Nichola Ashe, who has a strong advertising background, launched Ask Ashe, a brand consultancy business and lifestyle blog that shares design, food, and travel inspiration. Ashe has a mild obsession with sneakers and with local coffee.
A perfect day would start with perfectly poached eggs for breakfast at Parc Café in Glenwood, followed by whatever is on special for lunch at Boiler Room in the Lion Match Factory — the lamb croustillant is what dreams are made of. And then dinner at either S43 or Unity — I'm obsessed with the stuffed olives and tapas vibe at both these restaurants. A special mention must be made for the mushroom Manchurian starter at Mali’s Indian Restaurant in Morningside.
Mali’s Indian Restaurant
I’m a proud Durbanite and love anything lemony, so my drink of choice is the 031 Vodka from Distillery 031, with lots of ice and the homemade lemonade.
Shoppe or The Vintager on Station Drive, Catalyst in Umhlanga Village, WTF in Glenwood or Muse in Kloof for all things design & decor, including secondhand gems.
Durban designers have been turning up the heat recently and I have a wish list as long as my arm, but these pieces are my season must-haves: an ash-and-steel coffee table from GIH studio; a steel plant stand from Douglas & Douglas; white ceramic planters from Noble Handcraft; concrete letters from Notation Design; jacaranda wood-carved mermaids and dolls from Noush Projects;
Kathrin Kidger is hands-down my go-to designer, she made my wedding dress — in black — and was just awarded Designer of the Year at the Durban Fashion Fair.
If I’m making a day of it with time to really relax, the Oyster Box Spa is my first choice — starting in the hammam or plunge pool, then moving on to a full body massage, and ending in the tranquility lounge with a nap. Otherwise, you’ll find me at Absolut Heaven in Umhlanga every second week, for the best massage or facial.
Oyster Box Spa
Kim is a sought-after artist who creates custom pieces for individual collectors. She is also one half of The Curators of Contemporary Craft: a corporate branding studio that was responsible for the design of Station Precinct’s The Plant, The Morning Trade, Con Amore, and Fortune coffee
Station Drive Precinct
This is a great place to visit on First Thursdays for access to the many creatives making beautiful clothes, jewellery, and leather and wood goods. On Sundays, check out The Morning Trade Market if you are looking for delicious organic and artisan food — either to eat on the spot or take away. Visit Con Amore for gorgeous luxury furniture, antiques, and objet — home of the Chesterfield. As The Curators we are responsible for the branding of The Plant, The Morning Trade, Con Amore and Fortune coffee, so we may be a wee bit biased. Station Drive Precinct
The Glenwood Restaurant
This bright and classy restaurant is located in a renovated verandah home. It serves French-English cuisine, cooked with poise and amazing attention to detail — particularly with regards to service and meal accessories. There’s no room for stale grated parmesan, instead you’ll be given a generous knob with a small hand grater for you to make your own. The Glenwood Restaurant
The Glenwood Bakery
Adam Robinson, also the chef-owner of The Glenwood Restaurant, delivers luscious bread, fresh out the on-site oven. It’s a brilliant spot to catch up with work while you have a pastry and freshly squeezed orange juice. The Glenwood Bakery
This is a tiny, very busy restaurant, with fresh, seasonal produce served in an imaginative, colourful way. Think huge breakfasts with lashings of extras on the plate and very cool salads that bring all the right textures and intrigue — not just lettuce and bits. Happy staff; happy foodies.
St Clements Noodle Doodle
This restaurant boasts a calm courtyard with a fountain and trees, and is a serene escape in the daytime. It now also serves contemporary southeast-Asian food in the early evenings (booking is essential). Do try the prawn and lime cakes, crispy tempura vegetable batter over the juiciest plump prawns, with two types of dipping sauce; and the roast duck with sauce and sticky rice. (Make sure you get the green sauce with that — an intensely fragrant mash of chili and herbs.) St Clements Noodle Doodle
Makaranga Garden Lodge
A secret garden in Kloof that is not such a secret. Go in April when the camellias and magnolias are flowering. Order a picnic and relax under the enormous trees. Everywhere you look there is a botanical feast. Makaranga Garden Lodge
Ndabo Langa is an architect with a passion for design history and grand dreams of regeneration for historic parts of neglected Durban, starting with his own venue, The Chairman. He is a compulsive collector of mid-century modern furniture, artifacts and jazz records
One cannot help but be blown away by the Indian cuisine choices that dominate our culinary scene. For me, the authenticity and overall experience (including the uniquely Indian accent) make Palki on Musgrave a must-visit when in Durban. Palki
The Lucky Shaker Bar
This bar is on top of my wild escapades list. Those guys consistently invent out-of-this-world cocktails. The Lucky Shaker Bar
The Time To Tanqueray and Asian Fusion cocktails from Harry’s Bar (Umhlanga) are two of my all time favourite cocktails in Durban. Harry’s Bar
I also enjoy hanging around antique shops. Baraka Studio in Glenwood has an excellent collection of “to die for” pieces.