Given that the first “barbecue” might well have taken place in Africa, this is a continent that can arguably claim to have invented cooking. But African dishes — especially those south of the Sahara — are still woefully under-represented on the world culinary scene. From the humble maize/grain porridges and root vegetables that form the basis of so many diets, to grand feasting dishes such as breyanis, tagines, stews and aromatic curries, Africa’s favorite foods offer something for every palate. This article focuses on regional dishes that you might enjoy in the some of the more popular tourist destinations. 1. Pap en vleis/Shisa nyama, South Africa The colors of a feast. Barbecued meat and maize porridge is a combination dearly beloved across many cultures in Southern Africa, and particularly in South Africa, where the braaivleis is a treasured institution and practically a national sport. “Pap en vleis” (literally, “maize porridge and meat”) is a colorful umbrella of a term that encompasses virtually any combination of starch and braaied or stewed meat, with an obligatory side-serving of spicy gravy, relish or chakalaka. Shisa nyama, meaning “burn the meat” in Zulu, has come to refer to a festive “bring-and-braai” gathering; Shisa nyama […]

We all want to make sure that the party goes well especially after it has taken weeks and months to plan. I know to well as I and my team have  planned and catered for many  business functions and large parties. Here  is a run down of our party checklist to make sure your big day runs as smoothly as possible, oh and that people enjoy it to. Three Weeks Before Make an invitation list. For a large cocktail party, invite 20 percent more people than you can fit, since typically only 70 percent to 80 percent of invitees attend. Decide on a theme, if you want one. Make, buy, or borrow any decorations or music you may need to fit the theme. Send invitations. Mail, e-mail, even phone invites are all acceptable. Plan the menu. Assemble the recipes (choose only those that can be prepared in advance, perhaps even frozen, with just warming and assembling required on party day). Make a list of how far in advance each can be made, and compile a shopping list. Place an order with your local delicatessen or bakery, as needed. Line up any help you may need. Consider hiring a high school student […]

  Have you been invited to a wedding and you are all stressed out on what to wear? You must look good on this say, just remember the golden rule of the wedding though; don’t dress in white. Here are some suggestions on what to wear to a wedding, especially the ankara. We must agree it is still rocking even in 2014. Be inspired.                    

  Doesn’t she look gorgeous?! You can get a gele to look as fabulous as her’s thanks to Bimtan Elufowoju of Faces of Bodin. Today, she will be sharing a step by step tutorial on how to tie a gele perfectly. So grab a seat and gele and start becoming a pro! Enjoy. *** 1. Start by folding in the end of the gele, this will ensure the is a smooth base at the front (crown of the head). 2.Take the gele and wrap it around the head from the back to the front (towards your forehead) ensuring that the ends at the front are equal. This aspect is very important. 3. Then take one side of the gele, e.g: the left side, and wrap it towards your right all the way round to the left ear and secure with your hands. At this point the left side of the gele will be shorter that that of the right side. 4. Take the right side and cross it over the left side of the gele. Then take the right side (the longer side) round the head to the back, wrapping it and securing it with your hands at the back. 5. At […]

  So the day has come and your raring to go. Your caterer has been sorted, the venue has been booked, you’ve bought the dress, and the invites have all been sent out, but what about the  entertainment?This playlist are guaranteed to get your guests dancing non stop. Here are 20 very popular songs from Africa, in no particular order.   Watch Awilo Longomba feat. Yemi Alade – Rihanna here D’Banj – Emergency Alikiba – Chekecha Cheketua P-Square – Alingo Sauti Sol – Sura Yako Diamond Platnumz Ft Mr Flavour – Nana Yemi Alade – Johnny Yamoto Band – Nitakupwelepweta P-Square – Collabo Wally Seck – Sante Yalla Roberto – AmaRulah Fuse ODG – Ye Play Kcee, Harrysong, Iyanya – Feel It P-Square – Shekini Nay Wa Mitego – Akadumba Serge beynaud – Fouinta Fouinte Ali Kiba – Mwana Eddy Kenzo – Zigido Shaa – Sugua Gaga P-Square – Personally Yamoto Band – Nisambazie Raha Bonus Track! AKA – All Eyes on Me ft. Burna Boy, Da L.E.S., JR

Ladies, let’s be honest: When it comes to bachelorette-party planning, the struggle is real. Schedules are busy and hardly ever align; budgets are, well, on the leaner side, with so many other expenses in play; and communicating anything to a group of excited friends and family members who may or may not live near each other (or even know each other!) is…never ending. On top of everything else, you’re expected to plan this magical time-of-your-life night or weekend that is not even realistic—and while deep down inside you know that, you still want that, because you love this incredible woman who is getting married so, so much, and that is the most important thing. We’ve got you. That’s why we’re here to help. Trust us, there is an easy way to break it all down so that planning this super-special event is actually fun and drama free. 1. Take a deep breath. Maybe three. And then let go of all of those expectations. Look, the most important part of all of this is the bride and your relationship with her. Whether she’s your sister, one of your best friends from forever, or one of the most favourite people you’ve met […]

As a bride, it’s easy to get caught up in the attention vortex that’s laser-focused on you leading up to the wedding day. But no one deserves more of a thank you—or a pretty present—than your bridesmaids. Who else but your faithful besties will plan your bachelorette party, listen to unfettered wedding talk without interruption, and hold your gown up during impromptu trips to the bathroom on the most special day of your life? Bridesmaids are the unsung heroes of the wedding process—and just as not all heroes wear capes, not all heroes have to wear dupioni silk. Stumped on a way to honour your bridesmaids with something unique? We did the homework for you! Browse below for 45 unique and timeless bridesmaids gifts perfect for everyone in the bridal party, from your traditional sorority sisters to your boho maid of honour. Courtesy of Mark and Graham Monogrammed Compact Without fail, you’ll find a bevy of happy tears springing from the eyes of your maids on the big day. Make sure they’re prepared to combat mascara smudges with this beautiful compact, which can be monogrammed. (“City Hexagon” compact, $35, Mark and Graham) Courtesy of Mark and Graham Hand Embroidered Heirloom […]

The maid of honour has a big role, as well as a lot of responsibilities. Whether you’ve already accepted the role or know a MOH invitation is coming, there are a few things every best friend needs to know before heading down the aisle as the bride’s right-hand woman. Our experts have a few pieces of maid of honour etiquette that you can’t miss! Respect Budgets (Including Your Own!) If you’re planning a bachelorette party, bridal shower, or any other pre-wedding event, make sure you respect the budgets of all parties involved. Don’t plan a week-long trip to Mexico if most of the bridesmaids are already concerned about the cost of their dress! And keep your budget in mind, too. It’s easy to get caught up in “helping the bride” and realise you’ve maxed out your credit card in the process. Be Attentive The biggest role of the maid of honour is to attend to the bride. Be by her side as she’s getting ready, in case she needs a glass of water while she’s having her hair done or needs your help zipping her dress. During photos, help arrange her dress and veil, and do the same during the ceremony. Once […]

  There are hundreds of articles and blogs online that tell you how difficult and overwhelming organising a corporate party is. Not us. Breaking the process of event planning down into achievable tasks, helps you stay focused and accomplish your mission to organise an awesome party one task at a time. Yes, it is a big job. Yes, there’s a lot to think about, but with proper planning and our handy checklist, organising a corporate party in London can be fun and rewarding too. Whatever your level of experience this checklist should give you a basic framework and the confidence to plan the perfect corporate party. A little advice before we start… Start as soon as possible Planning a corporate party involves a lot of waiting around for responses and confirmation from others. So get started with the planning process as soon as possible. Make lists Make lists. Lists are the best things in the world for planning a corporate party. Not only do they help you break down the process of corporate party planning into manageable tasks. They also help you to keep track of how much you have already achieved and how much more is left to do. […]

Shrimp Fritters with Spicy Moroccan Dipping Sauce Fritters are a traditional African snack food. They’re often made with just pumpkin or sweet potato, but the fritter crust tastes perfect with shrimp, and the dipping sauce is a unique blend of spices. The red wine, rice vinegar and soy sauce make for a tangy-but-warm sauce. We found this recipe at TasteBook.com Roasted Shrimp Appetizer with Spicy Peanut Sauce This isn’t technically an African dish, but the red curry, coconut milk and peanut butter is a classic African combination. These are so easy to pop in your mouth, one after another, and they look elegant on an appetizer tray. We found this recipe at ThePerfectPantry.com. Fried Eggplant with Honey, Mint and Sesame Seeds This is an Andalusian recipe with distinctly North African ingredients like honey and mint. The soft eggplant soaks up the honey well, and the sesame seeds give a great crunch, while the mint is a surprisingly refreshing after note. We found this recipe at Epicurious.com African Piri-Piri Kabobs If you really need to keep your hungry guests happy while the entrée is running late, feed them these filling kebabs. Piri-piri is a very popular spice in Africa—it’s sweet and spicy […]