Feb 23 - Lowveld

For the love of life ♥

For the love of life ♥


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Local artists

talking shop

A love affair

with mushrooms

Elsmarie &

Philip Owen

A Lowveld

fairy tale



February 2023


GET IT Why don’t you ...


Phone 013 754 1600

Lowveld Media

12 Stinkhout Crescent, Mbombela

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Website getitmagazine.co.za/lowveld/


Mellissa Bushby

mellissa@getitlowveld.co.za 084 319 2101


Tanya Erasmus 083 778 7725

Belinda Erasmus 082 567 0596


Wessel Cöhrs


Jess Steyn • Wahl Lessing


Colletha Noppé Rattray

colletha@lowvelder.co.za 082 745 2387

Charledene Kotze

charledene@lowvelder.co.za 079 403 8049


National Group Editor and

National Sales

Kym Argo

kyma@caxton.co.za 082 785 9230

Facebook and Instagram:

Get It National Magazines


Get It Lowveld is distributed free of charge.

For a full list of where to find a copy,

phone Monya Burger on 083 555 4992

Published by CTP Limited

Competition rules

The judges’ decision is final. Prizes cannot be

transferred or redeemed for cash. Competitions

are not open to the sponsors or Caxton

employees or their families. Get It Magazine

reserves the right to publish the names of

winners, who will be contacted telephonically

and need to collect their prizes from Get It

Lowveld within 10 days or they will be forfeited.

Prizewinners names are published on our

Facebook page monthly.

02 Smooch a pooch for charity, enjoy an evening of love

at Orange, or attend a night race

04 It’s the first book club of the year! Indulge in romance,

thrillers ... and a deliciously refreshing crisp white


06 Love. Lust. Longings. Here’s our must-have

list for the month


08 Elsmarie and Philip Owen are proof that happily-ever-after

fairy tales do come true

12 We sit down with a mycophile to find out more about the

fascinating world of fungi


14 Luxuriate in a fabulously scent-sational



16 All the rage at the moment, sneakers are the

new stilettos


22 Whether you like them extravagant and OTT, or simple

and convenient, platters are back in fashion


26 Two local artists chat to us about art in the Lowveld


17 A R500 gift voucher from Jola

32 A sublimely indulgent Soy Candle in a

beautifully faceted glass jar


Elsmarie and Philip Owen.

Make-up: Elsabé Steyn - Elsabé Steyn Styling Studio.

Photographer: Belinda Erasmus - Belle Grace Photography.


February 2023 Get It Lowveld 01

A hot date!

Pencil these events into your February diary right now

We’re so excited for Smooch-a-pooch & Cuddle-a-cat! Held at

Pro-Life Pet Rescue, Rehabilitation and Adoption Agency

outside Mbombela, come choose a homeless pet for the day and

shower them with love and affection. If the date goes well, you

could even adopt them! There will be pawsome goodies on sale. The

celebration is from 10am to 1pm. Free entry. Details: 079 498 7971


Join us for the annual

3-4 Sabie Tube Race, hosted

by Round Table White River 64,

at Castle Rock Caravan Park in

Sabie. A fun-filled weekend

awaits with amazing live bands

on Friday and Saturday. The tube

race is held on the Saturday.

This year’s theme is Lumo and

tickets start at R230. They are

available on Quicket. Details:


It’s time to get those tails

4 wagging for charity. The

SPCA White River Car Boot Sale

is happening at Casterbridge

Lifestyle Centre, White River from

8am to 12pm. There’s bound to

be something for everyone.

Stalls cost R100. Details: Estelle on

083 664 7505

Have you heard? There’s a new

4 market in Mbombela! Rhino

Hill, on the Uitkyk Road, will host

its first-ever fresh produce and

flea market, so bring along the

family and browse a wide variety

of stalls, and loads more. It’s from

9am to 1pm. Details: Belinda on

082 371 4810


Will you be my valentine?

Celebrate an evening of

love with Orange Restaurant,

Mbombela and singer Anne-

Mari. Orange is serving a threecourse

à la carte set menu that

includes bubbly, chocolate and a

mesmerising performance. It starts

at 6pm and costs R550pp. Space

is limited. Details: 013 744 9507/

013 590 4445

02 Get It Lowveld February 2023

Share the love and show your support by getting active and taking part

15 in either the 4.9km or 10km Power of Love Night Race at Mbombela

Stadium at 5:30pm. This family-friendly event costs R50 (4.9km) or R100 (10km).

All profits will go into aiding Pro-Life Pet Rescue, Tamar Restoration and Pro

Gratia Learning Centre. Medals to all finishers and a prize will to go to the best

dressed. Details: Yolanda on 084 607 6314


Tea anyone? The Nelspruit

branch of Child Welfare South

Africa is hosting its first annual tea

fundraiser. Topics such as spiritual

well-being, blended family relationships

and much more will be discussed. Held

at Communio Church in Mbombela at

10am, it costs R200pp. Don’t miss out!

Details: Nomfundo on 072 320 9842 or

Temie on 071 501 5912


The Market @ Friends

Cafe is always such a

marvellous way to while away your

Sunday. Spend the day browsing

among the stalls at Friends, just

outside Mbombela, while enjoying

delicious treats and, of course, a

great vibe. It’s from 9am to 1pm.

Details: 082 331 0712

If you have a date for our diary, email the info at least a month in advance to jess@lowvelder.co.za


Huis Betlehem is hosting a Garden Crawl with a well-known

international landscape designer, botanist, presenter and writer,

Leon Kluge. Leon will be doing a presentation at Arch and Arrow

near White River. R350 will get you access to three beautiful Lowveld

gardens, a gift bag as well as 20 garden-related exhibitors.

Details: Mariaan Lourens on 079 490 5095 or visit the Huis Betlehem

Facebook page

Book club

First book club of the year ... wine with a story, romance, thrillers, and,

it being Valentine’s month ... how to recognise a cad!

Oh ... bliss. A new Taylor Jenkins Reid.

In Forever, Interrupted we meet Elsie

Porter, an average twentysomething

who, one rainy New Year’s Day, heads

out to pick up a pizza for one. She

isn’t expecting to see anyone else in

the shop, much less the adorable and

charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is

instant and electric. Within weeks, the

two are head over heels in love. Within

months, they’ve eloped. Only nine

days later, Ben is out riding his

bike when he is hit by a truck and

killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens

outside her apartment, but

by the time she gets downstairs, he

has already been whisked off to the

emergency room, where she must

face the mother-in-law she has never

met, and who doesn’t even know Elsie

exists. Simon Schuster

Journey’s End ... wines with a story on every label

We love a wine with a story, and Journey’s End, the boutique estate on the

mountain slopes above Sir Lowry’s Pass Village in the Helderberg basin, have

released their rebranded new-vintage Tales Series range of wines ... new classic

labels but still with the tales behind the wine. This February we’ll be trying

Journey’s End Weather Station Sauvignon Blanc 2022. The Tale .... This wine is

named after the famed SB11 Weerstasie Kloon (Weather Station clone) which is

one of the core components used in this wine. First propagated in Stellenbosch

in the 1920s, it made a huge resurgence in the late 1970s. The clone is nicknamed

‘The Weather Station’ as the original plantings were made beside an old weather

station, which proved invaluable in enabling the farms to spot upcoming

changes in the weather and thus pick their fruit at its optimum condition.

The vegan-friendly wine is a refreshing aperitif but also enjoy with fresh oysters,

asparagus, smoked salmon, mussels, tempura prawns or seared tuna.

You’ll find it for between R100 and R120 from shop.journeysend.co.za

04 Get It Lowveld February 2023

One minute Lou is happily employed, with a perfect flat. The next, her home and

job have gone. The last thing she wants is to move to a tiny Cotswolds village,

and she certainly doesn’t intend to work for curmudgeonly eighty-year-old

Edgar Allsopp. But Edgar is about to make her the kind of promise nobody could

ignore. In return, she secretly vows to help him fall in love with life again. Then

there’s Remy, whose charm and charisma are proving hard to ignore. But Lou

hasn’t recovered from the last time she fell for a charmer. She needs a distraction

and luckily one’s about to turn up. Promise Me is Jill Mansell’s latest chick-lit read.

Headline • Every day, The Housemaid (by Freida McFadden) cleans the Winchesters’

beautiful house. She collects their daughter from school, and cooks a delicious

meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in her tiny room

on the top floor. She tries to ignore how Nina Winchester makes a mess just to

watch her clean it up, how she tells strange lies about her own daughter, and

how her husband seems more broken every day. It’s hard not to imagine what it

would be like to live Nina’s life. The walk-in closet, the fancy car, the perfect husband.

But she reassures herself that the Winchesters don’t know who she really is.

They don’t know what she’s capable of. Little Brown

Nobody sits us down and teaches us

how to love. We’re often thrown into

relationships with nothing but romantic

movies and pop culture to help us

muddle through. Until now. In 8 Rules

of Love, instead of presenting love as

an ethereal concept or a collection

of cliches, Jay Shetty lays out specific,

actionable steps to help you develop

the skills to practice and nurture love.

He shares insights on how to win or

lose together, how to define love,

and why you don’t break in a breakup.

Inspired by Vedic wisdom and

modern science, he tackles the entire

relationship cycle, from first dates to

moving in together to breaking up

and starting over. And he shows us

how to avoid falling for false promises

and unfulfilling partners. Harper Collins

Are you dating Boring Bert (he wears

quilted anoraks and his mancave has

a trainset from his boyhood). Or a

Tradie Ted (he drives a bakkie, calls

you his woman and slaps your arse

as he walks past you). Are there red

flags in your relationship ... he asks to

borrow money, delays and evades,

sulks, withdraws and stonewalls you.

If there’s a resounding yes anywhere

here, it’s probably time to pick up a

copy of Caroline Hurry’s Flow - 21

secrets to refresh your relationship.

Full of hysterical descriptions

of Drunken Duncans, Stingy Steves

and Slobber Stans (his breath is beery,

and feels damp), Caroline doesn’t shy

away from nasty truths ... manipulation

and gaslighting, blame shifting

and abuse. She talks about dating

duds (don’t overinvest, or stalk him on

social media) and relationship flows.

All very tongue-in-cheek ... which

doesn’t mean she doesn’t get it spot

on! It’s not, she firmly points out,

another find-a-husband book (she did

that in Handbook for the Huntress),

but ‘more of an outstretched hand to

those who slipped on the treacherous

rocks of romance and need a little

help getting up again’. Hygge Books

February 2023 Get It Lowveld 05

Compiled by: KYM ARGO

Wish list

Love. Lust. Longings. Here’s our list!

Longing, after the hectic festive season, for some quiet time and a cup of tea. So

let’s hear it for the (tea) girls. Tlou Tea is a 100 per cent female owned business ...

making hand-blended teas that aid mental and physical well-being. Herbs, spices

and carefully selected adaptogens (plants, herbs and functional mushrooms

which are known to assist the body’s natural performance against daily stress

and fatigue) ... the Tlou (Sepedi for elephant) range includes half a dozen options.

We’re drinking Sweet Sleep - with ashwagandha, chamomile, passionflower root,

blue butterfly pea flowers and lavender. Available from tloutea.co.za

The first locally-inspired

Birkenstock summer campaign

blends German heritage with

South African flair ... resulting in a

sizzling collection. If you haven’t yet

embraced this iconic global brand,

it’s time! Details: bashafrica.com

Have you little darlings discovered

JoyJoys? Interchangeable sneakers

that allow them to swap out their

looks at a whim. There’s a starter

box with a pair of white sneakers,

three velcro snaps of your choice,

and two mystery snaps. Then you

can add extra snaps as you find

more you love. R799 for the starter

box, then R179 for extra snaps sold

in sets of three. Details: joyjoy.co.za

06 Get It Lowveld February 2023

Feminine and

fashionable, the

Annapan earrings

range is available in an

array of different colours

and styles. From Anlea

Custom Creations,

060 333 6406

Shake. Strike a pose. Raise a glass!

Step into the sparkling streets of Hollywood and

be transported back in time with Michael O’Mara’s

Hollywood Cocktails, a gorgeous collection of more

than 200 classic cocktail recipes from the 1930s.

Discover the exclusive rendezvous frequented by the

biggest stars of the silver screen, from The Embassy

Club to the Zanzibar, the Clover Club to the Palm

Springs, and learn how to mix the perfect night cap

and master classic recipes such as the Old Fashioned.

No gimmicks here ... great cocktails stand the test

of time and this is the essential collection. Entertain,

impress, shake well, strike a pose and raise a glass to

the golden age of glamour.

30 Valentine kisses ... in 30 shades of beautiful

It’s been top of beauty’s

wish list for years ... the

L’Absolu Rouge lipstick

by Lancôme. Now

reimagined as L’Absolu

Rouge Cream and

L’Absolu Drama Matte,

infused with extracts

from roses harvested by

hand, freshly picked early

mornings in late spring,

there are 30 shades with

pure pigments that dress

your lips in intense, crisp

colour. R530 from Edgars,

Woolies, Truworths,

Foschini and Superbalist.

February 2023 Get It Lowveld 07

Elsmarie and Philip Owen

Any story worth its salt needs certain elements that bring it to life, including adventure,

a little bit of risk, a good dollop of romance, and of course the longed-for happy ever

after. Elsmarie and Philip Owen’s tale has all this, especially the latter.


After Philip was born in Pretoria, his

father, Theo, travelled extensively, and

much of his youth was spent in the

USA. They returned to South Africa,

moving to the Lowveld after Philip’s

grandfather had bought the property

on which the Sudwala Caves are

situated. After matric, he went on to

study drama at Tuks, working for PACT

and appearing in a few local TV series.

But the Lowveld has a long reach,

and he returned to the farm where

his father had by then established the

Sudwala Dinosaur Park.

Elsmarie, who grew up close to the

Swaziland border, had no inkling that

she would soon cross the path of the

man destined to become her future.

After matriculating, she studied clinical

technology, finishing her studies

working at HF Verwoerd, specialising

in nephrology. Young and impulsive,

she decided, on a whim, to resign one

day. “I had no idea what I wanted to do.

I had the world at my feet,” she laughs.

“Then one of my patients came up

with the idea of buying a Combi, and

letting me do small tours to the Kruger

Park for his travel agency. We always

stopped at Sudwala on the way to the

Kruger, and that is where I met Philip.”

The pair’s love story starts with Elsmarie

stopping at the park on one of her

routine trips. She was walking through

the dinosaur park when she heard the

most beautiful voice telling people

all about the dinosaurs. “Suddenly

Elsmarie adores horses

my stomach had butterflies!” she

says. “I didn’t see him that day, but I

remembered his voice. The next time

we visited, he came over to us, chatting

about dinosaurs. And boy oh boy, I fell

in love!” she smiles shyly. “After that, I

would send my guests to the caves

first with every trip, and Philip and I

would meet up for coffee at his sister’s


Soon after, Elsmarie got the

opportunity for a better job at MTN

in Johannesburg, and without having

a chance to tell Philip, she moved

there and started on a new journey.

“He had my number, but never called

… I was heartbroken and thought

I would never see him again. Being

stubborn, I also didn’t make an effort

to call him,” she smiles ruefully. Little

did she know that shortly after her

last visit, Philip had been involved in a

terrible car accident. Hospitalised for

more than three months, Philip was

first in Nelspruit, but then transferred

to Bloemfontein, where he had one

eye removed and underwent surgery.

A friend of Elsmarie’s, who took

over from her as a tour guide, called

her one day, telling her what had

happened. “With the help of Philip’s

sister, we got in touch with each other

again. He invited me over for a visit,

and that one visit turned into many,

until I eventually got a job at the

dialysis unit in Nelspruit.”

The couple’s first son, Rudi, was born

in 2000. He was only a few months

old when the three of them attended

Elsmarie’s sister’s wedding in Pretoria.

She recalls how Rudi woke them in

the night, crying for his bottle, and out

of the blue Philip said, “Hey, maybe

we should also get married!” “Not the

most conventional proposal, but of

February 2023 Get It Lowveld 09

course I said yes. We got married on

the farm, with only close friends and

family in attendance. A few months

later, our second son, Phil, was born.”

Living on Plaas Owen is like having a

little slice of heaven. There are a few

pecan nut trees that were planted by

Philip’s father, but the rest is natural

indigenous vegetation. “We love

living in the wild and having lots of

animals around us,” explains Philip.

“Not wanting to develop much,

and both being horse lovers, we

decided to open a horse and hiking

trail, which has a low impact on the

environment. Elsmarie still works in

town at the dialysis unit and I run the

dinosaur park, along with Geasphere,

my own non-profit environmental


Philip also inherited the dinosaur

Phil, Elsmarie, Megan and Rudi

park from his father, and after being

involved in running it for many

years, he has developed a passion

for these gentle giants, along with

bucketloads of knowledge.

Elsmarie smilingly says that it’s

awesome to see how fascinated

the children are by his guided tours

through the park. “It is so important,

especially for education,” Philip says.

“Many people, both young and old,

come here experiencing the true

size of the dinosaurs and prehistoric

life for the very first time, and that is

something wonderful to see.”

This idyllic lifestyle suits the Owens

down to the ground. A close-knit

family, the most important thing to

them is being able to trust in one

another completely, to share the

same passions and to understand

that even though they have different

outlooks on some things, they still

respect everyone else. “We work

because we love one another

unconditionally,” explains Elsmarie.

“We are happy in our environment

and with what we do, in tune with

one another and content with what

we have.” It is obvious that bells and

whistles are not what make the

Owens tick. While Elsmarie says that

every happily married couple have

their romantic moments, doing

romantic things together is not the

be all and end all.

“I remember one particular

Valentine’s Day, I asked Philip why

he doesn’t ever give me flowers.

He took my hand and said, come,

let me show you something. We

went outside and he said, I don’t kill

flowers, look at them, how beautiful

they are. Needless to say we never

have flowers in the house, but we

do have a veld full of them! He never

takes me to expensive restaurants,

but he always tells me how beautiful

I am, even when I feel my worst. He

loves seeing me happy, especially

when horse riding, even though he

can’t ride anymore after his accident.

This is what love is really about.”

Apart from the couple’s two boys,

Rudi (22) and Phil (19), Philip has

two children from his first marriage.

Robert lives in America with his wife,

and Megan, who lives in Cape Town,

sings like an angel. “Rudi plans on

travelling abroad next year, while Phil

just finished homeschooling and is

currently taking a gap year,” Elsmarie

One big happy family

explains. “He helps out in the

dinosaur park and like his brother

also plans on travelling abroad.

Because I have a full-time job in

town and with Philip being visually

impaired, I do most of the shopping

and travelling. Philip and the boys

keep the farm and dinosaur park

going, and also do the cooking

whenever I work late. We all spend

dinnertime together around the

table, and on weekends, the boys join

me for horse riding and hikes. With

Philip working from home, we get to

spend quality time together, which is

very important to all of us.”

Elsmarie also loves to spend time

exploring, looking for new places

in their beautiful valley, and taking

the dogs for walks, while Philip loves

having conversations on Clubhouse

and looking after his plants and

earthworms. The mountains and

rivers, and the rural feeling of being

away from the city, are where this

family find their inspiration. Elsmarie

explains how she loves driving

through the Makhonjwa Mountains

to a special waterfall where they

sometimes go for a picnic, saying

how passionate they are about the

environment and animals, and one


“My family and my animals are more

important than anything to me. I love

living in a healthy, natural environment,

and having a balanced life. I can’t really

ask for more than that.” But what about

plans for the future? Oh yes, she smiles

broadly, like the proverbial fairy tale

princess, there is one other thing … To

live happily ever after.

magic of


Born on a farm near Bela-Bela, Kelly Gottschalk’s family

moved to the sleepy picturesque village of Sabie when

she was 13, and it was there that the seed of what was to

become a lifelong passion was planted.


It was in Sabie that Kelly befriended an

old hippie dude who introduced her to

fungi. “I was fascinated. There was just

so much to learn and Sabie was the

perfect place. The climate, the forests

… an ideal place for mushrooms,” she

smiles. At the age of 18, Kelly started

her travels abroad and soon forgot all

about them. Years later, she returned

to the misty mountainous region and

her obsession with mushies started

in earnest. “My little boy, Slade, and I

left Sabie and moved to Cape Town.

One day, while we were swimming in

the river, I noticed a few mushrooms

growing under a tree,” she says. “A

closer look revealed Boletus, the same

ones my hippie friend had introduced

me to. I picked what I could and they

became that night’s dinner.”

Kelly returned to the area the following

day and noticed a host of other

mushrooms as well. “There were small

ones, big ones, colourful ones and

oddly shaped ones. That is where it

all started. I absolutely had to know

their names and what they could

be used for, if at all.” Kelly snapped a

few pics and posted her finds on a

local mushroom identification group,

laughing as she says that she really isn’t

very good at remembering names.

“Actually, I’m not good at remembering

anything, and yet I was remembering

these Latin binomials as though my life

depended on it.’’

Kelly moved back to Sabie seven

years ago. Her day job consisted of

managing a guest house, and she

Kelly Gottschalk

spent every lunch hour racing to the

forest to hunt for mushrooms. “After

what felt like 10 minutes, I would get

a phone call saying that my one-hour

lunch break was up over an hour ago.

I had emails to attend to, guests to

welcome in and issues to resolve, and

I’d been gone for over two hours.” After

five years of living a double life, Kelly

finally cracked. She couldn’t be kept

away from her dream any longer, so

she ditched her job and committed

herself full-time to mushies.

12 Get It Lowveld February 2023

Feisty little Kaleb

Kelly’s time was taken up with

constant mushroom hunting, taking

pics of them and identifying and

researching the fungi, and after a

while she came across like-minded

folk, people who loved mushrooms as

much as she did. They started up the

Mycological Societies, born from four

people in four different provinces who

wanted to share their passion, as well

as learn, teach, explore and document

their finds.

“We got in touch with a professor

at the University of the Orange Free

State, to whom we send all our weird

and wonderful specimens. She then

gets her students to sequence each

individual mushroom, and in so doing

South Africa now has an official species

list for fungi! It’s an ever-growing

project, but I’m so proud to have been

a part of something so important.” Kelly

adds that they also supplied many of

the photos of the new SA Mushroom

Field Guide.

After having spent time collecting

various species for sequencing, she

decided to turn her attention to edible

mushrooms. She found that on many

occasions she had picked too many

to consume at one sitting, so began

drying them. “I had drying mushrooms

everywhere,” Kelly laughs. “At one

stage my kitchen was so overcrowded

with preserve jars that my mum

commented on it becoming a health

risk. This is how Foraged - Gourmet

Forest began.” She explains that she is

a forest witch, not a corporate queen,

and as such has found it extremely

difficult to get her business off the

ground at times. She decided to

add tours to her itinerary, along with

the foraged goods, which involves

tagging along with her through the

forest undergrowth on one of her daily

escapades, searching for mushrooms.

Kelly’s boys, Slade (seven), and Kaleb

(five), love these adventures. This

proud mum describes her eldest as a

barefooted, wild-haired, unafraid little

boy who catches snakes and loves to

show anyone who’s around what he’s

found. She smiles as she recalls one

particular incident. “We once had a

bunch of German tourists yelling and

sprinting off in all directions after Slade

had shown them a dead green snake

he was holding by the tail. This really

bugged him as he couldn’t figure out

why such a fiasco was being made

about his cool little find. He likes to

think we are all brave and that we

all have a good heart.” Kaleb, Kelly

explains, is feisty and temperamental.

He questions everything, and needs

answers now. “One of his first words

was ‘Termitomyces’, although he said

it more like ‘pitomyceeees’,” she laughs,

“and he’s corrected a few people with

their Latin pronunciations, sometimes

even correcting their IDs. And he is not

interested in learning a mushroom’s

common name. He rolls his eyes at me

and then insists I tell him the name I

Brave young Slade

use. Witches Butter or Glistening Ink

Cap just doesn’t cut it for him.”

There are so many fascinating and

remarkable traits about mushrooms

that Kelly could write several books on

the topic. She covers what she can on

her tours, but by the end of the day

feels as if she hasn’t even scratched

the surface. “There are bioluminescent

mushrooms, the mushrooms they

found in a Chernobyl nuclear reactor

eating the radiation, and those they’ve

found that can break down plastics.

There are cordyceps that zombify their

host insect, and fungi that strangle

trees while others hollow them out.

There are ink caps that deliquesce into

ink with which our forefathers wrote

with a quill. Others that are toxic when

consumed with alcohol, but harmless

if not. Not to mention the symbiotic

relations they form with various plants

and animals, such as the termites that

farm with Termitomyces mushroom

spores. Neither can live without the

other. There is also the stoned ape

theory of monkeys in the savannah

eating magic mushrooms that

eventually was the cause of a cognitive


Kelly’s passion is quite contagious,

and the idea of grabbing a basket and

rushing off into the forests to forage

for mushrooms is ever so appealing.

We are fortunate to live in an area

prolific with these wonderful marvels

of nature, and what better time to go

outside, get some fresh mountain air,

and find out more about Mother Earth

and her incredible mushrooms.


Facebook: Foraged - Gourmet Forest

February 2023 Get It Lowveld 13

For you ...

Kate Spade Chérie, R1 325 from Mopani.

Oscar de la Renta Bella Rosa, R1 399 from

takealot.com. Berdoues Pivoine & Rhubarbe

Eau de Toilette, R525 from


Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia, R2 145

from Mopani.


For your home ...

Kate Sunley peony and rose scented

soy wax candles (R340) and room spray,

R340 and R180 from katesunley.com.

Make this a fabulous February

For fast and

effective tattoo

removal, look

no further than

Aniska Skin &

Art. Aniska offers

picosecond laser

tattoo removal,

which is effective

after three to four

sessions, especially

on those stubborn

blues and greens.

For smooth,

perfect skin and

confidence you

can bare. Price

varies. Aniska Skin &

Art, 082 686 6295

14 Get It Lowveld February 2023

God Is A Woman. Ariana Grande’s new

fragrance is described as empowered,

breathtaking, natural. It’s vegan, clean,

cruelty-free, and with notes of juice pear,

Turkish rose petals and Madagascar

vanilla, is simply glorious. R975 from


February 2023 Get It Lowveld 15




There’s nothing quite like

high heels with a slinky

party dress … or is there?

It would actually appear

there is, and it’s something

infinitely better. The comfy,

ubiquitous takkie.


From smart attire to picnic soirees,

the hottest trend in footwear is no

longer the pretty pump or spikey

stiletto - sneakers have stolen the

show. Paired with slacks, dresses, skirts

or shorts, they are comfortable and

convenient, and come in a range

of fashionable designs and colours.

Part of the reason for this is the shift

from what was previously considered

formal attire.

Crisp, clean white takkies go with

everything, and don’t be fooled into

thinking they are cheap. They range

in price from affordable to eyewateringly

expensive, depending on

your taste, budget and the occasion.

You wouldn’t wear a pair of R6 000

takkies to watch your son’s rugby

game, but you may wear them to

a dinner for two overlooking the


16 Get It Lowveld February 2023

This rather relaxed new trend came

about because of the work-from-home

shift that many people experienced

due to the pandemic. Starting up

your laptop and beginning your day’s

work from the comfort of your couch

(or bed), dressed in your gown and

slippers, was heavenly for a while, and

even though we were all happy to

return to some sort of normal, we were

not willing to completely give up the

comfort we’d become accustomed to.

Takkies are a happy medium. Many

retailers have noticed that sales of

smart footwear are still nearly 40%

lower than they were pre-Covid,

having been overtaken in the work

shoe stakes by what was known in

the past as plimsolls. Described as

a sporty shoe with a canvas upper

and rubber base, plimsolls were

initially developed as beachwear, and

look how far they’ve come - today’s

pumps, for instance. The market for

comfortable footwear is massive, and

is getting bigger by the day. Experts

estimate it will be worth almost

$200b by 2030.

Quite something, if you think

about it. We may still be slaves

to fashion in many ways, but we

are turning it to our advantage

by incorporating comfort and

style. As the old saying goes,

good shoes take you places, so

go ahead and make the switch –

it’s not quite as cosy as wearing

slippers, but at least you can go

anywhere with them.


Jola is giving away a

R500 gift voucher to one

lucky reader! Send your details

to competitions@getitlowveld.

co.za with Jola in the subject

line, to reach us before noon

on February 28.

Funky, fresh and vibey, you’ll

be the talk of the town in these

printed, leather sneakers! Choose

from edgy and vibey to floral and

feminine to put a spring in your

step. R1 325, from Jola. Details:

067 769 1916

February 2023 Get It Lowveld 17


Summer in the Lowveld

is all about long, lazy

afternoons, ice-cold

beverages and tasty

nibbles that start at

lunchtime and linger until

the evening, into balmy

nights spent over your

favourite meal. i’langa

Mall has an array of

options to suit any palate,

from burgers piled high

with goodies, to plates

of scrumptious sushi that

tantalises the taste buds.

Whether your favourite

meal out consists of

salad (think of summery,


caprese), or freshly baked

somethings to woo your

valentine, you’ll find it at



Famous for their old-school

smashburgers, the taste trip

sensation from RocoMamas is Bacon

Cheeze Guac Smashburger. Next

time the burger cravings hit, hit

RocoMamas. You’ll find they’ve got

something for the not-so-normal.

Details: 061 216 8768

Mugg & Bean

It’s the perfect time to enjoy Mugg

& Bean’s ever-increasing range of

goodies. Our Summer menu has

brand-new taste sensations, from

delicious and hearty to light and

healthy meals. Enjoy our famous range

of freshly baked treats, washed down

with thirst-quenching refreshments.

Details: 013 742 2206


Why have any old rib pizza when

you can have actual ribs on a pizza?

Gather the famiglia and join us at

Panarottis to enjoy this brand-new

bacon and ham pizza, topped with

sticky basted riblets. We also have a

variety of new cocktails and coolers.

Berry sangria, anyone?

Details: 013 742 2087


Mediterranean is proud to be the

pioneer in introducing sushi to

Mbombela and also offering the best

seafood in town. Tasty dishes from our

kitchen and sushi bar turn a meal into

a feast. Food is our passion.

Details: 013 742 2235

Doppio Zero

Doppio believes that life is too short to be

serious unless it’s about the food we eat,

company we keep or coffee we love. Our

distinctively Mediterranean approach to

life has inspired who we are, and is what

we believe is the simplest recipe for living

well and happy, an ethos reflected in our

scrumptious food.

Details: 013 742 0019

Mountain Spring Spur

Following the Spur family tradition,

Mountain Spring Spur strives to

create a friendly environment with

a chance to sit back and relax while

the children play. Unwind with a

delicious prego roll and refreshing

Summer cooler after a fun-filled day

of entertainment … or to just take a

break from the bustle of shopping.

Details: 013 742 2184


Cappuccinos has something to please

every palate. Our mouth-watering

menu offers a variety of options,

such as gluten-free, vegetarian,

wholewheat and low-carb, and our

A-grade steaks are cut by a master

butcher and perfectly matured. Pop in

at Cappuccinos, we do it best!

Details: 013 742 2187

Salsa Mexican Grill

Make the most of Summer at Salsa

Mexican Grill with our fresh, new

Mexican-inspired meals, platters,

cocktails, margaritas and desserts.

The Seafood Platito will transport

your taste buds to a Caribbean island,

amigos, with three calamari poppers,

three prawn tostadas and a serving

of our famous coconut prawns.

Details: 064 686 8817


he truth is, as much fun as it can be to throw an

elaborate dinner party, it often ends up being more

work and stress than anything else. Hours spent in the

kitchen, slaving over a hot stove, panicking about an

astonishingly impressive dessert that is decimated within

seconds of it landing on the table. After all this, you’re

exhausted and in all likelihood haven’t spent much time with your

guests anyway. Ditch the formality and try a different approach

by throwing a platter party! Or indulge in the perfect romantic

evening, made even better with a tempting plate of lush, deep

red cherries and swirls of molten dark chocolate.

The beauty of serving platters is that they are easy to throw

together and look pretty, and because they are so versatile, there

is usually something to suit every taste (or dietary requirement).

You can use lovely ceramic platters or wooden chopping boards,

or a mixture of both, and start building up your feast ahead of

time. The simple rules of thumb are start with a centrepiece,

something pretty, like a wheel of Camembert. Remember the

dip, a mix of crackers and breads, and saucy bits, a dollop of good

Dijon mustard, compotes, and savoury marmalade (balsamic

glazed red onion marmalade is simply to die for!). Trending in

2023 is swicy, a mixture of sweet and spicy - think chilli and

chocolate and sweet chilli sauce, both of which would make

the ideal accompaniment to fruit, dessert or antipasto platters


Different types of platters


Opt for at least three to four different types as well as shapes and

sizes of cheese. This adds interest and variety to your platter, as

well as gives your guests options. Soft cheeses like Camembert

or Brie, with Gouda, feta and aged Cheddar, plus a variety of hard

cheese like Parmesan are ideal. Cheese pairs excellently with

dark chocolate, and what better way to spend an evening with

your beloved than by sharing a platter of cheese, chocolate,

dates, nuts, strawberries and wine? Add exotic Turkish apricots, a

delicious relish or dip and we guarantee a night to remember.

Always in vogue,

platters have come a

long way since the days

of celery sticks and

sour cream. No matter

what your event is, a

beautifully arranged

platter of scrummy

edibles adds a certain

element of flair to the



Fruit platters are incredibly versatile

and are perfect for just about any

occasion, from desserts at a smart

function to a healthy snack around

the braai on a Saturday afternoon.

For a fun, tropical look, go for kiwi

fruit, ruby grapefruit, pineapple,

spanspek, papaya and mango,

dressed with passion fruit halves.

For a refreshing, healthy feel, go

for oranges, grapes, watermelon,

pineapple and pawpaw. Or mix

and match. The sky’s the limit. For

the ultimate Valentine’s platter,

mix strawberry and cherries with a

pot of dark chocolate for dipping.

Sublime, and oh-so romantic.

Sarah’s Palette

If you are looking for a sumptuous

feast, look no further than personal

chef Sarah Fernandes of Sarah’s

Palette. From charcuterie boards to

deliciously oozing cheese boards,

locally sourced preserves, breads,

and fresh nibbles to intimate

dinner parties, Sarah strives to

make your food as memorable as

possible. Each menu is designed

to specifically suit your taste and

budget, with the utmost attention

to detail going into each offering.

Harvest tables are back in fashion,

and have become popular throughout

the event industries, whether

as a starter at a wedding, or the

main attraction at your special

function, packed with fresh and

delicious goodness. The love and

passion that Sarah has for food is

evident in her glorious feasts, from

intimate parties to bigger events.

Contact her on 083 693 4721, or email



A fresh veggie and dip platter not only

adds a fab splash of colour, it also offers

an alternative for anyone who has specific

dietary requirements. You can really go to

town on this, with different varieties (and

colours) of dips, such as roast pepper, pesto,

guacamole, beetroot, hummus or olive

tapenade. Veggies such as sugar snap peas,

capsicum, cherry tomatoes, cucumber,

tender stem broccoli, baby corn, marinated

mushrooms, artichoke hearts and baby

beetroot all make delicious snacks and are

perfect for dipping.


Smoked trout, salmon and mussels,

along with oysters and prawns, are the

ideal additions to a seafood platter.

Add crab and lobster for an exotic

touch, and remember a dip that pairs

well with seafood such as tartare sauce

or a garlic mayonnaise.


Although bread, crackers and biscuits can be added to each of the abovementioned

platters, a separate dish of sliced baguettes or ciabatta, seasoned

tortilla chips and flatbreads and crackers is always a good idea. Lavosh (crunchy,

Middle-Eastern style crackers) also make excellent palate cleansers. If you don’t

have lavosh, you can substitute flatbreads such as pita or naan for the soft

version, or matzo for the crispy version. Spice it up with little pots of salsa,

pesto, gremolata, hummus, tapenade, toasted nuts and seeds. Along with a

balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dip or drizzle, it’s the perfect way to bulk up

your platter party.

Make sure the wine flows, and have lots of sparkling water and juice on hand.

Whether you are hosting a big gathering of friends or having a small intimate

dinner with your partner, you really can’t go wrong with platters. And this way,

you ensure that while your guests are having a fab time, you get to relax and

enjoy a well-deserved glass of bubbly instead of slaving away over a hot oven

and a finicky soufflé.

24 Get It Lowveld February 2023

Nich’s Kitchen

The term charcuterie technically refers to a platter

of cured meats, but often features cheese and

crackers, preserves and fresh produce. These

spreads are perennially popular, and for good

reason, the least of which is flexibility. You can add

or take away, scale portions according to guests

or make them as high-end – or inexpensive – as

you like. A fab way to localise or personalise your

platter is to bring in a theme, such as colour,

location, season or theme. Adding a charcuterie

board to your function or event lifts the tone

without the formal responsibility of a sit-down

dinner, and who doesn’t love to snack on tasty

goodies? Anichia van Schoor of Nich’s Kitchen

is the perfect go to for all your catering needs.

Contact her on 071 678 0776, or email anichia@



Translated from Italian, antipasto

means “before the meal” and can

really be as complex or as simple

as you like. You can mix and match

seafood, meat, cheese, pickled

veggies such as artichokes, stuffed

peppers, sun-dried tomatoes

and dried fruit, adding a few dips,

crackers and bread sticks. Mixed

nuts and grapes add a finishing




Blank canvas

Local artists Casandra Jacobs and Xenia de Lange understand there is a fine line

between indulging an artistic streak and trusting creative intuition. We catch up with

them to chat about art in the area, and find out more about their current project,

Lowveld Figure Drawing.

Tell us a little about your art journey

Xenia: In high school I hated

everything, but loved art. I grew up

in a space that nurtured creativity as

a norm, as my grandmother was a

sculpture major, so it was easy for me

to feel comfortable with exploring that

aspect of my life.

Casandra: I’ve always been quite

creative. I was a sensitive child and felt

things deeply, and by gravitating to

the emotiveness of the arts, I’ve grown

my sense of wonder. Growing up in a

business-orientated family gives me

a strong business sense, and I knew

that by studying a creative subject

rather than pursuing a stereotypical

degree, I would broaden my options


26 Get It Lowveld February 2023

Do you think the Lowveld is a good

place to start a career as an artist?

Xenia: Nope.

Casandra: I feel that being in the

Lowveld as an artist is neither here nor

there. It’s not a background that can

guarantee or hinder your success. The

creative industry has grown a lot in

the Lowveld, but again, none of that

is an assurance to anything. Neither

is heading to the bigger cities. As an

artist, you are essentially working for

yourself. Nothing is stable, nothing

is assured, and for many artists it will

take years to possibly even get the

opportunity to get into shows or a

gallery. So to give a short answer to

this, it’s not always about the location,

but about the person!

Do you think art is a good field to go

into? What advice would you give

someone who wanted to pursue a

career in art?

Xenia: Get out of the Lowveld. It’s not

always about selling work. The school

programmes for art are not great, there

is always more emphasis placed on

sport and academics and not much on

the more creative subjects. There also

isn’t enough happening in the area

with regard to the larger scope art fairs.

I feel that living in the Lowveld, you are

chronically starved as an artist, unless

you’re into landscapes.

Casandra: Recent events make it

potentially inadvisable to pursue

what is essentially a passion job as

a means to make a living right now.

By all means, pursue a career in the

arts, but don’t leave your day job,

especially not in the beginning.

Do your research, get yourself out

there and start getting your work

recognised, building up your online

presence and joining local art groups

or clubs.

I think what a lot of people don’t

understand when it comes to the

arts, is that you have to produce

regardless of how inspired or good

you’re feeling that day. Xenia made

a good point about not thriving in

this area unless you are a landscape

painter. You won’t always be allowed

the luxury of creating what you like,

but you will need to produce work

specifically for your audience. In the

Lowveld, we attract a lot of overseas

tourists who will be looking for

inoffensive art that will be pretty on

their walls at home, and remind them

of their time in South Africa. What’s

more enjoyable to the masses than a

landscape or wildlife artwork?

From where do you get your


Xenia: As a portrait artist, definitely

from people. I take my inspiration

from those around me, from people

I meet, although it’s difficult to

articulate what it is about people that

make me want to paint them. Most

of my portraits have the

subject staring directly at the

viewer, which in a sense translates

the connection I feel towards my

subjects. The idea of capturing a

rawness in the essence of sharing a

connection with someone.

Casandra: A lot of my inspiration

stems from keeping my eye on what

is happening in the now. Being an

artist requires a lot of introspection

and extrospection, both of which I

do a lot! Our scope of what we know

and understand about the world is

always expanding, especially when

you meet new people and start

experiencing new aspects of life, so I

definitely live a lot of my life craving

and chasing those new experiences,

because I know it will serve me well

to expand my knowledge about the

world and how I understand it.

What is your favourite medium?

Xenia: Oil painting, which to a certain

degree feels like alchemy. Creating or

being able to take paint and create

or duplicate an image is a magical

experience. Oil has a richness and

translucency to it that cannot be

matched by any other medium. It

is the medium that I feel translates

my thoughts and feelings in their

truest form.

Casandra: Definitely photography.

What I especially love about it is

not only the way in which it has

been explored as a medium and

challenged as a discourse, but also

that because of the way our society

is, it is probably one of the most

accessible forms of self-expression

(what cellphone doesn’t come

equipped with a camera these

days?). Which also gives us access

and insight into people, places and

moments that previously have not

been archived the way they are now.

Xenia de Lange and Casandra Jacobs

Why do you think art is so

important in the world?

Xenia: Art has traditionally been

grouped together with the

academic thinkers, mathematicians,

philosophers and systems.

Contemporary art has expanded

its practice to fall both in and out

of these lines. Art is a different way

of seeing and doing that reflects

the things we might have missed,

whether about ourselves or about

the world.

Casandra: When I talk or think

about art, I like to think of it as this

multifaceted medium. What can’t art

do or provide? It can be pleasing, it

can be emotive, political, cathartic,

tremulous, challenging and even

spiritual. It feeds our souls, makes

us question things, deepens our

understanding of ourselves and

others. Why wouldn’t we want art in

our lives?

What inspired Lowveld Figure


Not only was it important for us to

create this platform to bring artists

together, but to bring artists back

to the fundamentals of our practice.

There is a huge importance with the

way in which you need to observe

and see when it comes to drawing

from life. If you study art, then

drawing is one of your core subjects,

and that’s done for an important

reason! You strengthen your way of

seeing, and it becomes a vital skill you

carry through your life.


Facebook: Lowveld Figure Drawing

Instagram: @lowveld_figure_drawing

February 2023 Get It Lowveld 27

We love a little


Jaguar Classic Black - seductive, high-class and charismatic.

• Bentley Intense boasts excellent staying power and offers a

long-lasting, truly intense and daring fragrance experience.

R1049 • Dunhill Driven Black is old-school charming and

seductive.R979. All from Clicks.

This limited edition gold car diffuser attaches to the

aircon vents of your car and releases a consistent fine

fragrance. R475 from wickfragrances.com

An intoxicating and masculine

blend of musk, patchouli, sage

and mahogany cologne for your

car. Midsummer’s Night is one

of the Yankee Candles Ultimate

Car Jar options ... if your car’s

the love of your life, give it a

signature scent. R120 from


Attach this Diptyque Perfumed

Car Diffuser to your car’s ventilation

grill and your car will be awash

with the tart, exuberant scent of

blackcurrant leaves, accented with

rose blossoms. The adjustable metal

grill allows you to control the intensity

of fragrance in the car, and if used

correctly the cartridges can be kept for up

to three months. R2600 from skins.co.za

28 Get It Lowveld February 2023

If life is a highway ... we want to be driving the all new Proton X70

It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

Does that still stand if the destination is a first class,

luxurious, been-dying-to-visit spot? To be honest, we didn’t

think so. But then we jumped into the Proton X70 and my

heaven ... we could have driven for days!

Massive, comfy, soft Nappa leather power seats, which went

waaaay back for passengers needing a snooze (those early

morning departures are a bugger). Loads and loads of leg

room and space for coolers and coffee and padkos (we’re

all for too-many-snacks on any journey). A really impressive,

six speaker sound system for the 70s Road Tripping play

list. Add the voice command (“Hi Proton - roll down the

windows”) and touch screen monitor infotainment system

which has smart phone and Bluetooth connectivity, and

USB ports ... so all those necessary boxes firmly ticked.

Our route included freeway (so a chance to open up and

feel the power, and to test the cruise control), detours

through rural towns with pothole-strewn roads (and here

we use the word roads in the loosest possible way) as well

as a short stretch of gravel and dust ... so we could really

experience the car every which way. Add to that drizzle and

downpours (hello auto-sensing wipers) followed by the

sweltering heat and dust of the Kruger area (so a massive

welcome to the Proton Intelligent Air Purification System

– a combination of N95 cabin filter which is incorporated

into the air-conditioning, and air purifier system ... combined

these work twice as efficiently to improve the air quality

inside the cabin).

A big plus on a long trip is the excellent fuel consumption

- 7.8l per 100km in the Proton X70 (and 6.5l in the smaller

Proton X50) ... certainly a lot more impressive than some

of the other SUVs on the market. In fact, affordability was

a major influence in the decision by Combined Motor

Holdings and Geely when bringing Proton back into

the country from Malaysia. With so many luxury brands

launching SUVs, there was a massive gap, they felt, for a

quality SUV within an affordable price bracket.

Another long-distance journey plus is the five-year roadside

assistance which comes standard - as, by the way, does the

five-year, unlimited mileage (yay to many long road trips)

and transferrable warranty, the five year/80 000 km service

plan and the five-star ratings in financial packages ... so bit

of a high-five all round, here, too.

Talking the safety of knowing road-side assistance is just

a call away, other safety and security benefits are the six

airbags and the advanced driver assist system, which

includes blind spot info, lane departure warning, adaptive

cruise control and forward collision warning (jolly helpful

when the driver ahead of you suddenly reduces speed).

Add to that the traction control, hill hold assist and hill

descent control, electronic and anti-lock braking systems

with brake assist and auto brake hold. There are also

daytime running lamps, which means greater visibility in all

weather conditions.

We’re not, we admit, the best reverse-parkers in the

forecourt, so the 360 degree camera and parking sensors

were a jolly useful addition for us (and no doubt for others

in the area!).

Stops at padstals along the way drew loads of envious

glances from fellow travellers ... and stepping back to

admire our ride, we knew why. From the chrome finishing

on the front and rear bumpers to the rear diffuser with dual

exhaust outlets to the alloy wheels to the power tailgate

with foot sensor (oh my, how we loved that ... bought extra

goodies just so we had an excuse to open (and fill) the

enormously spacious boot).

The Proton comes in six rather dashing colour choices -

Snow White and Armour Silver, a dark and dashing Jet Gray

and look-at-me Ruby Red, Space Grey and our favourite

Cinnamon Brown.

There are, obviously, kilometer-long technical specifications

... none of which mean a single to thing to us (we’re all for

the ride, not the deets) ... so best you download the Digital

Brochure on proton.cars, navigate your way around that,

and then once you’re revved up, it’s all ready, steady, go and

book a test drive.

Compiled by: KYM ARGO

February 2023 Get It Lowveld 29





Get into the

CIRCA fragrance zone

Our Feb Spoil ... to win a Circa candle, simply pop over

to GetItNationalMagazines on Instagram or Facebook

and follow the prompts. Entries close Feb 20.

No matter how chaotic your day may be, the ritual

of lighting a candle gives you back a moment of

peace. Allowing your breathing to slow down,

recharging your senses and calming the soul. Circa,

the Australian home fragrance brand, is an artisanal

range of simple, uncomplicated products to elevate

your everyday. We’re besotted with the Soy Candle

in a luxurious faceted glass jar with gold lid ... 70

hours of glorious burn time. Exclusive to Dis-Chem.

32 Get It Lowveld February 2023

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