Wednesday 8 July 2020, Day 38 of Level 3, after 66 days of Levels 5 and 4 😷
Corona Gratitude 🙏
#Grateful for a most wonderful day, all the way through, with much storytelling; for amazing weather at 21C, and even warmer at 23C as I drove home now from Hout Bay, with a strong Bergwind before tomorrow’s downpour; for a tightly scheduled morning, my writing followed by a quick walk through Camps Bay and the purchase of cat treats at Absolute Pets; for buying more plants and seeds at LandsCape Art Garden Centre, including carrots, peas, and radish, getting brave now; for meeting Jenny Stephens and her friend Linda French, taking a Waterfront Granger Bay walk with coffee/tea at The Grand on the Beach; a wonderful hour and a bit in the sun, laughing at each other’s stories and each of us learning from another; my visit to the dentist being a good thing, despite no more toothache, the X-ray showing a serious abscess, which had to be taken care off, and the tooth ultimately needing a crown; for a fabulous sunset; for a good Discovery Vitality Gameboard play; for the most enjoyable, fun, funny, mouthwatering dinner with my Danish friends and Melanie Davidow at Quentin at Oakhurst Barn in Hout Bay, my first visit here, leaving for home after midnight; and for being happy and healthy. 🙏💙 Continue reading →
I was invited by Heidi Kuyper, Sales & Marketing Executive of SA Chef Media, to join Episode 2 of the Live-Cook Channel last Thursday evening, learning to prepare Beef Wellington with the guidance of Chef Luke Dale Roberts of The Test Kitchen, and the MC for the show being Consultant Chef Pete.Goffe-Wood.
Live-Cook Channel launched the concept of cooking with celebrity chefs in the comfort of one’s own home, receiving the ingredients required for the meal delivered to one’s home, enough to serve a group of two or four diners, with guidance of a recipe card and by the celebrity chef via the broadcast on a YouTube channel as to how to prepare a signature dish. Continue reading →
On Friday evening I attended the launch of the 40th edition of the Diners Club International 2020 South African Wine Guide, at the Table Bay Hotel in the Waterfront, an event that is pretty much the same in format every year, yet was different this year, in the interest of making the event shorter.
More than 8000 wines from more than 900 producers were rated for the 2020 Platter’s Wine Guide edition. Of the 125 5-star wines awarded, 26 went to Chenin Blanc brands, 18 to Shiraz/Syrah, and 11 to Chardonnay brands.
The Sweet Service Award goes to the A4 Arts Foundation, which I discovered on Buitenkant Street whilst going for a walk near The Fugard theatre last night. Despite being past 19h00, I was allowed to enter to view the exhibition, and then was offered a glass of Boschendal red wine as well as a bag of popcorn, a generous way to kill time whilst I was waiting for the show to start. The staff were very friendly and the exhibition impressive. The Foundation website describes it as ‘a free to public not-for-profit laboratory for the arts of Southern Africa’. Continue reading →
Tulbagh winery Saronsberg is our country’s top red wine producer when it comes to winning wine awards, its Full Circle being the most lauded red wine, followed by its Shiraz, over the past ten years. Continue reading →
The dry weather and reduced rain in winter of 2016 is unusual, and will reduce the harvest in the Swartland, says Zakkie Bester, CEO and cellar master of Riebeek Cellars. The quality of the grapes may however be higher, with more concentrated flavours.
Last week a number of writers was invited to a ten-year vertical tasting of Saronsberg Full Circle, the wine estate’s flagship brand, followed by lunch at the Cape Grace. While the reason for the choice of name is not known, the wine is likely to not come full circle, getting better and better with every vintage.
Winemaker Dewaldt Heyns has a wonderful ability to explain his wines, speaking with passion but without technicalities, remembering the peculiarities of each of the ten vintages which we tasted, without a note to refer to. The tasting was held in the recently refurbished Leeward Room, adjacent to the Signal restaurant and facing the refurbished pool area. During the tasting the glass sliding doors were closed when the pool chlorine could be smelt inside the venue. We were spread over four round tables, with chairs with unusual modern upholstery in black, grey, white and burgundy, in contrast to the green velvety drapes. I Continue reading →
Jardine at Jordan Manager and former Sinn employee Riaan Moll told me recently that Chef Thomas Sinn, once an Eat Out Top Restaurant Chef, has closed down all his restaurant interests in Cape Town, and has opened Rivendell Restaurant on the road to Hermanus, near the turn-off to Kleinmond and Arabella. On our way back from a trip to Hermanus my colleague and I found an oasis of food, in the middle of nowhere, offering a whale of a good value.
Rivendell is referred to in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, ‘Lord of the Rings’ amongst others, and means ‘deeply cloven valley‘, referring to the Bot River valley lying between two mountains. The wine estate Rivendell is owned by Austrian couple Heimo and Maria Talhammer, and they invited Chef Thomas to open the restaurant on their farm three months ago. The restaurant building is set back on the estate, and is not visible from the road to Hermanus. It was previously the tasting and functions venue, but the Continue reading →
* SA Tourism captured attention for our country on Times Square in New York last week, with Hugh Masekela and Sindiswe Nxumalo, a cast member of ‘The Lion King’, performing on a double decker bus to publicise the ‘Ubuntu: Music & Arts of South Africa‘ Festival being held at Carnegie Hall until 5 November. Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela are headline artists for the Festival, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of our democracy, and aims to position South Africa as offering more than the Big Five, in having ‘the most hospitable people in the world‘ as well as the most resilient, given the country’s 350 year history.
* The Franschhoek-based Bhabhathane (meaning butterfly in Xhosa) charity promoting childhood development and education Continue reading →
* A travel study conducted on behalf of Google in the USA has found that mobile Apps are less likely to be used to plan and book a trip, multiple devices now being used to book trips. The ‘Traveler’s Road to Decision‘ is yet to be published, but report highlights have been released. Search engines are increasingly consulted first in planning a trip, and in searching for car rental, cruises, and accommodation, at the expense of Apps, for leisure travelers, while business travelers mostly use mobile Apps to make travel bookings.
* Telegraph Travel recommends how to spend 36 hours in Franschhoek, including staying at La Residence, eating at Pierneef à La Motte, The Kitchen at Maison,Grande Provence, and La Residence; tasting wine at Boekenhoutskloof (sneaking in Waterford in Stellenbosch); and visiting the Huguenot Monument, Babylonstoren, the Franschhoek Motor Museum, and the Holden Manz Gallery.