We have already predicted that Cape Town and our country will be overrun with German tourists in the next few months, given a documentary screened on 3sat German TV last week (‘Reisen in Ferne Welten: Kapstadt‘), as well as two movies about South Africa (‘Südafrika: Der Kinofilm‘, and ‘Der Geilste Tag‘ ) showing in German movie theaters Continue reading →
Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP) CEO Andrew Boraine addressed The Institute for Public Relations & Communication Management Western Cape at its AGM at the Bantry Bay Hotel last night, talking about communication and its impact on the economic development of Cape Town and the Western Cape.
Boraine shed light on an interesting topic before load shedding hit the Atlantic Continue reading →
Yesterday 30 or so writers, mostly from Cape Town, dedicated a full 10 hour day to travel to Graham Beck Wines in Robertson, to celebrate its 25 year Silver Jubilee with a vertical tasting of more than 25 Cap Classiques and base wines which go into the making of the Graham Beck range of MCCs. The event was also a salute to Pieter ‘Bubbles’ Ferreira, in having worked at Graham Beck for 25 years already.
Always organised, PR consultant Nicolette Waterford had organised a Le Quartier Français snack pack with water and juice for us for the two-hour bus trip. We arrived to a misty day in Robertson, but the day became sunny and warm. We were welcomed by the Graham Beck staff, and by Pieter with his trademark bubbly shirt in particular, and it felt a lot like Pieter’s ‘birthday’ party (he did recently celebrate a special milestone birthday). Continue reading →
* The second Cape Wine Auction will be held at Boschendal on 14 February 2015. Last year the inaugural Auction raised R 7 million.
* Uber launched UberCHOPPER today, partnering with Cape Town Helicopters, bookable on the Uber App. An UberBLACK vehicle will collect one from one’s destination, and drive one to the V&A Helipad. Three flight options are available: Two Oceans, covering both the Atlantic Seaboard and False Bay; Cape Peninsula, covering the V&A down to the Cape of Good Hope; and customised tours such as to the Winelands, whale-watching, and shark-cage diving. There is a maximum of three passengers per ride. (received via media release from Uber Cape Town)
After two disastrous years, New Media Publishing was brave enough to take stock earlier this year, and asked the industry what it wanted in the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards. Last night that hard work paid off, with a new venue for the event, a slick and short presentation, new Awards introduced, and three new restaurants making the Top 10 Restaurant list. The surprise was the emotion which the chefs expressed when receiving their plaques, challenging MasterChef SA Season 2 on tears!
We were one of the interviewees, meeting with Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, its GM Aileen Lamb, MD Bridget McCarney, and Director Irna van Zyl. We were forthright in our feedback and suggestions, including that a team of judges would be needed again (we suggested Garth Stroebel, and have yet to meet him!). We fed back that the preferential relationship with Luke Dale-Roberts in TASTE magazine (also published by New Media Publishing, and of which Abigail is the Food Editor) was unfair towards all other chefs, by featuring him every month – we were told that Woolworths had a contract with him, and therefore he received the coverage in the magazine. This contract was terminated earlier this year, which is excellent news. Other recommendations can be read here. Flowing from the interviews and discussions with previous Top 20 chefs and restaurant managers, owners, and suppliers, as well as media representatives and bloggers, New Media Publishing allowed restaurants to apply to be included in the Eat Out Top 500 Restaurant List, which was selected by a Continue reading →
* The City of Cape Town is calling for more public comments about the draft Liquor By Law: Control of Undertakings that sell Liquor to the Public, 2013, requesting input from 1 October, for a month. Retail outlets will be able to apply for Sunday trading (again), operating no later than 20h00.
* The price of petrol is set to drop by 20 cents at midnight on Tuesday, according to Kfm news.
* Could Slum Tourism be the new trend? Is it ethical?
One of the last pats on the back which former Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold and PR and Communications Manager Skye Grove gave themselves before leaving the tourism organisation at the end of July was the coverage by the New York Times of the international travel bloggers’ week-long visit to Cape Town a year ago, proudly reTweeting the article. It appears that they did not read the (long) content of the article, it delicately questioning the ethics of travel blogging by travel bloggers in general, and by those bloggers who visited Cape Town.
We were very critical of the attention which Cape Town Tourism paid its visiting bloggers in July last year, which was preceded by a #LoveCapeTown campaign on Twitter, Capetonians being asked to recommend interesting places for the four bloggers to visit during their week-long stay. However, the campaign was deceptive, in that the itinerary Continue reading →
Yesterday we visited the Anthonij Rupert Tasting Room, one of two tasting rooms at Anthonij Rupert Wines, which previously belonged to Graham Beck Wines, and was bought by Johan Rupert from L’Ormarins next door, to enhance his access to water. Anthonij Rupert Wines has five wine brands, and 25 sub-brands, the largest range in Franschhoek, to our knowledge. Our invitation via PR consultancy Smart Communications & Events was to see the new tasting room and to try their new High Tea.
It was a grey wintry day, and the lit fire in the lounge was welcome and made the room cosy. Hospitality Manager Gidi Caetano, whom we know from her days as Manager of Salt Restaurant at the Ambassador Hotel, and then as GM of the previous French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar, explained the tasting room and company structure to us while we enjoyed the treats from the three tier High Tea stand, which consisted of scones, cream and jam, chocolate cupcakes, and candied orange and gooseberry tarts, prepared by Chef HW Pieterse and his team, beautifully decorated with rose buds, lavender, and pansies. We were served The Wellness Group teas, with its tea leaves in muslin bags. A range of flavours is available. One can book the High Tea with 24 hour notice, and organise a tea party to celebrate a special birthday, anniversary, stork tea, or just a special spoiling. The High Tea will usually include smoked salmon blinis, and cucumber, dill and horseradish sandwiches too. The treats offered change regularly, and could also include orange infused koeksisters, mini chocolate and hazelnut mousse pots, chocolate salami, and red berry tarts. Gidi told us about the herb garden growing alongside the manor house, with 32 medicinal (for educational use) and cooking herbs, the latter used in the food preparation on the estate. It was started from scratch a year ago.
Cape Town was a hive of activity yesterday, as President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, as well as their daughters, visited Cape Town for the day on their three African nation tour. It also was the opening of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Exhibition, an emotionally moving event. The day was focused on the contribution which former President Mandela has made to Cape Town in particular, but also to South Africa and the rest of the world. Continue reading →
It was a surprise to see that Antonij Rupert Wines (correctly speaking Antonij Rupert Wyne, as per the gates, there not being an English translation) has started operating from its new tasting room in the previous Graham Beck Wines premises outside Franschhoek, and an even bigger surprise was to discover the Antipasto Bar, which opened five days ago.
More than a year ago Johan Rupert, owner of the neighbouring Antonij Rupert Wines, bought the Franschhoek Graham Beck property, and moved into the property mid-year. On the surface little has changed, but the tasting room has been moved upstairs to the light and spacious landing, and the Antipasto Bar has been created downstairs where the tasting room was. The security guard at the boom is much stricter than the Graham Beck Wines one used to be, and initially did not want to allow me to enter at 16h35, because they close at 17h00! I promised to not do a tasting, and on that basis I was allowed in. It was a surprise to meet Gidi Caetano there, as the Hospitality Manager, having left French Toast about six months ago, to help set things up. She was previously the manager of Salt Restaurant.
The Antipasto Bar seats about 35, and faces the tanks through a glass window. It looks cosy with neutral decor greys and browns making the space look sophisticated. The Chef is HW Pieterse, who moved across when Café Dijon closed its restaurants in Stellenbosch, and was at Delaire Graff and the Grande Roche before. The menu has a small selection of dishes, but this list will grow, Gidi assured me. Three different olives, in three different marinades, cost R30; Artichokes marinated in thyme, lemon and olive oil cost R48; Caprese salad costs R60; Parma ham and melon costs R50; a selection of Italian cured meats costs R55; a platter with four Italian cheeses and fig preserve costs R75; artisanal bread is R20; a mixed antipasto platter R50/R85; and Biscotti costs R25. I ordered the Franschhoek smoked salmon trout bruschetta, which was served with crème fraiche. lemon, and pink peppercorns (R60). The restaurant will be sourcing supplies from the new L’Omarins (belongs to Johan Rupert too) organic herb and vegetable garden, and in future they will serve carpaccio from their own Wagyu cattle. Marinated white anchovies will be added to the menu in future. All dishes are offered with the L’Omarins olive oil, which won Silver in the recent Olive Oil awards, and the Terra del Capo olive oil range, which is still made for them by Willowcreek. They bake their own breads, and marinade their own olives. A new dessert special which is not yet on the menu, is Burrata, honey and strawberry, drizzled with balsamic, costing R35.
With one’s meal one can enjoy a glass or bottle of wine, very reasonably priced at mainly cellar door prices, at R13 – R21 per glass/R41 – R80 per bottle for the Protea range, R17 – 28/R59 – R115 for the Terra del Capo range, R17 – R43/R85 – R190 for the Cape of Good Hope range; and R30/R125 for the Antonij Rupert Optima.
The Tasting room opened three weeks ago, and the staff manning it looked professional, with white shirts, black pants and black aprons. The 2013 Platter’s Guide is on the tasting counter. The tasting offering is unusual, one tasting a choice of flights: Protea whites (Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Chenin Blanc 2011, and Chardonnay 2010) for R10; Protea reds (Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Merlot 2011, Shiraz 2011, and Reserve 2011) for R15; The ‘TDC’, which is the Terra del Capo range (Pinot Grigio 2011, Sangiovese 2009, Arne 2008) for R15; ‘The Blends’ are Protea Reserve 2011, Terra del Capo Arne 2008, and Antonij Rupert Optima 2008 at R20; ‘The Unusual’ is a collection of Terra del Capo Pinot Grigio 2011, Sangiovese 2009, Cape of Good Hope Semillon 2010, and Pinotage 2008, at R30; The Cape of Good Hope whites (Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Chenin Blanc 2010, Semillon 2010, and Chardonnay 2010 at R30; ‘Merry Merlot’ comes from the Protea 2011, Cape of Good Hope 2008, and Antonij Rupert 2007 ranges, at R40; and the Antonij Rupert range, being Optima 2008, Merlot 2007, and Shiraz 2007, at R60. Some typos are unforgivable on this list.
Gidi shared that they are keeping the opening low key until they have completed setting up the late Mr Beck’s manor house, in which tastings of the Antonij Rupert and Cape of Good Hope wines will be done from the end of January onwards, ‘paired’ with High Tea. The idea is to offer a ‘whole day package’ to visitors, Gidi said.
Antipasto Bar, Antonij Rupert Wines, R45, Franschhoek. Tel (021) 874-9004. www.rupertwines.com (Restaurant website under construction). No Social Media. Monday – Sunday 10h00 – 17h00.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage