Entries tagged with “Grandwest”.


Every year Eat Out seems to change something about its Awards, and this year is no exception. For 2017 Eat Out has decided to increase the shortlist of Restaurants to a Top 30, from which a Top Ten will be recognized at the 17 November Awards ceremony. (more…)

imageThe Sweet Service Award goes to Vodacom in the V&A Waterfront and its consultant Chad Thomas, who assisted me in doing a phone upgrade. He also checked my contract, and found a more affordable package that gives me more data and fewer calls at a lower rate than I have been paying to date. (more…)

imageOn Sunday the eagerly awaited Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards 2015 winners will be announced at its Gala Lunch, to be held at new event venue SunExhibits Centre at GrandWest. As is our tradition, we attempt a prediction of the Eat Out Top 10 winners as well as comment on the other awards to be presented (more…)

imageThe threatened protest by Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the concert by ‘Happy’ composer and singer Pharrell Williams for retailer Woolworths turned out to be a damp squib this evening, only 350 out of an estimated 40000 protesters arriving at GrandWest.

The show had been sold out well in advance, tickets only having been available via Woolworths, but was overshadowed by (more…)

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  The 6% decline in international Tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year is the biggest since our country became a democracy 21 years ago, writes the Financial Times. Ebola is partly to blame, but the new visa rules are the main reason, requiring personal biometric evaluation in India, China, and Russia, and unabridged birth (more…)

imageWhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news

*  Actor and comedian Russell Brand is making a second attempt to visit our country,  after having previously been denied entry when his passport did not have the required number of empty pages, reports the Weekend Argus. He will perform at Grandwest on 3 October.

*   Facebook has opened its first office in Africa, located in Johannesburg, reports pctech Magazine. The continent already has (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   ACSA is introducing new hand luggage regulations at its airports from Monday onwards, which are expected to cause check-in delays initially.  If the hand luggage does not conform to regulations, it will have to be checked in.  Each piece of hand luggage will now be weighed, not to exceed 7 kg.  Passengers are allowed a handbag OR a ‘slim-line laptog bag‘.  The carry-on bag dimensions may not exceed 36 cm x 23 cm x 56 cm.

*   The petrol price will decrease by 93 cents a litre from Wednesday, dropping to below R10 a litre at the coast.  The drastic drop is due to the drop in the crude oil price, and a weaker exchange rate.

*   The Competitions Commission has blocked Tsogo Sun’s bid for 40% of GrandWest and Worcester (more…)

Michael Townsend Whale Cottage PortfolioYesterday I enjoyed an interesting lunch with restaurateur Michael Townsend at Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, one of the most low key restaurant entrepreneurs in Cape Town but with a fast growing empire which has focused on fish to date. Now he is opening a steak restaurant in Muizenberg, and if it is successful there, he will bring it to the city centre.

I have only met Michael once before, on Kalk Bay’s main road outside his La Parada, when he called my name as I walked past, and did not react initially as I do not know anyone living on that side of Cape Town. He persisted, having recognised me from the blog and previous writing I did for the Weekend Argus Ad Monitor column which I created many years ago.  We have become Facebook friends since.  Yesterday morning he contacted me, requesting a meeting.  I suggested Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, having just written the review. He had arrived early, and bought seven books relating to meat from the shop, with help from Chef Liam Tomlin.  What he wanted input on was the appointment of a group Executive Chef,Lucky Fish Logo Whale Cottage Portfolio who can look after all his restaurants (two Harbour House, five Lucky Fish, and two La Parada to date).

He told me that he once was a student in Fashion Design, including dresses and handbags, moving to Johannesburg to join a company called Brandcorp, of which he became a director, and when it was listed on the JSE, he made his first good money.  He intimated that he cannot hold on to money for too long, and is not materialistic, always wanting to put it into a new business. His first money went into Harbour House in Kalk Bay, previously called Canteen Tequila, of which he changed the name when they opened about 15 years ago.  It did not run very well in early days, (more…)

Carlos Santana 1795604_10153872652095511_433576210_nThe Sweet Service Award goes to GrandWest for its professional handling of the crowds attending the Carlos Santana concert on Tuesday evening.  This Award is shared with William of Computicket in Camps Bay, who connected me with a customer in Sea Point, wishing to sell her ticket due to a knee operation the day before the concert, which had been sold out months in advance.  Not being partial to crowds in big spaces, I was surprised about how smoothly everything went: no traffic problems close by (compared to the Cape Town Stadium concerts), easy to find parking close by, an excellent quality seat, lovely seat neighbours, a very tough security man preventing anyone further back blocking the view of those sitting in the front row of our block by wanting to dance in front of them,  the incredibly low parking cost of R10, and the ease of leaving without any major traffic blockages.  The entrance boom did have a technical problem as we (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Selling direct to wine lovers is the way to go delegates at a Wine Vision conference were told earlier this week by an international panel of speakers.  Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick Wine Estate in Stellenbosch shared that 22 % of their wine sales is to members of their Wine Club.

*   Prince Harry’s UK, the USA and the Commonwealth teams have flown to Antarctica, for their trek for charity to the South Pole, having been held up in Cape Town for the last four days due to bad weather.

*   Big Concerts has added a third Carlos Santana concert at the GrandArena at GrandWest on 27 February, in addition to 25 and 26 February in Cape Town, and 1 March in Johannesburg.

*   Bouchard Finlayson won the ‘Coup de Coeur‘ at the first Vinidivio show (more…)