The world through my eyes.
Welcome to my website! I'm Lesley, a freelance travel & leisure journalist based in stunning South Africa. Which means no matter where in the world I visit, it's always a thrill to come back home. Here you'll find some of my travel articles, hotel and lodge reviews and my quirky, warped and opinionated ideas on life, love, cheesecake and everything else crucial for survival. Check out my theatre reviews too - you may think I'm harsh sometimes, but I reckon I just tell it like it is!
If you want to follow me on Twitter, I'm on @lesley_stones
Have fun, and travel safely.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatWhen the jail cell closes and Joseph falls to his knees in a stark beam of limelight, I wasn’t ready.
This new production of that favourite old musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, hadn’t pulled me in enough yet to try to tug my heartstrings with the powerful number Close Any Door To Me. Read review:
Aspirational IslandsFlying over the Indian Ocean towards the gorgeous islands of Mozambique is like entering a kid’s over-imaginative colouring book.
Your camera works overtime to capture the stunning white sand and vivid green palm trees strewn across a dozen shades of iridescent blue. These are aspirational islands, boasting year-round sunshine, a laid back atmosphere, fine food and friendly locals, and none of the hustle and bustle of the mainland.
The best way to get there is by helicopter or light aircraft rather than by boat, which is pricy but worth it for the bragging rights and the incredible views! Read review:
Perfect Pilanesbergou know a game drive isn't going too well when the ranger stops to talk about impala.
Usually you drive straight by, dismissing them as too common to care about. But so far our 5am safari has yielded nothing but trees and empty clearings, and ranger Danie Fourie doesn’t want unhappy guests.
I’m beginning to wonder whether Pilanesberg Game Reserve was a bad choice when Fourie abandons the impala and picks up speed. We’re on the trail of lion, and suddenly the anticipation is electric. Read review:
Bistro MichelThe great thing about going to a restaurant with a group of friends is the chance to try lots of different dishes.
Unless you all decide to choose exactly the same – which is what happened over supper at Bistro Michel. Not because there was nothing else to tempt us on the menu. Just that the Duck & Cherry Pie is a kind of signature dish for chef Michel Morand and has a 25-year track record. Morand now holds court at Bistro Michel in Johannesburg’s Blubird Centre. His reputation is the drawcard, since he previously owned the five-star Auberge Michel and before that was a partner in Gatriles, another fine old favourite. Read Review:
SteveHere's me and my very lovely man, Steve Ormond, who fought so hard to beat off meningitis and then survive the series of strokes the illness caused.
He didn't make it.
He died on April 21 after such an incredibly brave battle and such determination not to leave me. He did it with grit and courage and humour and so much love that the last nine months were incredibly special for us, yet unbelievably cruel.
I love you Steve. I'm going to come and find you one sweet day.
Here's a piece I wrote about him:
Cine ShortsRemember: An unsettling story of men still seeking vengeance for Nazi atrocities. Christopher Plummer is brilliant, but it haunted me for days. ****
Sing Street: A jolly romp set in Dublin when some young misfits form a band. Sweet and charming with a fabulous soundtrack from my youth! ****
Bastille Day: Slightly jinjoistic tosh but an exciting chase through Paris with hunky Idris Elba playing the hard-ass CIA guy. Idriss for Bond, I say! ****
Spotlight: Excellent film with a shocking story that makes you cringe while applauding the dedication of Boston Globe journalists who blew the cover on Catholic church child abuse. Disturbing stuff, but a must see. *****
The Dressmaker: Not the pretty piece of frippery I was expecting. These pins have venom in them, with Kate Winslet excellent as vengeful and vulnerable. Good viewing. ***