In just over twelve months of its launch, Triple Three hand-crafted premium gin made at Blaauwklippen in Stellenbosch has become one of the top three best-selling local gins in our country, and is regarded as a world-class gin. I attended a tasting of the three Triple Three gins at OpenWine on Monday evening, and of their brand new but not yet launched Triple Three Distillers Cut gin last week, at a Blaauwklippen Zinfandel tasting. Continue reading →
We have already predicted that Cape Town and our country will be overrun with German tourists in the next few months, given a documentary screened on 3sat German TV last week (‘Reisen in Ferne Welten: Kapstadt‘), as well as two movies about South Africa (‘Südafrika: Der Kinofilm‘, and ‘Der Geilste Tag‘ ) showing in German movie theaters Continue reading →
Chef David Higgs left the services of the Saxon Hotel this morning, after having been Executive Chef at the five hundred restaurant for four years, a restaurant which he helped create. He took the restaurant to the Continue reading →
* The inaugural Cape Town Cup 2015 football challenge will be held at the Cape Town Stadium on 24 and 26 July. Local team Ajax Cape Town will play Sporting Clube de Portugal, Crystal Palace FC, and Super Sport United, the City of Cape Town has announced.
* Ethiopia is the best tourist destination, according to the European Continue reading →
* The Department of Home Affairs has ‘rubbished‘ the claim of SATSA (SA Tourism Service Association) that it is seeing a decline in airline ticket sales to our country of 30%, saying that the association is only trying to ‘cause confusion‘. SATSA CEO David Frost has described the Department’s reaction to the decline as ‘insulting’. The Department has stated that its priority is the safety of children, and not tourism!
* Qatar Airways will be increasing the frequency of its flights to Cape Town, offering daily flights to Cape Town in summer and in winter. Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy welcomed the larger number of travelers Continue reading →
* All Johannesburg – New York SAA flights in both directions will now be non-stop, the America-bound flight becoming non-stop too. The route popularity and the reduction of 90 minutes flight time have motivated the change.
* Due to the devastating fires last week, Table Mountain National Park has requested locals and visitors to stay away from Tokai forest and Silvermine, deeming them to be unsafe, with continued flare-ups, and trees Continue reading →
* British Airways has been fined R21,7 million by the South African Competition Tribunal for fuel surcharge price-fixing with Virgin Atlantic between 2004 – 2006, on the SA and UK routes.
* Cape Town and Camps Bay have been featured in the Indian dance show ‘Dare2Dance‘, SA Tourism Country Manager for India Hanneli Slabber having sent links of two videos. The Camps Bay dance scene with a blindfolded dancer on a platform dangling above the ocean, with Camps Bay in the background, is breathtaking, and sure to create huge interest in the suburb.
* It is unbelievable that, after almost three months of pressure on Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, he has relented today, and agreed to delay the implementation of the unabridged birth certificate until 1 June 2015, just two weeks before the new Immigration Regulations were meant to apply from 1 October. The requirement of the permission of the other parent for the child to travel with one parent has also been delayed to June. On Friday the Minister announced at a media conference that the Regulations would be retained, and that a task team would evaluate the most effective implementation of them! One wonders what swayed the Minister to change his mind, after having been so stubborn for the past ten weeks! The personal application of biometric visas remains in place from 1 October.
* Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde has been quick to welcome Minister Gigaba’s announcement, but demands more: ‘It is my intention to ensure that a full impact study is conducted on them and handed to Minister Gigaba prior to them being reintroduced. The regulations that have already been implemented are threatening livelihoods in the sector. I will continue to push for their postponement too, until such time as a regulatory impact assessment has been conducted. Gigaba has now shown a willingness to work with other government departments and industry to mitigate the effects of his legislation on our economy and jobs, and I hope he will continue to take positive steps in this regard. The decision to place these two regulations on hold opens the door for South Africa to explore ways of becoming cutting edge. Through the use of smart technology, such as electronic visas, we can solve the problem of illegals while at the same time making our region more attractive to business and leisure tourists’. (received via media release from Minister Winde’s office)
* The 2014 Unilever Food Solutions Senior Chef of the Year is Germaine Esau from Delaire Graff, while the Junior Chef title went Continue reading →
Despite having made wine for ten years at Haskell Vineyards, previously named Dombeya Wines, no more than four vintages of Haskell wines have been made to date. Yesterday we were invited to attend a tasting of the complete range of Haskell wines at the home of American London-based owner Preston Haskell in Fresnaye.
Even though it was the coldest day this winter, the inside of the large house was warm and a fireplace added to a cosy feeling. The Haskell house is right at the top of Fresnaye, with a beautiful view. Haskell said he fell in love with Cape Town and the winelands ten years ago, first buying his house and then investing in the Dombeya vineyard. Rianie Strydom is a highly respected winemaker, and Haskell and his business associate Grant Dodd are very proud of her.
Haskell is very well connected and used to host Cape Town’s most famous New Year’s Eve party in Fresnaye, until he realised one year that he didn’t know most of the guest attending, and that was the last such party he hosted! I remembered driving some guests from our Whale Cottage Camps Bay to his house for one such party about eight years ago, and our guests were very excited about Prince Albert attending with his new swimmer girlfriend none of us had heard of, now his wife Princess Charlène. Haskell saw the couple about a month ago, and heard the good news then already, to explain why Princess Charlène was avoiding the limelight, as she did not want to be seen to not be drinking wine, as this would confirm her pregnancy. Haskell provided a large quantity of Dombeya wine for the royal wedding three years ago, which he attended, and it has been used for other events too. Haskell flew in from London directly to the event yesterday morning, and heads for Namibia later this week. Grant is the Managing Partner of Haskell Vineyards, visiting regularly from the Hunter Valley in Australia, where he is based. Continue reading →
* British Airways has launched a You Tube video ‘On Top of the World’, which probably is a TV commercial for its A380 flights to South Africa (it does not say if they are flying to Cape Town too), and was filmed exclusively in Cape Town, including on top of Table Mountain, on Camps Bay beach, with Lion’s Head as a backdrop, at Boulders Beach, and showing a Cape Town flower seller, a rugby player, and a cyclist.
* SATSA (Southern African Tourism Services Association) CEO David Frost says that tourists should be encouraged to see more of South Africa than the Big Five, Cape Town, the Kruger National Park, Johannesburg, and the Garden Route. Attractions in other provinces are not known to travelers. Repeat visits to our country should be increased, and the deceased time spent should be reversed, he added. He encouraged SA Tourism to develop trade deals that draw visitors to lesser known attractions. Travelers are not only visiting South Africa, but are also incorporating Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique into their itineraries.
* Wellington Wines is planning to treble its sales of bulk wine to the UK to 6 million litres by next year, and projects Continue reading →