Entries tagged with “alcohol”.


W Cape wineAt a meeting with the liquor industry in Malmesbury yesterday, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde pleaded for the liquor trade as well as consumers to be responsible in their consumption as well as sales of alcohol.

Being a two-edged sword, the wine industry represents a R30 billion (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   South Africa is the most attractive tourist destination in Africa, overtaking Egypt for the first time, and is on the Top 25 global tourism destination list,  in the Bloom Consulting’s Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2014/2015. Close to 200 countries were included in the survey, which measured the performance of the tourism industry, brand strategy, and online presence.  South Africa was followed by Egypt and Morocco in Africa.

*  South African accommodation establishments Babylonstoren, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Grace hotel, and the Saxon Boutique Hotel & Spa have made the Condé Nast Traveler 2015 Gold List of 100 World’s Best Hotels. 

*   Global tourism should exceed 1 billion this year, already at  978 million between January and October this year, as (more…)

Truffle Exterior Whale CottageThe bottom end of Chiappini Street has housed two of my favourite restaurants in their time – Bruce Robertson’s The Showroom and Cormac Keane’s Portofino, both the talking point of Cape Town in their time.  After a surprisingly long tenancy by low class Leaf, a smart ‘5 star 100% Halaal Fine Dining Bistro‘ has opened, called TRUFFLE.  The restaurant was opened to offer top-end Halaal cuisine, which has not been available in Cape Town before.  The name was chosen for its association with indulgence, which is echoed throughout the restaurant.

I had seen the exterior branding whilst driving down Buitengracht Street a week ago, but could not find any website via Google.  Yesterday I stopped by, and was astounded how the restaurant interior has changed since Leaf occupied the space until about a year ago.  Mohammed Adam was kind enough to spend time with me, to share information about the restaurant. Truffle Mohammed Adam Whale Cottage He and Nisreen Ebrahim are joint owners, Nisreen and her husband Rafiq being previous owners of four fast food outlets they would not reveal the names of (LinkedIn revealed that they were Nando’s outlets), and took over the space in January. Mohammed did all the interior design, after some building work was done, half of the upstairs being closed off by means of a wall now, to give the kitchen double volume space.  Almost everything has been changed, other than the wooden floor in the outside section, with a new wooden floor upstairs; new wooden steps for the staircase to match the tops of the tables and the (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A new yacht race between Durban and the Seychelles has been organised, along the lines of the ‘Cape To Cairo’ (sic) race, The New Age obviously meaning the Cape to Rio yacht race!   The race will include Mozambique and Swaziland (land-locked), but how the latter country will be involved is uncertain.

*   ‘Restaurant Australia’ is a new marketing campaign for Australia, to promote eating at the country’s good restaurants and drinking its good wines whilst on holiday in the country, food for thought for a Western Cape campaign, which could equally have been shot locally.  Social Media is strongly incorporated in the campaign, with the hashtag #restaurantaustralia.

*   A new airline Fly Blue Crane is applying for an Air Services Licence, belonging to  a trio of owners previously working at SAA and SA Express, being Siza Mimela, Theuns Potgieter, and Jerome Simelane.  The airline plans to fly between Cape Town and Johannesburg.

*   TripAdvisor’s mobile app has been downloaded on Android and iOS 100 million times.  The free app is available in 21 (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Every day the world’s airlines fly 8 million passengers around the world, a total of 3,1 billion in 2013, breaking through the 3 million passenger mark for the first time.  More than 50 million tonnes of cargo is transported annually, and the airline industry’s direct global economic contribution is $540 billion.

*   South African wines will be represented at the Wine Buyers Forum Windsor 2014, at which buyers with a buying power of $2,2 million each will attend on 10 and 11 March.

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that passenger numbers stabilised in November 2013, relative to the same month a year prior, with a growth of only 4%.   The Middle East had the highest growth rate at 10%, while Africa saw a decline (more…)

The City of Cape Town yesterday approved the amended Liquor by-law, which originally came into effect in January 2011.  The most silly of the previous clauses, namely that Champagne Breakfasts were not allowed to be served before 11h00 due to alcohol not being allowed to be sold before 11h00, has been relaxed to allow the sale of sparkling wine from 8h00! Winetastings are also allowed, having been prohibited previously.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said that she had to carefully balance ‘many social pressures, business concerns, individual rights and governmental responsibilities’, reports the Cape Times.   The by-law is clear that the sale of alcohol after 2h00 is prohibited, but the consumption of alcohol after this deadline is not prohibited.  The by-law amendment appears to allow nightclubs and other establishments to apply to sell alcohol after 2h00, reports the Cape Argus, especially if the sale is not related to disruptions.

It would appear that the City’s law enforcement’s officials will act when alcohol consumption comes with noise and other disruptions.  A call has been made by City Councillor Anwar Adams for Long Street to be more strictly controlled, given its many clubs and bars, intermixed with mosques and churches. Councillor Ganief Hendricks said the amendments would make Cape Town the ‘drunk capital’, and foresees an increase in the number of alcohol-induced accidents as well as crime.

The tourism claim that Cape Town is a ’24 hour’ city weighed heavily in the amendments made.

The Cape Argus has reported that the number of South Africans driving after drinking is decreasing, according to market research conducted to measure the impact of responsible drinking and driving advertising campaigns, encouraging ‘Drive Dry’.  The newspaper has assisted in the campaign for responsible drinking, by publishing the names of motorists who have been sentenced in Cape courts for drinking and driving.

POSTSCRIPT 3/3: Other welcome amendment to the Liquor by-law is that hotel room mini-bars and Guest House/B&B Honesty Bars may be stocked for 24 hours per day.  Hotels may also serve drinks until 2h00 instead of the previous 23h00, and all night in the room via room service.  Wine estates may trade and do winetastings on Sundays.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@Whale Cottage

Yesterday the controversial Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill was to have been fully gazetted, and be enforceable, but this has been held back, due to threatened legal action.

The Liquor Trading Days and Hours By-Law has attracted the wrath of the members of the newly-formed Club, Bar and Restaurant Association of the Western Cape, who contributed money to a legal fund to fight the By-Law by means of an interdict, reports the Cape Times.  The association is looking to get 100 members on board, to have a large enough legal resource of about R1 million to “put these guys to bed”, said Shaan Nordien of the Chrome Club, and has invited restaurants and hotels to join them in their fight.  The first step will be to apply for an interdict from the court, whereafter the association will challenge the constitutionality of the By-Law, says the association’s legal advisor Zeeshan Nordien.  An interesting development, demonstrating the seriousness of the association members, is the appointment of specialist liquor lawyer Danie Cronje of Cluver Markotter, with Jan Heunis as the advocate, reports the Cape Times.  They have sent a letter with their grievances to the City of Cape Town, which it has decided to study first before going ahead with gazetting the By-Law.  A protest march has not been excluded.  

The Association is claiming that up to 150000 jobs could be lost due to the potential loss of business caused by the new Liquor Trading By-law, reports The Times

A potential new change to the By-Law could be a “cooling off period” for drinkers, which would allow establishments such as pubs, bars and restaurants selling alcohol to allow their patrons to stay on at the establishment, serving them coffee, but disallowing the sale of alcohol, after 2h00, so that the drinkers are in a fitter state to drive home, reports the Cape Argus.   JP Smith, the City of Cape Town Councillor and Mayco member for Safety and Security, said:  “This would mean that patrons’ liquor consumption stops some time before they leave the establishment – and that would be good”.   Smith has warned the rebelling club and bar owners that the new By-Law will be implemented across the board, and accused them of ‘profiteering off liquor abuse”, the newspaper reports.   “We have always known that people who profiteer off the sale of liquor will not want to give that up.  But we will sit it out, because of how important this is.   Those that protest about the new trading hours are not the ones paying the hospitals, or the ambulances, or the emergency services.  They’re not the ones having to pick up the pieces that result from alcohol abuse.  They’re looking at their profits”, he added.

Smith said that the City would target the establishments receiving the most complaints in terms of noise level and fighting.   The By-Law will rely on customer complaints for its implementation to be effective.

POSTSCRIPT 1/7: The Cape Times has reported that the Liquor by-law has been reviewed by a ‘constitutional expert, following the outcry from the hospitality industry prior to its introduction earlier this year.  The review will lead to as yet undisclosed changes to the bylaw.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage

We are delighted to have found a wonderful project to support, and it being Christmas, has made giving even more fulfilling.

Whilst visiting Grande Provence in Franschhoek yesterday, I came across the Pebbles Project in the Gallery, and a collection of artwork by children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Western Cape schools.  We bought a painting of a beach scene for our Whale Cottage Camps Bay, which had been painted by Elizna Gertse, a 13 year old learner attending the Bergendal School, and who lives on the Fairview wine estate.   In a description attached to the painting, Elizna wrote that she wants to become an actress when she leaves school, and enjoys doing her school work, because it will bring her far.

The Pebbles Project was launched in 2004, and its focus is children whose lives are affected by alcohol.  The fundraising organisation works with wine farm owners, to uplift farm worker communities and encourages the education of workers’ children.   Wine estates that support the Pebbles Project include Backsberg, Delheim, Eikendal, Fairview, L’Avenir, Villiera, Bosman, Remhoogte, Neil Joubert Wines, Hartenberg Estate, Kaapzicht, Koopmanskloof, and Morkel.

We are proud to have assisted Elizna and her classmates in raising funds for the Pebbles Project and the good work that they do.  www.pebblesproject.co.za

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage