Entries tagged with “Ardmore Ceramics”.


Even if the Cambridge English dictionary definition of a ‘Café‘ as an inexpensive (‘a restaurant where simple and usually quite cheap meals are served‘) eatery is accepted, The Granary Café still does not deserve its ‘Café‘ name, as nothing about the contemporary classic dishes served in the sophisticated dining area is ‘simple‘. It is a showcase of Executive Chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert’s playful interpretation of her favorite classic dishes.

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Ten days ago, on its third day of operation, hotelier and writer Llewellyn Lambert, architect Jan de Wet, and I went to visit The Silo Hotel in the commercial side of the V & A Waterfront. We were blown away by the luxury  of the interior decor, the generosity of spaciousness, and the extreme friendliness of the staff, hallmarks of the operations of The Royal Portfolio. I returned nine days later, to have a second lunch at The Silo Rooftop. (more…)

Hermanus is synonymous with the annual Whale Festival.  This year it is laying on a 10-day Hermanus FynArts festival, a feast of the visual arts, classical music, jazz, literature, wines, and gourmet food, a fusion of Art Festival and Winter School in a town that has long been known for being home to many leading artists. It will run from 7 – 16 June.

Over the ten days entertainment will be offered over the two weekends, while on weekdays one can attend courses and workshops on photography, ceramics, painting, drawing, writing, cooking, and viticulture.  Top sculptor Dylan Lewis will exhibit his work outside the Marine Hotel and will host a talk about his work, interviewed by leading writer Christopher Hope, one of the co-founders of the Franschhoek Literary Festival. Land sculptor Strijdom van der Merwe, and co-owner of Stellenbosch restaurant Casparus, will host a photographic exhibition of his work, with a talk.  Guy du Toit’s ‘Talking Hares’ will be on show at Sumaridge wine estate. Jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, photography and film will be exhibited.  Ceramicists include Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, and Tania Babb, with Ardmore Ceramics exhibiting at the Marine Hotel.  A National Art Competition will run alongside the festival, sponsored by the SA National Space Agency.  A talk will focus on JH Pierneef, one of our country’s best artists ever.

Vintage South African movies will be screened, as well as classic Hollywood movies, in the Romantiques vintage shop.

A number of the wine farms on the impressive Hermanus Wine Route (including Hamilton Russell, Creation, Newton Johnson, Ataraxia, La Vierge, and Bouchard Finlayson), as well as the art galleries in the town will host an art exhibition, and will offer special events.   During the festival, concerts will take place at lunchtimes in the Anglican Church; high teas will be available at the town’s coffee shops at 15h00 each day; wine tasting and food and wine pairing can be enjoyed on the wine farms and at the town’s restaurants, with Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris and Eat Out Top 10 Chef Peter Tempelhoff cooking a dinner on 7 June; guided walks in Fernkloof nature reserve will be offered; and one can enjoy a ‘virtual tour‘ of South African wines.

The Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra will perform in the Hawston Hall in celebration of Youth Day, and UCT Head of the Opera School Professor Angelo Gobbato will talk about opera, and one of his talks will focus on ‘Celebrating Verdi’. There will be opera recitals too, including by Gobbato!  Singer Zanne Stapelberg and Kathleen Tagg (South African pianist now based in New York) will perform ‘Soul of Fire’.  Well-loved conductor Richard Cock will be in attendance, and the baroque Camerata Tinta Barocca will perform.

To allow a feast of ‘fine living’ without concern for drinking and driving, a hop-on hop-off bus will take festival goers to the wine estates as well as to the venues in the town.  Booking opens today.

Hermanus FynArts 2013. Hermanus Tourism Bureau.  www.hermanusfynarts.co.za

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

Cape Town’s finest Art Nouveau building, at 34 Long Street, has been given a new lease of life, and has opened as ‘salon store’ Merchants on Long, a most wonderful showcase not only of the architecture of 114 years ago, but also of the talent of design from Africa.

Merchants on Long belongs to Hanneli Rupert jnr, and the renovation was driven by her, with input by interior designer Graham Viney.  The walls have been left as rough stonework in places, being coffee stone walls made from slate taken from Table Mountain, the first stages of the building having been built between 1652 – 1700.  The ceilings are original Oregon Pine timber beams.

Outside the store, a collection of vintage cars from the family collection at the Franschhoek Motor Museum lined the block in Long Street for the opening on Thursday.  Two live models showed off swim and summer ware in the shop window, to the amusement and interest of shoppers passing by. 

Beautiful marine-inspired silver jewellery by  Patrick Mavros, as well as the finest leather handbags under the Okapi brand name by Hanli Rupert, and Ardmore Ceramics were on display on the opening night. In general fair trade goods as well as products made from organic materials, where possible, are sold.

To accommodate the large number of guests, all of whom had been sent personalised calligraphy invitations, and were welcomed with Mumm champagne, many of the displays were removed from the floor.  Other products that are stocked at Merchants on Long are Suno clothes hand-made in Kenya from designs originating from New York; Frazer Parfum soaps made by organic perfumer Tammy Frazer; The Letterpress Company, ‘purveyors of bespoke stationery’;  La Lesso, who make khangas in Kenya;  SAWA, making sneakers in Cameroon; LemLem clothing and accessories from Ethiopia;  Sika shoes and dresses from Ghana;  and Madwa contemporary craft and functional art.

Said Ms Rupert: “I wanted to create an environment that has the ability to transport you, it is meant to remind our visitors why the world’s bravest explorers and pioneers of the arts and sciences came to Africa in the first place”. In welcoming her guests, Ms Rupert highlighted that her merchandise will inspire job creation, helping to uplift local communities whilst highlighting the best of design in Africa.

The shop has a coffee bar, serving Fairtrade coffees from different African countries, as well as home-made cake.   African music adds to the ambiance.   Wonderful snacks were served on beautifully styled trays.

Tourists will love the quality of the African design, art and fashion experience at Merchants on Long, compared to the flood of bead items they can find on many a street corner in Cape Town, whilst locals will also be impressed with the quality and variety of design from Africa.  All shoppers at Merchants on Long will love the character of the building.

Merchants on Long, 34 Long Street. Tel (021) 422-2828.  www.merchantsonlong.com.  Open Monday – Friday 10h00 – 18h00, and Saturdays 10h00 – 14h00.

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