Anguilla channel, which separates the islands. Fiona had warned that me that Anguilla is the definition of island living. At the time, I wasn’t quite sure what she had meant. She tried to explain that, it would be like nothing I’ve ever experienced, as the city girl that I am.

When we arrived at the dock in Anguilla, friendly faces greeted us, so far so good. We disembarked and made our way to Fiona’s beach house. It was lovely. The sites and sounds were definitely the definition of island living. And I loved it!

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Fiona’s accommodation is literally 10 footsteps from the beach. I spent most of my days in her beach-backyard, lazing in the sun and reading. As well as meeting the friendly locals and tourists. It was heavenly.

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Getting my hair done

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The people of Anguilla are a beautiful people, inside and out. They were always willing to go the extra mile to make me feel welcome.  I felt right at home.

Anguilla has a wide array of places to eat out. From the restaurants, to the beach bars, to the local resorts, to barbeques and grills.  We did it all.

Below are my top 4 places to visit in Anguilla:

The Dune Preserve Beach Bar

The Dune Preserve Beach Bar is located on Rendezvous Beach. It has been ranked as the Best Beach Bar in the World by CNN. This charismatic bar is owned by internationally known recording artist Bankie Banks. It’s composed of tree house structure, made primarily of drift wood.

It’s an open-air bar, which boasts beautiful ocean views. There is a restaurant that serves delicious cuisine. And a well stocked bar which houses a Caribbean favorite- rum punch (a very potent cocktail). We spent many afternoons and evenings hanging out at the Dune.

They boast live performances regularly, adding even more to the amazing atmosphere.

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Viceroy Beach Resort

Viceroy is a luxury beach resort located on Meads Beach. This breathtaking resort is Fiona’s neighbour. A short , 5-minute walk down the beach and we were there.Viceroy has a host of restaurants, bars and lounges. We were regular visitors.Many a celebrity has visited this resort on holiday or business. And most recently Rick Ross, Wale and Drake filmed the music video for “Diced Pineapples” there. At Viceroy we enjoyed fine dining, DJ nights, buffet breakfast and spa facilities. This was the ultimate neighbour.

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Sand Bar

Sandbar is a beach bar located in the Sandy ground area of Anguilla. This beach bar is very upmarket with a sophisticated feel. They are renowned for their Tapas and Cocktails which are both very delicious. So you simply order a large number variety of finger foods and sip on cocktails. So fantastic. The best part about Sandbar is the tables and chair that are located in the sand, on the actual beach. (normal seating is available) The beach is majestic & catching a sunset at Sandbar is simply in one word… magical.

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Blanchard’s Beach Shack

Blanchard Beach Shack which is also located very close to us, is a very laid-back restaurant/ take out on the beach. We spent a lot of time here too. We would meet friends, grab a quick dinner and just hang out. Great food, quite an American orientated menu. Tables are located in the beach sand, surrounded by palm trees that are decorated with fairy lights. And just a stone’s throw from the water.

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I’m sure the waiters and waitresses knew exactly who we were by the time I was leaving.

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We went to a few clubs in Anguilla. The nightlife was exciting with a great atmosphere. Many beach bars and clubs host live music events regularly. Safety was never an issue in Anguilla. I was told that crime is a rare occurrence on the island. This was evident to me by the lack of fencing, houses with open doors, unlocked cars, & people walking around fearlessly at all hours of the day and night. If a pedestrian is walking in the same direction you are driving, you pick that person up. It’s the norm. It was so refreshing.

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During our adventures we met singer/recording artist- Omari Banks  & song of Bankie Banks (also a recording artist and owner of Dune Preserve Beach Bar). He is a former West Indies test cricketer. He broke off from his sporting career to pursue his passion in music. Omari Banks is the lead singer of his band called Eleven. The music they play can be described as- a combination of lovers’ rock & reggae infused with a mixture of jazz & R&B. He releases his debut album and music video later this week. Watch this space!

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Photographer- Bob Magee

Check the first single out on itunes:
Omari Banks – Unafraid
& his official website: www.omaribanks.com

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The day I had to leave Anguilla, I left with a heavy heart.  I had connected with this island on another level. The beautiful scenery, the wonderful people, the music, food and culture, I had soaked it all in.  Saying goodbye to paradise was so difficult.  Anguilla has definitely not seen the last of me!

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References:

http://www.bankiebanx.net/Restaurant.html
http://www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/anguilla/overview
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anguilla

TBT: Venice, Italy 2011

TBT: Venice, Italy 2011

Part of my Europe tour in 2011 was going to Venice.  So off we went to Venice.

You have a choice of navigating yourself on a gondola or just getting yourself lost in the streets.It is separated by bridges and canals. You have to take a ferry to get to the city. It is absolutely perfect and amazing.

I had heard so much about it I was beyond excited. The architecture is just amazing. Its also famous for its glass, I decided to purchase plates for my mom, my only purchase. I have to say that they are not lying when they say its expensive. But regardless you still are able to have a lovely meal, coupled with a good glass of wine and do some shopping without it denting your pocket money too heavily.

Standing in the middle of the magnificent piazza San Marco is an experience in itself. We started off visiting the world famous St Marks Basilica .The architecture is just exquisite, I can’t describe it anyway else. We spent the day wandering the streets and visiting historic sites. Our Gondola ride was nothing less than perfect. It was the right way to relax but still get to see the city. You forget how much walking you have done because every street is just so unique and interesting. There are small cafes and restaurants, tucked away.You can also enjoy a meal over looking the canals.

We ended off our evening with a Toga party. We were given sheets and the rest was up to us. The men were dressed by us (ladies), so they literally were standing there exposed in just their undies waiting for one of us to come wrap them up in their sheets.

Lots of drinking, eating and dancing. The best bunch of people who know how to have a good time and let loose. To seal off Venice being a city of romance and love at its best, one of us, no names mentioned was able to have a short summer fling in Venice. The bliss of it all.

I definitely want to come back to this breath taking city with a boo thang. Venice is another reason why Italy is such a beautiful and romantic country.

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Republic Bar & Grill, Accra

Republic Bar & Grill, Accra

When traveling to a new city, its always good to find out where the locals love to let loose and enjoy a drink or two. Its usually in these environments that the real personality of a city shows itself, and also where you really get a sense of what makes each city unique.

Word of mouth led us to a charming bar & grill in Osu, called Republic Bar & Grill. Osu is a district in central Accra, known for its busy commercial, restaurant and nightlife activity. It is locally known as the “West End” of Accra. When walking and driving through Osu, I felt was a strong sense of the authentic energy and soul of the people of Accra.

The selling point of Republic Bar & Grill is the fact that all the drinks are laced with Akpeteshie (Disclaimer: Not for the faint hearted). Akpeteshie is a home-made alcoholic spirit produced in Ghana and other West African nations by distilling palm wine or sugar cane. But beyond that, this charming bar & grill provides an eccentric and quirky experience in the city of Accra. From the sounds of Fela Kuti filling the air, to the vintage inspired decor, the colourful and interesting  clientele, and the yummy Akpeteshie laced cocktails (AGAIN, Be warned), a night out at Republic Bar & Grill is a sure stop before heading out for a night of partying in Accra (if you’re still standing of course).

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Get To Know: Lerato Makume

Get To Know: Lerato Makume

Lerato Makume GTK

1.What is the best early morning experience you’ve had while traveling?

Waking up to a cold one in the morning…. Don’t have the pleasure of doing that on my daily routine at home.

2. Have you experienced any disasters/crisis while traveling?

Flew 18 hours on an airline (EgyptAIR to be exact) with NO BOOZE and one in-flight movie ….Needless to say, I will NEVER travel with that airline EVER AGAIN!

3. Have you ever “mysteriously” survived a critical situation?

Forgot the pin to my bankcard after taking a beautiful tour around Cairo, Egypt. I couldn’t pay the taxi driver. I was so scared. Seriously thought he would leave me in the middle of nowhere. Rough times. But in the end, he was accommodating and let me go without paying.

4. What is your travel style?

No specific style. I think my style would be classified as really chilled. I go with the flow, I love partying in different countries, and location based lunches and champagne

5.Which songs best describe your travel experiences?

Let me get back to you on this. It changes every single time. The last trip to New York was M.I.A “Bad Girls”. It embodies the whole essence of traveling with a group of girls. The ups, downs, and all the random in-between moments

6. Most profound lesson learned through travel?

I just have a good time when I travel…..Will think about the lessons later! Questions like these bore me…..

7. Favorite City? Why?

Johannesburg. Its my foundation. My core. No where else can compare.

8. What are some of the things you don’t like about traveling?

a) No alcohol on planes
b) Going to the toilet during a flight
c) Missioning from one place to another with too much luggage

I know it seems trivial but, all the above can ruin an experience.

9. I had my best night’s sleep at:

On the sleeper couch in our apartment in New York…

10. What are the 3 top eating experiences you’ve had while traveling lately?

1. Loved Sant Ambroues in the West Village ( NY) New York, (259 West, 4th Street, New York, NY 10014. Tel. 212-604-9254)

2. Rafiki’s (meaning ‘friend’ in Swahili) Cape Town. 13 Kloof Nek Road | Tamboerskloof | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 426 4731

11. Best place to get tipsy:

I would imagine Amsterdam, but I have never been…. It’s on the list

12. What’s the craziest stereotype you’ve heard about South Africans while traveling?

Not all South Africans have AIDS.

13. Cities you want to see with a lover?

Not just cities….The World!

14. Cities you want to see with the girls?

Where I can get shattered  (Mom, if you are reading this- “Shattered” is slang for reading) and my lover won’t find me….or even hear of me. So I think Scotland.

15. Best Cities to travel on your own

Durban, there is nothing much to do but lay on the beach!

16. What city best embodies your personality?

Johannesburg. And New York is up there too. The contrast and extremes. The hard vs soft. I am all these things

17. About Yourself:

Another question I hate…this is not an interview! But hopefully we can hang sometime so you can get to know more about me