Tag Archives: Horst Frehse

Grande Roche Hotel wakes up from a long sleep, revitalizes with new owners and chef!

The Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl was the epitome of hospitality many years ago, German-owned and  with cigar-smoking Hotelier Horst Frehse at the management helm. Its Bosman’s restaurant was our country’s number one for many years, until its star faded, Frehse left, and For Sale signs were seen for many years. Now the hotel is in new local hands, the name of the restaurant has changed, and it has a new Chef Patron to redevelop it! Continue reading →

Twelve Apostle’s Hotel Azure restaurant launches impressive new Winter Menu!

imageTwelve Apostle’s Hotel PR consultancy Five Star PR invited a number of writers to try the new Winter Menu yesterday, on a sunny winter’s day, with Lion’s Head in the background. I was impressed with how the level of the cuisine at Azure restaurant has improved since my last visit. Continue reading →

Auf Wiedersehen ‘Mr Hospitality’ Horst Frehse!

imageThe turnout at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa this afternoon, for the farewell tribute to its Executive Director Horst Frehse, was testament to his popularity and the respect in which he is held, it was clear to see by all who attended. He is one of two iconic hoteliers to retire this year.

Mr Frehse‘, as he has always been respectfully addressed by his Continue reading →

Cape Town hotel industry loses two stalwart iconic leaders!

imageTwo iconic hotel leaders, Clive Bennett from the One & Only Cape Town and Horst Frehse from the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, are going into retirement, a massive loss for the Cape Town hotel industry. Both Hotel GMs crossed paths when Frehse took over Bennett’s job at the Twelve Apostles in 2010.

Cigar-smoking Horst Frehse was synonymous with the Grande Roche in Paarl Continue reading →

Rudera Wines a perfect pairing in August at Azure at Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa dinner!

imageIt being Women’s Month, the invitation to Dr Riana Hall of Rudera Wines to present her wines to and pair them with dinner at Azure restaurant at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa on Friday evening was a perfect match.

Many of the Azure tables were booked for the food and wine pairing Continue reading →

Bushmans Kloof and Bouchard Finlayson come to Cape Town for a #TweetandEat!

Bushmanskloof Table Whale CottageI have not attended a #TweetandEat event for a long time, and when the invitation came from FIVE STAR PR to attend one at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa presented by their sister property Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat last week, it was a yes immediately, not having experienced the contemporary Cape cuisine of Executive Chef Floris Smith before.

Bushmans Kloof GM James Basson came to welcome me immediately, and it is clearBushmanskloof James Basson Whale Cottage to see why he was named the Best GM in the Red Carnation Group earlier this year. He is bubbly, friendly, and vivacious, and one feels that one has known him for years. I asked him what he does to have won the award, and he immediately said that it his team that makes a difference. His staff stay for long, and many couples work there, given that they are in the middle Continue reading →

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

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*    The Garden Route is one of nine Best Coastal Drives in the world, selected by CNN Traveler, and described as follows: ‘Drive along the #GardenRoute @GoToSouthAfrica absolutely stunning!” —@SuryaSadisivan’ .  Other coastal drives on the list includes the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway, the Amalfi Drive in Italy, the Road to Key West in Florida, and Sea-to-Sky Highway in Vancouver.

*   Horst Frehse, Executive Director of the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the recent Red Carnation Hotel Collection Staff Appreciation Awards held in London. Continue reading →

Why do hotel restaurants not have better patron support and win awards?

five hundred dishIt was a recent article by Nick Lander, husband of renowned wine critic Jancis Robinson and restaurant critic in the UK, about restaurants in hotels he had visited in Dubai that made me consider once again why hotel restaurants fare so poorly in patron support and in the Eat Out Top 10 restaurant awards in our country.
Lander writes that specific rules about restaurants and liquor licences force restaurants to be linked to hotels in Dubai.  In our country no such rules apply, and as a service to guests, hotels have over the years added dining facilities, in early days being the only restaurants offering tea and cake, and lunch and dunner.  My parents drove us with overseas visitors to Franschhoek’s Swiss Farm Excelsior (now the Le Franschhoek Hotel), the benchmark of restaurants in those years.

Continue reading →

Bye Bye Brucie Baby: a tribute to Chef Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson in sea 2Today we celebrated the life of one of our country’s most creative and maverick chefs, Bruce Robertson having passed away suddenly of leukemia on Monday, only four days after he received the diagnosis.  Hundreds of restaurant industry friends, family, and past patrons gathered at the False Bay Rugby Club in Constantia, to pay tribute to the happy-go-lucky man.

A special marquee had been erected, with benches, a table with eats brought along by the Bruce Robertson Programme Whale Cottagefoodies, and lots of wines supplied by Cederberg (he only served this brand ‘with altitude and attitude‘ at his former The Boat House, and most recent The Flagship), Spier (where his close friend Tony Romer-Lee is involved), Villiera MCC, and Flagstone (winemaker Bruce Jack and Chef Bruce jointly made a wine called Bruce’s Juice at one stage).  On the marquee walls were blown up black and white photographs of Chef Bruce, including one of him dressed in drag!  There were so many familiar Continue reading →

Are ‘frikkin’ bloggers’ the bread and butter of Restaurant marketing?

Mount Nelson Rudi Liebenberg BloggersOn Sunday the Sunday Times had a lengthy article, entitled ‘Food Soldiers’, about the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the preparation of ‘fine food’ and the running of good restaurants. The article concluded with a denigration of ‘frikkin’ bloggers‘ by newly renamed Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel Chef Rudi Liebenberg, quite out of character of someone who comes across as gentle and kind.

I Tweeted the last paragraph of the article, and posted it on Facebook, and an interesting discussion arose on the latter forum, threatening to become a ‘Chefs versus Bloggers’ fight. Veteran Chef Billy Gallagher fully supported Chef Rudi, writing ‘I believe you write good stuff Chris and I follow your blog which is always interesting to say the least, having spent 40 years in the hotel business. It was hotel chefs that laid the foundation. The South African chefs Association created the platform for today’s South African chefs and this 40 years ago was a hotel chefs initiative.  Many of the top 10 restaurants are on wine estates which adds a wonderful backdrop to these very talented chefs. Let’s give Rudi his opinion right or wrong‘.   Twelve Apostles Executive Director Horst Frehse also wrote in support of Chef Rudi.   Susanna Tecklenburg of Oude Wellington wrote  ‘I eat, sleep, sitting on the loo social media between cooking and running my restaurant. It sure brings in business and you meet new people all the time and guests appreciated when you comment on their posts. Read all the blogs and specially yours Chris Von Ulmenstein and value your opinion. Thanks for all your input and info all the time. With my busy lifestyle you ‘frikkin’ bloggers help us to be in touch what’s going on out there!’.  Chef Anton Bekker of Taste Restaurant was critical of the effect of MasterChef SA on diners: ‘Social media keep my restaurant afloat! I do have problem when people watch masterchef and then think they know everything. Lol. Or when a food writer comments that the hollandaise needed some more cream. … haha’. Sarie Kos Food Editor Herman Lensing was the first to react to the Facebook post, stating that all diners have the right to express an opinion, and that chefs should cook for their customers and not for critics.  Amanda Brinkmann was very vocal about the subject, saying that due to the politics in food writing, she believes in and supports ‘citizen journalism‘.  Deon Schutte clearly wrote from a chef’s perspective: ‘I think that Continue reading →