Very quickly and quietly The Harbour House seafood restaurant at Constantia Nek has been transformed into a fine-dining The Restaurant at The Nek, now making it part of an interesting trio of fine-dining experiences at the pinnacle of Constantia, flanked by Eat Out Top 10 restaurants La Colombe and Chef’s Warehouse Beau Constantia. Continue reading →
Yesterday I went to visit Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg of Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant The Kitchen at Maison, to hear more about his new restaurant Janse & Co he plans to open on Kloof Street in Cape Town in December. We stayed for lunch, and enjoyed Chef Arno’s three-ingredient focus of his dishes. Continue reading →
Last night I attended a tasting of six wines by Cederberg Wines with Altitude at OpenWine on Wale Street. The Wine estate has the highest location above sea level, at 1036m, of all vineyards in the Cape. Continue reading →
* The 6% decline in international Tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year is the biggest since our country became a democracy 21 years ago, writes the Financial Times. Ebola is partly to blame, but the new visa rules are the main reason, requiring personal biometric evaluation in India, China, and Russia, and unabridged birth Continue reading →
I don’t visit Paarl very often, usually disappointed with the restaurant offering of the town. Last week I spent a day there, to visit Jan Willem & Seuns, and Melissa’s newish branch. I had given up on Bosman’s at Grande Roche, after repeated poor experiences in the restaurant. However, a chance meeting of Bosman’s new Restaurant Manager and its Sous Chef at Maison in Franschhoek a few days prior led me to return.
During the busy festive season days I took a break at The Kitchen at Maison in Franschhoek, and sat next to a table with a couple, which turned out to be Austrian Chef Christoph Terschan and Restaurant Manager Onwaba Maholwana of Bosman’s. We chatted for ages, talking through the whole Eat Out Top 20 restaurant list, and our respective experiences with the restaurants. Onwaba was well-informed about my previous Bosman’s disasters, and Continue reading →
* The Penny Ferry is to be reintroduced in the V&A Waterfront on 1 November, connecting the main shopping centre side to the more commercial and business side at the Clocktower. The ride will cost R5. The ferry stopped opening in 1997 when the swing bridge was constructed. The Penny Ferry service was officially relaunched by Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom earlier this week.
* The judging for the 2014 Diners Club Winemaker of the Year has been completed, and the winners of the 34th annual competition will be announced next month. In evaluating the nominees, it was ‘the heart and soul of the winemakers that stood out strongly‘, dominating the quality of the wines they made. The Winemaker of the Year entered in this year’s theme category of White Blends, while the Young Winemaker of the Year was evaluated on any red wine. Judges included Dave Hughes (panel chairman), Beatriz Machado from Portugal, retailer Carrie Adams, Nomonde Kubheka (wine judge and educator), Christine Rudman (wine judge), Colin Frith (GM of Hazendal), and Margaret Fry (Director of Cape Wine Academy). (received via media release from African Sky Media)
* Cape Town just cannot stay out of the New York Times! Travel writer Sarah Khan has profiled some of the city’s hottest coffee and quirky shops, linking the city to World Design Capital 2014. In the print edition on Sunday, the article headline ‘Have some Dim Sum with your shirts’ introduces the article with the story about the success of I ♥ My Laundry, which recently opened a second branch in the city centre. Other hot spots that are featured in the article are Loading Bay, Latitude 33, Haas, Pedersen & Lennard, House of Machines, and Los Muertos Motorcycles.
* Standard Bank’s economist Goolan Ballim says that South Africa’s economy has underperformed ever since the global meltdown, which commenced in 2008. He only sees a recovery in 2016 or 2017.
* One third of British travellers have visited 10 countries on average, a survey conducted on behalf of the London City Airport has found. The most popular Continue reading →
* Selling direct to wine lovers is the way to go delegates at a Wine Vision conference were told earlier this week by an international panel of speakers. Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick Wine Estate in Stellenbosch shared that 22 % of their wine sales is to members of their Wine Club.
* Prince Harry’s UK, the USA and the Commonwealth teams have flown to Antarctica, for their trek for charity to the South Pole, having been held up in Cape Town for the last four days due to bad weather.
* Big Concerts has added a third Carlos Santana concert at the GrandArena at GrandWest on 27 February, in addition to 25 and 26 February in Cape Town, and 1 March in Johannesburg.
* Bouchard Finlayson won the ‘Coup de Coeur‘ at the first Vinidivio show Continue reading →
Yesterday Blaauwklippen celebrated the 30th anniversary of its popular Blending Competition, and it was a day filled with celebratory balloons and nostalgic reflections of the heritage of the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition on the 331 year old wine estate in Stellenbosch. The competition has helped to demystify wine and make it more accessible to wine drinkers.
I have attended the Blaauwklippen Blending Competition (which they refer to as BBC) for a number of years, but had never seen so many guests before, 70 guests seated in the Barouche restaurant, many of whom having links to 1984, the first year of the blending competition. Blaauwklippen MD and Cellarmaster Rolf Zeitvogel reflected on the world 30 years ago, Apple having launched its Macintosh PC, Archbishop Tutu receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Mrs Margaret Thatcher becoming Prime Minister of the UK, and Nelson Mandela seeing his wife Winnie for the first time in 22 years. Through a number of speakers, we heard about the history of the blending competition, having been the idea of Angela Continue reading →
More restaurants in the Western Cape than in any other province entered and received a Diners Club International Winelist Award 2013. At the 30th Awards function held for the Western Cape at the Vineyard Hotel on Wednesday, MasterChef SA Judge and Tsogo Sun Chef Benny Masekwameng announced the 38 winners in the Diamond, 30 in the Platinum, 26 in the Gold, and 2 in the Silver Award categories, 96 awards in total.
Veteran wine critic Dave Hughes chaired the judging panel, which included fledgling judge Chef Benny, restaurant guide editor JP Rossouw, wine judges Christine Rudman and Fiona McDonald, Winestyle.biz owner Nikki Dumas, and the Cape Wine Academy head Marilyn Cooper. He said that it was fitting that the Awards ceremony was held at The Vineyard hotel, the Newlands area having been the first in Cape Town in which grapes were grown, but soon Continue reading →