It is hard to imagine that just over 20 years ago there were very few buildings in Umhlanga. All of that has changed now and development is booming with hotels, shops, malls, apartments and residential complexes. One of the newest shopping centres is The Pearls Mall which is situated at the Pearls development which consists of the apartment buildings Pearl Dawn, Pearl Breeze, Pearl Reef, Pearl Tides and the newest Pearl Sky which is still being constructed.
The Pearls Mall has a convenient and exclusive range of retail stores for residents and visitors with a gym, supermarket, hair salon, beauty salons, stationery, clothing and various other stores. It also has a great range of restaurants. Thanks to Rainmaker Marketing I and a few other ladies got to try out a few of the Pearls Mall stores.
We started out with breakfast at African Roots Coffee which I have written about before – read here. This was the third time I had been to the coffee shop and the second time to have breakfast. Mark and Christine Platt have put a lot of love and attention to detail to their coffee shop. Mark is very involved in the coffee side, making sure to source the best beans and getting them roasted to perfection. The baristas are well trained and make a fabulous cappuccino. Check the board to see what the coffee choices are or ask the waiter. If you are undecided whether to choose a Kenyan, Ethiopian or other single origin coffee they will gladly help you decide. Christine takes care of the food side and all the ingredients are sourced from local suppliers – well except for the croissants which are the genuine French ones flown in uncooked and frozen. Bread is from Glenwood Bakery and the delicious cupcakes and other sweet items come from Smith’s Bakeshop and Madeleine’s.
I had delicious Poached Eggs on Artisanal Toast Benedict Style with Bacon for breakfast and of course a cappuccino. I also had half a French croissant and a starter of their Banting friendly muesli served with plain yoghurt.
Next up was Planet Fitness which is situated on the lower floor with a full range of exercise machines and all manner of other fitness items for the gym freak. They also have a studio for exercise classes and we had fun doing a 20 minute class with one of their instructors. I had not been in an exercise class for many years and I surprised myself in still remembering how to do some of the moves. After the cool down another instructor gave a 20 minute class in Pilates, which I had never tried before. It was very good and I certainly felt the work on my muscles the following day. I actually want to try and find a Pilates class in my area now.
After Planet Fitness a great place to get a pick me up is at Power Plant which is situated right outside the gym and below the escalators. I have had a cappuccino here before which I enjoyed but this day it was smoothie time. I enjoyed a Berry Blitz which was very refreshing and kept me going until lunch time. For those that love getting the right Instagram photo you will love the motorbike and decor at Power Plant.
Wanting a quick change of colour on your nails? Then you have to visit Nail-It which is close to Power Plant. Just take your smoothie or coffee with you. I had a hard time choosing a colour for my nails and I eventually decided on Ice Box Colors “Tanzanite Ice” which is a beautiful blue. Melody expertly applied the colour while I finished off my smoothie and chatted to the other ladies.
Grant Harper Salon is situated near the escalators on the top level of the mall. The staff is friendly and welcoming and you are quickly offered a glass of bubbly or some orange juice. They have a small waiting area right by the door but I was quickly whisked away to get my hair washed. The products used on my hair were the Wella Oil Reflections range. After my hair was washed I relaxed with my glass of orange juice while my hair was expertly blow dried. The decor is mostly black and white with gold and turquoise accents. I love the touches of greenery from well chosen and healthy looking plants. I felt like a new woman with my freshly washed and styled hair.
The next stop for me was at Hello Hunny for a foot and leg massage and to have my toe nails painted. What a beautiful and very relaxing salon! They have the most comfortable chairs to sit back and relax in while having your feet attended to. The beauty therapists don’t have to carry ugly and heavy basins of water around as the basins are set into the floor and have a drainage system. They sell the Kalahari range of beauty products, Honey jewellery and handbags, beautiful leather sandals and a small range of designer clothing. I couldn’t mess up the beautiful Crisnail nail polish on my toenails so I carried my shoes and walked bare foot to have lunch at The Village Table. The security guard stationed at the residents elevators thought that was very funny.
The Village Table has the most amazing decor and is light and airy and the restaurant was quite full for a Thursday afternoon. There was much laughter and joy from a large table of ladies celebrating a milestone birthday. I ordered a cappuccino (not surprising) and found out from the waitress that their coffee is supplied by the Coffee Merchant which is based in Durban. After a lot of paging through the menu I decided to order one of my favourite meals – chicken schnitzel. This schnitzel was served with a blue cheese sauce, chips and sweet potato curls. The blue cheese sauce was not strong enough for me but was perfect for another lady who had the same dish. The chicken was soft and succulent and the topping was crispy. It was already late in the afternoon so I didn’t have any dessert although there were a good range of sweet choices like Crème Brulee.
Yes I did put my shoes back on for the walk back to my car! It was a wonderful and relaxing day and I happily made my way through the afternoon traffic and didn’t even get upset when stopped by a blue light convoy.
So the next time you are in Umhlanga and looking for a place to eat, shop or have a beauty treatment – make your way to The Pearls Mall. I will definitely be back.
The Pearls Mall