* The Open Design Festival will run in Cape Town from 12 to 23 August at the Watershed in the V&A Waterfront and in the City Hall. With the theme ‘Design is for Tomorrow‘, the Festival consists of talks, workshops, tours, and interactive experiences. The focus is on how design adds value. More than a hundred events are on offer, most of them with free entrance.
* Kfm news reports that the fire caused by lightning in Cape Point Nature Reserve yesterday has flared up again, threatening that area.
* Distell is launching Nederburg Heritage Heroes in the UK, including The Motocycle (sic) Marvel, The Brew Master, The Young Airhawk, The Anchorman, and The Beautiful Lady. The wine range is being targeted at fine-dining restaurants.
* The wine industry is committing to exporting more of our wines in bottles rather than in Continue reading →
Recently I have read about a European campaign whereby the ‘Best Before’ dates of foods are being more critically evaluated, seen to having been a ploy by manufacturers to get more of their products sold. Now the European Union is getting involved in standardising ‘Best Before’ dates for food types, to reduce the 89 million tons of food thrown away in Europe annually, of which at least 10% is still edible. A third of all food produced in Europe is thrown away.
Most food products have two dates, the one being the sell-by date, being the date which the manufacturer feels is the ideal to give the product perfect consistency, taste, and nutritional value; and the other being the ‘Best Before’ date until when it is safe to eat the product. The longer the time period between date of manufacture and sell-by date, the longer the product is edible after the ‘Best Before’ date.
The European Union has decreed that pasta, rice,coffee, jams, pickles, and hard Continue reading →
* The Peace Table 2014 will take place on Tafelberg Road below Table Mountain on 25 May, with a 3-course lunch for 700 prepared by Chef Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse at Cellars Hohenhort in conjunction with Myatt in the V&A Waterfront. There will be live music and a fashion show too. Cost R480, all proceeds go to charity. (received via e-mail from The Little Black Book)
* Schengen visa applications are likely to become more tourist-friendly from next year, reports Travel News Weekly. The European Union wants to reduce the processing time of a visa, and to introduce a one-year touring visa in the 26-country Schengen area in Europe. Regular travellers may receive multiple-entry visas for a three year period.
* 30000 Two Oceans Marathon runners are participating in the 45th race on Saturday, offered as a half and a full marathon and themed ‘Designed to Run‘ in recognition of Cape Town hosting World Design Capital 2014. Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde is estimating the event contributing R200 million to the province’s economy. The province has sponsored R350000 for the event. There appear to be mainly local runners participating this year, with few accommodation bookings received. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* The ban on taking liquids on board flights is said to be lifted in the European Union from January. Special scanners at airports will be able to test liquids.
* ‘Silver Surfers’ are an important tourist segment, the 50+ year olds estimated to represent 30% of travelers in the UK, USA, and South East Asia by 2018. Almost half of all Apple product purchasers are members of this segment, 35% of them travel in Europe, 42 % book travel online, and 68% use Facebook.
* The ABSA Cape Epic has been nominated for the Discovery Sport Industry Awards in the Sport Participation Event of the Year category.
* The T20 Tourism Ministers of the G20 countries have agreed to push for better visa facilitation, to stimulate tourism, and the employment of staff in the industry.
* Bistro Sixteen82 has returned to its summer Tapas dinner menu. ‘The Tapas: Summer 2013‘ menu is a combination of classic Spanish tapas Patatas Bravas and Empandillas; Mexican Albondigas and a spicy black Beans dish; Fish Balls, No Lettuce salad, Anti Pasti platter, Profiteroles, and Chocolate Whities. (received via Communications Services Africa)
* Aerolineas Argentinas has not denied that it may take over Continue reading →
* 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)
* Auslese Summer Sessions will pair tapas dishes created by Aubergine owner Chef Harald Bresselschmidt, fine wines, and good jazz every second Thursday evening, from 21 November onwards. (received from Auslese via e-mail)
* The 325th anniversary of the arrival of the French Huguenots was celebrated with a special concert, ranging from classical music to cabaret, last night at the Endler Hall. (received from the University of Stellenbosch via e-mail)
* Tour operator ‘Great Safaris’ has launched a ‘South African Culinary Treasures Journey’ 7 day tour of the Winelands and Cape Town, which includes learning about wine blending, food and wine pairing, bread baking, and a cooking class ‘in Cape Malay‘!
* The South African Pinotage restaurant is opening in Beijing.
* Scandinavia, Russia and the United Kingdom could become the main vine growing regions in Europe by 2050.
* ‘Franschhoek Uncorked’, the annual event in which the Continue reading →
I have not previously experienced Solms-Delta owner Professor Mark Solms as such a ‘grapjas’ (could this be a new name for a future wine?), bringing the house down with his honesty and ‘loskop professor’ talk about his wines and its Gemeenskap, losing the thread of what he wanted to say on a few occasions.
Mark is a passionate wine estate owner, whose mind races ahead faster than he can say the words, and is internationally renowned as a neuropsychologist, lecturing in London and at the University of Cape Town. His students must have a ball in his lectures. On Sunday he hosted members of the wine estate’s gemeenskap, to introduce to them the latest vintages of his wines, to introduce the new winemaker Hagen Viljoen, and to introduce the Gemeenskap community club. He came to the farm in 2001, and explained that the building in which we were tasting the wine was already called Fyndraai, and therefore they kept the name. They now have consolidated three neighbouring farms, ‘because we are so good at what he do’, he said. Music is an important passion on the farm, and Mark said that they ‘farm with music’ as much as they ‘farm with wine’! Next year a Music Centre will be established on the wine estate. Continue reading →
The House of Machines opened on Monday in a pedestrian lane on Shortmarket Street, and promises to be a good coffee spot as a start, as its co-owner Brad Armitage was a co-owner of Vida e Caffè when it first opened. We found a motorcycle shop discreetly positioned at the back of the outlet, and experienced a vibrant coffee shop, bar, and light snack restaurant with very friendly and attentive service.
The building dates back to the 1890s and has housed a bar, a restaurant, a workshop for furniture designer Gregor Jenkin, and most recently a yacht design company. All three the co-owners designed the interior. It is dominated by a massive black bar/serving counter, with wooden table counters attached to the wall at which one sits on signal red (not Vida red, as I joked with Brad!) stools. Each table can seat up to four comfortably, and has a glass jar with Bakers & Chef cutlery, and Natural salt and pepper grinders. Beautiful ceiling beams and weathered cement floors have been left as is. The seating wall is covered with a collection of photographs of the three co-owners with their bikes, on their visit to the USA, which they undertook to obtain ideas and inspiration for their new venture. Paul van der Spuy is one of the owners, who loves coffee shops, is a men’s fashion designer who owns Blue Collar White Collar, is the unofficial ‘Mayor of Cape Continue reading →
* Perfect China is sending 700 of its salespersons to Cape Town next month. The collaboration between Perfect China, and Leopard’s Leap/La Motte was born from a friendship between the two companies’ leaders and their complementary focus on social responsibility.
* Australia, the USA, and South Africa export more than half of their wines in bulk, and bottle them in the countries in which they are sold.
* Close to 800000 Botswana residents visit South Africa annually, a market which SA Tourism, is targeting.
* The Overstrand Municipality is spending more than R6000000 in its Continue reading →