On Tuesday evening I was fortunate to enjoy a stay-over at the beautifully located five-star Tintswalo Atlantic on the Atlantic Ocean, at the foot of Chapman’s Peak in Cape Town. The invitation was to try out the newly rebuilt hotel, of which the public rooms were destroyed by a devastating fire in February this year, with accommodation suites renovated, and to provide feedback and suggestions ahead of the reopening of Tintswalo Atlantic on 1 October. A number of media representatives, travel trade representatives, as well as past guests have been invited to experience the Hotel during September. Continue reading →
Yesterday Leeu Collection announced two changes to its signature accommodation and spa property Leeu Estates, located on the outskirts of Franschhoek, with the opening of two restaurants on the estate. The hospitality company continues with its concept of inviting top chefs to operate the food and beverage offerings at Leeu Collection properties, as was recently announced at its Lakes District Linthwaite House property in the UK. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Bahia-Sub in Vilanova de Arousa, and its skipper Santiago. The boat company uses its rubber duck, seating about twelve Camino pilgrims at a time, transporting them on the Rio Sar, from Vilanova de Arousa to Pontecesures, a journey of about one hour, but we were on the water for 90 minutes. Skipper Santiago was a true gentleman, slowing down or stopping the engine to show and inform us about interesting sights along the way, including the mussel farming outside Vilanova de Arousa, the second largest in the world, clam fishing, crosses in honour of Saint James and two other holy persons on a little island on the river, and ruins of a church and a castle on the river bank, with a replica of a Viking boat that pilgrims used to travel to Santiago de Compostela. The real spoil was a tea break, with hot tea and a mini muffin served.
On Facebook I saw an article that attracted my interest and attention, being a proud litter cleaner in Camps Bay, about Pick n Pay trialing the use of paper bags in its fruit and vegetable departments, and selling these items loose and not pre-packaged, in 13 of its stores around the country.
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Lisbon train service, for its amazing train to Porto, and for the discount I received when making the booking at the Lisbon station, Initially the ticket seller told me that the second class tickets were sold out, and that I would have to buy a first class ticket at €85 for the three hour trip. He understood my question about a pensioner price, asked to see my passport, and lo and behold, I was given a second class ticket at €22! I mistakenly sat in the first class section initially, and the seats in both classes were almost identical, with footrests, and WiFi! South African trains have a long way to go! Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to El Corte Inglis department store in Porto, which has a fabulous free collection service at key tourist points and hotels in Porto. I made use of it to get to the store from the Se Cathedral, and to be dropped off back at my hotel. The second driver was a tour guide, pointing out key tourist attractions to me. On arrival at the store, I was told about the VIP promotion for foreigners, receiving 10% off on their purchases, which credit can be redeemed in certain departments. Whilst my shopping experience with the MAC cosmetic assistant was far from satisfactory, the Cosmetics Manager made up for it by assisting me with the payment of my purchase of their lipstick, given that the line that I like is to be discontinued. I was also invited to the restaurant, to enjoy a free Pasteis de Nata, and a glass of Port or a cup of coffee, graciously substituted for a lovely Tetley’s Tea when I requested it. And I could use the 10% credit to buy a fruit knife for my Camino journey. Continue reading →
Last Thursday my son and I visited Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens in Horsham, West Sussex, in the UK, on my first day of visiting the country. I loved seeing Chef Jean Delport, previously working at my then favorite restaurant Benguela on Main in Somerset West, and enjoying his creative take on Afternoon Tea at the estate.
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Today is the first day of a three-month adventure on three continents, and including five countries. Not only is it a personal journey, but it also completes my SwitchBitch Book 3 which I stated writing two months ago, and gives me the opportunity to visit and review restaurants I eat at on my Blog. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Travel Clinic, and its Dr Etienne Fourie and assistant Debbie Gresak, who managed to squeeze me in with no booking for a Yellowfever vaccination for an overseas trip, having been recommended by Grant from the Bantry Bay Pharmacy. Debbie did the paper work, spoke to the doctor to squeeze me in before a delayed patient, and offered to claim for part of the cost from Discovery! Excellent friendly service, Continue reading →
Last week I visited the home and studio of Three Potters and a Painter outside Stellenbosch, on my way to Franschhoek. I had first come across their ceramic work at Gåte restaurant, especially loving a black and white plate used in one of their dishes. They create works that bridge the gap between traditional design and contemporary innovation, with the aim of leaving their legacy in clay! Continue reading →