Winter is the time of year where we find we are not as social, but it is the time of year where you enjoy taking time out for rest and pampering. South Africa is home to some amazing restaurants, spas, and retailers that will cater to your every need, while Croatian luxury-crafted Nikel Cosmetics is a skincare option that promises to make sure your skin looks its best
Shopping and window-shopping is a great way to stay indoors and chase away the cold. When it comes to simple elegance and high-quality design and fabrics, Country Road will exceed your expectations. Originating from Australia, Country Road has become the must-have store to get all your fashion needs met. This high-end women’s fashion store is located throughout South Africa and within many Woolworth’s stores. Volpes is another fan-favorite of ours, specifically, their white Egyptian cotton linen, scatter cushions and linen mists, our personal favorite is the baby chamomile linen spray, and luckily for us there’s a store really close to where we live.
Enjoying an entertaining night at the movies is another enjoyable way to spend a winter’s night. Nu Metro premium offers 4D movie experiences that will awaken all your senses with scents, seat movement, sprays, wind, smoke and lighting effects. Nu Metro premium offers these 4D experiences across South Africa and is fun for the whole family. We watched our first 4D movie a few years back and it’s a completely different experience. It’s truly incredible. Ster-Kinekor has something similar called a D-Box which is just as spectacular.
The art of good food
The cold months evoke memories of comfort food oozing with flavour and richness. What better place to eat than at an authentic Italian restaurant that epitomises delicious meals steeped in tradition and recipes from their Italian roots? The Mastrantonio Group has restaurants in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban and has been sharing the art of good eating since 1996 and is also a favorite place for Brlečić to visit when in South Africa. Banish the winter blues with their homemade gnocchi smothered in three-cheese sauce or slow-cooked saltimbocca.
The Marabi Club in Maboneng, offers some really fresh, acidic options and Punchinello’s opposite Monte Casino offers a great pea, butternet and sarmesan risotto.
Heart-warming wines can make this even more indulgent, why not pair your meal with a wine produced right here in South Africa. No need to go all the way to Italy when South Africa now produces wines using traditional Italian grape varietals like Sangiovese that works well with tomato-based pasta dishes.
A day at the spa
The sheer indulgence of a day at the spa will allow you to mentally unwind, while a range of treatments will revitalise your body from top to toe. An absolute must for me is a delicious, hot-stone massage or a warm paraffin-dip pedicure.
When visiting Cape Town founder of Nikel Cosmetics Mirjana Brlečić loves to enjoy a Kalahari signature spa treatment at the Cape Grace situated at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. “My favourite treatment is the Body Cocoon as it boosts circulation and energises the body using only natural ingredients based on plant oils, red sand, and mineral salts.” The treatment involves a detoxifying scrub and finished off with an antioxidant treatment and then cocooned in layers of warm blankets.
“Winter is harsh on the skin, so keeping moisturised is essential to prevent it from being dry and flaky,” says Mirjana Brlečić. Having a full body wrap will help give your skin a moisture boost and a beautiful all-over glow.
Next, on your spa-day to-do list is a soothing and moisturising facial to make sure your skin looks its best. “I have a facial at least once a month, so my skin is looked after and pampered and can benefit from the natural plant oils in the Nikel skincare range,” says Brlečić. Introducing the Evening Primrose oil into your daily skincare regime is the perfect way to prevent the dryness and flakiness synonymous with winter in many parts of our country. This luxurious oil concentrate also contains sweet orange and jojoba oil giving it a beautiful scent while restoring moisture in the deepest layers of the skin.
Just like Mirjana, I too have a facial once a month, the last facial I went for was a Dermalogica facial and I really enjoyed it. Skincare is a really personal thing and you need to find what works for you, at a price point that you can afford and are comfortable paying. Remember, what works for your friends’ skin, may not work for you. Diet, hormones, and stress can also wreak havoc on your skin. While I haven’t tried Nikel skincare yet and cannot personally endorse the brand, I’ve only heard good things about them and as a commitment to always offer you, my readers’ different beauty offerings and brands I am happy to give you insights into the brands ingredients without having tested it yet.
What are your winter pampering tips?