Last night I returned from the Hermanus FynArts Festival, having spent six days of the Festival ten-day period enjoying a feast of a fine Festival! I have experienced Festivals in my time, but never for so long a period, and none so extensive in content as the Hermanus FynArts Festival. I cannot wait for the 2017 Festival, to be held from 9 to 18 June 2017! Continue reading →
For the fourth year Hermanus FynArts is showcasing and celebrating the best of South African Arts, from 10 – 19 June. The theme of the Festival this year is ‘French Connection’. Continue reading →
I did a quick visit to Hermanus yesterday, and at a stop at Rivendell Restaurant, between Bot River and Hermanus, I was told that Chef Thomas Sinn was coming back from his overseas holiday especially to participate in a super-sounding feast, for which he is one of eight chefs cooking on Monday evening. The staff brought a copy of the programme, and I could not believe what the organisers have planned for the 11-day Festival, ‘A Celebration of South African Arts’ its 80-page Festival brochure proudly proclaims!
The programme consists of different themes: Continue reading →
* The City of Cape Town has created its own vegetable, fruit, and herb garden in the Company’s Garden, which is where Jan van Riebeek planted Cape Town’s first vegetable garden after he landed in 1652 to supply ships of the Dust East India Company passing the Cape on their routes between Holland and the East. It has been given the mouthful of a name Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) vegetable and herb garden in the Company’s Garden! The garden will also contain indigenous medicinal herbs and edible plants. There are no plans to replicate the growing of vines to make wines!
* America is to be marketed as a ‘Gastro-tourism’ destination by its marketing agency Brand USA, given the diverse cultures living in the country. A six-language ‘Discover America: Great American Food Stories‘ culinary guide has been published for visitors to the country.
* A cheeky advertising campaign for cheeky craft beer Garagista Beer is attracting attention not only locally but also internationally, poking fun at the hipsters drinking beer, especially those drinking it for the image rather than for the beer itself! Its cheeky pay-off line is ‘All beer. No bullshit’! The brewery is on Albert Road in Woodstock. Continue reading →
On Thursday evening South Africa and the world lost in Nelson Mandela one of its most influential citizens ever, who taught us about the nobility of forgiveness, despite what he suffered for 27 years to make South Africa and the world a better place for all.
No doubt like many others, I could not help but feel sad about the passing of someone whom I had never met, but who feels like a father, and the sadness is even greater, this being the second father I have lost this year. Reading the outpouring of love for Mr Mandela on TV, on radio, on Twitter, and Facebook, the timelines were dominated by the expression of each one who uses the media. Kfm played tributes and ‘nostalgic’ music, not its normal music mix, like Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge over Troubled Water‘ and Eric Clapton’s ‘Tears in Heaven’, and many more songs that related to the specialness of Madiba.
The world’s leaders expressed their sadness, and President Barack Obama was one of the first to express his condolences in the early hours of yesterday morning. He and his wife Michelle have announced that they will travel to South Africa next week, to pay their respects to the country and the family. Books of condolence have been opened in South African embassies around the world, for South Africans and Madiba admirers to express their feelings. A moving tribute was paid to him by his assistant of many years Zelda la Grange.
Many media interviewees said that the day had been inevitable, but no one was prepared for the final passing. A number of false reports announced Madiba’s passing mid-year, and it is clear that the major international and local TV stations had long before prepared documentaries about the man that had such a hold over the world.
Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster (now Drakenstein) prison in 1990, a month after I had moved back home to Cape Town from Pretoria and Johannesburg, and I was one of many millions watching the TV broadcast of the long and slow walk to freedom from the prison. The broadcast by SABC was a lowlight of Mr Mandela’s release, his release having been delayed, and the SABC reporter had nothing more to say while waiting for at least an hour than to comment on a leaking tap! As Madiba’s cavalcade was leaving Paarl, I was one of thousands making our way to the City Hall, to hear Madiba address the nation and the world. We heard his distinctive voice for the first time. It was the start of a new South Africa, of tolerance and respect for each other, most of the time. Not only was Madiba respected for his lack of bitterness, but President FW de Klerk was saluted too for his graciousness in motivating his Cabinet to release Madiba, knowing full well that he and his National Party would eventually lose the ruling power. For their gentlemanliness both leaders jointly received the Nobel Continue reading →
On Thursday evening 800 art lovers descended onto The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront for the opening of the first ever Cape Town Art Fair, the largest mega art exhibition ever held in Cape Town under one roof, with 40 galleries exhibiting 800 works of arts of 130 top artists. It was an excellent platform to enjoy the art of food, of visual art, and of wine art!
In a clever display design, the art galleries were given one, two, or three panels to display their artists’ work. While most pieces were described, I did not see prices, giving the exhibition a classy feel. It was more about meeting the gallery owners and representatives and connecting with them, based on the style of art they were exhibiting. Some of the galleries, auctioneers, and artists at the Cape Town Art Fair include Strijdom van der Merwe, with an exhibit at the entrance to The Lookout and having recently created an impressive exhibit in honour of Nelson Mandela outside the Stellenbosch Town Hall; Strauss & Co; The AVA Gallery; holden manz collection; Whatiftheworld Gallery; Frank Joubert Art Centre; Stephan Welz & Co; Erdmann Continue reading →
* La Motte is hosting a talk on ‘Shiraz and all its facets‘ with a tasting on Thursday at 18h30 – 20h45. (received via newsletter from La Motte)
*Justin Bonello is launching his new book ‘Roads Less Travelled‘ in conjunction with his The Ultimate Braai Master judges Bertus Basson and Marthinus Ferreira in November. Unsurprisingly the book sizzles with the stories and experiences of the TV reality show, and the journey on the backroads of our country in testing the best of our country’s braaiers.
* New York restaurant Eat has prohibited talking by its diners during their 4-course meals!
* A new tourism region has been created, called the Vanilla Islands, consisting of Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, Mayotte, and Maldives.
* La Motte is participating in the Franschhoek Art in Clay Festival, and Continue reading →
A pop-up art gallery, curated by the North-West University Gallery in Potchefstroom, has come to Stellenbosch at Clos Malverne in the Devon Valley, with an inaugural exhibition entitled ‘A Void in the Landscape’. The focus of the exhibition is Nature, we were told at the opening by its winemaker Suzanne Coetzee ten days ago. The indoor and exterior exhibition runs until January.
The art is displayed both two-dimensionally inside the restaurant overlooking the vineyards and beautiful hills and mountains in the background, as well as three-dimensionally in the garden and the vineyards. The exhibition was curated by Christina Naurattel Continue reading →
I was working late last Thursday and had the TV on kykNET (having watched Chef Reuben Riffel’s new ‘5 Sterre met Reuben’ fresh herb cooking program) when I saw an eTV news broadcast, which reported on a toi-toi demonstration outside the Stellenbosch Town Hall at the inauguration of the new urban art installation. The local ANC branch members were protesting against the R800000 spent on the new art work erected by internationally renowned Stellenbosch-based landscape artist Strijdom van der Merwe in honour of former President Nelson Mandela.
When I arrived at Clos Malverne on Friday morning, to attend the opening of the pop-up art exhibition ‘A Void in the Landscape‘, I bumped into Strijdom, recognising him from the TV news broadcast, and we had a long chat about the Stellenbosch Town Hall transformation, and the publicity it had received as a result of the demonstration. Strijdom’s artwork ‘Heaven is a place on earth’, angel wings erected on street lamp-shaped posts in the Clos Malverne vineyards outside the restaurant, is part of the Clos Malverne exhibition.
I had wanted to meet Strijdom ever since Casparus Restaurant opened two years ago, as photographs of his urban art are exhibited in the restaurant, which once was my favorite. The Continue reading →
* The Michelangelo International Wine Awards has introduced a new Platinum medal tier, and two Trophies, for best MCC, and for best ‘mocha style’ Pinotage!
* Depressing reading is the report about University of Stellenbosch Professor Trevor Britz’s study about the quality (or lack of) our country’s rivers, including the Eerste and Plankenbrug Rivers in Stellenbosch, which can significantly affect their use for agricultural irrigation.