Tag Archives: Mango

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 20/21 August

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and Minister of Tourism Alan Winde will launch three wifi hotspots next week, in Atlantis, George, and Robertson, with Delft to follow two months later, connecting 50000  residents in the province to the internet. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)

*   Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown is talking about collapsing’ SAA, SA Express, and Mango into one airline, which would have one Board of Directors, and create a ‘leaner and meaner‘ airline.   Privatisation is not being considered.

*   Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has issued a media statement regarding the new Immigration Regulations and their effect on Tourism for the first time.  Acting on feedback from hoteliers, travel agents and tour operators in the province, he Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 18 July

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Reserve Bank has increased the repo rate by 25 basis points, giving a new interest rate of 5,75%. Governor Gill Marcus blamed inflation for the rate increase.

*   Brazil welcomed more than 1 million visitors during the Soccer World Cup, almost double the estimated 600000 travelers.  Most tourists had never been to Brazil before, visiting from more than 200 countries.  The infrastructure and tourism services generally, and the hospitality and cuisine specifically, were praised by the visitors.  The soccer matches were seen by 3,4 million soccer fans in the stadia over the month-long event.  Visitors stayed in Brazil for 13 days on average.   Brazilians were good soccer fans too, more than 3 million travelling around their own country during the soccer tournament.

*   Melanie Verwoerd has compiled a book ‘Our Madiba: Stories and Reflections from those who met Nelson Mandela, containing short stories of numerous persons that met the late Nelson Mandela, including Pieter-Dirk Uys/Evita Bezuidenhout, Adam Small, Francois Pienaar, Amanda Strydom, Sir Richard Attenborough, and many by Mrs Verwoerd herself.

*   The Drinks Business and Intangible Business in the UK evaluated the world’s most powerful Champagne and Continue reading →

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

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Mango is tightening up its credit card procedures, to prevent fraud, by demanding that tickets bought by credit card are verified with the actual card.  If the card is not with the passenger, he/she may not board.

*   ESKOM started load-shedding around the country today, without prior warning, the rain in Johannesburg allegedly wetting the coal and therefore affecting its supply!  The Cape has not been spared, with electricity cuts in Somerset West, Claremont, Durbanville, Tokai, Kenilworth, Parow, Elsies River, Wellington, and Hout Bay this morning, followed by Sea Point, Camps Bay, and many other Cape Town suburbs later in the day.  Our international visitors (other than those from other African countries) are shocked! (via Twitter)

*   Chef Chris Erasmus will leave Pierneef à La Motte in June, to open his own restaurant with his wife in Franschhoek in September.

*   The Bols Bartending World Champion Rusty Cerven chose Cape Town as one of his four world cities to visit, with Sydney, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro, as part of his prize when he beat 3000 bartenders from 66 countries.  In Cape Town he demonstrated Continue reading →

Palms Market celebrates second anniversary with top chef Cook-Off!

Palms Market Bella Niehaus Whale Cottage PortfolioOne of my favourite Saturday markets in Cape Town is the Palms Market, which has a special collection of more than 40 stall holders offering quality products, under the guidance of Isabella Niehaus, who conceptualised the market to attract more feet into the decor outlets in the Palms Lifestyle and Decor Centre.  Yesterday the market celebrated its second anniversary with a ‘Reis met Rys‘ Cook-Off between five well-known chefs, creating dishes with Spekko rice.

In a two hour preparation period, Sarie food editor Herman Lensing, Kokkedoor finalist Marinda Engelbrecht, Slippery Spoon pop-up restaurateur Johnny Hamman, blogger and Radio Sonder Grense Kuberkok Nina Timm, Expresso Show cook and presenter Zola Nene, and My Basaar restaurant owner and Dagbreek TV show presenter Bernice van der Merwe created a diverse variety of rice dishes.   They had been given the rice and a bottle of Hermanuspietersfontein wine, and groceries to the value of R75 to prepare their dishes.  For us as judges there were few rules, other than to find the winner, which we did by scoring each dish out of ten.  My fellow judges were Pieter Arno du Toit from Cederberg Wines, Ingrid Jones from Mango’s Juice magazine, presenter Eloise Pretorius from Smile FM, and Landbouweekblad Food editor Arina du Plessis.

The live cooking attracted a lot of interest and attention from the Palms Market shoppers, peering Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 30/31 December

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   For the first time ever Long Street (between Wale and Buitensingel Streets) will be closed to traffic from 20h00 on 31 December until 4h00 on 1 January, creating one of the biggest street parties Cape Town will have ever seen!

*   Four low cost domestic airlines may take off in 2014, in competition to Mango and kulula, reducing the cost of domestic air tickets, it is speculated.  Skywise, 1Time, FlySafair, and Fastjet are likely to begin operating next year.

*  Tonight the City of Cape Town is hosting what has been billed as ‘Africa’s largest free’ New Years Eve party on the Grand Parade, not only to celebrate the start of 2014, but also to inaugurate Cape Town’s status as World Design Capital 2014.

*   The Cape minstrel marches should be given ‘national heritage status’, reports the Cape Argus, to prevent the annual wrangle between the minstrel associations and the City of Cape Town, which has to offer permits, financial,  and traffic service support.  Tonight the Malay Choir Nagtroupe will march at midnight, while the daytime march in the streets of Cape Town will take place on Friday 4 January, two days later than the usual date.

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

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 12 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Traveling should be easier, and barriers to entry by tourists should be reduced.  E-passports have been proposed for 2020, Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said when he addressed the e-Tourism Africa Summit in Cape Town earlier this week.  ‘We need to address the present outdated system of always having to go to Embassies, filling in forms and standing in queues. In a few years times this will be non-existent’, Van Schalkwyk said.  He also highlighted that industry taxes should be regulated, to make travel more viable and accessible.

*   Cape Town blogger Kamini Pather wins MasterChef SA Season 2, against tight competition from Leandri van der Wat !

*   Travel by young persons has decreased dramatically in the past six years, from 75% in 2007 to 47% currently, to focus on improving their CVs, a study by the World Youth Student and Educational Travel Confederation has found.

*   Col’Cacchio has introduced a Mobi-friendly Loyalty program, offering R20 Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 19 August

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Brazilian hotels have been found to be up to five times more expensive than normal, and FIFA accommodation booking agency MATCH has been blamed for excessive accommodation pricing for the 2014 World Cup, with average accommodation prices twice as expensive as those in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup.

*   Durbanville wine estate Diemersdal has won top prize at the South African Young Wine Show for best current vintage wine, a competition which attracted more than 2000 entries.  Thys Louw of Diemersdal is the proud recipient of the General Smuts Trophy, and they were also crowned the Champion Sauvignon Blanc.  The Louw family has been farming at Diemersdal for six generations.  Bon Courage won the Pietman Hugo trophy for Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 16 August

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Mango is rolling out new lighter seats, giving 6 – 7,5 cm more legroom on its flights, and reducing carbon emissions!

*   The Cederberg Bukettraube 2012 is highly praised, even though the writer cannot spell the name of the variety!

*  Nigeria is the second fastest growing Champagne market in the world, and sells about 750000 bottles per year, more than Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 13 August

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Good news is that the UK travel industry is seeing the first signs of recovery, after two years of a ‘meltdown‘, which severely affected the Western Cape tourism industry too!

*   One third of active American travelers travel with a smart phone and a tablet, and are an important market to watch for trends, now called the ‘Digital Elite’!

*   Ataraxia Serenity 2008 was the best selling wine at the recent Free State FNB Wine Show. (via media release from Ataraxia)

*   Sarah Baker of Wild Peacock Emporium has moved to the wholesale division of Wild Peacock, focusing on the supply of artisanal boutique cheeses.

*   French wine estate owners are being warned against fraudulent Continue reading →

Eat Out Judge Bruce Palling embarrasses New Media Publishing and Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards!

New Media Publishing must be regretting its decision to have appointed Bruce Palling, controversial Eat Out judge and UK food blogger, to co-judge the Top 19 (originally Top 20) Finalist Restaurants with its editor Abigail Donnelly this year, to improve her credibility after a number of controversial Awards were made by her in her capacity as sole judge last year. Yesterday a Tweet from Bruce Palling announced that he will not be attending the Eat Out Gala Restaurant Awards Dinner at The Westin hotel on 25 November.

From the outset the expectation was that Bruce Palling would attend the Eat Out Gala Restaurant Awards Dinner, and one wonders why the details about the class of flight and his involvement on the night of the awards ceremony had been left to a mere three weeks before the event.  Palling had promised the staff at Belthazar that he would come back to eat at the restaurant on his return to Cape Town at the end of November, so it had certainly been discussed, and a contract signed, one would assume.

Yesterday Palling’s Tweet attracted attention: “Sorry to announce that will not be attending Eat Out Awards ceremony – due to “unforeseen circumstances” New Media won’t provide me a ticket”. New Media Publishing did not Tweet or e-mail a response.  We wrote to Bridget McCarney, MD of New Media Publishing, and called Mango, its PR agency.  Ms McCarney responded last night, indicating that pushy Palling had insisted on a first class ticket from London to Cape Town (costs can vary between about R49000 for a BA or Virgin ticket to R67000 for Emirates, while an economy class ticket would cost about R11000), and that he would not accept an economy class ticket nor a video broadcast with him from London!   She wrote as follows:

“Thanks for your email.

We were looking at whether there were more cost efficient ways of doing this rather than a business class ticket for Bruce to attend the awards. The idea was that we would have a video insert of Bruce talking about the awards or a direct live link.

Bruce declined to do the video and didn’t want to fly economy for such a short trip which of course we completely understand.

So yes, I can confirm that Bruce won’t be attending the awards at this stage

Trust that answers your question

All the best


The Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards 2012 have been marred with controversy, not only because of the appointment of Palling, who only very occasionally has articles published in the Wall Street Journal European edition, and now hidden by a paywall, and whom no one had heard of locally nor in the UK, yet Mrs Donnelly sung his praises and overstated his credentials for her own benefit; for Palling’s embarrassing Tweets slating springbok and politically incorrect references to the race of customers of a restaurant; for his rude and disparaging Tweets about our blogposts about his time in Cape Town and the Winelands, which New Media Publishing refused to take action against; for Palling’s unfair criticism of Belthazar on his last night in Cape Town; for the embarrassing selection of The Pot Luck Club as a Top 20 Restaurant Finalist, when both Mrs Donnelly and Chef Luke Dale-Roberts knew that the restaurant had not been open for a full year, and which judging criterion was not picked up by Palling, which led to the elimination of the restaurant from the Top 20 Finalist list of honour; and now the spat with Palling, which he undiplomatically Tweeted to embarrass his hosts!

Once again we say that Eat Out Editor Abigail Donnelly has served her time, and her bias for and against some of our country’s top restaurants two years running means that she no longer has the credibility to be in charge of the Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards!

POSTSCRIPT 6/11: Bruce Palling has responded (surprisingly gently, other than referring to me as a ‘slug‘, and claiming to be the subject with Eat Out of some sort of conspiracy by ourselves) to this blogpost on Twitter, denying the allegation that he demanded a Business Class ticket, as indicated by New Media Publishing: ‘@Gabbles17 Love the idea of me being the embarrassment! Certainly never ‘demanded’ or even mention 1st class fare – beyond that silence’. He also referred to recent surgery, and that he therefore cannot travel ‘steerage with two day turnaround’. He must have removed a disparaging Tweet, as he apologised to @LawHollander :“Well, I went to your country and loved the food – I apologise for earlier Tweet”, but that Tweet is no longer in Palling’s timeline.

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