TripAdvisor announces 2019 Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Awards ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurants’ in South Africa, La Colombe makes a meal of it!

It amuses me how much weight La Colombe places on the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, clearly because it is the only awards ranking in which it comes first, and in which it beats its arch enemy The Test Kitchen, despite most serious restaurant diners knowing how questionable a TripAdvisor rating, and therefore this Award ranking, is!

The 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Top 10 List of ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurants’ in South Africa has just been announced: 


  1.  La Colombe in Cape Town, and 12th on the World’s Best Fine Dining Restaurants List  – Photograph 
  2. The Test Kitchen in Cape Town 
  3. De Grendel Restaurant in Cape Town 
  4. Le Bon Vivant in Franschhoek 
  5. Bel Punto in Umdloti
  6. Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch 
  7. Black Bamboo in Pretoria
  8. Cavalli Restaurant in Stellenbosch
  9.  Pigalle Restaurant in Cape Town 
  10. The Pot Luck Club 

Given the ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurants’ description of this ranking, you know there is something seriously suspect with these awards when: 

#  it includes unknown restaurants in Pretoria and Umdloti, a dinner dance restaurant in Cape Town, and only three of the restaurants on this Top 10 List have been acknowledged by Eat Out, even if only in its Top 30 shortlist.  

#  it excludes our top Fine Dining restaurants The Restaurant at Waterkloof, Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, Camphors at Vergelegen, Le Coin Français in Franschhoek, Grei at The Saxon, Greenhouse, FYN, and others. 

Laughable is the response by La Colombe to its awards, in describing the TripAdvisor Travelers’ (sic) Choice Awards 2019 as ‘acclaimed’!  Chefs Scot Kirton and James Gaag are quoted (in poor English) as saying about the awards: ‘The unique fact about this recognition, is that it is the ‘people’s choice’ – an unsolicited review by diners from all over the world. Our team is absolutely delighted with this award’!

An awards system with a Restaurant ranking which can be manipulated by reviews by friends and family, the criticism levelled against TripAdvisor reviews in general, has no credibility at all!


Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein


2 replies on “TripAdvisor announces 2019 Top 10 Travellers’ Choice Awards ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurants’ in South Africa, La Colombe makes a meal of it!”

  1. Nick Jones says:

    I’ve read our stuff for years but your blind prejudice towards your many perceived enemies has gone far enough.

    Bye bye, enjoy your sad little world.

  2. Haha Nick

    Talk about prejudice… pot calling the kettle black 😂

    You clearly are one of the TripAdvisor trippers. You should read honest reviews here rather than manufactured ones on TA!

    My life is very happy, very rude comment to make just because you don’t agree or feel cheated by TA. You sound like the typical Whinging Pom!


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