The perfect introduction to Durban was Durban Is Yours‘ first Durban Night, bringing together a mixture of Durban’s musicians at Live: The Venue. I was impressed with all of them! All of the beautiful people came out to enjoy the music too and I enjoyed people watching, it’s interesting to see where South Africa is in fashion and I was equally impressed with the continued friendliness and warmth that I’ve experienced by just about everyone here in South Africa. People are happy to start conversations with you (my tattoos seem to be the ice breaker) and everyone is full of smiles and laughs. There is a sense of community here that I have sorely missed in England. People are ready to help and talk and welcome you, stark contrast to the UK unfortunately.
Clara-T is an incredible rapper. Looks so sweet but totally kills it on stage.
K-Bomb where excellent too, hilarious lyrics and incredible backing tracks. Their song about women who go out with big bags had me laughing out loud!
Really enjoyed The Trees, a bit punk, a bit rockabilly, a bit folk, four guys on guitars, a drummer and one guitarist also on the keyboard. I got chatting with the lead singer after their gig and he says they used to have a flute player and a violinist too! Really enjoyed their fun sound.
Unfortunately I had to leave half way through the night as I was coming down with a mean cold and was feeling pretty rough. Look out for an interview with the co-founder of Durban Is Yours and brainchild of their Durban Night, Bob Perfect in the coming week.
When in Durban you must indulge in the traditional Bunny Chow. This is half a loaf of bread with the inside scooped out and then filled with a curry of your choice which you then eat with your hands using the bread bowl to shovel it all down. Delicious!
My new favourite hang out is Love Coffee on Windermere Road in Morningside which is at the end of my road and has free wifi, great coffee and incredible home made cakes and bites.
Justin the manager delivering my eats in his rad T shirt (yes, people still say “rad” here) to my “desk” for the day. I love that it’s the perfect hight for me to do work while standing if I get tired of sitting. Good to stretch the back out.
My desk and the most delicious carrot cake I’ve had in a long time with an aerial photo of Durban to gaze at in a moment of mental peace. I also picked up a jar of local raw mountain honey because raw honey is medicinal and I swear by it for all kinds of things but mostly to have with my rooibos tea and honey.
After starting my day at Love Coffee, I head over to Mooki Noodles down the road to enjoy a variety of Pan-Asian eats. My first meal was one of my favourites since I spent time in Thailand, Massaman curry and I was not disappointed!
I love Mooki Noodle’s fun interior, you cannot be in a bad mood while eating here, it’s simply impossible.
And if their great food, friendly and helpful staff and awesome decor isn’t enough, you can take home a cute keyring or sticker. “Shot China” is the Durban version of “Cheers Mate”.
Oh yes! Adventure time stickers!
Hoping I win their monthly Dim Sum draw so I can devour this entire menu!
My delicious Massaman, it was so creamy and came with a brown rice option which pleased me immensely!
I was then invited to attend the launch of I Love Durban at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga which was a great honour and I got to meet some South African bloggers namely Sandy from SA Bloggers and Brett Robson who is a fashion blogger.
The open bar served up lovely cocktails and the tasting menu was absolutely divine! I totally melted over them!
But I was not prepared for the impressive dessert room! Look at that buffet of delights!
My dessert plate… I had to go and hide in a corner so no one would see me devour these like an addict!
I am really excited for what I Love Durban will be doing for this vibrant and varied city in the near future.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is so beautiful and had a lovely tribute to Mandela at their Christmas tree.
I really loved the decor, felt like I was at a rich man’s safari home.
Lovely framed photos of Durban in the 18 and 1900’s adorned the walls.
The next day I took a stroll down Florida Road which reminded me of New Orleans even though I’ve never been there and I am now curious to know why most of the restaurants are Italian! I decided to stop in at The Xef and I am so glad I did because I was treated to the most delicious Mushroom Makhani Curry, it was both sweet and spicy and absolutely divine, I could eat it every single day! The staff were so friendly and sweet and the decor was fun, colourful and energetic. I can’t to return, especially since you can get 60mins free wifi via Telcom there. Anywhere with free wifi is home to me!
Later that night I dropped in at The Upstairs on Florida Road to catch a screening of Press Pause Play, a documentary about the current creative scene which interviewed people in digital arts, music and film and it was so inspiring. There definitely are no rules when it comes to creativity anymore and the world is our oyster, we just have to go out there and create, that means creating your own jobs too. Watch it on Vimeo here.
I have been met with absolute generosity in Durban, first I was given a cold on arrival, the weather has also been very generous with the rain, but the people have continually surprised me with their warmth and friendliness. I have been given a free palm reading and astrological chart soul reading as well as an African jade rock from Barry who runs the Bee Light Crystal House on Windermere Road, I was also given a Mooki sticker from the guy at the Morningside branch, then I was given a huge zucchini from Justin at Love Coffee! I would dearly love to be give enough sunshine so that I can go down to the beach and take photos of the new beachfront and the old art deco architecture. Watch this space!