The Phase 3 development almost completed

Liberty Midlands Mall recently hosted a pre-launch of their Phase 3 development which included a site visit of the area for both media and those involved in the development, on March 1st!

After years of planning and hard work from the project team, the construction of Liberty Midlands Mall’s Phase 3 development commenced in November 2016 and is to be completed and ready for trade on 15 March 2018.

The Phase 3 expansion will introduce retail and leisure space of almost 22,000m2, increasing the size of the mall to an impressive 78,000m2, parking space that will accommodate over 3,000 vehicles, and will ultimately welcome several ‘firsts to the PMB market’ retailers to the mall.

The expansion brings the tenant count to over 200 stores, and has provided the space for brands that could not previously be accommodated. These include Volpes, Coricraft, Pick ‘n Pay Clothing, Tekkie Town, The Hub, Just Plastics and Rochester, amongst others. RocoMamas and Mozambik will be two of the five restaurants in Phase 3’s indoor-outdoor, alfresco style dining offering. Phase 3 will be anchored by Checkers.

Firsts to the Pietermaritzburg market:

Mozambik, Toy Kingdom & Build A Bear, Volpes & @Home Livingspace.

Other confirmed tenants:

Coricraft, RocoMamas, Tekkie Town, Pizza Hut, Pick ‘n Pay Clothing, Cell Plus, Crazy Store, Mattress King, Checkers, Checkers Liquor, Rochester, The Hub, Gadget Paradise, Leather Gallery, Midlands Laser Clinic, Woolworths (extension), Just Plastics, Bargain Books, Absolute Pets and Arthur Ford.


Liberty Midlands Mall, located in Pietermaritzburg is the jewel of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. With passion and inspiration drawn from the Zulu Kingdom, the mall is draped in African culture and pride.  Measuring an impressive 56, 000m2 it is the largest and most popular retail destination across the Pietermaritzburg area. Home to 168 local and global retail stores Liberty Midlands Mall offers a unique retail experience by fusing indigenous inspiration with international style through its assorted mix of fashion, food and leisure, attracting millions of shoppers each year.

Liberty Midlands Mall is currently adding the highly anticipated Phase 3 development. The scheme will include a significant expansion of the Woolworths store, a new Checkers store, and an al fresco dining area. Set to launch in March 2018, the expansion will further strengthen Liberty Midlands Mall’s position in Pietermaritzburg and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, further increasing the mall’s appeal to locals and visitors alike. On completion of Phase 3, the size of the centre will increase to an impressive 78,000m2.

Liberty Midlands Mall is owned by Liberty Two Degrees and Liberty Group Limited, and managed by JHI Retail, part of Cushman & Wakefield Excellerate, one of Africa’s leading trusted provider of fully integrated, self-delivered property related solutions and services companies.

For more information please visit either,, or

Seen at the pre-launch were:

Gerald Schulz (Architect from Impendulo Design Architects) Muhammad Varachia (General Manager of Liberty Midlands Mall), Peter Lowe (Project Manager from Origin Project Management) & Vusi Hamese (Technical Manager of Liberty Midlands Mall).
Karen Unsted,Sasha Edel and Ursuhla Govender
Muhammad Varachia (General Manager) with Brian unsted (Assett Management Executive
Group image of Liberty Midlands Mall marketing, management and media that attended the site visit

Travel Review: The View Boutique Hotel & Spa


When it comes to a getaway full of relaxation, quality time and attention to detail, The View Boutique Hotel & Spa is a perfect choice!

Driving up to the property you are welcomed with two entrances, a parking area that leads to the restaurant and another a little further around the bend which can accommodate 100+ cars. This area, I was told, has been newly renovated and off the road, the Hotel does not look like much – until you drive in. This truly is a hidden gem.

Upon check-in, the staff are extremely friendly and hospitable. You are not only welcomed with a smile but along with that comes a sugar bar complete with sweets and pastries – a signature offering courtesy of The View. Delish!


The General Manager, Tammy Bogusch is professional, yet with a warm demeanor that would have you feel as though you’ve known her for years.

She runs a staff contingency of around 50 people spread across, reservations, housekeeping, spa, maintenance and food and beverage. However, the owners, George and Joan Lithgow are very hands-on and can be seen in and around the property. The View Boutique Hotel & Spa started from a mere 2 rooms back in 1994. Since then, the hotel has grown into the prestigious establishment it is today.

Once we were checked in, the lovely lady at reception asked if we needed help with our luggage and we then retreated to our room.

When we arrived, we were stunned at how gorgeous The Grand Deluxe Room with a sea view was. The room boasts a four-poster bed, large TV, balcony and luxurious bathroom. Our Jacuzzi bath with jets (yes jets!) was filled with gorgeous pink petals, and I loved the signature touches of gold on the crisp white towels and leafy green accents, which gave it an exotic Island feel. The body wash, shampoo, and hand wash are all top of the range, that of, Charlotte Rhys – plus, there is a pair of toothbrushes with mini toothpaste which is a lovely touch.



When we moved further into the room, we were welcomed by a bed full of goodies, from a platter full of fruit sticks, olives and feta and other little niceties, to a complimentary bottle of wine, to water, chocolates, and rose petals scattered on the bed.


To celebrate our getaway, we popped open the wine and sipped it while nibbling on the platter and looking at the ocean from our balcony.


What is a getaway without a little exploring? So that is just what we did! The View Boutique Hotel & Spa boasts 6 pools, a terrace with an ocean view, a large spa with fully-equipped gym, an award-winning restaurant called Giorgio’s, and more – there is so much on offer at The View, you won’t even need to leave until check-out time.








Spa jacuzzi



Skin softening milk bath


During our stay, we were fortunate enough to be treated to a couples pampering treatment complete with a Swedish back, neck, shoulder and head massage and soaking in a skin softening milk bath. For me, this was probably the best back massage I had ever had. The ladies had a wonderful technique, communicated well and were professional. There was also the choice of enjoying a 30-minute session in the Jacuzzi/sauna – which comes standard with every accommodation booking.

When it came to dinner time, we couldn’t wait to try out the restaurant. Giorgio’s is a creation by father and son, George & Giorgio. The restaurant offers a fusion style cooking with Italian flair and boasts elegant décor with chandeliers, accents of silver and plush seating to ensure both luxury and comfort while dining.

The menu offers starters ranging from Snails, to Ostrich Carpaccio, and even Mussels Mariniere, to mention a few. They have also created a menu of designer pizza options, featuring the likes of Prada, Gucci, Giorgio Armani and more (see below). With the restaurant having an Italian influence, there is a wide selection of pasta dishes, as well as speciality dishes featuring their signature dish – beef fillet.


When we placed our order, we decided to skip the starters and go for a main and dessert.  I opted for a Fillet & Mushroom pasta – Giorgio’s creamy white wine sauce served with fillet strips and mushrooms on Italian linguine  – and hubby chose the speciality – Tender fillet of beef resting on a base of thinly sliced creamy potato & baby spinach topped with crispy onions and jus. Both dishes were fantastic. Plus, we were treated to a mini pizza as a pre-starter. For dessert, we were advised to try the Chocolate Brownie with Pecan Nuts, which was out of this world. We will definitely be going back to try some of the other dishes! Price-wise the rates are competitive and reasonable for the size of the dish you receive. It is well worth a try!

The restaurant also allows guests to get a glimpse of the history of the hotel and the restaurant itself with a  photo wall featuring memories of the family and the Hotel. There is also the wine cellar, which showcases the wide range of wines on offer (they recently won a Diner’s Club International Diamond Award for their wine list for 2017).

Photo wall
Beef fillet
Fillet & Mushroom pasta
Chocolate Brownie with Pecan Nuts

At breakfast time the next morning, we decided to order room service and eat on the balcony, which was so relaxing. We had the table set up for us and the breakfast selection was so vast, it was hard to choose what to eat. We both had a yoghurt and muesli starter and then hubby had the English Breakfast whilst I had a three egg omelette filled with caramelised onions, bacon, mushrooms, and cheddar – it was so appetising and it was complimented by a bit of “dolphin-watching” in the distance.

Room Service  – breakfast setup
The View's view
The View’s view

Overall our stay was 9.5 stars out of 10!

The room was spacious, the bed was extremely comfortable and we had a good night’s rest. The spa was amazing, the staff were hospitable and friendly, the venue itself is gorgeous, and the food was delicious. The only thing that may be a bug-bear for some, is that there are quite a few stairs, so it is important to note this when making your booking.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, The View Boutique Hotel & Spa is hosting a Valentine’s special at Giorgio’s. Find out more here

Address: 9 Hillside Road, Doonside, Amanzimtoti, KZN, South Africa


Restaurant is open from 06h30 to 21h30. Prices and times stipulated here are subject to change

Contact: 031 903 1556



Be YOU-nique – get #ColourfulHair because life is too short to be boring!

Whether you’re a colour junkie or prefer a hidden pop of #colourfulhair , colour is one of the latest hair trends.  See for more.

When it comes to colouring your hair this holiday season – why not go all-out and embrace the hot trend of #colourfulhair, but be warned, this is no DIY, seek the advice of a professional hair-stylist who can help you achieve your desired look and not end up with poo-coloured hair…*smiles*!

So every 6 weeks I try to visit the salon to get my hair-fix and this week I popped into my favourite salon – Bespoke Hair, to seek the advice of my favourite hair stylist, Claire Swart.

Claire is a passionate, experienced hair stylist that specialises in colour and conditioning of the hair and has over 25 years’ experience in the hairdressing industry.

She started her career in 1991, where she was an apprentice with the Sloanes Company until 1993. For 12 years after completing her apprenticeship, Claire continued to gain valuable experience from the Sloanes Company.

Claire has also worked at Blow Hair Bar and has also owned her own hair salon, called The Salon.

Claire is well equipped with the knowledge of Wella and L’Oreal products, amongst others and keeps up with the latest trends by attending various workshops and training.

In 2015, Claire was approached by Donald Olive (Owner of Bespoke Hair) to join him as a member of his team, where she is currently based.

“As a Hair Stylist, good colour and condition of the hair is what I am passionate about. I also have extensive experience in hair styling for top-end fashion shows, mode photographic shoots as well as wedding styling,” says Claire.

For me, Claire is my go-to person when it comes to colour. I love the trend of grey-hair and wanted to go a slightly deeper grey colour than that of my previous shade. Whilst describing what I was looking to achieve, she recommended that I try out one of the new vivid colours that L’Oreal Professional recently launched. Being slightly adventurous, I opted to get a pop of colour instead of an entire head (I am not that brave yet) – and because I was already going grey, blue was the complimentary shade to try. So now, I am embracing a pop of #mermaidhair – a gorgeous ocean-inspired colour.

Because I don’t always have much time to spend in the bathroom (like most moms), I can be quite lazy with the treatment of my hair, so Claire always gives me advice on how to keep my “mane”, “tame”. See her tips here:

  1. When you shampoo – shampoo twice! This helps remove oils etc and also gives the hair body
  2. Towel dry hair before conditioning. This is logical. If the hair is too wet, the product will just be diluted and run off, but if the hair is slightly dry it will be able to effectively absorb the product. Also, try to avoid the roots and scalp when applying conditioner.
  3. Drying the hair – firstly with a towel – use the towel to squeeze the water out of the hair instead of vigorously drying the hair. When this happens, the hair’s cuticle cells lift and it causes frizziness and dull-looking hair– and no one wants that!
  4. When colouring – do not expect a colour to come out exactly as planned. Remember, every hair type is different and takes differently to products, just as not every person is the same.
  5. When it comes to vivid colour, if your hair is dark, it is likely to take more than one sitting to reach your desired colour, however lighter hair is likely to take much quicker. But this is all dependent on your type of hair.
  6. Keeping vivid hair, well, vivid! Use products that help prolong the life of your colour.
  7. When brushing your hair: If wet, use a detangling comb to brush through. Hair is weaker when wet, so do not brush it, it is likely to cause breakage.
  8. Try to avoid going to bed with wet hair. Once again, wet hair is weaker, but in addition to this, wet hair may cause dandruff to build up. Microorganisms tend to thrive in environments that are warm and damp – so it could lead to dandruff on the scalp.

Book your next appointment with Hair By Claire at Bespoke Hair Durban via their Facebook page or by contacting the salon on 031 303 5242.

Follow them on Instagram to see the work that is produced @bespoke_hair_

Starbucks Gateway is officially here!


Clive Liversage (Managing Executive for Starbucks SA) with Fawzia Peer (eThekwini Deputy Mayor) and Travis Scott (Store Manager) cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the Starbucks store at Gateway Theatre of Shopping, as the “partners” and the public look on.

The second Starbucks store in Durban recently opened its doors (December 5th) at Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

Starbucks Gateway, which boasts 436 sq/m, was inspired by the rolling green hills and sugar plantations in the uMhlanga area. It highlights the similarities between this and coffee plantations around the world. The artwork is unique and tells a story and the scenes that are used as wallpaper, depict lush agricultural scenes complete with banana palms while a statement artwork on a concrete wall includes a cut out world map and elements of the history of coffee.

Taking the coffee experience to another level, the store also extends to an upper level, allowing for customers to feel “at home” and embrace the mission of Starbucks South Africa – ”To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”

The opening saw the Durban Gospel Choir fill the Mall with their singing before the cutting of the ribbon at 9am, after which Bollywood Dance Troupe added a festive vibe to the entertainment for guests waiting to be served, which included Isabel (11) and Rachel Muller (13) from Cape Town who were first in line.

Seen at the official opening to the public were:

Clive Liversage with Isabel and Rachel Muller – the first customers in line to get their Starbucks
Sharon and Rachel Wilkinson, Shanis Haripersadh and Austin Naicker
Jess van Huyssteen, Tyde and Jordan Janse Van Rensburg, Nokwanda Mthembu and Ricky van Huyssteen
Unathi Matutu, Andiswa Dladla and Shanaaz Meth
Joelle Ganess, Talia Sardha and Kresan Moodley


VIP treatment as Starbucks launches its first store in KZN!

Logo courtesy of
Hostesses: Thobile Zibani, Kadija Makhanya, Gugulethu Khuzwayo & Noluthando Nzaca

Last night (Tuesday, November 21st, 2017), the famous American coffee company, Starbucks, opened its doors for a special VIP evening that saw hundreds of media and invited guests celebrating the first store to open in KZN and the third one in the country.

Located at 266 Florida Road, the new Starbucks store exudes Zulu influences with modern,  wooden decor accents, and patterns that seem to tell a story. Very importantly, the store also exudes a relaxed vibe, friendly staff and of course, delicious coffee,  which is sure going to appeal to a wide customer base.

If you were wondering when you are able to step foot into this awesome new “Instagram-worthy” space – the official opening to the public is this Saturday, November 25th – so, save the date! Doors open at 9am

There will also be a store opening in Gateway Theatre of Shopping early in December, just in time for the festive season!

On the night, when we arrived, media were invited to learn more about the coffee from the Barista of the evening, Ishan. He explained that the Florida Road store is one of only five in Africa that stocks reserve coffee in Africa, which means that this store has been chosen to serve premium coffee for avid coffee connoisseurs, over and above the standard menu! Fancy. The coffee reserve brands are that of Vietnam Da Lat, the aged Sumatra and Ethiopia Bitta Farm and we were given a sampling of food items which were infused with coffee and made especially for pairing with each coffee blend. 


Apart from the amazing menu with both food and beverage options, customers also get an overall shopping experience with a variety of items for sale.


Here is a sneak peek of what you can look forward to: 

Cheers to a happy Starbucks experience and many memorable “sharing” moments

Calling all Durbanites to take part in Starbucks sandcastle challenge this Saturday – November 18!

Durban’s Golden Mile is known for its sand castle sculptures – fun and funky creations by urban artists that not only show off the city’s landmarks and icons but even provide the odd sarcastic dig at the “hoi polloi” and happenings that are in the news.

Now, in preparation for the arrival of Starbucks in the city, the very newsmakers themselves will be squaring up for a sand castle building contest like no other together with anyone who is interested in spending time on the beach and joining in on the challenge.

Hosted by Starbucks and Durban Tourism on Saturday, November 18, this event will see the general public, together with well-known local print and online media as well as radio personalities swap their laptops and microphones for buckets and spades as they go up against each other and the Starbucks teams, representing the Florida Road store (opening on Saturday, November 25) and Gateway store opening early December), to burrow, mould and shape their way to a win – with fabulous Starbucks prizes up for grabs!

One journo who was found getting some tips from the professionals and honing her skills near the surf explained: “Rest assured, sand will fly before the day is over. We’re very competitive and each team will be determined to build the ultimate sandcastle. The only problem is that the last time I did this, I was about five!”

The sand castle clash starts at 8am and ends at 11am. Be sure to make your way to North Beach on the Golden Mile (opposite the skateboard park) to cheer on the participants and join in on some classic Durban fun in the sun.

For those interested in participating, register with  or come on the day to enjoy a fun-filled morning spending time with family and friends building sandcastles.


November & December #InspirationForTheNation


Oh, my goodness! It’s already November, and only 7 more weeks to go until 2018…eeek!


As we go into the festive season, it should be a time where we embrace not only our own friends and family but adopt a spirit of giving and embrace those that do not have, as well.

There are a number of campaigns on the go that focus on giving to the underprivileged. If you have not yet got involved, why not pay it forward this year and give a gift to someone who would otherwise not celebrate Christmas. This is my combined November & December #InspirationForTheNation.

Here are some ideas:

Santa Shoebox Project:

The Santa Shoebox Project collects and distributes gifts at Christmas time to underprivileged children throughout South Africa and Namibia.

There are many ways of getting involved. You can pledge a box, volunteer your time, become a sponsor or make a financial donation. Some of the deadlines for the collection of boxes may have passed fro your area, but visit their website to find out more.

If this is your first time, Suzelle DIY shows you how to pack a Santa Shoebox

East Coast Radio Toy Story:

East Coast Radio’s Toy Story with Game, now in its 17th year, will again provide joy through toys to thousands of children in government hospitals, children’s home and crèches across KwaZulu-Natal.

Find collection boxes at your nearest KZN Game store where you can donate a new toy.  These donated toys are then distributed at paediatric wards in state-owned facilities across the province. To get involved visit their website.

Feeding schemes:

Local churches around the country will be hosting feeding schemes. Why not visit your local church and see if you can get involved.

Spreading the Joy of Christmas:

Christmas is a time of celebration with family, but some of us do not have a family to celebrate with or do not have the funds to celebrate. Homes that care for the elderly are always requesting help from the community. Your kindness makes all the difference to someone who’s old, lonely and struggling to make ends meet on a small pension.

If you cannot physically spend the time, then why not make an online donation to help towards a Christmas Party for the elderly. Donate here

A simple invitation:

If you are having a big lunch with family, why not invite someone who does not have anyone to celebrate with and maybe get them a gift to feel appreciated.

Helping out:

Another idea is not for Christmas, but for the New Year. Park Boulevard Centre in Durban North is hosting a Back to School” stationery collection drive! For many school children living in impoverished areas, child-headed homes, or orphanages, a coloured pencil, crayon, Koki, exam pad or pencil case, is not something they always have access to, and some have never even owned one. Park Boulevard Centre is once again appealing to the community to dig into their children’s old stationery piles, or add on some extra pens and books onto the stationery list for next year, to help out those children who cannot help themselves, and who need these tools to be educated. The stationery can be donated at the collection boxes situated at selected Park Boulevard Centre stores from now until the end of November.

Whatever you decide to do, think with your heart this Christmas and spread a little joy.