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.
Pay Back The CurryWith a play called Pay Back The Curry, it would be easy to fill a review with quips about it being red hot, spicy and full of flavour.
But rather leave the jokes and clever wordplays to its author Mike van Graan, whose newest production is a searing mix of wit, intelligence and social commentary.
Clever satire is an under-appreciated skill in South Africa, but Van Graan is an absolute master in the art. In the tradition of his awarding-winning Bafana Republic satires, this is a one-man show where the actor delivers a series of skits and different characters. 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:
6 Characters in Search of an AuthorNobody is really sure whether the play has begun or not. The lights are still on and benches are being shifted around on stage. Are the people sitting down on these makeshift rows part of the audience, or part of the cast?
If you like your plays to be clearly delineated between cast and spectators, with a real plot that everybody sticks to, then 6 Characters in Search of an Author will annoy the hell out of you. Read review:
Perfect PilanesbergYou 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 ShortsHello, My Name Is Doris: A sweet, funny story about an older woman suddenly obsessed by a far younger workmate. Pretty good, and Sally Field is great, but I'd have far preferred a British version rather than this American take. ***
Me Before You: I loved this book, a real tear-jerker, and the film is a pretty good version. Really glad it's a Brit affair - Hollywood would have healed our quadraplegic hero. ****
Youth: Michael Caine in a slow, surreal and sumptuous arthouse stroll through old age. Sit back and enjoy ***
The Truth: It's had mixed reviews, but I was sold on it. Shows the pressure of the newsrooms and the trade offs, in this case tainted by political influence that corrupts the media owners so journalists are fighting against their own bosses. SABC much?? ****
Sing Street: A jolly romp set in Dublin when some young misfits form a band. Touching and charming with a fabulous soundtrack from my youth! ****
The Man Who Knew Infinity: Slightly dull retelling of the true story of India's Srinivasa Iyengar whose maths skills earned him a place at Cambridge University during the Second World War. Good, with the niggling feeling that it could have been so much more ***
Genius: Interesting biopic on author Thomas Wolfe and his editor Max Perkins with the lovley Jude Law and Colin Firth. Made me want to actively avoid Wolfe's enormously wordy works, so maybe that counts as a fail? ***
The Idol: A sadly so-so movie with a childish feel because it spends so much time on the Arab Idol's childhood. An eye opener about conditions in Gaza, though.. ***