I had a niggling desire in my heart for quite some time but knew the gravity of having another member in our home and take the responsibility very seriously.
Bailey and I were itching for a road trip to our favourite place so we packed the car & hit the road to Knysna. It was a spontaneous decision (we seem to work best that way) & boy was it the best decision!
The Knysna Lagoon is our happy place, one of many up the Garden route, but nothing seems to beat low tide at the Lagoon. With the tide at its lowest, not a breath of wind our peaceful moment was interrupted with an exciting text message – “Hi, We see that you are in Knysna & would love for you & Bailey to spend the night at our Hotel, The Pezula Hotel .” This stunning 5 star hotel has just become Pet Friendly & thanks to Social Media we had the chance to enjoy a Dog & Human experience at a VERY ‘larny’ Hotel . We of course were thrilled & honoured and eagerly headed over there for some fine dining & ironed crisp white sheets.
With sand in my shoes & slightly smudged mascara I quickly dressed Bailey in his best at least. His Leather Bow Tie, one of a kind 😉 & we rolled up to the entrance. Upon arrival Bailey was first greeted (as it should be), I followed with a hand shake & an apology for how dirty my car was (you know, 5 star and all that…) – & with no judgement we were welcomed with Champagne for me & bottled water for Bailey! To be honest I was not prepared for such a welcome. I was incredibly touched at the amount of effort that was put in to make us feel so welcome. For a Dog Owner like myself, observing the detail & attention that Bailey was getting, blew my mind & made me incredibly happy. It is not everyday a Labrador or a dog bigger than a Yorkie for that matter can be so accepted in a Setting like this. I was well aware & so grateful.
After Photos of Bailey & Staff members, then Bailey & Me, then Bailey, and then more photos of Bailey and Staff Members, Champagne & Dog Treats, we were asked to hop in our Golf Cart to be wizzed away to our Villa. The sun was setting, Spirits were high and Bailey was having a panic attack ( Keep it together Bailey ) We arrived at our villa. It was walking distance from Reception, but when in Rome…
Before I continue , I must applaud the Staff for being so lovely, so welcoming & so kind! You made our stay what it was, Thank you!
We were just in time to appreciate the sun finally setting over the Golf course which happened to peep through our view. We sat outside in our Private garden (after Bailey bailed into a pond) and breathed in all the beauty that surrounded us physically & in our hearts. Really counting our lucky stars for this gift – while simultan keeping one eye open for Baboons, yip, Africa, we love you!
Now Pezula has made the Hotel Pet friendly & that includes the Restaurant. Basically everywhere except the Spa. I think that is a reasonable rule, otherwise Bailey would take preference over all the Spa offers leaving the therapists exhausted with no energy left to rub my feet.
We were invited to Dine in the Hotel with other guests, but it had been a long day (ok, I was paranoid that Bailey might take a turn at each table begging for food while drooling over Louis Vuitton Shoes & Gucci Handbags) so we opted for our fireplace to be prepared & ordered some Room Service.
Like I said before, the detail around having Bailey stay over was so appreciated. In our Room there was a Dog Bed, Dog Treats, Poop Bags, Food Bowl, Water Bowl and Two Bottled Still Waters all laid out sweetly for Bailey. This meant so much to us, he truly is my child so it really did mean so much.
A bit about Pezula
The award-winning Pezula Private Estate is recognised internationally as one of the most successful luxury developments in the world. Located on the Eastern Head of Knysna on South Africa’s scenic Garden Route, just 40 minutes’ flight from Cape Town, it consists of 612 hectares and has nearly 4 kms of coastline.
As much as we appreciate the offer of a Dog Bed in our room there was no way Bailey would sleep on it. We argued for hours over this but Bailey’s love for Crisp & Clean Bedding with high thread count made his argument valid. So we snuggled up together on our huge Bed & had an incredible nights sleep.
A new day dawned, we took some photo’s and prepared to leave our little haven. Bailey thought this was now home, so he was quite peeved when I said that we are leaving. Until he saw his friends again at Reception, he was wagging his tail & happy again!
My overall opinion on this experience ? True delight. It was not stressful for one second, one would think allowing your dog and all his shedding fur into such luxury would make you feel a touch on edge, but thanks to the Staff I was not even slightly stressed. Guest’s faces lit up at the sight of this Handsome Four Legged Hottie. The more his tail wagged, the happier the humans surrounding him appeared. Staying in our own Private Villa felt comfortable, no other guests would have even known that their was a dog around, even if he was a “Barker” , we still would not have been a nuisance to others, encouraging the Hotel to continue with this. If I wanted to go to the Spa or play a round of Golf, I would have had the option to call a Staff Member who would take Bailey for a walk or stayed in the room with him while I was out. How awesome?
I highly recommend booking in to this Hotel. This is my very honest perspective of our stay. I am so thrilled to see how Hotels & 5 star accommodations are trusting us as Responsible Dog owners to have our Furries with us on holiday. Not only is this wonderful for us but also a game changer in the tourism industry in my opinion.
Thanks again Pezula & hopefully see you soon!
Where to next Bailey?
**Please do follow Pezula on Instagram as they grow their following: https://www.instagram.com/pezulahotel/
As Bailey deserves only the best, and I get to tag along, we have been on a journey of discovering the best 5 star Pet friendly locations around Cape Town & the Garden Route.
If you follow our adventures you would have seen us stay & review a Beach House called WHITE SANDS. A STUNNING five bedroom Luxury home situation ON the beach in Yzerfontein. Now, White Sands is only one of the 3 gorgeous Houses that fall under the umbrella of THE BEACH HOUSE COLLECTION which are conveniently located close to each other, owned by Denise & Gavin Levy.
We have had the privilege of spending time in all three homes several times! In this blog I will be sharing PEARL BAY with you. The second of the three homes (in no particular order).
Pearl Bay is situated directly opposite to White Sands, Although they are neighbours you still have a sense of privacy due to the way both Properties have been designed. This stunning home is the “Original”, the spark that ignited the threesome, the very first of the lot! If one had to compare the three homes, I would then say that Pearl Bay has a more “rustic” feel although Modern.
Upon arrival , Bailey of course heads first into the Pool only because it comes first, before the Ocean. You are serenaded by the sight, sounds & smell of the ocean while sun bathing or being drenched by your pooch who is addicted to water. As a dog owner I find we do things possibly backwards. First experience the outdoors then indoors 🙂 . One, two, three steps from the pool and BAM your toes touch the sand! You are then introduced to a beach so protected, seemingly untouched, where you can walk for hours without seeing a single soul. Your dog can run, play, swim and feel free while you breathe in the perfection of your environment. Honestly, this is paradise. This is where Bailey & I spend quiet moments really feeling grateful uninterupted.
This Stunning piece of paradise automatically feels like home as soon as you place your sandy feet on the wooden floors. Hugged by big Windows & glass doors you are instantly kissed by the warmth of the sun beaming through, giving the space a very “open” feel. Pearl bay offers a Dining area with a Fireplace for these wintery days, an open plan kitchen, lounging area and 3 spacious bedrooms! There is a very organic flow in this home, which is why having both dogs and humans in this space works well! Open the doors to the deck & you have a ton of freedom for you and your dog.
Now let me tell you, if you want to rest & rejuvenate with your pooch, I cannot recommend it enough. For some it may seem out of budget, but the experience alone is worth every cent. The ocean roars constantly, the sea breeze always lingering and time certainly stands still. We recommend taking a few friends along because the space offers both privacy and a great place to connect with family and friends and most importantly DOGS!!
Of course, it goes without saying. As a dog owner I tend to repeat myself here when doing reviews but we really do need to make sure we do our part in being responsible with having our Pooches with us in places that allow dogs. We are so lucky that there are more and more luxury homes and hotels that are opening their doors to our pets, if we don’t do our bit all these privileges will stop. So I always make sure I pick up after Bailey, I make sure he is dry and sand free ( bit of a challenge here ), He can’t make himself at home on every bed and couch ..( ok that’s a lie, he can, because he’s spoilt BUT I always lay a throw on the surface of furniture like couches or beds.) And lastly, I realise that there will be hard working individuals that will come in to clean once we leave, this is no excuse to leave a home full of dog hair. I try leave the home as close to as I found it before leaving, I don’t always get it right or perfect, but it is the very least I can do as a Dog Owner.
Responsible dog owner lecture complete 🙂
Do yourselves a favour, call up some friends, put your dog’s best bowtie on, and hit this beach house SOON. It is so worth it! They even have a Winter Special on: Quote SANDYFEET10 and get 10% off your nights stay!
To find out more visit their Website here: www.beachhousecollection.co.za
To find out about Rates & reservations email Denise: firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently did a cooking class and if you know me then you know this is both hysterical & amazing.
I am not one for cooking or baking for that matter. but This class at GINGER AND LIME FOOD STUDIO was just the thing I needed to boost my confidence.
So I decided to put a video together of a very easy made up recipe of my very own version of what a Dogscone should be, so that you too can whisk these up quick stix for your pooch. And the best thing about it is that you don’t need to be a confident cook to do it!
Peanut butter ( No Sugar, NO XYLOTIL – Please triple check this, as Xylotil is deathly for dogs )
As mentioned, not being someone who bakes , cooks or likes to follow rules I just used my common sense when it came to the quantities. Have a look at the video below to see how it all went down!
The Point of this blog is to share the knowledge that healthier food and treats we give to our animals the better. Always do research on what dogs are not allowed and take it from there. There are so many awesome ingredients out there that many dog owners don’t know are incredibly beneficial to our pets as well as us.
I was recently invited by a dear friend , who is part of our ever growing Instagram family (@goldengirlcali), to join her for High Tea at The 12 Apostles Hotel here in Cape Town. What made this even more special was not only that it was a pre Birthday Gift but also the fact that…….. OUR DOGS WERE INVITED! Yea! Of course this is completely my Cup of Tea…..pun intended….
What the heck is a “High Tea?”
Noun ; high tea (plural high teas)Initially, it was a meal for the working man, taken standing up or sitting on tall stools, thus ‘high‘. Tea with cakes, scones, even cheese on toast would have been served.
But in our case, our version of High Tea involved scoffing our faces with cakes and tea in a fancy Hotel with our Dogs next to us!
Upon arrival, I was offered to have my car parked for me & was handed the most beautiful flowers. Bailey was greeted by the staff with such warmth. Not for one second did I feel as though Bailey would be in the way of others, or be a nuisance for the staff at 12 Apostles Hotel. They embraced two (GORGEOUS) dogs, one Retriever (Cali) & one Labrador (Bailey) – bearing in mind these are not small lap dogs. I was well impressed & knew that they did their best to accommodate us!
While wearing a Collar (Thanks Benji & Moon) & leash, we headed out for a little stroll around the gorgeous grounds of this Iconic Hotel. Nestled against a magnificent mountain while overlooking the ocean. The setting is undeniably one of the most beautiful and one to experience!
Now LET´S EAT CAKE!
Only Images will suffice such delectable treats. This cannot be explained in words – We ate scones , chocolate mousse , cheese cake , tiny sandwiches, drank Camomile tea in gorgeous glass teapots & so much more. The attention to detail was refreshing! One question may be on your mind, where the heck are the dogs, and did they get cake?
Cali & Bailey were lying next to us. But if you know Labradors & Retrievers, you will also know that the begging eyes were in full force! The cake stands were pretty high, but they would always manage to peek there snouts in somehow…..
Now of course saying no to these faces is virtually impossible & being the responsible dog owners we are, we did not feed them cake, maybe a cucumber here & there 🙂 . We felt bad stuffing our faces (elegantly of course) in front of our kids, so the staff happily served our dogs a delicious raw egg each served in a 12 Apostles dog bowl.
With popping tummies & full hearts it was time to head home. It was an awesome experience & one I hope you can enjoy too. When we own a pet it is up to us too be responsible owners. Although I know that Bailey is a well behaved dog & is used to social outings, I made sure he was on leash at all times out of respect for others. I was very aware of our surroundings and how it may or may not affect guests & staff. It was up to me to be responsible in taking my dog with me to such an occasion.
So if you are planning on going for High Tea or any fab event with your dog, No matter how friendly or well trained, always remember how important YOUR job is. The more responsible & respectful we are, the better the chances are for more human spaces to become pet places.
A huge thank you to Lorien & Cali for spoiling Bailey & I. We will never forget it.
Thank you to 12 Apostles Hotel for being incredibly hospitable, friendly & professional. We had a stunning time!
There are few things better than taking a road trip just to adventure, rest & mostly gain perspective on life. For me, my trip would be absolutely incomplete without Bailey by my side. There have been times where we have wanted to stay as a gift to ourselves (hubby & I) that is a bit more 5 star & less back packer-ish which is what most, not all, Pet friendly accommodation is advertised online.
So, began my quest to find & review a 5-star Pet friendly accommodation around Cape Town. It´s tough guys, but someone has to do it 😉 …Then we found WHITE SANDS.
Recently, we had the absolute privilege of staying the night at The Beach House Escape in one of their houses called “White House” in the small harbour Town of Yzerfontein, Cape Town. Driving along the West Coast to find our destination is always a treat & one to experience as often as possible. As you leave the City behind you are greeted with beautiful beaches that seem to go on forever. Yzerfontein is merely 90km away from Cape Town CBD & 30 minutes’ drive from where we live in Melkbosstrand, yet you feel miles away which is lovely.
It was the day of our adventure & we were up and at ém at 6am with full intention on hitting the road at 9am SHARP in the quest to enjoy every minute, hour, day! HOWEVER, reaching said intention is almost impossible as a dog mom (& wife for that matter) – The husband ´faffs´ & the dog has far too many accessories for his own good.
CHECK LIST PROCESS FOR BAILEY (let alone my needs):
FOOD (Will pack his Doggobone in a moment, don’t want it to defrost) Which I totally forgot to pack! Go buy Veggies & Meat at Local Spar!!
GOPRO (I guess it´s more for Bailey than me, right?)
2 hours later…Apparently in my household.
Right! let´s go!
Now being 11am & a touch stressed, 30 Minutes later we arrive in Paradise.
We were greeted by the friendliest face welcoming us with such warmth. Tinashe is the House Manager & from what I hear has made lifelong friends by his wonderful hospitality & humble personality. He showed us around & of course Bailey jumped straight in the pool ON arrival & made a great big splash, a shake & made Yzerfontein know that HE has arrived. I kept apologizing for Bailey wetting Tinashe and the whole (outside) area, clearly still on edge. However, Tinashe kept reassuring us that it is dog friendly – “Dogs are welcome, let him be, it´s ok”. Thanks Tinashe! From that moment on we felt right at home!
This 5 Bedroom House sleeps up to 10 people. It is incredibly spacious, which is what one needs in order to rest and rejuvenate. Especially if you are sharing with both humans and well-behaved dogs, this setup works well. The design of this house draws in the beauty of its surroundings. We felt so close to nature by the well put together aesthetics inside the house & by the smell & sound of the Ocean which is literally at your front door! Inside you are surrounded by large windows that are able to open as doors. By opening these doors, you are inviting the natural cool sea breeze & the sound of the ocean inside. This automatically puts you in a holiday mode & fills you with peace!
Besides it being absolutely incredible for humans, it is possibly THE best place to have your dog experience! The property is an open space, therefore there are no walls to contain your pet, we had no issue with this. Bailey is very good in that way, he is obedient and will never go roam if he can´t see us. I had no issue with chasing him down our quiet street to fetch him. He was pre-occupied by the stunning swimming pool, if not swimming he would cool down inside by the kitchen (obviously) on the cool concrete floor (which hides dirty paws). I would also find him upstairs like the human he thinks he is in the main bedroom staring out at the ocean, his happy place.
It is not even 1 2 3 steps and we were ON the beach! We only saw 2 other people on this beach while we were there. It is very quiet and just so beautiful. We didn’t have much time to spend on the beach, but you can very easily walk for hours and hours!
The main bedroom is basically the size of our home! If it was just that room on offer for the night we would have been just fine! You are spoilt with endless sea views on either side of the balcony, the view is just perfection!! You can put your feet up in your own lounge & roll into bed when you are tired. And of course, one must enjoy the shower. The shower is now my haven! I did not know I could love a shower that much. The wonderful thing about staying at White Sands was the fact that we could sleep with our balcony doors wide open! We felt so safe & comforted by the roaring sound of the ocean. If you have never fallen asleep or woken up to the sound of the crashing waves of our incredible sea you MUST add it to your bucket list. It is an incredible experience & one that we could enjoy here.
The sun rose around 5:30am and we made sure we had at least one eye open to experience this magnificent view from our bed. All I can say is, what a site! This was then followed by some coffee in bed.
The exciting part about The Beach House Escape is that the houses are not only used as accommodation but functions as well. The property comprises of 3 different houses named White Sands, Thyme & Tyde and Pearl Bay. Just imagine holding a company workshop or conference at this amazing location. What a way to do team building right?!. You could even have an epic birthday weekend with all your friends or use as a Yoga Health Retreat… Just enjoying the beauty of the scenery around.
The kitchens in these houses are just so dreamy. I would not expect anything different from the lady herself, Ginger and Lime Queen Denise Levy . The Beach House Escape also plans to have interactive cooking weekends in these kitchens. Bailey already said he agrees to test the food and let everyone know if it’s edible. The possibilities are endless at The Beach House Escape.
I can honestly say that this was an experience of a lifetime and Bailey already asked me when we are going back.
Thank you to our wonderful hosts for having us stay & review such a timeless piece. Be sure to follow the links in this blog to find out available dates & costs!
Of course I celebrate my Dog´s Birthday!?
It´s no secret you see, Dog Mom´s seem to get looked at strangely when your dog has a lavish birthday party. One with balloons, pupcakes (even auto correct just changed ´pupcakes´to ´cupcakes´) , presents, treats & friends! In a nutshell Dog Mom´s want the same affection & attention to detail given to kids , to be given to our pooches. And why the heck not 🙂
Thank goodness that the pet industry is now growing in such a positive direction & at quite a pace with pushing messages of healthy dog living with natural foods, lifestyle & treating them as our family, which they are.
And that, my friends, is why Bailey had a Birthday Party. A small one without the fancy cakes & balloons (terrible mom) but a few hours of total joy with his FURiends!
The Beach I chose was Clifton 1st here in Cape Town . It is gorgeous, protected from the wind & happens to be dog friendly! We called up Bailey´s friends who were able to join on a week day & headed down to party on!
A few hours on this stretch of land and sea was enough to exhaust our Dog´s & juuuuuust enough time to avoid being kicked off the beach by a peaceful group of people trying to enjoy the sunset without: salty dogs jumping on them , eating their food, dry humping their towel, shaking off next to them (incase they were hot) or all of the above at once. Beautiful chaos in my opinion!
They ran, they swam, they conquered! Of course all was documented for you to enjoy!
Thank you to Bailey´s furiends that joined us: You can join their instagram accounts below!
Happy Birthday my Bailey Boy. 7 years with you has been so precious, pure, wonderful, loving, supportive, adorable, sweet, kind, patient (sometimes), incredible, meaningful and all the other beautiful words out there. I love you so much!
Remi Calliope & Savannah Rose @remi_and_savi
Sebastian , Noodle & Benji
I was asked to Photograph Rocker Francois Van Coke, Lead singer of the band Fokofpolisikar & his super handsome bulldog Ringo, who also happens to be totally famous! These guys (yes Francois & Ringo) were so chilled & relaxed, up for any direction I gave them which made the shoot so much fun & enjoyable for us all.
I am now a big fan of both these legends & big thanks to Pet Prints Magazine for organising this shoot!
Recently I set off on a road trip with my labby Bailey to Knysna. I received a great response to do a Popup Pooch Shoot in Plett as well as lifestyle shoots. I decided to document the entire trip & make the best out of the love I have for both Knysna, Plett, my dog & photography. Yip, I believe in creating your own opportunities, and making the life you want to live a reality.
I decided to approach a brand within the dog industry to help sponsor my trip. Wagworld was the very first to pop in to my mind. I had met the beautiful minds behind the name years ago but chances were slim to be remembered.
I put a proposal together, met up with Jasmina & Chrissi and walked away with funds for the trip as well as 4 beds, 1 hammock, two blankets, and a bunch of toys as well as a mutual excitement for us all to work together. Bailey was SUPER comfy throughout the trip-Start to finish:)
I am completely sold on their product! There are different beds for different dog personalities I found. As well as hardy but comfortable beds for the outdoors which we found ourselves at most of the time. Having a 12 year lab who sleeps a lot and has his aches and pains, i feel so excited about giving him a firm bed that keeps his body well supported, where his bum never touches the ground even after months of lying in it.
I was asked to take photos for them while on my trip as Bailey & his girlfriend enjoyed the beds.
Thank you to the Wagworld team for this great opportunity, great product & a great love for what you do.
A recent Lifestyle Shoot was in Plett for Courteney & her three super cool poodles! I took a drive from Knysna where I was staying to Plett on a very moody-rainy Friday. Not feeling very convinced by this weather, I met Courteney and her three poodles at a STUNNING venue called Ouland Royale, very close to Plett airport.
We decided to grab a cup of coffee at this incredible venue then heading off to a farm to shoot outdoors.
It turns out that Ouland Royale, honestly one of THE most beautifully inspiring locations I have ever been to, ended up being the backdrop to our shoot. While sipping our coffee, we slowly began to take over this venue, one poodle at a time. Thankfully the owner was the nicest most accommodating human, so gracious in allowing us to shoot in her space.
I was very intrigued by this breed as I had never spent time with poodles before. What intelligent , faithful, loyal & wonderful dogs they are. Courteney rescued two of her pups, Oliva & Pixel, with Mila being the very confident non-rescued pup in her crew.
Pixel was told many times over that she had no future & to be put down would be her only option. Courteney, with her massive heart & her background in animal physio decided to take her in & work on little Pixel. Her two back legs are badly deformed but in just a few months, with tons of love, care and physio she is one of the happiest dogs I know. Seeing her run & play when all odds were against her is something so special & I commend her human for taking her in with all her beautiful imperfections.
Court thank you for loving your dogs the way you do, and I am so happy that they love you back all the same.
Thank you Ouland Royale, Baroque Barn for allowing us to gatecrash your incredible space for a few hours. It was such an honour. You can also follow Pixels progress on Facebook Pixel’s Progress PageCommunity · 165 like this