Tag Archives: Llandudno

Welcome to Camps Bay, the French Riviera of Cape Town!


For my Tourist Guiding course we have to present a project about an area in the Cape Peninsula or the Wineland, depending on which tour we have been allocated a practical task. I was very lucky to have been given the area between Maidens Cove in Clifton to Llandudno, along the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town, the French Riviera of Cape Town. Continue reading →

Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82 Chef change almost seamless!

Bistro 1682 Tasting Room Whale CottageI had so looked forward to meeting Chef Kerry Kilpin at Bistro Sixteen82 yesterday, not thinking that the chef would not be at her post, or to ask when booking if she would be in the kitchen.

I made the booking with Nicole, something I don’t often do, but for the drive between Camps Bay and Constantia it was worth doing, given how full of tourists Cape Town still is.  I had invited regular and loyal Blog reader Lisa Harlow from the UK, on holiday in the Cape currently, to join me for lunch, so that we could try Chef Kerry’s Continue reading →

[spasie] opens as new unique underground experiential dining in Cape Town!

spasie branding Whale CottageSecret restaurants have been operating in Cape Town for a year or so, SecretEats having attracted attention to underground restaurants, which pop up in interesting venues such as art galleries, furniture design exhibitions, warehouses in Observatory, and in private homes in Llandudno and Tamboerskloof.  Now [spasie] has opened in Cape Town, using the same formula of different chefs preparing the dinners, and guests sitting at one long table, with one difference – the restaurant space of [spasie] is fixed.

It is not clear why Greg Zeleny, the creator of SecretEats, has created a different brand, as he was not present at the [spasie] dinner to which I was invited.  JP du Toit was ourSpasie JP du Toit  Whale Cottage host, and told us that he looks after the dinners every Thursday and Friday, and that his colleague Zak Averre handles weekday daytime food from the same space.  It was like a homecoming, the venue being across the road from the former Haas, in the building where the Haas ad agency had its offices, and where the Haas kitchen prepared the food for the Haas coffee shop.  We had hosted a Food & Wine Bloggers’ Club function in the same venue, when it still was an art gallery for Haas.  JP studied Biochemistry, and lived in Japan for two years.

The chef of the week was Chef Nick Charalambous, a Silwood Cookery School student (Cordon Bleu Grande Diploma), and former colleague Continue reading →

Western Cape has largest number of Blue Flag beaches!

Camps Bay beach Blue FlagThe Western Cape has 27 Blue Flag beaches, the largest percentage of the 45 Blue Flag beaches awarded in our country in total this year. More than 4000 Blue Flag beaches have been accredited world-wide.  In addition, five marinas and six whale-watching boats were accredited, and some pilot Blue Flag beaches have been announced.  All the beaches in the Hessequa Municipality (Stilbaai, Witsand, Gouritzmond, and more) have achieved Blue Flag status.

The Blue Flag status of each beach is done by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, based on international standards for water and beach cleanliness, water and sand quality, and environmental education and management, set by the Foundation for Environmental Education.  The number of Blue Flag beaches awarded locally is growing year on year since the beach accreditation system was introduced in our country 13 years ago.

The Blue Flag Beaches, and accredited marina and whale-watching boats, in the Western Cape are the following: Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 20 June

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is encouraging its members to use IT to improve the customer experience, saying that airlines ‘fly people and cargo, not planes‘. Consistency of customer experience is not yet satisfactory for airlines, with little differentiation. Customers would like to use IT to check in online, tag luggage themselves, board themselves, and collect bags themselves, an IATA survey found last year.  IATA’s goal is that 80% of passengers have a ‘self-service suite based on industry standards‘ available to them by 2020.

*   PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is not known as a Tourism consultancy, so its prediction about our country’s tourism future is a surprise.  Its report presents growth of 4% in international tourists 2013, far lower than the 10% growth in 2012.  Growth is said to be solid and good, but ‘not fantastic growth‘.  Almost three quarters of international visitors to our country are from Africa, the report confirms.  Nigeria would become the leading source market for our country, the PwC study predicts.  The Guest House category is the fastest growing in respect of room availability.  South Africa’s strength is that it attracts leisure as well as business travelers.

*   France must be feeling the tourism pinch, having announced plans to become more welcoming to tourists, English speaking ones in particular.   The country hopes to increase tourist numbers to 100 million, Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 6 December

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   1Time is likely to start operating again as a low cost airline, having been placed into liquidation last year.

*   The City of Cape Town approved The Control of Undertakings that Sell Liquor to the Public By-law, and should be promulgated in the Provincial Government Gazette next month, and enforcable by February.  The by-law is less strict than its draft, allowing retailers to apply to extended their trading hours and to trade on Sundays.

*   Camps Bay has been named by Yowzit as the Best Beach in South Africa, followed by Ramsgate and Llandudno.

*   The Last Word Franschhoek has closed its doors until April for renovations, after having been badly flooded during the severe downpour last month.

*   Cape Town has been praised by the Islington Review for Camps Bay Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 12/13 October

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The N1/N2 Winelands toll road project is unlikely to be implemented, despite the Supreme Court of Appeal giving the go-ahead for e-tolling, says Robin Carlisle, Western Cape Minister of Transport.

*   Praise for Chef Chris Erasmus of Pierneef à La Motte‘s old-world-meets-science cooking comes from America.

*   Will Kempinski Hotels’ announced expansion in Africa include South Africa, given that it has just opened two hotels in Kenya?  Five more Kempinski hotels are planned for Africa.  Hotel investments in Africa are likely to drive tourism to the continent.

*   Africa is the India and China of ten years ago, and will see an increasing investment from international companies, including hotel groups such as Hilton, Starwood, and Marriott International Inc. growing their hotel presence on the continent, especially in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Botswana, and Angola.

*   A Nelson Mandela Tour has been developed to show Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 9 October

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Chenin Blanc and Ken Forrester are honoured by Joe Roberts, American 1 Wine Dude blogger and key-note speaker at the Nederburg Auction this year!

*  HRH Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, are attending  a dinner function at Grande Provence tomorrow (10 October), which means that the wine estate will be closed.  (via Twitter)

*   Western Cape Minister of Community Safety Dan Plato has vowed to personally check on alleged drug dealing on Long Street, and whether there is visible policing and security on this notorious party strip in Cape Town, responding to an EWN news report.

*   Eight beaches and two marinas in Cape Town have been Continue reading →

Blue Flag beaches Tourism boost for Cape Town and Western Cape!

The Western Cape has 21 Blue Flag beaches out of 36 nationally, with eight of these in Cape Town alone and three each in Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay, excellent news for tourism to our city and province, as they are a confirmation of international standards of cleanliness, environmental management, and safety. ‘..the Blue Flag programme has impacts in terms of economic benefits, job creation and improved environmental management’, said Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk at the ceremony to award the latest Blue Flag beaches.

The list of beaches is as follows:

Cape Town :  Camps Bay, Clifton 4th beach, Bikini Beach (Gordon’s Bay), Mnandi Beach (False Bay), Muizenberg, Strandfontein, Llandudno, Silwerstroomstrand (near Melkbos).

Mossel Bay: Santos Beach, Hartenbos, De Bakke

Plettenberg Bay: Robberg, Keurboomstrand, Nature’s Valley

Overstrand: Grotto Beach, Kleinmond

Other:  Wilderness, Brenton on Sea, Strandfontein (near Vredenburg), Lappiesbaai (Stilbaai), Witsand

A list of 32 criteria is evaluated for a beach to be awarded Blue Flag status, focusing on water quality, environmental focus (education, information, and management), and safety and services (including parking availability, ablution facilities, and life-saving).  Minister van Schalkwyk added that “…tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and one that is heavily dependent on the natural resource base. Attractive coastal landscapes such sandy beaches, dune areas, estuaries, and coastal lakes are also preferred sites for tourism development. Hence, uncontrolled and ill-planned tourism significantly degrades the environment. Our environment is one of our greatest tourism resources. As the global sector grows, its impact on natural resources also grows, and therefore the need for sustainable planning and management become imperative for this industry.”

The Minister said that currently our country is promoted largely around its safari-type experiences and its beaches: “We have the capability and the means, the welcoming culture, and the varied, textured, beautiful destination that the world’s travellers – ever more demanding and discerning – want when they choose a destination.  As the number of Blue Flag beaches increases in South African, domestic visitors are increasingly exercising their choices in which beaches they visit and, as with international trends, our Blue Flag beaches are becoming the “beach of choice”.

The Blue Flag beach quality evaluation was introduced in Europe 25 years ago, awarding beaches that met the European Union Bathing Water Directive.  It is awarded in 40 countries, close to 4000 beaches being evaluated.  In South Africa beaches have been evaluated for Blue Flag status in the past twelve years.  In its year of inception there were only three Blue Flag beaches; now there are 36. Four marinas received Blue Flag status for the first time, including Yachtport in Saldanha, and the Granger Bay Water Club and False Bay Yacht Club in Cape Town.

Blue Flag beach status is not well communicated, and one would encourage the municipalities with such beaches to erect educational signage on the award-winning beaches, to enhance their tourism benefit.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage