The Bluff in Durban has long been popular for its lifestyle and good selection of property. Long-time resident Roxi Wardman, MasterChef SA 2014 winner, tells us why she calls it home.
There are few tales of Durban's history that don’t include a few anecdotes about the Bluff. Today, with its iconic lighthouse, it’s visible from most houses with a view. For Roxi Wardman, MasterChef SA 2014 winner, it’s where she’s lived for 10 years, and has now settled with her husband. “I love the fact that the Bluff is a ‘helping community’. Perhaps because it’s essentially a small suburb. No matter what, everybody is always willing to help each other – there’s something great about that community spirit!”
For now, Roxi and her husband have chosen to live in a spacious flatlet on the grounds of her parents-in-law’s home, and they’re making plans to alter and extend it. Even though her restaurant is in Glenwood, the Bluff is home for her. “It’s super central to basically everything, and I have easy access to work or play.”
With only one access road in and out of the Bluff, the region’s always been considered a safe haven. There’s a wide range of different properties – from palatial homes with sensational sea views, to small duplexes in affordable gated complexes. Some homes are perched right on the cliff – in roads such as Marine Drive, with the sea literally pounding below – while others are closer to the coastline with easy beach access. Roxi lives five minutes from the beach, and that’s where she can most often be found chilling.
As with anybody in the hospitality business, Roxi works on Sundays. “When I get home, it’s time to relax! I love to watch movies or play with my dogs. But if we do want to get out, our new favourite is the revamped Eco Park. Whether you want to rent a bike and do a trail ride, or just have a picnic, it has a great botanical gardens feel.”
Being a creative person involved with everything culinary, Roxi always leans towards the more artisanal places to eat out, and she admits that they’re few and far between on the Bluff. “I really value the intimacy and personal attention to detail that artisanal venues provide, so we normally eat out in nearby Glenwood.”
Living on the Bluff is more about people and family than bright lights
- Anstey’s Beach: the most popular, sociable beach where you’ll find everybody.
- Garvies Beach: a quiet, less populated stretch of beach.
Brighton Beach and Cave Rock: renowned for great waves.
Things to do:
Visit Treasure Beach: the education centre is not open to the public, but visitors are free to roam the unique grassland, the rocky shore, the coastal forest and wetland area.
- Bluff National Park Golf Club: an 18-hole course in a wetland conservation area.
- Bluff Nature Reserve (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife): 45ha with a self-guided trail, two bird hides and a pan – a haven for water birds, waders and birdwatchers.
- Bluff Eco Park: for picnicking, rustic accommodation and camping/caravanning, proximity to the beach, coffee shop and venue hire.
Roxi in a nutshell:
- Born in Polokwane in 1988.
- I moved around many times, but no matter where we lived, the constant was always food.
- Both my parents are really great cooks. My mother’s family is Portuguese, so loads of cooking for family get-togethers.
- I grew up watching both my grandparents cook and bake, and I was always licking the bowl.
- Since I was tiny, my mom allowed me to go wild in the kitchen, which definitely fuelled my passion for cooking.
- I entered MasterChef in the hope it would set me on the career path I dreamed of, and it certainly did!
- In May 2016, I opened my own little piece of heaven – Spoonful Eatery, in Glenwood.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.