There is only one way to get back to South Africa from South America, and that is from São Paulo in Brazil. I decided to grant myself a little rest break in Rio de Janeiro, while I was in the country, rather than visit São Paulo, at the end of a three-month trip in Cuba and in South America. I visited the top tourist attractions and restaurants in this city. Continue reading →
The publishers of the Gourmet Guide 2020 have made it really difficult to write this post, in that it is not revealing its full list of 36 restaurants that received its one, two, or three plate awards on Monday, until January 2020, its website states. One can surmise that it wants the Gourmet Guide 2020 to be bought so that it can generate income. By January these Awards will have long been forgotten! 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.
The Sweet Service Award goes to Emirates, for the excellent service on board their A380 flight to London from Dubai in particular, operated in conjunction with Qantas. The food is excellent, the seats wide and comfortable with ample legroom, and the service far better than the Cape Town – Dubai leg. On the Cape Town – Dubai leg we were offered the menus after the trolley came to our seats, and when I asked what type of fish was served, the hostess said that she did not know, thinking it was ‘white fish’. I was disappointed to not have seen the menu in advance, as it was hake, and I would have chosen this instead of the spicy chicken alternative.
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 →
For the third year running Jenny Handley Promotions has recognised top restaurants, and is an interesting predictor of Eat Out Awards, even though they do not always coincide. The 2019 Awards winners and Gourmet Guide were revealed on Monday. A total of 25 restaurants and their chefs were recognised with one, two or three Plate awards. Continue reading →
Yesterday I attended the launch of Yumcious Café in the DeVille Centre in Durbanville, the second restaurant of Chef Jenny Morris, her first one being the very successful Yumcious Café in the Cape Quarter. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Emirates, for its flight from London to Dubai, on Sunday 1 July. At the check-in I was told to reduce 5 kg of weight of my suitcase, luckily having bought a hand-luggage suitcase into which I could transfer items of that weight, and having to check it in too, to avoid paying extra. My son had left my check-in too late, so I was allocated a poor seat. I asked the check-in lady if she could find me a window seat, but she told me that the fight was full, and that all such seats were taken already. She said that she would continue to try to find me a window sat, and that I should ask again at the boarding gate desk. Lo and behold, there it was, in the second row from the front, in the company of a Continue reading →
I am about to leave my second home, Apricus Locanda in the village of Apricale in Italy, close to the French border. I have spent the last thirteen days here, writing SwitchBitch Book 2 here, and recovering from walking the Camino in Northern Spain for three weeks.
Despite having had the most unbelievable obstacles put in my way by airlines Emirates and Iberia to finally get to Apricale, via train to Ventimiglia, last year and this year, respectively, there is no friendlier and more perfect location for me to have written my first two SwitchBitch books. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to RyanAir, for its exceptional service (unexpected after a previous flight with this airline years ago), for the flight from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid, from the check-in, where the staff member spoke to me in German, allowed me to have my walking sticks in the hold without extra charge, turned a blind eye to my overweight suitcase, and the same staff member spoke to me in German again when she checked my boarding pass. The seating in the plane had ample leg room, and the service was impeccable.
The Sour Service Award goes to Iberia, for cancelling the flight from Madrid to Nice, while we were sitting in the plane already, after we were told that the flight would be delayed for 90 minutes, and then that we would depart in 15 minutes. Only two Iberia staff handled the plane-load of passengers, and their reissuing of new tickets to new destinations, Iberia refusing to book any destinations in France. We were given a hotel voucher for NH Hotels too, with a dinner and a breakfast buffet and two beverages too. I had to be routed to Turin the following day, with a 90 minute departure delay due to striking air traffic controllers in Marseilles, and take a four and a half hour train ride to Ventimiglia, to get to my end destination of Apricale, a full day journey. I was not compensated for the train trip cost!
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein