*. Sun International has won the bid to run the Blue Train on behalf of Transnet, the two hospitality services sharing similar guest profiles. More trains and new routes are planned.
*. Ad agency J.Walter Thompson subsidiary Innovation Group has identified trends in the beverage industry. Consumers are supporting trends to regional and seasonal foods and beverages. In the USA cocktails have added Kobe beef fat and cheese liquor, for example, demonstrating that consumers are willing to experiment more. ‘Hybrid drinks’ are on trend too, wines being aged in whisky barrels, and a ‘Bourbon-infused Continue reading →
* Good news from ratings agency Moody’s is that our country is unlikely to go into recession this year, and is not likely to be downgraded until the end of 2016! It did warn however that our economy is slowed down by a number of factors, and that our country would average 2% growth in the same period.
*. The six Finalists in the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Continue reading →
* Despite the Rand reaching its lowest level ever to the Pound, at just over R20, and weakening further against the Dollar, no positive impact of the exchange rate is visible in terms of tourism enquiries from the UK and the USA!
* SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzimi has advised the tourism industry Continue reading →
* Radford Dale Freedom Pinot Noir 2012 was paired with one of the courses at the dinner for the wedding of Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia of Sweden last weekend, reports The Drinks Business!
* Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom has announced in Parliament that a survey is to be conducted by the government, to establish the Continue reading →
* Wesgro, the Tourism, Trade, and Investment promotion agency for the Western Cape, has announced that it is sponsoring the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards in conjunction with World Travel Market Africa and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism. The Award winners will be announced during Africa Travel Week on 16 April. (received via media release from Wesgro).
* Cape Town has the most WORLD CLASS bars in South Africa, a total of 19 out of 46. Johannesburg has 15, and Durban 12. Achieving this status reflects their expertly made cocktails and their ‘charismatic mixology stars‘. Their bartenders automatically enter the WORLD CLASS Global Final, to be held in Cape Town later this year. The Cape Town bars include Orphanage, Umi, Asoka, Buena Vista, Bascule, Café Caprice, HQ, One & Only Vista Bar, Tjing Continue reading →
* The 2015 Global Finals of Diageo Reserve’s World Class Best Mixologist competition will be held in Cape Town next September, it has been announced in London, where the 2014 Global Finals have just ended, with 48 competitors. Mayor Patricia de Lille expressed her delight at the announcement: ‘As the City of Cape Town we welcome the Global Finals as another addition to our events calendar as part of our efforts to secure Cape Town as the events capital of Africa. The Global Finals have been hosted by many major cities in the world and Cape Town is proud to be ranked among the best in the world. We look forward to hosting the many dynamic talents that will take part in the event’. Councillor Garreth Bloor, Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing, accepted the announcement in London on behalf of Cape Town. Matteo Fantacchiotti, Global Vice President Commercial of Diageo Reserve, said about the 2015 city choice: ‘WORLD CLASS™ is all about anticipating trends, being at the forefront of fine drinking culture and always looking for new and exciting innovations in our industry. These are the key criteria we look at when we select the location of the Global Finals. Africa ticks all these boxes and more; it is a booming and ever-changing continent and we see it as a new frontier with huge potential. When we bring the WORLD CLASS™ global final to a location, it has the ability to fundamentally step change the fine drinking scene and we strongly believe this will be the case in 2015‘. (received via media release from Communication Services Africa)
* The most hard-hitting criticism we have read about the new Immigration Regulations is an editorial from Continue reading →
* Professor Francis Petersen has been appointed as Chairman of Cape Town Design NPC, the company co-ordinating Cape Town’s reign of World Design Capital 2014, after the recent passing of its former Chairman Professor Russel Botman.
* Influential travel writer Sarah Khan, originally from New York, fell in love with Cape Town and lives in our city, having met her now husband here two years ago. She tells a romantic tale about her transnational love affair, engagement, wedding and reception, held on three continents! She has written fantastic stories about our city for leading international titles.
* South African rugby player Francois Hougaard has been appointed to work with the tourism authority of the Seychelles, to promote the island to South Africans!
* Brent Perremore of Orphanage Cocktail Emporium, who won the National World Class finals recently, has been prevented from Continue reading →
I had been invited to try Seelan Restaurant & Bar a few days after it opened in March, and it was still in set-up phase at that time, a number of dishes on the menu not yet available, the menu and winelist not being perfect, and the service still needing to be streamlined. The restaurant’s new PR company Communication Services Africa invited me for a return evaluation, yesterday being a perfect day to do so, to enjoy the good weather at the outside seating, and the generous lunch.
Beverage Manager Dominic remembered me from the previous visit, and provided a media release which PR executive Kyle Krok had left for me, and copied the wine list for me. He went through the ‘menu’ I would be served, but came back after the first course, to tell me that Chef and owner Seelan Sundoo was preparing a special ‘adventurous’ menu for me. I was looked after with excellent service by Marilyn Baardman, whose late father had worked for Seelan. She is the best water topper-upper I have ever experienced, and was excellent in ‘reading’ me and my requirements. The multilingual front of house hostess Goshia, whom I met at the opening, has since left while Justin Paul Jansen is still there, but was not on duty yesterday.
Dominic told me that the Oakhurst olive oil they have on the table comes from an award-winning farm in Tulbagh, and judged as one of the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils in the World recently. The Aceto Balsamico di Modena balsamic vinegar is imported from Continue reading →
On Thursday evening I was invited by Communication Services Africa (CSA) to attend The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel monthly Wine & Dine at its Sunset Restaurant, paired with Steenberg Wines, both clients of the PR consultancy. We had a fun evening, with a lot of banter from both the host Chris Godenir and Steenberg General Manager and Cellar Master John Loubser.
Chris Godenir has been at Three Cities for a number of years, and has a special relationship with his staff at The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel, not losing his cool easily. One has to get used to his sense of humour, which he surrounds himself with continuously, making one unsure whether he says something in jest or is serious. Poor John and I both were on the receiving end of Chris’ jibes, and I decided to take the positive out of his comments, which in my case showed that he reads my blog!
Chris announced that the Wine & Dine was the first opportunity for their new chef Hajierah Hamit to cook for a special group, the dinner being sold out. I sat next to Chris’ vivacious wife Alison, and she told me interesting stories about integration in the workplace, the challenge no longer between different cultural groups, but rather between age groups, quoting generation Y and X behaviours in the workplace, and how these can cause conflict. She is a consultant smoothing over such age related conflict in the workplace. At the media table too were Joanne and Patrick Gibson (Joanne writes for the Sunday Times Food Weekly about wine), Cayleigh Bright of Glamour Online and her friend Will, and Megan Drury from CSA. Continue reading →