Just two months after the termination of the ten-year relationship between Chef Peter Tempelhoff and The Liz McGrath Collection, and with it Top Ten Greenhouse restaurant, it has been announced that he has been appointed as Culinary Director at the prestigious Ellerman House in Bantry Bay, Cape Town. Continue reading →
After banning Tuk Tuk taxis in Cape Town four years ago as they were not licensed, the City of Cape Town is now encouraging the owners of the three-wheel Tuk Tuk taxis to apply for the 80 licenses they are making available as a public transport service in conjunction Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the City of Cape Town and its Street Light head Faville Wenn, who made it his business to get the street lights in a section of Upper Fresnaye to work again, after regular outages over a period of almost two months. I reported the problem, which occurred two to three times a week, to the City of Cape Town and our Councillor Jacques Weber via Twitter, and was astounded that the Councillor implied on Twitter that I was lying about the street light outages. I copied him into each of my 20 tweets over the two months, and when I included Mayor Patricia de Lille he became really angry, and expressed this on his Facebook page, telling me to get her to fix the problem! The transparency of the Councillor’s disinterest is evident when he unfollowed our Twitter account, clearly embarrassed to see the Tweets of their non-performance! I sent text messages, as I had been advised, to the City of Continue reading →
* London has been named as the most visited tourist city by the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index, estimated to receive 19 million tourists this year. Bangkok follows in second place, with Paris, Istanbul, and Dubai making up the top five most visited cities.
* The Department of Tourism has been allocated a budget of R 1,8 billion for the next financial year. The target for international tourist arrivals is 12 million by 2018. Just under R1 billion will go to SA Tourism. Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom announced Continue reading →
The heavily crowded beach days of 26 December and 1 January are to be controlled by the City of Cape Town, to make the traffic flow more bearable. Not all Capetonians are in favour of this proposed quota system.
The City media statement announced: The ‘City’s Traffic Service will actively manage the influx of vehicles along the Atlantic Seaboard in an effort to prevent a repetition of the gridlock conditions that have become a regular occurrence in Sea Point, Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay on 26 December and 1 January in previous years‘. Anyone living on that side of Cape Town will agree that the traffic mayhem is unbearable, it taking one hour from Bakoven to the Camps Bay beachfront on 26 December last year, for example.
Unsurprisingly the City is promoting its MyCiTi Bus service, recommending that beachgoers, those heading for Camps Bay in Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the 130 Cape Town Fire Department firefighters and the Volunteer Wildfire Services, which were instrumental in combating the fire on Lion’s Head and Signal Hill on Tuesday, and from spreading to the houses of De Wet Road in Bantry Bay, despite an unusually strong South-Easter. Fighting subsequent fires this week, fanned by the South Easter, in Kommetjie and other areas of Cape Town, is also commended. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Kfm/Sentech, for (finally) doing something about the poor reception on the Atlantic Seaboard of Kfm (and with it GoodHopeFM and 5FM), the problems having commenced in May after a severe winter storm. Reception of these radio stations has been almost non-existent in one’s home, but never a problem in the car, until May. I Tweeted Kfm, and some of its presenters, and then called Primedia Broadcasting, and spoke to some of their technical staff, but was told that this is really in the hands of Sentech. I received a call from a very nice gentleman from Sentech, whose name I unfortunately did not record, who had been contacted by Kfm, and he explained that Kfm is broadcast via the Tygerberg tower, while the other two stations come via the Hout Bay one. A Hout Bay friend had however experienced similar radio reception problems in her area. All of a sudden, after two months, there Continue reading →
Cape Town and the Winelands region is rolling in cyclists visiting to participate in one or more of a host of cycling events from today onwards. As more and more cyclists are taking to the road, often selfishly to the detriment of motorists, anger is building up from motorists against cyclists.
Today the Bestmed Tour de Boland commences, and will be ridden in four stages of 121 – 145 km per day over the next four days. The race begins in Franschhoek and stage one ends at Helshoogte Pass; stage 2 is from Stellenbosch to Tulbagh; stage 3 covers Tulbagh to Riebeek Kasteel; and the last stage of the race is ridden from Riebeek Kasteel to the Franschhoek Pass. The organisers want to offer the road riders a good challenge on a European cycle race standard combined with the best of beautiful Boland views.
On Sunday the 37th Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour takes place, with 35000 cyclists participating in what has become the world’s largest timed cycle race. Most of the Cape Town city centre will be closed to traffic on Sunday morning, and all of Victoria Road from Hout Bay through Camps Bay to Bantry Bay and Beach Road in Sea Point is closed to traffic for the whole day, the race starting in the city centre and ending at the Cape Town Stadium. The event generates R450 million for the economy of the Western Cape, says provincial Tourism Minister Alan Winde.
The ABSA Cape Epic takes place from 23 – 30 March, a tough endurance race covering picturesque areas in the Cape Winelands, and generates about R218 million for the province.
Most cyclists have left their getting fit to the last minute, and are taking to the city streets to get ready for Sunday. Many Continue reading →
The opening of KOI Bantry Bay at The Ambassador Hotel has been eagerly awaited, after it was announced that Salt Restaurant would be replaced with a Gauteng-based group restaurant, KOI restaurants already operating in Sandton, Rosebank, and in Pretoria. The KOI restaurants are sister restaurants to the Wakame (with Wafu) restaurant group in Cape Town, which was founded 15 years ago, and is headed up by co-directors Stewart Bond and Rory Jossel. There are no koi at KOI, and other than a logo on a business card, there is no representation of the decorative carp in the restaurant. The website defines the KOI name as being Japanese for ‘Come, Love, Fish‘.
Always on the lookout for a good restaurant on the Atlantic Seaboard, a rarity, I was looking forward to seeing how the restaurant group would give the hotel restaurant space new life. Despite having the most magnificent location, ideal to see sunsets as it faces west over the Atlantic Ocean, the restaurants at The Ambassador just do not seem to have staying power, and neither do their chefs and staff for that matter! Some decor changes have been made, wooden grids guiding one to the end of the passage, with only one entrance now, the previous entrance to the lounge and bar area having been closed. The lounge area now is restaurant seating too, with space for a total of about 100 patrons the Manager Chris Somhohlo said. Wood dominates the decor style (Chris couldn’t remember the name of the decorator), with wooden table tops, wooden chairs with woven seats, and the woven grid theme picked up in the visual display covering an entire wall, in the new ceiling lighting, and in the lampshades too. The Continue reading →
Last night the largest German TV station ZDF re-flighted ‘Ein Sommer in Kapstadt’ (A Summer in Cape Town), a beautiful movie reflecting the beauty of Cape Town, which was shot in 2009, and was first released in 2010. It couldn’t have come at a better time, when Germans are planning their holidays for the coming European winter.
‘Ein Sommer in Kapstadt’ tells the story of a scorned wife, whose husband comes to Cape Town on a business trip. She follows her husband to Cape Town when she finds him having an affair with a young Capetonian. While the drama evolves, the characters drive across the city, and its magnificent beauty is captured through the filming: an opening shot from Bakoven in Camps Bay, onto the Twelve Apostles mountain range; Lion’s Head; some cute penguins running from the beach into the ocean; two lunches from a Blouberg restaurant right alongside the sea with the waves crashing while they eat; lots of driving in an exotic blue sports car along what could be Scarborough and Kommetjie; in Bo-Kaap on Rose Street opposite Haas; the promenade in Bantry Bay; lovely shots over the city from Signal Hill; lunch at the V&A Waterfront with Den Anker and the Clocktower in the background; Greenmarket Square; a Cape Dutch wine estate; Long Street; the winelands; and going up Table Mountain with the cableway. An AIDS angle is introduced too, penguins being used to teach children the symbol of loyal love by one of the characters in the movie.
The movie is dated only by the main character staying in the Hotel Le Vendome in Sea Point when she first arrives in Cape Town (the hotel closed down last year), and the storyline including the magazine Cape Style, which no longer exists.
One hopes that the movie will encourage German TV viewers to book their next holiday in Cape Town, given the beautiful impression which the city must have made on them. One of the characters in the movie refers to ‘Kapstadt: Das Paradis der Erde’ (Cape Town, the paradise of the world), a wonderful accolade for the city. Given some more damaging German movies shot in Cape Town and shown on ZDF earlier this year, ‘Ein Sommer in Kapstadt’ is a welcome positive showcase of Cape Town.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage