Tag Archives: Casablanca

Getting a taste of Chilean wines in Casablanca and Santiago in Chile!

Through a stroke of luck I was invited to visit Santiago in Chile for four days, and in this time I was able to drink some Chilean wines. I also visited Casablanca, a wine region outside Santiago, with my friends Guy and Pia, who live near Casablanca. Continue reading →

Returning home to Cape Town after three months on the (European and South American) road as a Solo traveler !

My post below comes from Facebook, a post I wrote in the last few days of my journey through eight countries, walking and dancing 1,2 million steps and just under 1000 km in three months. It was a tongue in cheek story about my journey, motivated in writing my third SwitchBitch Book, but also to share with my Blog readers the World’s 50 Best Restaurants I ate at in Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago in Chile, Rio de Janeiro, and a Michelin star restaurant in Lisbon, with other great and not so great restaurants, and the interesting Mendoza wine region in Argentina, synonymous with Malbec and the largest in the country. I will be posting stories as soon as I have settled in again and got over the jet lag. Continue reading →

Zuccardi Piedra Infinita in Mendoza Uco Valley Best restaurant in Argentina!

On my third winetasting day in Mendoza in Argentina, I was lucky that my Park Hyatt hotel concierge Charlie had managed to book a visit for me at Zuccardi Winery Piedra Infinita in the Uco Valley, the second and newer winery of this successful family wine producer. Of all the top restaurants which I evaluated in Argentina, this winery restaurant was by far the best I ate at in the country. I learnt while writing this article that this winery was awarded the honour of Best Vineyard in the world earlier this year!  Continue reading →

My Top 21 recommendations for what to see and do in Havana, Cuba!

I arrived in Havana on 3 July 2019, with no preparation of what I wanted to see or do, except that I wanted to learn to dance the Salsa. I was lucky that a slightly out of date ‘Cuba’ Guide by Lonely Planet was lying in the lounge of the San Lazaro BnB I stayed at. I annexed it for the more than three weeks that I stayed there, and found useful background information in it, but perhaps it contains too much information, not just focused on Havana, my only destination in Cuba, therefore making a large part of the book irrelevant to me. Much more useful was the Guidebook ‘300 Things to love about Havana’ by Heidi Hollinger, focused on Havana, divided into the various suburbs of Havana, with an address, a good representative photograph, and largely accurate in its descriptions, even if published in 2018. 
 

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Ernest Hemingway: an earnest author as well as drinker, a man’s man, who has left his mark on Cuba!

I have a fascination with the late author Ernest Hemingway, referred to as ‘Papa’ in Cuba, but I have yet to read one of his books. In Havana I followed in the author’s footsteps yet again, after having been ‘introduced’ to him in Pamplona in Spain whilst walking the Camino in 2018. My interest in him is growing, and I will look to buy his books on my return. There is no doubt that Hemingway may be equally or better known for his drinking and hanging around in bars as he is for his books!
 

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Delaire Graff Restaurant Best Winelands Restaurant!

Delaire orangeChef Michael Deg of Delaire Graff Restaurant must be a happy man, with the news that the restaurant has been named the Best Winelands Restaurant in our country, in the 2016 Great Wine Capitals Global Network Best of Wine Tourism Awards!

The news must be  even more joyous for Chef Michael, given that he was excluded from the Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant Continue reading →

Cape Town 4th most expensive city for accommodation in Africa!

imageA survey conducted by STR Global Hospitality research firm has found that Cape Town is the fourth most expensive accommodation city on the African continent, and is more expensive than Johannesburg!

Addis Ababa in Ethiopia was found to be the most expensive African city for Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 22 April

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Only two South African hotels have made the Conde Nast Traveler list of 60 Hot Hotels, on the basis of ‘Good Food’.  This is a surprise award for the Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard (now owned by Sir Richard Branson, but not much is new or ‘hot’ in this restaurant, having the same chef and waitron staff since he took over!).  The Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff has also made the list in this category, with a chef unknown to most.

*   Travel agents and tour operators are no longer marketing South Africa as a destination due to the new Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine new headlines: 6 November

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The 2014 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index shows Johannesburg as being the most popular ‘destination city in Africa’, the second time that the city has won the accolade two years running.  The city is expecting 4,3 million visitors this year, a 5% increase on last year, with an estimated expenditure of $3,2 billion.  Cape Town follows in second place, Durban in 3rd place, Cairo in 4th, and Casablanca in 5th place.  Cape Town is expected to receive 1,6 million international visitors this year, with a spend of $2,2 billion.

*   It is ironic that SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima could not attend World Travel Market (WTM) in London this week, to represent our country at the second largest travel and tourism exhibition in the world, because he did not have a valid visa for the UK 

*   Cape Town will host the 2015 Responsible Tourism in Destination Conference, the City of Cape Town has announced, forming Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 27 August

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  SA Tourism will spend R100 million to market our country domestically, Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has announced.  The domestic campaign ‘Nothing’s more fun than a Sho’t Left’ communicate that local travel is fun and economical.  Local tourists spent R24 billion last year. The goal is to have 18 million domestic tourists by 2020.

*   The Wine & Spirits Board has revised its definition of premium brandy, following legislation to this effect.  The legislation dictates how vintage and potstill brandies are made. Vintage brandies must be matured in oak casks of maximum 340 litres for eight years or more,while potstill brandy must contain 100% potstill brandy, previously up to 10% unmatured wine spirit having been allowed.   Our country’s brandy industry is worth R3,5 billion per annum.  The changes were introduced as brandies compete directly with single malt whisky and cognac. Continue reading →