Tag Archives: Cafe Bon Bon

Exciting top-end restaurants open in Cape Town and Winelands this month, restaurant openings slow down: November 2018!

November is an exciting month, with new restaurant openings by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts (The Commissary), by Chef Peter Tempelhoff (FYN), and the very eagerly awaited restaurant Gåte by Chef Rikku O’Donnchü at Quoin Rock in Stellenbosch. There is a marked slow down in new restaurant openings, other than by new restaurant group Cowboys & Cooks. 

Restaurant openings

#   Le Petit Manoir has opened as a Deli and Restaurant in Franschhoek, with Chef Kevin Grobler heading up the kitchen. (Photograph)

Restaurant Review: Le Petit Manoir Restaurant just does not gel, despite Chefs’ experience In a Michelin star restaurant!

#. Michael Townsend, founder of the Harbour House Group but no longer with the Group, is to open The Grill Room in Sunset Beach. He has also bought Sevruga in the Waterfront. A third restaurant, in Sea Point, will open in September 2019.

New Cowboys and Cooks restaurant operations and consultancy group starting to cook up a storm!

#  The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is to open a Cowboys and Cooks restaurant in Stellenbosch; The Backyard BBQ in various locations; Cabron Tex Mex restaurants in Durbanville and Stellenbosch, alongside the Bree Street Branch; and Viva Tex Mex in Kenilworth. It has taken over Slug & Lettuce, a Gastropub franchise with six branches, for which a new look and menu will be developed, starting off in Durbanville. The group has also just bought a 50% share in Primi Piatti, with 18 outlets.

#   Maison J Café et Croissant, a joint venture between renowned Jason Bakery baker Jason Lillie and his sister Brigitte, as well as Vida e Caffé founders David Chait and Rui Esteves, has opened alongside the Pick ‘n Pay in Camps Bay, in a joint venture with the retailer. If this branch works well, it is set to roll out in other Pick ‘n Pay stores, the Waterfront likely to be the next branch to open. 

#   Between Us has opened on Bree Street, as a restaurant and bar, belonging to the twin sisters who originally opened Skinny Legs & All. 

#. The Deli Coffee Co is the new rebranded name of four Melissa’s branches: V&A Waterfront, Kloof Street, Somerset West, and Hermanus, owned by Surine van Niekerk. Prices are set to drop, she says. The Waterfront branch has opened in the former Dalliance and White Rabbit space. 

#  Restaurateur Ian Halfon has opened a smallish intimate new restaurant Walther’s Steakhouse next door to Belthazar in the V&A Waterfront. 

#  Chef Jenny Morris has opened Yumcious Durbanville.

#  The Skotnes Restaurant has opened at the Norval Foundation, with Executive Chef Phil de Villiers, previously of Primal Eatery. 

#  Paris Café has opened in Green Point.

#   42 on Canterbury has opened as a bar and an event venue in District Six/Zonnebloem

#  The La Colombe Group is taking over the bar and restaurant at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek, after refurbishments. It will be called Protégé. Stephen Raaff is the Head Chef.

New Protégé Restaurant to open at Le Quartier Français, second Le Colombe Group restaurant!

#  Back’s Bar has opened on Main Road in Paarl, where Juno used to be. 

#   Chef Reuben Riffel has opened Reuben’s at The Capital Moloko in Johannesburg, his first Gauteng restaurant. 

#   A new breakfast and lunch Eatery is being developed at Val de Vie, in conjunction with Chef Reuben Riffel. 

#  Chef Jarryd has opened So Cal (for South California), a Bar above Charango on Bree Street. 

#  Manga has opened on Church Street

#  Sotana Bree Street has opened where Odyssey used to be.

#  1 Oak is set to open on Strand Street, an upmarket celebrity bar, music, and event venue modeled on a New York counterpart. The restaurant Butter will open inside this venue. 

#   Chef Bertus Basson has expanded his restaurant empire, opening Eike by bertusbasson as his sixth restaurant, and fifth in Stellenbosch. 

#  Bao Down Restaurant has opened in Oranjezicht. 

#   Upper Bloem has opened on Main Road in Green Point, where Maggie’s Café used to be, a joint venture between Chefs Henry Vigar and Andre Hill of La Mouette. 

Restaurant Review: Upper Bloem brings Bo-Kaap and Cape Malay cuisine to Green Point!

#    TOSSD Salad Bar has opened on Sloane Square in Gardens, Cape Town. 

#   Chef George Jardine has opened Restaurant Seven with George Jardine in Somerset West.

#   Safari #7 Somali take-away restaurant has opened on Long Street. 

#  Chef David Higgs’ newest restaurant Saint ‘Pazzo Italiano’ has opened in Sandton. 

#   No 89 has opened on Bree Street.

#   Sans Ethical Green Grocer Deli has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Pauline’s Stand Up Coffee Bar has opened in the Artem Centre in Sea Point. 

#   Victoire Boulangerie, Pâtisserie, and Bistro has opened in Speakers Corner on Church Square, a joint venture between Chef William Galzin of Montpellier and Drikus Hancke of Cape Town, a former Melissa’s franchisee. 

#   Chefs Luke Dale-Roberts and Ryan Cole have opened Salsify @ The Roundhouse in Camps Bay.

Restaurant Review: Salsify at The Roundhouse brings Fine-Dining to Camps Bay, a crazy contrast of colonial and contemporary experiences!

#   Crayfish Wharf is to open in Paternoster.

#  Beleef has opened in the space in which Ryan’s Kitchen operated in Franschhoek. 

#  Grande Provence in Franschhoek has opened The Bistro as an extension to their Tasting Room.

#   Ellen Jay has opened as a coffee shop inside Constantia Fabrics. 

#   Garden’s Club has opened where Chalk & Cork used to operate on Kloof Street. 

#   The Santé Wellness Retreat & Spa restaurant has opened in Klapmuts, with Executive Chef Terrence Ford. 

#  Osetra has opened in Kalk Bay, with co-owner Oscar Kotze.

#   The Commissary will open next door to The Shortmarket Club, with Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, under the mentorship of Chef Luke Dale-Roberts. It is planned to be a no-reservation, back to basics offering. 

#   Gåte restaurant is to open at Quion Rock Winery on 1 December, with Rikku O’Donaghue as the Executive Chef, who worked at a two Michelin star restaurant Merchants Manor before moving to our country. He has been a restaurant consultant locally, including at Sevruga. Head Chef is Warwick King, previously with Delaire Graff, The Stack, and The Ritz Revolving Restaurant. Other team members include Pastry Chef Izelle de Villiers, Nicole Loubser, Tyrone Truter, Josh Crewdson,  and Rufus Scholtz. 

Preview: New Gåte restaurant to become a rock star at Quoin Rock Winery, Fine Dining at its finest!

Gåte Restaurant at Quoin Rock takes SA restauranting to a new level, experiential and interactive dining and wining at its finest!

#  Seattle Coffee Company has taken over the coffee shop at Exclusive Books in the V&A Waterfront. 

#  Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened Chicha in Sea Point. 

#   The Harbour House Group has bought Mondiall in the V&A Waterfront, and is to turn it into a La Parada, to open in November. 

#  Chef Peter Tempelhoff has announced that his FYN Restaurant and bar will open in Speaker’s Corner on Church Square in November. Jennifer Hugé is the new GM! And Ashley Moss is the Chef, moving across from the Greenhouse. 

Chef Peter Tempelhoff opens first own restaurant FYN in Speakers’ Corner in Cape Town city centre!

#. The Harbour House at Constantia Nek has been remodelled into the fine dining The Restaurant at the Nek, with Chef Dylan Laity in the kitchen. 

#   Stargarden Boutique Café has opened in Fish Hoek 

Restaurant Review: Stargarden Boutique Café in Fish Hoek is a star!

#   Bobo’s Brasserie is opening in Mouille Point in November, where Pepenero used to be. 

#  Roca Café has opened where Melissa’s used to be in Franschhoek, open from midday to 21h00, and serving Tapas. 

#   Chef Chris Erasmus is said to be opening a restaurant at Haut Espoir in November, with Chef Nick Oosthuizen in the kitchen.

#  Riverine Rabbit has opened where ASH used to operate, by Chef Ash Heeger. 

#  Chef Ciska Rossouw has opened Loaves in Salt River, no longer operating Loaves on Long. 

#   BOCCA has re-opened on Bree Street, with new owners Guido Brambilla and Adnana Blaj

#   Haus & Laib Deli is opening in the former Eurohaus space on Loop Street. 

#  Chef Matt Manning is opening Grub & Vine Restaurant on Bree Street.

#   Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened at Palms Lifestyle Centre. 

#   Anni’s Gourmet  Pancakes & Belgian Waffles has opened in a Franschhoek 

#   Vadas Smokehouse and Bakery has opened at Spier, taking the place of Hoghouse, which Chef PJ Vadas no longer appears to be associated with. 

#   Syrup Breakfast is opening on Bree Street.

#  The Creamery is to open a branch in Durbanville Village Square. 

Restaurant closures

#. The iconic Melissa’s, with 19 stores, has been declared insolvent. Some stores will be rebranded (four as The Deli Coffee Co), while others have closed down, including the Table View Branch. The Waterfront branch is currently closed, but will reopen in a new location in mid-September. 

#.  Dalliance restaurant and White Rabbit coffee shop, part of the Kove Collection, have closed their doors in the V&A Waterfront. 

#.  IYO Burgers has closed on Bree Street

#.  Iconic Kitima has closed down in Hout Bay, following a rumour of its demise circulating last year but denied at the time. 

#. Odyssey (with French Toast before it) has closed down on Bree Street

#. The Ritz is temporarily closed, and with it its Top of The Ritz and CASA restaurants. 

#  Shego has closed down at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel. 

#  The Crazy Horse gastropub has closed down on Bree Street. 

#  Mitico has closed down on Kloof Street. Yours Truly has expanded into the space. 

#   So sad to hear that Chef Warrick Taylor of SOURCE restaurant in Hermanus has sold the restaurant and is leaving the country with his family. 

#   Cargills in Rondebosch has closed down. 

#   Savoy Cabbage in Heritage Square in the city centre has closed down, after 20 years. 

#  Eurohaus on Loop Street has closed down

#  Karoux has closed down in McGregor. 

#   Olami on Bree Street has closed down. 

#  BlackandCo has closed down in Constantia. 

#   Chalk & Cork has closed down. 

#   Bukhara has closed down in Stellenbosch. 

#  Loaves on Long has closed. 

#  ASH restaurant has closed.

Chef changes 

#. Chef Sidwell Yarrow has left La Petite Ferme, to return to the cruise ships. The restaurant on the wine estate is now headed up by Chef Kyle Norris.

#. Chef Gerard van Staden is the new chef at Pearl Valley. 

#  Chef Gary Welgemoed is the Head Chef at the Carrol Boyes Chocolate division. 

#   Lee-Andra Govender is the new Pastry Chef at The Table Bay Hotel. 

#   Chef Evan Coosner has left Open Door/Bocca/Burrata.

#   Chef Archie MacLean has left Catharina’s and moved to Coco Safar. He has since left Coco Safar, and is said to have joined La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek. 

#   Chef Guy Clark has left Tintswalo, now consulting. 

#   Carmen Rueda is the new Pastry Chef of Coco Safar, formerly from El Bulli and The Fat Duck.

#   Chef Richard Carstens has left Tokara Restaurant, and is said to be starting a restaurant consultancy with Chef Reuben Riffel. 

#   Carolize Coetzee has been appointed as Executive Chef at Tokara, moving from Dornier wine estate.

#  Chef Archie MacLean has left Coco Safar, and is running Café Bon Bon in Franschhoek with his wife 

#  Christian Hellinger is the new Chef at Holden Manz

Restaurant changes

#  La Parada Camps Bay is undergoing renovations, and is transforming into a Tiger’s Milk.


Please share news about restaurant openings and closures with me at chrisvonulmenstein@gmail.com

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

Franschhoek sparkles with Cap Classique and Champagne Festival!

The Cap Classique and Champagne Festival is one of the highlights of the Franschhoek calendar, and its contribution to tourism is in the league of the Bastille Festival and Franschhoek Literary Festival.  In the next two days 51 Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) and Champagne producers will be offering their bubblies for tasting, at marquees alongside the Huguenot Monument.  Thirteen MCC producers are from Franschhoek. The dress theme is ‘Black and White’ with an emphasis on ‘Birds and Bows’, and the Festival is open from 12h00 – 17h00.  Entrance costs R200.

The bubbly producers are as follows: Colmant, Graham Beck Wines, Krone, La Motte, Morena, Môreson, Pierre Jourdan, Simonsig, Steenberg, Allée Bleue, Avondale, Bon Courage, Boschendal, Bramon, Cederberg, Chabvin, De Wetshof, Dieu Donné, Domaine des Deux, Francois La Garde, Villiera, Genevieve, GM & Ahrens, Guinevere, Groote Post, JC le Roux, Kumkani, Laborie, L’Omarins Anthonij Rupert, My Wyn, Plaisir de Merle, Pongracz, Quion Rock, Rickety Bridge, Ross Gower, Saltare, Saronsberg, Silverthorn, Sterhuis, Stony Brook, Tanzanite, Villiera, Weltevrede, Wonderfontein Paul René, Woolworths, Billecart Salmon, Tribaut, Guy Charbaut, Claude Beaufort, Follet-Ramillon, Therry Lesne, and Veuve Clicquot.

Food and other beverages will be offered for sale by Franschhoek restaurants, including Café Bon Bon, Deluxe Coffeeworks, Chamonix, Haute Cabrière is offering salads, Huguenot Fine Chocolates, Jessie’s Ice Cream, Le Franschhoek Hotel is offering pork pies and macaroons, Le Quartier Français, Bread & Wine, Mont Rochelle, Roca Restaurant, Salmon Bar, with Wild Peacock selling oysters.

POSTSCRIPT 2/12: The Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival has just endeded, a highly successful event.  The best dressed stand, in our opinion, was Morena from Franschhoek, always looking classy. Graham Beck was the best branded stand.

Cap Classique and Champagne Festival, end of Huguenot Road at Huguenot Monument, Franschhoek. Tel (021) 876-2861.  www.franschhoek.org.za Book via www.webtickets.co.za

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

Franschhoek pop-ups with October ‘Art in Clay’ exhibitions, Music Festival, and ‘Cook Franschhoek’!

Franschhoek understands the value of regular events, and the power they have in attracting visitors to the village.  During October it is hosting its first ‘Franschhoek Art in Clay’ ceramics exhibition, Ceramics Fair, a pop-up ceramics shop, and setting up ‘pop-up’ restaurants in some of the participating galleries too.  In addition, the summer season of Cook Franschhoek takes place, and a Classical Music Festival will end off the month on a high note.

The driving force behind the ‘Art in Clay’ event is David Walters, who is one of South Africa’s leading potters and has been working in Franschhoek for a number of years now.   The participating galleries, and the ceramicists exhibiting their work, are the following:

Ceramics Gallery: Potter David Walters has been working in ceramics for 35 years, and now specialises in porcelain.  He has started specialising in creating dinnerware for some of the top restaurants in our country, including Reuben’s. He founded the Midlands Meander.  Exhibition of work by him, his daughter Sarah Walters, and by Jonathan Keep, Christo Giles, John Wilhelm, and Lindsay Scott.  Reuben Riffel will prepare a lunch on 23 October (sold out already). High Tea will be served, using David Walters’ hand-made tea sets, including Wedgewood nougat and Angel biscuits, on weekends, at R50.   24 Dirkie Uys Street.  Monday – Sunday 10h00 – 18h00. Tel (021) 876-4304.

Artefact: Tiny gallery with ceramics work by Vuyisa Potina, Andrea Desmond Smith, Kobus Stander, David Walters, and Sarah Walters.  Daniel Hugo Street.  Tel (021) 876-4304.

Ebony: Ceramics work by Clementina van der Walt, Hennie Meyer, Katherine Glenday, Lisa Ringwood, Mick and Sally Haigh, and Michael Chandler. Opening cocktail party for invited guests only, with food served by Neil Jewell on ceramicware made by the exhibitors. Franschhoek Square, Huguenot Street.  Tel 082 558 2221

Gallery at Grande Provence: Ceramics works by Imiso Ceramics, Zizamele Ceramics, Michael Haig, Louise Gelderblom, and Rae Goosen.  Lunches available daily next door in the Restaurant at Grande Provence. Main Road.  Tel (021) 876-8600.

IS Art: Ceramics work by Hylton Nel, Ralph Johnson, Helen Vaughan, Lisa Firer, Ann Marais, Wilma Cruise, Dale Lambert, Wendy McLachlin, Sue van Rensburg, Chris Smart, Caroline Heydenrecht, Hannes van Zyl, John Wilhelm, and Rebecca Tetley.   Lunch for 12 served in the gallery on 23 October by Margot Janse.  Huguenot Str.  Tel (021) 876-8443.

La Motte Museum: The theme if the exhibition is “Potters who are no longer with us”, paying tribute to deceassed and emigrated potters, in exhibiting the Ceramics SA exhibition at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, and from the Social History Collection of Iziko Museums of Cape Town.  Artists’ work exhibited includes that of Barbara Jackson, Bonnie Ntshalinsthali, Hyne Rabinowitz, Esias Bosch, Tim Morris, Sonja Gerlings, and Marietjie van der Merwe.  Lunches are available at Pierneef à La Motte.   Tel (021) 876-8850. Tuesday – Sunday 9h00 – 17h00.

The ‘Pop-Up’ Ceramics shop will be located in The Yard (where Isabellina was, at 38 Huguenot Road, home of the Salmon Bar and Pam Golding Properties) for the month of October,  including ceramics work by Heath Nash, Zizamele, Imiso Ceramics, Andy de Klerk of Cabinetworks, Urban Africa, Soulchild, and Chimpel. Under the trees outside the Dutch Reformed Church hall members of the Cape Craft & Design Institute and of Ceramics SA will display and sell their pottery on Saturday 29 October.

In honour of Franschhoek’s Gourmet status, and many potters’ crafting dinnerware for the local restaurants, the Summer season of ‘Cook Franschhoek’ takes place next weekend, from 7 – 9 October, and allows food lovers to rub shoulders with the local chefs and winemakers.  On Friday Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon will prepare beetroot risotto, beetroot chutney, and beetroot flatbread, paired with Haut Espoir wine; Chef Adrian Buchanan of Freedom Hill will demonstrate preparing grilled scallops with prawns, chorizo and pea shoot salad; Salmon Bar’s Chef Judy Sendzul will do a salmon and trout tasting, paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel will prepare chocolate hazelnut dacquoise, paired with La Bri wines; Chef Ryan Smith of Ryan’s Kitchen will do an ice cream, and sorbet demo, pairing with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte will demonstrate cooking meat with shiraz, chocolate spice and berries, using La Motte wines.  On Saturday the Franschhoek Food Emporium’s Chef Robert Rittel will do a talk on the art of patés and terrines, pairing with Lynx Wines; Chef Shaun Schoeman of Fyndraai Restaurant will talk about veldfood flavours, pairing with Solms-Delta Winery; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon does a pork belly demo, pairing with Haut Espoir; Chef Ryan Smith repeats the ice cream and sorbet demo, paired with Antonij Rupert Wines; Chef Margot Janse prepares beetroot sponge, spinach and onion puree, buttermilk labne, dill and cucumber granita, paired with Haut Espoir wines; Chef Paula Johnson of Le Verger repeats her chocolate hazelnut dacqouise, paired with La Bri wines; and Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte repeats his course on cooking meat with Shiraz;  Chef Adrian Buchanan repeats the scallop, prawn, chorizo and pea shoot salad demo, paired with their Freedom Hill wines; and the Salmon Bat trout and salmon tasting , paired with Boekenhoutskloof wines, is repeated.  On Sunday Chef Reuben Riffel will cook miso glazed Franschhoek salmon trout, paired with Boekenhoutskloof; Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon demonstrates the making of a Christmas apple and cranberry cake, and a spice-infused milk tart, paired with Haut Espoir; and the art of patés and terrines by Chef Robert Rittel of Franschhoek Food Emporium, with wines by Lynx, is repeated.

To add a crescendo to the month-long ceramics exhibition, talented Steinway pianist Christopher Duigan has organised the 8th Classic Music Festival for the last weekend of October.  The programme kicks off with a tribute to ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, with Zorada Temmingh performing in the Dutch Reformed Church, utilising a restored 1925 silent movie version of the film, with organ improvisation, on Friday 28 October. On the programme for 29 October are Claude Bolling’s suites for flute and jazz piano in the Dutch Reformed Church; a Food, Wine and Music tasting takes place in the courtyard in The Yard, outside the Salmon Bar and Taste South Africa, with cheese, charcuterie, and trout boards, a wine tasting, and music by accordionist Stanislav Angelov; and ‘Music of the Night’ with Louise Howlett and Albert Combrink at Café Bon Bon, with dinner.   On Sunday Christopher Duigan will perform ‘Liszt vs Liszt’ at the Dutch Reformed Church; classical guitarist James Grace performs at Bread & Wine over lunch; and a ‘Festival Finale’ will be held at Café Bon Bon.

Franschhoek Art in Clay, Franschhoek.  1 – 30 October.  Contact David Walters for more information: Tel (021) 876- 4304.   For details of the Classic Music Festival: www.musicrevival.co.za For tickets for Cook Franschhoek: www.webtickets.co.za

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

Franschhoek Literary Festival books top writers!

The fifth Franschhoek Literary Festival takes place from 13 – 15 May, and top writers have been invited to address book lovers.   The Festival has established itself as a must-attend event, and the Franschhoek accommodation establishments and restaurants tend to be fully booked over this weekend.

The Franschhoek Literary Festival is organised by Jenny Hobbs and Sheenagh Taylor, Hobbs herself being an author who has just launched another book entitled ‘Kitchen Boy’.  Ticket prices have been held at R60, and the proceeds go to the Franschhoek Literary Festival Library Fund.  A variety of 70 sessions on books, writing, and even the new social media is offered. 

Kicking off on Friday morning 13 May, the day’s multi-theme highlights include a session on Tweeting, chaired by Sam Wilson, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Lifestyle at 24.com, discussing cellphone fiction; a session on editing and being edited; on drug taking with Melinda Ferguson, who wrote ‘Smacked, Hooked’ about her drug addiction; on the value of literary prizes, discussed by past winners Justin Cartwright, Henrietta Rose-Innes and Imraan Coovadia; ‘A jug of wine, a loaf of bread’ is the theme of a session chaired by Hilary Biller, Sunday Times Food Editor with panelists Michael Olivier (editor of Crush!),  JP Rossouw (‘Rossouw’s Restaurants’ Restaurant Reviewer), and Anna Trapido (an Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant judge); on crime writing with a panel which includes Mike Nichol and Sarah Lotz; on moving from journalism into book writing, including speakers Jenny Hobbs, Jacques Pauw, and Hamilton Wende; on the behind-the-scenes stories about the country’s first democratic election in 1994, chaired by Cape Talk presenter John Maytham; and on following up a successful novel.

On Saturday 14 May the sessions include “How to fix our schools”; on writing a book, each of the three panelists being a medical doctor; on writing about history; on writing for teenagers; on how it was and what could have been in Zimbabwe; writing about Nelson Mandela, with Mandela writers Anna Trapido, Mike Nicol and Tim Couzens in discussion with Max du Preez; Shaun Johnson, a past Festival speaker, past head of Independent Newspapers, CEO of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation, and who will be staying at Whale Cottage Franschhoek, will talk about “Other People’s Money”; on press freedom; on writing love stories; a discussion with Barbara Trapido, author of ‘Sex & Stravinsky’; and on the increasing popularity of short stories.

On Sunday 15 May the day kicks off with a discussion on “Mzansi” and what it means; on life challenges; on ‘Skop, Skiet en Donder’, on writing about Cape Town, with panelists Rayda Jacobs, Henrietta Rose-Innes and Gus Ferguson; on being a full-time writer; on writing from exile; on the South African wine industry, with the co-author Wilmot James discussing the new book ‘Grape – Vineyard Stories’; and about travel writing, with Justin Cartwright, Hamilton Wende and Douglas Rogers.

Alongside the debates and discussions about all things literary, a number of other related events have been organised: a Sunday Times Storybook Campaign fundraising dinner at Reuben’s, to be addressed by Barry Ronge, Jonathan Jansen and Jonny Steinberg, on Friday 13 May, and another on 14 May, to be addressed by Barbara Trapido, Zakes Mda and Peter Godwin; a performance of Montiverdi’s Vespro da concerto on Saturday 14 May; a poetry reading by Kobus Moolman and piano performance by Christopher Duigan on 14 May; followed by a dinner concert, organised by Christopher Duigan, at Café Bon Bon; a Liszt vs Liszt performance by Christopher Duigan on Sunday 15 May, as well as a Sunday afternoon concert at Café Bon Bon, also with Christopher Duigan,

Franschhoek Literary Festival: www.flf.co.za  Tickets can be bought from www.webtickets.co.za.

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

Franschhoek chefs will be cooking (with wine) at ‘Cook Franschhoek’ in June!

A number of hands-on demonstrations by some of the top chefs in Franschhoek will take place over the weekend of 10 -12 June, the chefs sharing their knowledge and passion for their craft, in what Franschhoek Wine Valley is calling ‘Cook Franschhoek’. 

The chefs that have been included in ‘Cook Franschhoek’ are Margot Janse of The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français, Neil and Tina Jewell from Bread & Wine, Bjorn Dingemans from Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz wine estate, Judy Sendzul from the Salmon Bar, Ryan Smith from Ryan’s Kitchen, Leigh Trout from Mange Tout at Mont Rochelle Hotel, Darren Roberts at Grande Provence, Chris Erasmus at Pierneef à La Motte, Pierre Hendriks of Le Bon Vivant, Matthew Gordon from Haute Cabriere, Adrian Buchanan from Freedom Hill, as well as representatives of L’ermitage, Huguenot Fine Chocolates, Le Franschhoek Hotel, and Franschhoek Country House and Villas.   Each course will accept 8 – 30 participants, depending on the size of the demonstration venue.   Each demonstration will be paired with a Franschhoek wine.  Most, but not all, of the demonstrations will be held at the Franschhoek Kitchen.  The cost per course and the venues will be announced tomorrow, and will be added to this blogpost.

Franschhoek’s best wine estates will participate in ‘Cook Franschhoek’ too, including Franschhoek Pass Winery, La Motte, Grande Provence, Cabrière, Haut Espoir, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Mont Rochelle and Môreson. 

Accommodation will be available at a variety of accommodation establishments over the ‘Cook Franschhoek’ weekend.  Whale Cottage Franschhoek is offering ‘Cook Franschhoek’ participants a special reduced winter rate for the weekend.

Franschhoek is re-asserting its positioning as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa.  While it may no longer have the largest number of Eat Out  Top 10 restaurants, it has just launched the Franschhoek Wine Valley Food & Wine Route, and ‘Cook Franschhoek’ is another demonstration of Franschhoek’s culinary leadership.

‘Cook Franschhoek’, 10 – 12 June.  www.franschhoek.org.za. Tickets can be bought at www.webtickets.co.za

POSTSCRIPT 18/3: The Franschhoek Wine Valley has not dotted all its i’s nor crossed all its t’s, and therefore is not yet able to provide cost, chef and venue details, as was promised for yesterday.  Darren Roberts from Grande Provence denies being a participant of the ‘Cook Franschhoek’ programme, not the first time that they have been erroneously listed on a Franschhoek programme, Roberts says. 

POSTSCRIPT 6/4: The program for Cook Franschhoek has been finalised.  Most of the demos will take place at Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, the exception being those at the Salmon Bar, Le Quartier Français, Allora, and Pierneef à La Motte.  At each demo a chef and a matching winemaker will participate.  Prices range from R 30 for a chocolate tour and tasting at Huguenot Fine Chocolates, to R 225 each for two demos by the Salmon Bar, hosted by Judy Sendzul of the Salmon Bar and Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof: a Farmed versus Wild-caught salmon cook-off on 11/6, and a Salmon and Trout Tasting on 12/6.   On average the prices for the other demos range between R100 – R150.   Grande Provence and Le Bon Vivant are no longer participating in the event.  The full Franschhoek chef and winemaker list is as follows:

*   Adrian Buchanan of Freedom Hill restaurant, and Dieter Sellmeyer of Lynx

*   Chris Smit of Café Bon Bon, with Rob Armstrong of Haut Espoir

*   Bjorn Dingemans of Franschhoek Kitchen, and Mark Carmichael-Green of Holden Manz

*   Leigh Trout of Mange Tout at Mont Rochelle Hotel, and Dustin Osborne of Mont Rochelle 

*   Judy Sendzul of Salmon Bar, and Marc Kent of Boekenhoutskloof

*   Ryan Smith of Ryan’s Kitchen, and Neil Patterson of Antonij Rupert Wines

*   Matthew Gordon of Haute Cabriere, and Takuan von Arnim of Cabriere

*   Daniel Botha of La Verger at Le Franschhoek Hotel, and Susan Erasmus of Vrede & Lust

*   Neil and Tina Jewell of Bread & Wine, and Clayton Reabow of Môreson

*   Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte, and Edmund Terblanche of La Motte

*   Louis Jansen of Monneaux, and and DP Burger of Glenwood

*   Philip Aplas of Allora, and Terra del Capo (Anthonij Rupert Wines)

*   Ethne Booysen of L’Ermitage Hotel, and Wynand Grobler of Rickety Bridge

*   Margot Janse of Le Quartier Français, and Rob Armstrong of Haut Espoir

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

Restaurants with Christmas and New Year celebration sparkle in Cape Town and Winelands

The Festive Season is upon us.  We have received information about the following Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve packages offered by restaurants in Cape Town and in the Winelands, which we will update as we receive new information:

Christmas Eve dinner

*   Oasis Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel:   Christmas Eve buffet and jazz R 495, and R195 for children under 12 years.  Tel (021) 483-1000

*   La Vierge, Hermanus:  3-course meal R450. Tel (028) 313-2007

*   Tides Restaurant at Bay Hotel, Camps Bay : 4-course dinner and complimentary cocktail R 250.  Tel (021) 430-4444

*   33 Dine, Stellenbosch:   3-course dinner R 350.   Tel (021) 881-3792

*   Brio 1893, Adderley Street, Cape Town – eggnog on arrival, 3 courses R400.  Tel (021) 422-0654

*   Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, Stellenbosch: glass of bubbly, canapés, and 6-course dinner R 500 without wine, R800 with wine.   Tel (021) 881-3441

Christmas Day lunch

*  Grande Provence, Franschhoek:  3-course Christmas lunch plus complimentary drink R 690 Tel (021) 876-8600

*   Oasis Restaurant at Mount Nelson Hotel: Christmas lunch buffet with jazz R 695, and R220 for children under 12 years.  Tel (021) 483-1000

*   Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg wine estate, Constantia:   5-course lunch R 425. Tel (021) 713 2211

*   Haute Cabriere, Franschhoek: 5 courses R 480.  tel (021) 876-3688

*   La Vierge, Hermanus:  3 course meal R 450. Tel (028) 313-2007

*   1800 Degree Grill Room, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, Green Point: “world-class” 3-course lunch R450. Tel (021) 430-0500

*   Chenin Restaurant Wine Bar, Old Cape Quarter:  3 course lunch and glass of bubbly R300.  Tel (021) 425-2200

*   Tides Restaurant, Bay Hotel, Camps Bay:  Complimentary cocktail, Buffet and Bottle of wine, entertainment R 575

Allee Bleue, Franschhoek:   5-course lunch R250.  Tel (021) 874-1886

*   Five Flies, Keerom Street, Cape Town:  3-course lunch R275. Tel (021) 424-4442 

*   33 Dine, Stellenbosch:   3-course lunch R 399.  Tel (021) 881-3792

*   Bread & Wine, Franschhoek: lunch R385. Tel (21) 876-3692

*   Guinea Fowl Restaurant @ Saxenburg: 3 course meal R275.  Tel (021) 906-0489

*   La Mouette, Sea Point: 4 course lunch R350

*   Café Bon Bon, Franschhoek: canape, starter, buffet, desserts R475 and half price per child under 12 years

*   Rickety Bridge, Franschhoek: 3 course lunch R 295, R150 per child under 12.  Tel 083 377 4103

*   Blowfish, Blouberg: eggnogg on arrival, 4 course lunch R295. Tel (21) 556-5464

*   Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, Stellenbosch:  4 course lunch R395. Tel (021) 881-3441

*   Olivello, Stellenbosch: Christmas lunch R 295/R175 per child.  tel (021) 875-5443

New Years’ Eve

*   Waterkloof Restaurant at Waterkloof wine estate, Somerset West:  R 450 for 4 courses, without wine, R590 with 4 glasses of wine added. Tel (021) 858-1292

*   Grande Provence, Franschhoek: 5-course New Year’s Eve dinner plus welcome drink and countdown Champagne R1490.  tel (021) 876-8600.

*   Oasis Restaurant at Mount Nelson Hotel:   New Year’s Eve Buffet and jazz R 350, and R 195 per child under 12 years.

*   Bhandaris Indian Restaurant: 3 course New Year dinner and dance R250. Tel (021) 702-2975

*   Pigalle, Green Point: 1920’s Spectacular 5-course dinner and band, R 1250.  Tel (021) 421-4848

*   Haute Cabriere, Franschhoek:  6 course meal R 550. Tel (021) 876-3688

*   Cafe Chic, Gardens, Cape Town:   5-course dinner, free glass of red or white wine, and DJ.  R 350. Tel (021) 465-7218.

*   Gold Restaurant, Gold Museum, Strand Street, Cape Town: 14 course dinner, welcome drink plus bubbly at midnight, live entertainment, marimba band R 600 + 10 % service fee.  Tel (021) 421-4653

*   1800 Degree Grill Room, Main Road, Green Point: 4 -course dinner R 450; or 4-course dinner and access to Sky Bar New Year’s party R750.  Tel (021) 430-0500.

*   Chenin Restaurant Wine Bar, Old Cape Quarter: 4 course meal, glass of bubbly and DJ R 500.  Tel (021) 425-2200 

  Reuben’s Franschhoek:  6-course meal, and glass of sparkling wine on arrival, entertainment R 1200. Tel (021) 876-3772

*   Pierneef à La Motte, La Motte, Franschhoek:  5-course meal without wine R 650, with wine R950.  Tel (021) 876-8000

*   Five Flies, Keerom Street:  4-course dinner and glass of Pierre “Jordan” (sic) sparkling wine, DJ, R 800  Tel (021) 424-4442

*   Vanilla Restaurant, Cape Quarter:   3-course meal and glass of sparkling wine R595.  Tel (021) 421-1391

*   Tuscany Beach Restaurant, Camps Bay:   3-course meal R895.  tel (021) 438-1213

*   33 Dine, Stellenbosch: glass of sparkling wine on arrival, 3 courses R 299. Tel (021) 881-3792

*   221 Waterfront, V&A Waterfront; 5 course meal, DJ, glass of bubbly R 1450.  Tel (021) 418-3633

*   Brio 1893, Adderley Street, Cape Town: 3 course meal, band, oysters, caviar and bubbly R 1400. Tel (021) 422-0654

*   Paranga, Camps Bay: 5 courses, R 1200

*   Pepenero, Mouille Point:  4 courses and glass of bubbly  R600

*   La Mouette, Sea Point:  arrival cocktail, glass of midnight bubbly, 8 course meal R 650.

*   Boo Radley, city centre:  4 course dinner and party R 450 Tel (021) 424-3040

*   The Kove, Camps Bay:  5 courses R 1000.  

*   Monneaux, Franschhoek: 7 courses and drink and glass of bubbly R 695.  Tel (021) 876-3386

*   Rickety Bridge, Franschhoek: 4 course dinner R395. Tel 083 377 4103

*   Hussar Grill, Camps Bay Drive, Camps Bay: “Dinner and Dancing” R395 + 10 % service charge, no corkage.  tel (021) 438-0151.

*   Blowfish, Blouberg:   3 courses, including a Buffet, an oyster and a glass of bubbly, R 495 Tel (021) 556-5464

*   Beluga, Green Point:   5 course meal, cocktails R 900.   Tel (021) 418-2948

*   Blonde, Gardens:  5 course meal, bubbly, R900. Tel (021) 462-5793

*   Allesverloren, Riebeeck Kasteel: 3 course dinner and Masked Ball R 195. Tel 073 017 4402

*   Marika’s, Bakoven, Camps Bay:  Black and White theme party.  5-course dinner R 220.  tel (021) 438-2727.

*   Twankey Bar, Taj Hotel: cocktails, open bar for selected drinks, canapés and tapas, shooters, bubbly R750.   Tel (021) 819-2000

*   Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 9 course dinner R 985.  Tel (021) 657-4545

*   Vaudeville:  3 course meal, 2 bottles of spirits and mixers, minimum table of 8, R2200 per person. Tel (021) 419-7000

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

The Franschhoek Restaurant Route: highlights in the Gourmet Capital

Franschhoek still officially carries the Gourmet Capital crown, even though it faces strong competition from Stellenbosch, which is seeing the opening of an increasing number of excellent restaurants, so much so that we recently suggested that the town establish the Stellenbosch Restaurant Route.

Franschhoek probably has sat back on its gourmet laurels for a while, but must be delighted about the opening of two new excellent restaurants, Ryan’s Kitchen and Pierneef à La Motte, which add new interest to Franschhoek as a culinary destination.  In fairness to Franschhoek, I have suggested a Franschhoek Restaurant Route:

*   Pierneef à La Motte is culinary art, and has upped the quality of Franschhoek’s restaurant choice.  Its focus is Winelands Boerekos with a contemporary twist.  Chef Chris Erasmus is a breath of fresh air, working with historic recipes and transforming them into works of art,  reflecting Pierneef’s standards.  Tel (021) 876-8000

*   Grande Provence  is quietly delivering quality cuisine, with chef Darren Roberts doing the most beautiful presentation of his food.   The restaurant is not afraid to charge  a price that reflects his standards of cooking.   Outstanding decor, and surrounded by artwork from its Gallery.  Perfection is visible from the time one drives into the wine estate.  Top 10 restaurant for the past two years. Tel (021) 876-8600.

*   The Tasting Room is loved by some, but not by all.  It is expensive.  It seems to have good nights and bad nights.  Joint 10th with Overture on Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant List last year.  Tel (021) 876-2151

*   Ryan’s Kitchen has only been open for three months, set in a guest house,  with a high-tech kitchen, and quality cuisine by chef Ryan Smith.  “Contemporary South African cuisine” is the restaurant positioning, and a stronger African feel will be introduced in October, with a “Taste of Africa” menu.   Tel (021) 876-4598

*   Reuben’s has been the darling of Franschhoek, and a recent Tweet stated that it is the restaurant that tourists visit, while those that know go to Le Bon Vivant.   Opened 6 years ago, the restaurant’s service standards have dropped as Reuben’s has expanded to Robertson, and chef Reuben Riffel has taken on more projects.  Recently lost the sommelier to Bosman’s, but may not be a bad thing for the restaurant, as she was not very customer-friendly.  The biggest compliment to Reuben and his team, but also the largest challenge, in opening Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town  (A first meal at the new Reuben’s was a-maze-ing).   Tel (021) 876-3772

*   Allee Bleue has been very low key restaurant-wise, and it is uncertain exactly where the management wants to go with its dining options.  The Bistro at the entrance to the wine estate has always been friendly, and serves Bistro-style food at reasonable prices.  The departure of Chef Dane Newton is a shame, but with his replacement currently working at the Michelin-starred Schwarzer Adler, interesting things could be coming out of this kitchen soon. Tel (021) 874-1021

*   Cafe Bon Bon is one of the most relaxed and friendly breakfast and lunch-time stops in Franschhoek, on a most beautifully developed small-holding.  Tel (021) 876-3936

*   Haute Cabriere is owned by Franschhoek restaurant mogul Matthew Gordon.  While many find the ‘cave’-like interior a shame given the beautiful view outside, it remains popular, also as a wedding venue, and has a good relationship with Cabriere wines. Tel (021) 876-3688

*   La Petite Ferme is one of the best known restaurants with consistent quality and does not amend its menu much.  Visitors return, not only for the quality food but also for the wonderful view over Franschhoek, and for the relaxed atmosphere.  Tel (021) 876-3016

*   Dieu Donné also has an excellent view from its glass ‘walls’.   Its food quality was better when it first opened about two years ago. Tel (021) 876-2493

*   Le Bon Vivant is tucked away, off the main road, and is a ‘loner’, doing its own thing.  Beautiful presentation of food by chef Pierre. Tel (021) 876-2717

*   Rickety Bridge has a restaurant right at the vineyards, and offers picnics in summer.  Tel (021) 876-2129

*   French Connection is another Matthew Gordon restaurant, and is a pedestrian favourite of locals and tourists.  Good main road location.  Serving breakfast as well now.  Tel (021) 876-4056

*   Dutch East was struggling when we visited it in June.  It seemed to be trying too hard.   There is no particular style of food served.   Tel (021) 876-3547

*   Chez d’Or was previously Cafe Rouge, and has expanded its size, and brought the restaurant closer to the main road.   Sandwiches and pedestrian Bistro food.   Tel 082 372 7645

*   Allora is a good quality Italian restaurant.  Despite sister-restaurants in Johannesburg, the welcome is personal and one does not get a chain-feel at all. Good value family eating.  Tel (021) 876-4375.

*   Col’Cacchio is one of a chain by the same name, and one can predict what is on offer.  Not the best service, but very popular for outside sitting.   Tel (021) 876-4222

*  Boschendal– other than going there for historical reasons, or to eat their long-standing buffet lunch, there is little to attract one to an estate that does not yet embrace excellence, a shame given its heritage.  Its Le Piqniques are well-known and very popular in summer.   Tel (021) 870-4272

*   Fyndraai at Solms-Delta wine estate is a pleasant surprise, with interesting Kaapse kos.  On good weather days, sitting on the terrace is a treat.  Tel (021) 874-3937

*   Cotage Fromage is a joint venture between Matthew Gordon, Duncan Doherty and Pierre Smith, serving breakfasts and lunches, and doing the catering for wedding and other events at Vrede & Lust.   The menu does not reflect the capabilities of the three chefs.   Tel (021) 874-3991

*   The Grillroom is another Matthew Gordon restaurant, and fills a niche for patrons wanting mainly steak.  Unique restaurant in that one can buy good quality meat to take home too, as well as Franschhoek wines.   Tel (021) 876-2548

*   Cafe des Arts has taken over from Topsi’s, a Franschhoek institution.  Topsi still appears to be there regularly. (Tel (021) 876-2952

*   Salmon Bar is undergoing a renovation in part of the old Bouillabaisse building, which will enhance its visibility when it re-opens in November. Tel (021) 876- 4591

*   Bread & Wine is linked to Le Quartier Français, and only serves lunches.  Previously included in Eat Out Top 10 list, to the surprise of many. Good bread and charcuterie.  Tel (021) 876-3692.

*   Mon Plaisir is on the Chamonix estate, and is owned by a French couple offering French fare.  Little ambiance inside the restaurant.  Tel (021) 876-2393

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

Franschhoek has an Affair, pairing 14 wines and restaurants

This coming weekend, Franschhoek will be showcasing some of the best of its restaurants and wines, as well as food and wine related activities, under the banner of “Franschhoek Affair”.

The 14 restaurant and wine pairings on offer are the following, and the winemaker and chef “will be presenting their crafts to their guests”:

*   Allora Restaurant and Lynx Wines offer a 3-course meal for R 250. 25 and 26 June.  Tel 021 876-4375

*   Bread & Wine restaurant and Moreson Wines offer a 4-course meal for R 660.  Ten persons only. 26 June. Tel 021 876-4004

*   Cafe Bon Bon and La Bri Wines offer a 3-course meal, R650. 25 and 26 June.  tel 083 501 0878

*   Dieu Donne Restaurant and Dieu Donne Wines offer a 3-course lunch at R 275 (25 and 26 June) and a 5-course dinner (26 June).  Tel 021 876-3384

*   Dutch East and Antonij Rupert Wines offer a 3-course meal and one glass of Protea wine at R 165. 26 and 27 June.  Tel 021 876-3548

*   Fyndraai restaurant and Solms-Delta Wines offer 3 courses for R 190.  25 and 27 June. Tel 021 874-3937

*   Haute Cabriere restaurant and Cabriere Wines offer a 5-course dinner at R 480.  25 June. Tel 021 876-3688

*   The Tasting Room restaurant offers a 5-course dinner paired with “local wines” for R800. 25 June.  Tel 021 876-2151

*   Mange Tout restaurant and Mont Rochelle Wines offer a 4 course meal at R 480. 25 June dinner, 26 and 27 June lunch and dinner.  Tel 021 876-2770

*   Mon Plaisir restaurant and Chamonix Wines offer a 5-course dinner at R 550. 25 June. Tel 021 876-2393

*   Restaurant at Grande Provence and Grande Provence Wines offer a 4-course meal for R 320.  Maximum 20 guests. 25 and 26 June.   Tel 021 876-8600

*   Reubens restaurant and Graham Beck Wines offer a 5-course lunch for R 550. Maximum 24 guests.  27 June.  Tel 021 876-3772

*   Rickety Bridge restaurant and Rickety Bridge Wines offer 8 tasting courses for R 335.  25 June. Tel 021 876-2129

*   Salmon Bar and Franschhoek Pass Winery offer a 4 course salmon and bubbly pairing. 25 June lunch.  Tel 021 876-4591

Other food and wine related activities over the Franschhoek Affair weekend are the following:

*  Pasta making course at Allora restaurant, R 280, 25 and 26 June, 15h00

*   Huguenot Fine Chocolates shop tour and tasting, R 25, 25, 26 and 27 June, at 11h00, 12h00, 14h00 and 15h00

*   Sushi course at Allee Bleue, R 300, 26 and 27 June at 15h00

*   Breadmaking course at Bread & Wine, R 770, 26 June, 9h30

*   Cooking Class at Le Quartier Francais, R 895, 26 June 10h00 – 15h00

*   Chocolate Art course at Dieu Donne, 26 June at 9h30, and Sugar Art course 27 June at 16h00, R 500 each course

*   Traditional Cooking Tour (outdoors walking tour) at Solms-Delta, R 100, 26 and 27 June

*   Wine Tasting Tour – Cap Classique Tasting Tour (R395 includes R 120 lunch voucher, 26 June at 10h00), White Wine Tasting Tour (R495 includes R 120 lunch voucher, 27 June at 10h00) and Red Wine Tasting Tours (R395, 27 June at 15h00).

Further details about the “Franschhoek Affair” can be obtained from www.franschhoek.org.za or call the Franschhoek Tourism Bureau at tel 021 876-2861.

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

Franschhoek Literary Festival ‘books’ out Franschhoek

The fourth Franschhoek Literary Festival, taking place next weekend, has built up such a loyal following that it has virtually booked out the accommodation and restaurants in Franschhoek, a most welcome boost for the hospitality industry, given the quietest May ever experienced.

Author Christopher Hope is the Festival Director, and initiated the Festival Literary Festival, supported by organisers Jenny Hobbs and Sheenagh Tyler, as a “street party for writers and readers from across the country, and around the world.”   This is his last Festival as Director, Hope has announced.

A part of the proceeds of the Franschhoek Literary Festival goes to the Library Fund, and R 415 000 has been raised to date, allowing the organisers and attendees to achieve the objective of “the people shall read”, by buying books for libraries.

The Festival kicks off with the theme that Franschhoek has become famous for – gourmet food.  Donald Paul will talk to authors of food books Myrna Robbins (“Franschhoek Food”) and Marlene van der Westhuizen (“Sumptuous”), and Mark Dendy-Young, owner of La Petite Ferme, under the heading”The Chefs Who Played with Fire”. 

Other well-known writers who will talk at the Literary Festival are Antje Krog (‘Begging to be Black’), Aher Arap Bol (‘The Lost Boy’), Deon Meyer (‘Thirteen Hours’), John van der Ruit (‘Spud’), Rian Malan (‘Resident Alien’), Pieter Haasbroek (‘Kruispunt’), Damon Galgut (‘In a Strange Room’), Ivan Vladislavic (‘Flashback), Marita van der Vyver (‘Gourmet Rhapsody’), Christopher Hope (‘A Separate Development’),  Jonathan Shapiro (cartoonist Zapiro), and Margie Orford (‘Daddy’s Girl’).  

Alongside the Franschhoek Literary Festival will run the Autumn Music Festival, co-ordinated by talented classical pianist Christopher Duigan.   On Saturday 15 May Duigan plays two performances “celebrating Chopin”, honouring the composer’s 200th birthday anniversary, at 11h00 and at 18h00, both in the NG Church on the main road.  A Gala Opera evening will be hosted at Cafe Bon Bon, and costs R320 for a four-course meal, welcome drink, and music by soprano Bronwen Forbay.   Duigan plays “Music for a Sunday morning” on 16 May at the NG Church at 11h30, while Federico Freschi will sing Autumn Songs that afternoon at 15h30 at Cafe Bon Bon.    

Franschhoek Literary Festival, Franschhoek, 14 – 16 May. Tickets should be booked via www.webtickets.co.za.    Autumn Music Festival, 15 – 16 May – bookings for the Cafe Bon Bon concerts at tel 021 876-3936, tickets at the door (R80) for the NG Church concerts.

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

Franschhoek goes classical with La Motte

The La Motte Classic Music Festival takes place this coming weekend, and offers locals as well as visitors to Franschhoek a magnificent musical feast all weekend long.

The brainchild of Christopher Duigan, a gifted pianist who lives in Pietermaritzburg and who organises the classical music festivals in Franschhoek twice a year, the sponsorship by La Motte is a first.  

The Music Festival opens on Friday evening 30 October with a choice of concerts, an Evening of Song with Bronwen Forbay singing opera arias and songs in the NG Church at 19h30, or clarinetist Mathew Reid and the Camerata Tinta Barocca performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto at 19h00.

On Saturday 31 October Jacqueline Wedderburn-Maxwell, talented young teenage violinist, will play sonatas by Beethoven and Cesar Franck, and concert pieces by Sarasate and Paganini in the NG Church at 12h00.  At the same venue a concert showcases “Rising Stars: young artists in concert” at 14h00, followed by a fun explanation session about classic music and its instruments, hosted by Christopher Duigan, at the Dennegeur Hall at 16h00.   At 19h00 on the same day Ben Schoeman, an award-winning young pianist, will play music by Beethoven, Franck and Mendelssohn.   At 19h30 Belle Voci takes over La Brasserie for an evening of operatic delights served with La Motte wines and a three-course meal.

On Sunday 1 November the music day starts at 9h30 with a unique combination of text and music, performed in the NG Church by pianist Anneke Lamont, Flautist Handri Loots and Violinist Elmarie van der Vyver.     The pace hots up at 11h30, when Christopher Duigan plays Haendel, Beethoven, Debussy and Liszt in the NG Church.   An hour later talented piano duo Nina Schumann and Luis Magalhaes perform Rachmaninoff and Arensky.   At 15h30 the Stellenbosch LIbertas Choir will sing in the NG Church, and the programme includes a work called Jericho, as well as music by Haendel, Mendelssohn and Bach.   At 15h30 the Festival comes to an end with performances by many of the Festival musicians at Cafe’ Bon Bon.

Ticket prices range from free to R 80 for the concerts at the NG Church.  The concerts serving food and/or wine cost more.  Details about the Franschhoek La Motte Classic Music Festival can be obtained at www.la-motte.com.  Tickets can be bought at www.webtickets.co.za.

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