Tag Archives: summer

Giulio’s Café opens for Dinner on Thursdays and Fridays, launches fabulous new Summer Dinner Menu!

Last Thursday I was one of a number of writers who was invited to attend the Summer Dinner launch at Giulio’s Café, the restaurant opening for dinner trade for the first time, on Thursday and Sunday evenings.  Continue reading →

City of Cape Town ‘Summer tourism’ performance feedback misleading and meaningless!

Cape Town StadiumThe media release issued by the City of Cape Town last week appeared like a PR exercise to make its Tourism, Events, and Marketing Directorate look good after the sudden departure of the Directorate’s Grant Pascoe, former Mayoral Committee member for Tourism, Events, and Marketing.  The Directorate was blamed by Mayor Patricia de Lille for not performing well under Pascoe’s leadership.
Odd too was that the media release was issued by the City of Cape Town, and not by Cape Town Tourism, which has a PR agency, and usually is the spokesperson for the tourism industry in Cape Town.  Whilst quoting Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy towards the end of the release, its main spokesperson in the release was Anton Groenewald, the Tourism Directorate’s Executive Director, who has never been quoted in a media release before, all communication expressed by Pascoe in the past, even in Cape Town Tourism releases at one stage!   In releasing the statement via the City, the Cape Town Tourism media list did not receive the media statement.  We requested a copy from Groenewald, but have not received it yet, almost a week later!
If the City of Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism had the tourism statistics relating to the period ending February 2014, one wonders why they waited four weeks to release the results, and why they were released the day after Pascoe’s departure!  Ironic is the Continue reading →

Spring/Summer Restaurant Specials: Cape Town and Winelands

The Spring and Summer 2012/13 specials for Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and are updated continuously. We welcome information about new specials, and feedback about your meals at these restaurants:

*   Pepenero in Mouille Point : Sirloin and chips R89, Seafood platter R 129, 1 kg prawn platter R99, Sushi platter R109, Mussels and chips R79, Pasta of the day R79, Chicken schnitzel R79, Lamb chops R109, Crayfish tails R149, Mussels and fries R79. Half price sushi all day. Daily. Spring/Summer. Tel (021) 439-9027 (checked 5/9)

*   Sinn’s Restaurant at Wembley Square:  Lunch (6 options) at R55. Monday – Saturday, 11h00 – 17h00.  Current. Tel (021) 465-0967 (updated 5/9)

*   Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: Oysters R 6 each, 400g Rump Espetada R 125, Kingklip and 6 prawns R 110; kingklip and calamari R110;  250g Lobster and 6 prawns R179; Seafood platter R139. Current. Tel (021) 439-3494 (updated 5/9)

*   Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront: half price sushi Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 18h00; 25 % off sushi, Sunday 12 – 2pm, 50 % on Sunday 2 – 6 pm, 3-course R160, lunch and dinner; 2-course lunch R120. Until end September. Tel (021) 421-5134 (updated 5/9)

*   Beluga, The Foundry, Green Point: 50 % off sushi, dimsum and cocktails all day Sunday, and from 12h00 – 19h00 other weekdays. 2-course lunch R135; 3-course lunch and dinner R175.  Spring. Tel (021) 418-2948 (updated 5/9)

*   La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point : 6-course Tasting Menu R 295, with wines paired R 480. Monday – Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch. Summer. Tel (021) 433-0856 (updated 4/11).

*   Bertha’s in Simonstown: 1 kg Queen prawns cost R99 each, 1kg mussels R99, 1 kg chicken wings R99,  Half rack of ribs R59. Bertha’s seafood platter R109. 2 courses R 120, 3 courses R150. Until end September. Tel (021) 786-2138 (updated 5/9)

*   Aubergine:  2-course lunch R198,  3-course lunch R254, Wednesdays – Fridays.  Monday – Saturdays except public holidays. Daily dinner specials. 3-course R365, 4-course R425, 5-course R 495 meat and seafood degustation menu. Winter Bistro 2 courses R200, 3 courses R 275, optional wine pairing. Until mid-September. Tel (021) 465-4909 (updated 5/9)

*   Ferryman’s Tavern, V&A Waterfront: Ostrich burger plus red wine R 75. T-bone steak plus a beer R95. Current. Tel (021) 419-7748 (updated 5/9)

*   Blowfish in Blouberg: half-price sushi Wednesday  and Sunday 5 – 8 pm; Prawns R5,90 each, 24 prawns R135, 10 prawns R59.  Current. Tel (021) 556-5464 (updated 5/9)

*   Knife restaurant, Century City:  Bagels R35, Chicken sandwich R45, Steak sandwich R55. Lunch special, 12h00 – 15h00, Mondays – Fridays. Summer. Tel (021) 551-5000 (updated 5/9)

*   Saul’s Sushi @ Vegas, Sea Point: Eat as much sushi as you like for R120 Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturday; Mongolian eat as much as you can R79; Sushi 30 % off on Wednesdays; Sundays 50 % off. Summer. Tel 087 151 4595 (updated 5/9)

*   Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town:  Grill special plus glass of wine R125 daily, buffet R155 Sundays – Thursdays. Indefinite. Tel (021) 465-7050 (updated 9/8)

*   French Toast, Bree Street: Bruschetta tapas free with glass of wine Mondays – Saturdays, 5 – 7 pm.  All wines costing R 400 or less half price on Mondays.  Big Bottle Thursday wine sold by the glass. Daily lunch specials. Current. Tel (021) 422-3839 (updated 5/9)

* The Square, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 5 course menu R 195/R295 with wines, dinner only. Half price sushi 5 – 7 pm.  Monday – Sunday. Current. Tel ()21) 657-4500 (updated 5/9)

*   Dunes, Hout Bay : Sunday buffet with smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast R120. Summer. Tel (021) 790-1876 (updated 5/9)

*   Arnold’s on Kloof, 60 Kloof Street, Gardens:  Early bird breakfast half-price special if order before 7h00 Monday – Friday.  Peppa Poppers R35, Biltong fillet steak mens/ladies R115/R 75, Stew for U2 R119, Chicken Kloof R 59, Chicken parmesan R69, Carpaccio kudu fillet biltong R49.  Summer Tel (021) 424-4344 (updated 5/9)

*   Five Flies, Half price for all main courses. Mondays – Sundays. August and September. Tel (021) 424-4442 (updated 2/8)

*   Codfather, Camps Bay:  half-price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, daily.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 438-0782

*   Black Marlin, Simonstown:  2-course meal R115, 3-course R140. Indefinite. Tel (021) 786-1621

*   Cape Town Fish Market, Big Bay, V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Tyger Valley, Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Tokai, Grand West Casino: “All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R60, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays; 4-course Seafood buffet lunch R125, Sundays and public holidays.  Buy one, get one free – hake on Mondays, sushi on Tuesdays, calamari on Wednesdays.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 554-5962.

*   La Bruixa, Sea Point: Seafood paella for two for R260, includes a salad. Meat paella R200. Current.Tel (021) 434-8797 (updated 5/9)

*   La Boheme, Sea Point: 2-courses R95, 3-courses R 120. Current. Tel (021) 434-8797 (updated 5/9)

*   The Round House, Camps Bay: 4-course a la carte menu R450, 6-course set tasting menu R595. 3 course lunch R220.  Current. Tel (021) 438-4347 (updated 5/9)

*   Planet Restaurant,  Mount Nelson Hotel:  5-course Vegan Journey menu (R300), 5-course The Journey menu R330. Until end October. Tel (021) 483-1000 (checked 5/9)

*   Savour Restaurant, 51 on Orange: 2-course R189, 3-courses R225, for lunch and dinner.  Current. Tel (021) 469-8037 (updated 5/9)

*   La Colombe, Constantia: 8-course Gourmand menu R 625, or with wine R850, Monday – Saturday, Current. 3 course lunch R240 from 16 June – 15 November, 5 course dinner R395 with wine, R310 without wine 16 June – 31 October.  Specials do not apply to Sundays. Tel (021) 794-2390

*   Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel: 2-course lunch R185, 3-course lunch R215, 3-course dinner R250.  Current.  Tel (021) 713-2222 (updated 5/9)

*   Constantia Uitsig: 3-course lunch and dinner R390, Monday – Saturday. Current.3-course lunch R210 . 17 April – 15 November, 3-course dinner R250 from 17 April – 31 October. Specials do not apply to Sundays. Tel (021) 794-4480

*   River Café:  2 course lunch plus tea/coffee R99, 3 courses R 119;  tea/coffee plus muffin, scone, croissant or slice of cake of the day R35 15h00 – 16h30. Not available on Sundays. 1 May – 31 October. Tel (021) 794-3010

*   Rick’s Café Américain, Park Road: Lunch specials R45, change daily; and more specials on drinks. Indefinite.  Tel (021) 424-1100

*   Barocca, Camps Bay Club: 2 for the price of one burgers Tuesday evenings; From 5 pm. Indefinite. Tel (021) 438-1992

*   Seaforth Restaurant, Simonstown: Buy one pizza get one free Mondays, Deep fried prawns R98 Tuesdays; hake and chips R38 Wednesdays; Eat as much calamari as you like R49 Thursdays; Steak and calamari R78 Fridays; Eat as much as you like pork spare ribs R88 Saturdays. From 6 pm. Current. Tel (021) 786-4810 (updated 5/9)

*   Pizzeria Villagio, Howard Centre, Pinelands: 20 % of bill for table of more than two, on Wednesdays.  Current. Tel (021) 531-4473 (updated 5/9)

*   Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: 5-courses R315 includes movie and popcorn, Current. Tel (021) 437-9000 (updated 5/9)

*   Diva Pizza, Buitenkant Street: 2 large margherita pizzas with choice of two toppings R89, Monday, Tuesday.  Current. Tel (021) 461-0013 (updated 5/9)

*   Tokyo Restaurant & Sushi Bar: Buy two get one free daily until 5pm; Sushi Buffet Fridays and Saturday from 5 pm, 7 plates R99, unlimited number of plates R118.  Indefinite. Tel (021) 424-5108

*   BlueFin Seafood & Sushi, Plattekloof: 50 % off sushi 11h00 – 17h00; ‘Eat as much as you like’ Sushi R129; Platters ½ price from 11h00 – 19h00. Monday – Sunday. Current. Tel (021) 558-4281 (updated 5/9)

*   Rhapsody’s, Green Point: 50 % off sushi daily from 10h00 – 19h00. Burger plus Castle Lite draught R50 on Fridays. Children under 16 eat free per adult. Current. Tel (021) 434-3004 (updated 5/9)

*   Reuben’s, One&Only Cape Town, V&A Waterfront: One&Only Seafood Platter for Two R995. Dish of the day and glass of wine R99 lunch Monday – Friday. Sunday lunch buffet R225. Current. Tel (021) 431-5888 (updated 5/9)

*   Bayside Café, Camps Bay:  Order two main courses, and second person gets lower priced dish free.  Sunday dinner – Friday lunch. Until end September. Tel (021) 438-2650 (updated 5/9)

*   Café Chameleon, Plattekloof: Monday – Friday lunch special of small pizza R 45.  Monday and Saturday dinner large pizza special R55.  Ongoing. Tel (021) 911-1025

*   Taiwan City Chinese Cuisine, Century City: 2 courses for 2 persons for R 128. Current. Tel (021) 555-3081 (updated 5/9)

*   Myoga, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7-course dinner R 225. Current. Tel (021) 657-4545 (updated 5/9)

*   Zorba’s, Lagoon Beach: Seafood and meat platter for two R220. 500g rump steak R135, Beef espetada R110. Lunch and dinner daily, Current. Tel (021) 528-2093 (updated 5/9)

*   Den Anker, V&A Waterfront: Vol au vent with Vedett white beer R 85.  Until October. Tel (021) 419-0249

*   F.east, Loop Street: chicken or vegetable curry lunch special R59. Current. Tel (021) 424-5903 (updated 5/9)

I ♥ my Laundry, Buitengracht Street: 8 pieces of Dim Sum and a cappuccino or glass of wine R40. Daily 7h00 – 19h00. Fondue Thursdays R125.  Current. Book at 084 6600 777 (updated 5/9).

*   Slug & Lettuce, Kloof Street: 300g rump steak, chips and onion rings R89. Until mid-September. Tel (021) 422-5325

*   Foodbarn, Noordhoek: 50 % of all lunch dishes Monday – Friday; 3-courses R175, 4-courses R195, 5-courses R225, all with Ntida wines, until end September. Tel (021) 789-1390 (updated 5/9)

*   Cru Café, Cape Quarter: 2 jumbo gourmet burgers R99, 12h00 – 14h00 daily. Hake and chips, or chicken schnitzel and chips, R39, Sundays 12h00 – 15h00. Bucks Fizz free with breakfast on Sunday. Current. Tel (021) 418-6334 (updated 5/9)

*   1800°, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel, Green Point: Get Rubbed 200g rump/sirloin plus glass wine/beer R99. Current. Tel (021) 430-0506 (updated 5/9)

*   Tuscany Beach, Camps Bay: 50 % off partner’s main course. 25% off all sushi. Every evening, Monday – Friday lunch.  Until mid-September. Tel (021) 438-1213 (updated 5/9)

*   Pigalle, Green Point: 2-courses R140, 3-courses R170, 4-courses R 200 Monday – Thursday, Seafood Platter for two R275, Monday – Thursday dinner, and Tuesday – Friday lunch.  Until end September. Tel (021) 421-4848 (updated 5/9)

*   RBG Bar & Grill, Park Inn, Foreshore: Classic Burger R50, Grilled Chicken Caeser R50, Sirloin steak R85 Monday – Thursday 12h00 – 14h00. Until end September. Tel (021) 427-4800 (updated 6/9).

*   Hussar Grill, Green Point: 2 courses R99.  Until end October. Tel (021) 433-2081 (updated 7/10)

*   Blues, Camps Bay: 2 courses R120, 3 courses R 150. End September. Tel (01) 438-2040 (updated 5/9)

*   5 Rooms, Alphen Boutique Hotel: ‘Chalmer’ sirloin R95, Hanger steak R109, Tempura lobster R129,  3 courses R199. Summer. Tel (021) 795-6313 (updated 26/11)

*   Liberty’s, Upper Eastside Hotel: choice of one of three pasta dishes R48 on Mondays; one bottle of house red or white wine for two main courses ordered on Wednesdays; 12 Mozambican prawns done three ways for R85 on Thursdays; 3 &Union beers plus a tasting prego roll R100 on Fridays; Current. Tel (021) 404-0570 (updated 5/9)

*   Harbour House, Kalk Bay: 2 courses R 150, 3 courses R170. September. Tel (021) 788-4133 (updated 5/9)

*   Harbour House, V & A Waterfront: 2 courses R150, 3 courses R170, all meals except Sunday lunch. September. Tel (021) 418-4744 (updated 30/8)

*   Mezepoli, Camps Bay: Beef, chicken or vegetarian pita with chips, beer, or cold drink R70 on Mondays; half-price sushi; Meze platter R120 Sundays. September. Tel (021) 438-1915 (updated 5/9)

*   Ocean Blue, Camps Bay: Seafood platter R99, Linefish R79, Calamari R79, Sirloin steak R79, Prawns and linefish R79, Calamari and linefish R79, calamari and prawns, R79, Steak and prawns/calamari R79, Lobster and prawns R129, Oysters R6. Breakfast R30. Until end September. Tel (021) 438-4204 (updated 23/7)

*   Sinatra’s, Pepper Club Hotel: 3 course meal with glass of house wine R200, until end September. Tel (021) 812-8888

*   Zenzero, Camps Bay: 3-courses set menu R 149. Butternut and Feta cannelloni R79, Parmesan lamb chops R119, Osso Bucco R99, Lamb shank R109, Wild mushroom risotto (R89), chicken risotto (R89), pan fried tuna R119.  Until end September. Tel (021) 438-0007 (updated 5/9)

Bungalow, Clifton: ‘Speciality Winter Menu’, with six main courses ranging in price from R90 for Bouillabaisse to R155 for crayfish pasta, and one dessert, chocolate fondant, at R60. Until end September. Tel (021) 438-2018.

*   Mariner’s Wharf, Hout Bay: Free filter coffee or tot of Allesverloren port for 2 courses ordered. Starters R25 – R39, Mains R60 – R99, Desserts R25. Until 15 September, excludes Sundays and public holidays.  Tel (021) 790-1100

*   Salt Café, Bantry Bay: Breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage and coffee or juice R65. Spring. Tel (021) 439-3354 (Updated 3/9)

*   Rocca, Cape Quarter: 3-course dinner R123 Monday – Saturday. Current. Tel (021) 418-8000 (updated 5/9)

*   Mezbaan Indian Restaurant, Hilton Cape Town: ‘Curry Cup’ Buffet with soup, salads, nine curries, sambals, naan bread, poppadoms, and a selection of desserts, and all soft drinks R151, Thursday evenings. All year.  Tel (021) 481-3700

*   Buitenverwachting Restaurant, Constantia: 2 courses R175, 3 courses R225.  Tapas menu 5 dishes R129 and 7 dishes R179. Until end September. Tel (021) 794-3522 (updated 5/9)

*   Haiku: Dim Sum, Robata and Sushi platters R119, Lunch Monday – Friday. 3 courses R179, 5 courses R249, Dinner Monday – Wednesday.  Current. Tel (021) 424-7000 (updated 5/9)

Saints on 84 Kloof, Gardens: Order 2 flatbreads and pay for one Monday; order 2 Saints classic burgers and pay for one Thursday. Winter Tel (021) 424-0030

*   Alexander Bar and Café, Strand Street:  Home cooking dish of day R40, Mondays.  Current. Tel (021) 300-1088 (updated 5/9)

*   Il Cappero, Camps Bay: 50 % off pasta and desserts on Monday lunch and dinner. September. Tel (021) 438-7074 (updated 5/9)

St Elmo’s: 4 Pizza pies R99; 2 large regular pizzas R109,90; 2 medium regular pizzas R74,90; 2 large pizzas R89,90 on Tuesdays only; Large regular pizza plus 400 gram rack of sticky ribs and chips R 129,90; Small regular pizza plus 330ml Coca Cola R29,90. All branches.

*   Andiamo, old Cape Quarter, De Waterkant: 2 pizzas or 2 pastas, or one of each, at R 109,95. Until October.  Tel (021) 421-3687.

*   Upstairs @ Quay Four: Malay Kreef Curry R90. Until end September.  Tel (021) 419-2008 (updated 5/9)

*   Debonairs Pizza: Pizza Tower (4 layers of large pizza) R109,90. Until 29 October. Tel (021) 439-7575

*   Maxi’s, Cape Gate, N1 City, Paarl, Zevenwacht:  350 gram T-Bone steak R59,90. From 15h00. T&Cs apply. Current.  Tel 0834562947

*   Café Chic, Gardens: 3-course dinner R150. Summer. Tel (021) 465-7218 (updated 11/10)

*   Balducci’s, V&A Waterfront: Sushi plate R109, all pizza and pasta R49. Free bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or House Red for two main meals ordered, at R90 minimum spend per main meal. Until 18h00 daily. Current. Tel (021) 421-6002 (checked 5/9)

*   Willoughby’s, V&A Waterfront:  ’Clicquot Fridays’: 3 sashimi dishes with tuna and salmon, and glass of Veuve Clicquot R149. Fridays. Current. Tel (021) 418-6115 (updated 5/9)

*   Sotano by Caveau, La Splendida Hotel, Mouille Point: Beef burger, lamb pita, club sandwich, and haloumi/tomato/caper flatbread R65, 2 lamb burgers for the price of one on Wednesdays from 17h00, Spring. Tel (021) 433-1757 (updated 3/9)

*   Kushi Indian Restaurant, 315 Main Road, Sea Point, and Red Sails, Main Road, Hout Bay: Butter Chicken, mixed vegetable curry, Naan, Basmati rice, and glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet Sauvignon R99. End September. Tel (021) 433-2069/791-4805 (updated 5/9)

*   OYO at V&A Hotel, V&A Waterfront: 500g crayfish R199. From 1 October.  Summer.  Tel (021) 419-6677. (added 20/9)

*   Andiamo, old Cape Quarter: 2 pastas or 2 pizzas, or one of each R109,95. Until end October. Tel (021) 421-3687 (added 23/9)

*   Reserve Brasserie, Adderley Street: 3-course Business Lunch  and local beer or mineral water R140, Wednesday – Friday. Tel (021) 422-0654. Current (added 23/9)

*   Krugmann’s Grill, V&A Waterfront: 250 gram Rump steak R49, 8 – 14 October.  Tel (021) 418-9393 (added 8/10)

*   San Marco, V&A Waterfront:  2 for the price of one main meals; Pastas R69, Gourmet Burgers R69, Breakfast from R29. Current. Tel (021) 418-5434 (added 10/10)

*   Blues, Camps Bay: glass of bubbly and 3 oysters; Fritto Misto; West Coast mussels, all cost R69, between 3 – 6 pm

*   Leaf Restaurant: Combos R99. Sushi Buffet eat as much as you like R119, 50% off sushi before 18h00, free sushi platter up to R80 value on guest’s birthday. Summer. Tel (021) 418-4500. (added 27/11)

WINELANDS

Franschhoek

*   Allee Bleue, outside Franschhoek: choice of three 250g steaks at R115 – 145, including a glass of estate wine, current. Lunch, Wednesday – Sunday.  Chicnics (standard and vegetarian picnics) from 1 September, cost R145 per person, winetasting offered. Tel (021) 874-1021 (updated 5/9)

*   Allora in Franschhoek: 3-course Sunday lunch R99 all year. Lunch and dinner: 2 courses R89,  3 courses R110. Current. Tel (021) 876-4375 (updated 5/9)

*   L’ermitage, Franschhoek: 3-courses R 200 and a glass of wine. Lunch. End September. Tel (021) 876-9200 (updated 5/9)

*   Grande Provence Jonkershuis, Franschhoek: 3-course meal for a minimum of eight guests, R 250 per person. 1 May – 30 September. Closed Sunday evenings until September. Tel (021) 876-8600.

*   La Residence, Franschhoek: 4 courses R 600 per person, all inclusive of ‘house wines’ and local beverages. Dinner. Daily.  Current.  Tel (021) 876-4100 (updated 5/9)

*   Haute Cabriere, Franschhoek: 4-course Table d’Haut lunch R150, Tuesday – Friday;  Pierre Jourdan Breakfast, cellar tour, and tasting R150, from 10h00 Saturdays;  Pinot Noir Tasting Menu – 5 courses and wine R495, Friday and Saturday dinner, Saturday and Sunday lunch. Current. Tel (021) 876-3688 (updated 5/9)

*   Freedom Hill Restaurant, outside Franschhoek: 2-courses R105, 3-course R135. Selection of tapas R10 – R30 each. Wednesday – Mondays. Summer. Tel (021) 867-0963 (updated 5/9)

*   Reuben’s: Burger and chips R 85.  Current. Tel (021) 876-3772 (updated 4/9)

*   Dish at Le Franschhoek:  3 course lunch R 195. Sundays. Bookings essential. September. Tel (021) 876-8900 (updated 5/9)

*   Pierneef à La Motte, La Motte (photograph): 6-course dinner with ‘surprises in-between’ R350, or R495 with wine pairing. Summer.  Tel (021) 876-8800 (updated 31/8)

*   The Tasting Room, Le Quartier Français: two for the price of one on Wednesdays, FIRST TEN ONLY, until end September.  Tel (021) 876-2151.

Paarl

*   Bosman’s, Grande Roche, Paarl: 2-courses R135, 3-courses R170.  Monday – Sunday lunch  (Bosman’s and at Bistro) and dinner (Bistro only).  End September. Tel (021) 863-5100 (updated 5/9)

eat @ Simonsvlei, Simonsvlei Winery, Old Paarl Road: Steak and baked potato R95 Friday evenings.  3 course carvery R135 Sundays. Free milkshake and kiddie’s pizza with adults eating Tuesday – Saturday.   Summer. Tel (021) 863-3040   (updated 5/9)

*   Harvest at Laborie: 2 courses R110, 3 courses R 135, Monday – Friday lunch. Until end October. Tel (021) 807-3095 (added 11/9)

Stellenbosch

*   Towerbosch Restaurant, Knorhoek Wine Estate, Stellenbosch:  Asado Argentian-style braai on Sundays R165, R175 from 1 October. Indefinite. Tel (021) 865-2958 (updated 6/9)

*   Tokara Restaurant, Stellenbosch: Chef’s Menu – 4 courses, inclusive of glass of wine R 250.  End September. Tuesday – Sunday lunch, Tuesday – Saturday dinner (closed 24/9 – 4/10). Tel (021) 885-2550 (updated 5/9)

*   Wild Peacock Food Emporium, 32 Piet Retief Str, Stellenbosch: Specials as per menu, dinner Friday evenings. Early bird mini breakfast plus tea/coffee R25 Monday – Friday 7h30 – 9h00. Terrific Tuesday lunch R59 Tuesdays 12h00 – 14h00. Indefinite. Tel (021) 887-7585 (updated 5/9)

*   Johan’s at Longridge, Stellenbosch: 6-course lunch and dinner plus 6 glasses of wine R 400. Friday – Tuesday (closed Wednesdays and Thursdays). Current. Tel (021) 855-2004.*

*   Clos Malverne, Stellenbosch: 4-course wine and food pairing lunch R198, Tuesday – Friday, Summer. Tel (021) 865-2022 (updated 21/8)

*   Lord Neethling Restaurant, Neethlingshof, Stellenbosch:  choice of 4 hot dishes with 250 ml wine R80 mid-September, Sunday buffet lunch R150 Summer. Wednesday and Friday dinner, and Monday – Saturday lunch. Tel (021) 883-8966 (updated 5/9)

*   96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: 3 course meal R185. Monday – Saturday, 3 – 30 September. Tel (021) 842-2020 (update 29/8)

*   Warwick wine estate: Picnics for two R299. Monday – Sunday.  Summer. Tel (021) 884-4410 (updated 5/9)

*   Terroir, Kleine Zalze: 2 courses R 175, 3 courses R198, both with a glass of Kleine Zalze wine. Monday – Saturday lunch and dinner. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 880-8167

*   Dornier Bodega Restaurant, Dornier wine estate: 2 courses R150, 3 courses R 175. Lunch daily, but closed Mondays.  Asparagus menu from 28 September.  Tel (021) 880-0557 (updated 11/9)

*   Overture: 4-courses R 250, and R350 if paired with wines. Tuesday – Friday lunch, Dinner Thursday and Friday, until 14 September, thereafter R350/R490. Tel (021) 880-2721 (updated 6/9)

*   Hartenberg: Steak and Shiraz, R95, Fridays.

*   Taste, mid-way between Stellenbosch and Somerset West: 3 course meal R175, Lunch and Dinner, Thursdays – Mondays. Tel (021) 855-3686

* Makaron Restaurant at Majeka House: 3 courses R195, or R255 if paired with wines. Until end October.  Tel (021) 880-1549 (added 11/9)

Hermanus

*   Season in Hermanus: Afval R45 Tuesdays. Two for the price of one main course Wednesdays. Hake and calamari combo R55 Thursdays. Free 200g rump steak for a 300 g rump steak ordered for R110, on Fridays.  Sunday lunch: 1 course R70 upwards, 2 courses R 92 upwards. Curry Festival R110 Saturdays. Tel (028) 316-2854.  Spring. (updated 5/9)

*   The Class Room, Hermanus: 2 courses R120, 3 courses R150. Wednesdays – Fridays. 10 October – 3 November. Tel (028) 316-3582 (update 27/9)

*   Amigos Cantina Restaurant: Free bottle of house wine for table of 4.2 bottles for table of 8 Tuesdays; buy one get one free on chicken liver starter or Chicken/Beef/Vegetarian Tortilla Wednesdays; free coffee and a port/sherry Thursdays.  Current. Tel (028) 313-0384

*   Cattle Baron: 300g Chateaubriand R125; Lunch Buffet R59, pensioners R45,90, Wednesday – Friday 12h00 – 15h00. Current. Tel (028) 313-0384 (added 21/9)

*   Annie se Kombuis: 2 courses R75, 3 courses R90. Current. Tel (028) 313-1350 (added 21/9)

*   Monneaux, Franschhoek Country House:  Spring salad with complimentary glass of Rosé R65, Gourmet Ostrich Burger with complimentary lager R65.  Until 30 November. tel (0210 876-3386.

Plettenberg Bay

*   Nguni: Friday night special R50. Tel (044) 533-6710 (updated 31/8)

Tourism in the Cape: is it up, or is it down?!

Reports about the status of the tourism industry in Cape Town and the Western Cape in the last few days are enough to confuse anyone, as the view on how the industry is doing this summer, two months into the season, appear contradictory, some saying that it is better, and others saying that it is the worst ever!

Reports about a FEDHASA Cape media review held last week contradict each other.  The Cape Argus, using the headline ‘Hotels catch the scent of recovery’, reported that a ‘fair’ season is expected this summer. It stated that the industry had come through a ‘pretty bad year’.   Gotravel24 had a more realistic headline ‘Worst year yet for Cape Town tourism’, quoting FEDHASA Cape Chairman Dirk Elzinga admitting for the first time that the past year has been ‘one of the worst the Cape Town tourism industry has ever seen’.  When we wrote about the tourism crisis in winter, which was subsequently picked up by the Cape Argus, Elzinga did not seem perturbed, and said that Cape Town was just experiencing its annual seasonal dip!

In its review FEDHASA Cape indicated that average revenue per available room decreased by 10% this year, due to the ‘double dip recession’ in Europe as well as the 20% increase in accommodation rooms for the World Cup. The past winter was particularly tough, with four hotels and 10 restaurants that were FEDHASA Cape members closing their doors (many more non-FEDHASA restaurants closed their doors too). Elzinga is hopeful of a recovery, based on average revenue per available room increasing by 5 % in October, relative to the same month a year ago.  Occupancy was estimated to reach 60 – 80 % this summer, Elzinga said, and events such as the J&B Met, the Two Oceans Marathon, and Cape Town International Jazz Festival would attract more local tourists, the type of tourist Elzinga said Cape Town tourism businesses should encourage.  However, Eye Witness News’ report on the FEDHASA Cape  meeting was that ’70-80 percent hotel occupancy (could not be referred) ‘as a standard anymore’.  Elzinga sees positive spin-off from Cape Town being named the World Design Capital 2014, and a provisional New7Wonders of Nature. We have written before that none of the accolades that were heaped upon Cape Town so far this year have led to any significant increase in tourism to Cape Town, probably because tourism from the United Kingdom has all but dried up.

FEDHASA Cape also used the opportunity to share results of a 30-week pricing survey conducted not only for Cape Town hotels, but also for hotels in Barcelona, Melbourne, Vancouver, Boston, Nice, Hong Kong and Munich, chosen to be comparable to Cape Town in that they are not capital cities, and attract convention business.  The survey was instituted due to feedback levelled against the local accommodation industry for its high prices, which FEDHASA Cape wished to dispute.  Predictably it did so, stating that ‘….the Mother City is not out of line with its peers around the world’.  No hard statistics, such as average hotel prices, are provided from the survey. The FEDHASA Cape survey had found that Cape Town’s price and room offering is wider than that of the comparative cities, with the exception of Barcelona.  Five star hotel rates generally are on a par with the comparative international hotels.  Room rates for 4-star hotels were up to 20 % lower than the international hotels, the report states.  We too have checked Cape Town rates at the top-end hotels, and conducted three telephonic surveys, in May, August and November this year, finding a wide range of 5-star hotel rates, and that rates had been lowered in the harsh winter months.

Moneyweb also reported on the hotel pricing survey of FEDHASA Cape, writing that the finding about Cape Town’s hotel prices being on a par with those in other international cities was a ‘surprising result’.  The description about the worst winter is far more explicit, as being ‘one of the most dismal in recent memory”! Elzinga is quoted as saying that Cape Town is ‘not cheaper, but also not more expensive. People think that prices in Africa should be lower than in Munich or Singapore. But luxury costs the same; it doesn’t matter where you are’. An interesting observation by FEDHASA Cape was that those hotels that did not drop rates recovered more quickly than those hotels that cut rates. Our Whale Cottage hotel surveys demonstrated that all hotels decreased rates in winter, contradicting FEDHASA Cape’s observation!  What Elzinga did not appear to consider was that given the lower operational costs of running an accommodation establishment in Cape Town relative to the comparative cities, on labour costs alone, combined with the 20 % increase in accommodation supply since last year, accommodation prices should have decreased, based on the law of supply and demand.  A further negative impact on rates should be the cost of long haul air travel and airport taxes to Cape Town. Therefore there can be no justification for Cape Town’s hotel prices to be the same as those of its international counterparts.

FEDHASA Cape sees a positive impact of direct flights to Cape Town by Air France and Swiss-based Edelweiss, but which could be countered by the cancellation of Malaysian Airlines flights to Cape Town next year.  Elzinga has called for more marketing by Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited in India and China, given the problems with the USA and European economies.

At Whale Cottage we have compared Occupancy over the past five years, and we have seen a steady decline over this period, halving over the five year period.  Occupancy at Whale Cottage Camps Bay this month will be the second best this year after the record 88% in February, and an improvement on last November, but is far below the 88 – 96% occupancy experienced in November between 2007 -2009.

FEDHASA Cape only predicts a recovery for the Cape Town accommodation industry in 2013, with occupancy and room rates returning to a ‘normal level’.   The European and USA economies are in such disarray that one wonders how any tourism body can make any prediction about the future of tourism, especially given FEDHASA Cape’s poor interpretation of the industry in winter!  FEDHASA Cape also indicates that bookings are increasingly last-minute, which makes it even more difficult to predict future tourism performance. We urge FEDHASA Cape to be conservative in its estimates, and to not create hopes about the season for the industry, which led to disastrous results when Grant Thornton did the same about the soccer World Cup last year.

The Protea Hospitality Group has seen similar cause for optimism, its Danny Bryer, Director of Sales, Marketing and Revenue, writing a letter to the editor of Southern African Tourism Update that it saw occupancy increase by 3-4% in August and September. Against the background of the unstable USA and European economies, Bryer says that it is hard to make predictions for the hospitality industry, especially with the heavy discounting taking place (contradicting Elzinga too).  Bryer pleads for an end to discounting, even though his hotel group probably is the one to slash rates most severely, quoting day by day rates, and generally is at the bottom end of the rates scale in the comparative hotel rate surveys we have conducted: “Continued discounting devalues every hotel in South Africa, as the battle is fought on price rather than value”. Bryer says the proof of this is that the average daily rate has decreased and the costs are increasing, meaning a declining profit.  This can only be turned around with an increase in rates, he argues.  He deplores that developers, investors and owners added on new rooms, the accommodation oversupply resulting in hotel closures and local companies taking over the management of international hotel groups. Bryer warned against reducing one’s offering to justify a lower price.  Offering value for money is vital.  He also warned that 3, 4 and 5 star hotels are marketing their rooms at similar price points, which he believes to be ‘foolhardy and unnecessary‘.  The Protea Hospitality Group is focusing on offering value-added packages for the domestic market this summer.

Bryer was also quoted in Business Report, saying that their December bookings are up on a year ago, that 5-star guests are travelling again, but that ‘inbound business to South Africa is still quite tight and long haul flights are losing out to short haul’.  The South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) CEO Michael Tatalias predicts a better ‘holiday’ season than last year, but says that the rates charged will be more realistic than in the past.

Western Cape Provincial Minister of Tourism Alan Winde warned that he will present a ‘bare-bones’ 2012 budget in March, and about ‘emptier’ provincial government coffers and budget cuts, which could impact on its funding of tourism too, reported the Cape Argus last week.  Winde said that the local economy had to be ‘buffered against current shocks in traditional markets’, and urged exporters in the province to find ‘high-growth emerging markets’.  The European growth outlook is poor too, the fourth quarter prediction being one of slipping back into recession, reports Business Report.

What is certain is that it is impossible to predict the summer season until Easter, given the continued economic woes of our tourism source markets, the UK market being sorely missed, and the forecast of Europe slipping back into recession.  Bookings for the summer ahead for Whale Cottage Camps Bay look good until 10 January. Domestic tourism will be the major source market for the medium term, until the global economy recovers.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portoflio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage