Sweet Service Award goes to the Park Hyatt Mendoza; Sour Service Award goes to Uber Mendoza!

South African flag.
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Park Hyatt Hotel Mendoza and its GM Miguel Ángel Bermejo, for his excellent service recovery after a shaky start when I checked in at the hotel a week ago. He had been traveling and away from the hotel for a few days, yet made time on the day of his arrival to meet with me for a tea/coffee, so that I could share the service incident with him. Before meeting with him, he had already sent three bottles of wine to my room, as well as a vase of flowers for my bathroom. What blew me away was that he had the South African flag hoisted outside the hotel during my stay, an amazing touch. During our meeting he recommended top restaurants in Santiago in Chile, he organised a room for me for an extra night, had top lady clothing shop names sent to my room, had a table reserved for me at a local restaurant he recommended highly, as being the best in Mendoza, and invited me to try their Bistro. He is an excellent listener, and had done his homework on me. He is honest, and not defensive about the feedback. A day later I asked him a question via a concierge, and he came to reception, to say hello personally. Unbelievable service! Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Don Julio Parrilla in Buenos Aires earns its 34th World Best Restaurant ranking with exceptional service!

Whilst visiting Buenos Aires, I was very fortunate to be able to reserve a table each at Tegui (86th Best) and at Don Julio Parrilla (34th Best) on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant List. The two Argentinian restaurants swopped rankings this year, Don Julio having previously played second fiddle to Tegui, and the steak specialist restaurant jumped an incredible twenty one places to make it into the World’s 50 Best List, whilst Tegui dropped 31 places. My Tegui Review is on my Blog, and explains why the restaurant lost its standing this year. Continue reading →

A first introduction to Argentinian wines!

Before arriving in Buenos Aires on this my second visit to the city, I had not prepared for my visit from a wine perspective, my main goal in spending a month in Argentina being to learn to dance the Tango. I have planned to visit Mendoza, renowned for its Malbec, have attended a wine tasting and food pairing evening at COWI in Buenos Aires, drunk three wines at the dinner at Buenos Aires’ Tegui, 86th Best Restaurant in the World, one wine at Don Julio, the 34th Best Restaurant in the World and Best in Argentina, and two wines at dinner at 1884 Restaurant in Mendoza. I have summarised my initial knowledge about the wine industry of Argentina, the fifth largest in the world, to which I have added some research information too. Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award goes to the Alvear Palace Hotel; Sour Service Award goes to Uber Buenos Aires!

 

The Sweet Service Award goes to the Alvear Palace Hotel, and its Food & Beverage Manager Alfredo Daniel Rodriguez, for its Service recovery. I shared an unsatisfactory experience in the Bar of the Hotel earlier this week with the Hotel Receptionist, who passed on my card to Alfredo. Alfredo emailed me, and then called me, apologised, and invited me for a make-good, to experience their true five star service. And that it was, being shown a behind the scenes set up for a Barmitzvah and then offered the Bar Menu, and invited to order what I wanted. I had a first Jameson in Buenos Aires, and ordered a mushroom quiche with a salad. All sorts of extra treats accompanied this order. Gracias Alfredo and the Alvear. Continue reading →

Manley Communications cannot distinguish between ‘copy and paste’ cribbing by Michael Olivier and a ‘review’ for the newly opened Grande Roche Hotel and Viande Restaurant!

It has been some years ago that I criticized lazy ‘copy and paster’ Michael Olivier for his lack of ethics in posting stories about wine estates and restaurants on his Blog. Earlier this week my eye caught a glowing thanks to Olivier by Manley Communications, as follows: ‘Thank you dearest Michael Olivier for the fantastic review’. Except that it wasn’t a review at all, it appearing that Olivier has not even visited the newly refurbished Grande Roche nor eaten at its new Viande restaurant! A PR company therefore praising its own media release content has morals as poor as those of the ‘copy and paster’ Olivier!

Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: Tegui Restaurant in Buenos Aires (86th Best in World) food does not match its interior design, oversalted, masculine in its presentation!

 

On Saturday evening I ate dinner at Tegui Restaurant in Palermo, Buenos Aires, getting a reservation easily at this the 86th Best Restaurant in the World. While it has an attractive interior design, its food presentation does not match this look, and while suggesting that it is Proudly Argentinian, it seemed a little too close to what Peruvian 6th Best Restaurant Central is serving! The Chef sadly oversalts his food.  Continue reading →

My Top 21 recommendations for what to see and do in Havana, Cuba!

I arrived in Havana on 3 July 2019, with no preparation of what I wanted to see or do, except that I wanted to learn to dance the Salsa. I was lucky that a slightly out of date ‘Cuba’ Guide by Lonely Planet was lying in the lounge of the San Lazaro BnB I stayed at. I annexed it for the more than three weeks that I stayed there, and found useful background information in it, but perhaps it contains too much information, not just focused on Havana, my only destination in Cuba, therefore making a large part of the book irrelevant to me. Much more useful was the Guidebook ‘300 Things to love about Havana’ by Heidi Hollinger, focused on Havana, divided into the various suburbs of Havana, with an address, a good representative photograph, and largely accurate in its descriptions, even if published in 2018. 
 

Continue reading →

Restaurant Review: LimaLove Tasting Menu Lunch at AstridyGastón an exceptionally lucky experience!

Lima is the world’s best Restaurant city, with two restaurants in the Top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List. When I decided to make a three day stop in Lima, to experience what makes this city so exceptional, I could not get a seat at Central (6th Best) or at Maido (10th Best), nor at Astrid y Gastón, now at 67th Best in the 51 – 120 sublist for 2019, having been a World’s 50 Best restaurant for many years, at number 36 in 2018. Being in Lima but not being able to eat at any of its top restaurants was frustrating, so I wrote an email to Astrid y Gastón restaurant, kindly asking if they had a table available for me. And they kindly replied with a Yes! And I was lucky to get into Central Restaurante too, also in the last minute, as well as at Kjolle, the sister restaurant to Central. A three day feast.  Continue reading →

Sweet Service Award goes to Central Restaurante in Lima; Sour Service Award goes to Uber Buenos Aires!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Central Restaurante in Lima, Peru, and its hostess Chloe, for allocating a table to me for a lunch 24 hours later, when I arrived to eat at Central sister restaurant Kjolle last week. I had not been able to book a table at Central, sixth Best Restaurant on the World’s 50 Best restaurant list, 30 days in advance of my Lima dates via their online reservation system. Continue reading →

Chef Simon Rogan to open HenRock restaurant at Leeu Collection Linthwaite House in the Lake District!

The latest news from Leeu Collection is the opening in October 2019 of its new Restaurant Henrock at its Lake District UK Boutique Hotel Linthwaite House, to be operated by acclaimed UK Chef Simon Rogan. Head Chef of the new restaurant, Brian Limoges, has worked at acclaimed Atelier Crenn, a World’s 50 Best Restaurant. 

I’m posting the media release, as received, below. Continue reading →