PMB's 6 sinful winter indulgences

2009-08-15 00:00

The days seem to be warming up; the end of winter is drawing near. But just when you thought you could pack away your bulky winter gear, the TV weatherman announces: ‘A cold front is approaching. Temperatures nationwide are expected to plummet. It’s time, again, to pile on the jackets.’ Given the volatile nature of our country’s weather patterns, this is very likely. The odd nippy night doesn’t, however, need to be as barren as the trees outside. Even chilly ’Maritzburg has its fair share of winter comforters; so luxurious in fact, that they border on being branded sinful …

1. Tasty tart

With winter comes coffee, and with coffee comes biscuits. The richer the biscuit, the more sinful indulging on them feels. Baked treats are generally kept for special occasions, think “birthday cakes”. That’s why munching on them on any other day feels so wrong. However, sometimes you just have to say: why the heck not? And why dunk off-the-shelf, mass-produced crunchies in your cup of java when you can get freshly baked bliss a stone’s throw away from your home? Uppercrust Bakery in the city centre is by far this city’s most renowned pit-stop for brownie bingers. With a variety of mouth-watering cakes, cookies and other delectable delights, it is no surprise that they’ve been around for the past 21 years.

Okay, so our focus on this particular dish was purely driven by its sexual connotations; in actual fact, there’s absolutely nothing sexy about Quincy’s. So why has the eatery at Victoria Centre made the cut? Well, for starters, the chefs at Quincy’s are not stingy with their cuts. Most dishes on their menu arrive with food piled high on the plates. Quincy’s food is superb. Rich. Decadent. The homely, cosy atmosphere at the restaurant makes you comfortable enough to unbuckle your belt and laze about after the gobble-down.

3. Oil and (soapy) water

Oils, soaps, salts, candles ... these have turned bath hour from a routine into a time for indulgent relaxation. For many, lying in a hot bath has always helped with de-stressing. Creating a candlelit ambiEnce and adding a sweet scent to the vapour released from a filled tub makes the experience intoxicatingly blissful. The Soap Den on Victoria Road is stocked to the brim with handmade bathroom treats. The whiff one gets from walking past the store alone is enchanting. Here, you will find everything you need to enhance your bathing experience: any shape, size, colour or scent. The added bonus is the health benefit of using preservative free, detoxifying bath-time products.

4. Six inches of sweet heavenly bliss

Some prefer to stay homebound, watching a DVD in bed with a slab of chocolate when it’s frosty outside. Sweet things make the best comfort food. And, in our opinion, there is nothing sweeter than Wedgewood nougat. Produced in Hilton, the cosmic confection is made using the finest natural ingredients – most of which are sourced locally. Each six-inch bar is handmade. Every bite is a literal melt-in-your-mouth moment. Wedgewood uses no gelatine, no preservatives, or artificial colouring. They take pride in making it the old-fashioned way – then again, why mess with a formula that works? Find it on shelves in most major supermarkets in the province.

5. Hot and spicy

A sure way to heat things up on a winter’s night is spicy food. Yes, there are Indian fast-food joints on almost every corner of the city centre; not many of them, however, sell anything better than watered-down gunk. So where do you buy real Eastern cuisine? The stuff you’d find on tables in Indian households. If you’ve lived in Maritzburg long enough, you’d know that for the past 64 years Coconut Grove has been tantalising the taste buds of local folk. With almost 300 dishes on the menu – 16 of which are curries – you are spoilt for choice. After years of operating in the city centre, a new top-notch branch was established in Liberty Midlands Mall. And the best part of it all: they deliver to your home.

6. Foot (wear) fetish

Reflexologists believe that the feet are the core of the human body. If this is the case, then clearly we need to treat our “energy centres” as such. Pamper them. Keep them warm. Keep them happy. Does anything beat the feeling of your feet being snuggled in luxurious softness? Groundcover Leather Company in Curry’s Post has for many years made the best quality slippers. Lined with wool and with padded leather inner soles, these foot-warmers come in a variety of sizes and colours. Everything manufactured by Groundcover is handcrafted. The firm places a lot of emphasis on creativity and innovation, but what sets its footwear aside is comfort. Why tiptoe barefoot on icy tiled floors when you can amble on the fluffy wool clouds in every pair?

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