Our Top Winning Winter Activities for the Whole Family

Are you looking for engaging ways to entertain the kids during the winter months? Finding something to do in a hurry can be quite tricky and many kids’ workshops, shows and specials don’t carry on beyond the school holidays. So we’ve compiled a quick list of tried and tested outings that are open for business throughout the colder months.

 

Indoors

Feel The Rush

 

 

Rush indoor Trampoline Park in Claremont gives kids (and adults) the chance to let off some steam even when its raining cats and dogs outside. Rush features around 1700 square meters of the wall to wall interconnected trampolines, including dodge-ball courts, an 18000 cube foam pit, hydraulic slam dunk basketball hoops, battle beam and best of all a 4-meter high-Performance Wall. Rush also features a wavy lane and fidget ladder at selected parks. Rush accommodates non-participating guests with free WIFI, imported coffee, healthy snacks and cake bar while your family and friends enjoy the more energetic facilities that Rush has to offer.  www.rushsa.co.za

 

Other reliable go-to locations:

The Two Ocean Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront https://www.aquarium.co.za

 

Amazing new location – City Rock now in Paarden Eiland. A climbing paradise for young and old alike.  www.cityrock.co.za

 

The Planetarium (IZIKO Digital Dome), CBD

www.iziko.org.za/news/entry/welcome-to-the-planetarium

 

Outdoors

Go Up, Up and Away

 

Explore the natural beauty and grace of Table Mountain with your children during the Cableway Kidz Season, when two kids ride for free with an adult who has purchased a Kidz season adult return ticket online or from the Lower Cable Station. This offer runs from 27 April to 24 September 2018, 7 days a week (excluding the Cableway’s annual maintenance period 23 July – 5 August 2018).  www.tablemountain.net

 

More winners:

Go Tobogganing at Cool Runnings in Durbanville

http://www.coolrunnings.capetown

 

Ride a pony or a camel or hold a snake at Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie

http://www.imhofffarm.co.za/activities/snake-park/

 

Weekend Fun

Eikelaan Farm is a family-friendly farm hideaway that welcomes children of all ages. Kids are encouraged to participate in (or observe) daily activities on the farm. Walk or cycle around, feed the animals or simply enjoy the freedom of country life. Eikelaan offers affordable and comfortable accommodation for families just 10 minutes from Tulbagh. To learn more check out www.eikelaan.com

 

Additional options:

Hermanus is always a great place to head out to either on a day trip or for a weekend visit. You may even spot a whale or two.

www.hermanustourism.info

 

Elgin – Old Mac Daddy’s old refurbished Airstream trailers are quirky and cool. There is a dam on the property, several wine farms nearby and two jungle gyms, a pool and a kids’ entertainment room on the property. Babysitters can be arranged.  A must-see for a weekend escape with a difference. www.oldmacdaddy.co.za

Don’t let cold weather stop you and the kids from getting out and about. You’d be amazed how much there is to see and do in and around the Mother City during winter. There are loads of new adventures to be enjoyed. So be sure to explore more.

 

Till next month,

The Point Team x

Winter Warmers: Soups

With Winter on our doorstep, we can think of no better dinner than a delicious warm soup with some fresh bread to accompany it. In this post, we look at 5 soups to suit everyone’s tastes, from beef to beans and even a vegan option or two. With all this variety, we are sure you’re bound to find your new favourite, here!

 

First and foremost is the well known and loved, Butternut soup. We like to pair it with a fresh, crispy roll and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish. Bonus, this soup is vegan too.

 

Serves: 4-6 people
Cooking time: 1hour 30 min
Find the recipe here: https://healthyblenderrecipes.com/recipes/spiced_butternut_squash_soup

 

Second on the list, is a winter warmer that is as legendary for its taste as it is for its cold-fighting capabilities. There is no better dish when you’re under the weather and we love it served with noodles rather than bread.

 

Serves: 10 people
Cooking time: 1hour
Find the recipe here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/the-ultimate-chicken-noodle-soup

 

Tomato soup isn’t always the first choice but we think it might have something to do with not finding the right flavour combination. Next time try a grilled cheese with this classic soup, we guarantee that this will make your taste buds dance. If you prefer a vegan version, swap regular cheese for your favourite vegan brand and presto, you have a great flavour combo at your fingertips!

 

 

Serves: 6 people
Cooking time: 1hour
Find the recipe here: https://www.blissfulbasil.com/dreamy-vegan-tomato-soup/

 

For those who prefer a rich and hearty winter warmer, this delicious beef soup will tick all the right boxes. Perfectly paired with a freshly baked loaf or some delectable dumplings, but more importantly, a delicious glass of red.

 

 

Serves: 8 people
Cooking time: 1hour 50 min
Find the recipe here: https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/best-beef-soup/2b97b987-4495-471d-8439-5c49c9259b3d

 

Last but surely not least, we had to include the comforting and flavourful bean soup. We love this option just as it is; no garnish or sides needed. The best part is that this soup only takes fifteen minutes to prepare, so you will have dinner done before you can say “Supper is served”!

 

 

Serves: 4 people
Cooking time: 15 min
Find the recipe here: https://www.food24.com/Recipes/Old-fashioned-bean-soup-20091103

 

Soup doesn’t have to be boring or bland, try one of these scrumptious soups for dinner and wow your friends and family.

 

Bon Appétit,

The Point Team x

 

 

Red, red wine with The Point and Checkers

With the cooler Autumn weather fast approaching, there really is nothing better than sitting by a warm fire and enjoying a glass of red wine.

 

If you are a novice, words like Merlot and Shiraz might leave you mistaking Cabernet for Cabaret but luckily, our friends at Checkers Liquors are here to help!

 

With their assistance, we have put together a cheat sheet to some of the more common descriptors (aka ‘wine lingo’):

 

Sommelier: A French term for Wine Steward, who lives, breathes, sleeps and of course drinks wine. Remember, these days to call yourself a sommelier, you must be ‘certified’.

 

 

Acidity- the crispness or refreshing taste at the end of wine, more common in white wines than red wines.
Finish: This can also be referred to as the aftertaste a wine leaves in your mouth.
Palate: It’s simple, it describes the flavours and complexities of a wine on your tongue and within your mouth.

 

Tannic:  A slight mouth-drying effect.
Legs: When a wine is swirled, it leaves behind drops that slide down the side of a wine glass.
Nose: The smell of the wine in the glass.
Pip: It’s simply the grape seeds.
Punt: Have you ever noticed the indentation in the bottom of your wine bottle? This is called a punt!
Vintage: The year in which the grapes were harvested, that made the wine.

 

For those of you who have read the Checkers wine blog, you will that know Cortana is a wine guru of note. Here are some of his easy definitions of our favourite Reds and a few tips when pouring!

 

Cabernet Sauvignon

As a late-ripening grape, we have the ideal location, as it particularly prefers warmer climates. Traditional, firm, assertive styles are made here, but the trend is towards more upfront wines driven by ripe, juicy fruit with cedar, tobacco and spicy oak complexity. The best wines from this variety display exceptionally deep colour, the characteristic aroma of blackcurrants (cassis) and have an almost unequalled capacity to age in the bottle.

 

It’s often considered a tannic wine, which means it imparts those slight mouth-drying effects when drinking. This is due to the fact that it is a very small grape with a large amount of skin compared to flesh ratio as well as large pip, both of which contribute to natural grape tannins. Apart from the Bordeaux-style blends mentioned above, Cabernet Sauvignon is also often blended with Shiraz or Pinotage in order to soften these harsh or chalky tannins.

 

Merlot

Red fruits, easy tannins and a soft finish are the general characteristics of a Merlot wine. But there’s more to Merlot than being smooth. When thinking of other descriptions most commonly used to describe a Merlot, Christmas cake comes to mind – yum!! A range of fresh flavours such as plums, cherries, blueberries and blackberries mixed with cocoa and black pepper tones often dominate this type of red wine.

 

Merlot is popular as a companion to the very rowdy Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc. In a Bordeaux-style red blend where the Cabernet’s, which give the backbone, are softened or mellowed a little, the Merlot rounds off the wine, enjoying more structure and definition.

 

Pinotage

Pinotage can be presented in a dramatic range of styles, ranging from a fairly light-bodied, red berry-driven wine all the way to a full-bodied wine with balance, elegance, fully developed fruit flavours and an enduring finish. In general, Pinotage tends to take on a rustic profile and often shows earth-driven notes, followed by dark fruit, tobacco, chocolate or even Smokey bacon kips.

 

The best will age into elegance without losing their muscularity. Most recently there has been a new development in the heavier mocha, chocolate-style Pinotage which has woven its magical spell and brought a range of new consumers into the wine-drinking market.

 

Shiraz (Syrah)

 

There is a long-term debate about the differences, or even similarities, between Shiraz and Syrah. So what are they? Nothing. They are actually the same variety. Whilst there’s no legalese or official distinction behind which of these descriptors the wine farms may use, the basis is this: Old-World style, slightly more austere, white pepper, smoky and mineral note wines with more tannin and acid on the finish would be referred to as Syrah.

 

Whereas New-World style, warmer climate, bold, fruit-forward, black and red berry and cloves spices would be called Shiraz. However, it quite often boils down to marketing. Some estates believe consumers are more familiar with the word Shiraz and will thus call their wines such, whilst others think Syrah sounds more exotic and enticing and will label theirs such, not necessarily taking the style of the wine into account.

 

4 tips for pouring a good impression

1.    White wine before red wine
2.   Light wine before heavy wine
3.   Dry wine before sweet wine
4.   Simple wine before complex, richly flavoured wine
Each of these principles operates independently. And the rules are flexible, provided you know your wines. For example, a very light red wine paired with duck salad works perfectly before a rich, full-bodied white with herbed chicken.

 

If the food you’re serving calls for white wine, there’s really no reason that both wines can’t be white: a simpler, lighter white followed by a richer, fuller-bodied white. Likewise, both wines can be red, or you can serve a dry rosé followed by a red.
 

When wine is made so simple, share it! Why not start a monthly “wine night” with your friends and show them what you have learnt?

 

Winter is such a great time to explore Checkers extensive wine variety and by the time summer comes around, there will be even more amazing white wines to continue your new wine nights with.

 

Happy and responsible pairing!

The Point Team x

 

Thanks to Checkers we don’t only have the perfect place to shop for wine, we have an easy to follow wine pairing guide too!

https://specials.checkers.co.za/deals/redwinetastingguide/index.html

 

Want to try ‘blending’ in?

https://www.checkers.co.za/wine/vine-society/Red-Blends.html

 

Need a shopping ‘assistant’? Look no further!

https://www.checkers.co.za/wine.html

 

Join the Checkers wine club today and be in the know of the latest additions, best wines and what is happening in the South African wine scene.

https://www.checkers.co.za/wine/vine-society/newsletter.html

 

Keeping children healthy this winter – Marc Davidowitz

Children can be very susceptible to getting sick, regardless of the season. The combination of their immature immune systems at times, increasing trend of inappropriate diets and the interaction with many viruses/bacteria at creches/schools all play a part.

 

The increasing trend of sedentary lifestyles in children with less playing outside and more indoors on electronic devices leads to decreased physical activity as well as decreased interaction with the necessary bacteria to develop an immunity. This combination also leads to a greater incidence of infections in children.

 

Designed by peoplecreations / Freepik

 

There are however many ways for us to keep kids healthier and reduce the number of infections. You can, of course, address the issues mentioned above. In addition to this, the implementation of a proper diet with all food groups especially fruit and vegetables to ensure the necessary vitamins are ingested.

 

Playing outside not only improves their health but also exposes children to Vitamin D from sunlight which is important. Ensuring children get enough sleep is another element that is often overlooked. And most importantly, for the prevention of serious infections, is the need to stay up to date with vaccine schedule.

 

Designed by Pressfoto / Freepik

 

Vaccines are arguably one of the greatest inventions in modern medicine. A lot of debate has arisen in the past due to common misconceptions about them. The subsequent decrease in the use of certain vaccines (e.g. the Measles vaccine) led to massive outbreaks in the incidence and morbidity and mortality from Measles in the country a few years ago.

 

The purpose of vaccinating your children is not only to protect them from often serious infections but also to provide “herd immunity.” Herd immunity is when the community is immunized against a contagious disease as a result of everyone being immunized. This leads to most members of the community are protected which in turn leads to little opportunity for an outbreak.

 

As a result, those who are not eligible for certain vaccines—such as infants, pregnant women, or immunocompromised individuals, are protected due to the containment of the disease. This applies to a variety of contagious diseases, including influenza, measles, mumps, rotavirus, and pneumococcal disease.

Designed by Pressfoto / Freepik

 

The flu vaccine for an example. It is annually updated and protects against recent viruses. It is recommended for children with chronic lung, heart, renal disease, Diabetes, HIV. Ideally, should be given in March before the season due to antibodies taking 2 weeks to build-up in systems. In most 1st world countries everyone is vaccinated. Some of the benefits of the flu vaccine are that it can protect against flu, decrease the severity the illness if you get it, prevent serious complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections.

The reported side-effects of the flu vaccine are minor and self-limited. They include fever, irritability, and pain at the site of the injection which responds well to OTC medication. A common misconception is that the flu vaccine can give you flu, which it cannot. Severe allergic reactions are also rare.

 

Many parents also avoid vaccines at times of minor illnesses, which is also unnecessary. The only real contraindications to vaccines, in general, are proven egg allergy, in which case the child can still be given vaccines including MMR. Only in children with a history of anaphylaxis to egg/flu vaccine, should they be avoided. And then in children with immunosuppression. They should not receive live vaccines (BCG, measles, MMR, OPV). In these cases, they should be delayed until 3 months if they are receiving therapy. Check your vaccine schedule in your child’s Road To Health Card to make sure they are up to date with all their vaccines.

 

 

 

Other ways to boost your child’s immune system is ensuring they receive certain vitamins and minerals such as Zinc, Vitamin C, Probiotics when they have bouts of diarrhea, as well as certain other immune boosters e.g. Echinacea.

Designed by Bearfotos / Freepik

 

There is strong evidence that the use of Zinc and Vitamin C reduces the incidence of common colds by up to 50%, increases, iron absorption, aids in wound healing, reduces diarrhea and is vital in children with malnutrition.

 

Contact Details:

Virtus Health & Medical

Tel: +27 21 439 1555
E-mail: info@virtusmed.co.za
Web: http://www.virtusmed.co.za/
Address: 3rd Floor, The Point, Sea Point