Entries tagged with “Cuba”.


A year ago I posted here on my Blog that 2016 was the best year of my life. Looking back on 2017, I can echo this sentiment about 2017, surpassing what was already a fantastic 2016! The year was crowned by the publishing of my first book, and I plan to write two this year. I discovered my Self-Love, and now can truly stand on my own two feet!  (more…)

Cape TownFrom 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 Town in Travel + Leisure left much to be desired (more…)

Luvey n Rose Roque Perez Rodriguez Havanas cigar roller Whale CottageWhat a lovely evening it was yesterday, to take me away from what had been a challenging pre-Full Moon day, and forget about the world out there, at the Habanos cigar-rolling demonstration held at Luvey ‘n Rose.  It made me realise how fortunate we are to have so much to experience in our beautiful city.

Luvey ‘n Rose was opened by Ignatius Claassen on Rose Street last year as an Art and Antique Lounge, and one of its attractions, in addition to its collection of art work and antique furniture offered for sale, is its good cappuccino, friendly barista, and nostalgic Buena Vista Social Club, which music is perfectly paired with the cigars they offer for sale.  My fatherLuvey n Rose Paintings 1 Whale Cottage was a passionate cigar smoker, and it was worth going to Luvey ‘n Rose’s new home on Loop Street just to enjoy nostalgic sniffs of the cigar smoke-filled venue.  Interestingly the attendees were predominantly men, but the women that were attended were passionate cigar smokers. I spoke to one lady, who confirmed that she smokes cigars regularly, but would never touch a cigarette.

Roque Perez Rodriguez has worked for Habanos S.A. in Cuba for the past 30 years, the company being a state-owned cigar monopoly in that country, controlling the promotion, distribution, and international (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A Global March for Rhinos and Elephants will be held on Saturday 4 October, with South Africa, the USA, Germany, Botswana, Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Italy, and Mozambique being some of the countries participating. World Travel Market (WTM) Africa staff will also participate in the march in Cape Town, as one of its social responsibility projects. The march calls for a total ban on the trade of ‘wildlife body parts’.  WTM Africa runs from 15 – 17 April.

*   The Bureau of Economic Research quarterly survey has found a sharp drop in the expectation of business growth for the Accommodation sector in the third quarter (July – September), at 9%, compared to the previous winter period of April – June, which showed a 22% growth expectation. For the last quarter of this year, growth of 16% is expected. All other business sectors surveyed are showing negative growth expectations. The overall Western Cape business growth expectation in the second quarter was 15%, is an estimated 20% for the third quarter, and 31 % for the 4th quarter, whereas all other provinces show negative growth experience and expectations. (received via e-mail from the Bureau of Economic Research)

*   Luvey ‘n Rose is offering an interesting Cigar Appreciation Evening on 7 October, with Roque, a professional cigar roller from (more…)

Truth coffee shop, Cape TownCape Town has been listed as number one ‘Holiday Hotspots: where to go in 2014‘ by The Guardian on its list of 40 Holiday Hotspots!

Cape Town is praised for hosting World Design Capital 2014, with 450 design projects on show this year; for the re-invention of Woodstock, with the Neighbourgoods Market, home to The Pot Luck Club and The Test Kitchen (but leaving out Burrata); Truth on Buitenkant Street, described as the ‘world’s coolest café’; and the Coffee Beans Routes.

The other 39 Holiday Hotspots are the following:

*   Uzès in Provence in France

*   Austin, Texas

*   Carmarthenshire in the UK

*   Kolkatta in India

*   Islands São Tomé and Príncipe off the African coast

*   Alaçatu in Turkey

*   George Town in Malaysia

*   Alberta in Canada

*   Bordeaux in France (more…)

The Sweet Service Award goes to the V&A Waterfront, and is nominated by Mark Lowe: “I should like to nominate the V&A Waterfront Management for your weekly “Sweet Service Award”. On Friday 18 January I wrote to David Green, CEO of V&A Management, recounting my experience of poor security encountered there when visiting a restaurant at Quay 4 on the night of Thursday 10 January.  I am very pleased to report back that on Monday morning, 21 January I received a very comprehensive response from the V&A’s Adri Roux. This was followed up later in the afternoon by a telephone call from “Bobbie” (I neglected to get her surname, although she did give it to me) who also thanked me at length for taking the trouble to contact V&A management, and explained at some length, what further steps they will be taking to address security issues. I was even invited to come down and be taken on an inspection of the facilities and systems that they have in place! I was very impressed with the responses and had all of my expectations exceeded”.

The Sour Service Award goes to Clicks in Glengarriff Road, Sea Point, and is nominated by Mary Nagle:  ‘Yesterday I was in Clicks on Glengarriff Road in Sea Point when I noticed an elderly gentleman (I would estimate his age to be close to 90) approach one the employees. This assistant, whose name is Cuba, was wearing a ‘Can I help you?’ sign on his shirt. The customer explained that he needed R100 credit for his cell phone. The assistant merely waved his arm n the direction of the queue – there were 7 people standing there waiting for 2 assistants.  I thought it was extremely poor form, given that it was obvious that the customer would not be able to stand in a queue for that length of time, that the assistant didn’t immediately sort out a chair for the gentleman and organise his airtime for him. I wonder about the training provided by Clicks, as it was evident from Cuba’s reaction, that “the minimum is good enough”. I have telephoned to Clicks Head Office this morning to explain to the CEO David Kneale what has happened. I left a voice message and will let you know if I get a response’.  Mary let us know subsequently that she heard from the Clicks Head Office.

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.