July wrap up

And just like that July ended and we begin a new month. It’s August… WOMEN’S MONTH!!! Before we delve fully into August with all the excited events we have ahead of us, let us go back to some fun and fruitful experiences that were afforded to us in July. 

We started July off with Vryfees with its amazing productions and great social atmosphere.

This was then followed by the Shotgun Pub and Grill Grand Opening. What a delight! There was the Marketing and Branding for Mompreneurs which was a great learning experience.

We attended the Just Start Bloemfontein Workshop where we learnt how to start, run and grow your business in South Africa. The Reizis Square Night Market was great for those who wished to get out of the city for a bit. Some went and experienced moon landing at the planetarium. 

We had some tasty treats from the Pot and Port Family Day as well as fine dining and wine with Klein Zalze. Shopping can never be left out of an important list of To-do’s therefore the pop-up thrift shop at Kalahari was a definite YESSS!

Check out our calendar for some exciting events taking place in the city in August. Hope to bump into many of you there! 😉


The week ahead

Was the weekend cold or what?! And word on the street is that there’s another cold front heading our way. I know we haven’t had a proper winter in Bloemfontein, but at least give us some time to pack out our winter jackets again before hitting us with more cold.

At least by the looks of the weather forecast for the rest of the week, it’s going to be cold… but not bone chilling cold. So you can go out this week and take part in some events 😉

Just Start Bloemfontein Workshop – 25 July @ Copper Clover | 10:00 – 16:00

Starting your own business is a big, scary step into the unknown. To help you get started we’re hosting a series of interactive workshops to provide you with valuable insights and practical tools on how to start, run and grow your business in South Africa.

The tickets for the event are ALMOST SOLD OUT! so grab them before they’re all gone!

Pot and Port Family Day – 27 July @ Urth | 08:00 – 16:00

Whats better than a potjie with the family on a cold winters day? This is a first I’ve seen for Bloemfontein and it sounds super cool! Be sure to get your tickets ASAP!

Pop-up Thrift Shop – 27 July @ Kalahari.fish Express | 10:30 – 14:00

Come get your hands on some cool vintage jackets, pre-loved clothing, bags, hats and loads more. You will receive a FREE burger and chips meal with every VINTAGE JACKET purchase and there will be FREE coffee for everyone who brings their own reusable coffee cup. CARD FACILITIES AVAILABLE.

Fine Dining and Wine with Kleine Zalze – 27 July @ De Oude Kraal | 19:00 – 10:00

Fancy a treat yourself day after a long week at work? Treat yourself to a wine tasting! Nothing beats ending off a work week with a glass wine. Tickets are R450p.p and bookings are essential. Book on info@deoudekraal.com

Seems like you have quite a Friday to look forward to 😉

Ciao for now!


The week ahead

It’s July… I repeat… It’s JULY!

Feel the chill in the air yet? Are your kids pretending to be dragons in the mornings when they see the smoke come out their noses and mouthes when they breathe? (It’s okay if you do it too, we won’t tell a soul)

Stay warm ladies and gentlemen, we’re in the middle of winter and it’s no longer going to be just cold, it’s going to be C-O-L-D. So it’s time to start taking out the extra blankets and getting your heaters out the garage. Also don’t forget to stock up on some nice hot chocolate and marshmallows 😉 We might be sharing some amazing hot chocolate recipes too later this month! But for now, have a look at the events up ahead for the week.

Vryfees – 01 July – 07 July | University of the Free State

It’s that time of the year again. A week filled with good food, productions and good music such as Spoegwolf and the Parlotones. The production portion of the festival begins today. The productions are spread all around campus with food being around the main building area.

Remember to dress warmly and be prepared to walk as the festival gets packed! Also remember to take cash as a lot of the vendors don’t have card machines.

Have a look at the program at


Shotgun Pub and Grill Grand Opening – 6 July | @ 14:00

Need a change of scenery after spending the week at Vryfees? 😉 Then head over to the Grand Opening of the Shotgun Pub and Grill! Tons of tasty food and cool vibes!

I’d highly recommend spending some time at Vryfees, you never know.. you might even find some gifts for Christmas there 😉

Saturday Wrap Up

Missed this weeks events? No fear, we’re here to wrap up what you missed this week 😉

Tuesday – June 12th

She Means Business

This event was part of the She Means Business Series which is a platform for female entrepreneurs to support, celebrate and encourage one another. It stems from the belief that stories are powerful and as a result they have the potential to inspire, bring laughter, provoke thought and connect people. The event hosted 4 entrepreneurs who were that morning’s storytellers. They included; Jacylyn – Ivy Engelbrecht (Beauty Specialist), Dikonelo Mile (Financial Services Rep.), Leah Molatseli (Lawyer) and Sunell Wiehman (Counselling Psychologist). Those who attended benefited greatly from the vast wisdom that was shared. 

Saturday – June 15th

Be Human Family Market

The Be Human Family Market takes place every Saturday on Middelwater Farm. There is a wide variety of scrumptious food in their food court. There are many options to choose from for you and your family such as gourmet waffles, Wagyu burgers, liver kebabs, chicken wings etc. It takes place from 9am – 4pm. So if you missed it today you can catch it next week. Same place. Same time.

Sunday – June 16th

Festival Carnival

Unfortunately, this event has been postponed. It would have taken place tomorrow at Ramblers Club. We will keep you posted on the new event details. Keep your eyes open.

Ciao for now 😉

Our favourite banana bread recipe

You’ll never want to use another recipe again

Been a hectic week? You deserve a little sweet treat to reward yourself for a hard week of work 😉

With the sweet tanginess of the plum as well as the bit of crunch from the pecan nuts, it’ll for sure be one of your favourite banana recipes to date.

Banana bread recipe decorated with Mau sugar, plums and pecan nuts

Download this recipe and try it out at home! Take a photo and share it with us. We’d love to see your creations!

Come back soon for another amazing recipe

Ciao 😉

Silent Valentine

Bonjour Travellers!

Silent Valentine

Silent Valentine

February, the month of love, is drawing to a close and there’s great joy in our hearts knowing that we took part in the celebration and were able to spread the love.

In February, people celebrate love all month long. Across the world, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of February and we are no exception here in Bloemfontein.  An abundance of love, romance, chocolates, flowers and cards showed the value and importance our City of Roses places on love.

On the 14th of February, we at Arista Guest House had the wonderful opportunity to help couples celebrate this special day.  We partnered with Silent Events Free State/Bloemfontein Popcorn Club and Sonique Productions to bring our lovebirds “Silent Valentine” –an exclusive outdoor movie experience. As you may remember Bloemfontein had high levels of rain but the event still took place regardless of the weather conditions. The garden was perfectly reenacted indoors and as a result the audience members still walked away with a sense of an exclusive outdoor movie experience.  Our audience was on specialised high quality headphones which were provided to all audience members to enjoy the movie, affording them the luxury of being unaffected by noise . There was absolutely no noise pollution and the audience was emerged into the movie. The old time favourite 1990 film “Ghost” was on screen with its mixture of comedy, thrills and mushy romance being perfect in capturing the theme for the evening. Also, an added cool perk was the audience could switch to a channel of old time favourite love songs or have an intimate conversation and time with their loved one. All this was done while sitting on picnic blankets and enjoying delicious popcorn, beverages and snacks of course. *SPOILS*

Thank you to all those who came to share the love, It’s always a pleasure.

Gros Bisou


Bloem events to lookout for in March:

2 – 26 March – Lifestyle Sunday’s AT Ramblers @ 7:30 – 14:00

6 March Fun Insightful Art Evening AT Gallery on Leviseur @18:30

12 March Russian Ballet Bloemfontein @19:00

17 March Bloemfest @10:00

29 March Silent Movie Experience AT Arista Guesthouse @20:00

31 March Bloemfontein Street Food and Craft Festival @10:00

31 March Jazz On The Lawn at Windmill Casino @14:00

Female Founders’ Month


As the leaves turn shades of red and orange and yellow, the Free State winter months promise to be exciting and jam-packed. While some people are getting ready for the winter and others are planning a summer holiday abroad, I am putting everything aside to celebrate female entrepreneurs and business owners with Startup Grind Bloemfontein… and so should you!

May month marks Female Founders’ Month for Startup Grind Chapters in over 350 cities in 100 countries across the globe. Startup Grind Bloemfontein will be hosting a number of local entrepreneurs and two guest speakers in a very unique way.


  • Ster-Kinekor, Mimosa Mall
  • Wednesday 30th of May
  • 5pm to 9pm


  • Dawn Nathan-Jones
  • Winlove Kamolane
  • Somaya Marais
  • Tina Thoma
  • Charlene McKenzie
  • Ruwaidah Henney
  • Irene Moutzouris
  • Ria de Villiers
  • Louise Klopper
  • Mart-Marie’ du Toit


The programme is loaded with valuable content and opportunities to network with like-minded entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. There will be coffee and popcorn for sale, and all guests will receive a goodie box. All members of the community are most welcome to attend; the young and old, male and female! And trust me, you don’t want to miss this.

Be there or be square.


A Traveller’s Friend

For the Love of Water

Bonjour, Travellers

The 2000’s is legal now.  We’ll leave it to 2018 to tell us what exactly that means! Meanwhile, I took a three-month break from blogging and focussed on exams, spending time with family and friends and re-charging for the new year.

I spent a few weeks in Cape Town over the festive season.  As per usual, I had a grand time but I felt extremely guilty whenever I used water. My time in the Cape forced me to face the reality that water is a precious and scarce resource and it is about time we treat it that way. Who’s to say Bloem isn’t next in line? We’ve already experienced a week without water last November and it can happen again. Also, how terrible does our water taste at the moment? With all these revelations, I would like to recommend a few water-saving tips I picked up in Cape Town and I urge you to start using water sparingly, as if every day will be the last day you have access to water.

Here they are:

  • Shower instead of bathing
  • Aim to stop-start shower for no longer than 2 minutes. Only turn the water on to wet and again to rinse
  • Collect shower water while you’re showering; alternatively, only collect the nearly 5 litres that go to waste when you’re warming up the water. This water can be used to fill your toilet bowls
  • If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If brown, flush it down. Use hand sanitizer instead of washing your hands with soap and water
  • Water your garden and/or fill the toilet bowl with collected bath and basin water
  • Don’t let the tap run whilst brushing teeth or washing your face
  • Wet wipes work wonders
  • Collect rainwater
  • If you’re willing and able, invest in a grey water system. For further information, inbox us at Arista Guesthouse
  • Wait for a full load before running washing machines and dishwashers. The rinse water from some washing machines can be re-used for the next wash cycle.
  • Defrost foods in the fridge or naturally, rather than placing it under running water

Put aside your convenience and get saving! These methods are inexpensive and worth it in the long run.



Speaking of run… who will be running through your mind this Month of Love?  Don’t let your love run dry. Here’s what you and your partner can get up to in Bloemtown in February:

Side note: Not exclusively for singles. 😉

6 Feb – 59Plenty’s Cake Table Special, 59Plenty @9h00

7 Feb – Girls’ Night Out: ‘Fifty Shades Freed’, Nu Metro Loch Logan @19h00

7 Feb – Movie Night, CoffeTalks Café @19h00

7 Feb – Mini Food & Wine Paring, 59Plenty @18h00

7 Feb – Bloemfontein Business Women’s Networking Event @7h30

10 Feb – Stellar Brewery Tasting with Down South, Blend Restaurant and Bar @17h00

10 Feb – Kloppers Marathon 2018, Bloemfontein Achilles Sports Centre @5h30

14 Feb – Candy & Cognac Valentine’s Day Dinner Dance, Windmill Casino @18h00

14 Feb – Valentines outdoor movie, Emoya Estate @17h00

14 Feb – Valentine’s Day “Make a Wish” for Couples, 59Plenty @18h00

14 Feb – Valentine’s Day at The Beach, Kaya Beach Bloemfontein @10h30

14 Feb – Valentine’s Charity Ball, Monte Bello Estate @18h30

16 Feb – Varsity Jam Bloemfontein / The Other Venue @20h00

16 Feb – 21st Birthday, Mystic Boer Bloemfontein @21h00

17 Feb – BLOEM LIFESTYLE MARKET, Bloem Showgrounds @11h00-22h00

17 Feb – Valentine’s Day Movie evening: showcasing La La Land, Oliewenhuis Art Museum @17h30

17 Feb – Vintage & Hobby Market, Reizis Square @9h00

17 Feb – Jack Parow Live at University of Free State @19h00

17 Feb – Hip Hop Poetry Extravaganza, TheHide-Out  @20h00

20 Feb – Drumability Workshop #3, CoffeeTalks Café @18h00

22 Feb – February Chocolate Workshop, 59Plenty @18h00

23 Feb – Tasting With DIE MAS – Gin , Wine and Brandy, The Tredenham Boutique Hotel @18h30

23 Feb – Gypsy evening with ‘Unlock the Gypsy Within’ workshop, Gallery On Leviseur @18h00

27 Feb – Bookbinding Workshop,  Oliewenhuis Art Museum @9h30

28 Feb – Startup Grind Bloemfontein Hosts Jaclyn Engelbrecht, Mazars @18h00

28 Feb – Sweat Gear Happy Valley Trailrun Night Race – #TrailrunSeries2 @18h00

28 Feb – February Sushi Workshop, 59Plenty @18h00

Masha and I wish you and your loved ones a twenty-great-teen and hope you’ve managed to tick a few items off of your resolutions list. Now would be a great time to add “save water” to the list. We look forward to sharing more Bloem adventures with you.

Oh, beer!

Ola Travellers!

This month Masha and I had the privilege of hanging out with Jasiu Lewtak, co-owner of award-winning Stellar Brewery, in the spirit of Oktoberfest. Stellar Brewery has been running for about a year and their delicious beers are handcrafted right here in Bloemfontein. We asked all the important questions; how Jasiu ended up in Bloemfontein, how the brewery came to be and where you can find their products. We even got a sneak peek into their future prospects. Here’s more about the man behind the beer, and the beer itself of course.

When life in Warsaw, Poland became too comfortable for their liking, Jasiu and his wife decided that it would be a good time to pack their bags and move to “somewhere far”.  They were in search of a city that was conservative and difficult to change. And that’s how they ended up in Bloemfontein.  The couple identified the fact that things were brewing here and that there was an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to the Bloemfontein community – something they’ve succeeded in thus far!

Whilst taking on his post-doctoral studies in Chemistry at the UFS, Jasiu took an interest in the intricacies of the beer brewing process. He took part in a few competitions where he won silver and gold medals for home-brewing. Once all his recipes were proven, he decided to go commercial. Jasiu and his business partners subsequently started up Stellar Brewery in 2016, with the main objective of influencing the craft scene in the Free State and South Africa. The name “Stellar” was derived from the idea that the galaxy features unlimited possibilities, just like their beer brewing business.

The brewery sources locally as far as they can and they pride themselves in experimenting with and producing beers of superior quality. Their beers are designed so as to appreciate and enjoy the taste and flavours. My favourite has to be the Bloem Weiss; enjoyable it is!  The team recently took part in a craft brewers’ competition in Cape Town where they won a SILVER medal for beer aged in oak. And get this… someone drove all the way from Johannesburg to Bloemfontein the other day with the sole purpose of buying all the available bottles of this particular beer. At retail price nogals. Naturally, Jasiu is facing cultural and language barriers which impact on business. On the bright side, he finds that the community is receptive, especially when they realise that he’s foreign. Stellar Brewery’s products are clearly in demand and they can only go onwards and upwards from here.

Stellar Brewery has since launched their gin products at the Vryfees and they’ve been distilling whiskey and experimenting with British Styled rum. They’re looking to continue making an impact on the craft scene, expanding the business and brewing more obscure styles of beer for the connoisseurs.  As a foreigner with an objective view of South Africa, Jasiu has an admirable amount of faith in the potential of our economy and he is certainly contributing.

Now, for the most important bit of information: you can find Stellar Brewery products at local markets, Liquor City Preller & Bloemgate, Bella Casa and Galaxy Pub. They will be at the Statrup Grind event on the 25th of October. Also, they featured as one of three local breweries at this year’s 1st annual Beer Fest at Ramblers Club. Look out for next year’s edition.

As a beer lover myself, I look forward to seeing this business making waves in the South African craft scene. Local is lekker, so be sure to support these guys. And if you are a foreigner considering moving to Bloemfontein, this story is testament to the fact that there most certainly is a space here for you.

PS Bloemfontein has a beer club. Members come together over the weekend and are given brewing styles to experiment with. They figure out what works, what doesn’t, how to improve and who can help. There are over 100 styles to test and if something like “testing the activity of beta analyse depending on the PH of water” tickles your fancy, join the club. Pop Stellar Breweries an inbox on Facebook should you be interested in becoming a member. Give them a like while you’re at it!


A Traveller’s Friend