Entries tagged with “Ebony”.


imageSince selling my guest houses I have stayed at a mix of self-catering and guest houses in Franschhoek, and have been very disappointed. Franschhoek Boutique Hotel GM Llewellyn Lambert took pity on my Franschhoek accommodation experiences, as documented in Sour Service Awards on this Blog, and invited me to come and stay at the hotel. He had showed me around just after it was completed a few months ago, but this was my first stay.

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imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*    A diverse number of Capetonians who have influenced the character and culture of Cape Town will be honored by having their names linked to footbridges crossing Nelson Mandela Drive and Rhodes Drive. The City of Cape Town’s Naming Committee list includes poet Ingrid Jonker, Khomani San leader Dawid Kruiper, singer and composer Taliep Petersen, and Father John Oliver.

*.  Ebony gallery is opening an exhibition entitled ‘Modern Masters‘ for First Thursday on 6 August, at 67 (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Mrs Liz McGrath, owner of The Collection by Liz McGrath, which includes The Cellars-Hohenhort,  The Marine, and The Plettenberg, with The Lord Milner in Matjiesfontein recently taken over by her too, passed away this weekend.

*   James Laube, writing for Wine Spectator, generically describes South African wines as aiming for longevity, of up to 40 years.  Cape Point Vineyards winemaker Duncan Savage told him: ‘South African winemakers say they feel as if they’re in a state of limbo. “It’s as if we’re in the New World of the Old World, or part of the Old World in the New World’.  He expressed his personal dislike of our country’s ‘low pH, high-acidity wines’.

*   Cape Town already has a street named after former President FW de Klerk, in Wesbank it has been discovered, (more…)

Ryan's Kitchen exterior Whale CottageRyan’s Kitchen has re-opened in Franschhoek, in a space double its former size, in Place Vendôme at the entrance to the village.  The restaurant now focuses on ‘small plates’,  even though ‘small’ is a relative term!  Chef Ryan Smith has simplified his dishes, reducing the number of ingredients, and added more spice to those on his new menu, each dish introducing itself through its fragrance before one tastes it.

For the past four years the restaurant operated from what was the breakfast room of Rusthof Guest House higher up the main road, a tiny space that could serve no more than 30 guests at a stretch, and up to 400 plates in an evening. A major blow to the restaurant in July was the sale of the guest house to Mr Analjit Singh, and (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Air France and kulula.com have created a codeshare agreement, allowing passengers to connect with Air France from a number of domestic airports in checking in their luggage, and doing their own one-stop check-ins.  Premium Air France passengers will be able to use the SLOW Lounges at Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg airports.

*   In a bid to protect the rhinos in the Kruger National Park from poaching, it is offering for sale groups of 20 white rhinos or more.   In the past year 1000 rhinos were poached, the rhinos in the Kruger Park being the main target.

*   Michael Bublè is coming back to Cape Town on 19 March, but his concert will be held one night only, and at the Cape (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  MailOnline has written a flattering article about Franschhoek in the main, entitled Touring South Africa… one sip at a time. Discover a wine taster’s paradise on a trip to Cape Town and Franschhoek‘.  The writer shares her experience on the hop-on hop-off Franschhoek Wine Tram, sampling the wines of Mont Rochelle, La Couronne, and Môreson, eating at The Tasting Room, lunching at La Petite Ferme, and visiting Delaire Graff with its diamond boutique and Tretchikoff’s ‘Chinese Girl‘ (which she defines as being in Franschhoek too!).  In Cape Town she stayed at both the Cape Grace and Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, went up Table Mountain and to Robben Island, lunched at Baia in the V&A Waterfront, had afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson, bought art at Ebony, and dined at The Pot Luck Club.

*   The Top 12 Shiraz wines have been announced in the 2014 Shiraz Challenge, organised by Shiraz SA, an association which promotes the image of our local Shiraz, and its blending potential.  A total of 191 Shiraz wines was evaluated, and the process audited.   The Top 12 Shiraz list is Black Elephant Vintners Amistad Syrah 2012, Boschkloof Louis 57 Syrah 2012 and its Syrah 2012, (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Construction of the new tourist-friendly cruise terminal in the Cape Town port could begin at the end of this year, with tenders being sought.

*   The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is estimated to generate R520 million for the economy of the country this weekend, with 35000 jazz lovers attending two nights of local and international jazz, sold out two months ago already, reports The New Age.

*   OR Thambo International handled more international passenger arrivals (3,9 million out of 4,8 million) in 2013 than all other local airports combined, reports The New Age.  International arrivals at Cape Town International were reported to be 750000 in the past year.  While Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth are both designated as ‘International Airport’, they only handled 31 and 216 international passengers, respectively, in the past year!

*   The 20th anniversary of our country’s democracy will be celebrated in April with a month-long celebration of South African wines in Hong Kong.  On 16 April a South African Wine Festival will offer 150 wines to taste at Hotel ICON. South African Sommelier Association Chairman Neil Grant will lead a wine pairing dinner at Above & Beyond restaurant on 25 April.  The (more…)

Cécile and Boyd FoundationOn Friday The Guardian published a very lengthy article about Cape Town’s role as host of World Design Capital 2014 (WDC), and highlighted the unusual locations of design gems in Cape Town, including the townships and previously run-down city areas, as opposed to art galleries.  Unfortunately this is the second international article about Cape Town in two days with errors!  The article highlights what a visitor to Cape Town should see during this design-centred year, and contains shocking news for the Tourism industry.

Journalist Lisa Grainger anticipated visiting upmarket galleries, style emporiums, and seeing craft art, but instead she spent most of her week in Cape Town in townships with guide Fernie, to experience real creativity born from poverty. ‘Because it is in these townships that some of the most inspiring people live: people who are incredible, positive, engaging, brave. And I want visitors to see the good there is here, the real heart of South Africa’, he explained to her.  

She was told by Priscilla Urquhart, PR and Media Manager of Cape Town Design NPC, the company responsible for implementing World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town, that our city’s budget (supplied by the City of Cape Town) is R 40 million, compared to close to R60 million spent by Helsinki two years ago, when that city carried the honour. Budget constraints prevented the creation of City-led design projects in Cape Town, but allowed the city’s design industry to offer its design projects for consideration, and about 450 have become official World Design Capital 2014 projects, summarised in a fold-open brochure. There is no showcase for these projects, the Design Indaba and Guild design fair having been the only two exhibitions where some of the work linked to some of the projects could be seen, unfortunately having run concurrently at the very busy end of February.

A shock is reading Urquhart admit to the journalist that ‘the WDC programme wasn’t designed to attract tourists, but to try to (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The price of petrol increases by 36 cents a litre at midnight on 5 March.

*   To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Amarula brand, Distell is launching a new spirit Amarula Gold this month. The new 30% spirit is described as ‘aromatic and vibrantly fruity with intriguingly spicy notes and a very smooth texture’.

*   Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk is attending the second World Tourism Forum Lucerne Think Tank in Switzerland this weekend.  This year the focus is on ‘Infrastructure and Investment’, with attention on financing tourism and travel infrastructure.

*   The Franschhoek Literary Festival will be held between 16 and 18 May, and 170 authors will speak on various topics.  Speakers include poets Adam Small and Breyten Breytenbach; heavy-weight writers Damon Galgut and Mark Gevisser; and controversial writers Andre Brink, Max du Preez, and Tim Noakes.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho, as well as former FNB MD and now Mxit Chairman Michael Jordaan will also participate in the pregramme. 

*   The 4000 strong penguin colony at Betty’s Bay is under threat from a diesel spill (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Legatum Prosperity Index shows that most African countries, including South Africa (now in 77th position) have declined in prosperity in the past year.  The most prosperous countries are, in order, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, and Denmark.  Both the USA (11th) and UK (16th) have slipped on the Index relative to last year, particularly the former.

*   World Travel Market, one of the top three travel and tourism exhibitions, and taking place in London from Monday – Thursday, will boost the UK economy by £160 million, and deals to the value of £2 billion are expected to be signed amongst the 50000 attendees.

*   The Gfk Consumer Climate Europe is measuring a small upturn in the economic outlook for the European Union countries, signalling that the worst of the economic crisis in Europe may be over.

*   Ebony Gallery on Loop Street is exhibiting Grace Kotze’s ‘Within’ exhibition from 7 November – 4 December. (received via e-mail from Ebony)

*   A new ranking of climate-friendly airlines by Atmosfair places (more…)