AVÈNE SUN CARE | PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN

Looking for a sun care brand that is anti-aging, high protecting and environmentally friendly? Look no further than Eau Thermale Avène Sun Care range. 

For all of you who have been following me over the years, you will know I am the biggest advocate for protecting my skin from the dangers of the sun. Born and bred in sunny South Africa, I love being outdoors, enjoying the sun and, yes, baking in the sun to get the perfect tan. Over the last couple of years I have really noticed how the sun is extremely dangerous and how we really need to protect our skin from the dangers of the sun's UV rays. 

Eau Thermale Avéne has been my go to skin care and sun care brand over the last couple of years. The renowned French orange sun care brand has a wide range of sun care products which I use on a daily basis. In this blog post, I'll be sharing my 4 favourite Avène Sun Care products that I have been using and will be using this summer. Regardless of whether I am indoors or outdoors, I actually apply these products on my skin every morning. 

Two newly renovated products, which I use from Avène, are the Avène SPF 50+  lotion and the Avène SPF 50+ Spray. Both products have, what Avène calls, Sunsitive protection with new Thialidine and Pre-tocopheryl antioxidant complex. Each of these products also have a hydra-protective texture leaving your skin moisturised and smooth all day long and are rich in the famous soothing Avéne Thermal Spring Water. 

For my face I use two incredible sun care products from Avène. The Avène SPF 50+ Fluid, which is recommended for normal to combination sensitive skin. It also contains Sunsitive protective with new Thialidine & Pre-tocopheryl antioxidant complex. My favourite quality of the Avène SPF 50+ Fluid is the fact that it contains matifying properties and has that Nude Skin Feel, so when I apply it on my skin, it feels smooth but moisturising at the same time. Another product I use for my face from Avène Sun Care is the Avène SPF 50+ Anti-Aging Sunscreen. As you all know me by now, I am a huge fan of anti-aging products and what I love most about the Avène SPF 50+ Anti-Aging sunscreen is that it helps restore the firmness and elasticity in your skin even when you are in water.

What I enjoy most about the Eau Thermale Avène Sun Care range is that all their products are water-resistant and do not leave your skin with those awkward white marks that most sunscreens tend to do. Avène Sun Care range is a broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection range and is one of very few brands that has an ocean friendly sunscreen.

In saying so, while it is important for us to look after our skin, it is also so important to ensure the products we use are not damaging to the beautiful environment we live in. Since 2013, Avène Sun Care has adopted an eco-friendly approach when creating their formulas and packaging to minimise the impact on the environment. Avène has developed silicone free formulas for optimal biodegradability.  Avène has most definitely lived up to their motto of " SKIN PROTECT, OCEAN RESPECT " with their eco-friendly sunscreen products. I could not be more proud to support a brand like this! If you are interested in learning more about what Avéne is doing to help protect marine life, watch this beautiful documentary where Avène collaborated with BBC - https://youtu.be/LxAyZa2K_BA

This summer, move along with me and use Eau Thermale Avène. Shop Here for all Avène skincare products!

For more on Eau Thermale Avène, skincare and all things beauty, follow me on Instagram @fashionfundi

TC

xoxo 


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LUXURY BEACH HOTEL | THE OYSTER BOX

Looking for a luxury summer holiday destination? Look no further than The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga. The hotel is situated on the Umhlanga beachfront, with panoramic ocean views, perfectly manicured gardens and a beautiful rim flow pool over looking the Indian Ocean. The iconic red and white lighthouse blends perfectly amongst the ocean and the theme of The Oyster Box Hotel's red and white exterior. This isn't all that the hotel offers but it most certainly makes for those perfect Instagram photos.

The Oyster Box Hotel forms part of the prestigious Red Carnation Hotel Collection, which is part of a family-owned collection of exquisite boutique hotels situated all over the world. It would be worth placing all these hotels on your bucket list, they are most certainly on mine! With some of the hotels situated in London, Ireland, Florida USA and Botswana, you could experience all the wonders of the world in the most luxurious way. 

The Oyster Box is amongst three of the Red Caranation Hotels in South Africa. Upon arrival we were greeted by an incredible reception accompanied with Champagne and snacks. The Oyster Box has two beautifully decorated restaurants, namely The Ocean Terrace and The Grill Room. It also hosts two luxurious bars, The Lighthouse Bar and The Oyster Bar as well as a magical high tea area, known as The Palm Court, which is decorated in leaves and flowers making it feel like you are in an Alice and Wonderland movie. 

Our stay included breakfast every morning at The Ocean Terrace, which I might add is not your average buffet breakfast. I had champagne and oysters one morning and Marc had smoked salmon, creamed avocado and smooth cottage cheese. The Oyster Box makes the most divine health bread, which I honestly could have eaten a whole loaf of without blinking. For breakfast there is an À la carte menu as well as a magnificent buffet station, and if you one to enjoy a sweet breakfast, there are homemade pancakes and waffles too. 

The Grill Room is renowned for fine dining and special occasions but if you are one who wants to arrange a special occasion which is private, The Oyster Box has a Private Wine Cellar where a bespoke intimate dining experience can be enjoyed. 

If you are looking for the best High Tea experience in town, look no further than The Palm Court at The Oyster Box. As I mentioned earlier, it feels like you are in a fairytale of sorts. We enjoyed an array of sweet and savoury treats with champagne, coffee and tea. You can substitute lunch or dinner with the magnificent homemade canapés offered at the high tea. 

Another offering the hotel hosts is a private cinema. Marc and I booked a private cinema experience with popcorn and soft drinks and watched a cute movie called Elona Holmes starring Millie Bobbie Brown. 

If you are in the mood to relax and unwind, I suggest booking a spa treatment or two at The Oyster Box Hotel's spa. Not only is the spa beautiful inside, the treatments are undeniably fantastic. You can book treatments with an option extra health menu of sushi, calamari and a range of salads. The spa has a magnificent plunge pool and a tranquil lounge to meditate and relax in. 

Although it rained pretty much the entire time we were there, I did not want to leave The Oyster Box Hotel. The hotel has so much to offer making it an ideal destination this holiday season. 

For more on travel, fashion & beauty, follow me on Instagram @fashionfundi



TC

xoxo 


LUXURY SAFARI LODGE | THANDA SAFARI GAME RESERVE

Looking for a luxury safari getaway in South Africa? Look no further than Thanda Safari in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Situated near Phinda and St Lucia on the privately owned Thanda Game Reserve, these lodges are nothing short of 5-star. The Game Reserve hosts three beautiful lodges, namely, Thanda Safari Lodge, Thanda Tented Camp and Villa iZulu. We had the privilege of staying at the glamourous Thanda Tented Camp. As you all know me by now, camping is not for me, but Thanda Tented Camp is not your average tented camp. The lodge has 15 beautifully designed tented villas all with en suite bathrooms as well as private sun decks. 

Marc and I stayed at the Romantic Jabula tent, the only tent in the camp with a private splash pool, a luxurious lounge and an outdoor shower with magnificent views of the African bush. This tent was nothing short of glamping! The design of the tent, including the interior, is the epitome of safari chic. As it was my birthday this past weekend, Thanda Tented Camp spoilt me beyond! Every day includes two game drives, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. Every game drive, you are spoilt with a variety of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks as well as delicious traditional South African snacks such as rusks, biltong and salted nuts. 

If you are looking for an all inclusive holiday in the bush, then this is the place to go! All drinks, meals and safari game drives are included in your stay, which makes this an ideal getaway destination. The lodge offers breakfast, a three course lunch as well as a superb three course dinner. It is a place were you can relax and unwind without stressing about any extra unforeseen or hidden costs. 

Both Thanda Safari Lodge as well as Thanda Tented Camp have their own private spa areas. By appointment only, the therapists on site offer a wide variety of treatments which include a combination of ancient Zulu holistic practices as well as western techniques. It really is a special experience. 

Without a doubt, I would absolutely return to Thanda Tented Camp and although we did not get to experience Thanda Safari Lodge, it is most certainly next on our list!

Africa's Leading Safari Lodge was awarded to Thanda Safari Lodge at the World Travel Awards, Africa 2020, which awards Africa's leading airports, Meetings and Conference Destination, Private Game Reserve and more. The World Travel Awards acknowledges, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Established in 1993, the awards celebrate its 27th anniversary this year and this year Thanda Safari won the award for Africa's leading Safari Lodge and it could not have be awarded to a better lodge!

For more on this trip, follow me on Instagram @fashionfundi.

TC

xoxo

SEVEN VILLA HOTEL & SPA | CITY STAYCATION

A secluded getaway in the heart of Sandton City. 

Little did I know, such a tranquil and quiet sanctuary could exist in the heart of Sandton. Seven Villa Hotel & Spa, by The Capital is the perfect definition of a unique urban escape. The concierge and hotel staff where so attentive upon our arrival welcoming us with fresh hand towels and welcome drinks.

The gardens are filled with beautiful sculptures, lush plants and peaceful zen spaces. You would never think you are in the middle of Sandton. 

The hotel offers a variety of packages with a personal butler when booking into the prestige villa suites. Marc and I we fortune to stay in one of the grand villa suites this past week, where we were spoiled with roses, champagne and a warm jacuzzi on a large private balcony. Each suite is designed with the best high end finishes such a Dado baths and Nespresso coffee machines. The bed was nothing short of amazing with custom design furnishings. It really screams "interior goals." In addition, Seven Villa Hotel & Spa is one of the only hotels in the city that is pet friendly, so if you have a cute little pooch that you can't leave at home, then bring him or her along with you on your stay. The hotel offers luxury spa treatments for your pet and little sweet treats for them as well! I literally can't wait to get a puppy now!

The hotel offers an onsite Camelot Spa which is situated in the most tranquil part of the hotel. Camelot Spa offers various treatments with each room opening up to a private veranda with a stream of water running past the treatment rooms. The spa spoilt me to a neck, shoulder and back massage which was nothing short of pure relaxation and was finished off with a detox tea and shortbread by the water. 

Seven Villa Hotel & Spa is definitely a place to take your significant other to for a special mid-week getaway. If you live close to the city but need a break from the hustle and bustle of Sandton, then Seven Villa Hotel & Spa is your go to destination.

For more posts on Seven Villa Hotel and Spa, head over to my Instagram @fashionfundi & don't forget to follow for more fashion, travel & lifestyle inspiration. 

TC

xoxo

DARLING CELLARS | WINE OF THE WEST COAST

Home is where the wine is waiting! After spending much more time at home this year, I have had the  perfect opportunity to stock my home cellar and have recently found two gems from Darling Cellars that I cannot wait to share with you…Enjoy my darlings!

Historically known as a dairy area, the charming town of Darling lies on the West Coast and is renowned for its spectacular wild flowers and wines.

In my quest to stock my wine cellar I bought two cases of the Darling Cellars the Old Bush Vines Cinsaut and two cases of the Gustus Pinotage (both from 2018). What made my purchase even better is that in celebration of Pinotage Day on 10 October, I received a 5% discount on both wines (valid until the end of the month). The Cinsaut and Pinotage were recently featured in the “Best of South Africa” by Tim Atkin.

If you have never been to Darling, do yourself a favour and visit this quaint town on the West Coast. It is only an hour’s drive from Cape Town and on the way you can stop in Yzerfontein which is a small harbour town that has one of the longest beaches in the country. On a clear day, you have views all the way to Table Mountain. The wild flowers in Darling in August and September are also a must see!

The vineyards at Darling Cellars are close to the Atlantic Ocean, some being just 5km from the coast. The cool West Coast climate allows for unique grapes which produce even more unique wines. About 95 percent of all the vineyards are bush vines (not trellised) and almost the entire estate is unirrigated, making the wines as close to nature as you can get.

OLD BUSH VINES CINSAUT 2018 

I have to admit that the amazing label was the reason for me selecting this wine. The black bottle with the dramatic label is really something special and it looks so stylish – especially in my cellar. The image on the bottle looks exactly like the old bush vines that you can see on the estate. The vines are head-pruned to form a kind of goblet shape that you can see on the bottle. This Cinsaut is from the Darling Cellars premium range and you will not be disappointed by the exceptional quality. 

Darling Cellars Old Bush Vines come from specific old bush vines which are selected for their individuality in prominent terroir flavours. Passion and respect for these old vines, have led to this beautiful and special wine. The Cinsaut grape originates from France and is ideally suited to warm, dry soils making it perfect for South Africa. 

From the moment you open the wine, you will experience a well-balanced, bright ruby red colour and sour cherries and candy floss on the nose. The oak tannins from the barrel maturation in 100% French Oak is well supported with the grape tannins. The Cinsaut grape, without doubt, produces elegant wines, full stop!

GUSTUS PINOTAGE 2018

Given that International Pinotage Day was last week (10 October), I had to tuck into this delicious wine from Darling Cellars. Translated from Latin ‘gustus’ means ‘taste’ and this is what this wine is all about. The Gustus Pinotage comes from specific vineyards which are selected for their exclusivity in prominent terroir flavours. The pairing of two varietals - Pinot Noir with Cinsaut – led to the birth of Pinotage in 1925 by Professor Perold of the University of Stellenbosch.

I enjoyed the Darling Cellars medium-bodied Pinotage with a mature cheddar cheese, but given its adaptability you could even try it with any game fish, such as Yellowtail or wild Cape Salmon. The Gustus has bold dark fruit flavours (you can definitely taste dark forest floor berries) and has a beautiful deep magenta hue with a deep violet core.

Swirl, sniff and sip and enjoy! These two bush wines from Darling Cellars are irresistible. It is a pleasure – you can thank me later!



TC

xoxo

MEANDER IN MCGREGOR | LORDS VINTAGE PINOT NOIR ROSÉ

Nestled away at the end of the McGregor valley, one can find Lord’s Wines. The wine estate is located at the top end of the McGregor Wine Meander, which is known for its amazing diversity, consistent quality and great value for money wines. You will also find the infamous “road to nowhere” that runs from Robertson to McGregor, carries on through the village of McGregor and then just stops! A visit to the town of McGregor and Lord’s Wines is a must.
Lord’s Wines is a boutique winery off the beaten track and is, truly, a well-kept secret that produces fabulous wines. Originally a family-owned fruit farm, Lord’s is now producing some of the best wines in the Breede River Valley. The area is perfect for a getaway and re-boot in stunning wilderness. The town of McGregor is quiet, peaceful and relaxing with traditional, whitewashed, thatched cottages and is surrounded by beautiful mountains and wine estates.
Lord’s Wines has a stunning, newly-built wedding venue which is adjacent to the wine cellar and has breath-taking panoramic views of the areas indigenous fynbos. Wherever you are on the estate, you are met with the majestic backdrop of the Riviersonderend Mountain Range. The location and setting are suited for a whole weekend affair with family and friends. In addition, the estate has two modern ground-floor apartments on the farm which provides a great base to explore this beautiful valley.
I was fortunate enough to purchase Lord’s Wines new release - Pinot Noir Rosé 2020, just before the alcohol ban was introduced in South Africa. You can place your orders through the website by emailing: orders@lordswinery.com (delivery will take place after the ban is lifted).
Having previously enjoyed wines from the estate, the new Rosé vintage from this exclusive wine farm caught my attention. I love the label, which is simple and classy. The blush pink and gold embossed script on the bottle gives the wine an incredible soft and delicate look and feel. Rosé is an often-overlooked category of wine which is a shame, because it is perfect for sunny days. This varietal from Lord’s gives you so much to discover and does not have the sweetness often associated with South African Rosés.
The grapes used for this exquisite wine were only harvested in February this year and, incredibly, the wine has already been bottled and is perfect for drinking. A common misconception of Rosé wines is that people think that the wine is a blend of red and white grapes varietals, which it is not. Rather, it is made by shortening the key step in the making of red wine which is the “grape skin contact” stage. The light pink colour of the wine is lovely and was achieved from the short skin contact with the Pinot Noir grapes. This is one of the benefits of Rosé, it has the body of a red wine, but when served chilled (but not too cold), it is extremely refreshing. My rule of thumb is that I normally take out the Rosé from the cooler about 20 minutes before drinking. The Lord’s Pinot Noir Rosé brings tastes and a nose of exotic cherry and raspberry aromas and is surprisingly creamy with flavours of candy floss and rose petals.
As spring is nearing in South Africa, I have enjoyed this wine over lazy lunches on my sunny terrace. It is well-suited for warm days, but I could easily drink it year-round. I have paired the Pinot Noir Rosé with poached salmon, which complimented the wine perfectly.
What is the definition of a good wine? It should start and end with a smile, and this beauty from Lord’s does just that! This Pinot Noir Rosé is ready for drinking immediately and is the perfect match for alfresco dining and sharing with friends.


TC
xoxo

JAPANESE BEAUTY | SENSAI SKINCARE

Skincare is one the most important aspects of my life. Skincare is apart of my daily routine which I have instilled from an early age. Although I have tried and tested many skincare products over the years, I have always been conscious of the contents that skincare products contain. I have never really suffered from bad skin, but of course there will be times when my skin is not at it's best. Dull skin, uneven skin or even drained skin is what I try to avoid the most. I truly believe that it all starts with healthy skin.
Koishimaru Silk is the most precious type of silk in Japan amd is known to be exceptionally light and radiant, which is what the luxury skincare brand Sensai founds itself around. The natural elements of the Koishimaru Silk has proven to exhibit the production of hyaluronic acid. If you're not aware of what hyaluronic acid is, it is a substance contained in our skin that is essential for building flawless and youthful looking skin. The older we get the less hyaluronic acid our bodies produce. That is why we have to ensure that the skincare products we use contain important ingredients such as hyluronic  acid. When I look at skincare products, hyaluronic acid is the one element I will always ensure is contained in the products I apply on my skin. Sensai is a luxury Japanese skincare brand that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Although Sensai focuses mainly on their exclusive skincare products, they also have a fragrance range, makeup range and body range. Sensai has various products from an their exclusive Ultimate skincare rangeRecently Sensai has launched what I can call the Ultimate Cleansing Retreat. This range is definitely for anyone looking for silky flawless skin.
In the Ultimate range, Sensai has now added two new products, Ultimate The Cleansing Oil and Ultimate The Creamy Soap. Ultimate The Cleansing Oil is pure magic, as the cleansing oil is concentrated to gently soak off makeup or any impurities on the skin after a long day. The deep cleansing leaves your skin feeling hydrated and renewed. I suggest applying Ultimate The Cleansing Oil at night before going to bed. Ultimate The Creamy Soap is what I use both morning and evenings. The creamy soap comes with a incredibly soft cleansing brush that creates a luxurious thick layer of creamy soap that lifts any impurities and leaves the skin feeling silky soft and smooth. I use Ultimate The Cleansing Soap in the morning and after Ultimate The Cleansing Oil at night. 
Sensai is known for luxury and if I could have every product Sensai has to offer in my beauty room, I most certainly will. I cannot express how important it is to use the correct skincare products on your skin and Sensai displays it all. 

For more on Sensai, head over to my Instagram @fashionfundi.

TC
xoxo



BOUCHARD FINLAYSON | ELEGANCE AT IT'S FINEST

Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with Bouchard Finlayson drink the whole bottle. This boutique winery near the southernmost tip of Africa, situated Walker Bay in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley (Heaven-and-Earth) produces some of the finest cool climate wines in the Southern Hemisphere.  The winery building on the wines labels is the farms architectural signature and representative of the combination of classic French and Cape Dutch heritage with modern innovation and creativity. The Tollman family are the owners of Bouchard Finlayson and sister property to the family-run boutique collection of Red Carnation Hotels.
This week I purchased the Blanc de Mer and Sauvignon Blanc from Bouchard Finlayson. Given the cold weather, one may be more inclined to purchase reds at this time of the year, but I can guarantee you that these whites are all-season wines! I am normally a fan of their well-known award winning Pinot Noir, however was intrigued to try the Blanc de Mer that features the Riesling cultivar.
I could not resist their special that is currently running which offers 20% off both the Blanc de Mer 2018 and Sauvignon blanc 2019. I ordered the wine directly from the online shop (https://shop.bouchardfinlayson.co.za/) and was so pleased with the efficient and professional service. For those of you who prefer, you can also email info@bouchardfinlayson.co.za or phone 028 312 3515 to place your order.
I love being outdoors and hiking in the Cape, and Bouchard Finlayson is one of the most idyllic settings to do this. The farm is conveniently located adjacent to the beautiful seaside town of Hermanus. You can go on guided nature walks in the estate, which has hectares of preserved fynbos (only about 20 percent of the farm is planted with vineyards). Fynbos makes up 80 percent of the Cape Floral Kingdom, of which two-thirds can only be found in the Cape. Bouchard Finlayson holds World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Conservation Champion status and their commitment to responsible and sustainable farming is evidenced in the preservation of the diverse biological environment.
Beyond the farm, you can also find pockets of beautiful Fynbos along the Cliff Path and outer areas of Hermanus. The scenery is breath-taking, and you literally feel as if you are in the clouds as the name of the farm suggests. In addition to their world-class wines, the estate also produces its own honey and delicious olive oil.

BLANC DE MER 2018
The Blanc De Mer translates to “white of the sea” and is inspired by the estate’s close proximity to coast where the Southern Right whales can be seen calving in late winter towards the end of spring. The Riesling in this wine makes it an unusual blend and the result is absolutely amazing! Riesling is one of the oldest grapes in the world (dating back to 1435), with current theories pointing to Rheingau in Germany as its origin. Riesling grapes are ideally suited for cooler climates as they bud late avoiding spring frosts and they have naturally thicker bark than other grapevines.
As you take your first sip of this wine, you will be met with a fountain of rich flowery aromas, with tastes of almond and apricot with an almost creamy middle to the wine. I paired it with a cheese platter for my partner and I and the complex, robust flavours of the cheeses complemented the wine perfectly.

WALKER BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC 2019
For those of you who are Sauvignon Blanc fans, you will love this refreshing wine. Sauvignon Blanc is one of South Africa’s ‘Big 6’ varietal grapes, amongst Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage, Shiraz and Chardonnay. It is crisp and tangy, with identifiable detailed layers of flavours and hints of grapefruit in the glass. The wine is more tropical than grassy, with a delicate palate that is not overpowering.
On a personal note, the one thing I love about Sauvignon Blanc is that it is so easy to pair with food, as it literally goes with anything! Cool climate white wines such as this one from the Walker Bay area are always my go-to for fish, sushi and Poke Bowls.

Treat yourself and try these elegant, crisp and refreshing whites from Bouchard Finlayson, you will not be disappointed!

TC
xoxo


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