Tag Archives: Exclusive Books

Franschhoek Literary Festival 2019 brings writers to book!

I have spent the last three days in Franschhoek, attending its very successful Literary Festival, for the first time as a book writer myself. I found it insightful, and loved meeting some authors in person, their personalities shaping what they write, and the characters in their books. Continue reading →

Will the arrival of Summer and Tourists lift the Restaurant industry in Cape Town and the Winelands? October 2018

Every winter is a tough time for the restaurant industry. With the dip in Tourism due to the water shortage, and the early and continued winter rains, the restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have felt the pinch, and many have closed down. We have experienced our first Summer weekend in the Cape, and more tourists can be seen and heard in our city. Will this mean a welcome boost for the restaurant trade? The new Cowboys & Cooks restaurant group is super optimistic, and plans to open more than twenty restaurants in the Cape Town area. 

Chef Richard Carstens has left Tokara Restaurant, after an eight year tenure, one of our most creative and hard-working chefs, in researching and implementing international food trends. Chef Richard has not yet announced his future plans, but initially is taking a break.  Continue reading →

Exclusive Books Café Sweet Service; Incredible Connection Sour Service Awards!

The Sweet Service Award goes to Exclusive Books Café in the V & A Waterfront, and its barista Gugu Gumede. I was deciding between two books by the same author, and sat at one of the Café tables to do so. Gugu appeared with a dry cappuccino, perfectly made, without taking my order, remembering from a previous visit how I love my cappuccino. I only visit the Café infrequently, and have rarely had good service there in the past, making Gugu’s proactive service even more remarkable! I bought both books in the end! Continue reading →

Eat Out Awards 2016 blooming slick, Gregory Czarnecki of Waterkloof Chef of Year!

imageAt the 2016 Eat Out Awards, held yesterday in the Arena of GrandWest over a Gala Lunch prepared by some of our country’s top chefs, some winners were predictable, and others were a surprise. It was a slick event with a Garden theme, which led many to predict that La Colombe would be the Restaurant of the Year, given its Forest menu theme. Sadly it was not, The Test Kitchen (controversially) named Restaurant of the Year for the fifth time!  Nine out of the Top 10 restaurants are from Cape Town and the Winelands (Cape Town 3, Franschhoek 3, Somerset West 2, Stellenbosch 1, and Gauteng 1) Continue reading →

Diana Ceramics ‘fires’ up SA restaurants to excellence!

imageOn Thursday I attended a function in the Cape Town Harbour, and spontaneously called ceramicist Diana Ferreira, to ask her if I could visit her studio in Paarden Eiland close by. Diana is one of our country’s leading ceramicists, specializing  in restaurant dinnerware. Continue reading →

Woolworths Sweet Service and Exclusive Books Café Sour Service Awards!

imageThe Sweet Service Award goes to Woolworths Hout Bay and its Assistant Manager Eric. I had gone to the W Café in the store on Easter Monday, for a quick cappuccino and a scone. The waitress accepted my coffee order, but told me that they were out of scones and hot cross buns. I suggested that she get some from the Woolworths store, but she told me that they were not allowed to, despite a manager having previously done so. The W Café manager had gone home already. The waitress went to see Eric, who offered to pay for the scone. I contacted the Operations Manager Marcel to tell him about Eric’s kind offer.  The scones were however sold out in the store, so they offered hot cross buns instead, and only charged me for the cappuccino, an amazing service recovery driven by Woolworths rather than W Café. Continue reading →

Pick ‘n Pay V & A Waterfront Sweet and Sour Service Awards!

Pick n Pay logo smallerThe Sweet Service Award goes to Manager Stuart at the Pick ‘n Pay at the V&A Waterfront, for walking the extra mile to find an item for me that the store did not have in stock.  He called regularly to inform me of the progress.  I also noted that he follows Twitter, and called immediately when I Tweeted about a ‘Customer Care’ assistant’s rude service when I returned an item, which was anything but customer caring! Continue reading →

Pick ‘n Pay Sweet Service and Exclusive Books Sour Service Awards!

Pick 'n Pay gift cardsThe Sweet Service Award goes to Pick ‘n Pay Garden’s Centre and its ever efficient Annie Hendricks, who assisted in getting Pick ‘n Pay gift cards, with high values loaded on them for use in paying municipal accounts, replaced when they were blocked after my handbag was stolen at Nap coffee shop in the Cape Quarter.  She also assisted in getting the value of the points on the stolen Pick ‘n Pay Smart Card transferred to a new card. Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 30 October

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Airbus has used research conducted by The London Sleep Centre to widen its seats to 18 inches (45,72 cm), the perfect seat size which allows passengers on long-haul flights to sleep more comfortably and enjoy a deeper sleep.

*   The Cape Town Partnership is displaying its work at 6 Spin Street from 6 – 12 November. Entrance is free. (received via media release from Rabbit in a Hat Communications)

*   Top Stellenbosch chefs are putting the wine town and its food and wines on show today at Summer Place, a ‘pop-up collaboration of restaurants, wine producers, art, music and fashion’. Every wine on show is paired with a signature dish by Christian Eedes.  Chefs on show are  Bertus Basson of Overture, Michael Broughton of Terroir, George Jardine of Jordan Restaurant, Christiaan Campbell of Delaire Graff Estate, and Grégory Czarnecki of Waterkloof restaurant, all on the Continue reading →