I could not think it possible that the Eat Out Awards 2018 could be so refreshingly different, but it appears that new Head Judge Margot Janse has created a fresh new look at the restaurant judging criteria. Many of our top old-guard chefs took a severe beating at the Awards last night! Continue reading →
For the 20th year the Two Oceans Hermanus Whale Festival will be paying tribute to the Southern Right whales, who visit Walker Bay in Hermanus from May – December to mate and give birth, giving Hermanus the enviable reputation of offering the best land-based whale watching in the world. Food and wine pairing forms a strong foundation of the Festival this year, sponsored by Two Oceans for the first time, the brand also supporting the SASSI (Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) responsible eating of fish.
Billed as an ‘enviro-arts’ festival, the Two Oceans Whale Festival starts tomorrow and runs until Tuesday 4 October. On the environmental side, the focus will be educational, incorporating whales, sharks, dolphins, penguins and seals, the ‘Big 5′ for the Cape Whale Coast. A strong focus is on education for children. Saving the endangered rhinos has been incorporated into the Festival too.
On the arts side, the Festival is mainly music-focused, with concerts by well-known performers such as Chris Chameleon, Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels, Steve Hofmeyer, and Prime Circle spread over six music venues. Many concerts are free of charge. A Classical concert by the Odeion Quartet takes place at Bouchard Finlayson in the Hemel en Aarde Valley on Friday evening, while the Fidelio Trio will perform in the Municipal Auditorium on Saturday evening. A Quilters’ exhibition can be viewed at the Dutch Reformed Church, and there is a craft marquee too. In addition, a vintage car show, a Mardi Gras, as well as a number of sport activities such as a mountain bike race, a half marathon, and a Harbour to Harbour swim will take place. The sport events run from 4 – 9 October. Kfm will be broadcasting live from Hermanus.
It is the food and wine pairing that is of particular interest, and has far more focus than in past years. At the Two Oceans Food Court at Market Square, a number of food vendors will focus on seafood, and other marine-themed and speciality dishes. In addition, local produce, artisanal cheeses, bakery items, charcuterie, as well as chocolates will be available to taste and buy. Two Oceans’ wines will be sold at R45 a bottle. Giggling Gourmet Jenny Morris, entertainer and Checkers cheese spokesperson Nataniel, and actresses Shaleen Surtie-Richards and Brumilda van Rensburg will be doing cooking demonstrations, and allowing visitors to taste their food as well as wine for free at the Checkers’ Living Table, at different time slots. A new Mountie Fisherman’s Market will be held in Mount Pleasant, offering fresh fish, snoek, fishcakes, and Cape Malay delicacies for sale. Throughout September twenty members of the Hermanus Restaurant Owners’ Forum, under the chairmanship of restaurateur Fabio Lenci, have been offering a special on Two Ocean’s wines, at R55 per bottle and R15 per glass, and this will continue throughout the Festival. Each of the participants will offer a combination food item with a bottle of Two Oceans’ wine at a special price.
Festival visitors are advised to leave home early, and to expect a traffic build-up coming into Hermanus. Last year 133000 whale lovers visited Hermanus, and this year 150000 are expected to attend the Whale Festival. Tomorrow Tourism Month will be officially concluded with the opening of the Two Oceans Hermanus Whale Festival by Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk, with Western Cape Minister of Tourism Alan Winde also attending. The Whale Festival, and the Southern Right whales with it, have received fantastic coverage, on the front page of the Sunday Times last week, and daily on Kfm this week. SABC2 is broadcasting about Hermanus and the Whale Festival from 6h00 – 8h00 tomorrow morning, and its camera crews have been in Hermanus, filming the beautiful assets of the region, including whales and the Hermanus Wine Route, for most of September.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
The World Cup has put Cape Town into a party spirit, especially on Thursday, when the Cape Town Fan Park outside the City Hall opened with R. Kelly, and on Friday evening, after Bafana Bafana and Mexico drew their match. One could have sworn that Mandela had just been released from Victor Verster all over again!
Soccer fans are celebrating in various locations in Cape Town:
1. The Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest at the Grand Parade Fan Park can hold 25 000 “jollers” (Afrikaans word for â€˜partygoers’), but it is estimated that 42 000 partied there on Friday. Local bands will perform at the Fan Fest every day, from 11h00 – 23h00. More than 100 artists will perform at the Cape Town Fan Fest on the Grand Parade, reports the Cape Argus. According to the People’s Post, Goldfish performs today at 18h00; tomorrow BLK Sonshine and CODA perform from 18h00; Loyiso is on stage on 16 June, Liquideep on 17 June, and The Rudimentals on 18 June. Other performers include Robbie Jansen and Friends, Project, Kalahari Surfers, Brasse Vannie Kaap, Iqulah, Fezeka High School, Soul Makossa!, Ghorwane, Phuzekemisi, K’Naan (29 June), Karambola, FreshlyGround, Capsolys, Abekaya, Gang of Instrumentals, Danny K, The Rockets, Prime Circle, Flat Stanley, and Flash Republic. Local South African foods such as Cape Malay chicken curry, lamb neck potjiekos, boerewors rolls and biltong are for sale, as are burgers, hot dogs, prego rolls, calamari, lasagne, soup, pizzas, and French fries. One may not bring one’s own food into the Fan Park.
2. Other Fan Fests are at the Bellville Velodrome, Vygieskraal Stadium in Athlone, the Swartklip Sports Complex in Mitchell’s Plain, and the Oliver Thambo Community Hall in Khayelitsha.
3. The Brazilian community has turned the Civic Centre on Main Road in Sea Point into a home for Brazilian soccer fans. By day Casa Brazil will be an exhibition area for the country, and at night it will have a Rio carnival atmosphere.
4. Cool Britannia, the United Kingdom’s largest events company, is hosting an on-going soccer celebration at the Cape Town International Convention Centre for the duration of the World Cup. Every day a different qualifying country will be showcased, from midday â€“ 3h00. The opening act was Estelle (â€˜American Boy’), performing in South Africa for the first time. Other performers that are expected are Fatboy Slim, 340ml, Tucan Tucan, Euphonik, HHP, Black Coffee, Milkshake, Ricardo da Costa, La Vuvuzela, Liquideep, Flash Republic, Dean Fuel, and Roger Goode. DJ Fresh and DJ Dino Moran will also be on show. The Parlotones will end off the month-long party. South African fashion design by Gavin Rajah will be featured at a fashion show on 15 June. Ticket prices range from R 150 â€“ R 400 per person, and can be bought at Computicket.
5. As a non-official “fan mile”, Long Street has plenty of vibe (and beer), and the most popular watering holes are The Dubliner, Joburg, Lola’s and Long Street Cafe, the World Cup volunteers tell me.
6. The V&A Waterfront is also attracting soccer fans (100 000 visitors on Friday), due to its proximity to the Cape Town Stadium. Ferrymans is popular, the Paulaner Brauhaus is entertaining the German fans to Cape Town, the Lookout Village marquee on top of the parking garage on the Granger Bay side, and the MTN Fan Zone near the Clock Tower is also attracting soccer fans.
7. Other popular pubs are the Fireman’s Arms off Buitengracht Street (supported by England fans), Tommy’s Sports Bar in Loop Street (supported by Dutch fans), Pata Pata in Bree Street (supported by Cameroonian fans), 4 Ways in Darling Street (supported by Nigerian fans), and the Mexican Kitchen in Long Street (supported by Mexican fans).
POSTSCRIPT 21 June: Cool Britannia was reported on Kfm yesterday to have closed down at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, due to unsatisfactory support.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com