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If you’re not ‘On the Grid’ you’re ‘Off the Grid’ which means you’re in the dark. We’re here to shed some light on all the glamorous events, exciting adventures and new innovations happening in a city near you.

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1. Distillery 031

Award winning craft distillery from Durban’s Station Drive Situated in the hub of Durban’s Station Drive, Gin pioneers Distillery 031 has been picking up an armful of coveted international and local awards for their original artisanal spirits. A decade in the making, after distilling its first experimental batch in 2008, this year has become an award-winning vintage for the bespoke Durban distillery. Distillery 031 is owned by Andrew Rall who is passionate about creating craft spirits that offer a distinctly Durban unique flavour.  

Earlier this year, the Durban based distillery won the prestigious title of “South African Gin of the Year” for their Durban Dry Gin at the New York International Spirit Competition.  This is the eighth New York International Spirit Competition, held in the heart of New York City across from Rockefeller Centre, and had entries from 23 countries in over 50 categories. Distillery 031 was also thrilled to win the South African Absinthe of the Year and a gold medal for their Ancestors Absinthe. 

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition Award is one of the most influential competitions globally. Distillery 031 walked away with two well-deserved silver medals for their Durban Dry Gin and their just launched Heart of Darkness Coffee Liquor. Having only entered the two categories, Rall was delighted with these achievements. “The 2017 competition had another record-breaking entry that featured 2,253 spirit entries from all corners of the world, and it is a huge feather in our cap that we managed to be recognised with both of our entries.” Gin has experienced a global resurgence over the past five years and is now the fastest growing spirit in the world.  Distillery 031 has added to their D’Urban Gin range with a Barrel Aged Gin which is a first for the South African Gin market. The new Gin complements the multiple award-winning Durban Dry Gin, a classic London Dry style gin with a twist. Durban’s Rall was blown away when he won two gold medals at the Global Gin Masters in London, the leading spirit competition in the UK. Distillery 031 racked up gold medals for their Durban Dry Gin and their newly launched Barrel Aged Gin. Closer to home, Rall and Distillery 031 received word that they had won two Golds and four Silvers at this year’s Michelangelo International Wine and Spirit Awards held in Cape Town. 

This is the 21st year that the top local award ceremony acknowledging South African creations has been held and had over 1,600 entrants in a variety of categories. 28 Judges from 22 countries adjudicated the competition. An ecstatic Rall enthused, “We won the most number of medals of any craft distillery at the Michelangelo awards. This, together with the number of international awards we have received this year means that 2017 certainly surpassed our expectations. Our D’Urban Dry Gin has been acknowledged in the States, twice and also at the Gin Masters in the UK. We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!”Distillery 031 offers tours and tastings where guests can learn about the art of distilling and sample the fine spirits manufactured onsite. The venue also has a restaurant with a Cocktail bar serving Spanish style G&T’s and craft cocktails.

For more info visit or contact them on 087 941 4540.



2. From Mrs Universe to a universe of change

Durban wife, mum and businesswoman, Trisha Poona, who represented South Africa at the glitzy Mrs Universe pageant at the city’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre on 2 September 2017, has harnessed her passion for women empowerment to fulfil her dream of “helping women be the best version of themselves.” Trisha, 37, a fitness and image consultant, is determined to educate, inspire and bolster the confidence of South African teenagers, young women and older individuals so they can live a life of purpose and passion without prejudice.

Trish has teamed up with model and 2015 Miss South Africa finalist, Iman Sheik, to launch Flourish Image, a women empowerment initiative directed at individuals at various stages of womanhood. Combining their expertise in lifestyle and image consulting, Trisha and Iman are working tirelessly to remodel self-esteems to help each woman/teenager identify their purpose so they can craft a future based on confidence and “being comfortable in their own skin.”

“Before I started Flourish Image, I was a fitness trainer at a gym in Umhlanga where I got to train men and women and be part of their incredible journey to weight loss and fitness,” says Trisha. “Their changes were not just physical but emotional and social too. The sense of self confidence and self-esteem they derived from the journey was incredible to see. Being part of their personal triumph together with the women empowerment ethos of Mrs South Africa and Mrs Universe helped me realise my passion for utilising my skills to effect positive, impactful change in our women and girls.”


3. Starbucks hits Durban

By far one of the nicest events of the year. Anybody who was anybody attended the trendy, stylish opening of the US based coffee shop. Which by the way is so much more than just that. It was great to see local designers, TV personalities and celebrities all having fun and enjoying a night out and relaxing – chilled coffee in hand. With Vanessa Marawa as MC and great entertainment from Afrobeat and the evening was just “frappucionolicious”.

Florida Road in Durban was all the buzz on Tuesday, (21 November) as VIP guests, local celebrities joined together to welcome the launch of the first Starbucks store in KZN. 

With delicious coffee on hand, trendy food, live entertainment and coffee tasting experiences, the launch exuded a great vibe and set its mark on the famous Durban eatery strip, ahead of its launch to the public on Saturday, 25 November 2017 and the opening of the Gateway store in the first week of December.

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4. Castle Lite Ice Bar 
Now this was a revelation! A bar made completely from ice and just as you would expect freezing cold to boot. A great concept and certainly a novel one in sunny SA. With boots, gloves and jackets which you we are given to keep warm and an ‘oxygen’ mask before entry, visiting the ice bar is definitely something you should try, if and when it comes to your city.Great vibe, good food and of course plenty of the brown liquid to keep your thirst at bay.


Durban proved why it’s South Africa’s playground when the coldest bar in Africa hit its shores. The launch event was an unforgettable experience that left guests wanting more of the Extra Cold showcase.

While the ice bar was the main attraction that saw celebrities such as DJ Sox, Denise Zimba, Dash, DJ Cndo & Queen Zaba turn up in sub-zero temperatures, it was the fashion exhibition from KultureKollektives that was the ultimate show stopper. Guests were surprised by the exhibition which showcased local brands in a never before seen format with pieces from SMB, BEAUTIFUL BOYS, OHYESLORD as well as UNICONZ. In the most extraordinary reveal, models walked out of fridges and danced on vintage cars while guests snapped all around them, bringing the impossible to life.



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