Tag Archives: Gardens

Patrón Perfectionists 2019 SA cocktail competition finals has highest number of female finalists, but won by Cause & Effect mixologist David van Zyl!

On Thursday evening I attended the 2019 Finals of the Patrón Perfectionists tequila cocktail competition at Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen and Cape Brandy Bar in the Waterfront, after a first part of the event had been held at Foliage in Franschhoek earlier in the day. Despite the largest number of female finalists over the past three years of the South African participation in the competition, the 2019 SA finals was won by David van Zyl, mixologist at Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen! Continue reading →

Should politics threaten Oranjezicht City Farm market held at ‘Villa Zille’?

OZCF Marquees Whale CottageIt was a surprise to read that the legality of the Oranjezicht City Farm market, now held on the lawns of Premier Helen Zille’s Leeuwenhof residence in Oranjezicht, is being questioned, in what smacks of political posturing by the ANC.

Resulting from a suggestion received on Twitter to help save the market from closing down whilst it was operating alongside the Oranjezicht City Farm, Premier Zille agreed to hosting the Saturday morning market in December. While she checked security and logistical arrangements, she ‘had opened Leeuwenhof to the market without following due process because state red tape would have delayed it‘, reports City Press.

Complaints re hosting the market at Premier Zille’s official residence, itself a provincial heritage site, are that a Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 18 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The inflation rate has dropped to 4,4%, a three year low, and down from 5,3% in December.  The lower petrol price and slower food price increase benefited the inflation rate.  The price of petrol is expected to increase in March.

*   SAA is two-thirds through its 90 Day Action Plan, with a ‘business unusual’ approach to turn the airline around.  ‘Cost-compression‘ measures have helped to achieve relative stability. Loss-making flights (to China and India) are to be cancelled, taken over by Middle Eastern airlines, and linked to SAA via code-share arrangements. More flights to Mauritius, Maputo, and Harare have been scheduled.

*   The new visa regulations for tourists from China and India are hurting the South African tourism industry, said Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 5 February

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   New draft legislation calls for zero alcohol consumption before driving, with input sought by 27 February.  Alcohol in medicines and fruit could lead to wrongful arrests.

*  SAA has announced that its direct flights between Johannesburg and Mumbai in India will come to an end on 1 April. It will fly to Abu Dhabi, from where passengers will fly with Etihad or Jet Airways to Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Madras in India on a codeshare basis. This route cut, combined with the one to Beijing, will help reduce costs for SAA. Ironic is that SA Tourism as well as local tourism players is in India at the moment, on a marketing trip for our country!

*   Horror of horrors is the report that the Glen Country Club sports grounds is up for sale Continue reading →

Café Chic reopens with slick service, excellent cuisine, hands-on but controversial Chef Conrad Gallagher!

Cafe Chic exterior Whale CottageCafé Chic opened in Gardens in 1999, a Victorian building with a chic interior created by French owner Francoise Queyroi.  A year ago the restaurant was closed and placed on the market, but has not yet found a buyer. It was a surprise that Chef Conrad Gallagher has taken over the building, renting it lock, stock and barrel, including its cutlery (by Helcometals from Egypt/France), crockery, glassware, table cloths, and serviettes, with a view to buying it in future.  Given Chef Conrad’s reputation related to a Cafe Chic Conrad Gallagher Whale Cottageprevious era of owning restaurants in Cape Town, it is brave of him to return!

Chef Conrad had opened Geisha in 2007 in the building alongside Newport Deli in Mouille Point, spending R3,5 million on its interior, when he received an eviction order, being informed that the building was to be demolished, to make way for a new building.  He moved to the Cape Royale Continue reading →

Crystal Clearwater Pools Sweet Service and Vodacom Sour Service Awards!

Whale Cottage Camps Bay pool 3The Sweet Service Award goes to Crystal Clearwater Pools in Sea Point, for its excellent service in identifying the cause for the pool cleaner not working at our Whale Cottage Camps Bay.  They reset the timer and solved a blockage by cutting off a piece of pipe, to make the pool cleaner work again, at a call out fee of R380.  We were horrified that we had almost been duped by another pool company, based in Gardens, as their prognosis was that the pump was broken, and should be replaced, at a cost of R2450! Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 7 April

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Elite 100 fine-dining restaurants in the world have been announced for 2014, with three Cape restaurants on the list: The Test Kitchen at 45th place, The Tasting Room at 82nd, and Rust en Vrede (which the Cape Argus placed in Durbanville rather than in Stellenbosch!) at 85th place.  The world’s top 10 restaurants, according to Elite, are Alinea in Chicago, Daniel Restaurant in New York, The Fat Duck in Bray in the UK, Eleven Madison Park in New York, Le Bernardin in New York, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona in Spain, Azurmendi in Vizcaya, La Pergola in Rome, The Ledbury in London, and Osteria Francescana in Modena in Italy.  The Cape Argus incorrectly created one restaurant name out of  the 7th and 8th ranked restaurants!  A surprise is the omission of five hundred at The Saxon, which kitchen is headed by South Africa’s Top Chef David Higgs.

*   After 45 years in the local and international hospitality industry, which includes the One&Only hotel group, Sol Kerzner is retiring, after selling a substantial stake of his Kerzner International Holdings to a Dubai-based company.

*   New York Travel focuses on Spring Travel in South Africa, specifically in Cape Town and surrounding areas.  In Cape Town the article mentions I Love my Laundry, the The Crypt Jazz Restaurant and The Marly in Camps Bay. It also refers to Cape Town’s role as host of World Design Capital 2014.   Continue reading →

MyCiTi Bus strike poor PR for City of Cape Town!

My CiTi Bus imagesThe City of Cape Town’s MyCiTi Bus service has received mainly praise since it was introduced in 2010, just in time for the World Cup (although not meeting its deadline for the event for its original transport plans), and has praised itself recently for how many passengers its has transported, and how it is expanding the routes.  All of a sudden it is facing a PR nightmare, which it seems inexperienced to handle!

Two months ago the MyCiTi Bus service was criticised by Professor Deon Knobel, who wrote an open letter to Mayor Patricia de Lille and to Brett HerronCity Councillor for Transport, in the Cape Times.   Professor Knobel observed how wasteful the route in Oranjezicht/Tamboerskloof as well as Camps Bay is, asking some hard-hitting questions about the costs of running the service.   In the past week, the City has had to deal with two further problems, the most recent being the most debilitating in terms of the impact of its image.  It also informed Capetonians that the bulk of staff operating the MyCiTi Bus system are not employed by the City of Cape Town, but by third party contractors: Continue reading →