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 →
Yesterday Elize Skriker and I went to have lunch at RocoMama’s in Green Point, having been challenged to try the Burger and Shake eatery as an 18 year old! Continue reading →
*. Despite the Rand exchange rate being at its best ever for international visitors, no surge in tourism bookings is being seen. The after-effect of last year’s Ebola crisis, and the new visa regulations, have affected tourism numbers from China, India, and Brazil in particular. Hotelier Arthur Gillis said that the golden opportunity of the exchange rate was negated by the visa regulations, and said that we ‘shoot ourselves in the foot’.
* Horror forecasts about the effect of the Immigration Regulations, and how they will affect tourism from China and India in particular, abound, according to meetpie.com. Destination Management Companies are reporting a 70% decline in bookings, incentive travel is affected, and the following forecasts for the following year say it all: 100000 fewer Continue reading →
* The South African Brandy Foundation has welcomed Finance Minister Nene’s indication that excise duty on brandies are to be reviewed, during his budget speech on Wednesday. An excise duty increase of 8,5% was announced by Minister Nene for brandy. (received via media release from Manley Communications)
* The Spur Corporation is planning to open 21 new restaurants in our country for its brands, as well as five more in Africa. The company said that continued loadshedding could affect its turnover.
* Retailers’ service sucks – we may have thought so – but now it’s official, according to the ‘Retail Shopper Survey 2014′, conducted by Why 5 amongst households with a total income of R10000 or more. More than half of respondents said service is bad; they want shops close by; shopping is a grudge purchase; the majority research offers online; payment by mobile phone would be supported by one-third of shoppers; loyalty programs are highly popular, 96% of shoppers using them; sales do attract shoppers; shoppers want information via catalogues, newsletters, and e-mails, but in-store radio broadcasts are a waste of time; shoppers feel that shopping malls all look the same.
* TripAdvisor has launched a new ‘Just for You‘ service, offering ‘tailor-made’ accommodation recommendations based on past searches on their website as well as preferences. It links with Facebook to gain a better understanding of its customers, to enable better recommendations to be made.
* Unemployment is at a six year high at 25%, with a surprising figure of 36% for ‘extended unemployment rate‘ recorded too, being ‘people who have given up looking for jobs‘!
* ‘Reconsider‘, the TV commercial created by Ireland/Davenport for SA Tourism, has already been seen more than 700000 times on YouTube, and will also be flighted on CNN and National Geographic, reaching ‘more than 1,3 billion households’, the media statement of the agency claims! The commercial highlights the beauty of our country, but also the specialness of our people. Agency MD Philip Ireland said: ‘We were very lucky to have a client who not only believed in us but who stayed incredibly close to the creative process, and refused to accept anything less than world class from us. At every step there was an absolute refusal to compromise. South Africa is a world class destination and it was imperative that the thinking and the execution were not just flawless, but better than anything the category had seen before‘, to which SA Tourism CEO Thulani Nzima added: ‘It puts the South African people at the heart of South Africa’s appeal’.
* Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Chardonnay 2012 has been selected as one of the world’s Top 10 wines in the 2014 Chardonnay du Monde, achieving this accolade against 794 wines from forty countries. Cellarmaster Martin Moore attributes the rolling of the barrels to the complexity and success of the wine. He also says that he does not allow the wine to be overpowered by wood. Minimal rain during the 2012 summer season also contributed to the wine’s success. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)
* Düsseldorf is the new international wine capital of the world, after its successful hosting of ProWein 2014, which was attended by 48000 delegates from Sunday until yesterday. ProWine China will be held for the second time, in Shanghai, from 12 – 14 November.
* SAA has warned passengers to ignore any e-mails purporting to come from the airline and seeking personal and/or banking details via links, requesting passengers to delete any such e-mails.
* Helena Rizzo from Mani in São Paulo in Brazil has been named the Veuve Clicquot World’s Best Female Chef in the Continue reading →
Many restaurants opened this summer, but the industry is taking its first toll, with restaurants closing down. It may be a tough winter ahead, given the poor state of the economy. Yet Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht (Burrata), Clayton Howard and Mico Botha (I Love my Laundry), and Michael Townsend (La Parada, Lucky Fish, Harbour House) are expanding their portfolios.
This list of restaurant openings and closings is updated continuously, as we receive new information:
* Chef’s Warehouse & Cookery School has moved to Bree Street, in the Cape Heritage hotel building, where Awestruck/Caveau used to be, and is now called Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen, with Chef Liam Tomlin in the kitchen. Street Food has also opened as a take-away outlet (7h00 – 15h00)
* Diesel & Creme, a diner, restaurant, and coffee shop, has opened on the R62 in Barrydale.
* Idiom Wines is said to be opening a restaurant.
* The Tap Room has opened at Devils’ Peak Brewery
* I ♥ my Laundry has opened another (its third) branch on Buitenkant Street.
* Jordan Wines has launched a Deli and Bakery.
* Lucky Fish & Chips has opened on Bree Street, on Regent Road in Sea Point, on Long Street, in Kalk Bay, and in Muizenberg, belonging to Michael Townsend of the Harbour House group.
* Tümi has opened as a health food café in St John’s Piazza in Sea Point, being part of the Col’Cocchia group. Continue reading →
* Beer brewing tours are gaining interest, reports Southern African Tourism Update, focusing on craft beers as well as traditional beers. Beer festivals have helped create awareness for the roughly 80 micro-breweries in our country. Tours use stories to get the cultural and brewing message across. American, German, and Belgian tourists are keen beer tourists.
* Air traffic across Europe could be shut down tomorrow, if the planned air traffic controller strike in 28 countries goes ahead. Lufthansa staff have withdrawn from the strike.
* Mamphela Ramphele has accepted the DA’s offer to stand in the forthcoming elections as the Democratic Alliance (DA) Presidential candidate, her Agang SA party appearing to be disbanded. (via Facebook) Continue reading →