It was a shock to wake up to the news that the main restaurant, lounge, and kitchen building caught fire earlier this morning at Tintswalo Atlantic Lodge, the Boutique Hotel beautifully located at the foot of Chapman’s Peak, and looking onto The Sentinel mountain in Hout Bay. It is the second fire at the lodge in four years. This follows the devastating fire on Lion’s Head just over a week ago. Continue reading →
I was one of a number of writers invited to attend a media event at Tintswalo Atlantic, at the water’s edge below Chapman’s Peak Drive, to allow us to experience Sundowners and Canapés on its deck, facing the majestic Sentinel in Hout Bay. Continue reading →
Tintswalo is a collection of five family-owned luxury lodges and boutique hotel properties, of which two are in Cape Town. While its discreetly located accommodation lodge and restaurant Tintswalo Atlantic at the edge of the ocean below Chapman’s Peak is already well-known, despite being difficult to get into as a non-accommodation visitor, Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa is far more accessible, located in a residential street above Boulders Beach in Simonstown. I was invited to view the property by Janie van der Spuy of Five Star PR, and to enjoy breakfast, at the new property on Saturday morning, with a group of other writers. Continue reading →
Twelve 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 →
The opening of Bocca (meaning ‘mouth’ in Italian) Restaurant on Bree Street was eagerly awaited, having been held up by a last piece of paper to be approved by the City of Cape Town. Three weeks after opening the Italian-style restaurant, seating about 90, is packed to the rafters, doing more than 200 covers per day most days. Following a lunch last week, waiting for a car repair a block away, I enjoyed a special lunch with tastes of a number of the dishes on the Bocca menu on Tuesday. The restaurant had been introduced to me in August already.
I was invited by Five Star PR owner Janie van der Spuy, with freelancer writers Jenny Handley and Bianca Coleman, Mail and Guardian‘s Amit Raz and Brent Meersman, and Katharine Jacobs of Eat Out. We were joined by co-owners Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, who opened Burrata at the Old Biscuit Mill in 2012. Having bought two pizza ovens from Naples when they opened Burrata, it was a long-term plan to open a second pizza restaurant in Cape Town. Pizzas bake at a temperature of up to 485°C. The two owners looked at a number of properties in the city centre, but the unusual venue on the corner of Bree and Wale Streets grew on them, allowing them space to add a mezzanine level, as well as an outside deck, which is already a hit, and attracts attention from passers-by. More space is available if they need more in future. Bocca is the only pizza restaurant on Bree Street. Natural oak wooden slats have been used throughout, from the exterior cladding, to steps into the restaurant, on the deck, and inside the restaurant, on its walls, and serving as banisters on the metal staircase, giving an Continue reading →
On Wednesday evening I attended a special tasting of the wines of Bouchard Finlayson, a Boutique Vineyard according to its marketing material, at the invitation of Janie van der Spuy of FIVE STAR PR. It was held in the special function room upstairs at Mondiall, with Chef Oliver Cattermole and his team preparing excellent tapas dishes which were paired with the four flights of wines we tasted.
I have to admit that I have not previously stopped at Bouchard Finlayson on the R320 Wine Route in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley in Hermanus, it being the longest standing wine farm in the area. I was fortunate to sit next to Peter Finlayson, who has been at the farm for 25 years. He studied Oenology (Chemistry was a tough subject, but he is grateful for the grounding it gave him for winemaking) at Stellenbosch University, which he followed up with a year at Geisenheim in Germany. Of his class of nine graduating in 1974, only two have become winemakers. Peter previously worked at Boschendal. Only 22 ha of the 125 ha farm is planted to vine, Peter having bought it in 1989 from a farmer who farmed with ‘mielies, sheep, and baboons‘, Peter said, at a time when the locals said that the valley was only suitable ‘for farming by poor Whites’! The baboons are still there, he told me with a laugh! The remainder of the land is covered with fynbos, and Bouchard Finlayson is committed to conserving and adding fynbos, and they joined the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative. Peter was the first winemaker to import Nebbiolo and Sangiovese vines, planting them in 1994. His real achievement has been with Pinot Noir, known as the ‘Pioneer of Pinot Noir’, and now the whole valley is synonymous with the varietal. Galpin Peak Pinot Noir is the flagship Bouchard Finlayson wine. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc also do exceptionally well in the valley. Continue reading →