Entries tagged with “Belgium”.


At the end of February, for a period of two weeks, French one Michelin Star restaurant Likoké will make a pop-up appearance at The Conservatory in Franschhoek, with its owner and Chef Piet Huysentruyt. A number of writers was invited to taste bites of his creative cuisine last month.  (more…)

How refreshing and uplifting to see Cape Town and its beauty presented in a new music video by Lost Frequencies, a joint production by Belgian DJ and producer Felix De Laet, with Dutch DJ duo Zonderling, for their new song ‘Crazy’, in the midst of our city making headlines for all the wrong reasons currently! It already has close to 19 million views, and is enjoying great hit success. (more…)

Truth coffee shop, Cape TownCape Town has been listed as number one ‘Holiday Hotspots: where to go in 2014‘ by The Guardian on its list of 40 Holiday Hotspots!

Cape Town is praised for hosting World Design Capital 2014, with 450 design projects on show this year; for the re-invention of Woodstock, with the Neighbourgoods Market, home to The Pot Luck Club and The Test Kitchen (but leaving out Burrata); Truth on Buitenkant Street, described as the ‘world’s coolest café’; and the Coffee Beans Routes.

The other 39 Holiday Hotspots are the following:

*   Uzès in Provence in France

*   Austin, Texas

*   Carmarthenshire in the UK

*   Kolkatta in India

*   Islands São Tomé and Príncipe off the African coast

*   Alaçatu in Turkey

*   George Town in Malaysia

*   Alberta in Canada

*   Bordeaux in France (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  Cape Town has been named third best city in the world by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 Top Cities listing. It was beaten by Paris and Trinidad, but was ranked ahead of Riga (capital of Latvia), Zurich, Shanghai, Vancouver, Chicago, Adelaide, and Auckland.  Top 10 countries in the world are Brazil, Antarctic (unusual to call this a country!), Scotland (is it not part of the UK?), Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium, Macedonia, and Malaysia.  The rationale for Cape Town’s ranking was: ‘Expect sculpture-lined green spaces, sustainable projects that are more than just a pretty face, and further regeneration of former industrial districts.  2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of South African democracy – honour it by exploring the city’s history,’ encourages the travel guide.

Cape Town was crowned with first place in the category Top 10 Cities in Africa and the Middle East and ranked eleventh in the Top 25 Cities in the World by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.  The city as also rated tops as Africa’s Leading Destination and also as Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination by World Travel Awards. (received via e-mail from Rabbit in a Hat Communications)

*   Renowned Chef Raymond Blanc is redesigning the winter (more…)

WOSA Sommelier Cup Will Predhomme Whale Cottage PortfolioYesterday I spent a most entertaining afternoon at the Grande Roche hotel in Paarl, to observe the last phase of the Wines of South Africa (WOSA) Sommelier World Cup competition, the announcement and evaluation of the Top 3, and the awarding of the prize to the winning sommelier Will Predhomme.

The invited guests were the twelve finalists for the Sommelier World Cup, media representatives from the USA (I sat next to Rebecca Canan from the Terroirist Blog), Sweden, and Belgium, local writers, the local and international sommelier judges, and WOSA staff from its international offices as well as from its head office in Stellenbosch.   After a welcome glass of wine, we sat down for lunch at Bosman’s, and it was clear to see why this (more…)

SA Tourism is to concentrate 60 % of its 2012/2013 marketing budget on its traditional tourism core markets of the USA, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Australia, as well as on India, and the African countries Bostwana, Angola, Kenya, and Nigeria, Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk told Parliament’s Tourism Committee earlier this week, according to Business Report. Unfortunately the report does not provide the size of the new marketing budget.

Minister van Schalkwyk highlighted the increasing contribution of Africa to tourism, exceeding that from other countries outside our continent, and the beneficial effect this has on our economy.  He added that previous buying and business trips from Africa were turning into a ‘true tourism market’, and he has therefore added R15 million for additional marketing in Africa, ring-fenced for this purpose, and ‘essential for South Africa to be the dominant tourism market on the continent’.  The Minister and his department have been criticised in the past for tourism arrival statistics from Africa being so high, and have been blamed on cross-border shopping trips, and not true travel trips. The Minister said he would like high income earners from African countries such as Kenya and Nigeria to do their shopping in South Africa rather than in Europe.

A further 20 % of the SA Tourism marketing budget will be focused on ‘Investment markets… in the hope of improved returns in the future’, which are BRICS countries China and Brazil, as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Belgium, Italy, and Sweden.  ‘Tactical markets’, including New Zealand, Ireland, Lesotho, and Swaziland, are to receive an unreported budget allocation in that they offer ‘particular opportunities’.

The Minister acknowledged the local domestic tourism market, which ‘enabled the industry to hedge against global insecurity but also improve the local quality of life’.   The Department of Tourism is targeting 18 million local tourists (a 23 % increase from 2009) and 15 million international visitors for 2020.

A week ago we called on the Department of Tourism to not neglect the traditional core source markets, especially Germany, a country showing strong tourism growth, and therefore the dominance of the spend on these traditional core markets is excellent news.  One wonders though how far the marketing budget will stretch, with 25 countries having been included in the SA Tourism marketing mix!

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

One of South Africa’s largest wine export countries is facing a decline in sales due to the strong Rand and the slow recovery of the UK economy.

Wines of South Africa (WOSA) CEO Su Birch said that bottled wine sales from South Africa were declining as local producers no longer can supply wines “at the low price points demanded by the supermarkets”.   Birch added that the local wine industry had prepared for these fluctuations by diversifying into other markets, reports Business Report.  In addition, top end wine sales are still growing in the UK, given their success in international wine competitions.

UK importers are also buying South African wine in bulk, to bottle in their country, leading to a sharp growth in demand for these cheaper wine brands.   South African wine sales have diversified, to include not only the UK, but also Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, the USA and Canada.   In the past 10 years wine sales to the USA have grown five-fold. 

South African wines are diversifying, to the benefit of exports, with “more producers than ever, more brands, more labels, more competitions, more medals”, said Wineland magazine editor Cassie du Plessis.

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