The Department of Home Affairs has just announced its revised list of Red countries, being the countries whose citizens and residents may not travel into our country as Leisure Tourists. The initial List of 60 countries was announced on 30 September, with a promise of it being updated every 14 days, but the announcement today is late by five days!
Very sadly Germany has been added to the Red List, making all the Big Five source markets for our country Red! Spain has been added to the List too, it having been a surprise that the country was not on the initial Red List.
I first heard about ‘Dark Kitchens’ when I met Ian Halfon, CEO of Slick Restaurant Group, last week, his company having opened Cape Town’s newest Dark Kitchen on New Church Street in the City centre. Also known as ‘virtual kitchens’, ‘ghost kitchens’, or ‘cloud kitchens’, Dark Kitchens are independent operations creating food for a multitude of brands, such as the Slick Restaurant Group is doing, having opened its operation with five restaurant brands initially, and more planned, all food prepared from one Central kitchen, with obvious cost benefits. Food is ordered online, for delivery to the customer. Continue reading →
Yesterday I had the goosebump experience of being introduced to the new-in-the-making Gåte at Quoin Rock restaurant at the Quoin Rock winery outside Stellenbosch, which is destined to become a superlative Fine Dining dinner experience, probably the best this country has ever seen! 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 →
In celebration of dancing for the past 18 months, I am launching my first book ‘SwitchBitch: My Journey of Transformation from Sour to Sweet!’ next Sunday 25 March at Cape Town’s best loved dance party at La Parada Constantia Nek, with music created by DJ René and his team. Continue reading →
Yesterday Leeu Collection announced that it has acquired a new property, its first in London. The current office block 55 Newman Street is to be turned into an 100-bedroom luxury hotel, planned to open its doors in 2019. Continue reading →
In an exciting ceremony live streamed from Melbourne at midday, Eleven Madison Park was named as the best World’s 50 Best Restaurant, an accolade it last achieved seven years ago. A number of exciting restaurant rankings are reflected in the 2017 World’s 50 Best Restaurant list. I have been fortunate to eat at some of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in New York, London, and in France, in the past ten months. Our reviews of some of these follow below. Continue reading →
On 5 April Chef Heston Blumenthal will receive the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Melbourne, it was announced last week. Chef Heston owns The Fat Duck in Bray, which was at the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list in 2005, and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London, the 45th World’s Best Restaurant, which I visited for lunch last July. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to SAA, and its crew on the flight from London to Johannesburg on 27 February. It was a very empty flight, and the staff was extremely friendly in looking after us. Nothing was too much trouble. The only thing that did not work was the cellphone charger, the hostess telling us honestly that it does not work throughout the plane! It was a concern for tourism that the plane was only one quarter full
Today I depart on a two-week eating tour of France, continuing my World’s 50 Best Restaurant journey I began in New York and London in July last year. There is no more exciting start to my culinary trip than dinner at JAN restaurant in Nice on Wednesday, given that it has just been awarded the 2017 Michelin one-star rating. In February 2016 owner Jan-Hendrik van Der Westhuizen did our country proud, in becoming the first South African chef to own a Michelin-star restaurant. Continue reading →