Tag Archives: Bloemfontein

American Express announces Top 2020 Dining Award winners, with a Johannesburg bias!

It was a multi-Award day on Monday this week, with both American Express (for the Western and Southern Cape), as well as the Gourmet Guide (National) announcing their 2020 Restaurant Award winners. A week earlier American Express had announced its Gauteng, Free State, and KwaZulu-Natal Awards. There were many similarities in the winners, yet some strange winners in the American Express Dining  awards documented in this post. Continue reading →

American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards 2016; 2017 Platinum Taste Awards to challenge Eat Out Awards?

Amex Award tableLast night (7 September) the American Express Platinum Fine Dining Awards 2016 were presented for Cape Town, the Winelands, and the Garden Route at The Watershed in the V&A Waterfront, a total of 31 awards presented. Last night (14 September) the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal awards were presented at Katy’s Palace Bar in imageJohannesburg.

Interesting announcements made during the evening in Cape Town appear to indicate that the Platinum Taste Awards (new name from next year) will take Eat Out head on next year! At the awards event, the name change for next year was announced, as was that the Platinum Taste Awards will introduce seven award categories. It is no longer a criterion for a restaurant to accept Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 24 August

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   KWV has won the General Smuts Trophy for Champion Young Wine for its Cabernet Sauvignon and wooded Shiraz blend at the 2015 SA Young Wine Awards. The same wine also won SA Champion Red Blend. Their wooded Malbec won SA Champion Other Red Cultivar, and their wooded Chardonnay won SA Champion Chardonnay. Spier won SA Championship trophies for its Sémillon and wooded Cabernet Saivignon. More than 2100 young wine entries were received, in what Continue reading →

One&Only Le Saint Géran celebrates its 40th anniversary in Cape Town!

OOLSG TV screen Whale CottageThe One&Only Le Saint Géran celebrated its 40th anniversary in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, and in Cape Town two weeks ago.   The hotel’s GM and Head of Sales thanked invited guests for attending and joining in the celebration of the important milestone.

In Cape Town the celebration was held at the Cook’s Playground, Giggling Gourmet Chef Jenny Morris having traveled around the country with the Le Saint Géran team.  On arrival, we received a garland of flowers to wear, the frangipani in it transporting one to Mauritius immediately.  Long tables had been set up for us to eat at, beautifully decorated with Continue reading →

African Nations Championship (CHAN 2014) soccer tournament kicks off in Cape Town today, a non-event?!

0910PH0366The 2014 African Nations Championship, referred to as CHAN 2014, kicks off at Cape Town Stadium today, with few tickets sold, and a scandal surrounding South Africa Football Association (SAFA) Cape Town Vice President Vernon Seymour.

CHAN 2014 is the first international soccer tournament to be held at the Cape Town Stadium since the 2010 World Cup.  Sixteen African teams will participate in 32 matches across the country, playing matches at stadia in Cape Town (including Athlone Stadium), Bloemfontein and in Polokwane.  The tournament theme is ‘Celebrating Africa’s Home Champions’.

The African Nations Championship will commence with the Opening Ceremony at 16h00 today, which includes performances by Jimmy Dludlu, The Soil, Mi Casa, and Zolani Mkhiva.  The New Age reports that more than 300 dancers and models will form part of the Opening Ceremony  At 18h00 the first match of the tournament kicks off, with local team Bafana Bafana playing Continue reading →

World Cup teams give Cape Town a red card

The tourism industry in Cape Town will be disappointed that none of the 32 World Cup teams have chosen a base camp in or near Cape Town.   The base camp location has an important attraction for fans, who want to stay in the same towns and cities as their home team. 

Despite a deadline of the end of last month, FIFA has given the teams one more week to finalise their choice.  Six teams have not yet announced their final base camp choice.

The Western Cape has 2 teams (France and Denmark) staying in Knysna at Pezula and Simola, respectively, and Japan will be based in George at the Fancourt Hotel. 

Gauteng has the most teams to date, who chose the province for the altitude for their practice sessions, the top quality sport facilities and top quality accommodation : The Netherlands, South Africa, Portugal, Serbia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Brazil, Australia, Honduras, Switzerland, North Korea, and Mexico. 

Pretoria has attracted USA, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and Argentina.   KwaZulu-Natal has secured Algeria, Ivory Coast, Greece, and Paraguay.   Uruguay is staying in Kimberley.   Ghana  is staying in White River. England and South Korea are staying in Rustenberg.  Chile is staying in Mapumalanga.   Spain has not chosen between Rustenburg and Potchefstroom yet.

Many municipalities spent big money trying to encourage teams to set up base camps in their towns.  Mossel Bay was sure that it had bagged Paraguay, and both Val du Vie and Pearl Valley outside Franschhoek were rumoured to have signed up a team.  The Sunday Times reports that the Mossel Bay municipality spent R 200 million on its bid, and had launched an extensive Spanish language campaign for tourism players in the town.   Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and East London also did not attract any base camps.

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

SA receives 75% score from FIFA for Confederations Cup

FIFA’s Secretary General Jerome Valcke has rated South Africa as 8/10 on its readiness to stage the 2010 World Cup from 11 June to 11 July next year, reports the Cape Times.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter downsized the score to 75 % at the conclusion of the Confederations Cup.

The FIFA rating is based on the country’s current organisation and hosting of the Confederations Cup, for which the final was played on Sunday evening.   “The organisation from the LOC has been really top class.  What is more pleasing is the players are returning to their countries with a good opinion of South Africa, the people, fans, stadiums, hotels, and training facilities.  That is the best advert we could hope for”, Valcke said.

Blatter added that the Confederations Cup had been well run and that FIFA is looking forward to a “hugely successful 2010 World Cup”, reports the Cape Times.

Incidents such as a strike by volunteers at Ellis Park, and the alleged theft of cash from the Egyptian team players’ rooms have been effectively dealt with.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that crime could happen in any country:   “Players being robbed  is sad, but it can happen anywhere in the world – even in the United States.   We take as many precautions as possible, but I am satisfied fans, teams, and the public will be safe during the 2010 World Cup.”   At the media briefing at the conclusion of the Confederations Cup, Blatter did not refer to crime as one of the issues that need to be addressed for the 2010 World Cup.

Blatter said that he hoped to give South Africa a score of 10/10 in 2010.

Further problems which the Confederations Cup highlighted is a shortage of 15 000 beds in Bloemfontein, and problems with the park-and-ride system in Johannesburg.   FIFA has also highlighted that it does not wish the new soccer stadia to become “white elephants” after 2010.

Valcke said the the teams, the players and the officials who are part of the Confederations Cup will be South Africa’s best ambassadors for 2010.

Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com

Vida warms up London

Vida e Caffe is set to open its first two London stores, its magazine Obrigado reports.  

The hotshot coffee shop with a Portugese touch and distinctive red branding, has spread in major cities, and has branches in Stellenbosch, Sea Point, Willowbridge, Camps Bay, Somerset Mall, Cavendish, Claremont, the V & A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Kloof Street, Green Point, Bayside, Green Market, Black River Park, Constantia and Collosseum.    In Johannesburg the seven branches are located in Sandton, OR Thambo airport, Greenside, Rosebank, Hyde Park, Parktown North, Bedford Square and Commissioner Street.   Knysna and Bloemfontein each have a Vida, while there are three in Durban.

A joint venture is also on the cards between a Vida e Caffe and Nando’s Peri Deli in Rivonia.