A Naughty Weekend away in Melrose Arch
JHBlive’s client Protea Fire & Ice Hotel invited us to experience their special "50 Shades of Fire and Ice” weekend package.
As the universe had it, the invite fell on my sixth-year wedding anniversary weekend. What I failed to do is put two and two together and claim credit for a bit of universal luck. Instead, I told my wife that we were going to review the kinky package without taking the anniversary into account.
We have always wondered what it would be like to spend a night at Melrose Arch. Tourists seem to love it. It is a unique spot in Johannesburg, not quite a Shopping Centre, more like an organic walkable neighbourhood … but then again, not. Most of my experiences of going to Melrose Arch have involved odd dinners at Moyo business meetings at JB’s and some family lunches at Tasha’s. With this in mind, we arrived at the Fire and Ice foyer.
I was completely smashed from a long week of work and trying to shake off this terrible flu that seems to be plaguing the city. A young, delightful behind-the-desk-lady warmly greeted us. We gave her our surname. She entered it into her PC. Her eyebrows rose. She smiled and welcomed us by name. I could also see her finger, out of the corner of my eye, slide towards what appeared to be a hidden button – kind of like the action a bank teller would take if being robbed. It turned out to the opposite of alarm – the reviewer from JHBLive had arrived and the manager Lucky was being alerted. Impressive. He welcomed us warmly and genuinely, and we knew we were going to be spoilt rotten.
After crossing the Ts and dotting the Is, we took the lift to our room. On our door where the “do not disturb” sign sometimes hangs were a pair of hand cuffs wrapped in pink fluffy stuff – a fun touch. Inside the room, a bottle of good bubbly was chilling on ice alongside some whipped cream, a platter of decadent chocolates, a blindfold and about a million rose petals spread all over the place.
My week had been that exhausting that I missed all the otherwise knock-you-over-the-head nuances of the room. However, through my drooping eyelids I could see my wife sparkle and shine as she pointed out all the kinky kinks. It was 3pm and I was concerned that if we tested the bed then I would not arise or arouse again for the day.
So we decided to explore the streets…
We thought that we needed to go big or go home. We went past the comedy club Goliath which looked really cool but then got side tracked by Paul – a decadent French-style patisserie on a busy corner. We sat on the street and drank wine, ate onion soup from a bread bowl and spoke kak. It was kind of like sitting in a street in Paris, but not, but it was fun.
We then slowly strolled towards Churchill's Bar. Admittedly it was a bit early but when we arrived there all the tables and booths were booked so we downed our gin and tonics, spoke more kak and then went to the Fire and Ice for our special package dinner.
Lucky was on form and ushered us into a private booth filled with petals. The food was as you imagine 50 Shades to be: fresh oysters, aromatic Caprese salad, soft salmon and bound up veg parcels, next came the most erotic, sugar-dripping, chocolate-exploding delectable deserts… and wine, tequila, more wine and giant cocktails… so we got pretty shmangled by the end of dinner.
Heading to sleep was a blur. Let’s just say we slept well. Although the morning broke with the first light revealing far-flung rose petals, chocolate cake smudged across the floor and a broken champagne glass. It was now only a day away from our anniversary; after 15 years of being in a relationship, six years of marriage and one delicious child it was good to know we could still rock it like we used to and hopefully always will.
Happy anniversary my love.
by Michael Balkind