* Cape Town has been named third best city in the world by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 Top Cities listing. It was beaten by Paris and Trinidad, but was ranked ahead of Riga (capital of Latvia), Zurich, Shanghai, Vancouver, Chicago, Adelaide, and Auckland. Top 10 countries in the world are Brazil, Antarctic (unusual to call this a country!), Scotland (is it not part of the UK?), Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium, Macedonia, and Malaysia. The rationale for Cape Town’s ranking was: ‘Expect sculpture-lined green spaces, sustainable projects that are more than just a pretty face, and further regeneration of former industrial districts. 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of South African democracy – honour it by exploring the city’s history,’ encourages the travel guide.
Cape Town was crowned with first place in the category Top 10 Cities in Africa and the Middle East and ranked eleventh in the Top 25 Cities in the World by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The city as also rated tops as Africa’s Leading Destination and also as Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination by World Travel Awards. (received via e-mail from Rabbit in a Hat Communications)
* Renowned Chef Raymond Blanc is redesigning the winter and afternoon tea menus of the Eurostar.
* Bruce Springsteen will perform in Cape Town on 28 and 29 January at the Bellville Velodrome.
* A new government austerity program in China is impacting on restaurant turnover, as top end French and other wine brands are not bought in great quantities anymore as they are now seen to be ‘symbols of excessive extravagance and have (been) banned by the well-documented government austerity measures’. The ban on state banquets is affecting restaurant turnovers too. Wine importers are seeing flat sales and less profit.
* S A Tourism’s Social Media agency in the USA, Sparkloft Media, has won a Travel Weekly Magellan Gold Award in the Travel Destinations category for its #VisitSouthAfrica Influencer Programme in which a number of bloggers participated.
* The South African Wine Festival and Tasting, held in Kampala in Uganda in a collaboration between SAA and Wines of South Africa (WOSA), was supported by 24 wine brands, including those by Distell, ‘Graham Becks’, DGB, ‘Kannonkop‘, and ‘Robertson‘.
* Rickety Bridge is the official wine supplier for the Clipper 13-14 Race. The wine estate produces sixteen wines, which will be served at official events during the Clipper 13-14 Round the world Yacht Race. Owner Duncan Spence said: ‘Having sponsored a yacht for the Isle of Sark in the last Global Challenge around the world race in 2008, Rickety Bridge is proud to be associated once again with the brave and adventurous Clipper 13-14 Race that echoes its values, independence, integrity, quality and spirit of adventure’. The race started on 1 September from St Katharine Docks in London, returning next July after a 40,000 mile race, visiting 14 ports. (received via media release from Rickety Bridge)
* The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel’s monthly 5-course Wine & Dine dinner will be paired with wines from Rainbow’s End on Thursday evening, and costs R225. (received via media release from Communication Services Africa)
* Catharina’s at Steenberg is hosting a 4-course nose-to-tail ‘Cabbages & Cannibals‘ dinner on 21 November, at R380. (received via e-mail from Catharina’s)
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage