Valentine’s Day and ultimately #ZumaExitDay was an auspicious day to have been chosen for the Strauss & Co Preview of its first ever dedicated Contemporary Art Auction, due to take place on Saturday. The Preview was held at the new Cape Town Cruise Liner Terminal in the Cape Town Harbour. Continue reading →
For the first time Chef Seelan Sundoo has opened his own restaurant, after having been used by investors and operators in the past to be their front man, but not getting the recognition from them for the following he has, which I observed when I was invited to enjoy lunch at Seelan Restaurant & Bar at Quay 5 in the V&A Waterfront yesterday. Seelan Restaurant & Bar reflects the past connections of Seelan as chef at the Grand Café and La Perla, but his Shimmy Beach Club and Reserve Brasserie past are not visible.
Seelan worked as Head Chef at La Perla in Sea Point for many years, and he has employed eight staff from La Perla. One cannot help but feel that one is in La Perla, with the smart white tuxedo jackets which the male-only waiters wear. Seelan was attracted to The Grand Camps Bay, which he headed up, with Justin Paul Jansen at his side. Justin displayed his knack of attracting patrons to the restaurants, remembering their names and faces, and offering excellent service. The woven cane chairs in the outside section of Seelan remind one of The Grand. Justin was offered the opportunity to open The Reserve on St George’s Mall, and Seelan moved to The Grand on the Beach. Justin later called in Seelan to open the Reserve Brasserie, and to be its Chef. When The Reserve closed down, Justin went to New York, and Seelan started up the Shimmy Beach Club as co-owner, being its front person. It being time to move on, Seelan made the long overdue decision to open his own Mediterranean style restaurant. Justin said that Seelan is a ‘man of taste and class’, and that Shimmy Beach Club did not suit his style. Continue reading →
* Condor is adding a third flight per week between Cape Town and Frankfurt from 6 November, due to increased demand from German tourists in particular. The airline said that there had been no increase in demand between the two destinations on the Johannesburg route, but that demand had grown between Cape Town and Frankfurt by 7% in the past year.
* The global Hotel Price Index has shown a 3% increase in the past year, the fourth year running that it has increased after declines during the worst of the economic crisis. The current Index at 110 is still 7 points lower than the peak in 2007.
* At the Cape Town Art Fair last week, child visitors were asked to vote for their favourite work of art, by placing a sticker next to it, the most popular children’s choice being bought by The Sovereign Group, which sponsored the Cape Town Art Fair. A colourful Continue reading →
This is one of the hardest blogposts I have written, with a moral dilemma of being an invited guest at what one expected to be a social highlight for the year. The Gala Dinner for Cape Town hosting World Design Capital 2014 turned out to be an embarrassment in poor organisation and food! We trust that Cape Town Design NPC, the company operating the year-long design accolade, will forgive its frankness.
The Gala Dinner was the first substantial function organised for World Design Capital 2014, the New Year’s Eve concert having been an event shared with the City of Cape Town, and was intended to be for all the people of Cape Town. Only 270 guests were invited to the Gala Dinner, and included Cape Town Mayor de Lille and Stellenbosch Mayor Conrad Sidego; Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom; sponsor company representatives such as Media24 Chairman Ton Vosloo; members of the diplomatic corps; top designers; members of the Board of Cape Town Design NPC; and a large media contingent, both local and international. Given the calibre of the guests, the fact that almost everything was wrong with the evening was an embarrassing disaster! The dress code was formal with a touch of yellow, given the World Design Capital 2014 colour for the year. The men seemed better in adding the yellow touches via gold or yellow ties and bow ties, while the ladies struggled to find something yellow in their wardrobes, including Cape Town Design NPC CEO Alayne Reesberg. Surprising was how many guests wore jeans and open shirts, despite the dress code specification.
The dinner was set up in a temporary structure for the Guild Fair, the decor exhibition which is running in conjunction with the Cape Town Art Fair at The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront. Tables seating 20 guests each were set up in long rows, with no decor other than sets of three yellow/gold Monkeybiz beaded animals on the tables. The last time I was in the neighbouring The Lookout venue was for the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards in November, and the New Media Publishing team had done a fantastic job in decorating the massive venue. On Friday night there were no design features at all, and lighting was big industrial spotlights, Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Cape Town Art Fair and its impressive inaugural mega multi-gallery art exhibition at The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront last weekend, with hundreds of artworks, about 40 galleries, and more than a hundred artists’ works on show. The excellent food by four chefs, offered by Culinary Art by Opulent Living, the Graham Beck MCCs, and excellent organisation impressed.
The Sour Service Award goes to the SA Vodka Festival, an inaugural vodka tasting festival which was organised by Monyetla Communications and Events, based in Johannesburg and ‘…a young vibrant and fast growing 100% black owned event management‘ company, says its Facebook page with 31 likes! The Festival was cancelled at short notice on Continue reading →
On Thursday evening 800 art lovers descended onto The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront for the opening of the first ever Cape Town Art Fair, the largest mega art exhibition ever held in Cape Town under one roof, with 40 galleries exhibiting 800 works of arts of 130 top artists. It was an excellent platform to enjoy the art of food, of visual art, and of wine art!
In a clever display design, the art galleries were given one, two, or three panels to display their artists’ work. While most pieces were described, I did not see prices, giving the exhibition a classy feel. It was more about meeting the gallery owners and representatives and connecting with them, based on the style of art they were exhibiting. Some of the galleries, auctioneers, and artists at the Cape Town Art Fair include Strijdom van der Merwe, with an exhibit at the entrance to The Lookout and having recently created an impressive exhibit in honour of Nelson Mandela outside the Stellenbosch Town Hall; Strauss & Co; The AVA Gallery; holden manz collection; Whatiftheworld Gallery; Frank Joubert Art Centre; Stephan Welz & Co; Erdmann Continue reading →
* Minister of Finance Pravin Ghordan has agreed to relook his ban on the purchase of wines with state funds, announced in Parliament on Wednesday, after he received complaints from WOSA as well as Parliamentarians that entertaining foreign dignitaries without wine is unthinkable!
+ Christiaan Groenewald of New Cape Wines
+ Mary-Louise Nash of Black Pearl
+ William Wilkinson of Wildekrans Wine Estate
+ Johan Malan of Simonsig
+ Johan Jordaan of Spier
+ David Finlayson of Edgebaston.
The 33rd Diners Club Winemaker of the Year will be announced at La Continue reading →