I could not think it possible that the Eat Out Awards 2018 could be so refreshingly different, but it appears that new Head Judge Margot Janse has created a fresh new look at the restaurant judging criteria. Many of our top old-guard chefs took a severe beating at the Awards last night! Continue reading →
* Wine writer and taster Tim Atkin has released his Tim Atkin 2015 South Africa Special Report, describing our country as the ‘most dynamic and exciting winemaking country in the New World‘! He lauds our winemaking industry for its ‘diverse terroirs, old vines and pure winemaking talent’. He writes that it has ‘never been so intoxicating to taste and drink the wines of the Cape‘! For the first time he has saluted our top winemakers (Eben Sadie and Morné Vrey) and wines Continue reading →
* A total of 10,6 million South Africans use WhatsApp, a free messaging service which was bought by Facebook last week. This represents close to half of all adults living in cities and towns. Facebook usage on mobile phones is at 9 million (45%), Mxit is at 25%, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) (21%), and Twitter 20%, according to a survey conducted last week.
* The Stellenbosch American Express Wine Routes will be participating at the tourism and travel show ITB in Berlin next month for the first time. (received via media release from Random Hat Communications)
* The ATKV-Oesfees will be held at Solms-Delta outside Franschhoek on 22 March, with headline acts including Karen Zoid, Theuns Jordaan, Robbie Wessels, and Loukmaan Adams. It is the 7th Oesfees on the wine estate, and 100 performers will participate, to celebrate the harvest in the Franschhoek valley with local music and dance. Last year more than 5000 music fans attended the Oesfees. Solms-Delta is dedicated to preserving and developing the musical heritage of the Cape, through its Music van de Caab project run by Adriaan Brand. Entrance costs R130 per adult. (received via media release from Paula Wilson Media Consulting)
* Food Routes has launched a new Culinary Sensibility Identities (CSI) tool, allowing restaurant goers to match their culinary personality with that of a compatible restaurant on the Food Routes Continue reading →
Three major events take place this weekend: the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in Cape Town, and the KKNK in Oudtshoorn. These events are estimated by Cape Town Routes Unlimited to generate R 780 million in income for the Western Cape, reports Southern African Tourism Update.
The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon will be run for the 40th time in Cape Town today, with a 56 km ultra marathon, a 21 km marathon, and 5 km and 2,5 km fun runs creating a choice for the 26 000 participants.
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is in its 11th year, and its economic benefit is estimated at close to R 600 million. The star of the Festival will be George Benson, who performs at the Kippies venue at the Cape Town International Convention Centre tonight. His show will be a tribute to Nat King Cole. Judith Sephuma, Toots Thieleman, Jason Moran, La Melodia, Jonathan Butler, TKZee, MiKaNiC, Regina Carter, Melanie Scholtz, and Bilal are some of the 40 artists and bands performing today and tomorrow. Billed as “Africa’s Grandest Gathering” and rated as the fourth best jazz event in the world, the Jazz Festival is expected to draw 32 000 jazz fans over the two days.
The KKNK (Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees) runs until 8 April, and is a feast of mainly Afrikaans music and theatre. Experimental plays usually are first performed in Oudtshoorn. Award-winning ‘Die Naaimasjien’, with actress Sandra Prinsloo, will be the highlight. Musically, David Kramer will entertain with ‘David Kramer se Kaapse Breyani’. Other musical stars include Elsabe Zietsman, Amanda Strydom, Karen Zoid, Coenie de Villiers, Chris Chameleon, Koos Kombuis, classical guitarist James Grace, and the inimitable Nataniel.
March was a bad month for business, severely down on previous years, and it is evident that hospitality businesses are concerned about the winter ahead, given the impact that punitive increases in petrol, electricity, municipal rates and other municipal charges will have on consumers. The only counter to these cost increases is the decrease in interest rates by 0,5 percentage points, reducing the costs of car and bond repayments. A number of restaurants may not survive the quiet period ahead, and the reduced bookings for the World Cup may not bolster their earnings enough for them to survive the winter.
Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, said as follows:”The industry went through a rough patch over the last 18 months because of the global economic recession. It is therefore very reassuring to know that our destination plays host to events of this calibre. They certainly support the Western Cape Government’s objective of growth, job creation and poverty reduction and will help to build a long-term, sustainable tourism industry”.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com