Entries tagged with “Cavendish Square”.

A lunch at Coco Safar, followed by a dinner three days later, were two chalk and cheese experiences, the former excellent and the latter hugely disappointing, especially as it was a birthday dinner treat for a special friend! I had last been to Coco Safar for breakfast early this year, after it opened in Sea Point, having moved from Cavendish Square.  (more…)

I was invited to the newly opened Coco Safar a few days ahead of its opening in the newly refurbished Artem centre, previously the Adelphi Centre in Main Road in Sea Point. A week ago I invited a young chef intern to join me for Brunch at Coco Safar, on a Sunday morning.  (more…)

Last Friday I was honoured to experience a preview of Coco Safar, which opens in Sea Point’s newly developed Artem, previously the Adelphi Centre, today. It houses the world’s first Botanical Coffee and Rooibos Brewery, the top coffee roastery in Africa, and is a top quality patisserie and chocolate supplier, bought to take away or enjoyed sitting down. An exciting coffee and Rooibos drinking Renaissance is being created at Coco Safar in Cape Town today, the culmination of a ten-year development journey. The decor style is inspired by Belle Epoque. (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to Poetry in the V & A Waterfront, and its Trainee Lynn. Lynn impressed with her proactiveness in finding a different size dress at the Cavendish branch, and encouraging me to buy two dresses to make use of the special offer the clothing store was offering just before the Festive days. Dealing with a number of clothing shops at that time, Lynn’s service was far superior to that experienced at other clothing stores. 



Pick_n_Pay-logo-19A17F34E4-seeklogo.com_The Sweet Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay for its super Gift Card service, which offers a 2,5% discount for purchases of Gift Cards to the value of R20000, a service most Pick ‘n Pay clients do not know about.  It does not replace the Smart Shopper card, which will be swiped for grocery purchases too.  Intended as a corporate product for companies to use in rewarding their staff, it can also be bought by anyone else spending large sums of money at the retailer, as we do to pay our municipal accounts and guest house groceries, monies we would have to spend anyway but had paid by cheque via Easy Pay in the past.  The process is simple: one requests an invoice from Pick ‘n Pay’s head office, pays the R20000 into their bank account, and then four cards are loaded with R5000 each, and the R500 discount (more…)

I haven’t driven on the N2 through Riviersonderend in years, taking a route via Robertson and Swellendam to get to the Garden Route.  The town with one of the longest names in the province is clearly known for its wonderful pies, which makes a stop at the bakery there an absolute must, I have learnt.  Now the pies have come to Cape Town, with Ou Meul Bakkery opening in the city, and past country customers cannot wait to try the new city counterpart.

I had read about Ou Meul Bakkery opening in Cape Town on Twitter, and popped in yesterday. Ou Meul Bakkery opened in Riviersonderend in 1984, and was taken over by Antonie Basson four years ago.  The previous owners run the country branch, while Antonie is hands-on in his city branch. He is also the co-owner of Col’Cacchio in Cavendish Square.  Antonie grew up in Franschhoek, and was a residential property developer before the economy turned four years ago.

Antonie said that they are best known for their light and fluffy pies, a range which includes chicken (R16,50), venison, bobotie, pepper steak, steak, steak and kidney, spinach and feta, ham and cheese, and mutton (R24,50) pies, as well as sausage rolls.  Their sweet treat baking is also popular, and the range include delicious apple turnovers, melktert, and Hertzoggies (R3,80 each), as well as pecan nut chocolate tarts, apple crumble, and lemon meringue (R9 each).  Breads are sold too, and used for making sandwiches, and include baguette (R11), ciabatta (R18), sourdough (R20), and 100% rye (R28).  I enjoyed their cappuccino (R15), the beans coming from Union Hand Roasted, whose owner Gerald Childs was the only local roaster to be invited to the World Coffee Roasting Championships in Vienna two months ago, and which supplies the Seattle Coffee Company, Antonie said

A Deli section stocks a large range of Brenda’s (wife of the winemaker at Fairview, Antonie told me) branded products, included canned peaches and guavas, green fig preserve, sweet chilli, marinated olives and feta, and grape, wild black berry, and ripe fig jams, marmalade, and orange preserve.  Brenda’s Himalayan Crystal salt and Gourmet grinders, mustard glaze, balsamic glaze, lemonade, and sweet red and pepper chutney are also available. Gansbaai honey, rusks, fudge, and Wedgewood nougat can also be bought.

As has become popular, Ou Meul Bakkery has a large wooden-top ‘communal table’, as Antonie called it, with additional small tables for seating inside and outside in the generous area.  A mix of wooden chairs to seat 40 guests was selected by Bone Interior Design Studio.  The baking area is open plan.

Antonie also owns GoGo, having four outlets in Woodstock, St George’s Mall, the Metropolitan building, and 11 on Adderley, with an extensive menu of fresh sandwiches, salads, wraps, and breakfast foods, which are served with the same excellent Union Hand Roasted coffee.

Ou Meul Bakkery, 14 Long Street, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 419-0662. www.oumeul.co.za. Twitter: @OuMeulBakkery   Monday – Friday 6h30 – 17h30, Saturday 7h00 – 14h00.

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

The Sweet Service Award goes to I my Laundry, for its invitation to lady lifestyle bloggers to attend its Taittinger Heart FM After Eden function yesterday evening.  I  my Laundry has been open for less than three months, and has already established itself as one of the most creative function venues, coming up with unusual food and beverage pairings and themes. Taittinger brand ambassador in South Africa, Mike Cox, shared that there are 20 million bottles of the champagne under maturation in Reims at any point in time, and that they produce 6 million bottles per year, with a minimum of 4 years maturation. Their product range is a Brut Reserve Non-Vintage, a Cuvé Prestige Brut Rosé, and a 2005 Brut Reserve.  The function was an opportunity for Tweeters and bloggers to connect, most not having previously met.

The Sour Service Award goes to the Sunday Times, which carried a full page advertisement last week, inviting readers to an ‘Exclusive Sunday Times movie screening’ of ‘The Romantics’, at Cinema Nouveau branches in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, and at Cavendish Square in Cape Town. When they arrived at the cinema, a number of angry and very disappointed moviegoers were turned away, as the movie was fully booked.  The invitation was not subject to a ‘first come first served’ clause, nor was a number given for one to call to book a seat. All one was asked to do was to bring a coupon contained in the newspaper ad to the cinema. The manager of the Cinema Nouveau Cavendish Square absolved his cinema of any responsibility, saying that it was the fault of the Sunday Times!

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

Eat Out 2012 Top Chef Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen has developed a full Christmas lunch range for Woolworths, allowing South African families to taste the quality of his food preparation at the most special time of the year.

The Luke Dale-Roberts Woolworths Christmas range consists of a starter of Smoked Salmon, which Chef Luke cured and smoked with rooibos tea, then painted it with pomegranate molasses, and topped it with fresh dill, and grated orange and lemon rind.  An alternative starter is The Sausage, which Chef Luke has made as a Christmas Toulouse, adding duck, ginger and cranberries, which should be put on a braai.  Main courses are The Lamb Supreme, which he filled with Italian-style stuffing, and added cranberries, fresh herbs, and pine nuts (R164,99 per kg), as well as The Gammon- style belly, to which he added whole spice, orange peel, and fresh ginger root, smoking it, and then cooking it at 85°C for five hours.  For the Christmas meal Chef Luke developed a range of relishes: cranberry, sesame and miso dressing (R24,95); summer fruit and kumquat cumberland relish (R24,95); mince pie chutney (R24,95); and truffle, walnut and fig pesto (R29,95).  For dessert Chef Luke designed a red Christmas pudding made from summer berries (R169,95), which he paired with his special Christmas mess ice cream (R59,95 per litre).

In the Woolworths advertisement for his Christmas range, Chef Luke writes: “The moment I was briefed, I knew I had to create a new-age, innovative approach to Christmas lunch that would make it easy and very special for you. My main aim was to keep the traditional spiciness…the nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and whole spice, the pomegranates, orange peel and Christmas pie filling. Keep them, but lighten them, make them South African, and above all, make them FUN!”

The Luke Dale-Roberts Christmas range is available until 25 December, at Woolworths at Cavendish Square, Canal Walk, Constantia Village, Gardens Centre, Hout Bay, Piazza St John in Sea Point, Plettenberg Bay, Somerset Mall, Tyger Valley, the V&A Waterfront, as well as at some Woolworths stores in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, and Durban. It is not easy to see the Luke Dale-Roberts Christmas product range in the Woolworths stores, as they are not displayed in one space.

Chef Luke and his family are featured in the December issue of TASTE magazine, to publicise his Christmas range.

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

The just-released (in South African cinemas) internationally-produced movie ‘Black Butterflies’, about the life and death of South Africa’s Sestiger poet Ingrid Jonker, is a contrast between the most beautiful Cape Town scenery, and the dark days of our political past and the unhappy life of this talented writer.   The movie location is identified as Cape Town, and should attract international movie-goers to our beautiful city.

Dutch actress Carice van Houten and actor Rutger Hauer, who both don’t get the South African English pronunciation perfectly correct, play Jonker and her father, respectively.  The movie tells the unhappy story of how Jonker’s mother died when she and her sister were young children, were sent to stay with their grandmother, and sent back to their ‘Pa’ when she passed away.  He was a severe and critical father, and Member of Parliament, heading up the Publications Control Board, and ironically even her book of poems had to be vetted by him and his Board. They were never close, and it was his rejection of her that probably led to the sad end to her life.  Desperate to find love, she had relationships with great writers such as Jack Cope, Uys Krige, Jan Rabie, and André Brink.  The movie weaves the political history of the country in the ‘Sixties into the story, and ends with the reading of her poem “Die Kind wat Doodgeskiet is deur Soldate in Nyanga” in English by the then newly inaugurated President Nelson Mandela at the opening of Parliament in 1994.  He called her ‘one of the finest poets of our country’.  Ex-President Thabo Mbeki awarded the Silver Order of Ikhamanga to Jonker posthumously, for her contribution to literature and human rights.

The movie was shot in March and April last year, and contains the most beautiful beach and sea shots at Llandudno, and Cape Town generally is the location for the movie, with the exception of a few scenes shot in Amsterdam. Other Cape Town locations are the playgrounds and the Promenade in Sea Point, Clifton’s Second Beach (where Cope and Krige shared a bungalow), Bo-Kaap, Table Mountain, Chapman’s Peak, Strandfontein, and Noordhoek Beach. The movie ends with Jonker walking into the sea at Three Anchor Bay in July 1965, becoming our country’s Sylvia Plath.

The movie is a co-production between the German Comet Film GmbH and South African Spier Productions (Pty) Limited, with post-production done by Bavaria Films in Germany. The name of the movie comes from the line in one of Jonker’s poems: “For the sun that I now cover forever with black butterflies”. While Jonker wrote her precious poetry in Afrikaans, the movie has the English translations, for practical purposes. Paula van der Oest is an Oscar-nominated director from Holland, reports the Cape Argus.  She loved the work of Jonker, and wanted to expose it to a larger audience.  South African actor Graham Clarke, playing Krige, does not do a believable Afrikaans-speaking-English accent. Irish actor Liam Cunningham is a most sympathetic Cope, whose relationship with Jonker dominates the movie.  Oddly, André Brink is not mentioned by name in the movie, even though the movie notes outside the cinema refer to his name. Brink is called ‘Eugene Maritz’ in the movie, played by local Nicholas Pauling.   Brink’s book A Fork in the Road contains an overview of Jonker’s life, and her effect on his life.

‘Black Butterflies’, Cinema Nouveau, Cavendish Square.  See the movie trailer here.

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

The Sweet Service Award  goes to Hilton Weiner, and is nominated by Jane Wright: “My son was desperately looking for a suit for his matric dance which was held last Saturday. He is very tall, but very skinny so it seemed an impossible task to find a suit that fitted him in the length but didn’t drown him at the same time. We finally went to Hilton Weiner on the Lower Ground floor of Cavendish Square. Kudos go to Leigh, their sales lady, who dealt with us in such a professional manner, making sure that he found the right suit in their store and when the jacket wasn’t available, she sourced it in Johannesburg and had it transferred to the Cavendish Square shop in time. We even went back and bought his shirt there because we knew she would get the right fit and we would get the right advice. She is confident without being brash, dynamic without being forward, helpful without being fawning. She is truly an asset to her company”.

The Sour Service Award  goes to ABSA Bank’s credit card department, and its employee Etienne. Earlier this week I popped in at Detail Interior Design on Dorp Street in Stellenbosch.  My credit card would not allow the transaction, and so the manageress allowed me to transfer funds into my card on her computer, something I have done before, and has never been a problem.  However, the machine asked the manageress to call for authorisation.  I had to provide my ID number, full (German) names, cell number and postal address.  Halfway through I asked Etienne whether he did not have enough information already to verify who I am, and he said that he was doing this to protect my money, something I did not ask for, and that he would decline the transaction if I did not co-operate!  The manageress then was given an authorisation code to finalise the transaction, but was asked many more questions and procedures than appeared necessary, to such an extent that I told her to stop the transaction and that I would pay in cash, given that the ABSA communication had taken half an hour already.  She was asked by Etienne to cancel the authorisation by fax, and she asked if she could e-mail it to him, which he refused.   To add insult to injury, the payment is reflecting on the credit card statement, even though no slip came out of the credit card machine during the transaction!

POSTSCRIPT 4/4: I was most impressed to receive the following e-mail of apology today from ABSA’s card division:  “With reference to your complaint received on 1 April 2011 from Absa Business Bank Cape Town, regarding the service you received from our Authorisations Department on the credit card account. We wish to sincerely apologise for the fact that you did not receive the service you are entitled to.  Absa’s attempt at delivering exceptional service has indeed been damaged, as we know that the success of an organisation depends largely on its relationship with its customers.  Be assured that the matter has been addressed with Ettiene and we are in coaching conversations with him and his manager, to ensure that similar incidents do not occur in future.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for bringing the abovementioned to our attention and trust that future dealings with us will be of a more professional nature. Kind regards 
Ilse Venter
Relationship Manager
Complaints Management Centre
Absa Card” 

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.