On Thursday evening I attended the 2019 Finals of the Patrón Perfectionists tequila cocktail competition at Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen and Cape Brandy Bar in the Waterfront, after a first part of the event had been held at Foliage in Franschhoek earlier in the day. Despite the largest number of female finalists over the past three years of the South African participation in the competition, the 2019 SA finals was won by David van Zyl, mixologist at Cause Effect Cocktail Kitchen! Continue reading →
Through a stroke of luck I was invited to visit Santiago in Chile for four days, and in this time I was able to drink some Chilean wines. I also visited Casablanca, a wine region outside Santiago, with my friends Guy and Pia, who live near Casablanca. Continue reading →
SA Tourism must be delighted that Telegraph Travel is doing its marketing at no charge! What better publicity than to get an article with ’25 reasons to visit South Africa right now’ written for free!
Obviously the benefit of the weak Rand relative to the pound sterling Continue reading →
When I have the time, I attend Lauren Shantall’s Trendtalk meetings in the home of Cape Town design, the Inner City Ideas Cartel, on Waterkant Street. The talks focus on lifstyle, décor, and design. So it was two weeks ago, when the 10th such meeting was addressed by a mix of speakers, a salute to the Milan Fair which was taking place at the same time.
The first speaker was not on the program, and represented Rock Girl, a ‘grass roots movement to inspire, encourage, and invest in women and girls’. They had brought children along, unruly and without control, disturbing the rest of the audience. The link to this association was not explained to the audience.
Independent Trend Analyst Saint-Francis Tohlang addressed the topic of ‘The creative economy through Africa’s lens’. He said that by 2020 60% of Africa will be Continue reading →
The One&Only Le Saint Géran celebrated its 40th anniversary in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, and in Cape Town two weeks ago. The hotel’s GM and Head of Sales thanked invited guests for attending and joining in the celebration of the important milestone.
In Cape Town the celebration was held at the Cook’s Playground, Giggling Gourmet Chef Jenny Morris having traveled around the country with the Le Saint Géran team. On arrival, we received a garland of flowers to wear, the frangipani in it transporting one to Mauritius immediately. Long tables had been set up for us to eat at, beautifully decorated with Continue reading →
The Soccer World Cup 2014 has kicked off, and one would have thought that Cape Town restaurants and pubs would have shown more ‘gees’. We have only seen one restaurant on Kloof Street ‘advertising’ its soccer allegiance, with three flags on the outside of Cocoa Oola In general the soccer event appears to be a damp squib for locals. A number of restaurants are offering free viewing, some with special menu items that reflect the countries playing on the day.
Check the closing times of the restaurants and pubs before choosing them, as their licence will influence how late they are allowed to stay open. It is surprising how hard it is to find Soccer World Cup 2014 information on the websites of those restaurants and bars attracting soccer fans. We will update this list as we find new information about offers linked to the Soccer World Cup 2014:
* Mondiall – this restaurant is commendable in being one of the most creative and focused on the Soccer World Cup 2014. Each day it chooses a lead game, offering a tapas dish and a main course from the countries, with a complimentary drink, of each of the two teams playing each other on the day, at a cost of R180. For today, for example, with Germany playing Portugal, the German tapas dish offered is potato soup with crispy pork and chives, while the main course is Bratwurst, and the complimentary drink a CBC Weiss. The Portuguese tapas is peri peri chicken wings, the main course a prego roll, and the complimentary drink sangria. The country dishes for the chosen matches over the next ten days are as follows:
17 June: Brazil versus Mexico
18 June: Spain versus Chile Continue reading →
Last night I attended an interesting talk on ‘The Great White Shark: a Global Perspective’, given by shark expert and Apex eco-tour operator Chris Fallows at the One&Only Cape Town. Chris’ talk covered the three key seal areas attracting Great White Sharks in South Africa, as well as other well-known shark areas in the world.
I was invited by Ian Manley, the hotel’s PR consultant, to Chris’ talk, one of two (the second will focus on the relationship between Orca killer whales and Great White Sharks tonight), in a series of Guest Speaker Talks, which include Joanne Lifson on 18 June on ‘Lights Canine Action’, Colin Bell speaking on rhino extinction on 3 July, ‘Africa’s Three Big Cats‘ by Lorne Sulcas on 15 July, and more. One&Only Cape Town ambassador Aubrey Ngcungama introduced Chris, who has documented his shark adventures in his book ‘Great White: The Majesty of Sharks‘, and who has filmed documentaries about the Great White Shark with Discovery Channel, the BBC’s Planet Earth, and National Geographic. In the hotel reception area, a shark cage with diver, as well as a model of a small shark, were set up to attract attention to the talks programme.
Prior to the start of the talk Chris and I chatted, and he explained that Orcas, known as ‘killer whales‘, are not whales at all, but are members of the dolphin family. Orcas are known to kill whales, by pushing them under water and making them drown. In South Africa Great White Sharks can be found where there are concentrations of seals, in three regions: Continue reading →
The McCormick spice company in the USA publishes an annual list of flavour predictions for the year ahead. It has released its ‘Flavor Forecast 2014: 125th Anniversary Edition‘, with five top food trends, and a number of emerging flavours.
The top five food trends for next year are:
1. Chili obsession: Food lovers seek their chili thrill. New chili varieties are coming from Peru, very hot and with full-bodied fruit notes.
2. Modern Masala: Indian food is being reinvented, with a modern take on this cuisine.
3. Clever Compact Cooking: Chefs are getting smarter in cooking in small spaces, and using what’s available.
4. Mexican World Tour: Mexican ‘bright, casual cuisine‘ is becoming popular around the world
5. Charmed by Brazil: Brazilian cuisine of global and local flavours is growing in popularity.
Top flavour trends for next year are the following: Continue reading →
* Cape Town has been named third best city in the world by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 Top Cities listing. It was beaten by Paris and Trinidad, but was ranked ahead of Riga (capital of Latvia), Zurich, Shanghai, Vancouver, Chicago, Adelaide, and Auckland. Top 10 countries in the world are Brazil, Antarctic (unusual to call this a country!), Scotland (is it not part of the UK?), Sweden, Malawi, Mexico, Seychelles, Belgium, Macedonia, and Malaysia. The rationale for Cape Town’s ranking was: ‘Expect sculpture-lined green spaces, sustainable projects that are more than just a pretty face, and further regeneration of former industrial districts. 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of South African democracy – honour it by exploring the city’s history,’ encourages the travel guide.
Cape Town was crowned with first place in the category Top 10 Cities in Africa and the Middle East and ranked eleventh in the Top 25 Cities in the World by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The city as also rated tops as Africa’s Leading Destination and also as Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination by World Travel Awards. (received via e-mail from Rabbit in a Hat Communications)
* Premium South African wines are increasingly being exported to other African countries, Nigeria in particular, as well as to Ghana, Angola, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
* American travelers are likely to rate service satisfaction highest, and the Japanese tourists the lowest, with French, German, Italian, Spanish and British tourists falling in between these satisfaction rating spectrums. This finding comes from a multicountry service satisfaction study conducted amongst a sample of 200000 travelers.
* We have it all wrong – the most popular travel time for the UK and German market is August, tourists taking about 10 days off, and traveling to the Balearic islands, Turkey, or Greece in Europe, and Mexico on long haul trips, a TUI study of its bookings for 2013 has found.