* China is set to become the largest wine producer in the world in the next five years it is suggested.
* The majority of tourists doing Township Tours in Cape Town felt safe, a study conducted by UCT students in winter has found.
* Tourists travelling in Mpumalanga are being intimidated and fined excessively for alleged driving transgressions, and have to pay in cash for these, reported Getaway editor Cameron Ewart-Smith, based on feedback he received from tourists. He described the practice as ‘shocking’, and damaging to tourism in South Africa.
* The best time of the day to get the maximum energy benefit from a cup of coffee is between 9h30 – 11h30, research has shown. The least effective coffee drinking times are 8h00 – 9h00, 12h00 – 13h00, and 17h30 – 18h30.
* Eikendal wine estate, midway between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, is hosting Summer Sundown Socials at its dam on Fridays after work, until the end of February. Snacks are available, prepared by Chef Mark Radnay and his team. Entrance costs R30. (received via media release from Random Hat Communications)
* Die Bergkelder is offering salted food pairings with Fleur du Cap Unfiltered Sauvignon Blanc is paired with sulphuric salt and dolmades made with wild rice; the Unfiltered Chardonnay is paired with rich green olive pesto and Black Lava Salt from Hawaii; Unfiltered Merlot is paired with prosciutto or chicken liver pâté with caramelised Onions and Murray River salt; and the Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon is paired with sun dried tomatoes and six month matured Gouda cheese and Khoisan salt; and Noble Late Harvest is paired with Maldon salted fudge. The pairings are available Mondays – Saturdays, at R75. (received via media release from GC Communications)
* Accommodation establishments need to balance their environmental responsibility with the need for guests to feel pampered. Replacing towels and bedding is generally done every three days, but often guests demand a daily change.
* The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel is pairing its 5 course dinner with Weltevrede wines on Thursday evening. The menu includes a starter of haloumi and seafood terrine on a potato guacamole with a prawn and feta veloute; a gorgonzola and pistachio nut stuffed chicken roulade; mixed nectarine and watermelon sorbet; slow-cooked sirloin; and white chocolate mousse cake with a minted ice-cream, assorted berries and fruit. R225 per person. (received via media release from Communication Services Africa)
* The blog of a brave 9 year old schoolgirl from Scotland was reinstated, after the local council banned it when she posted photographs of the school meals she was served, rating each of the meals out of 10, and asking questions about the origin of the food! Now she has been hailed as a blogging hero!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage