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Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Choon: Alpharock & 7 Skies - Pull The Switch


Alpharock most famously known for his track FAWL (From Amsterdam With Love) has teamed up with Skies for their brand new track "Pull the switch" and the official 0music video is out and we have it for you here today. Many probably have heard this track before as it's been played by many DJ's in their sets of recent, produced by Maxximize Records and the video done by Spinnin TV, it's a typical Alpharock video done in full animation which shows them flying through the world. It's another epic and catchy track by the Dutch DJ's.

                    

Friday, May 20, 2016

TDB2016


As the winter chill starts to make it's way across the country for the onset of the season that has many hiding indoors and seeking the warmth, many across our nation haven't the luxury that most of us afford. Many of us will be snuggled up with our favourite blanket and be on our phones communicating to our friends and family or catching up on the latest in the social networking world. It's become a big part of our life now has social networking and plays a major role in society now, some good and some bad but it's with events like the Twitter Blanket Drive that we see the good that can come out with it. 


TDB has been around since 2010, when founding member Melanie Minaar reached out to the relatively new social platform in hope to collect some blankets for the less fortunate before the winter season and since then it has snowballed into an annual drive for blankets across the country. I've been participating in the Durban one since it's inception and it's great to see the online community come together for a great cause. 


This year the Durban group will be collecting blankets till the end of May, all donations will be handed over to the KwaCare charity for distribution. Blankets can be dropped off at St Clements Coffee Shop, 191 Musgrave Road, Durban. It's a great cause and your help will keep someone warm this winter, whether its 1 or 100, every bit helps. 


For more information or to become involved in this years drive, please visit www.twitterblanketdrive.co.za or contact Durban co-ordinator Fred Felton at falconscove@gmail,com or follow @fredfelton @TBDAfrica on twitter

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tsogo Sun: High Tea at Jeera, Suncoast Hotel &Towers


Afternoon tea is a must for many and those wanting to spoil themselves often opt for a High Tea which is offered in many establishments but whilst most are great in offering the traditionalist what they expect, the team down at Jeera, located on the pool level of the Suncoast Hotel & Towers decided to give their High Tea a Durban twist. Durban is known to have the highest population of Indians outside India and we all know the significant cultural impact they have had on this city with keeping things spicy and that's exactly what Jeera has done with their high tea.


Last week Tuesday I was invited to par-take in their offering, not knowing what to expect, I was left mouth gaping open at the spread that lied before me. It's not your typical high tea and but at the same time they keep to the aesthetics of what it is meant to be, so you not going to be served a bunny chow and a cup of tea, although some might fancy that? Sandren Govender, executive chef at Suncoast Towers, who has experience in cooking throughout the world has meticulously created a menu to delight everyone's taste buds, with savoury and sweet delicacies to send you into a journey of food ecstasy.


A seating for two will get you a wonderful selection of sweet delights such as burfee shortbread, poli truffles - a modern twist on a traditional Indian favourite, blending chocolate, coconut and cardamom as well as cinnamon eclairs. On the savoury side, the offering expands to an equally wide selection including smoked salmon bagels with paneer cheese; chicken tikka, sheekh kebabs and my personal favourite, Sandrens butter chicken cigars, which is bread, flattend and filled with rich butter chicken curry, then rolled into a cigar shape, crumbed and fried till crispy on the outside.


"This tailor-made approach allowed for authentic creativity to come through quite strongly in the kitchen. We know at the end of the collaboration with our team, we have something unique to offer our guests" says executive chef Sandren Govender. He added that the concept was carefully planned and created incorporating the sense and relaxation associated with the afternoon tea experience.


You probably read this far and must be wondering, high tea but I have not mentioned anything about the tea? Well yes, there is the tea but the food offering is simply that great but the selection of teas will not only awaken your senses but the aromatic flavours and smells will entice you to want to smaple them all. Jeera offers a host of teas with various spices and scents from around the world, each guest has their on glass tea pot with warmer so you can see the flavours fuse with the boiling water. It really was a fascinating experience for me as it was the first time I had the opportunity to indulge a high tea and I'm glad this was the place I did it at.


Speaking to Palvi Oddone Aquino, who is the guest relations manager at Suncoast Hotel and Towers, she had this to say, "Much time was invested in crafting this concept where our primary goal was to take our guests through a journey of spice and distinctive flavour through confectionery - where tea becomes a conversation piece."


Jeera serves their high tea throughout the week (Monday to Friday depending on availability) between 14h00-16h30 and will be available for groups of four or more. Cost per person is R150 and each will get one or two of every serving on the platter, whatever is not eaten can be opted to be taken away for you to indulge at home.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Monday Choon: Promise land - Rebound


I'll be straight up and honest, I have know idea who Promise Land are or where they're from, what type of music they make or where they play but one thing I know that this song is a killer! I first heard this song on Tiestos Clublife podcast but at that stage there was no name of the artist given and so the search began, not only by me but many others on the internet and last week the breakthrough finally came. We found out who was behind this song and here it is!

                    

Friday, May 13, 2016

Bucket Seat: BMW 640d Gran Coupe


BMW first introduced their "Gran Coupe" in the 6 series variant, the 6 series was a purpose made sports coupe, do at the time people thought a 4 door version of the super saloon would be cool, and I was one of them. But my obsession with the 6 series Gran Coupe was more than just the thought of it being cool, for me the car showed BMW's intent on making a statement. The 6 Series was by far one of the most luxurious Coupes on the market and with it's radical styling, one that got you noticed wherever you may go. With it's large headlights, protruding kidney grille in front of that long bonnet, it really looked sleek. 


With the Gran Coupe being launched, it wasn't just about adding 2 extra doors, there was the whole sports limousine feel to the car. Yes while the car remained a drivers car, with it's coupe like stature, the occupants at the back could sit in comfort with a variety of options offered to them in the car. Being a Coupe, the car comes in a 2+2 configuration, which basically means, 2 seats in the front and 2 seats in the back, the center console for the back passengers houses the controls for their own dual climate control, which means the car has 4 aircon zones, one for each passenger. 


Style
I could really go on all day about the styling of this car, the original 6 Series which got a lot of flack since it was one the brain child designs of controversial designer Chris Bangle, but for me it gave birth to something special in BMW history, it steered the design path of the company into a new direction and from that car, the new 6 Series adapted many of the styling but with bolder detailing and sharper edges. The car still maintains that coupe like shape, albeit a bit longer, the large wheels give that sporty and aggressive look, even though the car I had came in the luxury kit. The large flared bumpers, finished off in the back with twin chrome tail pipes just added the finishing touches to this brilliant piece of moving art.


Performance
Where do I start? Okay lets chat about the engine, yes the badge does say 640d but lets not get ahead of ourselves, it is a 3 litre twin power turbo diesel engine but we all know what power BMW generates from them. 230kW and 630Nm of torque! With that car weighing close to 2 tons, all that torque comes in handy, but it still lacks in take off as the turbo lag really is quite evident when driving in Comfort setting. Switch over to Sport or Sport+ and that problem is non existent but then you unleash a whole lot of mayhem! Tyres spinning, the most beautiful noise you have ever heard from a diesel engine, with the deep hum and then the torque thrusting you back into your exclusive nappa leather seats. The engine keeps delivering the more you ask of it and it's actually quite scary how it builds up speed. Being a big car and rear wheel drive, the back does get slippery when taking bends and throwing down the hammer, so that's one to be-careful of, but if executed properly it is proper fun!


Comfort
While with the car, someone asked me how would I describe the comfort of this car, yes it's much lower than most of BMW's high end saloons but it's keeping to it's Coupe heritage and you can understand why the Germans opted for it to be like this but it doesn't hamper the ride quality at all and if one had to compare it to any other model in the BMW stable, I would say it's in the same league as it's bigger brother the 7, which ultimately what the 6 is based on, it's the 2 door version of the 7 and not the 5 as many might think so. The car is also loaded with tech, as mentioned before, the quad zone aircon, there is also heated seat option for the passengers, a full glass moonroof with just a tilt function and memory seats. The rear passengers have sufficient space and the limousine feel is completed with electronic blinds for each of them at the back.


Storage
Even though it's a coupe, don't be fooled, there is plenty space for you to store your stuff. From the interior cubby, to the split door center console opening, which is large enough to store a lot of things. The boot space is huge, large eought to store your holiday luggage and it has a peep hole type of door to gain access to it from the back seats.


Extras
I hope you're sitting down and reading this because you might fall if you're not, the car came loaded with extras, R300K worth of them! Yes, that is a lot but if you are someone who's spending this type of money on a car, trust me, every single one is worth it. The one that stood out for me was the Bang & Olufsen high end surround sound system. My god, it's like having symphony orchestra in your car. Sound quality bar none, it truly is magic to your ears. Another cool extra is the park assist, which essentially parks the car for you, yes it's available on many other models but when in the 6 GC, I think you're going to need this one. Since you're sitting much lower, and with the long bonnet, the cameras and PDC's will help you only so much when getting in and out of tricky parking spots, this on the other hand does it for you. Other handy extras are the Adaptive LED's, Active Steering control, BMW Connected Drive, Lane Assist, High Beam Assist and Soft close for the doors seeing that they are frameless, you don't want anyone slamming them shut. 


Verdict
Yes, the price tag for this car is heafty but if you look at the car you getting for the price you pay, very little comes into comparisn. The touches and finishes are nothing short of sublime and the car oozes luxury and sportiness in every aspect of it's nature. It can change from being a cruiser to an agressive tarmac munching machine. So in essencee it offers the best of both worlds and with the diesel engine, one can experience great fuel economy. For me, even before driving the car, this was my favourite car offered in the SA market and after driving it, it just validated this point for me. 


Specifications
  • 3 litre, 6 cylinder TwinPower Turbo
  • 8 speed steptronic automatic gear box
  • 230kW
  • 630Nm torque
  • Consumption: 5,5ltr/ 100km
  • Top Speed: 250kph
  • 0-100kph: 4.9 seconds 
  • Price: R1 182 500 (excluding extras) R 1 406 017 (including extras)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A night with Johnnie Walker Green Label


I've been to many a whisky tasting over the years and whilst I do enjoy them, most of them are sort of the same. An introduction to the whisky, story behind the distilling process and manufacturing, history behind the brand and so on which is fine but sometimes some whisky's deserve more than that and that's what the folks down at Johnnie Walker thought so as well. So in re-introducing their famed Green Label to South Africa, instead of the norm, they've opted to take their guests on a tasteful journey, that not only gave guest to opportunity to taste their single malt blend but a food paring to go along with it. 


Last week Thursday I was fortunate enough to partake in this journey, the venue, the magnificent Zimbali Fairmont Hotel. Tucked away in the lush five star estate lies the Fairmont hotel which over looks the Indian Ocean, it provides a tranquil getaway for those who want to relax and spoil themselves with the best that is on offer on the East Coast, it made the perfect setting to enjoy one of the finer whiskies available on the market. 


Johnnie Walker Green Label is a single malt blended whisky and needs no introduction for some of the older drinkers as it was available in South Africa before the brand opted to discontinue sales of it for various reasons in most part of the world. The only markets who kept it were in the America's and China but with the ever growing demand for single malt whisky, Johnnie Walker decided to re-introduce it to the market.


The night kicked off with welcome drinks at 31 degrees with a delightful cocktail which consisted of Johnnie Walker Gold Label with herbs and bitters. Quite a twist on a whisky which proved to be quite refreshing on the palette and set the mood for the rest of the evening. We were then greeted by KZN Reserve Brand Ambassador Haroon Haffajee, who gave us a short introduction to JW Green Label and it's re-introduction to the market, followed by a brief on what was to be expected on the evening.  We were broken into 3 groups and each assigned a colour, for we were going to experience the 3 different restaurants at the hotel for the 3 different courses. All the food which was served on the night was made to compliment the JW Green Label, and with it brought out the flavours in both the food and the whisky. 


For starters we headed over to Bite, which is the hotel's poolside deli. Set at the edge of the picturesque pool overlooking the hotel, with the dining table laid out open to the star filled sky, it truly an awesome setting to get the night going. Starters was a creamy corn chowder, served with a biltong breadstick, ostrich carpaccio and feta dip served with a shot of Green Label on the side, unlike other single malt whiskies, JW Green label contains a blend of single malts, so it offers a variety of flavours depending on the food you're having. With the chowder one got a touch of the walnut and that long spicy finish to warm you up on the cold winter night. 


Moving onto the next course, we made our way to OSA, a vibrant new offering at the hotel which specialises in Indian Cuisine. I know being an indian, I must be pretty used to curry but it is my favourite culinary option, as I find there is so many ways to make a curry and the variety of spices on offer to change a meal is endless witch each offering something special to enhance the flavours. For the mains we were served a tandoori chicken skewer which sat on top of a garlic naan bread, with sour milk sauce, fresh coriander and pomegranate seeds. I thought the spices and flavours of the meal would have been a bit over powering for the whisky but it blended quite well. It brought out a sweetness and oak from the whisky which worked perfectly with it. 


Ayoba which is located at the Beach Club at Zimbali Fairmont was the venue for our 3rd and final course of the night, desert. The restaurant is a fusion of Central America and Africa with more of a Mexican twist so with that being said, desert was none other than Churros served with a chili chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream. The light cripsy churro's and sauce brought our the coffee notes of the JW Green and bitter chocolate and espresso was evident with every sip. 


After our tasteful journey, it was time to reconvene at 31 Degrees for the conclusion of the night. we toasted the night with one more drink of the JW Green accompanied with cheese platters and a selection of sweets from the hotel's tea box. Speaking to Haroon thereafter about Johnnie Walkers reasoning to re-introduce this 15 year old single malt blend into the market again, it was interesting to note that their pricing for such a bottle is quite reasonable when compared to some of it's competitors. The average pricing would be around the R500 mark which is cheap in my opinion for a whisky of this caliber. On the whole it was a perfect night which fused great whisky with great dining and offered a range of tastes that played lovely on ones palette. It was certainly a night to remember. 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Monday Choon: Nari & Milani, Cristian Marchi - The Creeps 2016


Nari & Milani are back! The Mexican duo who are signed onto Tiesto's Musical Freedom Records have released the 2016 edit of their hit track The Creeps. You've probably heard it before on Tiesto's sets and he even dropped it at Ultra SA 2016. It's an awesome track and a personal favourite of mine at the moment, so turn it up loud.

                     

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bucket Babe: Amber Jean Hogg

The month of long weekends and short working weeks are a thing of the past and we now have to wait till June for our next one, don't be sad though, we're here to cheer you up and we got just the right thing, the Bucket Babe! Today's featured model hails from the sunny skies and warm waters of Durban and although young, she has accomplished quite a lot in her career so far. Apart from being a professional dancer, she has also featured as one of the flasher girls for the Sharks Rugby franchise, did a lot of promotional work as well as recently started her modeling career. We're glad we're one of the first to feature this stunner and can foresee her going far in this industry. 

Amber Jean Hogg


Bio
I'm Amber Jean Hogg, 22 years old living in Durban, South Africa. I'm fortunate enough to say that I am living the life of a dancer and have been in the professional industry for almost 5 years now. I am completely in love with what I do. It is the most glamorous life a girl could live. I have recently graduated with a BA degree in corporate communications and plan to use this degree in the fashion industry going forward. I MUST see the world. Absolutely all of it and everywhere! The travel bug has definitely bitten me hard from my recent escapades. I am 100% an outdoors girls, slightly A.D.D so I can never sit still, I'm continuously seeking new adventures and modeling has definitely become one. 


Twitter: @amberjeanhogg
Instagram: amberjeanpants
Snapchat: amberjeanhogg


Q&A

1. Hot girls and hot cars go hand in hand, what ride would you like to  see yourself in?
  • A white Mclaren MP4-12C-. the ultimate dream car.
2. What sandwich are you most likely to make for me? and will it be toasted or plain?
  • Toasted bacon, cheese and tomato, my personal favourite!
3. Everyone loves popcorn (well I think they do) what is your topping/ sprinkle of choice?
  • Extra salt and vinegar with extra sour cream and chives - you can never have enough sprinkle spice. Its a game changer.
4. Dream cover shoot?
  • French Vogue
5. If given a choice, full time model or full time executive, what would you choose?
  • Full time model, then I would get paid to travel the world instead of sitting at a boring desk.
6. Growing up you must have had someone you aspired to be, so who is your role model?
  • I've had many different role models in different areas of my life, Guiliana Rancic, Misty Copeland, Richard Branson, Chiara Ferrangi and especially my parents. These people have all inspired me in some way throughout the years.
7. Anyone holding that hand yet? or is it available?
  • Yes. I'm taken by Mr Michael MacKenzie and my heart could not be happier. I'm extremely lucky to be dating my best friend. .
8. Obviously being a female you would love fashion. Favourite label/ designer?
  • Alxeander Mqueen - completely outrageous and always breaking the boudaries when it comes to fashion, especially when it comes to runway..
9. What type of music gets your booty shaking?
  • I love anything that has a feel good beat - tropical house is a winner! 
10. Which city is your dream party destination?
  • Would love to tick a few places off my list - definitely Miami, Ibiza, Philippines, Cyprus, Rio and Croatia. 





Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Never give up


Like many out there, I got up yesterday morning in disbelief, Leicester City, Champions of England. For many who don't follow the league, you might be wondering what the big fuss is all about? Well there have been many miracle stories in football, Man Utd in 99, Liverpool in 05 and Segio Aguero's last minute goal to win the league in the dying seconds of the 2011/12 season but nothing can top this. 


As the saying goes, "the league is a marathon and not a race" so for Leicester City, a team whom had to dig themselves out of a relegation spot last season, to come in and perform consistently every week to stay ahead of the pack is no mean feat. I know they didn't have that many competitions to par-take in like the other top flight teams and they've been lucky with hardly and major injuries during the season but all that forms part of the luck you need to win England's most coveted trophy.  


Claudio Ranieri came in at the beginning of the season to try and steady the team to a respectable position in the table, I doubt he even thought it would have been possible to achieve what they have done. For many years the league was dominated by the formidable "big four" but as the years went on and big money came into the league, it saw things change and maybe for the better. Yes many might say money is killing the game with certain teams having the bank balances to pay for big name players but Leicester City went and showed the world that you don't need money or big names to win. The total cost for their starting 11 for most of the games never exceeding 400,000 pounds, which some players earn in 2 weeks... It was hard work, belief and pure passion for the game that got them where they are. 


That's what Leicester did this season, it reminded people why we play and watch this sport, and what makes it the beautiful game. With odds against them at 5000/1 to win the league at the start, for them to prove the bookies and world wrong is something extraordinary and will be spoken off in years to come. Whether or not they would be able to replicate this form next season is questionable but what they've taught everyone is that nothing is impossible.


 As a Liverpool supporter it is a sore point that Leicester managed to win the Premiership before us as well as with less points that we've managed to score on more than 3 seasons but that's football for you. They were ready for the challenge and kept going till the end. You ride your luck during the season and make the effort when need be, every season has it's own challenges but you got to overcome them to secure that prize. 


One thing is for sure, next season I don't think anyone would be able to predict what can happen and whether or not bookies will be putting outrages odd's on teams to win the league will be interesting to see after having to pay out a lot of money this season. To Leicester, the football world salutes you on what you have achieved, slaying giants along the way to earn respect in a sport that's dominated by money and superstars, you showed the world you don't need all of that to be winners. 


Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday Choon: R3hab & Quintino - Freak (Sam Feldt Remix)


The original track by Andina Howard never got as much recognition as it should have gotten but it was only until the Sugarbabes, yes remember them? Redid the song back in 2002 that people realised what a great track Freak was. Well 14 years later it was due for another rework and step in R3hab and Quintino who of recent have been making some killer tracks on the EDM scene, this one being another. Known for their hardstyle house music, this track seems to be a bit mellow by them but great none the less.