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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bucket Scene: The Dutch


When I first got an invite to the official opening of the Dutch in Umhlanga Village, my initial thoughts were "not another bar!" but knowing that it was the brain child and owned by the same folk from the popular Remo's franchise, I decided to keep my views to myself until I checked the place out. I frequent Remo's on my trips to the village and they're always busy, great food, comfortable atmosphere and a general good vibe is what keeps the locals coming back for more but what stands out is that the restaurant attracts a certain class of people and it maintains that standards from their service to the food, which keep the wealthy folk of Rocks pretty happy. I presumed the Dutch would be very similar to that hence I decided to ditch the shorts and t-shirt that is so synonyms to Umhlanga bars and slapped on something classy. 


Upon arrival I was greeted by the lovely hostesses and rather big security guards at the entrance, who then escorted me into the bar area. The venue itself takes you back to a classic Italian style mafia hang out, with dark colours, low lighting, expensive paintings and extravagant ornaments. The bar is the centre of attraction and their range of spirits and beers is nothing short of what one would expect in a classy establishment like this, in fact, besides high priced whiskies, they even have a bottle of craft beer that fetches R1000! Being opening night, and having an open tab for the first hour, things were rather chaotic but the barmen have been trained well and managed to get the drinks orders on time despite the large numbers. 


As large as their whisky collection is, I opted to try some of their cocktails. There's a few of the old favourites with a bit of a spin to them and they have some of their own mixes that are sure to suit many taste buds. I was a bit disappointed with some of the sizes of the cocktails but after sipping them I realised they pack quite a punch so it was probably a good thing they kept the size at a minimum!

Crispy tempura prawn with dipping sauce
Drink in hand, I was then greeted by one of the managers who invited me to try some of the food selection off their menu. With the restaurant being next door, the menu at the Dutch is more designed on a tapas style with light finger foods on offer, like croquette's ranging from chicken or butternut and ricotta, sushi, sashimi, tempura prawns (my personal favourite) and there's even dessert! They make mini donut balls filled with nutella that would bring any girl to their knees!

Chicken croquette's
Now if you think of an Italian Mafia bar hang out, there's always a stage with the piano and a hot dame seducing the crowd with her sultry vocals. The Dutch has that stage but instead of the hot dame, they have some of the hottest local talent performing on a weekly basis and as we head into the holiday season they have acts on almost every evening. From Ard Matthews, to Arno Carstens, the Black Lapels and many more! Be sure to check their Facebook page and instagram account to keep up with the latest happenings and make also tickets are available for purchase in advance so you avoid dissapointment.

Nutella filled donuts
Overall I was well impressed with the place, Umhlanga has many a bar but they lacked something like this, a well groomed establishment,(if I may say that). Something that brings sophistication and class to the much rowdiness of the area. A place for you to enjoy a quiet drink while listening to the live entertainment on offer. As I said, they try to keep the standards going in this place so make sure you're dressed to part, no slops, boardies and vests boets, there's always other places for that. I can see this place becoming a firm favourite with the locals and definite must visit if you're new to the area, come and experience #Dutchism

Ard Matthews performing on stage
Facebook: Dutchism
Instagram: @the.dutch

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pet Shop Boys - LIVE in Durban


Yes you read right, popular 80's electronic pop duo the Pet Shop Boys are coming to Durban for a one night only concert that's going to blow your mind right back to the 1980's! Taking place this Friday at Peoples Park at the Moses Mabhida complex, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are set to bring back some memories with some of their greatest hits. Having sold over 50 million records world wide, the two come in fresh from performing at the soldout Sonar events in both and Joburg and Cape Town. The show is set to be one of the best seen in SA in terms of cutting edge production design and creative direction, it forms part of their Electric 2014 world tour which has been sold out. 


Audiences will be please to note that Seed Productions, along with East Coast Radio have secured two of SA's best live acts to open for the Britsh Pop duo in Goodluck and Goldfish. Both need no introduction as they've also performed to sold out performances in recent months, also Goldfish have kicked off their summer Submerged Sundays at Shimmy Beach in Cape Town, so they are very sort after during December. Gates open at 6pm, with a a performance by local Durban DJ Coco Loco, followed by Goodluck and Goldfish before the Pet Shop Boys come in to end night off in spectacular fashion. 


Ticket Prices:
General: R495
VIP: R1295
(VIP tickets includes access to a viewing deck, marquee and seating area, bar with a selection of drinks, canapes, VIP Parking area and VIP entrance)
Tickets are available from webtickets.com

For more info on Pet Shop Boys Live in Durban, follow Seed Experiences on the following streams
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/SeedExperiences
Twitter@SeedExperiences | #PetShopBoysDBN




Sunday, December 14, 2014

Monday Choon: MOTi - Lion (In My Head)


When you're starting out at a career, its always nice to work with and seek guidance from a professional in the industry and when it comes to EDM and Trance, theres not many that are as big as Tiesto. Musical Freedom Records which belongs to Tijs is responsible for most of the up and coming DJ's of recent and they're producing some damn good music. MOTi is one of them, started off with more of his remixes and mashups getting recognition and then his colabs with other DJ's but now we're finally getting to see what his all about, the single Lion shot up to number 3 on the Beatport 100 list and is continuing to do well on the charts. It's awesome track and definitely a December pumper!

                     

Friday, December 12, 2014

Bucket Babe: Nicole Cronje

Its the festive season, everyone is rounding up things in the office and preparing for a well deserved break but just before you switch off your PC's, here's the last Bucket Babe post of 2014! Today's model hails from the land of Mountain, all the hot woman can be found there now! It's almost as if the mountain gravitates them towards it! Anyway, back to our girl, she has a passion for learning and travel, she's been featured in loads of publications and has a heart of gold, here's more from her. 

Nicole Cronje



Bio
My name is Nicole Cronje, I am a 23 year old entrepreneur. I'm currently working on my new business in Cape Town which is working with children and young teens on attitude development, changing their attitude towards a situation by finding solutions to problems instead of playing the blame game. 
I live in Cape Town, South Africa, I absolutely love it here, there is no other place I would want to live right now. I enjoy spending time on shoots, animals, my amazing family and friends .... AND I LOVE to travel! I would love to go back to India, (I fell in love with it, when I danced for the IPL when I was there in 2013) and I would like to go to Thailand in 2015. 

I enjoy learning new things, I take pride in expanding my knowledge in every situation, I am qualified as a makeup artist, interior designer, photographer and I have a diploma in Life Coaching.
I have been modeling for over 10 years now and have been in and out of the industry a numerous times but I enjoy every moment from beginning to end when I am at a shoot, whether it is paid or TFCD. I have worked in a number of commercials, series, movies and magazines, both locally and international. Just to mention a few: South African Tourism, Vodacom and Frutari, Black Sails, 7 De Laan, Safe House, Glamour SA, Bikini SA, Cover Girl, Race Web Magazine Cover Girl and Salt Water Girl. 

My goals for 2015 are growing my company to great success and to develop my name in the industry as a model and brand ambassador. I look forward to the amazing opportunities that are in the pipeline develop into something beautiful next year. 

Links
Twitter: nixegirl
Instagram: niccigirl
Facebook: Nicolecronjemodel



Q&A

1. Hot girls and hot cars go hand in hand, what ride would you like to see yourself in?
  • I would say any Audi but if nothing is stopping me then definitely the R8! That car is so stunning!
2. What sandwich are you most likely to make for me? and will it be toasted or plain?
  • I make a good chicken and mayo sandwich but depending on the weather, if its cold, definitely toasted chicken and mayo with a little mustard and it is warm outside, I will make a cheese and tomato sandwich on plain health bread. 
3. Everyone loves popcorn (well I think they do) what is your topping/ sprinkle of choice?
  • My favourite popcorn is diddle daddle caramel flavoured popcorn but there are days I just want salt, salt and more salt on my popcorn!
4. Given a choice, full time model or full time executive, what you choose?
  • I would say definitely a full time model but being a freelance model is like being an executive with all the planning and hard work that goes into it. 
5. What type of music gets your booty shaking?
  • I can get up to dance with anything! I do enjoy the oldies at the moment but this will change weekly so stay tuned to my blog or Facebook page to see whats next on my dance list. 
6. Which city is your dream party destination?
  • Thailand!!! You can go from sipping on cocktails next to the pool, to outdoor activities and the night life is to die for, who cannot have fun there?!.
7. Anyone holding that hand yet? or is it available?
  • My hand is most definitely being held ;)
8. Being female, you would love fashion, favourite label/ designer?
  • I have so many but definitely would have to say lingerie is Le Senza, clothing would be Forever New. 
9. Dream cover shoot?
  • SA Swimsuit or Maxim
10. Growing up you must have had someone you aspired to be, so who is your role model?
  • I cannot think of a better person than to be my role model than my mother. I know it is such a cliche but she is amazing and such a strong lady. She always handles every situation with such grace and dignity, she unconditionally supports her daughters and will always be there for us. I have learnt a lot about myself this year and I am proud to have my mother by my side, holding my hand, guiding me every step of the way. 








Photo Credits: Opitical Noise Photography / Christo Muller / Photographix

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Bucket Scene: Lucky Shaker

We're kicking off a brand new segment on the Bucket today, "Bucket Scene" is basically reviews on the coolest, freshest places in Durban. The idea was given to me by a late friend and I've finally decided to go ahead with it. What you can look forward to is me bringing you the low down on places to visit in Durban, seeing that the Summer holidays are upon us and with that brings many a visitor to the East Coast, I might as well get the word out on unique establishments that are in and around the city for them to try instead of visiting the same old places they always do.


Lucky Shaker

Today we're showcasing something new and unique to Durban, as you don't often find places like this in a hurry, its the Lucky Shaker. Situated in Shop 9A, Mayfair on the lake across the road from Chris Saunders Park in Umhlanga, it's a one of a kind cocktail bar/ lounge. At first I thought the location was strange seeing that it was situated away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Umhlanga but after sitting down with owner Michael Stephenson and listening to what he envisioned for the place, it made a lot of sense. He wants his clientele to come in and basically lose sense of reality while they mesmerise you with their outstanding cocktails and food, which also is why he doesn't have any TV's in the place.

The Bar, with a wide selection of the finest spirits
The set up is great with a sit down area as well as a bar where you can sit and watch Mike and his staff spell bind you in their mixing techniques, which on its own is great entertainment! After taking our spots at the bar we were told of the special s, all of which are written on a chalkboard on the wall and issued with our complimentary high fives as that formed part of the specials.  Apart from cocktails,  they serve a variety of craft beer as well as craft on tap, to which my accompanying mates were very happy with as they love the craft.

Port & Stout 
The place came highly recommended by a friend of mine and with that he told me I had to try the "Port and Stout" cocktail.  He swears it's the best cocktail he's ever had and with him being an expert on the subject, I had to try it. As Mike began whizzing it up, it was interesting to note that instead of using stout out of the can,  they actually make a reduction of it using Guinness. That added with some port and other liqueurs, shaken up with some ice strained into a martini glass made quite an experience to watch.  Now I'm not the biggest beer fan around but I do enjoy a milk stout or Guinness every now and then so I was looking forward to tasting this.  Light, with a lot of flavours but at the same time quite strong, so it's not something you would down but rather enjoy sipping. One thing that stood out the most for me was that they used only the freshest ingredients for their menu, from fruits that go into their juices to the veggies and meat that went into their food, speaking of which...

Chicken, Bacon, Avo, Feta Burger with Fries
The food menu isn't that big with them sticking to just two types of mains if you may call them that,  being burgers and tacos and some bar snacks are bites but as with most of the things in this bar, it's not your typical burger or taco. All burgers are gourmet and made on premises with them using 3 different cuts of beef to get the ideal mince mix, if you don't eat beef you can always substitute it for a chicken fillet. I have asked Mike to experiment with a lamb burger which he said he wouldn't mind trying and I wouldn't mind testing!  The one I went for was the burger special of the week being a bacon avocado and feta burger. It's the best 3 topics you can get on a burger but if one of them is off it can make or break it. All 3 were superb, creamy feta, crispy bacon and the freshest avo I've ever had in the burger, the chicken fillet didn't even have to be there I would still have enjoyed it! Served on a toasted bun with a choice of salad or fries on the side with a home made tomato sauce it hit the spot.

Taco board
For dessert I was tempted to try one of the creamy blended liqueur milkshakes,  one could opt for the Dom Pedro or Marshmallow Fizz but I sampled some of the Grasshopper which is a blend of chocolate and peppermint liqueur with milk and vanilla ice cream. The smell alone will get your senses racing. 

Grasshopper
There's honestly nothing that's on the menu that I wouldn't mind trying so if you're down in Umhlanga and looking to shake things up a bit, why not give these guys a try. You won't regret it!

Website: www.luckyshaker.com
Instagram: luckyshakerluckshakermenu
Facebook: Lucky Shaker
Address: Shop 9A, Mayfair on the lake
               5 Park Lane, Parkside
               Umhlanga Newtown Centre
               Parking available on the road or in the building. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Monday Choon: Ilan Blueston - Atlantis


British DJ Ilan Bluestone seems to be making a name for himself on the biggest stage of dance music of recent. Besides having a number of remixes out, his own work is getting much credit. Just recently he was invited by the guys from Above & Beyond to take part in their 100th show special of Trance Around the World at Madisson Square Gardens. We featured one of his remixed tracks a few weeks back and today we bring to you his latest single, Atlantis.

                    

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Bucket Seat: BMW 428i Gran Coupe


When BMW announced they were making a four door variant of the 4 Series, the Gran Coupe as it's called, I thought they lost the plot. I mean the 4 series was a two door version of the 3 series right? Well... I learnt that wasn't the case when I tested the 428i but it still begged the question, how much different could the 4 Series Gran Coupe be to the 3 Series? I headed down to Cape Town this past weekend to find out. 


Impressions
Upon arrival I was greeted by this quite striking Sparkling Brown Metallic BMW 428i Gran Coupe, it had the Modern Package which was the first time I've seen it. The metal details with matte finishes are quite striking and give the car a bold appearance and it also added a good ying and yang factor with the dark colour paint. The car for some reason looked long, even though its the exact same length as the Coupe, probably some magic in the design that makes it seem that way. All the doors were frameless so it still gave you that sports coupe feel. 


Comfort
The 4 Series Coupe had seats in the back for two extra people but as I explained, although one could fit adults in there, it did prove to be a hassle to get in and out. By having their own access this made things much better which adds more brownie points for the car. Also with the high roof line it makes the cabin more spacious for the passengers at the back. The rear seats are also sport styled bucket seats and they have climate control aircon for themselves. At the front it is pretty much similar to the four, you are seated lower than normal so you still get that sports coupe feel.


Storage
With the Gran Coupe having two extra doors, I imagined the boot to be pretty tiny which was stressing me a bit since I had a rather large bag. The rear windscreen forms part of the boot lid hence giving it that hatch look hence increasing the opening and making it much easy to load and off load. The boot is huge, one could easily load 3 large suitcases in there or even 3 golf bags with ease. There is also the storage optional extra that provides you with extra netting and a compartment space under the boot floor. 


Power
Not sure whats with me and getting the 428i's, I've had the Coupe, Convertible and now the Gran Coupe, not to say I'm disappointed. I personally think this is the star engine in their line up and even with the additional 50kg weight it still exceeded expectations. Again the 2 litre, 180kW engine was more than adequate too propel the car as I navigated through the fairest Cape.  The car came with BMW's much acclaimed 8 speed sport automatic gearbox, like the others, the car when pushed keeps its revs high as it maximises use of every gear. When switching over to manual it proved to be quite fun when going in and out of the bends through Chapmans Peak Drive and it made for quite nice listening as the engine coupled with the twin exhaust providing an epic sound track. 


Control
Like I said early, its just 50kg difference between this car and the two door, which in passenger car terms is minimal. The car is well balanced, even with the large rims and wide wheels it provides a smooth ride and sticks to the road. 


Extras
For fun I decided to see how many optional extras the car came fitted with, I counted at least 10. Then I popped into to the local BMW dealer to see if he could run the vehicles vin number and get an accurate list of what the car really came with... safe to say if this was a competition, I was way off. It came with 28 optional extras! The stand out ones for me as always were the camera package, adaptive LED lights, Harman/ Kardon Surround Sound Package and for the first time I got to test BMW's Connected Drive. outstanding feature by BMW providing the driver live communication with BMW's call centre to help you with almost anything.


Verdict
This car is different, it's not normal at all and I love it for that. It feels like Coupe but it is practical as a sedan. It's better looking than a sedan and you look better driving it than you would in a sedan. Seeing that Cape Town is the land of the hipster, I'd be tempted to call it the hipster of cars seeing that it is out of the ordinary, cool and well hip but I'm not sure if I would be doing the car much justice...plus it doesn't have a beard and run on craft beer. Honestly if given the choice for this over the either the 3 series or the normal 4 series, I would choose the Gran coupe every time, to me it is that good of a car, not mention is gave me 650km from a full tank with mixed driving.


Specifications
  • 2 litre, 6 cylinder twinscroll turbo charged engine
  • 8 speed automatic, step-tronic gear box
  • 180kW
  • 245bhp 
  • 350Nm torque
  • Consumption: 10ltr/ 100km
  • Top Speed: 250kph
  • 0-100kph: 5.5 seconds 
  • Price: R617 400 (excluding extras)







Wednesday, December 3, 2014

RIP Phil Hughes


As a child, there wasn't many sports that you could play with just two people and the best one by far was cricket. My brother and I used to play it literally everyday and then join in the other kids on the weekends and on holidays.  We should all pretend to be our favourite players at the time and dreamed of ourselves in years down the line playing for our country. It's the same dreams Michael Clarke spoke of in his emotional speech today at the funeral of Australian test player Phil Hughes, most of his words hit home hard to many as we can all relate to what he spoke off.


Hughes lived those dreams that others only pictured, he played at the highest level and represented his country. At just age 25 he already had 26 tests under his belt and 3 centuries but sadly that's where his record will end. Last Thursday he was struck by a bouncer on the head during a domestic game at the SCG,  after the impact he seemed dazed but then collapsed to the ground, he was then flown to the hospital but succumbed from the injury.


It's always sad seeing a person lose their life especially while doing something they love. Tributes poured in from all over world with many placing their cricket bats outside their doors to symbolize him being not out. Even though we as South Africans aren't fond of the Aussie cricket team, we won't deny what brilliant bunch they are and the game wouldn't be the same without them. It's a sad loss to the cricketing world and a terrible freak accident, it's shocked the sport and shocked the world. As they lay him to rest today in his home town of Macksville,  we can only pray for his family to find peace.


Thoughts go out also for the bowler that delivered that fatal blow, Sean Abbott, one can't begin to imagine what he's going through. One hopes he can make peace and return to the sport,  I'm sure that's what Phil would want. If you haven't read Michael Clarke speech, I suggest you do. While we talk about this sporting tragedy,  one can't forget about another fighting for his life.  Keep Fighting Jules.