Launching a new category for 2011: 6000 Recommends, in which I tell you what I’ve been up to and why you might want to try it too.
Surprise early exit from work this evening, which gave me chance to tear the wife away from her date with her other man, Jim (or whatever poncey way he spells his name) and whisk her off for a quick glass of wine and a chicken spring roll or two at Caffe Verdi in Chelsea Village. (Click the link to see the inspiring Google streetview image).
This used to be a bit of a dive but…
After a major 2010 renovation the Verdi has become one of those few bars where even ladies can feel comfortable going alone. Soon the bartenders remember your name and preferred drink and locals smile and give you a friendly ‘Howzit’! The inside is cosy and is reminiscent of a local English pub with its fireplace, dark mahogany bar and wood effect tiled flooring. The outside courtyard is sunny, light and spacious and an ideal spot to celebrate a birthday or special occasion with friends and family. Well behaved dogs are welcome, and it’s many a dog walker who detours from Maynardville Park for a quick one on the way home!
I’d agree with at least some of that. Most of the locals seemed too busy watching the cricket to smile or give me anything, but that was fine and we enjoyed a well-priced glass of Excelsior Sauvignon Blanc and a draught Amstel, served in the pretty courtyard amidst annoyed cricket fans. We didn’t see any dogs, but that was also fine because I’m not a big canine fan anyway.
I quite like the place, although I would say it was more Chelsea (no pun intended) Wine Bar than local English pub. Still – with Amstel, Castle Light, Guinness and Windhoek on tap and having noted that it’s well within walking distance from Chez Nous (and staggering distance back again), I think we might be spending a bit more time there in 2011.
And while I’m getting all recommendy on you, how about the Red Toolbox range?
I love this.
These are woodworking projects for father and son (or, I guess, mother and daughter) (or father and daughter) (or… oh – you get what I’m saying). They’re actually aimed at kids from 8 years and older and their parents (or legal guardians) (ok, I’ll stop it now), but I’ve been making a little jewellery box with Alex (4¾), which he’s going to give to his sister. OK, so he doesn’t actually do a lot of the work, which involves sawing wood and hammering tiny nails, but he does feel involved:
Red Toolbox creates the perfect environment for parent child bonding, surrounding fun-filled construction games for kids. Parents and kids work together as a creative team, learn from each other, communicate and achieve real-life accomplishments. Parents are offered the chance to get closer to their kids, spend more time with them and share their guidance and support while enjoying the mutual satisfaction of their tangible accomplishments.
We’re taking it slowly – a few steps on the well-written instruction sheet each evening – and it’s actually looking quite good. Once it’s completed, Alex intends to paint it in pink and yellow (Kristen’s favourite colours) and I have no doubt that we’ll then move on to another Red Toolbox project for him – perhaps a gogga box.
The range – including tools and workbench (which are nice, but which you really don’t need) – is available from Builder’s Warehouse and while they may seem quite pricey, you don’t just get the decent product at the end of it (and you won’t get a ready made jewellery box for much less than R100), but it’s also a really cool project to do together with your little ones.