Entries tagged with “blog”.


The Sweet Service Award goes to RyanAir, for its exceptional service (unexpected after a previous flight with this airline years ago), for the flight from Santiago de Compostela to Madrid, from the check-in, where the staff member spoke to me in German, allowed me to have my walking sticks in the hold without extra charge, turned a blind eye to my overweight suitcase, and the same staff member spoke to me in German again when she checked my boarding pass. The seating in the plane had ample leg room, and the service was impeccable. 

The Sour Service Award goes to Iberia, for cancelling the flight from Madrid to Nice, while we were sitting in the plane already, after we were told that the flight would be delayed for 90 minutes, and then that we would depart in 15 minutes. Only two Iberia staff handled the plane-load of passengers, and their reissuing of new tickets to new destinations, Iberia refusing to book any destinations in France. We were given a hotel voucher for NH Hotels too, with a dinner and a breakfast buffet and two beverages too. I had to be routed to Turin the following day, with a 90 minute departure delay due to striking air traffic controllers in Marseilles, and take a four and a half hour train ride to Ventimiglia, to get to my end destination of Apricale, a full day journey.  I was not compensated for the train trip cost! 

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at chrisvonulmenstein [at] gmail.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog.

Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein

Whilst writing The Book in Apricale, in Italy, in August, I treated myself to a cappuccino or a gelato at the Apricus Osteria & Bar in the village almost daily. On one of those days I asked a lady sitting at another table if she would mind taking a photograph of me, my selfie skills not being the best. Anna Fill did a great job of it, and gave me her card. I thanked her, and so began a chat about why I was in Apricale in the first place. Anna and I met for coffee, on a Monday when most restaurants were closed, so she drove us to the nearby Bajardo, where we chatted and I got to know more about Anna, and her ‘The Riviera Woman’ digital magazine. Recently she wrote to me, when she had seen on Facebook that I had completed my Book ‘SwitchBitch: My journey of transformation from Sour to Sweet’, and asked me a number of questions, for an article for her magazine. (more…)

Beerhouse PR Consultant Peter Marx invited me to try the innovative new beer-based BrewFood menu at Beerhouse on Long Street, a feast which my friend Elize Skriker and I shared. Almost every dish and sauce contains beer, with a menu focusing on smoked meat dishes. Prices are very affordable. Not only was it an excellent lunch but it was also a most informative beer lesson! (more…)


I have made a decision to stop supporting and attending WineMag events after having been called to a meeting with Christian Eedes, editor of WineMag, and his business partner Jax Lahoud. I was badly disrespected by fellow-writer Eedes, and I will not stand for bullying of any kind. (more…)

Today I depart on a two-week eating tour of France, continuing my World’s 50 Best Restaurant journey I began in New York and London in July last year. There is no more exciting start to my culinary trip than dinner at JAN restaurant in Nice on Wednesday, given that it has just been awarded the 2017 Michelin one-star rating. In February 2016 owner Jan-Hendrik van Der Westhuizen did our country proud, in becoming the first South African chef to own a Michelin-star restaurant.  (more…)

Thank you to all concerned friends and Blog readers who have contacted me about the defamatory posts on Monday and Tuesday by 2OceansVibe. 2OceansVibe has looked for any opportunity to slate us since I asked the question four years ago as to why its owner Will Mellor should hide his true name, using the alias ‘Seth Rotherham’. (more…)

imageAs part of a three-day stay in Franschhoek last week, I made a point of revisiting some older restaurants. One of them was Haute Cabrière, a restaurant which I had heard little of, other than its appointment in November last year of new Chef Dennis Strydom, of late. (more…)

imageSince selling my guest houses I have stayed at a mix of self-catering and guest houses in Franschhoek, and have been very disappointed. Franschhoek Boutique Hotel GM Llewellyn Lambert took pity on my Franschhoek accommodation experiences, as documented in Sour Service Awards on this Blog, and invited me to come and stay at the hotel. He had showed me around just after it was completed a few months ago, but this was my first stay.

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imageI had heard from restaurants that a new ‘Gourmet Guide‘ is to published, with a listing and evaluation of our country’s Top 100 restaurants. The evaluation of the restaurants is to be done on the basis of the Michelin-system, with unidentified ‘inspectors’ visiting restaurants (more…)

imageThe Sweet Service Award goes to Gumtree, the website that allows one to advertise furniture, electronic equipment, and a myriad of other products and services for free, with immediate reaction and action. We have advertised a number of furniture items in the past two days, and the response has been phenomenal.  We have met such lovely ‘shoppers’, one of them being a reader of our Blog, and have been touched about how kind the shoppers have been to help each other in loading fridges, beds, headboards, and other items. (more…)