Blog, New York

Prices in New York

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People have been asking me how expensive it is here in New York. I’ve taken the liberty to snap shots around the shopping isles in supermarkets and general stores here, to show you the prices we are talking! For my South African readers, the exchange rate right now is that R10 will get you 1 Dollar. So working on this, here are some interesting prices I noted:

  • A small bottle of water here is around $1.99 which equates to R19.60
  • Rice Krispies = $4.99 = R49.14
  • Pringles = $2.99 = R29.44
  • Toblerone (original) = $3.49 = R34.37
  • A slab of Herschey’s = $2.79 = R27.47
  • Marie Claire = $4.19 = R41.26
  • Women’s Health = $5.29 = R52.09
  • 2L milk = $2.59 = R25.50
  • Loaf of bread = $3.99 = R39.29
  • Packet of Lays (small) = $1.49 = R14.67
  • 6 Pack of beer = between $11.99 and $13.99 = between R118.07 and R137.76
  • 500g mince = $3.98 = R39.19
  • 500g pork = $4.29 = R42.24
  • 200g beef round steak = $2.10 = R20.68
  • 500g beef steak bone-in = $12.59 = R123.97
  • Bottle of Bacardi Rum = $18.99 = R186.99
  • Bottle of Malibu = $22.99 = R226.38
  • Bottle of Absolut Vodka = $26.99 = R265.77
  • Bunch of flowers = $25 = R246.17
  • OK! Gossip magazine = $3.99 = R39.29
  • In Touch Gossip magazine = $2.99 = R29.44
  • Slice of pizza = roughly around $2.75 = R27.08. But there are places in some parts of the city where a slice will be around $1 = R9.85
  • Take-away coffee = around $1.75 = R17.23. But you can get a hot coffee for $1 at a vendor on the street = R9.85
  • Can of coke = $1.50 = R14.77 
  • 500ml Coke = $2.19 = R21.56
  • Nectarine = $2.99 = R29.44
  • Apple = $1.99 = R19.60
  • Banana = $1.29 = R12.70
  • Watermelon = $5.91 = R58.20
  • Metro (subway) ticket = $2.50 = R24.62

Out at the clubs, a glass of white wine can be around $9 which is R88.62 ! Drinks like vodka cranberry are $7 which is R68.93 ! The other night I ordered a Malibu and Coke which came to $13 which is R128.01 !! Never in my life would I have imagined paying R130 for a Malibu and Coke. I must say, the restaurants and bars here do have drinks specials daily. Nearly every single licensed restaurant and bar will have a “Happy Hour” every day between 5pm and 6pm which offers drinks specials for cocktails. Cocktails are usually anywhere from $9 – $11 (R88.62 – R108.32), and during Happy Hour they become roughly $5 (R50). Cocktails this includes are ones like Frozen Margaritas, Sangria’s, Bloody Mary’s and classic Mojito’s. The most expensive I have seen for cocktails was at a rooftop bar I went to the other night called “Press Lounge” as part of 48 Ink Hotel on 48th and 11th avenue. Cocktails were $16. That is R157.50 per cocktail! What I must say is cheap, is clothing at “H&M“. Beautiful easy sun dresses are $13 which is R128 ! If I think in Cape Town in popular and trendy boutiques that me and my friends like to get sexy cute clothes at, such as “The Lot” or “Wardrobe” or “Traffic Clothing”, the T-shirts and blouses alone can easily start at R250. Nevermind shorts or blazers or dresses! Whereas at H&M, a beautiful patterned blouse can be only $14.95 which is R147.21. And a nice sexy pair of denim shorts is around R196.45 ($19.95). I better get shopping! 😛

Blog, Europe, Madrid


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Both Spain & Portugal love their sangria … and it’s become a favourite drink of mine, too! We sampled sangria on the streets of Madrid, Toledo, Lisbon, Sintra & Cascais. The best I had was in Madrid, Spain, at El Mercado de San Miguel (nice drink to go with paella) It can be made very simply and it tastes similar to gluhwein… you serve it traditionally in a big jug filled with slices of orange. Here is a fantastic recipe I found… make it at home, you won’t be disappointed!


My Life in Africa

The COSMO Bartender of the Year Party


Tamika Doubell Cosmopolitan

This past week I attended a very fun event here in Cape Town, South Africa. It was held at the “Shimmy Beach Club” at the harbour. I loved the vibe of the evening. There were loads of people all gathered together to see who would win the coveted title of the Cosmopolitan Hottest Bartender of the Year (with prize money of R20 000)!  Cosmopolitan magazine, in partnership with Collison’s White Gold Brandy,  announced on 14 January this year the five guys and five girls who got the nod to compete for the title of “SA’s Hottest Bartender”. The 10 finalists for 2013 were featured in the February issue of CosmoReaders had the opportunity to scrutinize these movers and shakers of creative cocktails, and to vote for their favourite. The aim of the Cosmopolitan Hottest Bartender search every year is to find a bartender with the perfect combination of creativity and charisma, who has his or her craft honed to perfection.

The competition is not judged only on looks: each entrant has to submit an original cocktail recipe.

They will then be required to prepare their cocktails on the night of the big finale in Cape Town on 14 March, and the overall winner will walk away with the grand prize of R20 000.

The 10 finalists were:

  • Dillon Nuss from Taco Zulu, Durban
  • Le Riche Meyer from Carnival Court, Cape Town
  • Nicole Adams form Boulevard, Durban
  • Gabriella Trollip from Tiger Tiger, Cape Town
  • Domenico De Lorenzo from Molecular Bars, Johannesburg
  • Johnny Bezuidenhout from Café Caprice, Cape Town – WINNER
  • Robyn Horwitz from Movida, Johannesburg
  • Imaan Mac Quena from Jade Champagne Bar & Lounge, Cape Town
  • Nancy Ellis from Hooters, Durban
  • Donovan Prince from Café Caprice, Cape Town

Cosmo Bartender of the Year

I personally loved the girls. They had a lot of spunk and could definitely hold their own next to the boys. But I have to say, the boys had that cockiness that’s a huge crowd pleaser in something like this. Let’s put it this way……while the girls were smiling, doing a few dance moves from behind the counter and tamely stirring in the vodka, the boys were literally ripping their shirts off, jumping on the counter and flexing their tattoo-covered muscles while shaking that martini! And let me just say .. HUBBA HUBBA! I mean, C’mon, They had us at HELLO

Photo by Paul Ward

Photo by Paul Ward



The winner was Johnny Bezuidenhout from Cape Town’s most popular beach bar Café Caprice and he was really deserving. MC Poppy Ntshongwana didn’t have a hard time handing over the cheque!

Photo by Paul Ward

We shot Caprice’s Skybok Profile a few months ago and for the video, we got Johnny to prepare a Mojito for us on-camera – check out his talent for yourself by watching it HEREA great performance was given by “iScream & The Chocolate Stix” after the show and I really enjoyed their performance. It’s nice to hear local bands singing good music. Check out their blog HEREThank you to everyone involved for bringing us an awesome event!