I’m currently doing a Tour Guiding course, and am learning so much more about our City, both in theory teaching as well as practical tours of our city and outlying areas. Yesterday we did a tour of the city centre, and I learnt a lot more about the eminent Capetonians who are honored with statues in the city centre. Continue reading →
Tag Archives: Dutch East India Company
New Chef Archie Maclean creative with colour, goes wild at Catharina’s!
I love seeing how restaurants can reinvent themselves, and often a new chef can be the catalyst. Chef Archie Maclean has been at Catharina’s for about four months, and has gone back to the history and origin of Steenberg wine estate and its first owner Catharina Ras for inspiration for his creative new menu. Continue reading →
Cape Town world’s Best City in Telegraph Travel Awards 2014!
Cape Town has done it again, being named Best City in the World in the Telegraph Travel Awards 2014 by its readers for the third year in a row! Vancouver and Venice follow in second and third position, respectively, this year. The motivation for Cape Town’s top position is written by Pippa du Bruyn, who is a Cape Town-based local travel writer and ‘destination expert’, including author of a ‘Frommer’s Guide’ to South Africa, and of ‘A Hedonist’s Guide to Cape Town’. De Bruyn surprisingly exaggerates our restaurants as ‘Michelin-rated‘ fare, and in describing Dyer Island near Gansbaai as being in Cape Town. Her laudation for Cape Town follows: Continue reading →
Haarlem & Hope: The new Company’s Garden Restaurant in Cape Town!
On Friday afternoon Haarlem & Hope was officially opened in the Company’s Garden, now operated by the Madame Zingara Group, having won the tender from the City of Cape Town. The restaurant opens to the public tomorrow.
Owner Richard Griffin is an excellent showmaster, which we have seen in his quirky restaurants such as the Bombay Bicycle Club, and his Madame Zingara shows are a must-see in acrobatics, entertainment, and food served with precision for hundreds (perhaps Eat Out can contract him to handle the catering for the Eat Out Restaurant Awards in 2015)!
The name comes from the Dutch ship Nieuwe Haarlem, which was shipwrecked at the Cape in 1647. Crew members stayed at the Cape for a year before being picked up by another passing Dutch ship, and in that time the crew planted vegetables, which they bartered for fresh meat from the Khoi living here already. Jan van Riebeek arrived five years later, expanding the vegetable gardening to create the Company’s Garden.
The first thing one notices on arrival is the weaver bird nest-like hanging baskets at the right of the entrance, made Continue reading →
WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 9/10 September
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Africa now has 100 million Facebook users, still only half of the number of internet users on the continent. The majority of Facebook users access the site via mobile phone. While the growth in Social Media usage in Africa is massive, it is still very costly.
* The Open Book Festival will run at The Fugard Theatre for the second year running, from 17 – 21 September, with authors from 12 countries attending. Local authors will include Wilbur Smith, Zakes Mda, and Zelda la Grange.
* Shock news is the resignation with immediate effect of SA Tourism Chief Marketing Officer Jan Hutton. No reasons are provided, but the suddenness of the resignation is ominous. The industry has expressed its regret about the resignation of this dynamic marketer of our country.
* It’s a bad week for flying in Europe. On Monday a bomb scare at London Luton airport caused the cancellation of all EasyJet Continue reading →
Australian Hayden Quinn makes Capetonians proud of their beautiful and sustainable city!
It is ironic that Australian 2011 MasterChef Finalist (and not even a winner) has become a celebrity, to such an extent that he has become the host of a 13 series SABC3 programme about sustainable eating in our country, also combining the travel highlights of the regions Hayden will visit. Beautifully filmed, with some product placement overkill, the first episode last night made one proud to be a Capetonian, and to see our beautiful city through the eyes of the guest chef! Hayden described Cape Town as the ‘tip of the iceberg‘, whilst raving about loving South Africa.
The episode begins with Hayden doing some surfing, sharing his passion for the ocean, saying it is the place at which he feels most at home. The link to the ocean is made, to share that he is a WWF SASSI ambassador, our local organisation that educates consumers about only ordering and buying orange-listed fish. It explains Woolworth’s dominance in the programme, with a number of TV commercials, although none match the beautiful ads which it created for MasterChef SA in Seasons 1 and 2. Hayden is ‘crazy about adventure’ and good food, he shared.
The start to Hayden’s food adventure was the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill, where he sampled sandwiches from The Kitchen, and samoosas from Cumin Catering. He described it as a ‘buzzing inner-city market‘, reflecting the flavours and fresh foods of Cape Town. Continue reading →
WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 30 June
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* The City of Cape Town has created its own vegetable, fruit, and herb garden in the Company’s Garden, which is where Jan van Riebeek planted Cape Town’s first vegetable garden after he landed in 1652 to supply ships of the Dust East India Company passing the Cape on their routes between Holland and the East. It has been given the mouthful of a name Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) vegetable and herb garden in the Company’s Garden! The garden will also contain indigenous medicinal herbs and edible plants. There are no plans to replicate the growing of vines to make wines!
* America is to be marketed as a ‘Gastro-tourism’ destination by its marketing agency Brand USA, given the diverse cultures living in the country. A six-language ‘Discover America: Great American Food Stories‘ culinary guide has been published for visitors to the country.
* A cheeky advertising campaign for cheeky craft beer Garagista Beer is attracting attention not only locally but also internationally, poking fun at the hipsters drinking beer, especially those drinking it for the image rather than for the beer itself! Its cheeky pay-off line is ‘All beer. No bullshit’! The brewery is on Albert Road in Woodstock. Continue reading →
Ramadan attracts Muslim tourists to Cape Town!
Cape Town is gearing for an influx of Muslim tourists from the Middle East, who are spending Ramadan in a cooler climate with shorter days, making the day-time fasting more palatable, according to Cape Town Tourism. Muslim tourists spend $126 billion globally per annum.
Ramadan starts on Saturday 28 June and continues until 27 July. In this period Muslims are not allowed to eat nor drink any liquid during the daytime, they pray more, read the Qu’ran, and attend special services in mosques.
Cape Town has the largest Muslim community in South Africa, and our country is regarded as the second most Muslim-friendly globally, a survey has found. Muslim tourists require Halaal food, reasonable accommodation prices, and Muslim-friendly experiences in the cities they visit. This tourism segment is lucrative, in its fast growing population, and its tourism numbers are expected to exceed those of some of Cape Town’s source markets by 2020.
Cape Town has a strong Muslim history, its local Cape Malays coming from Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India, their forbears having been brought to Cape Town as slaves by the Dutch East India Company. The Muslim community is particularly visible in the colourful houses in Bo-Kaap, in which about 6000 Muslims live, an area dating back to the 16th century. Athlone and Continue reading →
WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 5 February
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Renowned international Chef Paul Bocuse is to open Ratatouille Bistro and the L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy ride at Disneyland Paris, inspired by the 2007 ‘Ratatouille‘ animated movie. One will be able to taste Bocuse’s ratatouille. It is Bocuse’s second restaurant in the theme park.
* Cape Town has been awarded the honour of being the Earth Hour Capital 2014 for South Africa, and is competing against 33 Finalist cities from around the world for Global Earth Hour City 2014, reports the Cape Times. Earth Hour will be held from 20h30 – 21h30 on 29 March, as many lights being switched off as possible in that hour. The Earth Hour City Challenge has been created by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Local Governments for Sustainability.
* The Company’s Garden is to return to its roots, in having a vegetable garden reinstated by the City of Cape Town in what was Cape Town’s first fruit and vegetable garden, established by the Dutch East India Continue reading →
New Cape Vintner Classification association of heavy weight wine estates launched!
A new association of independent wine estates belonging to industry heavy weights was launched at Ellerman House in its new Wine Gallery yesterday. Cape Vintner Classification (CVC) aims to build our country’s reputation as a producer of world class wines, and to ‘promote the Cape’s distinctive site specific wines‘, according to a report in fin24.
The association’s mouthful of a name, which does not seem customer driven, has a logo which includes the date 1659, the first year of wine production in the Cape, and creates an identity and logo look similar to the VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Companje, or Dutch East India Company).
The association was formed by Johann Rupert, owner of Anthonij Rupert Wines, L’Ormarins, and Rupert & Rothschild, all in Franschhoek, which wants to introduce an accreditation system which gives wine buyers confidence in the integrity of the wine and its origin. It is said to be an association of individuals rather than of wine estates.
Rupert is critical of bulk wine exports and the damaging effect it has on our country’s wine reputation, and about some members of WIETA, the agricultural ethical trade initiative of South Africa. The standards set for CVC will be higher than those of WIETA and Fairtrade.
Membership costs R16000 a year, and a minimum membership requirement is Continue reading →