A lunch at Coco Safar, followed by a dinner three days later, were two chalk and cheese experiences, the former excellent and the latter hugely disappointing, especially as it was a birthday dinner treat for a special friend! I had last been to Coco Safar for breakfast early this year, after it opened in Sea Point, having moved from Cavendish Square. Continue reading →
* An increasing number of Indian TV shows and series is being filmed in countries outside of India, and South Africa is one of the countries benefiting too (see the promo for Dare2Dance, shot in Cape Town). SA Tourism Country Manager for India Hannelie Slabber said: ‘We have seen a great increase in films and television channels approaching us for associations over the last few years’. Most of the shooting has been in Gauteng, the Western Cape including the Garden Route, and KwaZulu-Natal, while the Kruger National Park is a popular film location too.
* Domaine des Dieux won the 14th Amorim Cap Classique Challenge 2014 with its Claudia Brut 2009, a Pinot Noir Chardonnay blend, for Best Brut Blend and Best Producer against 100 other Cap Classique entries. Graham Beck and Lord both took the top honours in the Blended Brut category. The former MCC producer also won Best Vintage (2009) and Best Non-Vintage Rosé. Laborie won Best Vintage Blanc de Blancs (2010), and Colmant the Best Blanc de Blanc non-Vintage category. Simonsig won the Museum Class for its Kaapse Vonkel 2004. Judging panel chairman Allan Mullins of Woolworths said that the sparkling wines showed more consistency this year, and were of a higher quality. Mullins was named the inaugural recipient of the Frans Malan Legacy Award.
* The first ever African marketing office of SA Tourism was opened yesterday in Lagos in Nigeria, by our Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk. Not only will this be good for tourism for our country, but it also aims to create greater awareness and to attract more tourists to Africa globally.
* The Reserve Bank has increased the interest rate by 50 basis points, the first increase in five years, to curb inflation caused by the weak Rand.
* SAA made a loss of R991 million in the 2012/2013 financial year, an improvement on its previous loss of R1,25 billion in the previous financial year. It blames the loss on the ‘weakened rand‘, as 60% of its costs are dollar based. It announced today that had the Rand not weakened, SAA would have made a profit! Cost-cutting efforts have been cutting the Kigali (to Rwanda) and Buenos Aires routes. All long-distance routes are loss-making, admitted CEO Monwabisi Kalawe, but have to be retained for strategic reasons, such as Beijing.
* The USA has close to 8000 wineries, of which just less than half are in California, by far the dominant wine production state. South Africa has about one tenth of this number!
Cape Town is praised for hosting World Design Capital 2014, with 450 design projects on show this year; for the re-invention of Woodstock, with the Neighbourgoods Market, home to The Pot Luck Club and The Test Kitchen (but leaving out Burrata); Truth on Buitenkant Street, described as the ‘world’s coolest café’; and the Coffee Beans Routes.
The other 39 Holiday Hotspots are the following:
* Uzès in Provence in France
* Austin, Texas
* Carmarthenshire in the UK
* Kolkatta in India
* Islands São Tomé and Príncipe off the African coast
* Alaçatu in Turkey
* George Town in Malaysia
* Alberta in Canada
* Bordeaux in France Continue reading →