Yesterday it was the 30th anniversary of the release of the late Nelson Mandela, after being incarcerated in three prisons in Cape Town and Paarl over a period of 27 years. The celebration of the anniversary of the monumental event on 11 February 1990 is a memory for many of us Capetonians who stood outside the City Hall, to hear Mandela address us on that day. The anniversary celebrations took place inside and outside the Cape Town City Hall yesterday. For many it was a sad reminder that much of South Africa remains divided, perhaps more so than it was on this date 30 years ago. Continue reading →
It was a Facebook post by Chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen of South African/French restaurant JAN in Nice that alerted me to the Hospitality Counsel 2019 ranking of our countries top ten Restaurants as well as Chefs, when he thanked them for being included in the Top 10 Chef List. No other restaurant or chef on the two lists appears to have announced the accolades from the Hospitality Counsel, awarded at an event called the 2019 Luxury Tourism Awards! Continue reading →
While I am very conscious of my weight, and focused on maintaining or even reducing it further, I have not become a Vegan or Vegetarian eater, although my eating pattern largely excludes meat and bread. It was therefore interesting to receive an invitation from the hotel’s Food & Beverage Manager Hilton Ruch, to try the new Vegan High Tea last Friday.Continue reading →
Yesterday evening I ventured up the steep lane to the square in the village in which I am living in Liguria province, celebrating not only the Catholic religious holiday of Ferragosto, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, but also a successful first two days of writing my book. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to Wizardz at the Garden Center and its staff member Eddie Benjamin. Eddie assisted me with the short-run printing of a book, taking care of the technical challenges involved, to create a special gift. He regularly informed me about the status of the project throughout the one week production process.
I had been led to believe that one of the better restaurants in Knysna is Sirocco, and I do recall having eaten there once before, when it was more of a fine-dining restaurant. I was very disappointed when I spent part of my S&T allowance from the Department of Justice at Sirocco last night. Loadshedding was not the only problem the restaurant had to cope with, Manager Sonia de Lange having shed her service ethic too!
I had popped in at Thesen Island earlier in the afternoon, and had a look at the fire-damaged Ile de Pain, speaking to staff at a neighbouring shop, and they recommended Sirocco. When I visited Knysna a month ago, also with the compliments of the Department of Justice, I had experienced
dreadful service at three restaurants I had attempted to eat at, in particular at the Island Café at The Turbine Hotel & Spa! On Facebook a number of visitors to Knysna shared that the town appears to have a problem with restaurant service.
It was hard to see the entrance to the restaurant, as there is a Col’Cacchio now, and Continue reading →
The launch of Jani Allan’s new book ‘Jani Confidential’ created no fireworks yesterday, as many attendees had expected at the Literary Launch lunch organised by Gorry Bowes Taylor for Wordsworth Books. The low-key, almost hidden, A Tavola restaurant was a good choice, with a special lunch, and reflected Allan’s shy and coy nature as a speaker. Surprisingly few attendees bought books, maybe because Allan did not do a good job in marketing her book to her audience, not reading extracts from it nor providing tidbits which would intrigue one to buy the book.
Soon after we arrived at the fully-booked launch event, for which we paid R280 for the three course lunch, a selection of Antipasti was brought to the tables of ten to share: Bruschetta
Yesterday I spent the afternoon in Franschhoek, and used the opportunity to visit the completely transformed Franschhoek Cellar, for which re-opening I had received an invitation, but could not attend the Monday evening function last month. The redesign led to the closure in October and November last year, and the Franschhoek Cellar re-opening in December. What has emerged is a monster, not suited to brand ‘Franschhoek’ at all!
For the first time I noticed yesterday that one can no longer park in front of the building, an area which was shared with that for The Stall. There is no entrance into the wine tasting centre off the R45 entrance to Franschhoek anymore. Instead the walkway to the centre has been turned into a garden, with a rose garden, another with protea varieties, and a fountain wall. To the left of the building are some unusual looking ‘umbrellas‘, as if they are Continue reading →
1. Photographs are THE way to market restaurants, via Instagram in particular, ‘high-quality, drool-inducing photos’ being the best way to promote a restaurant. It is worth investing in an excellent food photographer.
2. Loyalty Programs on online food apps attract attention and reward loyal custom.
3. In the USA Yelp is vital, positive reviews being a massive marketing plus. It has not been heard Continue reading →