The new words on serious diners lips are ‘Gåte’ and ‘Quoin Rock’, both not having been heard of by most, but already associated with superlative dining, on a wine estate tucked away outside Stellenbosch where no expense had been spared to create eating and drinking experiences to take one’s breath away! This is what we experienced when invited to eat at Chef Rikku O’Donnchü’s Gåte restaurant on Friday evening. I was still pinching myself over the weekend as to whether this was real, or just a dream. I invited my friend Stuart Bailey to share this experience with me. Continue reading →
Yesterday I had the goosebump experience of being introduced to the new-in-the-making Gåte at Quoin Rock restaurant at the Quoin Rock winery outside Stellenbosch, which is destined to become a superlative Fine Dining dinner experience, probably the best this country has ever seen! 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 →
At the 2016 Eat Out Awards, held yesterday in the Arena of GrandWest over a Gala Lunch prepared by some of our country’s top chefs, some winners were predictable, and others were a surprise. It was a slick event with a Garden theme, which led many to predict that La Colombe would be the Restaurant of the Year, given its Forest menu theme. Sadly it was not, The Test Kitchen (controversially) named Restaurant of the Year for the fifth time! Nine out of the Top 10 restaurants are from Cape Town and the Winelands (Cape Town 3, Franschhoek 3, Somerset West 2, Stellenbosch 1, and Gauteng 1) Continue reading →
Yesterday my friend Jenny and I visited the new venue of the Oranjezicht City Farm Market in the V&A Waterfront, alongside Beach Road near the Grand Café on the Beach at Granger Bay. The new venue offers lots of space, all on the same level, and all under cover, which makes it more suitable for the Cape winter, with lots of parking.
I was overseas when the market moved to its new home in June, from the charming grounds of Premier Helen Zille’s official Leeuwenhof residence in Tamboerskloof. However, the venue was not ideal for the Cape winter, necessitating the new venue until October. Straw soaked up the aftermath of the heavy rainstorm of Friday when we visited on a beautiful sunny day, there being little effect of the Continue reading →
In December I visited Boschendal Farm, to try their new Deli, and had been fortunate to be shown around the revitalised wine estate by Events Manager Aldo du Plessis and Chef Christiaan Campbell. The highlight of what was to come was the new The Werf Restaurant, to be established in the transformed building in which the Buffet used to be served. My expectations of the restaurant were therefore high, and the disappointment great after my lunch there ten days ago.
As it was the Franschhoek Literary Festival weekend, and I expected guests to check-in, I called ahead to make a reservation for an early 12h00 lunch. I was surprised that on a Wednesday morning the phone to the restaurant was not answered, and that one had to leave a message, the answering machine informing one that the restaurant is open from Wednesdays – Sundays. I called back Continue reading →
* The largest part of Camp Bay Drive, a major road connection between the city, Camps Bay, and Hout Bay, is to close for road widening and surface improvement for 5 months from 20 April, at a cost of R20 million. Between Rontree Avenue and Geneva Drive Camps Bay Drive will be widened by 1,4 meters, and sharp curves will be softened. It will be the first upgrade of Camps Bay Drive in 30 years.
* Grammy Award winner Pharrell Williams (singer of ‘Happy’) is working with Woolworths as its Style Director on a number of sustainability projects. He is due to visit our country in September, but only Continue reading →
* South Africa’s 2014 Eat Out Chef of the Year, Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, is participating in the Audi Chef’s Cup SüdTirol in Italy, commencing next Monday, as part of her prize, with a total of 70 chefs from Italy and other countries, many whose restaurants have Michelin stars. Chantel’s dish for the competition is ‘Treasures on the Beach’, with scampi tails and rooibos in a tomato risotto. (received via newsletter from the Restaurant Mosaic).
* It is speculated that SAA may drop its Johannesburg – Beijing route, its worst performing route with losses of more than R300 million per year, especially given the introduction of AirChina flights to Johannesburg from March onwards.
* Chef David Higgs of five hundred at The Saxon has been selected as one of three chefs to judge the S.Pellegrino Continue reading →
About two weeks ago we received the media release announcing the South African winners of the Great Wine Capitals Global Network Best of Wine Tourism awards. On Friday the awards were officially handed over at the Tuscan-inspired Waterford Estate, which won the South African leg of the competition.
I had never been to Waterford Estate before, at the end of the Blaauwklippen Road in Stellenbosch, and it is a surprise to see the Tuscan-design buildings once one has passed the ponds, parking amongst the fruit trees. We were told that the wine estate had been in an almost derelict state when it was bought by Jeremy Ord, and built into the magnificent estate it is now over about 12 years. Sustainability of all natural resources is important to the owners and staff, and the ponds collect all waste water, which is recycled, we were told by Cellar Master Kevin Arnold.
Prior to the Awards luncheon, invited guests were able to enjoy a Wine Drive or to walk the Porcupine Trail. We enjoyed a glass of sparkling wine by KWV, found our names on a Continue reading →
* 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.