Tag Archives: Watershed

International ‘The Power of Poison’ exhibition in V&A Waterfront to die for!

imageThe international ‘The Power of Poison’ exhibition has opened in the Watershed in the V&A Waterfront, and is an exciting display of live and replica poisonous snakes, spiders, butterflies, scorpions, ants, and more for adults and children. Expect to see references to Harry Potter, Alice in Continue reading →

Going Green: two major solar power projects launched in the Western Cape!

VandA SolarIn the past two weeks two major solar power projects have been announced, at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, and at the DGB factory in Wellington.

The R20 million Waterfront solar project is at an early stage, and reflects the commitment by the country’s most popular tourist Continue reading →

Cape Town in the spotlight for 36 hours in New York Times!

OrphanageNew York Times writer Sarah Khan is a good friend of Cape Town, and we can be lucky that she lives in our beautiful city now, acting as its unofficial publicity agent! Her latest article 36 Hours in Cape Town’ heaps further praise on our city, and is accompanied by a video of the highlight destinations in her article.

Cape Town is described ‘as one of the world’s most beautiful cities’, and as Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 27 July

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines 

*  The Open Design Festival will run in Cape Town from 12 to 23 August at the Watershed in the V&A Waterfront and in the City Hall. With the theme ‘Design is for Tomorrow‘, the Festival consists of talks, workshops, tours, and interactive experiences.  The focus is on how design adds value. More than a hundred events are on offer, most of them with free entrance.

*   UK wine writer Jancis Robinson and importers of South African wines are hosting a New Wave South African Tasting of 100 wines by 30 Continue reading →

Cape Town retains design focus, despite World Design Capital 2014 having come to an end!

Table Mountain frame from V&A WaterfrontDespite Cape Town’s year as World Design Capital 2014 having come to an end, its design legacy lives on, not only with design projects created for last year’s event, but with future design projects too.

Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy punts the legacy of World Design Capital 2014 (both are funded by the City Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 4 November

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  SAA Chairman Dudu Myeni has refused to follow Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s instruction that its CEO Monwabisi Kalawe be reinstated, after having been fired last week!  Technically the Minister is not allowed to interfere with Board matters, but Minister Brown has intimated that anyone not co-operating to create stability at SAA will be fired.

*   Corné Koch has been appointed as Head of the Wesgro’s Convention Bureau, having previously worked in promoting Gauteng, and the Advertising Standards Authority.

*   Trendtalk#9 will focus on design trends, with speakers being Trevyn McGowan of Southern Guild, who curated the new Watershed at the V&A Waterfront, and John Sanei of Future Collective.   The talk will be held on 11 November at the ICIC Continue reading →

New Watershed in V&A Waterfront showcases ‘Africa’s largest collection of craft and design’!

Watershed logo Whale CottageThe V&A Waterfront has completely transformed what was previously the Blue Shed near the V&A Market on the Wharf, renaming it Watershed (a corny name which tries to be clever, but it does not reflect at all what is inside the building), and creating a showcase of 168 crafters, designers, and more under one roof.

I was invited to attend the official opening of Watershed on Watershed Star Whale CottageThursday evening, and so were thousands of others, as the traffic jam inside the V&A was unbelievable, a trip between Kloof Street and the parking garage opposite Watershed taking 45 minutes traveling time!  There was no warning on radio nor through the V&A’s electronic Continue reading →

Hollywood comes to SA with new animated 3-D ‘Jock of the Bushveld’

The 1907 South African classic novel by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick about the famous Staffordshire bull terrier Jock, set in the time of the gold rush in the Eastern Transvaal more than 200 years ago, has been made into an animated 3-D movie, and ‘Jock of the Bushveld’ will open in local cinemas on 29 July.  International distribution is being sought, which could put South Africa on the world cinema map.

Hosting a cast of international voice stars, including Donald Sutherland, Oscar winner Helen Hunt, Ted Danson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, William Baldwin, Mallory Hart, Makenzie Hart, Robert Hobbs, Theo Landey, as well as the voice of and music by Bryan Adams, the world premiere of the movie takes place at Montecasino in Johannesburg as a charity function on 19 July, reports the Sunday Times.  Landey said of the movie, in which his voice is used for Fitzpatrick: “The film is uniquely South African, the story is a classic and the artwork is brilliant”.  Johnny Clegg, Nianell, and Craig Hinds of Watershed also performed music for the movie. 

The concept of the movie came from director Duncan Macneillie, who also wrote the script and was involved with the previous movie based on the book.  Tim Rice of musical writing fame with Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who had written the lyrics of ‘Lion King’, is said to be a backer of the movie.  His brother Andy, Johannesburg-based advertising and marketing strategist, is the Marketing director for the movie, which tells the story of how Jock, the runt of the litter, became the hero of the Bushveld.

Rice has indicated that more money will be made from merchandising than from ticket sales, and licences have been sold for the 14 characters in the movie.  Penguin Books will be publishing a new abridged version of the book, and is printing stickers and colouring-in books.  Toys, games, children’s wear, and bedding will soon be for sale, sporting Jock.  

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

Franschhoek Inn-Law!

Franschhoek was largely booked out as far as its accommodation is concerned over the Women’s Day weekend earlier this month, thanks to the law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS), which chose Franschhoek for its annual staff and family get-together.   The law firm is one of the largest in Africa, with more than 360 legal, tax and forensic practitioners, and has branches in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Stellenbosch and Durban.


The booking probably was the largest group booking ever for Franschhoek, and the law company’s contribution to Franschhoek can easily be estimated at about R 500 000 over the two day period.   The economic contribution to Franschhoek may well be double that, if shopping at wine cellars and shops, as well as additional services rendered, is added.   Air and bus transportation will have benefitted the broader economy too.


“At ENS we are very aware of the importance of our people and, aside from many employee benefits, we also hold an annual retreat where all professionals, plus their families, are accommodated at a special locale.  The aim of these retreats is to, firstly, thank our professionals and their families who support them through the stresses of daily life and, secondly, to give everyone an opportunity to truly unwind in a setting outside of their normal environment” said Amanda Framcke, Marketing Team Leader: Events at ENS.    


“This year we were pleased to choose Franschhoek as the firm was looking for somewhere different to their usual venues which were more resort-like.  This retreat had a different feel to it and was exactly what we were looking for.  Franschhoek offers not only beauty but an array of exciting options all in a secluded area with a quaint small town feel.  It’s a wonderful place to relax and unwind and enjoy the many options it has to offer” she added.


ENS has an in-house marketing and events team that organises all events, including accommodation and flight bookings, catering, entertainment and anything else that is needed to make an event a success.  “This retreat involved approximately 280 adults which consisted of our practitioners and senior services team, as well as spouses and roughly 50 children.  This meant extensive arrangements and we were thrilled with the support we received from the various places of accommodation and other venues we used.  Because of the size of the group and special dietary requirements, we used an external caterer for all meals other than breakfast which everyone enjoyed at their place of accommodation.  We did, however, have lunch at Haute Cabriere on the Sunday of the long weekend which was a special highlight of the trip”.


Not only did ENS staff and their families stay in Franschhoek at 15 of the town’s guesthouses and four hotels, but suppliers did as well.  Watershed, a band performing for the group in the town hall on one of the evenings, was accommodated at Whale Cottage Franschhoek.


“Our programme for the weekend included spa activities, horse riding and quadbiking at Rheebokskloof, a mosiac workshop, fishing at La Ferme, bicycle hire, cheese and wine tasting at Franschhoek Cellars, chocolate tasting and visits to the ice cream shop.  We would like to also mention our appreciation for the transport company we used in Franschhoek (Eddie), the Municipal Officials and the local businesses for their participation and hospitality”.  Lunches and dinners were served for the ENS group in the Town Hall, an outside catering company having been appointed.


“The response from our practitioners and their families has been extremely favourable with many commenting that they would like to return to Franschhoek for our next retreat.  It is fair to say that this was one of our most popular getaways yet.” 


Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com

Women’s Day weekend good for business

The Women’s Day long weekend has been good for business, with Whale Cottage Franschhoek, Whale Cottage Hermanus and Whale Cottage Camps Bay fully booked on most of the weekend nights.

The good bookings could be a signal that the worst of the economic crunch is over, and it is encouraging that the guest mix consisted of Italians (August traditionally is their holiday month, and they seem to favour South Africa as before), British visitors, and of  South Africans.

In Cape Town the Springboks played against the Wallabies at Newlands over the weekend, while in Hermanus the Kalfiefees and the Hermanus Food & Wine Fair took place.

Franschhoek was largely taken over for the long weekend by one of the largest law firms in South Africa, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs, and Whale Cottage Franschhoek accommodated the band Watershed, which performed at the company’s function.   More than 300 staff and their families spent the weekend in Franschhoek, as the company’s way of thanking its staff for their contribution to its success.

The Whale Cottage guests celebrated the 13 th anniversary of the Whale Cottage Portfolio on Women’s day with the staff.

Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com