Haute Cabrière in Franschhoek has announced a new Sunday Feast treat, a new winter Menu, and pop-up dinners in Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban in July. Continue reading →
It was a surprise to pick up that The Bakery @ Jordan, operated by Chef George Jardine and his staff for more than two years, will become part of the Jordan Tasting Room and that the Winery will operate its own Bakery from May onwards. Continue reading →
On Tuesday Open Door at Constantia Uitsig opened its doors for Breakfast, served from 9h00 until 11h00 daily. It is reasonably priced, and offers some unusual breakfast options. Open Door is the third restaurant co-owned by Neil Grant and Barry Engelbrecht, with Bocca on foodie Bree Street,and Burrata at the Biscuit Mill, and opened in May.
Yesterday we were invited by Ken Forrester Vineyards to attend a tasting of twelve of its Rhône blends, produced in the last twenty years of its journey in making Rhône varietals and blends. One could not help associate owner Ken Forrester with the character of these wines, having interesting names of Renegade, Three Halves, and Gypsy. The tasting was followed by lunch at 96 Winery Road, a restaurant co-owned by Ken with his brother.
We met at the Ken Forrester Tasting Room, on a gorgeous sunny autumn day, dressed with a Gypsy theme, in table cloths, carpets, staff outfits, bunting in the vineyard, a banner at the entrance, and ribbons on our media packs, all reflecting the Gypsy theme. Continue reading →
* The number of visitors to World Travel Market (WTM) Africa 2015 increased by 18% relative to 2014, making it Africa’s largest Business to Business tourism trade exhibition, the organisers claim. No actual attendance figures have been revealed. With sponsor City of Cape Town, which should have not accepted its Best Stand Award due to its sponsor status, the organisers have announced that WTM Africa 2016 will be hosted from 6 – 8 April. (received via e-mail from WTM Africa)
* SAA has denied that it is selling any parts of the airline, as has been claimed in media reports, stated its Acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout. Continue reading →
I met with Chef Reuben Riffel in December, for a coffee date at Crisp. I spoke to him about going to Racine, his second restaurant in Franschhoek which he opened two years ago, and he requested that he accompany me to Racine. Last Thursday our diaries both had a lunch opening, and we met for what was an early but long lunch.
He told me that the idea of the second restaurant arose when Chamonix wine estate owner Chris Hellinger ate at Reuben’s Franschhoek, and suggested that Chef Reuben take over what was already a vacant restaurant, after the owners of the former Mon Plaisir had left. The rental offer by Mr Hellinger was a very generous one, and Chef Nico Pretorius working with Chef Reuben at the One&Only Cape Town was looking for growth, so Chef Reuben signed the lease and offered Chef Nico the job two years ago. I met Chef Nico when I arrived, and he seems very quiet and introverted, not returning to our table during our three-hour lunch.
Having only been to Racine once before, I had not noticed that Racine has its own entrance, Continue reading →
La Motte has changed the packaging of its Pierneef Collection range, bringing the J.H. Pierneef lino cut prints to the front label, having originally been launched with prints of the valuable artworks on the back label.
The late artist Pierneef, said by many to be our country’s best artist ever, has made an important impact on La Motte, his lino cut prints collection having been used by the wine estate for a number of years. In negotiating the right to use the prints, of which Hannelie Rupert-Koegelenberg had received a set of 128 prints as a gift from her father Dr Anton Rupert, she and her husband Hein Koegelenberg got to know Pierneef’s daughter Marita Bailey, who lives in the UK. Mrs Bailey approached the Koegelenbergs to buy the private family collection of Pierneefs, which they agreed to, and they built a special gallery and museum to house the works of art. It did not stop there. As La Motte was building a restaurant (and a new Tasting Room as well as Farm Shop) at that time, it was decided to name the restaurant Pierneef à La Motte, wishing to associate the success of the artist and his pursuit of excellence with that which they planned for the Continue reading →
Friday’s 31st Blaauwklippen Blending Competition event was not only a celebration of the enthusiasm and skills of wine clubs around the country, but also of the rejuvenation of Blaauwklippen, with a number of changes made with a new Tasting Room venue, the addition of a new Bistro with a new champion for it, a new Spirits Room, and a redecorated entrance and cellar function room. The Blending Competition made history with its most unusual outcome.
We were welcomed on a perfect function weather day on the lawn between the Tasting Room and the Manor House and Jonkershuis, a space I had never seen before. We were served Blaauwklippen’s Ons Sprankel wine, and canapés made by new Blaauwklippen Bistro owner and charcutier Steve Jeffery. They were served by dapper looking waitresses, wearing Bistro black outfits and cheeky hats, looking smarter than most restaurant staff I have seen in a long time. They offered platters of spinach and feta phyllo pastry parcels, and mozzarella pesto roulades, which doubled up as the starters (I did not see the third canapé specified on the menu). Natalie Campbell told me that the Manor House is used for conferences and weddings, while the Jonkershuis is used for staff accommodation.
I had a chance to chat to Steve before we sat down, and he told me that he has been at the Old Biscuit Mill for the past nine years, selling his charcuterie products, having had a stand at Blaauwklippen’s Market at one stage too. Rolf and Steve had been talking for about two years about doing something jointly, and Continue reading →
We recently wrote about Maison Estate, and the visit in winter by its Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg to Portugal, Spain, and Australia, from which he has brought back new menu ideas. These ideas have been incorporated into their menu, and a clever way of attracting attention to them is to incorporate them into a Tapas menu which greets one when one arrives in the Tasting Room. The quality of the Tapas is the best I have experienced to date, and is excellent value for money.
As one enters the Tasting Room and The Kitchen building at Maison, a lounge area to the immediate right has been transformed into the Deli, with a High Table at which one can sit with bar stools, and ‘decorated’ with scientific looking equipment and preserves made by Chef Arno and his team. A large shelving unit ‘divides’ the Deli section from the remaining (now much smaller) lounge, the shelves being filled by the hard work of Chef Arno, including green tomato atchar, pickled broad beans, marmalade, aubergine and courgette chutney, green figs, vinegar, chili relish, pickled Jerusalem artichokes, onion relish, spiced tomato ketchup, plum chutney, olive oil, courgette relish, yellow tomato atchar, olives, lemon cordial, and fresh ciabatta. The items on the shelves are interspersed with home decor items from Weylandts stores, owned by Maison owner Chis Weylandt, including tea sets, glass jugs, wooden boards, cutlery sets, placemats, bowls, plates, and more. A refrigerated display unit contains jars of duck rillettes, pork rillettes, pork terrine, pancettas, saucisson, salamies, smoked yellowtail, fresh farm eggs, lemons, massive 5-year old Angus six week dry-aged thick 500 gram slices of T-bone (R300), and guineafowl pistachio parfait. Almost all the produce used for the items sold in the Deli was harvested from the farm. The styling of the Deli section was done by Marc-Anthony Hewson-de Swardt, Group Visual Merchandiser of Weylandts. Continue reading →
* SAA and SA Express are in financial distress, and cannot continue operating as they not meeting the requirements of a going concern, meaning that they require financial support from the government. The Department of Public Enterprise is withholding the financial statements of both entities, which means that the AGM of the SAA Board must be delayed for the third year running.
* According to Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy tourists from countries that require visas to travel to our country (mainly China, Japan, and India) are cancelling due to the stringent new biometric visa requirements, tour operators reporting booking declines of 35 – 90 %! The fear of Ebola on the African continent is compounding the problem. Traditional source markets in Europe, the UK, and USA are not affected by the new Immigration Regulations.
* Blaauwklippen has opened its newly named and relocated Tasting Room, which contains a Spirits Room with a selection Continue reading →