The 34th Cape Winemakers Guild Auction achieved a record R10,6 million in sales on Saturday, held at the Spier Conference Centre, with wines of the wine industry greats sold and bid for by top wine collectors, including a mix of hospitality and private buyers. Continue reading →
Yesterday I visited Splash Café at the Vineyard Hotel, having parked close to it, to attend the Strauss & Co Art Auction. Clearly named after the king size pool onto which the Café opens, I was left with a sinking feeling of despair about one of the worst service experiences in a long time! Continue reading →
Last week Opulent Living hosted an event at Mercedes-Benz Century City, being a preview of the 17 works of art, as well as a further six experiential packages, which can be bought via Auction at the Chefs who Share – The ART of Giving Gala Dinner on Thursday evening.
The purpose of the well-attended 2015 Art Preview evening was to allow the works of art and experiential packages to be better seen and inspected prior to the Gala Dinner Auction, as the lighting in the Continue reading →
When Opulent Living‘s Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast organise an event, you know it will be beyond perfect, the German precision being evident from the minute one enters the venue. Outperforming its ‘Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving‘ Gala Dinner and Auction of last year, which raised R1,2 million then, R 2,5 million was raised at ‘Chefs who Share‘ on Thursday evening from the 250 tickets sold at R3000 each for the Gala Dinner, and the smart auctioneering of art works and other auction lots.
Arriving at the not-often-used Darling Street entrance to the City Hall, the Mercedes-Benz (the company was a sponsor) CLS Coupé was outside the steps, and photographs taken of the VIPs attending. Halfway up the steps were the tables to register one’s attendance, with tall vases of beauty created with vegetables, all of which plus the vegetables used for the table decor going to a soup kitchen the following day. Outside the Hall itself, waiters greeted us with glasses of Graham Beck MCC, and one could admire the artwork hung in the passages, which was auctioned later in the evening. A continuous stream of canapés was offered, and the waiters linked to the creators of these served them, which helped in that they knew what they were serving. Little name cards, with the description of the dishes and the chef’s name, made the identification for Tweeting easy. Those served by Chefs Jackie Cameron, Rudi Liebenberg with Michelle Theron, Darren Badenhorst, Malika van Reenen, and Christiaan Campbell attracted particular attention. It was in the passage that we could chat and congratulate Barbara, who looked beautiful and glamorous in her Gavin Rajah dress. Continue reading →
* At the International Wine & Spirits Awards, South Africa did very well, with 632 awards in total, and 7 Gold Outstanding awards, of which three went to Nederburg. KWV won 22 medals. Chile won 375 awards, with one Gold Outstanding, and Argentina won 234 medals. The results were announced at The Beautiful South South Africa/South America showcase in London.
* A meeting earlier today between airline and travel agent representatives and Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba may lead to good news about the Immigration Regulations next week.
* A number of top Cape Town designers will be showcasing their work and the collective creativity of South Africa at 100% Design in London from 17 – 20 September, attended by 30000 architects, interior designers, and retailers, representing a collective buying power of £2,7 billion. Designers include Mervyn Gers Ceramics, Martin Doller, Meyer von Wielligh, and furniture designer Pierre Cronje, and the trip is sponsored by the Department of Trade & Industry. (received via media release from Wesgro)
* Opulent Living raised R2,5 million at its ‘Chefs who Share’ Gala Dinner and Auction in the City Hall last night, due to Continue reading →
* Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy’s response to the axing of Virgin Atlantic’s London – Cape Town flights is embarrassing and appears unprepared, with poor wording, likely to have been a telephonic interview: ‘The slight (sic) cuts will definitely impact on tourism to the destination, especially if you look at Summer where the demand for Cape Town is quite great (sic), especially from the UK market’ !
* ‘Chefs who Share’ is adding two further Auction lots for its charity Gala Dinner on Thursday 11 September, the culinary highlight of the year in Cape Town. The proceeds go to the MAD (Make a Difference) Charity and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. The additional Auction lots are attendance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at pit lane level, and VIP tickets to attend the Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai. (received via media release from Amplicon PR)
* Col’Cacchio is again giving back to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital this year, in donating R 5 of sales per pizza in its Continue reading →
* The City of Cape Town is spending R3 million on the soccer match between Bafana Bafana and Nigeria for the Africa Confederation (AfCon) Cup qualifier at the Cape Town Stadium on 10 September. One wonders what benefit this would have for the tourism industry. In the past the soccer matches with international teams have not benefited our city and its tourism industry when former Councillor and Tourism Mayoral Committee member Grant Pascoe used this as his main strategy to try and boost tourism! (received via Twitter and Kfm)
* UK wine writer Jancis Robinson praises Franschhoek as a gourmet and tourism town, but writes that there are few wineries. She describes it as a place ‘where the swallows make their own wine‘! She highlights Boekenhoutskloof as the best known and Chamonix as the most consistently performing wineries in the village. She generally praises Franschhoek’s terroir as being ideally suited to Sémillon, and particularly winemaker Gottfried Mocke’s Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon blend, the 2012 vintage in particular.
* Tourism booking cancellations have led Cape Town Tourism to issue a statement about Ebola:‘Cape Town Tourism would like to remind would-be visitors that there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in South Africa during the recent outbreak. In Continue reading →
Last year I had the good fortune to attend ‘Chefs who Share’, organised by Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast of Opulent Living and assisted by Belmond Mount Nelson Chef Rudi Liebenberg, a fantastic dinner held in the City Hall, which raised money for the MAD (Make a Difference) Charity and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. All proceeds went to the charities, as the chefs, sommeliers, and suppliers all donated their time and produce without charge. This year ‘Chefs who Share’ goes one step bigger, with an international chef being added to each team of two local chefs.
The food served is outstanding, each set of tables being looked after by two top local chefs and the international chef, as well as a local sommelier. Yesterday I was honoured with being the first to taste the dessert which Chef Darren Badenhorst from Grande Provence will serve at the decadent dinner on 11 September. Chef Darren is partnering with Chef Franck Dangereux of The Food Barn (with Chef Anton Schmaus from Germany), and they spent a long four hours on Friday to plan the menu for their section of tables. While Chef Darren has not revealed what the other dishes will be on the menu, Chef Darren made me his ‘Galaxy of Textures’, which meets the theme of chocolate for all desserts to be made for the dinner, coming in especially from his Continue reading →
* Du Toitskloof and Standard Bank are calling for entries for their second Wine Writer of the Year competition, this year linking to Cape Town hosting World Design Capital 2014. The writing topic for this year is ‘The role and/or history of design in contributing to the uniqueness of the South African wine industry‘, and the entry should not previously have been published. Entries close on 26 September.
* Evelyn Mahlaba has been appointed by SA Tourism as its Director for Africa, responsible for enhancing tourism to our country from East, West, and Central Africa, working with its travel trade in particular.
* Amarula Cream is celebrating its 25th birthday over three months, from October onwards, offering gifts and prizes in competitions. When buying two bottles, one receives R50 back in cash via an ABSA ATM. Independent retailers are offering prizes. Ordering an Amarula birthday drink at participating bars, clubs and restaurant could win a R25000 cash prize. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)
* The Cape Winemakers Guild has announced the wines each of its members will be offering for tasting (in Cape Town on 21 Continue reading →
* Entries are open for the Diners Club 2014 Winelist Awards, with a closing date of 29 August. The main element of judging the winelists is content, followed by a lesser weighting for balance, suitability, and presentation. Dave Hughes will chair the judging panel. (received via media release from African Sky Media)
* The Nedbank Cape Winemakers Guild is making its wines available for tasting ahead of its prestigious Auction at Spier on 4 October. The Cape Town showcase will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 21 August, while in Johannesburg it will be held at the Nedbank Head Office The Atrium on 27 August. All proceeds of the Auction go to the development program of the Cape Winemakers’ Guild. Entrance costs R170. (received via media release from GC Communications)