On Saturday I attended the elegant black and white dress launch of the maiden vintage of the Klein Sering Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2016, on the 1,2 hectare property on which the grapes are grown in Noordhoek, just off its main road. Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the hundreds of brave volunteer firefighters who gave their all over the past five days to tackle the numerous fires in the South Peninsula, including in Constantia, Clovelly, Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay, Tokai, Cape Point, Noordhoek, and Muizenberg. Capetonians are also recognised for their generosity in donating, food, beverages, medical supplies, and millions of Rands for the firefighters in various collection initiatives run during this past week. Continue reading →
Grant Dodd, Australia-based partner and CEO of Haskell Vineyards in Stellenbosch, hosted a #DombeyaDay on Thursday, a vertical tasting of five vintages each of their Dombeya Chardonnay and Shiraz, proving that their inexpensive wines can be cellared.
Haskell Vineyards belongs to Preston Haskell, who bought Dombeya, which makes wines under the Dombeya and Haskell labels, its winemaker being the highly regarded Rainie Strydom, who celebrates her tenth year with the wine farm this year. The farm was named after the Dombeya pear tree which grows on the farm, and originally produced angora wool.
Dodd related the conversation between Haskell and himself ten years ago, when Haskell bought the farm, about the Dombeya brand name. Dodd suggested its Continue reading →
Within 2 minutes of walking into Biga Café, Bakery, and Deli the rudeness of co-owner Hanli Carstenson came to the fore, and this continued from her, magnified by a rude departure ‘greeting‘ from fellow co-owner Glen Herringshaw, when I popped in there yesterday, after visiting the Hermanuspietersfontein market further down the street!
Biga (meaning sourdough starter in Italian, Hanli said) has been open since December, and has taken over the space of former Season, one of the few restaurants in Hermanus which I enjoyed eating at (mainly for its calf’s liver and mash). It has also taken over some of the space of Hornbill House, an art gallery, Continue reading →
We are extremely proud to have you living in your newly adopted home city Cape Town, and that you are such a fantastic tourism ambassador for our country in general, and for Cape Town in particular. You put Cape Town on the world tourist map with your article earlier this year in the New York Times about Cape Town being the number one ’52 places to go in 2014′, the best free publicity our city has ever had.
I was therefore shocked to see your article about ‘Top Chefs in Cape Town’ in Travel + Leisure, and the choices you made in selecting what you have listed as the top five chefs in Cape Town: Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen, Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse, Reuben Robertsons Riffel of Reuben’s x 4 (in Franschhoek, Cape Town, Robertson, and Paternoster) plus Racine, Bruce Robertson of The Flagship, and Franck Dangereux of The Food Barn, in that order. You did not define your guidelines for selecting the five chefs, nor did you appear to use the same criteria in selecting the chefs that are on your list – the justification for inclusion appears more anecdotal and random. Equally, I am surprised about the chefs you excluded from the list!
You seem to praise Chef Franck for his ‘foreign pedigree, but why single him out when Chefs Luke and Peter also have foreign roots? Does that make them better chefs? All of the chefs on your list have worked overseas, so they deserve equal mention in this regard. You ‘warn’ Travel + Leisure readers to ‘watch out for these five Cape Town chefs and memorize their names now – they’re poised to break through to the global stage any day now‘!
Let me comment on each of your Top Chef choices: Continue reading →
When Opulent Living‘s Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast organise an event, you know it will be beyond perfect, the German precision being evident from the minute one enters the venue. Outperforming its ‘Chefs who Share – the ART of Giving‘ Gala Dinner and Auction of last year, which raised R1,2 million then, R 2,5 million was raised at ‘Chefs who Share‘ on Thursday evening from the 250 tickets sold at R3000 each for the Gala Dinner, and the smart auctioneering of art works and other auction lots.
Arriving at the not-often-used Darling Street entrance to the City Hall, the Mercedes-Benz (the company was a sponsor) CLS Coupé was outside the steps, and photographs taken of the VIPs attending. Halfway up the steps were the tables to register one’s attendance, with tall vases of beauty created with vegetables, all of which plus the vegetables used for the table decor going to a soup kitchen the following day. Outside the Hall itself, waiters greeted us with glasses of Graham Beck MCC, and one could admire the artwork hung in the passages, which was auctioned later in the evening. A continuous stream of canapés was offered, and the waiters linked to the creators of these served them, which helped in that they knew what they were serving. Little name cards, with the description of the dishes and the chef’s name, made the identification for Tweeting easy. Those served by Chefs Jackie Cameron, Rudi Liebenberg with Michelle Theron, Darren Badenhorst, Malika van Reenen, and Christiaan Campbell attracted particular attention. It was in the passage that we could chat and congratulate Barbara, who looked beautiful and glamorous in her Gavin Rajah dress. Continue reading →
* The City of Cape Town has cancelled its R234 million contract over a seven year period (entered into in 2011) with Lumen Technologies for the operation of the MyCiTi Bus control centre.
The contractor was responsible for tasks such as scheduling and monitoring the buses by GPS to check on their punctuality relative to the schedules, reports The New Age. The Cape Times reported today that Lumen Technologies denies that it has underperformed, and plans to sue the City if it does not reinstate the contract.
* A seminar on Tourism and Air Connectivity in Africa, together with the 56th Meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa, is scheduled to take place in Luanda with tourism industry representatives in Africa from 28 – 30 April.
* The Youth Market is growing at 9% compared to the average tourism market growth of 2%. It is a valuable market segment, these travelers staying in an area for longer. On Facebook travel posts are in second place after relationship changes in number of posts, highlighting the importance of travel for young persons. In Cape Town backpackers are doing exceptionally well, followed by self-catering accommodation, and guest houses, Cape Town Tourism has found.
* Wines of South Africa (WOSA) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of our country’s democracy this year with an animated video, which refers to the Rainbow Nation to Continue reading →
Last year we saw ‘Der Bachelor‘ on RTL German TV for the first time, and were excited by the fantastic coverage which Cape Town and its surrounds generally and Camps Bay specifically achieved in the show, the contestants all sharing a house in Camps Bay for the duration of the filming. Season 4 began flighting last week, and last night I watched episode 2 of the new series. With a promotion offered by SA Tourism to visit Cape Town, as well as by Amarula, and the filming of our beautiful city and beach suburb, the reality TV series should make Cape Town a talking point in Germany for the next few weeks.
Christian Tews is the newest ‘Der Bachelor‘, and is not endowed with such good looks as his predecessors Jan and Paul had. His biggest disadvantage is his bald head, and dress sense, or lack of! He seems very nice, has beautiful blue eyes, and has already developed soft spots for some of the 22 finalists. Continue reading →
Despite a public commitment to re-open Chapman’s Peak later this month, the Entilini Concession has informed the Western Cape government that it will not meet its deadline, due to the weather, the construction worker strike, and the delay in construction material delivery (the material previously came from Switzerland, but the supplier has gone bankrupt, and it now has to be imported from Japan), which hampered and delayed construction on one of the most beautiful scenic drives in South Africa, according to a report in the Cape Argus.
The route, which links Noordhoek and Hout Bay, has been closed for over a year, due to rockfalls, despite having been extensively rebuilt in the past few years to prevent rockfalls.
Given the monies that the Western Cape government has to pay Entilini if the drive is not open, cynical Capetonians are saying that it is not in the interest of the company to re-open the route, and therefore are calling for the cancellation of the contract the Western Cape province has with the route operator.
No new re-opening date has been announced for Chapman’s Peak.
Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com
Chapman’s Peak is to re-open especially for the Argus Cycle Tour on 8 March, the Cape Argus reports. Race participants will have to sign a special indemnity, and agree to use the road at their own risk. The opening of the road is subject to the safety of the 30 000 cyclists participating in the race.
The MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Garth Strachan met Cycle Tour representative Ken Sturgeon, and agreed to re-open the scenic road between Hout Bay and Noordhoek, which has been closed for the past few months since heavy winter rains caused heavy rockfalls.
The province has also agreed to investigate the reason for the continued delays in re-opening Chapman’s Peak, a popular tourism route, and important link to the city for Noordhoek residents.