Entries tagged with “Maiden’s Cove”.


How refreshing and uplifting to see Cape Town and its beauty presented in a new music video by Lost Frequencies, a joint production by Belgian DJ and producer Felix De Laet, with Dutch DJ duo Zonderling, for their new song ‘Crazy’, in the midst of our city making headlines for all the wrong reasons currently! It already has close to 19 million views, and is enjoying great hit success. (more…)

Einfach RoaYesterday evening ARD, the largest TV station in Germany and second largest broadcaster in the world, screened a movie ‘Einfach Rosa – Wolken über Kapstadt’ (‘Simply Rosa – clouds over Cape Town’), a most beautiful representation of Cape Town, and comes at a most welcome time to attract German tourists to our beautiful city and neighboring towns. It was filmed in Cape Town earlier this year.

The storyline briefly is that Mark and Nandi from Berlin fly to Cape Town to get married, with only four days to plan the wedding, with (more…)

Burrata Fig and pancetta Whale Cottage PortfolioOn Thursday evening I attended the launch of the South African leg of the Global Pizza Challenge, a project which belongs to Chef Arnold Tanzer from Johannesburg and  Martin Kobald from Australia.  South African pizza makers have done well in the past seven years of the competition.

I almost did not make the function, which was held at the offices of Dish Food & Social,  giving us a street address of 423 Main Road in Observatory. A building marked 423a on one side of a Shell garage was visible, but not the street number on Main Road that we were searching for in the near dark, which turned out to be on the other side of the petrol station.   To complicate matters the entrance gate is in a side road off Main Road!  Having survived the panic of finding the venue, it was great to catch up with Chef Arnold, whom I had met last year on a Media Day for MasterChef SA Season 2 at Nederburg.

Before we got into pizzas, we caught up about Season 3 of MasterChef SA, which is being filmed at the moment and will continue until June. The series will be broadcast from August onwards.  Chef Arnold did not answer all my questions, such asGlobal Pizza Challenge Arnold Tanzer Whale Cottage Portfolio if there would be two broadcasts per week again as in Season 2.  He would not discuss how strict new MasterChef SA judge Reuben Robertsons Riffel is with the contestants, given that he may not want to rock the boat!  We talked about the very honest and harsh review by Chef Arnold of Aarya, the Montecasino restaurant, the use of which Deena Naidoo won for a two year period in winning MasterChef SA Season 1.    We chatted about how low key Season 2 winner Kamini Pather is, not being visible,and not (yet) having created her planned food communication channel, as she announced when she won.   As before, there will be guest chefs. (more…)

Camps Bay beach 2Yesterday was the most chaotic day I have seen in Camps Bay in 20 years of living in the suburb.  We know that New Year’s Day is busy, and is a stay-away zone, due to the thousands of Cape Town residents who come from other areas and take ownership of the beach in the suburb, without the City of Cape Town sending any reinforcements to secure the suburb.  What was experienced in Camps Bay yesterday may be the deathknell for tourism in Camps Bay and Cape Town.

We warn our guests to stay away from the Camps Bay beach on 26 December and 1 January, but nothing could have prepared us for yesterday.  One should have known that chaos was coming, when all the restaurants on the street level of the whole beachfront strip, with the exception of health food franchise Kauai, were closed for business!  When I was advising my guests about alternatives of things to do and places to eat, I had to admit to them that most restaurants in Cape Town are closed on New Year’s Day, despite the city teeming with tourists!   I drove down Kloof Street, and was pleasantly surprised that about half the restaurants on this popular restaurant street were open for business, a few proudly Tweeting that they would be open until about 22h00 last night, which is a whole lot better than last year, when only the franchise restaurants were operating.   Manna Epicure, Da Vinci’s, Arnold’s on Kloof, Vovo Telo, Hudson on Kloof, Knead, Mozzarella Bar, and newly opened The Black Sheep are some of the restaurants that were operating, and should be commended for feeding the many tourists in Cape Town.  The restaurants in the city centre were all closed.

In Camps Bay I needed Bay Response at my guest house, but they had to cut short theirCAMPS BAY BEACH 1 JAN 2014 CAPE ARGUS service when they were called to assist Pick ‘n Pay Camps Bay, of which the front door was being broken down by unruly beachgoers!  We heard sirens throughout the day, especially early afternoon, when there was a near-drowning on Camps Bay beach, despite lifeguard services offered.  The beach is just too full, and often inexperienced bathers and unsafe rip tides can lead to loss of life.

I had driven to town for a quick coffee break in the early afternoon, and it took 15 minutes to travel 250 meters from Hussar Grill (more…)

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 (more…)

Camps Bay 2 Wild JunketLast night’s episode 9 was interesting, in that it was shot away from the MasterChef SA kitchen, and that ten ‘Food Bloggers’ were invited to judge the pizzas made by two teams of Finalists, the first team challenge of Season 2.  The South Easter created havoc for the Finalists as well as for the bloggers. The ‘Blogger’ participation was a huge let down, and serving the guests pizza to judge was an insult.

The episode began with the Finalists descending on the kitchen of their house, to be confronted with a box of aprons and the instruction to divide themselves into two groups of seven.  The names were written on pieces of paper, and a Le Creuset pot served as the vessel from which the names for the two teams were drawn.   They were then driven to Maiden’s Cove, between Camps Bay and Clifton, a parking space with a beautiful view of Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles, Chef Pete Goffe-Wood saying that Camps Bay ‘is one of the iconic locations in Cape Town‘.    The challenge sounded simple –  Limoncello and The Good Life Food Trucks arrived, and the two teams were randomly allocated a truck each as their home base to prepare 12 savoury and 12 dessert pizzas each within 90 minutes.  Pizza ovens had been erected, one per team, and a small pantry was set up, the two team representatives having 3 minutes in which to grab their ingredients.  Chef Andrew Atkinson reminded the Finalists that team work is the hallmark of a quality kitchen.  They were also told (misleadingly) that the guests were ’10 of South Africa’s top food bloggers‘, and ‘are discerning customers‘!  Chef Pete won the dessert pizza section of an international pizza competition in Australia last year, the Finalists were told. (more…)

MasterChef 2 8 Bottom 6 Pressure Test Whale Cottage PortfolioAfter chickening out in episode 7, six of the fifteen Finalists had to go into the Pressure Test, one of them having to go home, being Tumi Moche, probably a hard choice for the judges, as the Bouillabaisse that the bottom three had to prepare was praised by them.  Herman Cloete enjoyed his plating MasterClass at Restaurant Mosaic.

The Test episode started with a cheese tasting, four Woolworths cheeses presented to each of the six Finalists, to be looked at, smelt, andMasterChef 2 8 Camembert Whale Cottage Portfolio tasted. Leandri van der Wat was devastated, as she had already shared in the previous episode that she hates cheese, and never cooks with it nor eats it.  They were given cottage cheese, gorgonzola, feta, and camembert to taste and identify.  Amanda Beck, Mary Martin, and Sanet Labuschagne were released from the Pressure Test in getting most of the cheeses correct, leaving Tumi, and the sisters Leandre and Seline van der Wat, to go into the Pressure Test. (more…)

The publicity for the start of Season 2 of MasterChef SA is still surprisingly low key, with little PR for the new series having been seen to date.  A number of changes relative to last year’s Season 1 can be expected when Season 2 kicks off on M-Net tomorrow at 19h30, the biggest being that the value of the winner’s prize package has dropped dramatically to about R1 million, from R8 million in Season 1:

1.   There will be two shows a week, for 13 weeks on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, at 19h30, with 26 episodes in total.

2.  The show content will be less focused on cooking, and more on the human drama, with in-depth interviews with the contestants, video diaries, fun moments and ‘extended storylines’. Interviews with experts, guest chefs, and the judges will also feature.  There will be more masterclasses, and more rewards, M-Net Publicist Ingrid Engelbrecht has told the Sunday Times.

3.  There is a ‘significantly higher’ standard of cooking than in Season 1, according to Ms Engelbrecht, as the Season 2 participants had a better understanding of what was expected of them from having watched Season 1, reports the Sunday Times.

4.   There are fewer Finalists, now called ‘contestants’: 16 instead of 18.

5.  Season 2 was filmed at Nederburg at the beginning of this year.

6.  The same judges Pete Goffe-Wood, Andrew Atkinson, and Benny Masekwameng are involved, and Chef Arnold Tanzer is the Culinary Producer once again.

7.  One episode (9 July) will feature food bloggers, including Andrew Lieber from Gourmet Guys, Ishay Govender from Food and the Fabulous, Candice Bresler from The Gorgeous Gourmet Blog, and Sam Linsell from Drizzle and Drip.  We have been told that Jane-Anne Hobbs, Anel Potgieter, Nina Timm,and Andy Fenner were also invited to participate in the episode filmed at Maiden’s Cove, between Camps Bay and Clifton, but were cancelled in the last minute, as were we.

8.  Gordon Ramsay is a guest chef and judge, a Tweet by Chris Whelan has indicated.

9.  Nederburg is the wine sponsor again, and is offering eight ‘online master classes in food and wine pairing’, conducted by its cellar master Razvan Macici, a new clip posted on the Nederburg website every two weeks, its PR consultancy De Kock Communications has announced.

10.   Fledgling Bakoven restaurateur Zahir Mohamed of Baked Bistro auditioned for MasterChef Season 1 and 2, and he features in the first fifteen minutes of the first episode tomorrow, an interview in yesterday’s Sunday Times has revealed. Mohamed is the son of Shawn MacLachlan, who owns a catering company looking after Manchester United and its fans.  Other contestants are Cape Town based Zane Jacobs, Tiron Eloff from Randburg, Alta Wasson from Stilbaai, and Khumo Twala from Johannesburg, according to the Sunday Times.

11.  The winner’s prizes offered by the official sponsors have been announced by M-Net:  R400000 cash from Robertsons, a VW Golf 7 (new sponsor replacing Hyundai), five nights at the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa in the Seychelles from Tsogo Sun, one year’s free shopping to the value of R100000 at Woolworths, and a year’s supply of Nederburg wines plus a sommelier course.  The modest Tsogo Sun prize is a surprise, given the generous two year restaurant contract which Season 1 winner Deena Naidoo received at Montecasino!   We have been told that the hotel group does not expect as high a viewership of Season 2, and that the controversy surrounding the Montecasino restaurant prize led Tsogo Sun to drastically downscale its contribution to the winner’s prize package.

12.  The bar has been raised for MasterChef SA Season 2, relative to MasterChef Australia, the producers wishing to exceed the standard of the latter.  Lani Lombard, M-Net’s Head of Communication, has said about Season 2: ‘The first Season of MasterChef South Africa definitely inspired amateur chefs to get more creative. We noticed very early on during the Audition phase that the contestants’ standard of cooking was significantly higher this year and because of that, the show provides pressure-cooker entertainment right from the start’.

12.  MasterChef SA Season 3 is likely to follow.

In January I was the only blogger to be be invited to a Media Day on set at MasterChef SA at Nederburg.  Our blogpost (edited by M-Net) of the Media Day provides more background information.

MasterChef SA Season 2 starts cooking on Tuesday 11 June at 19h30, after the last episode of MasterChef Australia.

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

Excellent news for the marketing of Cape Town is that the new Bollywood movie ‘Cocktail’, which was largely shot in Cape Town, has seen the launch of a new TV commercial by SA Tourism to promote tourism to South Africa among Indian tourists, to co-incide with the release of the movie, reports Best Media Info.

The 30 second TV commercial has been released on international TV channels such as HBO and MTV, and communicates that Cape Town offers travellers ‘a truly unique fusion of fun, exciting, adventurous and memorable holiday experience to take home and treasure‘.

Beautiful scenes have been shot in Camps Bay in particular, the V&A Waterfront, and the Trinity night club are also featured in the TV commercial.

‘Cocktail‘ features three friends who visit Cape Town for a holiday, leading to a romance between two of them. The movie filming commenced in London last year, including locations such as Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, Portobello Road, and Notting Hill.  Then the action moved to Cape Town, and an upbeat dance number for one of the main songs in the movie was shot at a set specially created at Maiden’s Cove in Camps Bay. The perfect weather in Cape Town at the time of the shoot allowed Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, and Camps Bay, as well as in the V&A Waterfront to be featured in the filming.

The director of the movie, Homi Adajania, said that shooting the movie in Cape Town was a ‘dream holiday’ for the film crew too, being ‘as delightful an experience‘. Whilst they had the opportunity, the main actors went whale watching and shark cage diving.  The actresses loved the local food, and they discovered our wonderful fish, and they ‘feasted on the South African delicacy – the Kingklip fish’.  The cast enjoyed eating on Long Street, in the V&A Waterfront (including Belthazar), and at Beluga. Adajania said about Capetonians: ‘all South Africans are outdoorsy, fun-loving people who prefer to sprint on the roads at night, while weekends to them mean adventure sports‘!

The ‘Cocktail’ movie trailer was a huge hit when it was released two months ago, and had 1 million hits on YouTube within three days.  The movie went on circuit two weeks ago.

SA Tourism’s dynamic Country Manager in India, Hanneli Slabber, said that ‘we are really excited to be associated with ‘Cocktail’ on this TVC (television commercial) campaign and we want to showcase the best that Cape Town has to offer to Indian Travelers.  The movie showcases the star cast having a fun-filled holiday in South Africa and it blends perfectly with our positioning as being an exhilarating, fun and memorable holiday destination. This association gives us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase South Africa on the Bollywood stage and reach out to the vast section of movie going audience’. Growth in tourists from India in the first three months of this year was up 23 % compared to a year ago, and reflects that the country is becoming one of the favourite travel destinations amongst Indian tourists.

In recognition of the tourism growth from India, SA Tourism produced a cookbook for the hospitality industry, ‘Guide to Vegetarian, Vegan and Jain Dining in South Africa’, in conjunction with the SA Chefs Association, detailing the specific dietary requirements of vegetarians, vegans and Jains in India; gives lists of food items that each group may (and may not) eat; gives a brief explanation of the culture that informs the dietary needs of these tourists; and gives a broad selection of recipes that will keep vegetarian, vegan and Jain visitors happy and well-fed as they explore South Africa.

The Cape Town tourism industry would be very happy to see the new ‘Cocktail’ movie, as well as the SA Tourism TV advertising campaign, resulting in a growth in the number of tourists from India in Cape Town.

POSTSCRIPT 30/7: SAA has announced that it is increasing its Mumbai-Johannesburg flight frequency to daily from 3 October onwards, reports The Times.

POSTSCRIPT 5/8: The Times of India reports that the number of enquiries for travel to South Africa has increased by 10% just one month after the release of the ‘Cocktail’ movie.  It writes that S A Tourism has ‘tied up with 7 Hindi film production houses‘.  ‘South Africa Tourism sees Bollywood as an effective way to compensate for the lack of a high budget to promote tourism‘. The newspaper quotes SA Tourism Country Manager Hanneli Slabber in saying: “We are lucky Bollywood fell in love with Cape Town. Bollywood has been very kind and will be a cost-effective way to showcase South Africa as a great tourism destination”.

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

The world’s eyes will be on Cape Town tomorrow, when the FIFA Final Draw takes place at 19h30 in the Cape Town International Convention Centre.   More than 700 million TV viewers in more than 200 countries are expected to watch the Final Draw, which is hugely important as it determines which of the 32 teams play against each other, and where these matches will take place.

A huge upsurge in ticket sales is expected after tomorrow’s Final Draw, when soccer fans choose which matches they book tickets for and which teams they want to see play.  A new wave of ticket sales starts on Saturday, with low-priced tickets at R 140 still available to South Africans.

More than 5 000 media, FIFA officials, team coaches and VIP’s will attend the Final Draw at the Convention Centre.  Charlize Theron, Oscar actress and originally from South Africa, is one of the presenters, while David Beckham, Pele, Archbishop Tutu, Past President FW de Klerk, Franz Beckenbauer and President Zuma will also be present. 

The Executive Producer for the Final Draw, South African George Mazarakis, says that it would be the best FIFA Final Draw ever.    He said that “the event would showcase not only South Africa’s ability to deliver a successful World Cup, but that it would also celebrate Africa’s humanity, reports the Cape Argus.   “The final draw is more than just a TV show, it’s a celebration of football and Africa” he said.

A stage of 40 meters wide, and 8 meters tall, which took 5 000 hours to build, will be filmed by 18 cameras.   The set was almost predominantly made in Cape Town.  More than 3 000 locals are involved in the production.  Entertainers performing at the Final Draw are the Soweto Gospel Choir, Angelique Kidjo and Johnny Clegg. 

The weather forecast looks favourable for tomorrow, with lovely blue skies, ensuring good scenery shots for Cape Town.   This is Cape Town’s biggest international marketing event ever, only to be capped by the semi-final for the 2010 World Cup in July.

At the mountain end of Long Street a stage will be set up, on which local bands will perform, and large TV screens will broadcast the Final Draw.   More than 15 000 Fan Fest revellers are expected to enjoy the celebration, at which Freshlyground, Jimmy Dludlu, Coda and other musicians will play.

Access into and out of the city tomorrow is expected to be a nightmare, with numerous road closures near the Convention Centre, and around Long Street.   On Sunday evening 100 000 Capetonians came to see the switching on of the Christmas Lights, and this caused traffic anarchy in the city center.  No traffic police were visible on that evening, and pedestrians took over the street lanes, which clogged up all vehicle movement.

The FIFA VIP’s have been entertained this week, with a lunch yesterday on Signal Hill, with a spectacular view onto the new Cape Town Stadium, and a 5-jet formation flyover put on for them.   A dinner party was hosted by Premier Helen Zille in her official residence, and the FIFA executive committee is meeting on Robben Island today.   Journalists will be treated to a media gathering at Maiden’s Cove between Camps Bay and Clifton, and one hopes that the weather gods will switch off the southeaster on that day!

Disappointingly, very little FIFA World Cup branding is visible in the city – a huge banner is visible on the Westin Grand Hotel, at which FIFA President Sepp Blatter is staying with his entourage.  Eight Adidas footballs have been set up near the Caltex garage at the entrance to the Waterfront, and tiny VISA flags are visible in the Waterfront.   The lamp pole banners on Buitengracht Street are boring, and one can barely see the FIFA 2010 World Cup logo on them. 

Grant Thornton Strategic Solutions estimates that 480 000 foreign soccer fans will attend the 2010 World Cup, and will generate R 8,5 billion for South Africa, generating a benefit of R 11,5 billion for the country’s economy.    The consultancy expects 50 % of the tickets to be sold to locals, and the balance to international soccer fans.  About 18 000 journalists are expecetd  next year and 26 million soccer fans will view the World Cup on TV.   The largest number of international tickets have been sold to the USA (360 565), the UK (481 184), Germany (25 060) and Australia (17 848), reports the Cape Argus.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio www.whalecottage.com