Last Friday I shared a 7-course dinner at Pierino Penati, at Villa 47, sister restaurant to the one-star Michelin restaurant with the same name operating outside Milan in Italy, as a guest of Dine4Six. I have eaten at Pierino Penati, the best restaurant in Cape Town, previously, and have found it to be the best restaurant in the city. Continue reading →
A number of records were broken last night when 94 wines and one brandy were awarded 5 star status at the launch of the Platter’s by Diners Club South African Wine Guide 2017 at the Table Bay Hotel, a new venue, the event having been held at the Mount Nelson for years. The colour of the 2017 Platter’s Guide is Harvest Green. Continue reading →
John Platter’s name is synonymous with the wine industry, having created the Platter’s Wine Guide 36 years ago with wife Erica. His surname is still linked to the Guide by name, even though he has sold the Guide. Launching a new book, it was obvious that it would have something to do with wine. ‘My Kind of Wine‘ is such a book, Continue reading →
Vicky Cristina’s is the name of a movie made by Woody Allen. Now a Spanish style restaurant with the name of the movie has opened in Camps Bay. Vicky Cristina’s tapas bar y restaurante españo is inexpensive, has an upmarket interior, and good service.
Vicky Cristina’s took over the space from Sofia’s on the upper level of the Camps Bay Promenade, above Pick ‘n Pay, a few months ago. It has sister restaurants in Johannesburg and Durban. The owner of the Continue reading →
* The Tourism Business Council of South Africa has emailed accommodation establishments that amendments made. to the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 last year requires of hotels, motels, boarding houses, lodges, guest houses, and apartment buildings to keep a register of their guests, take a copy of their ID or passport (none of them do), and take the residential address details. Failure to do so may result in a fine and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months! Interesting is that B&Bs are not included in the list, and that Airbnb is excluded, being accommodation in private homes and apartments in the main!
Bray first attracted attention when the Roux brothers Michel and Albert opened The Waterside Inn in the village in 1972, and have held a three star Michelin rating for the past 25 years. Chef Heston, whose father grew up in South Africa, was attracted to the village too, Continue reading →
Staying in Munich for four days, I did day-time outings to what are regarded food temples of the city, including Dallmayr, Kaiser, and the Viktualienmarkt. Most impressed, others were disappointing.I certainly fell in love with tomatoes on my trip, and the rich red shiny stemmed tomatoes attracted not only my attention, but also that of my Facebook followers. I do not recall having seen such fresh looking and smelling tomatoes anywhere in our country. What was an even bigger surprise was the very reasonable Continue reading →
On Friday afternoon Haarlem & Hope was officially opened in the Company’s Garden, now operated by the Madame Zingara Group, having won the tender from the City of Cape Town. The restaurant opens to the public tomorrow.
Owner Richard Griffin is an excellent showmaster, which we have seen in his quirky restaurants such as the Bombay Bicycle Club, and his Madame Zingara shows are a must-see in acrobatics, entertainment, and food served with precision for hundreds (perhaps Eat Out can contract him to handle the catering for the Eat Out Restaurant Awards in 2015)!
The name comes from the Dutch ship Nieuwe Haarlem, which was shipwrecked at the Cape in 1647. Crew members stayed at the Cape for a year before being picked up by another passing Dutch ship, and in that time the crew planted vegetables, which they bartered for fresh meat from the Khoi living here already. Jan van Riebeek arrived five years later, expanding the vegetable gardening to create the Company’s Garden.
The first thing one notices on arrival is the weaver bird nest-like hanging baskets at the right of the entrance, made Continue reading →
* Tim James has used an aggregation poll of 29 wine retailers as well as writers, some international, to compile a Top 5 and Top 20 South African winery list. The Top 5 ranked list is Sadie Family Wines, Mullineux Family Wines, Kanonkop, Boekenhoutskloof, and Chamonix. The ranking from 6th to 20th is as follows: Paul Cluver, Newton Johnson, Cape Point Vineyards, Hamilton Russell, Vergelegen, Tokara, Thelema, Jordan, Cederberg, Delaire Graff, AA Badenhorst, Klein Constantia, Meerlust, Reyneke, and De Trafford.
* A consumer promotion has been launched in the UK by Kumala wines, the largest selling SA wine in that country, to tie in with the launch of the ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘ DVD, with prizes of a visit to South Africa offered, DVDs, and wine.
* Eat Out is inviting nominations for its Eat Out Top 500 restaurants to be included in the 2015 edition. The nominated restaurants will be evaluated by a panel, to choose the top 500 restaurants. The closing date for nominations (on www.eatout.co.za) is 13 May. (received via media release from Irvine Bartlett)
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 →