A number of records were broken last night when 94 wines and one brandy were awarded 5 star status at the launch of the Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2017 at the Table Bay Hotel, a new venue, the event having been held at the Mount Nelson for years. The colour of the 2017 Platter’s Guide is Harvest Green. Continue reading →
Franschhoek is celebrating the best of its white wines, Rosés, and MCCs at Franschhoek Summer Wines, to be held at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards tomorrow (Saturday 6 February) from 12h00 – 17h00. Continue reading →
The Franschhoek Bastille Festival is one of the most popular events held in this French Huguenot village, and this weekend (11 and 12 July) Franschhoek will be decked in red, white, and blue to celebrate its French roots. Even a mini Eiffel Tower is to bring Paris to Franschhoek this year!
The Franschhoek Bastille Festival Marquee will be set up next to the Franschhoek Huguenot Monument, with parking nearby. A number of Franschhoek restaurants will offer their cuisine, and Chef Marcus Continue reading →
Franschhoek Vignerons is hosting Franschhoek Summer Wines today, from 12h00 – 17h00, at Leopard’s Leap.
The following wine estates will present white, Rosé, and MCC wines to taste: Anthonij Rupert Wines – L’Ormarins Brut Classique & Cape of Good Hope Altima Sauvignon Blanc 2014; Bellingham Wines – Bellingham Old Orchard Chenin Blanc 2013; Boschendal wines – Sauvignon Blanc 1685. Four Paws Wines – Four Paws Sauvignon Blanc Continue reading →
* British wine writer Jancis Robinson has ended her visit to the Cape Winelands this week, and writes that she has been ‘hugely impressed by the quality of the wines of the best producers and by the much broader range of wine styles and provenances than there was on my last visit’ seven years ago. She described our country as the ‘wonderful source of underpriced fine white wine. It has taken longer for red wines to please this finicky international palate‘. Our industry does not need to be defined by our indigenous Pinotage, she feels.
* Could Cape Town/South Africa/Africa get a Grand Prix again, after more than 20 years? Bernie Ecclestone has speculated that such a race could be possible by next year. As Killarney is not suitable, it would have to be a street race in Cape Town. This proposal was however rejected by City of Cape Town’s Directorate of Tourism, Events, and Marketing in 2013, due to the cost.
* Roger Jones, owner of Michelin star restaurant Harrow at Little Bedwyn in the UK, has just returned from a trip to our country. Continue reading →
Franschhoek is celebrating the 21 st anniversary of its Bastille Festival this weekend, and is adding a spicy new touch of the Seychelles to the festivities. The Festival has a brand new location in Franschhoek too.
The Food & Wine Marquee has been moved next door to the Huguenot Monument, where the Champagne Festival is held successfully, and will no longer be located in the village centre, as in the previous years. Entrance to the Marquee is limited, and in the past Saturdays have always been sold out in advance, at an entrance cost of R200, making it imperative to buy tickets in advance On Sundays it is easier to get into the Marquee, with the entrance price reduced to R180.
The Food & Wine Marquee will be home to 25 Franschhoek Vignerons, including Allée Bleue, Babylonstoren, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Backsberg, Bellingham, Black Elephant Vintners, Boschendal, Dieu Donné, Grande Provence, Haute Cabriere, Holden Manz, La Bri, Leopard’s Leap, Môreson, Noble Hill, Plaisir de Merle, Rickety Bridge, Rupert & Rothschild, Solms-Delta, Vrede & Lust, La Petite Ferme, La Motte, Akkerdal, Morena, and Glenwood. Ndlovu beer will also be available to taste. Local restaurants serving food are Anthonij Rupert Wines, Backsberg, Grand Provence, Holden Manz, Le Franschhoek Hotel, Noble Hill, Rickety Bridge, Solms-Delta, L’ermitage, Bread & Wine, Reubens & Racine, and Wild Peacock.
The atmosphere on Franschhoek’s main road is electric and fun, with visitors wearing red, blue and white, and donning a beret, to get into the French spirit! Almost every business on the main road is draped in bunting in the French colours, and has a table of Continue reading →
* ‘People love our country and continue to visit South Africa‘, said President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address at the opening of Parliament last night. He set our country’s tourism target at 15 million visitors per year by 2017, with a revenue of R125 billion generated.
* TripAdvisor is testing amongst a sample of American hotels a new Question and Answer service on listed property pages, so that guests can request further information before they book, including for example questions such as the cost of a mini-bar, availability of tickets to attractions at reception, opening times of the pool, etc. Other travelers and the property can answer the questions. Hotels in the same town are not allowed to answer about another hotel in the discussion forums.
* Much admired and liked Eat Out Top 10 Chef Jackie Cameron from Hartford House is leaving the KwaZulu-Natal hotel at the end of July, to open Jackie Cameron’s School of Food and Wine in Hilton in January next year. Continue reading →
Julia Hattingh is the fourth chef at Franschhoek Kitchen since Holden Manz bought the previously named Klein Genot wine estate, and it was renamed after the owners’ surnames. She is a breath of fresh air, and the restaurant will attract back customers, as Chef Julia settles in and takes the restaurant to a new level.
Security is stricter now, one having to fill in a sheet at the boom, but friendly. One walks through the downstairs tasting room to get to the upstairs restaurant, and I chose the smaller room with the fireplace. Front of House Manager Cobi Bosch is new, and he and I did not gel at all. He previously worked at Rhapsody’s at Cape Town International and in Bloemfontein. I knew that Manager Wayne Buckley would pop in, and I did want to meet Chef Julia, which made me stay. Cobi also served as the waiter on Monday. He recommended to a neighbouring table what his favourite dishes are, in guiding them what to order (they ordered a cheese platter to share in the end), but did not offer me this service. He brought two wine lists, one with Holden Manz wines, and the other with wines from their ‘friends’, being other wine estates in Franschhoek and one in Stellenbosch, telling me that the Chardonnay on the list was sold out already. He seemed most put out when I requested butter instead of the bottles of Willow Creek extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for the slices of olive oil bread which he had brought to the table. Continue reading →
Many restaurants opened this summer, but the industry is taking its first toll, with restaurants closing down. It may be a tough winter ahead, given the poor state of the economy. Yet Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht (Burrata), Clayton Howard and Mico Botha (I Love my Laundry), and Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House) are expanding their portfolios.
This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Chef’s Warehouse & Cookery School has moved to Bree Street, in the Cape Heritage hotel building, where Awestruck/Caveau used to be, and is now called Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, with Chef Liam Tomlin in the kitchen. Street Food has also opened as a take-away outlet (7h00 – 15h00)
* Diesel & Creme, a diner, restaurant, and coffee shop, has opened on the R62 in Barrydale.
* Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.
* The Tap Room has opened at Devils’ Peak Brewery
* I ♥ my Laundry has opened another (its third) branch on Buitenkant Street.
* Jordan Wines has launched a Deli and Bakery.
* Lucky Fish & Chips has opened on Bree Street, on Regent Road in Sea Point, on Long Street, in Kalk Bay, and in Muizenberg, belonging to Michael Townsend of the Harbour House group.
* Tümi has opened as a health food café in St John’s Piazza in Sea Point, being part of the Col’Cocchia group. Continue reading →
Vignerons participating in Franschhoek Summer Wines 2014 are La Bri, Morena, Môreson, Anthonij Rupert Wines, Bellingham, Noble Hill, Leopard’s Leap, La Motte, Solms-Delta, Haute Cabriere, Grande Provence, Cape Chamonix, Akkerdal, Babylonstoren, Black Elephant Vintners, Boschendal, Eikehof, Franschhoek Cellar, Glenwood, Holden Manz, La Chataigne, La Couronne, La Petite Vignerons, Lynx Wines, Maison, Rickety Bridge, Rupert & Rothschild Vignerons, Terra del Capo, Boekenhoutskloof, and Vrede & Lust. Continue reading →