Monday, 12 October 2015

Getting FRESH with Anchor's Rest

As the weather warms and Spring simmers its way into a mellow summer, it gets harder and harder to stay indoors. Everything out of doors is exquisite.Durban is gorgeous all year round … lush greenery shades the highways and byways, lawns roll smugly into hazy distances and burst of colour decorate almost every space. Even in the middle of winter, Durban’s a beautiful place to be.
But as Spring’s pretty pastels are painted into vibrant Summer shades, it’s simply irresistible.
Peter and Benson vegging out with the veggies!And I’ve got an added incentive. You see, for the past few months my garden has been so much more than just the beautiful and tranquil frame for Anchor’s Rest, our personal Happy Place. In recent weeks,  our garden has also become a growing space of fresh, organic health and happiness.
That’s right: Anchor’s Rest now boasts our very own organic herb and vegetable garden.
I was inspired to start my own herbs and vegetables while visiting a friend. She had arranged charming hanging baskets of strawberries and herbs in the trees in her garden.  They looked  so fresh and cheerful … and nothing on earth beats the taste of fresh!
Jane Griffiths signing copies of her books.I just loved the whole idea! So I thought I’d start an organic garden on our patio - in containers.
Never one for half measures, I dived in and bought the best books I could find:  Jane’s Delicious Garden and Jane’s Delicious Herbs by SA’s organic gardening guru, Jane Griffiths. I pored over the fascinating pages and devoured all the bits I liked best - and then I just went for it!
I was also lucky enough to attend Jane’s workshop on Organic Gardening, which she presented in the Midlands. I took Joyce, my live in housekeeper with me. She is also growing vegetables for herself in the garden, so she was delighted to have the chance to learn to do it even better. We have a great system in place: I buy the seeds for us both, and we plant them together in containers on our patio.
Delicious displays of herbs and veggies in the MidlandsWe’ve been very busy! We’re now growing the following:
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Delicious displays of herbs and veggies in the MidlandsChillies
  • Thyme
  • Pak Choi
  • Beetroot
  • Peas
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes (not as easy as you’d think!)
  • Strawberries
  • Scented Geraniums (to help deter unwanted pests - they work very well!)
  • Nasturtiums and Marigolds in amongst my herbs and veggies, to deter pests
It’s been a very therapeutic way to pass the time, and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. I feel like I learn something new every week.
Joyce picks out her favourites.As I’m sure you can imagine, I have found some things easy to grow and others difficult. Watercress isn’t really suited to our warm climate, which was a bit disappointing. I haven’t had much success with peppers, either ... and those traditional climbing tomatoes are also difficult.  I’m growing cherry tomatoes instead, which are absolutely delicious.
I only use organic potting soil, fertilisers and an organic spray to control pests.
In the evenings I go onto our patio and pick my salad ingredients – what a pleasure!!  All of the garnishing on the breakfast plates is what I have grown.
Why don’t you come and enjoy a delicious, FRESHLY picked, organic side dish to your next breakfast with us … after a restful night in luxury in one of our inviting rooms. We can’t wait to see you.
Click here to book your spot or call on +27 (31) 561 7380.
Warm summery regards,

Friday, 31 July 2015

Warm Wonderful Winter in Umhlanga

It's cold outside. But not here! Yes, it's Umhlanga in winter. So it's a good deal warmer than - well, almost anywhere else that isn't directly on the equator. In fact, in recent weeks we've even had people splashing in shallows and surfing the swells that grace the view from our gorgeous Anchor's Rest deck.
This wonderful warm weather has brought its share of unseasonal surprises. The rain we so badly needed has fed our parched gardens, and the riot of green everywhere we look is a potent disguise. You'd never think it was winter. 
So yes, folks, it's cold outside ... somewhere else.
But we're warm and toasty here at Anchor's Rest. And our warm and welcoming winter weather is only part of the reason why. The real reason we're feeling so warm on the inside, is because of the amazing opportunity we've had this year to invest in our local community.
You see, there's something about us that you may not know. Of course, by now you're well-acquainted with Peter and Cilla's infamous hospitality and perennial good cheer. But did you know that her husband and Anchor's Rest co-founder, Peter, is the chairman of Umhlanga Tourism?
His heart, like Cilla's, is with the people of this beautiful town - the true beneficiaries of local tourism and growth.

In fact, we feel so strongly about our duty to invest in the community that we've teamed up with KZN-based training company, Tourism World Academy. This development-focused team has been charged with implement the locally-brewed hospitality learnership programme, "Tourism Buddies" - a Department of Public Works initiative.
Peter has even taken on the role of student liaison and manager. These students - unemployed matriculants are placed with host employers who host trainee staff for a period of nine months, receiving practical training and mentorship from these hosts .As the 'anchor man' for this year's 76 students, Peter monitors their progress, and makes sure they're learning as much as they can.
The course wraps up with written exams that earn students the certification of Tourism Professional when they pass. And for the duration of their training, the Department of Public Works pays each learner a monthly stipend.
Thandeka Qwabe,
                                                    Anchor's Rest's own
                                                    Tourism BuddySo not only do they get first class, real-world training, they are able to start earning an income almost immediately. What a great way to get into the working world and develop a truly global, valuable skill.
We've loved being able to contribute to Tourism/Hospitality Development in the province by providing hospitality skills to unemployed matriculants.
Best of all, we all benefit from the influx of new, innovative ideas into our business from youth with a passion for this industry. Our fellow hosts have reported the same thing, and we're seeing the industry improve as a whole thanks to the investment in the youth of our area.
Thandeka's happy smile has graced us each day as we train her in the practical aspects of hospitality. We'll miss her when she goes, and we wish her well."
There are so many ways we can contribute to a better world. With Tourism Buddies, we have helped at least one person have a better future.
The programme is nearly over, but if you'd like to spend a night or two to get to know Thandeka and find out more about the programme, or even catch a rare glimpse of a cool Umhlanga day, don't delay. Book today!

Click here to book your spot or call on +27 (31) 561 7380.
Warmest Regards,

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Yumhlanga! Delicious Durban Dining just minutes from Anchor's Rest

The smell of garlic and origanum surfs subtly above the ocean breeze, teasing your senses with a promise of pizza and Italian cooking. The sizzle of fresh steak crisping slightly over the grill plays mouthwatering music in your mind. Exotic island dishes with names that hint at their French origins dance playfully across your tongue, like the most delicious pre-workout warm up you’ve ever imagined. The lure of piping hot curries and fragrant spices beckons the imagination.

The Press Club
Remo's Villagio Steak & Ale

The Press Club
(031) 561-7117
Umhlanga Shopping Centre
185 Ridge Road

Remo’s Villagio
(031) 561-7143
Shop 2/3 Protea Mall
Chartwell Drive
Steak & Ale
(031) 561-7234
15 Chartwell Drive

It’s dinner time!
Get ready to tantalise your taste buds, inhale amazing aromas and masticate mouthwatering menus: we’ve got a treat for you! Over the years, we’ve seen Umhlanga blossom from her humble beginnings as a charming seaside village, into the bustling metropolitan city she is today. While she still nestles her hidden-away seaside lanes and beautiful parks, the heart of Umhlanga pulses with a vibrant energy that makes even the most well-travelled guests feel right at home. Truly cosmopolitan, Umhlanga offers something for everyone’s tastes.
And tastes there are - in abundance. We’ve never been short on delicious eateries here in Umhlanga. And as the city grows into the tantalising tourist destination it’s become, chefs from far and wide, as well as our local ing√©nues, have risen to the challenge. Umhlanga now boasts some of the most popular restaurants in KZN … and the best of the bunch are just a few minutes walk from Anchor’s Rest.

Angelo’s Trattoria
(031) 561-3245
Granada Centre, Chartwell Drive

Bar Ba Coa
(031) 561-4106
Lighthouse Mall, Chartwell Drive

(031) 561-2930
Granada Centre, Chartwell Drive

In this month’s news, we’ve included a list of Umhlanga’s best spots on the right. But here are our very favourite, tried and trusted - and tantalisingly tasty:
  • Angelo’sExquisite home-cooked Italian food to ignite your imagination.
  • Little HavanaWorld-class Cuban-inspired grills and seafoods, perfectly paired with the finest wines - all set in an atmosphere of trendy sophistication.
  • Olive & OilFrom the far side of Greece to the other end of Morrocco, the Mediterranean is a hothouse of delicious culinary combinations - all of which find their contented home in Olive & Oil. They put the mmmmm in Mediterranean.
  • FishFresh fish and seafood straight from the sea, in a vibrant atmosphere.
  • Il MauriceFrench cuisine with an Asian/Island twist inspired by the exotic dishes native to Mauritius.
  • The GeorgeClassic pub fare with a charming ambience - the perfect end to a day at the beach.

(031) 561-2912

Protea Mall, Ridge Road

The George Tapas & Wine Bar
(031) 561-5850

The Lighthouse Mall, Chartwell Drive

Little Havana
(031) 561-7589

16 Chartwell Drive

Romantically lit streets, festooned with a hint of ocean mist, scented by the ever-shifting ocean make the perfect pathway to an abundance of appetising destinations just moments away from your home-from-home at Anchor’s Rest. There’s certainly no reason to go hungry in Umhlanga.

Book your stay and tell us your meal preferences. We’ll help you pick the perfect spot for your night out - and even arrange the bookings!

Your room is ready, the perfect spot for a post-prandial sleep. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Click here to make it yours or call on +27 (31) 561 7380. 

Warm regards from balmy mmmmHlanga,

Kashmir Indian Restaurant
(031) 561-7486
McCausland Crescent

Olive & Oil
(031) 561-2618 19
Chartwelll Centre, Chartwell Drive
The Ocean Terrace Restaurant
(031) 514-5000
The Oyster Box Hotel
2 Lighthouse Road

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Where winters are warm ...

It's darkest before the dawn -
but beautiful and amazingly safe.

One of our diligent lifeguards
shines a light on the dawn with the
lights from his car.

We're not the only ones drawn to the
beach and the early morning sun.

The end is in sight!
Umhlanga's iconic lighthouse is a welcome
landmark at the end of a challenging run. 

Nothing beats an early-morning run. The sky hangs like a curtain of Indigo Velvet, its base skimming an ocean as still as glass. Truthfully, we're not runners. We head out along the promenade at a brisk walk, and then run back home - at least as far as we can. Our efforts are applauded by the dawn. A golden bead of fire kindled on the horizon. Its flames soak into the deep night canvas, and set the sky ablaze.

It's nearly 6 AM. The world glows a pink hello, and already the day is warm.

This is winter in Umhlanga: idyllic.

South Africa's climate is truly enviable. But the weather in Durban is the best of all. Here in Umhlanga, the long, sunny days stretch languidly into the evening dusk. Dawn kindles a warm ocean and stretches across the day like honey, melting lazily into warm evenings that barely demand a light shawl, let alone anything warmer.

When you need a place to stay, Anchor’s Rest is the place to be. Elegant luxury makes a welcome respite from a busy day spent shopping, working, or soaking up the warm winter sun on our beautiful beaches.

Why not come and see for yourself?
Book online or call on +27 (31) 561 7380.

Your room is ready and waiting, just for you!
Warm regards,

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Celebrating Summer!

To mark the arrival of summer, each year we create magic in the heart of our home town with Umhlanga’s Summer Festival. This year was no different, with our festival receiving wide acclaim as the best one yet!

The festival kicked off in true Durban style with the Lizzard Hurrican Surf Pro on 13 and 14 December. Umhlanga’s Wave Wizards Surf Club played host to hundreds of surfers from around the world as they all sought to make their mark on our legendary waves.

Trail running enthusiasts had a blast on Sunday the 14th, with beach trails ranging from 5km to 18km putting them through their paces.

Volleyball, Beach Olympics, dancing games and face painting were just a sampling of the myriad fun, FREE activities in the Just Juice holiday programme, and beach lovers of all ages just loved it. Shelley McClain and her choir lit up the night on the 18th, serenading the packed sands with exquisite carol singing.

By the time the fun was wrapped up for the year, no one wanted to leave. If you missed last year’s excitement, then be sure to diarise December 2015’s Umhlanga Festival!

Keep visiting and we'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

December in Durban is Market Madness - and we LOVE it!

Head on out to any of the lovely local markets in and around Durban this Festive Season, and shop till you drop. There's something for everyone so don't miss out.
Need somewhere calm and quiet to unwind after all the hustle and bustle is done? Book your stay with Anchor's Rest today, and relax in luxury.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Born to Shop? Then you're born for Umhlanga!

Retail Therapy
Theatre of Shopping. The tagline says it all. Gateway, Africa's largest shopping mall, has established itself as a landmark in its own right. It's a treat for the senses – visually appealing, buzzing with life and energy, the air hung with delicious scents from the food court and charming fragrances from department stores. Even the floors, walls and escalators provide tactile gratification.

It's electrifying! Beautiful, happy people adorn the landscape – and their joy is contagious. It's hard to find an unhappy face at Gateway.

If freedom truly is about choice, then Gateway is the capital of freedom. This mega mall offers an uncontested range of activities to choose from – everything from movies to restaurants, fashion to fun … and of course, shopping.

Every leading bank, retailer and service centre in the country has a home at Gateway. You need never worry about running out of anything, not having the right outfit or pair of shoes, or having nothing exciting to do. Just head to Gateway and let the retail therapy begin.

Shopping Sustenance
Of course, all that excitement needs a good pre-outing fuel up. Breakfast in Anchor's Rest's tasteful breakfast room is the perfect start to any day. The wide sliding doors, with their enchanting view of the swimming pool, let in the early morning light. Warm, muted colours and comfortable chairs are a welcome sight, and the perfect complement to a good night's rest – guaranteed in our luxury rooms.

Steaming coffee, fresh fruit juice, and hot or cold breakfast fare will give you a delicious, energising boost and see you right for your vibrant day ahead. Take your time (and another cup of coffee), before you head out into the cosmopolitan bustle of South Africa's most contemporary, convenient shopping complex.

Call us on 031 561 7380 or visit to book your luxury stay in the heart of upmarket Umhlanga.