On my trip to Cuba and South America in our winter 2019, I had tremendous luck in the top international restaurants I was able to get a table to eat at, not planned as part of my trip initially, but just evolving during my travels, and often booked at very short notice. One of the most disappointing dining experience relative to its 26th rank on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list was at Boragó (meaning Borage) in Santiago in Chile, at the end of August. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Park Hyatt Hotel Mendoza and its GM Miguel Ángel Bermejo, for his excellent service recovery after a shaky start when I checked in at the hotel a week ago. He had been traveling and away from the hotel for a few days, yet made time on the day of his arrival to meet with me for a tea/coffee, so that I could share the service incident with him. Before meeting with him, he had already sent three bottles of wine to my room, as well as a vase of flowers for my bathroom. What blew me away was that he had the South African flag hoisted outside the hotel during my stay, an amazing touch. During our meeting he recommended top restaurants in Santiago in Chile, he organised a room for me for an extra night, had top lady clothing shop names sent to my room, had a table reserved for me at a local restaurant he recommended highly, as being the best in Mendoza, and invited me to try their Bistro. He is an excellent listener, and had done his homework on me. He is honest, and not defensive about the feedback. A day later I asked him a question via a concierge, and he came to reception, to say hello personally. Unbelievable service! Continue reading →
On Saturday evening I ate dinner at Tegui Restaurant in Palermo, Buenos Aires, getting a reservation easily at this the 86th Best Restaurant in the World. While it has an attractive interior design, its food presentation does not match this look, and while suggesting that it is Proudly Argentinian, it seemed a little too close to what Peruvian 6th Best Restaurant Central is serving! The Chef sadly oversalts his food. 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 →
I had a lovely chat with South African Drinks International‘s Rick Beaumont earlier this week, about the devastating fires in Cape Town, and the latest results of the 2015 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards, which had not yet been posted on their website.
The Cape Winelands dominated the Awards, winning four out of eight category Awards, against the UK, the USA, Spain, Italy, Greece, Argentina, Chile, and Portugal.
* Esteemed British wine writer Jancis Robinson is in the Winelands this week, addressing a workshop and tasting our local wines. Micheal Fridjhon comments about her focus: ‘Robinson focuses on whatever is of interest to her readers. This means that the bulk of her notes and comments relate to European — in fact mainly French — wine. Once outside the so-called Old World she devotes her energies to the US, New Zealand and Australia. This leaves little column space for regular assessments of Argentina, Chile, SA, Central Europe and the dozens of other wine-producing regions of the world‘.
From number one in the New York Times‘52 Places to go in 2014‘, Cape Town has fallen right off the list of ‘52 Places to go in 2015‘. In its place, Durban has made 7th on this prestigious list this year! Cape Town too has lost out to Los Angeles as the home for filming the German reality series ‘Der Bachelor’.
The South African stories for the New York Times are written by Sarah Khan, an American writer who now lives in Cape Town. Having become proudly-Cape Town, Khan has written many articles about Cape Town, even though her restaurant recommendations for Cape Townin Travel + Leisure left much to be desired Continue reading →