I have visited La Paris estate outside Franschhoek a number of times since it opened towards the end of 2017, but never in the evening. I was invited by Chef Nico Vorster to try the evening fare and live music of the La Paris Bistro last Friday, the only day of the week on which the restaurant opens for dinner. We loved the good music, and the cosy comfort food. Continue reading →
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 →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Café Roca Speakeasy in Franschhoek, with excellent service on my recent visits to it in Franschhoek, first for a Tapas lunch and writing of a new chapter of my SwitchBitch Book 3, then returning for live music played that evening. Owner Craig Sherril offered to sell my SwitchBitch books at the restaurant, a very kind gesture. He also showed me the new Marilyn’s Champagne and Oyster Bar as well as Sushi restaurant he is opening this month, next to his Café Roca Speakeasy.
The Sweet Service Award goes to Out of the Blue clothing shop, and its owner Diane Armstrong, for the amazing service recovery in a very disappointing experience at the Franschhoek branch. I had popped in on a recent visit, looking for a Medium black long Top, which the store did not have in my size, so the assistant Hilary entered it into the computer as an order, I having to guarantee that I would buy it, but I needed to know when it would arrive in Franschhoek, returning to Cape Town two days later. We had to wait for the computer to message her an answer! As this took too long, I left my phone number with her. Not having heard from her for two hours, I went past the shop again, only finding her colleague there. She said that the person I had dealt with would call me the following Continue reading →
It must be fabulous living in the country estate of Val de Vie, with fantastic sport facilities and country living, equidistant from Paarl and Franschhoek, and not too far from Cape Town, and now have Reuben’s & Co Café open its doors, alongside the gym and largest swimming pool in Africa, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Continue reading →
During my week of writing the first section of my third SwitchBitch Book in Franschhoek last week, I finally ate lunch at La Petite Ferme, after a long absence, wanting to see the interior renovation, and to experience the cuisine of Chef Kyle Norris, whose food I have not previously tasted. It was a costly mistake! Continue reading →
I saw an article by Post & Courier recently, randomly as I do not follow this publication, and was attracted to its topic, being the impact of restaurant reviews and their power to close a restaurant down. Being our country’s harshest restaurant reviewer, this got me thinking about why the top chefs in our country, including Giorgio Nava, Bertus Basson, Peter Tempelhoff, Liam Tomlin, and Scott Kirton & Co are so sensitive to constructive criticism by banning (or attempting to) me from their restaurants, yet new (to our country) chef Wunderkind Rikku O’Donnchü of Gåte Restaurant welcomes it so! Continue reading →
I am hearing about the current tough summer season in the local restaurant industry, with a depressed local as well as international economy, and one can therefore only be concerned about restaurant closures lying ahead in winter. There are no new restaurant openings that I am aware of. The closing down of Primal Eatery is a surprise, and of Open Kitchen in McGregor too.
# Bones Kitchen & Bar has opened in the Palms Design Centre in Woodstock. It is owned and owner-managed by well-seasoned restaurateur Rudi Minnaar.
I could not think it possible that the Eat Out Awards 2018 could be so refreshingly different, but it appears that new Head Judge Margot Janse has created a fresh new look at the restaurant judging criteria. Many of our top old-guard chefs took a severe beating at the Awards last night! Continue reading →
When I visit Franschhoek, I love to revisit the shops in the village, and am always on the lookout to see what is new. A surprise discovery was the new Café Roca in the village, a hidden gem tucked away behind an art gallery, formerly the home of the now defunct Melissa’s. I loved it so much, that I went back on three consecutive days, Continue reading →