Monday, November 23, 2015

Eats: Copperlake Brewing Company



Venue: Copperlake Brewing Company

Location: Broadacres Shopping Centre off Cedar rd, Broadacres

Cost: Meals averaging at R80, R38 for a 500ml craft beer, R28 for 375ml.


About

Copperlake is a vibey pub situated just off Cedar rd in Broadacres. 

They serve their own brand of craft beer, coolers and ciders and offer a wide variety of meals and finger foods. They also offer wine and cocktails.

The main focus of the decor is the brewing apparatus where one can watch a brewer at work and be welcomed with the warm, yeasty aroma of the next batch of beer being produced. 

For the party crowd, you can rent a number of games including beer pong and can hire a personal keg for your function.

Live bands perform most Sundays.


Experience



A friend and myself decided to try Copperlake for lunch and sampling some of their brews this past Saturday.

While it was quiet when we arrived at 12, the place quickly filled up with patrons. The venue is open and welcoming and throughout the day we enjoyed a mix of classic rock piped through their sound system, which I really enjoyed.

My first drink of choice was the Cherry Cider, which was nice and tart with a lot of flavor. I like that it was not overly sweet and one could easily have a few without fear of inducing diabetes.

My friend ordered the tasting plate which includes the 6 standard house beers, the citrus cooler and a special edition beer. Good value for R30 and definitely helped narrow down what he wanted to order next.

I then tried out the Citrus Cooler, which is much sweeter but just as enjoyable.

We ordered lunch and I had one of the best Chicken Schnitzels (R78) I have ever tasted. What made this great was the quality of the cheese sauce that definitely didn't originate from a powdered form. The side salad was fresh and drizzled with balsamic and olive oil.

My friend had the Brie and Pepperdew Burger, which he swears is one of the best in JHB and worth the visit.

All in all, this is a great chilled venue to hang out with a group of friend and we will be back for the food let alone the beer.

Tips

  • Note that they are closed on Mondays
  • Books must be made for large groups as they can fill up quickly
  • Ask them about their food platters and kegs for large groups
  • It can get quite rowdy later in the day, so this is probably not the best venue for an intimate date

@copperlake_sa

Thursday, November 12, 2015

10 Things I am Thankful For in 2015

So those of you who know me personally will know that 2015 has been a hell of a year for me. While there have been a lot of bad times, there has also been a lot of good too.
I would even dare say that this has been the year in which I have grown the most. Come out of my shell,  so to speak.
So here are my top ten highlights of the year with some random gratitude interspersed in between!
1. This has been the year in which I put together not one but two amazing events for bloggers. From organising venues and sponsorships to promoting the events to actually speaking at them with a microphone and everything. Sometimes I take a step back and wonder who this person is because I never,  ever thought I would be capable of such things.
2. I started a new job this year and have had my most successful year as a Recruiter yet, even though there have been tears and frustrations. One may not always be able to plan for their career, but we can certainly make the most of where we find ourselves in life.
3. My unexpected singleness resulted in me becoming assertive and  independant. Suddenly I had to make choices just for me. Do things just for me. It is amazingly empowering.
4. The blogging aspect has grown and risen to new heights. I am so blessed with all the support from readers, authors and publishers. It seems surreal that people even visit my posts,  much less generate the number of hits I get. I achieve now in a day what I used to get in a month. So thank you.
5. I have successfully been living alone for a year. Sure it's lonely at times but I have cats now. And rats. And two fish. So I'm good. I now also own things like furniture and a TV. Which I never had this time last year.
6. I really recommend doing things that scare you. For me, this was zip lining, driving a 4x4 course, public speaking and joining an action netball team where I offer little more than flailing arms and foul language.
7. I have a gym membership now! And I torture myself with spinning classes and running on the treadmill. Ok, running is a bit of a poor term for what I do. Let's call it loping. Or perhaps briskly striding while working up a gentle glow.
8. I started playing Magic the Gathering and have succeeded in spending a ton of cash on my ever growing collection of cards. I also attended my first formal tourney. And met some great new people. Sometimes it helps to just embrace your geeky side.
9. My photography has grown by leaps and bounds. I no longer just take photos of horses! In fact, I like taking pictures of things that are not of the equine variety! Musicians are a favorite new thing.
10. I have made so many wonderful new friends. Either through Magic, gaming days, Meetup.com... It is awesome. And it makes me feel more comfortable just being myself m no matter how odd that person really is.
So there it is. Thanks to everyone who has played a role in my personal journey this year. I hope the rest of this year and 2016 brings great things for everyone. xoxo

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NYT Top 10 YA Hardcover Bestsellers - November Week 2

I love keeping track of which books are selling well and the New York times is pretty much the best resource you can get.

Here are this weeks' top ten! Ranking reflect sales for the week ending October 31st 2015.



  1. This Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
  2. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Girl, Online: On Tour by Zoe Sugg
  4. The Rose Society by Marie Lu
  5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  6. Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl
  7. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  8. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  9. Illuminae by Annie Kaufman and Kay Kristoff
  10. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
What is super impressive is the fact that three of those slots are taken up by Rainbow Rowell's titles. Eleanor and Park was published in 2013! But big props to Rainbow for clearly dominating the YA market right now.

I am really excited for the Black Widow novel and it's been getting killer reviews. Anything superhero is a must-have in my books!

I also really want Illuminae as the book looks simply gorgeous and has a unique way of storytelling.

I have read Six of Crows and can definitely give it a bog nod of approval. I am glad to see it on this list.

What titles are you really looking forward to? Do you think any of these don't deserve to be best-sellers?


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Exclusive Books Christmas Catalogue Launch 2015


I was fortunate enough to be invited to the launch of Exclusive Books' Christmas Catalogue at their recently refurbished Rosebank store this past Friday.

Not really knowing what to expect as I had never really been exposed to events like this, I arrived with a mixture of excitement and nervousness.

After having a cup of amazing coffee, we were seated and greeted by Benjamin Trisk, the CEO of Exclusive Books. He spoke of how their choices this year came from all the staff and were picked so that there would be something for everyone.

They have certainly achieved this, with titles spanning from The Mountain Shadow (the much anticipated sequel to Shantaram) to Lost Ocean, the gorgeous new title from the queen of coloring books, Joanna Basford.

Some of the titles included in the catalogue.
Of course, everyone was anxious to meet Suzelle, the DIY YouTube sensation who has just released her first book. Suzelle was so much fun as she walked us through making a book tote bag out of a t-shirt. I struggled a little tying the bottom tassels so it was just as well that I was the lucky winner of a signed copy of Suzelle's book, which has instructions  inside for the tote bag as well as other awesome DIY projects.


We then had a break and a chance to sample some of the delicious food on offer. Wine was provided by Porcupine Ridge but I opted to give that a pass for Bos Ice Tea instead. I had my first ever macaroon and far more Camembert than should be legal.

We were then able to select our next activity between container gardening with Jane Griffiths, learning to draw the characters from Madam & Eve with Rico, tasting craft beer with Lucy Corne and decorating cookies with Elli Saayman in celebration of the release of the special edition of Alice in Wonderland.

I opted for the container gardening due to my background in Conservation and got to put together and take home an upside-down potted parsley which now graces my front door. We learned about the water-holding properties of peat (an essential in this drought!) and the soil enriching characteristics of earthworms.



Jane's book is readily available at all Exclusive Books branches and is an essential for any city-dwelling South African as it details making the most of small spaces in an organic, environmentally friendly way.

All in all, I had a fantastic day and was spoiled rotten. I was also lucky enough to take home copies of the new illustrated edition of the first Harry Potter and Derek Landy's Demon Road, which were my choices from the catalogue.

A huge thank you to:
Exclusive Books
Suzelle DIY
Jane Griffiths
All the wonderful publishers and publicists who helped make this event possible.

There are some wonderful options so I do recommend you have a look at their catalogue for some great gift ideas.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review : This Song Will Save Your Life

Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: PanMacmillan (2013)

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski's strong suit. All throughout her life, she's been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

I devoured this book on Saturday morning while enjoying a lazy lie in. I actually only bought it because the author's latest title had such a gorgeous cover and interesting premise that I decided to just get her debut title too.

Elise is the socially awkward girl a lot of us can relate to during her high school years. She tries to fit in but kinda sucks at it. One random night, she find out about this underground club where she discovers a passion for DJing and find herself making friends and fitting in.

What I loved was that this book references alk kind of music and even has a playlist at the back. It was awesome that the author opted for classic tracks rather than lean on popular culture.

Elise is all about the music and I know a lot of the music she talks about. Which somehow made me connect more to her character.

There are some real world issues that this book touches on, but in no way are they made light of. Which makes this a read I recommend for kids who are dealing with not fitting in and cyber bullying.

All in all, I really loved this and look forward to reading Tonight the Streets are Ours, the latest by Leila Sales. Good for fans of Sarah Dessen and even Rainbow Rowell.

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Title: Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road #1)
Author: Katie McGarry
Publisher: Harlequin Teen ( June 2015)

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns into an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

I have not read a Katie McGarry before this as they have not really grabbed me. But there was something about Nowhere But Here that inspired the Have To Own feeling I often get trolling other blogs out there.

It probably had a lot to do with centering around a biker gang and that gorgeous cover too. But that simply shows how superficial I really am when chosing books!

Because it's not easily available here yet and because I abhor eBooks,  I ordered a hardcover US edition from Raru.co.za and, not that I am affiliated with them, I got amazing service. So really suggest going that route with any titles you struggle to find locally.

So, back to the book!

This is one of those oxymoronic reads thst is both light and fluffy while still dealing with serious issues. I love her writing style though would have preferred a faster plot.

Having said that, this would make a fabulous movie. It has all the ingredients for a teen classic. It just needs a suitably hot male lead for girls to swoon over.

Love the romance and how the Sexual tension is created. I love the whole gang of bikers and their families. I cannot wait for the sequel to be out so I can see how the other guys' storylines develop.

If you want a fun romance with heart, then you can't go wrong with this. It is a bit hefty for the genre, but stick with it!