Doubleshot in Plettenberg Bay is a cosy friendly coffee shop with a range of freshly baked sweet and savoury treats, and excellent coffee. It is worth giving this establishment a shot, the best breakfast venue on our Garden Route trip two weeks ago. Continue reading →
Yesterday afternoon at 16h00 the eagerly awaited Tiger’s Milk Kitchen/Bar Camps Bay opened its doors, blowing some fresh wind into the Camps Bay beachfront, the first opening in the suburb of a new restaurant since Maison J, but hardly comparable in size and offering. It was described by Tiger’s Milk Brand Manager Matthew Howell as a ‘bi-polar’ mix of the upmarket decor of the Kloof Street Branch, and the more rustic Muizenberg and Long Street Tiger’s Milk branches. The view onto Camps Bay beach from this Eatery is special, compared to the other end of the Beachfront. Continue reading →
The new The Yard in the Silo District of the V&A Waterfront opened last week, as a multi-cultural cuisine restaurant, but also offering a bar, a homeware shop, and a Deli. It is the most unique restaurant I have experienced, in its diverse food offering. Continue reading →
Yesterday Bella Bauer and I went for Breakfast at The Silo Hotel, to try its breakfast in The Granary Café. We were disappointed with many aspects of the Breakfast, and were able to share the feedback with Restaurant Manager Dylan van Blerk. Continue reading →
The Village Tart is Franschhoek’s newest restaurant, having opened two months ago on the main road, where the Pancake place used to be. It is a friendly restaurant, offering the best baking in Franschhoek, but serves lunches and breakfasts too. Continue reading →
* Andrew Bird, Marks & Spencer Head of Trading, which includes wines, non-food, and ambient grocery, is moving to Woolworths for a two year contract as Trading Head next month. He helped drive Marks & Spencer to be named best retailer at the International Wine Challenge in four out of the past six years. Bird is said to become head of the ‘wine and soft drinks teams‘ at Woolworths locally.
* The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) was part of a consortium that completed Terminal 3 at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport, on time and on budget, for the 2014 soccer World Cup, reports The New Age. The project is described as one of the World Cup successes, the new terminal processing all international flights to the city. The capacity to handle an additional 12 million passengers to the 30 million handled annually has been created. ACSA is also part of a consortium that Continue reading →
I received a media release from Communication Services Africa on Friday, to publicise the new weekend Breakfast offering of their client Shimmy Beach Club, the highlight being their Breakfast Pizza, of which they had sent along a photograph (left). Sadly the photograph sent did not match the Breakfast Pizza I was served yesterday.
The publicity photograph looked so good that I made sure to get to Shimmy on a grey Saturday before their Breakfast service finished at 11h00, making it just in time. I need not have rushed, as I was the only patron in the vast restaurant, which I wrote about a year ago. One of the hostesses took me through to my table, and excitedly I told her that I had come to try the Breakfast Pizza (R89), and described my dry cappuccino request to her. She promptly handed me over to Russian waitress Olga, repeating to her what I had just ordered. The LavAzza coffee did not come dry, being a full cup of coffee with a thin layer of foam. Kindly Olga got them to try it again, and the second attempt was much better. A plate with three containers of garlic, chili, and tomato sauce was brought to the table. Continue reading →
* A TripAdvisor TripBarometer survey has found that hotel guests expect free wifi, free parking, and free breakfast. Items which guests are most likely to take home with them are toiletries, tea and coffee, towels, clothes hangers, and TV remote batteries. Guests are interested in learning more about the culture of the inhabitants of the town in which they are visiting, in visiting a unique icon of the town, trying new food but also wanting to eat food from their home country, as well as watching TV and movies in their home language.
* London hotels have received the lowest ratings of hotels in 30 European destinations on the measure of recommending a hotel to others, according to a survey in the last 24 months on bookings made via Expedia, scoring even more poorly than Paris and Nice. Berlin tops the recommendation rating.
* Grande Provence in Franschhoek is celebrating its 2014 harvest with a Harvest Festival on 22 February, starting the day with coffee and muffins, followed by a talk by the vine grower, winetasting, and then a country feast. Cost is R450. (received via e-mail from Grande Provence)
* It is sad to see how the death of Mr Mandela is being used by his daughter Dr Maki Mandela and his granddaughter Tukwini Mandela to market their House of Mandela wines, saying that his legacy lives on through their wines! Continue reading →
* American Express credit card holders will be rewarded (undefined as to how) for posting reviews on TripAdvisor, and will be flagged as cardholders on the rating site. They will also receive trend information.
* Signal at the Cape Grace has been ranked 39th and Le Verger at the Le Franschhoek Hotel has been ranked 46th in the 101 Best Hotel Restaurants around the World, the only South African entries on the list.
* Comair and Skywise are facing a Social Media backlash for having their interdict against the commencement of FlySafair’s flights from next week granted by the court, and are calling for a boycott against the two airlines!
* Col’Cacchio has added Breakfast to its menu at select branches, the Continue reading →
I have been to Cassis Paris in the Gardens Centre many times, and often had a sit-down quiche at the tables and chairs just outside the shop there. The sit-down service there has been disappointing, not matching the wonderful products they serve in their Patisserie and Boulangerie. The owner Patrick Moreau now owns three Cassis Paris outlets, and has just added a good Salon de Thé to his Newlands branch, bringing Paris to Newlands, and matching the quality of his wonderful breads and pastries, with some service deficiencies.
Moreau was born in Brittany, but grew up in Paris. He met his South African wife on a cruise ship, where both were working, and they worked in Bangkok before Moreau had the yearning to start his own business. A holiday back ‘home’ in South Africa in 2007 led him to identify a gap in the market for an upmarket French-style patisserie and boulangerie. He opened in the Gardens Centre, well located next door to Raith Gourmet, three years ago, and in Newlands eighteen months ago. The Salon and the outlet in Constantia Village were opened in December. His products inside the display cabinets at the 15 on Orange hotel have been removed. The business is so successful that Moreau is at his Montague Gardens factory, overseeing the production of the pastries and breads, during the week. Over weekends he circulates between his outlets. He told me that Somerset West and Mouille Point are on his wishlist for future outlets.
I was impressed to see Patrick hands-on behind the counter of his Newlands branch, in which the patisserie counter was filled with the most beautiful selection of pastries. A smaller counter deeper in the shop sells a selection of breads, croissants and brioche.
The Salon de Thé is a smallish space, with white tables and chairs set inside as well as outside, with branded Cassis Paris umbrellas protecting the outside tables against the heat. My table was wobbly, but the waiter quickly fixed this problem. The colour scheme at Cassis Paris is a most definite purple, and the bench attached to the wall inside the restaurant is purple. Cutlery is by Fortis, and is obviously shiny new, offered with a purple paper serviette. The menu cover is purple, as is the apron the staff wear over a black shirt and black pants. The menu is extensive, and is neatly presented in plastic sleeves. It focuses on the products which Cassis makes, presented in the French style. French style chanson music was switched on after about an hour of my arrival, and was well matched to the theme.
I love that the Salon serves an all day breakfast, even if their breakfast dishes differ from our usual South African taste. I had the Cocotte Cassis, served as a one-pot (in a purple Le Creuset mini-pot) breakfast with potato croquettes, tomato, eggs and bacon (R38), served with toast. It consisted mostly of potato. Other Light Meals are muesli, yoghurt and fruit (R35); the Le Classique two-egg and bacon breakfasts costs R30; Pain Perdu (French Toast) costs R 22; a Cocotte Paris consists of crème fraîche, camembert, Toulouse sausage, bacon, spinach, onions, croûtons and egg (R45). The La Complète is a savoury pancake containing Gypsey ham and egg, and costs R40; salads range in price from R 32 – R50; lovely quiches (spinach and feta, and ham and cheese) cost R26; a Provençale tart costs R28, and sandwiches R25 – R33. The Viennoisseries section lists about fifteen pastries which are available from the patisserie. Brioche, croissants, pain au chocolate and apple turnovers can also be ordered. A full page of the menu is dedicated to twenty-five “Sweets”, including chocolate eclairs (R16) and their popular Concerto (chocolate mousse and chocolate biscuit) costing R26. My dessert choice was a Tiramisu (R28), served in a plastic cup that looked shabby in that it had a crack in it. Its content was excellent however, drier than we are used to locally, with not much creaminess. Imported French teas Mariage Frères are available at R24. If one would like wine with one’s meal, one can buy it next door at Wine Concepts.
Initially the waiter serving me was attentive, and fetched and carried what I requested, but once I had finished eating, he left me stranded, and I had to ask another waitress to bring a dessert and Illy cappuccino (R14). Moreau’s wife came to take over the service, and apologised, explaining that my waiter had to take over the coffee-making as the person designated to do this had to have a lunch break! If one takes any pastries away, they are neatly packed in a purple Cassis Paris box, with branding in gold and a golden board on which the pastry is presented. The bill says thank you in English and French.
Cassis Paris has a fantastic opportunity to win business from the nearby Melissa’s, which is attracting greater dissatisfaction from its long-standing customers. However, it needs to improve its service, as this is Melissa’s weakness too. There is only a service door connecting the shop and the Salon, which could mean that Cassis Paris staff may neglect the clients in the sitdown Salon de Thé. I walked past Melissa’s to get to my car, and Melissa’s was half full, showing that it had lost some custom to Cassis on that day. Moreau will have to check on his branches – I was in the Constantia branch yesterday, and was served by a chewing gum chewing staff member, an absolute no-no in the hospitality industry. Cassis Paris has an opportunity to serve teas and coffees from its Constantia branch on a reduced scale, served with its great pastries, given the poor coffees served by the close-by The Village Beanery.
POSTSCRIPT 3/6/12: Cassis Salon de thé has just opened in Gardens’ Centre, with a superb menu and excellent service. It is located on the upstairs level, and not next to its shop. The Vol au vent is excellent value at R48. All pastries stocked in the shop can be ordered to eat or take-away at the restaurant, but at a surcharge. Opening hours are Monday – Friday 7h30 – 19h00; Saturday 7h30 – 17h30; Sunday 7h30 – 14h30.
Cassis Paris Salon de Thé, Newlands Village, corner Kildare and Main Road, Newlands. Tel (021) 671-1305. French Oven Head Office Tel (021) 552-1305. www.cassis.co.za. (The website contains a listing of every product sold in the stores, with a description and a good quality photograph of each. The website does not list the new Constantia store, nor the Salon de Thé). Monday – Friday 8h00 – 18h00, Saturday 8h00 – 16h00, Sunday 8h00 – 14h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage