Racing Season is officially underway


At the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (LQP) on January 7 slaying in a Nontando original siShweshwe outfit. 

Cape Town’s horse racing season is in full swing.The season began with the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (LQP)  glitzy blue and white themed two day affair that was held in the first weekend of January. As one of Cape Town’s Racing .It’s a Rush ambassador and guest, my friends and I spent the day at the Paddock Marquee , mingling with South Africa’s who-is-who in entertainment, the social scene and celebrities. Part of the fun is also sipping on champagne, eating delicious canapes and also placing a bet. Although most of us are there to show off our outfits and to slay. However, we do take the time to watch the country’s finest thoroughbred horses compete for a large amount of money…in between taking countless selfies and photos…of course;-) We placed bets worth about a R100 but we didn’t win…we are still a long way from becoming professional punters. 

Here is a breakdown of the winners:
– Winner of the MAINE CHANCE FARMS PADDOCK STAKES (WFA) (Grade 1) (For Fillies and Mares ) was Bela-Bela trained by Justin Snaith and Anton   Marcus.
– Winner of the L’ORMARINS QUEEN’S PLATE (WFA) (Grade 1) was Legal Eagle trained by Sean Tarry and the jockey Anton Marcus 
– Jockey Anton Marcus rode 4 winners on the the day! 


If you do not take a picture with this LQPCT floral decorated sign, you were not there.

Take note of the blue and white theme as it’s there for a reason. To those who showed up dressed in colours outside the theme, STOP IT!!!! You are ruining a tradition that has been there for decades and not just our pictures with your red or mustard outfits. 

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My friend Hubert won the best dressed man title. Rightfully earned and deserved, he looked dapper and his attention to detail is on point. Gentleman!! Take notes. 

SUN MET CELEBRATED WITH MUMM 2.jpg“Sun Met celebrated with Mumm” The picture is supplied. 

Coming up next week  is the inaugural Sun Met celebrated with Mumm event which has been hailed as the “the richest horse racing day in Africa”. I am looking forward to this event. Hey now,  I do enjoy good champagne. So the thought of spending the whole day sipping on unlimited G. H. Mumm, eating good food in good company sounds like the perfect day to me.

The theme is “ “Decades of glamour” which means that we are  spoilt for choice when it comes to what to wear on the day. 

Here is a breakdown of the theme to help you put together the perfect race day outfit

Theme: “Decades of Glamour”: 

  •  1920’s – The Great Gatsby: an era of feminine self- expression where waists dropped and hemlines rose. The Flapper look was the rage, with long necklaces, cloche hats and chemise or shift dresses storming to the fore.  
  •         1930’s – Vintage: known as the Golden Age of Glamour for women’s fashion an era of escapism and glamourous Hollywood starlets. Favouring simple art deco lines the style moved to smaller cloche hats, skirt hems dropped and broad shouldered, puffed sleeves entered the fray.
  •         1940’s – Retro: A decade defined by the war years, the padded or puffed shoulder was the dominant look. The Silhouette with broad square shoulders and trim waist and hips was desired. This was complimented by tiny hats, large bags and nylon stockings.
  •         1950’s – Polka Dots: This decade is influenced by two silhouettes, the wide circle skirt and the pencil skirt. Ball gowns were complimented by elbow length gloves and sparkling jewelry. Summer dresses also incorporated floral and polka dot prints. Chanel introduced suit jackets and slim skirts in highly textured tweeds.
  •         1960’s – Flower Power: The era where no skirt was too short brought the arrival of the mini skirt and hot pants. The hippy revolution was about long hair, long legs and long nights. Bellbottoms bubbled to the surface. The swinging sixties were defined by a number of icons from the gamine supermodel Twiggy to the “original” first lady Jackie Kennedy who brought us skirt suits, pillbox hats and supersized sunglasses.
  •         1970’s – Disco: This decade was all about “freedom”, “identity” and “personal expression”. The hippie culture continued and fashion resulting from this period displayed rebellion. From mini-skirts to wide lapel suits, knee high boots and lace onsie’s the 70’s had it all.
  •         1980’s – Glam Rock: One word comes to mind when you think of 80’s : BIG. It was a time of excess and over-the-top flamboyance. Shows like Dallas and Dynasty depicted bedazzled evening wear studded with sequins and beads. Metallic dress colours like silver and gold also added some shine to this decade.
  •         1990’s – Denim: This decade saw a return to minimalist fashion. Supermodels such as Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Eva Herzigovatowered over the fashion industry during this period. Tailored skirt and trouser suits, short skirts and dresses, baby doll dresses, animal prints, hot pants, slim pants and high heels. High shine fabrics such as satin, metallic, sequins, vinyl and silk were prominent.
  •         2000’s – Modern Fashion: An era epitomised by style icons such as J. Lo saw fashion trends such as the boyfriend blazer, statement necklaces paired with classic sheath dresses, skyscraper platform shoes, miniskirts, mix and match prints and cocktail rings.


*Useful links for more informarion. Sun Met:

Twitter: @SunMetZA and Instagram: @officalsunmet


*All you need to know about racing and racing events: Racing.It’s A Rush.

Instagram: @racingitsarush and Twitter: @RacingGuru


Connect with me on Instagram and Twitter: @Nontando58





Chef Matt Manning

image-by-hazel-mathias-photography-vinwoodI have never been a fan of sweet treats but when I had Chef Matt Manning’s  mini custard-filled doughnuts I couldn’t resist eating a handful of them. They are frosted with just the right amount of sugar and the dough is soft and flaky.

Manning is a private chef and the creator of One Ingredient  a monthly ‘pop up’ interactive dinner held at different venues in Cape Town which showcases the versatility of a single ingredient across five courses.

From the United Kingdom, Manning perfected his trade in some of London’s finest restaurants, such as the Michelin-starred Pétrus and Marcus. He also has worked with of the best in the business, including Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing, Alyn Williams, James Knappet and Bryn Williams. I speak to him about his culinary journey and career highlights

How did you get into cooking? My grandmother was an excellent cook and had a passion for feeding her family. From an early age, I loved helping her in the kitchen. After completing my schooling, I was torn between studying engineering or the culinary arts – and I am glad I chose the latter. I spent some time in a kitchen in Norwich learning the basics before moving to London. There I was fortunate enough to spend time in Michelin-starred kitchens, and work under some of London’s most celebrated chefs. I later moved to South Africa where I spent some time at La Colombe restaurant before I decided to start my own thing – One Ingredient was born and the rest, as they say, is history.

Tell us a little about the “One Ingredient” concept and experience? One Ingredient is an interactive ‘pop up’ monthly dining experience and is designed for those who are as excited about what goes in to creating a beautiful dish, as they are about eating it. Every month I select one ingredient that features across five or six different courses (including canapés on arrival), each carefully paired with a premium wine from a partnering wine estate. The star ingredient is selected based on its versatility and seasonal availability. Only 20 seats are available per dinner, keeping the experience intimate but very festive.

Where do you get your inspiration?

“I am inspired by nature – ingredients that are seasonal and fresh always have the most flavour. There is no such thing as a bad ingredient – only a bad chef”

I always maintain that if you don’t like something, you haven’t yet enjoyed it in a way that resonates with you, and you should keep trying different variations until it does.

I am also inspired by some of our local talent – Cape Town-based chefs such as Neill Anthony and Liam Tomlin are doing fantastic things and pushing boundaries. I eat out a lot as I believe it is important to stay abreast of food trends. I also follow many international chefs on Snapchat and Instagram – be aware of what is happening across the global food scene, while remaining true to your own style.


The to die-for doughnuts. Photo by  Cherith Anne Photography

How has the food scene evolved since you started your career? There is definitely an increased emphasis on quality over quantity. People are more conscious of where the food comes from, how it is cultivated, and how it is prepared. There is an emphasis on sustainability. Nose-to-tail and farm-to-fork are dining philosophies we are seeing more of, for this very reason.


“This is inline with a growing global consciousness – we are more aware and concerned about the environment and the world around us, as well as how we nurture our own bodies”

We see a rise in the theatre of food. Boundary-pushing chefs are now offering multi-sensory menus and innovative dining experiences, and we are also see the kitchen become the ‘stage’ of many restaurants – opened right up so it is highly visible to patrons, well-lit and planted in the centre so they become a focal point of the dining experience.

There is also a narrowing of focus. In an era where we are inundated with options, people are wanting their food choices made simple. Restaurants that focus and specialise in a particular dish or ingredient- i.e. a burger or bacon – are springing up everywhere, and menus are slimming down. Some of the top restaurants now offer no more than five or six main course options. I think this is a fantastic thing – I firmly maintain that you are doing your customer a disservice if you offer an extensive menu – which means a pantry full of frozen dishes.

What do you think about the trend for all things organic? Organic produce is a good thing – the more naturally a vegetable or fruit is cultivated, the better for the environment and for us. What puts a lot of people off buying organic produce is the price – they tend to be more expensive. If you are on a budget but want to eat as naturally as possible, choose the organic option for vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, celery – anything where you consume the skin which has direct contact with the soil. Produce such as oranges and bananas have thicker skins which better shields them from chemicals. In a perfect world, we would only farm organically – but that is not yet a reality.

Ingredient obsession? It is hard to go wrong with real butter and Maldon salt flakes. I also love the freshness and zing lemon brings to a dish, so I always have some in my fruit bowl. Willocreek Olive Oil – a have an entire shelf at home filled with about 30 bottles as I have a pathological fear of running out – no jokes.

Do you have advice for young chefs today? Absorb as much as you can from those more experienced – you need to do your time in a decent kitchen and learn the rules. Creative license can only be applied when you know the rules backwards – only then do you have license to break them. You have to know the basics and be able to do them brilliantly before you should start experimenting with fusions and variations.

“Also travel – get as much exposure as possible to the different flavours and cultural traditions from all over the word. Broaden your mind and point of view – this can only help you in your work”

What’s next for you? I would love to own my own spot – not a restaurant, but an innovation lab-type space where I can create, experiment and reinvent. A venue where I can host my dinners, hold private functions, cooking classes, special once off experiences etc. That would be both my dream and my next step.

*For information on the next One Ingredient experience visit:
Facebook: One Ingredient
Twitter: @MattManningChef
Instagram: mattmanningchef

Pic of Chef Matt Manning credit: Hazel Mathias Photography – Vinwood.

Connect with me on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat: @Nontando58

This piece was published in the Cape Argus on November 2 2016. 



Welcome to the Village Music Festival 2014


This gallery contains 18 photos.

  For me, a combination of good music, food and the right kind of vibe are crucial for a successful music festival. Over the weekend I attended the ‘Welcome to the Village Music Festival’ held in Leeuwarden, Netherlands at the … Continue reading


Thula and I having a ball

Thula and I having a ball

You see, I am a big fan of champagne. So when the invitation to the Veuve Clicquot Maters Polo landed in my inbox, I was overjoyed.The weather was on our side. The day was just perfect…sunny with clear blue skies. The fourth annual Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo Cape Town was held at the beautiful Val de Vie Estate, in Paarl. The polo is one of five international tournaments, and its the first and only on the African continent. Vivid Luxury PR hosted us at the Veuve Clicquot VIP tent where we mingled with fashionistas, trend-setters, socialites and the who-is-who in entertainment from around South Africa. Champagne was flowing and the gourmet canapés were delicious. The decorations added a special touch, I loved the  umbrellas and paper horses decorating some of the food.

D’Oré, the multi-brand fashion house that is home to some of the world’s top luxury fashion brands such as Emilio Pucci, Escada, Cavalli, Armani Collezioni, Rupert Sanderson, Elie Tahari, Herve Leger and Vanessa G, amongst others, showcased their latest collections and quintessential looks on the catwalk on the day. Here is how polo chic looks like.

A D’Oré activation

A D’Oré activation

A D’Oré activation

A D’Oré activation

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Belvedere Vodka Cupid’s Arrow refreshing cocktail

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and if you are planning a romantic night with that special someone or just a gathering with friends, I have the perfect drink for you, the refreshing and delightful Belvedere Vodka cocktail.  It’s light, not too sweet and slightly nutty…perfect to get the mood going. Pic and cocktail recipe by Vivid Luxury PR


Cupid’s Arrow


•          60ml Belvedere Vodka

•          4 Fresh cherries

•          25ml Lemon juice

•          Dash amaretto liqueur

•          3 Dashes angostura bitters


Add all ingredients to a rocks glass. Add crushed ice and churn. Re-top with crushed ice and serve.


ICE* Amsterdam


If you happen to be in Amsterdam‘s museum District, a visit to ICE* Amsterdam, the ice skating rink in Museumplein, is definitely worth a visit and is a fun way to keep warm.

The rink is beautifully positioned with the Rijksmuseum as a backdrop and features a copy of the ‘Magere Brug’ (Skinny Bridge), making it winter wonderland post-card perfect.

The seasonal rink has a heated outdoor terrace and bar. Join in the skating or watch from
the restaurant ‘Brasserie Winters’ while enjoying some classic Dutch treats such as the ‘Hollandse snert’ (pea soup), ‘stamppot’ (mashed potatoes and vegetables), and ‘Apfelstrüdel’ (apple tart) with some hot chocolate.

DSC02454You can rent skates or bring your own. You can also book skating lessons or activities such as ice hockey and curling. The vibe is amazing and the visitors are a mixture of young children to adults. So don’t be afraid if you are a first time, there are lots of people falling on their bums, it makes for a good laugh.

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Ice*Amsterdam is open until February 2014, Mon to Sun from 10 a.m. till
10 p.m. For more information and reservations visit

Belvedere Earl Grey Fizz

For a refreshing sundowner this weekend, why don’t you try the bubbly Belvedere Earl Grey Fizz. picture and recipe by Vivid Luxury PR.




  • ·         50 ml Belvedere Vodka
  • ·         25 ml Earl Grey Syrup
  • ·         A dash of grapefruit bitters
  • ·         Moët Brut Imperial Champagne

Shake all ingredients (excluding the champagne) with cubed ice and strain into flute. Top with Moët Brut Imperial and garnish with a lemon twist. This is a toast you won’t forget, cheers!