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Know your Gin Jargon: Unpacking Gin Terminology


From time to time we have probably all considered ourselves to be the family’s budding gin connoisseur, the self taught mixologist or all round spirit master. Expanding our collections with colourful shades of pink and blue, buying pretty bottles, reading up on local releases and up and coming distilleries. But how many of us actually know the lingo, understand the slang and can truly walk the walk when it comes to gin? Do you know difference between drinking your gin ‘straight up’ or ‘neat’? What a ‘yellow’ or ‘barrel-aged’ gin is? And what really makes that Martini ‘dirty’? If not, do not fret. We have you covered; we’ve unpacked some of the weird and wonderful jargon and phrases in the Gin-osphere so you can impress everyone (and yourself) the next time you’re in charge of pouring drinks.


Let’s begin with botanicals, a fundamental and very necessary component of all types of gin. Botanicals can be best described as natural seeds, herb, berries and other ingredients that are used in the making and production of gin. However, probably the most prominent and important botanical of them all is juniper. Gin isn’t legally allowed to be classified as gin without the inclusion of the juniper berry which gives gin its unique and zesty flavour profile. In fact, juniper isn’t a berry as such, rather the female seed cone of a juniper plant. There are an infinite amount of botanicals to choose from including thyme, rosemary, strawberries, coriander and citrus.

Barrel-aged Gin

This one dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries when the transportation of gin wasn’t as easy as it is today. In order to ensure the safe arrival of gin, ships would store the popular spirit in oak barrels to make sure there was no breakage or leaking. And while this technique is not used anymore to transport, it is a modern day method used to give gin a woody and smoky flavour. Today, barrel-aged gins are more commonly known as ‘yellow’ gins owing to the fact that the gin seeps into the oak creating a beautiful amber hue.

Bathtub Gin

It’s the 1920s, prohibition is in full swing and the black market is littered with underground, illegally brewed batches of gin. The term ‘bathtub’ gin became synonymous with people creating their own homemade versions of the popular spirit in their bathtubs. Today, bathtub gin is the word used to describe any amateur and homemade gin.


There’s nothing quite like going to your favourite bar on a Friday night, ordering a Dirty Martini and suddenly feeling a wave of confidence and coolness sweep over you. Now it’s one thing to have a Martini on its own but a whole new ball game to order it dirty. So what does it actually mean? Simply put, a Dirty Martini has the added ingredient of some of the olive brine from the olives that are naturally added giving the cocktail a salty, savoury flavour.

London Dry Gin

Believe it or not, London Dry Gin does not hail from London or any specific region for that matter. Instead, London Dry Gin refers to the manner in which the gin has been distilled and has nothing to do with the flavour or geographic location of the gin. London Dry Gin is known for its distinct pungent aroma, distinct juniper flavour and its zero added sugar.


This word best describes a cocktail or G&T that has a larger proportion of mixer to spirit making it slightly more diluted in the process. It’s as simple as that.


If you really want to impress your friends, this technique is great way to enhance and take your cocktail to another level. Muddling is a technique that uses a muddle, wooden spoon or a pestle to gently release the flavours and aromas that are so often hidden in the added fruit, spices and herbs used to elevate your gin. The added botanicals should be carefully ground and not over worked so as to avoid them becoming bitter and bruised. Once pressed, the botanicals bind with the spirit to enhance the overall flavour profile of the cocktail.


A technique not chosen for the faint of heart, this style of enjoying gin is for those who truly want to experience their drink for what it is. This method sees a drink enjoyed without any added mixers, ice or botanicals and in some cases not even chilled. This is often seen at tastings when a small amount of the spirit is offered up so as to not dilute.

Straight up

Not to be confused with on the rocks or neat this method sees one enjoying their gin chilled but without ice. One the rocks is a common phrase that is used to explain when a spirit is drank on its own over ice cubes typically in a tumbler glass.


Unlike a long drink, a short drink has a smaller volume of mixer than the average cocktail however; it also holds the same amount of alcohol (around 30ml). A short drink therefore has a punchier, stronger, less diluted flavour profile and is often enjoyed in shorter glasses.


A tried and tested method at Inverroche Distillery, adding a twist to your drink is adding a zest of citrus peel in order to enhance the flavour and scent of the gin by releasing the aromatic oils from the fruit’s skin. Try smelling and tasting your gin neat before adding the rind to see how the flavours change.

We could spend the whole day identifying modern and traditional phrases in the wide world of gin and cocktails, but we hope you’ll take at least one word with you to your next dinner party or gin tasting event (when we can finally all be reunited). Please comment and add to our list so everyone can take something new and interesting away with them. Get in touch via our social media platforms and share your gin terminology knowledge.

Special thanks to Craft Gin Club for this week’s blog inspiration! Visit Craft Gin Club Website
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How to Access the World of Gin


If there is anything that we’re sure of at Indaba, it’s that gin has taken over the world in a gradual yet explosive manner and we are here for the ride. With so many options available and an endless number of ways to be enjoyed, it can sometimes feel overwhelming when thinking about what to buy, where to go and even where to get reliable information. There are an abundance of social media and internet platforms and sites that are saturated with information, so where do we go and who do we trust when it comes to buying and making decisions on behalf of our beloved gin? Well, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favourite places to get the latest on all things gin as well as pioneers in the community who are our go-to sources when it comes to all the ins and outs of the wide and wonderful world of gin. With new brands, flavours, botanicals and tonics continuously making their way onto the market, these sources can help you stay up to date on a local and international scale.

The Gin Box

Dubbed as South Africa’s first ever craft gin club, this site has it all! Not only is it offering individuals the chance to subscribe to either a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly or ad hoc quality gin box but it’s also packed with all the latest information on the local gin trade. Websites such as the Gin Box are giving distilleries all over the country the chance to showcase their gins and gin enthusiasts the opportunity to try and sample new and popular gins for the first time. If you’re crazy about gin, slightly apprehensive about stepping outside of your comfortable gin box or have zero idea where to even start when it comes to gin, this site may just be the thing you never knew you needed. Each box includes a selected batch of craft gin, an array of complimentary tonics and some hand-selected food goodies to compliment your creation. The Gin Box really aims to celebrate the local South African gin trade which is in the midst of an utterly revolutionary period.

Visit The Gin Box Website

Craft Gin Club

While the Craft Gin Club may be a UK based site and primarily designed for the British resident, do not be turned way. This site is filled to the brim with all you need to know when it comes to gin, cocktails, the international market and exciting new trends that are emerging. Much like The Gin Box, the Craft Gin Club also offers its subscribers the chance to taste and experience gins from all over the world in the form of a monthly gin box. The box includes an array of treats from food to their monthly magazine. Sadly this box isn’t available in SA (yet) but the website is packed with some of the most useful and interesting information that that the gin industry has to offer. Whether you’re interested in how gin is made, the perfect serve, latest releases from brands or even how the international gin market is faring, this site has it all. This fun filled online platform is the first place to go if you’re ever in doubt.

Visit Craft Gin Club Website

Pioneer of the month Lorna Scott

I’m sure it is no secret that we love Inverroche at the Indaba Hotel and it’s amazing founder, pioneer and super woman Lorna Scott. You cannot type the word Gin and Pioneer into Google without her name appearing somewhere. As South Africa’s first ever Fynbos Infused Gin and the creator of the now extremely popular Amber Gin, Scott is only just getting warmed up. What started as an initiative to preserve the landscape and natural plantation in the Western Cape region slowly turned into one of South Africa’s most loved premium craft gins. Sustainability and preservation are at the heart of Inverroche and Scott spent many years ensuring that the flora and fauna that have come to make the Cape so popular, are kept and sustained in their most natural form. Education is at the centre of the Inverroche brand and the decision to open three premium Gin School’s around the country is testament to this. Inverroche are always excited to share their knowledge and love for Gin and regularly host master classes, give tastings and answer any gin related questions on their social media platforms. And if you’re not able to get in touch via the internet, just take a look at the back of any Inverroche bottle, a short description on flavour profiles, lead botanicals and how it is best served is all displayed. Each month we’ll be sharing our pick for Pioneer of the Month, an individual who we feel is making an impactful and positive contribution to the gin community and a little bit about their story.

Visit Inverroche Website

There are an abundance of sites, internet platforms and pioneers that are doing their bit to do the growing and wonderful world of gin justice. Societies and clubs are popping up all the time to share their passion for gin with the people and to create new and exciting experiences. Sites like the South African Gin Society, Gin Passport SA and the Indaba Gin School are giving the public the chance to stay connected with one another by creating events, giving classes, showcasing up and coming brands and providing tastings. The gin community is growing at a rapid rate and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. For more information on any of the platforms mentioned get in touch via our social media sites or the Indaba Hotel website.

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Growing your Own Botanicals


There has never been a better time to invest in planting your own edible garden. After seriously considering going off the grid in an attempt to make more conscious spending and health decisions, I decided I was going to construct and harvest my own herbs and botanicals. As a regular gin drinker, I usually always make sure that there’s an array of botanicals on offer to add to my G&T. Strawberries, mint, basil and rosemary can add some much needed depth and layering to your gin, plus they look great gently floating around your glass. With this all in mind I rushed to the garden section of my local grocery shop and spent about 30 minutes being completely overwhelmed by the sheer selection of DIY gardening gadgets. I finally decided on some seeds, gardening spade, a spray bottle and some potting soil. Planting botanicals and herbs don’t require a lot of space and effort, just some light and a little TLC. There really is something so satisfying about popping outside to quickly pick some thyme to add to your crisp G&T and then encouraging your guests to do the same.

So we’ve put together a quick, simple and easy guide on growing and keeping your botanicals healthy and alive at home:


If you’ve decided that you’re only going to plant and tend to a few herbs and are really limited with how you can plant, basil is the way to go. Why? Basil grows well indoors and all year long. If using more traditional methods such as buying and planting seeds isn’t your scene, you can always purchase an already grown pot plant and replant it on your windowsill. It’s important to make sure that the pot selected has a drainage hole to allow for optimal growth. Basil grows best when it’s not in direct sunlight but rather with plenty of ambient light. Plus, when you’re not making a Friday night cocktail it’s a great accompaniment to your salad or pizza.


Possibly one of the most popular ingredients added to a G&T, strawberries are a staple in both the production and enjoyment of gin. The strawberry grows best in window boxes, hanging baskets and containers, their quick growing and compact nature make them the ideal fruit to harvest at home. Growing them in containers and boxes also makes it simple to transport when the natural lights develops and moves throughout the day. When placed in pots or hanging baskets, creatures such as snails and slugs are less likely to cause damage however, it is important to make sure that there is ample space to allow the plants to grow properly. Strawberries also make for the perfect gift, the root bearing shoots can be re-potted and distributed easily to friends and family as a gesture or gift. Strawberries grow predominantly in winter and start to flourish again in spring making them the perfect summer berry and perfect added extra to your gin.


Culinary thyme is a fantastic herb that is pretty much evergreen throughout the year and in most gardening areas. It is also drought tolerant and pollinator friendly. Thyme can grow quite aggressively and therefore it is best situated in its own pot out of competition with other plants. Some important factors to consider is the type of soil used and the position of the pot. Compost that is free draining is preferred; additionally potting grit can be used for added drainage and the pot should be placed in a warm, sunny environment. Thyme can also create a very aesthetically pleasing array of beautifully coloured foliage if planted with enough space. And while the growth of thyme is stunted slightly over the winter months, it can essentially be harvested at all times of the year.


Lavender may be slightly unconventional when it comes to gin and tonic, but adding the perfectly purple flower can add a light and refreshing take on your classic G&T. Lavender tends to flourish in sunny, warm areas and requires plenty of free draining soil placed in a pot. Lavender needs at least six hours of sunlight a day and require only small amounts of water. Potting grit can also be used to emphasise drainage. We recommend harvesting the flowers to create a sweet syrup to add to your gin and tonic:

For the Syrup:
  • ½ Cup granulated sugar
  • ½ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Lavender Flowers
For the G&T:
  • Ice
  • 30g Chopped and Peeled Cucumber
  • 1 Tot of Gin (preferably something classic and smooth)
  • 1 Can of Indian Tonic
  • Cucumber and Lavender for serving

To make the syrup, add the sugar and water to a saucepan over a low heat and leave untouched until all the sugar has melted and started to become a golden brown almost amber colour. This may take a couple of minutes. Once all the sugar has melted, remove from the heat; add the lavender and leave to cool for 45 minutes at room temperature. Before serving, remove the lavender flowers. To make the gin and tonic, place the cucumber in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and mash using a muddler. Add the gin and a teaspoon of syrup and shake until well combined. Pour into a tall glass filled with ice and serve with a tonic, piece of lavender and some peeled cucumber.


Mint provides a very distinct and unique flavour profile that can be served with a variety of different cocktails and drinks, elevating your gin to another level. This herb requires a little more attention but is definitely worth the effort. Like many of the herbs and botanicals mentioned, mint is best suited to be grown in pots, preferably a fairly large one. Mint only requires partial shade and moist soil that can be drained easily with regular harvesting to ensure optimal growth for best results. What makes mint interesting is that it can be harvested from an already grown stem. Once received, remove all the leaves except a few on the top and place in a jar filled with water. Watch as the roots grow over time and then carefully replant in soil. Pick, wash and add to a gin and tonic.

We have only managed to scratch the surface; the world of herbs and botanicals is endless and brighter than ever. We recommend investing in a spray bottle to ensure all your herbs are hydrated and looking fresh all year round. We’d love to hear some of your tricks and tips for planting botanicals and your thoughts on going off the grid by investing in planting your own herbs, botanicals and fruits. Show us what and how you’ve been harvesting and enjoying your botanicals via our social media platforms.

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Spa at Home: Turn your Home into a Spa-like Oasis


Spa at Home: Turn your Home into a Spa-like Oasis

The minute you walk into Mowana Spa, your senses are treated to a wave of calm. All elements from the wall colour, décor, the scent in the air and sounds are purposefully thought-out to give you a multi-sensory experience.

If you’re in need of me-time but the stress of knowing that your favourite spa sanctuary is still closed, don’t worry! We’ve put together a few tips on how to recreate a little piece of paradise in your own home until we’re able to welcome you back to the real deal.

Looking after your physical and mental wellbeing is of utmost importance, especially during these trying times, so make sure you set aside a few minutes daily to “spa at home”. You can create spa experiences with your fellow housemates, partner or alone.

Create a Sanctuary

Find a space which you would like to dedicate as your “spa at home” – this may be your bathroom, bedroom or home office. Any place you can shut the door and escape for a few minutes will do just fine. Now decorate. Add cushions, scented candles, luxurious bath robes, a pile of wellness magazines and gorgeously scented products. Nothing is stopping you from going the extra mile by adding champagne on ice.

Cosy Gown

A fluffy gown and comfortable slippers scream, “spa day” and is of course an essential part of slipping into complete relaxation.

Aromatherapy Candles

Not only do they create an ambiance of calmness, warmth and relaxation but their scents are specifically formulated to inspire the mood you crave. Scented candles that use quality essential oils can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and stress and induce quality sleep.

Bring elements of nature inside

Fill your space with natural elements and organic textures of wood, stone and add live plants to freshen the air. Even adding prints of nature will add to the idea of bringing the outdoors inside.

Soothing Sounds

Ever wonder what sets the tone of a spa day? Soothing nature and instrumental sounds instantly puts your mind at ease because these soft and repetitive tunes is something you easily zone out to. Source a spa playlist and prepare to relax.

You can easily try DIY treatments like a facial, manicure, pedicure, body scrub and bath fizzies. Keep a look out for our next blog for at-home treatment recipes and tips.

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Gin-ify your Lockdown!


Gin-ify your Lockdown!

We know the lockdown is tough, and with the extension only adding more worry into what you’re going to fill your days with, it may be time to think outside of the box. If you’re like me and are now on your fourth re-run of Friends, made one too many loaves of banana bread and have considered taking up quilting as a hobby it could be a good time to re-evaluate. If you were one of the lucky ones and managed to stock up on all your favourite alcoholic essentials before the quarantine, we have some ideas for you. We’ve gin-ified your average, every day, run of the mill quarantine activities and created some fun, exciting ways to spend your lockdown days. So here we go:


Yes, you did hear that right. Wimbledon is one of the most attended and widely known tennis events of the year and if you’re like us and are devastated at the news of its postponement, don’t wait until next year to get your whites and cucumber sandwiches out. Ginbledon, it’s as straight forward as the name, get your team together, dress in all whites, make sure the Gin bar is fully stocked and get playing. Create your own Gin station with customised cocktails and an array of delicious canapés inspired by the great sporting event. We’re having strawberries with cream and cucumber sandwiches all served with an essential fruity, ice-cold G&T. Create teams with family members and friends and devise your own scoring system, for every shot someone misses encourage them to have a sip of Gin or make them responsible for pouring the next cocktail. Don’t have a tennis court? Not a problem. Extend the gin inspired game to other sports like lawn cricket, bowls, volley ball or even table tennis. Get creative and have fun, with our hot summer days slowly fading as winter approaches, spend the next couple of weeks finding any excuse to get out and soak up the sun.

Gin Inspired Board Games

Dust off your Monopoly board, get your Jenga set out and put the kids to bed. These are all your classic, old-school board games but with a twist, they’re soaked in gin! We all know how competitive Monopoly can get, especially when you’re on a roll, have bought practically everything on the board and little will stop your spending hiatus. So how about adding a little Gin to the mix, just to calm those nerves and ease the tension, we all know a little Dutch courage goes a long way when you’re unleashing your inner property mogul. This is your chance to add in a new set of rules, every time someone heads to jail, encourage them to have a sip. Every time someone lands on something you own, encourage them to take a sip. Every time someone rolls a six, it’s their turn to mix the next round of drinks. Create Monopoly centred Gin cocktails that have been inspired from different places around the board, get creative and use the opportunity to take this age-old, go to classic to the next level. Another one of our favourites is Jenga, build it up, bash it down, this simple yet addictive game can easily be turned into a next level Gin filled project. Using individual Jenga pieces, take turns in writing out rules and games on one side of the Jenga piece. These rules could range from taking a sip or having to create a fun and interesting cocktail in a limited time or with certain ingredients, anything goes. As members pull the PG 13 pieces they’ll have to do whatever is written out, and of course whoever loses is your personal mixologist for the night!

Come Gin with Me!

If you’re exhausted having to think about what you’re going to have to cook for dinner tonight and there simply aren’t any more ways you can think of to cook a chicken breast, why not spice up your weekly dinners with a touch of healthy competition. Encourage your family members, friends and housemates to each have a night to cook a delicious meal for everyone. Each night a different member can select a dish, a theme and of course, has to create their own cocktail to compliment the night. If Japan is your theme and you want to go all out with your cocktail, think lemon, citrus, ginger, honey and matcha green tea. Play with flavour combinations and ingredients and explore different variations unique to your theme. This way everyone can get involved and the stress of finding new things to make can be relaxed. Score each member and reveal your scores at the end of the week, you may even want to throw in a prize!

We’d love to see what everyone has been up to over the lockdown and how you’ve been filling your days. Share your activities and gin-inspired affairs on Instagram and Facebook and tag us. Let’s all use this time to get a little bit closer in the days that feel so far apart.

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What does it take to make a hotel feel like home?


What does it take to make a hotel feel like home?

The Indaba Hotel in Fourways is currently operating as a quarantine hotel facility for a group of repatriated South African residents.

With just under a day's notice to prepare bedrooms and gather resources, the hotel team stepped up to cater for their unusual guests. The last of the repatriated residents arrived at 3am on Friday, 1 May 2020.

"We met on Friday for briefings from the South African Government Department of Health and got all of the correct standard operating procedures in place", explains Crystal Muller, the hotel's marketing administrator. For example, there are now on-site healthcare providers to conduct regular testing for Covid-19 symptoms.

The Indaba Hotel staff have also had to adjust their skillsets. Steve Smit acts typically as the banqueting manager but is currently the Indaba Hotel's health and safety officer for repatriation groups. "The most important part of making us Covid-19 ready was conducting comprehensive risk assessments for every process and employee in the workplace. These were then translated into Safe Working Procedures, and we had intense training sessions", says Steve. "A great deal of ongoing research is done to ensure that we adhere to world-class protocols to keep everyone safe. We require hundreds of litres of alcohol-based sanitiser to clean every surface that guests or staff come into contact with and compliance with set protocols is also strictly monitored".

Thuli Ntuli, the sous chef, knows all about adjustment. She is hard at work as the mealtime miracle worker and shares a little about new protocols. "Preparing food for quarantine has been very difficult because everything has changed. When the delivery arrives we sanitise all the packages, even the hands and feet of drivers before they are allowed in the kitchen. The chefs are wearing masks and gloves all the time but we change gloves regularly as we move to another task. For example, if I am buttering rolls, I would wash and sanitise my hands, put on gloves and then start working with the rolls. After that, I'll wash and sanitise and put on a new set of gloves to start the next task. Masks are changed three times during a single shift and we sanitise our work stations after every task. We have always followed these processes but it is now done more frequently. I need a good hand lotion as my hands are starting to look like an older woman's! Everybody is pulling their weight and doing the best they can under the difficult circumstances we are all facing".

What began as a country house of just 14 bedrooms, Johannesburg's Indaba Hotel has come a long way in 70 years but remains true to its humble roots. It has always strived to remain a comforting home away from home. Today, that's more important than ever.

"We also compiled guest information booklets and briefed the lockdown staff to ensure everyone was always up to date on processes", Crystal explains. "There's been negativity in the media around other quarantine facilities in the country, but this is not what we have experienced".

Indeed. Luckily for these hotel guests, it’s staffed by an exceptional team. Sharon Hunnink, Indaba Hotel's sales and marketing manager articulates immense pride in the group at work right now. "Our hotel staff are on the frontline. Superheroes working hard to ensure that our quarantine hotel is no halfway house. It is home".

Praise across social media platforms confirms Sharon's view. Ina Herselman writes on Facebook about her Mothers Day in quarantine. "A knock on the door and friendly voices with a special little gift...Thank you for your hospitality… although we can't see the smiles behind the masks we can see it in your eyes and hear it in your voices! You have really gone the extra mile to make this unforeseen circumstance a home-away-from-home experience!"

Alain Yon, the assistant food and beverage manager, is currently heading up the room service and meal deliveries for repatriation groups. "My job has changed drastically in the way we have to handle guests now known as PUI's (Person Under Investigation). There is no normal 'personal touch' with each guest now. Something hoteliers are well known for! We have had to adjust."

The hotel has also created a WhatsApp community to provide immediate support and for guests to get to know each other. Candice Geyser is Indaba Hotel’s key account manager and currently assisting as the guest liaison. "It makes me very proud to be part of this, helping a few fellow South Africans in this challenging time and making a difference, no matter how small. Whether it is delivering a birthday cake to someone's door (and seeing them smile from a distance) or comforting someone on the phone as many are by themselves and feeling lonely over this time".

Although quarantined guests can't share much at the moment, they do share their voices. At 6pm every evening a resounding round of Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika lifts everyone's spirits. It proves home is where the heart is.

The hotel has also shared tips for mental wellbeing and online yoga Zoom lessons are a cinch thanks to unlimited Wi-Fi (although we all know a good Netflix binge counts as self-care too!) It also allows longer, frequent family chats – sure to keep distant hearts happy.

Another guest, Phyll Mcneil, also testifies to the pervasive homely spirit here. "We are a group of over 200 people repatriated from Australia and had the most amazing good fortune to be accommodated at this hotel for the quarantine period. The attention to our needs has been met at every turn. The team of nurses have been incredible and these are all people giving up their family time to tend to us. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This is an incredible facility".

This repatriation group is in residence for 14 days and should be departing soon if all goes well.

The Indaba Hotel superheroes are certainly making a difference. Not just to 200 hotel residents, but 58 million people in South Africa. It's easier to save South Africa when a hotel feels like home.

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Expert advice for South Africans working from home

Oh. The endless trials of lockdown. Between trying to figure out how to wear a mask and perfecting your homemade pizza, many of us are also educating children in small apartments and trying to establish new office boundaries. We hate to break it to you, but working from home might just be your new normal.

These sure are unusual times. Take it from us, we’re living the paradox!

Indaba means discussions. Pronounced “In-dah-bah” it comes from the isiZulu word meaning "business" or "matters". Normally, this requires great gatherings. It’s all about ideas. Sharing innovations. Bringing people together. Meetups.

No. Not meat ups - although we’re great at that too!

As meetings go virtual, we’ve looked to our business professionals for their expert tips on working remotely.

How to set up a productive workspace

Find a place with limited noise (we know, easier said than done if you’re sharing the house with the cooped-up kids), great light and near to a well-lit window. Sunlight is said to boost productivity and is better for your mood that that dark corner. So is a comfortable chair. Create a space of your own. This way, it’s easier to distinguish between work and unwinding. How do you know if it’s good enough? You should be able to leave/pack up/ignore your workspace at the end of a day, but easily resume the next morning.

Encourage efficiency

Lumka Dhlabo, Key Accounts Manager for Indaba Group recommends a regular schedule and may other professionals agree. “My tip for working from home during lockdown is to have a routine. I wake up at the same time every day, take my bath, prepare my workstation and make myself breakfast. I find that this helps because I wake up with a purpose every day”.

After you’ve gotten dressed (all the expert agree on this one - nothing screams futility as much as working in your PJs), grab a coffee and sit down clear your inbox. Give yourself 45 minutes to suss out what’s vital. After that, limit your email-checks and alerts to two or three times a day (again before lunch and lastly before the end of the workday for urgent matters). This is step one to freeing up actual work time.

Another neat hack to try is the oldest productivity trick in the book - the Pomodoro Method. Your brain needs short periods of rest. Set a timer for 25-minutes and assign yourself a task. Focus on it for the period without any interruptions. When the beeper rings off, take a five-minute break to regroup. Make a cup of tea and refocus or set up the next task. Knowing there’s less than half an hour per session means you’re likely to work at your best. Studies show that this mental attitude can increase your output. Give it a try with the website.

Since we’re talking about rest. Likewise, lunchtime is not a treat, it’s a necessity. Remember to give yourself a proper break - a shared lunchtime is also an opportunity to be present for your family.

New to Zoom? Here’s your etiquette education

Candice Geyser, Key Accounts Manager for Indaba Group, has some useful tips.

“Think of a Zoom Meeting as a face-to-face meeting and conduct yourself as you would if you were all present in the same room. Join early – up to five minutes before the meeting start time. If you haven’t used Zoom before, be sure to download the program beforehand. Check your position and try to avoid backlight from bright windows. Mute your microphone when not talking”

Even though you might be wearing your pantoffels (let’s be honest, we all are) don’t forget you are on camera. Remain professional and try to avoid doing other tasks, such as looking at your phone.

Candice also suggests we get creative. “COVID-19 is forcing lots of businesses to cut back on travel and in-person meetings. That means web-based presentations are more important than ever. Start repackaging your pitch into a full-blown virtual presentation. Be prepared to do more of your pitch over the web instead of on-site meetings”.

Free online resources to up your at-home worklife

Need a crash course in managing your team remotely? There are some great free resources for creating beautiful presentations and advice for grappling with this new balancing act. Here are our favourites.
  1. LinkedIn, The Learning Blog: From free career courses to mindfulness trick, this is a great collection of professional working advice.
  2. Canva: The easiest and free graphic design platform around. Use it to ramp up the beauty of your next presentation.
  3. Slack: This is the go-to business chat for many companies, but even more useful is this compliation of remote work tips.
  4. Hubspot: If you're in marketing, this blog is packed with tips, resources and how-tos.
  5. Google Drive: Beyond search, this is a wonderful collabration platform. Create with your co-workers using a shared document, a video meeting or by creating an email list or a chat room. Here are more of Google's tips for working remotly.
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Indaba Kitchen Series: How to make Pizza at Home

With one more week of lockdown to go in South Africa, we anticipate you might be hankering for some kind of celebration. Why not throw a pizza party in your own home? It’s easy, affordable and plenty of fun.

Get the kids involved and use whatever toppings you have in your fridge. Here is Indaba’s simple pizza dough recipe and tutorial to help you around the kitchen until we open again to serve you our own speciality.

Download Printable Recipe

Easy pizza recipe ingredients

Pizza dough

  • 500g flour
  • 1tsp yeast
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) of water
  • 2tbsp (30ml) olive oil

Tomato sauce

  • 1tsp garlic
  • Handful of fresh basil, chopped up
  • 2 tins of peeled tomatoes

How to make a pizza base

Makes enough for five - you can also freeze the dough for up to two weeks to keep it on hand for whenever you need it

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together.
  • Add water gradually and mix until all incorporated into a soft ball.
  • Add oil only once all the flour is wet.
  • Knead until the gluten is developed (roughly 5 minutes) and add more water if required.
  • Leave the ball in a lightly oiled container, cover and leave on a counter to prove (roughly 1,5 hours).
  • Punch down the dough and Iet it rise for a further 60 minutes (your dough should almost double in size).
  • Punch it down again and your dough is ready!
  • Divide the dough into 5 balls and roll each one out into a (roughly) round pizza base.

How to make an easy tomato sauce for your pizza

  • Pour a generous lug of olive oil into your pan and add the garlic.
  • Once the garlic begins to colour and brown lightly, add basil and the tomatoes.
  • Mash and squash the tomatoes with the back of a wooden sppon.
  • Season the sauce with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • As soon as it comes to the boil, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Strain the sauce through a coarse sieve into a bowl, using your wooden spoon to push any larger bits of tomato through.
  • Pour the sauce back into the pan, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for five minutes to concentrate the flavours.

The best pizza topping combinations


Rustic Margherita: Basil, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella
Leftover Braai Beef: Barbecued rump beef strips, roasted cherry tomatoes, mixed peppers, roasted garlic and mozzarella topped with basil


Fancy Flatbread: Parma ham, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes, olives, balsamic onions and wild rocket.
Reliable Regina: Hickory ham, mushrooms and mozzarella.

Ingredients, assemble!

  • Take a spoon of olive oil and brush it onto the pizza base with a basting brush.
  • Take a ladle full of tomato sauce, and spread evenly over base.
  • Take a handful or two of grated mozzarella cheese and spread evenly on base.
  • Add toppings. Some advice from the Italians, don’t be tempted into more than three.
  • Sprinkle fresh or dried herbs on top for extra zing.
  • Load into the over and cook for roughly 15 minutes.

And, voila! Enjoy your homemade pizza.

Video Tutorial: How to make pizza at home with Indaba

Download Printable Recipe

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Trends in the World of Gin

Gin Trends

What’s Happening in the World of Gin?

As true Gin enthusiasts at the Indaba Hotel, it’s important to keep up to date with everything that is affecting the trade. Gin, much like most entities, is constantly evolving and changing as it has gained major popularity and momentum in the last couple of years. We are in the midst of the second Gin revolution with new artisanal brands and flavours emerging all the time. Originally, a small number of distilleries began to emerge in the Western Cape. These distilleries took advantage of the rich Cape Floral Region that was at their finger tips incorporating some of the 10,000 floral species into each bottle. Today, the Western Cape is home to more than 30 of the 50 registered distilleries in South Africa and the Gin produced here is making waves on the international scene. Consumers are truly spoilt for choice with endless options of both crafted and artisanal Gins as well as its best friend the tonic. Bars and restaurants specialising in the spirit are popping up in their abundance all over the country and we’ve jumped on board for the exciting journey ahead.

So where is Gin headed and where is it right now? We’ve delved deep into the Gin-osphere on a local and international scale to find some of the latest trends that have surfaced. Here are some of our favourites compliments of Trends Hunter and Craft Gin Club.

What’s a Wedding without Gin?

Brides and grooms will do just about anything to make their day as memorable as possible. The nature of weddings has changed dramatically over the decade with couples doing their best to incorporate unique and original touches to their big day. While Gin typically makes an appearance in some form or another at most weddings, today brides and grooms have opted to centre their entire day on the zesty spirit. From Gin inspired décor, table plans and weddings favours to centre pieces and floral arrangements, there really are no limits. Here at Indaba, our very own Gin School held the reception for one couple who relished in the idea of each guest being able to leave with their own unique hand-crafted bottle of Gin.

Pink, pink, pink!

While purple, blue and orange Gins are gaining popularity for cocktail lovers and Gin enthusiasts, it is the pink Gin that took 2019 by storm. Craft Gin Club, a UK based online Gin Society, reported that pink drinks were all that could be seen in hand last year. Whether it was a classic pink cocktail such as the a Clover Club or a straight pink Gin and tonic, pink G&T’s are undoubtedly all the rage as their popularity rolls into 2020. And while your Gin may be pink, your tonic most definitely is too. Fitch and Leeds, a leading beverage production company, have produced a range of tonics that appeal to whatever mood we happen to be in. Pink, blue, Indian, grapefruit and even sugar-free are on offer. Whether its pink, purple, orange or blue, there is a colour and a flavour for you.


Yes, distilleries are really showing up to the party to provide their helping hand in the global pandemic that has taken over the world. Gin-based hand sanitizers may have surfaced due the current Covid-19 crisis but we are totally here for it. In the UK, a local charity The Benevolent was at a crossroads when they couldn’t find a local manufacturer to supply enough hand sanitizer for their annual Benevolent Ball. 58 Gin Distillery based in London managed to create a hand sanitizer to use at the Ball in order to prevent the spread of germs and keep guests at ease throughout the evening. The Gin’itizer was made using a combination of Aloe Vera and high-strength distillate. As the Gin manufacturer managers to produce around 1,000 litres of alcohol a week, they were in a position to set some aside for the event held at the Natural History Museum. We also feel very excited to share the amazing work that Inverroche have done to not only produce their own hand sanitizer to donate free of charge to the local Hessequa community in the Western Cape, but also the contribution of protective kits including face masks. The very bases of the beloved Inverroche range have been used to produce sanitizers for use of front line employees helping to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. With their latest campaign Share to Care, the brand is encouraging other local distilleries to get involved in any way they can. With this in mind, it may not be in your best interest to crack open your Gin cabinet and douse your hands with the fiery liquid but keep a look out for sanitizers that may have been produced by your favourite brands in the future.

For more information Share to Care Initiative please visit the Inverroche Distillery Facebook page and get in touch at

Waste Reducing Gins

The one thing we love more than anything when it comes to making and creating Gin is that there isn’t really chance that you can mess it up. Whether you’ve added coconut and chilli or used potato skins and old ginger, we guarantee it will taste good. Local Canadian distillery LOOP GIN is in the business of creating Gins from products that would typically go to waste in order to minimise the waste stream that they create when making other products. The project that has been called LOOP Mission, makes use of overstock from Yum Yum chip factory in Montreal and uses unwanted potato cuttings to produce fresh Gin that is incorporated with juices from discarded limes and ginger. LOOP Gin has paved the way for other brands to get on board by inspiring distilleries to get their creative spirits bubbling. Food waste is major issue in many countries and the idea of creating entirely new products from rescued foods is both exciting and inspiring in many respects.

Personalisation Personified

It’s true; you really can make your own. Gin has becoming a staple in a number households, around many a dinner table and found a unique place in countless memories and special occasions around the world. It’s hard to accommodate for the vast number of palates and preferences that exists but with the opening of places such as Gin Schools and Sensoriums, you’re one drop way from creating something that best suits you. If you’re looking for a unique experience and want to leave knowing you’re able to make your favourite spirit from scratch, consider attending a masterclass that will provide you with the tools to craft your own. Where consumers were once enthralled at the idea of frequenting their favourite wine studios, farms and bars for tastings and pairings, there has been an evident shift in the number of people who are opting for the same experience but in the case of Gin. What makes the low-calorie drink unique is its ability to be enjoyed at all times of the year and at almost any occasion. Gin is on the fast track to becoming the world’s leading spirit and shows no signs of slowing down. Join us for one of our Gin School Masterclasses where you can learn the alchemy of it all in association with Inverroche.

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Gin Inspired Recipes to try at Home

Gin Inspired Recipes

Whether you’re a regular Gin drinker or have the odd G&T every other weekend, what makes Gin so diverse is its ability to be enjoyed with just about anything. Traditionally, Gin was used for medicinal purposes in the cases of scurvy and as an aid in preventing sea sickness in the early 13th Century. Of course, Gin has evolved dramatically over the years and so have its uses and flavour profile. Today, there are more classic cocktails that contain Gin than any other spirit in the world. While you may be familiar with drinking the zesty spirit, what you may not know is that Gin can be used as an amazing ingredient in desserts and savoury dishes such as jams, tarts and even as a curing agent. So if you haven’t yet had the chance to cook with it, we have listed some of our favourite dishes that use and infuse the spirit for you to try at home.

Ginger, Cinnamon and Orange Gin Ice Cream

This one is a personal favourite and can be eaten on its own or, as we like to enjoy it, alongside a Gin and tonic itself on hot afternoon. This recipe doesn’t require you to have an ice-cream machine, just a strong arm and some patience (promise, it will be worth it). This ice cream isn’t overly sweet where the rich, spicy flavours carefully compliment the delicate floral tones that emerge in the Gin. So here we go:

Serves 4-6

  • 200ml full cream milk
  • 500ml cream
  • 15-30ml Inverroche Gin Amber
  • 5ml vanilla extract
  • 4 extra large egg yolks
  • 125ml castor sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange

Begin by placing the milk, cream, Gin and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiled, remove it from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Once cooled, use a blender or electric beater to puree the mixture to a smooth consistency. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and castor sugar until they form a pale mixture. Then, use a ladle to add the gin mixture to the eggs and castor sugar slowly making sure not to beat. Once the two mixtures have been combined place in a saucepan and gently cook ensuring not to boil as it will curdle. Once it can coat the back of a spoon, remove it from the heat and strain using a sieve. Then add the cinnamon, ginger, zest and orange juice. Mix well over a bowl of iced water using a whisk until cooled completely. Cover with a lid or cling wrap and place in the freezer. Every hour return to the fridge to beat with an electric beater until it becomes smooth and thick. Enjoy with crushed ginger biscuits, fresh orange zest and of course a large Gin and Tonic.

Gin Cured Salmon with Cucumber, Coriander Seeds and Lime

So this one may be on the more extravagant side but we have a feeling we’ll be able to entice you to try it. There’s nothing plain about this dish but it sure is simple to make. The salmon is cured, which means the ingredients actually cook the fish slightly over time and that is why we advise that it’s made the day before. Best served with crispy sweet potato and harissa fries and herby yoghurt dip. So let’s go:

Serves 4

  • 75g table salt
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 25g muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • ½ teaspoon lightly crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 80ml Inverroche Gin Verdant
  • 400g centre cut salmon fillet, skin on and bones removed
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
  • Handful fresh coriander leaves

Begin by placing the sugar, salt, lime zest and gin in a bowl and mix well to combine. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the peppercorns and spices and then add to the sugar and salt mixture. Get a large dish and place half the rub on the bottom of the dish to coat. Place the fish on top of the rub skin side down and score the fish using a sharp knife making small cuts, cover with remaining rub making sure to massage the ingredients into the fish well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge over night. Once the fish has been marinating for at least 12 hours, remove from the dish and set aside. Run the fish under cold water and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, run the knife along the side with the skin to remove, ensuring not to slice any flesh off. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the cucumber into ribbons ensuing not to include any of the seeds. Slice the spring onions in half and then half again, then length wise. Place the cucumber and spring onions in the remaining juices from the salmon rub and leave to marinade for a couple of minutes. Using a serving plate, place the cucumber ribbons and spring onion on the bottom and gently place the salmon on top. Alternatively, finely cut the salmon into equal fillets before arranging. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper, sea salt, mint and coriander. You can also finely slice a lemon or lime to decorate.

Drunk Gin and Tonic Lemon Tarts

Yum is all we can say. What a fun way to feature Gin in a dessert. This one won’t actually get you drunk but you’ll definitely feel like you’re enjoying a traditional G&T when you take a bite. This one is on the trickier side as it requires the preparation of pastry but if that’s not your scene, you can always buy already prepared pastry tart cases. Here we go:

Serves 8

For the Pastry:
  • 200g plain flour sifted, all purpose
  • 35g icing sugar, sifted
  • 75g chilled unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
  • Zest of 1 whole lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60ml cold tonic water
For the Filling:
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 150ml cream
  • 80g castor sugar
  • Zest of 1 whole lemon
  • 30ml of Inverroche Gin Classic
Gin and Tonic Syrup:
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 125ml tonic water
  • Zest ½ a lemon
  • Juice of 1 whole lemon
  • 30ml Inverroche Gin Classic
  • 3 Juniper berries

Start with the pastry, in the bowl that attaches to your food processor, combine the flour an icing sugar and blend. Then, add the zest and butter cubes and further beat until the mixture becomes what looks like fine bread crumbs. Separate the egg and add the yolk and tonic water and further beat until it all comes together. Remove from bowl and cover in plastic wrap, place in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes. While the pastry is chilling, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease your tart tins, we recommend 10cm loose bottom mini tins. Retrieve the pastry from the fridge and roll out using a rolling pin. Roll out to around 5mm and cut equally sized circles that are 2cm larger than the tins. Place the pastry circles in each tin and cut away the excess pastry from the sides. Place in the fridge for around 20 minutes. Once removed, blind bake in the oven using parchment paper and any pastry weights. You can also use dried rice, beans or lentils for this step. Once golden brown in appearance, set aside and allow to cool. Moving onto the filling, beat together the eggs, castor sugar, lemon zest and juice. Once well incorporated, add the cream and Gin and further beat. Carefully spoon the mixture into the cooled tart cases and bake for around 10 minutes, or until the filling has set. Cool. While the tarts are in the oven, make the syrup. Using a saucepan, gently mix the castor sugar, tonic water and lemon juice over a low heat and stir until completely dissolved. Then add the Gin, juniper berries and zest and bring to a slight boil. Reduce for around 10 minutes until it starts to thicken slightly. Once the tarts have completely cooled, drizzle with syrup, grate some lemon zest on top and sprinkle with icing sugar.

This recipe has been adapted from Delicious Everyday.
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Gin School is undergoing a Makeover

Distillation Process at the Gin School

The Gin School is a project that has become very dear to the Indaba Hotel Fourways. As the first fully operational Gin School in Johannesburg, we have made it our mission to develop a space that harnesses not only individual creativity and customisation but one that aims to do the Inverroche brand justice. We love Inverroche and all that it stands for, a brand that is giving individuals the opportunity to experiment and truly find what they love. Pick your own botanicals, smell and taste your selection, run your fingers through the honey bush, chilli and orange and walk away knowing you’ve created something utterly unique, a small piece of you.

The Gin School has well and truly evolved from humble beginnings and when given the opportunity for a little (more like quite a substantial) makeover, we jumped at the chance. The current Gin School can only accommodate 24 pot stills (Gin distilling devise) however, with developments for the new school well underway we are excited to be able to take on 12 more. The new Gin School will develop a whole new space to create, a new environment that will stretch the mind of the distiller and encourage individuality and personalisation at its best.

So what exactly can you expect from the new Inverroche Gin School?

For us, creating Gin is more than just the distillation process and therefore we’re creating a space that encompasses an entire experience from start to finish. From the moment you walk in you’ll be greeted by the sweet smell of buchu and Kapok Bossie growing freely in the herb garden surrounding the school. Pockets of dune fig and rooibos will be nestled amongst wild flowers and other local plant species for you to harvest and add to your Gin. The venue will do its best to harness the true essence of Inverroche with the addition of a carefully selected range of tinctures to enhance your Gin creating experience. Now you’ll really be able to taste, feel and smell your evolving creation as it unfolds. Knowledge is most definitely power in the case of Gin and we’ll be doing our bit to educate and highlight the importance of preservation when it comes to Fynbos, a unique and intricate plant species that flourishes in the Western Cape region and has made Inverroche what it is today. Using the flavour profiles, ingredients and bases that the Inverroche team have developed, you’ll have the chance to truly experience hand crafting Gin the way the professional do it. We’re also so excited about the addition of 12 more pot stills and therefore being able to welcome more faces to our master classes. A contemporary and modern fully functional bar will also be made available for you to sample the exiting Inverroche range. But we’re not giving everything away just yet. We’ll keep you posted on everything relating to our new Gin home as it all unfolds.

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Top foodie experiences at the Indaba Hotel

Bistro 407 at the Indaba Hotel
Eating your way to the heart of a destination is the best way to get to know a place. Food tourism is nothing new. From as far back as the Spice Trade, humanity has always had a taste for the exotic. Ingredients tell stories. They have a history and an origin.

A good foodie experience is memorable, and the easiest way to remember something? When it's accompanied by a compelling story.

Bistro 407 at Indaba Hotel

The Indaba Hotel has recently relaunched the Bistro 407restaurant, and it's no longer just a place to eat a meal, it's a proud showcase of our history. As one of the oldest accommodation options in Fourways, the intimate eatery is a nod to the history of the Indaba Hotel, as the property began its life located on lot 407 of the original farm, Zevenfontein. More heritage commemoration can be found in the two new signature cocktails, namely the 407 Lavender Pina Colada, best sipped on the outdoor deck below the last blossoms of the Jacaranda trees. Where the Chief's Boma has a more relaxed 'local is lekker' atmosphere (we even hosted the Ultimate Braai Master there), Bistro 407 offers a more upscale experience with offerings like Scottish Salmon, Wild mushroom & sun-dried tomato risotto and Lamb Noisette. However, it doesn't need to break the bank. We've created date night specials for locals too.

Local flavour flourishes

The Indaba Hotel was recently featured in a Tourism Update article on South African fooodie experiences. Food is at the heart of the South African tourism offering, says Barba Gaoganediwe, Gauteng Tourism Authority’s Head of Destination Promotions and Marketing. “Memories are stronger when linked to food. It delivers an intense experience that is remembered long after tourists return home.”

We have to agree! There is a return to showcasing local produce (as opposed to flaunting fancy imports), says Sharon Hunnink, Sales and Marketing Manager of Indaba Hotel. “Food offers the opportunity to not just delight the traveller but also show the diversity of South Africa and to educate tourists, she says. “There is also a focus on sustainability and awareness around wastage.”

The Chief's Boma

The Indaba Hotel aims to delight and educate. You can see this across our menu options. The Chief's Bomahas a distinctly South African offering with traditional dishes such as morogo spinach, vetkoek and beef, mopane worms and kapenta. Every dish represents the vast diversity found in our country, and it's a beautiful means for visitors to get a taste of our culture.

Our menu takes you to the Durban coast with spicy curries to the Cape with koeksisters and melktert, right north to Limpopo with Amarula crème brulée. This diversity also ensures that there's variety on offer and the international traveller is sure not to get bored. For example, The Boma also boasts a Shisa Nyama grill where our chefs prepare your preferred cut of meat, carefully selected by our on-premises butcher. It's then grilled to specification. This makes it a great combination of conventional buffet and tailor-made cooking.

The Gin Sensorium

The Indaba Hotel is continually looking at new ways to enthral our guests and has been home to the Inverroche Gin Schoolfor a year now. We continue to host collaborative specials, such as our latest Gin Tasting and Hors d'Oeuvre Pairingon the 11 December 2019. The gin school has also attracted Joburgers from our own neighbourhood, and we offer affordable foodie experiences such as the recent (and indulgent) gin and chocolate pairing for R200 per person. Other awesome collaborations include partnership pairings with KWV, the Jack Rabit Chocolate Studio and Pongracz.

Eat at the Indaba Hotel

  • Tantalise your tastebuds by booking a table at Bistro 407. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 18h00 until 22h30.
  • Create your very own bottle of gin to take home and learn all the fables and follies that lead to the popularity of this curious craft brew. Become a master gin distillerat the next event on 7 December 2019.
  • You can also make a true event of it and spoil a loved one. Attend Gin School, follow with a Bistro 407 dinner and enjoy bed and breakfast at the Indaba Hotel.
  • Join us for a Traditional Christmas Lunch Celebration at Chief's Boma on 25 December 2019.
Look out for other specials on our website here.

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The Mowana Spa launches Specialist Pedicure Deck

The month of July sees the launch of a new addition to the Mowana Spa at the Indaba Hotel – a specialised pedicure deck called The Retreat. Wonderfully cosy, the brand new Pedi Lounge and Nail Bar area allows outdoor bliss without exposure to winter’s lower temperatures.

Taking its name from the noble baobab tree, the Mowana Spa is an institution on the South Africas spa scene and has long enjoyed a prominent standing in Sandton’s collection of treatment centres. Currently the Fourways spa holds the number one slot on Tripadvisor.

The Retreat: Pedi Lounge and Nail Bar

Just a short turn off the bustling chaos of William Nicol Drive in Johannesburg, this new addition to the Mowana Spa is a sure antidote to city stress. Despite being so close and accessible, the tranquil bushveld setting and trickling waterways make this sanctuary feel a million miles away.

The Retreat embraces the outdoors, but the professional therapy deck and treatment area retains warmth thanks to clear view blinds and indoor heating - keeping the warmth where it belongs! Thatch and African reed ceilings create natural dappled light and the airy ambience is complimented by the tasteful afro-inspired decor. Everything harmonises with the Mowana Spa’s namesake and the serene new space does justice to Africa’s ‘Tree of Life’.

In order to retain intimacy, the fresh nail centre can cater for up to eight pedicures at a time (geared to small group gatherings if required), but cleverly planned pillars separate the seating into spaces that comfortably cater for couples too.

Kick off the treatment with mimosas and treats, let the sounds of gentle birdsong ease you in, put your feet up and relax into a plush LazyBoy chair. Professional pedicures start with a foot soak in rose gold tubs (inspired by the healing qualities of copper), followed by exfoliation to shed any unwanted winter layers. A cuticle treatment, heel scrub and foot massage ensue and its all topped off with a colour of your choice in either gelish or regular paint.

The designated deck is designed with exceptional experiences in mind. High Tea Journeys, an unusual Book Club Night Out or special Bachelorette Parties can all be arranged for memorable occasions.

The Retreat is the newest in a line of upgrades to the Indaba Hotel in Johannesburg. In addition to the spa’s specialist nail studio, other enhancements include Bistro 407, the spruced-up Courtyard Bar, three swish new Executive Suites, three luxe Junior Suites and the very popular Indaba Gin School, supported by Inverroche.

Opening specials at The Rereat Pedi Lounge and Nail Bar

Manicure & Pedicure Combo: R420 per person

This full treatment Includes a take home foot file, 50ml Matsimela body butter, a glass of wine and snacks.

Mowana Pedicure: R200 per person

Each fancy foot remedy includes a glass of wine for the ultimate post-work relaxation (add-on: gel for R80 and soak off for R60).

Mowana Manicure: R180 per person

Show off your hands this winter after we treat those tips. Each Mowana Manicure includes a glass of wine too (add-on: gel for R80 and soak off for R60).

Try one of Joburg’s most affordable spa packages

Other signature pamper journeys at the Mowana Spa include the decadent Mowana Full Day African Rejuvenation Pamper, which is an indulgent spa experience including meals and siz revitalising treatments. The romantic Mowana African Skies Night Spa Pamper includes dinner, complimentary beverages and three relaxing treatments. Ideal for date night. The indulgent Mowana African Escape Spa & Stay Pamper Journey provides the ultimate spoil and promises total relaxation.

We can't wait to welcome you.

  2823 Hits

Joburg finally has a Gin School

Gin-School-Indaba Hotel
Did you know Johannesburg has it’s very own Gin School? Right here in Fourways, the Indaba Hotel is home to a professional Gin School in association with prestigous South African gin-makers, Inverroche.

It’s one of the world’s oldest alcoholic drinks and specialists say we’re currently experiencing the second Gin Revolution. There are an estimated 6500 distilleries found across the world at the moment. We've decided to join ‘em.

Under the expertise of our master Gin School host, you can brew and distil your very own hand-crafted gin in one afternoon according to your personal palate. Whether you want heavy, swirling florals, sensational spices or simply citrus with a touch of berries and baobab, this class will give you an understanding of what goes into creating a good quality gin – and how it ought to taste.

It’s also way easier than you think.

Create your own craft gin in Joburg

Juniper berries form the basis of every gin. During the class, you'll have the chance to taste the little purple drops before adding them to your bottle and discover the root flavour of everyone’s favourite sundowner. Featuring a thin fig-like texture, each little kernel has a sharp peppery citrus flavour. Botanically speaking, these ‘berries’ are actually the female seeds of pinecones, but they look, feel and taste enough like berries to justify the more common name.

One reason we’re in the midst of another gin renaissance is that gin is relatively easy to make. Blessed with such botanical variety, here in South Africa this is especially so. Our workshop will have you brewing up a bottle blended to your personal tastes in a matter of hours in one effortless science class. The class begins with a little history – ever want to learn the origins of ‘Dutch Courage’? – and takes you through the art of gin-making step-by-step so that you can leave as a master gin distiller. Snacks are supplied and, of course, so is a range of gin cocktails set to inspire your own signature mixture.

How to book a spot at Joburg's Gin School

Each month there are set dates open to the public. Otherwise, a minumum of 10 people is required per distilling session.

What's included in the Gin Experience?

  • Two-hour Masterclass
  • 500ml bottle of hand crafted Gin with Personalised Label
  • Gin Booklet and Recipe Card
  • Fun Gift Tag
  • Life-long brewing skills

A Gin inspired canape menu or harvest table menu is also available for an additional cost per person. Sound good? Book your experience at the Gin Sensorium.
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Fourways’ oldest hotel renewed: Indaba launches heritage restaurant and more


Steeped in history as one of the oldest accommodation options in Fourways, Johannesburg, the charming Indaba Hotel now welcomes guests with a refreshing facelift and spruced up restaurants, including the new Bistro 407, that honour the hotel’s countryside roots.

History of the Indaba Hotel

At 67 years old this year, the Indaba Hotel was first known as the Little Rose Neath Hotel and straddled the outskirts of Johannesburg in the 1950s. Back then, the journey was a day's trip from the centre of Johannesburg, but it was one willingly made for the hotel’s sumptuous Sunday lunches.

The Indaba Hotel has been revamped

Today, the spacious Indaba Hotel is still true to its warm country house feel of 1952. Thatched rooms temper the weather and a revamped reception area, filled with light, is imbued with the greens and golds so characteristic of Johannesburg’s highveld grasslands. Sprawling Egoli eventually gobbled up those flaxen fields, bringing the city limits closer to the countryside, but the Indaba remains a calm, homely oasis despite the energy of bustling Fourways beyond its walls.

Rob Mickel, Director of the Indaba Group of Hotels proudly enthuses how, ‘Everyone has fond memories of the Indaba Hotel with many people celebrating a special occasion with us over the years. We really are part of the Fourways history. With the recent development of Fourways, we decided to upgrade and improve facilities whilst still maintaining the country look and feel, and “Mein Host” hospitality for which the Indaba Hotel Fourways is renowned’.

New Bistro 407 launched at Indaba Hotel

A new a la carte restaurant opened on 4 March 2019 within the well-established Epsom Restaurant, which remains synonymous with splendid buffet breakfast displays and excellent lunch variety. Bistro 407 is a smaller, more intimate eatery within the larger hotel dining area and is now open for more upscale dinners.

The name of the new bistro is another nod to the history of the Indaba Hotel, as the property began its life located on lot 407 of the original farm, Zevenfontein. More heritage commemoration can be found in the two new signature cocktails, namely the 407 Lavender Pina Colada and the decadent 407 Toasted Marshmallow Daiquiri, which features Toasted Marshmallow Flavouring and White Chocolate Sauce. Other tempting Bistro 407 menu options include Scottish Salmon, Wild mushroom & sun-dried tomato risotto, Lamb Noisette, perfect Smoked Pork Belly and the 407 Death by Chocolate dessert.

The last balmy summer days are perfect for al fresco dining on the wonderful outdoor deck or there’s Prive, the private dining room, which seats 12, for cosy winter dinners.

In addition to Bistro 407, other Indaba Hotel upgrades include the spruced up Courtyard Bar, which is an outdoors cafe set below the tall trees of Johannesburg’s urban forest and centred around an original farmhouse feature, a sweet 1950s-era fountain. There are also three swish new Executive Suites, three luxe Junior Suites and the very popular Indaba Gin School, supported by Inverroche.

These developments are the first completions of the Indaba’s 20/20 Vision, says Rob Mickel. ‘We are also extending our current Kgotla Venue with the new multi-purpose venue being 1200 square meters under roof. Ideal for large conferences and events this venue will be open in August 2019. Further extensions to our Mowana Spa, with a dedicated pedicure deck, will also be completed this March and current bathroom upgrades in our 9th block family and queen twin deluxe rooms are well underway. All upgrades and improvements will be completed by the beginning of 2020’.

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Just north of the fast paced business world of Sandton, Johannesburg lies the Indaba Hotel, Spa & Conference Centre nestled beneath the vista of the magnificent Magaliesberg Mountains.
It is a compelling blend of business-like convenience and efficiency, along with a relaxed and warm country hospitality atmosphere.

Phone: +27 (0) 11 840 6600

William Nicol Drive & Pieter Wenning Road Fourways

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