When I walked past Restaurant Casa Rita in Baiona in Galicia, Spain, on my Camino walk at lunchtime last week, and I saw a chef placing fresh fish and shellfish on ice into the display window, I had to photograph it. When I saw that the restaurant has a Michelin knife and fork accreditation, I went inside to book for that evening. Chef Sefi Brea promised me that a waiter would be able to serve me in English. Continue reading →
It is an exciting achievement to have published the second book in my SwitchBitch trilogy, entitled ‘SwitchBitch: My journey of transformation in Walking the Camino, Sole to Soul’, following in the footsteps of SwitchBitch Book 1, which I launched a year ago. SwitchBitch Book 1 focused on my Physical transformation, in losing 45 kg, while Book 2 is focused on the Spiritual transformation after walking the Camino. Yesterday the Book was presented at a Preview launch at Stargarden Boutique Café in Fish Hoek. Continue reading →
South Africa’s top cheese at the 29th annual World Cheese Awards held in San Sebastián in Spain recently is the Benedictus hard ewes’ milk cheese made by Belnori Boutique Cheesery. The World Champion Cheese 2016 was Kraftkar, made by Tingvollost from Norway. Continue reading →
Tomorrow the Virgin Kitesurfing Armada commences at Dolphin Beach in Cape Town, instigated by Sir Richard Branson, and runs until Sunday. The event is an attempt to break the Guinness World Continue reading →
Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ The Test Kitchen was named the 28th best restaurant in the world and Best in Africa, at the 14th The World’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony in London last night, a 20 place climb from his 48th position last year, and 61st position in 2013. El Celler de Can Roca was ranked as the Best Restaurant in the World, the second time it has received this honour. Regular winner Noma dropped to third place. Spain received the most 50 Best Restaurant Awards (7), followed by the USA (6), and France (5). Both The Test Kitchen and World’s 50 Best Restaurants trended on Twitter last night.
El Celler de Can Roca is based in Giron in Spain, and is run by the three Roca brothers Josep, Joan,and Jordi, who opened their restaurant in 1986. They pioneered sous-vide cooking, and are described as creating ‘magic without undue theatrics’. Brother Joan is the head chef, Jordi is the Pastry Chef, and Josep is the Sommelier and Front of House. In 2013 they were also named the best restaurant in the world. Continue reading →
* The FNB/Bureau for Economic Research Consumer Confidence Index ‘plummeted’ to -4 in the first quarter of 2015, reflecting the pessimism created by loadshedding, increases in income tax and the price of petrol, as well as ‘social and political turmoil‘.
* Angelo Scirocco of Chef’s Warehouse and winner of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year Award for Africa/Middle East, has been ‘paired’ with fashion designer Ashi Studio of Beirut, each designer reinterpreting Continue reading →
I had a lovely chat with South African Drinks International‘s Rick Beaumont earlier this week, about the devastating fires in Cape Town, and the latest results of the 2015 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards, which had not yet been posted on their website.
The Cape Winelands dominated the Awards, winning four out of eight category Awards, against the UK, the USA, Spain, Italy, Greece, Argentina, Chile, and Portugal.
South Africa won: Continue reading →
* Ghanaian rapper D Black has been holidaying in Cape Town, his Instagram and Twitter (with 146000 followers!) shows. He visited Robben Island, Table Mountain,CampsBay, and the V&A V & A Waterfront. He also recorded with local musician Donald in Denial.
* Cape Town has been named by National Geographic as the second best Beach City in the world, the Clifton beaches mentioned specifically for their protection against the wind and expensive accommodation. The False Bay beaches, as well as Milnerton and Blouberg, are referred to. Number one is Barcelona, with its Barcenoleta Beach. The rest of the Beach City ranking is Honolulu (Waikiki Beach), Nice’s three beaches, Miami Beach, Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Santa Monica, Sydney’s Bondi, Tel Aviv, and Vancouver’s ten beaches.
* SA Tourism, host of INDABA 2015, is describing the trade show as one which will exceed the expectations of both Continue reading →
* The Reserve Bank has left the interest rate unchanged, the repo rate remaining at 5,75 %.
* The retail trade experienced a ‘fair to middling‘ Festive Season trade, and the projection is that 2015 will be much the same. Stores targeting the lower income group were impacted by low demand, caused by unemployment and debt. Woolworths sales growth was lower in the past six months than in the same period a year prior.
* The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association has become an ‘association partner‘ for World Travel Market Continue reading →
* International airline traffic in November 2014 grew by 3,6% on the year prior, the same level of growth as in October. Travel within Europe grew at a somewhat faster rate, especially to Asian countries.
* The International Monetary Fund has downscaled its forecast for the growth of our country’s economy this year to 2,1%, mainly due to strikes, weak demand, and electricity loadshedding. The growth projection for next year has been downscaled from 2,8 to 2,5%.
* Statistics South Africa has not issued tourism arrival figures since March 2014, awaiting data from the Continue reading →