Piza e Vino and Rosebank Rooftop Market

I had a wonderful day. I called a friend to say I was going to pick her up at 12.30 as the day was too beautiful to waste at home and we needed to go do something. On the way there I was chatting to another friend and in the end we decided to all meet in Rosebank for lunch and then go to the rooftop market. We met at a very trendy Piza è Vino at The Zone and what a fabulous place. I had a pizza while the others had pasta and my pizza was superb with fresh ingredients and a beautiful base. They have interesting toppings such as meatballs or roast lamb which you won’t typically find on pizzas at other pizzerias.

After lunch we went to The Rooftop Market at The Mall and I probably haven’t been there in ten years and to my amazement some of the stalls were exactly the same and even in the same location. The food and drink section have moved to the one end since my last visit but for the rest it was still the same which was a bit disappointing but on the other hand also testament to the success of the market. I don’t typically buy impulsively or buy things I don’t need but today I just had to buy the cutest hand crafted ark out of ebony wood. It comes complete with Noah and sets of animals, two giraffe, two elephant, two hippo, two buffalo, two ducks, two rabbits…and when you pack it up all the animals fit into the belly of the ark – too cute!

MIB3, HogsHead and Singstar

I have had a great weekend so far. It started with me going to movies with a friend after work on Friday. We went to see MIB3 and it was fabulous entertainment. I loved the young agent K (Josh Brolin) and it was good to see Will Smith again who has been a bit on the quiet side. I enjoyed the movie; it was fun and light with weird monsters and a little emotional connection at the end – good combination.

Yesterday I had a slow morning (still in pyjamas at 11am) when my friend and I decided on an impromptu visit to the HogsHead in Douglasdale. It is a fabulous restaurant and pub that opened towards the end of last year. The place has a real cozy vibe with a lovely deck outside and a real pub feel with their different draught beers on tap including some micro brewery beer like Pumpkin Ale and Grave Digger. The menu has traditional pub style dishes such as bangers and mash, burgers, chicken strips and chips, snack platters and so forth but they also serve pizza and salad. What was striking was to see the use of their QR code throughout the venue; it is on their menu, on a mural inside the pub, outside on the floor at the entrance. I found it real cute how they have managed to incorporate it into their decor.

HogsHead turned out to be a really great place. When we met up at 12.30, we sat outside on the deck as it was pleasant and warm but later decided to move inside, away from the blazing sun. The pub was full due to the Super Rugby but it was not overcrowded or too loud except for the screams when the Cheetahs managed to defeat the Waratahs. The only criticism I have about Hogshead is that they cannot make tea. After a few ciders I decided to have some tea. Yes, I love tea and I don’t care that my friends look at me funny every time we go somewhere and I ask for a pot of tea which is just so old and un-cool. I don’t know where the waiter had to go dig out the teapot but it took almost 15 minutes to bring the tea and it was horrible and the water cold so I decided on a coffee instead.

We had a really good time and it was fun to catch up and just chat as we haven’t done that in a while as she had been busy with wedding preparations for the past few months and I had been busy with work so we never got around to just sit, relax and chat about other things.  Unplanned meetings sometimes turn out to be the greatest fun which was evident when we were still at the pub six hours later and then decided to move to her house for some fun playing Singstar till midnight.

HealthID launch, Sandton

This is my geeky side and yes, I love technology, especially the way people and companies embrace it to try and make things better or faster! I attended the HealthID launch in Sandton, Johannesburg and what a fabulous concept. It is an iPad application launched by Discovery Health, the biggest healthcare funder in South Africa. The aim is to coordinate and improve efficiency and care by giving doctors immediate access to healthcare information of members in a fast and reliable way, at the point of care.

HealthID is one of the most innovative applications I have seen in the health space. It provides an electronic health record of the patient by displaying a three year chronological timeline that shows all healthcare interactions with a doctor such as chronic and acute medication, doctor visits and hospital admissions. Doctors have the options to complete a chronic medication form, change approved medication, do electronic medicine scripting, view pathology test results, radiology claims history as well as provide members with information brochures about procedures and what to expect during an operation. It will also warn the doctor if there is a contraindication between drugs prescribed and the ones you are already taking. Health measurables are also available such as BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. Doctors can also do electronic referrals to other doctors with all their practice information pre-populated on a letterhead. Due to the low bandwidth in South Africa they do not yet have the ability to view and distribute x-rays on this application but this is sure to change as technology increases.

I find this remarkable and really hope that this will be a huge success. You no longer have to try and remember what medication you are on or when last you were in hospital. The doctor will have everything at their fingertips. I can’t remember how many times I have had to make lists of gran’s chronic medication and hospital admissions and hopefully now I no longer will have to as the doctor will have all this and more. Another nifty innovation is a personalised QR coded sticker for every Discovery member that will have important information such as allergies, medication and a next of kin so that if you are in a car accident, the emergency personnel will have access to important information that may make the difference between life and death.

Currently the application is only available on the iPad but they are developing it for Samsung as well on the Android platform. One of the Samsung people were at the launch and he had his new Samsung S3 (to be launched in SA on 6 June) and what a great phone. You can click on a contact and just lift up the phone and it starts dialing, having interpreted the action of you placing the phone to your ear that you want to make a call. You can also be on a video call while carrying on reading and replying to emails etc. It is powerful and beautiful with the most vivid colours and display. Samsung have moved away from black and have the S3 in a blueish colour or white and the phone is environmental friendly. It is simply amazing to see what phones can do these days and it all fits into your pocket. Technology is truly great!!

Irene dairy farm and Irene Village Mall

It was my friend’s daughter’s first birthday today and her party was at the Irene Dairy Farm which is an old functioning dairy farm established in 1895. Irene is close to Centurion and Pretoria. It was a warm and wonderful sunny day and family and friends met outside the Barn restaurant. The venue is open and spacious with lots of place for children to run around and play. There is a jungle gym, calves to pet, chickens and ducks roaming about and even a few swans on the dam. The Irene Dairy farm has two restaurants and a Dairy shop that sells fresh milk and cream as well as cheeses, pies, rusks, jams, biscuits and treats. Over the weekend they serve a buffet lunch. You can also bring a blanket for a picnic on the grass under the trees. It was a glorious and fun afternoon.

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After the party we stopped at the Irene Village Market to do some grocery shopping for gran. It is a shopping centre with a difference; it has a village feel with open spaces, fountains, trees and pieces of art all over. They also have a fabulous restaurant there called Karoo – Cattle and land which is a must to try.

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Dukes Burgers in Greenside

Things have been a bit hectic so what a nice excuse to have to go out to meet friends in Greenside for a birthday celebration. I say have to but honestly this didn’t take much convincing. The only thing I was worried about was that I was going to fall asleep at the table as I was a bit sleep deprived. I could only meet everyone late so when I left my house at 20.30 they were already on venue number three having tried a few boring ones first and ended up at Dukes Burgers and what a gem.

The restaurant has a Rock Wednesday menu that consists of burgers designed/inspired by South African rock bands. We sat outside in the enclosed courtyard.  There are tables and chairs or booths with velvet couches. The decor is quirky with painted frames everywhere, chandeliers and lanterns to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. The menu is inventive with bold designs where each rock band suggests their burger and dessert (usually alcohol infused). We had friendly waiters and the service was good. What a fabulous evening!  Although I didn’t have anything to eat the food looked magnificent and everyone said it was simply delicious. The burgers had interesting and creative combinations. I will definitely go back there and next time I am having a burger as well. You have to check out their Rock menu online.

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