* The Garden Route is one of nine Best Coastal Drives in the world, selected by CNN Traveler, and described as follows: ‘Drive along the #GardenRoute @GoToSouthAfrica absolutely stunning!” —@SuryaSadisivan’ . Other coastal drives on the list includes the Atlantic Ocean Road in Norway, the Amalfi Drive in Italy, the Road to Key West in Florida, and Sea-to-Sky Highway in Vancouver.
* Horst Frehse, Executive Director of the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Awardat the recent Red Carnation Hotel Collection Staff Appreciation Awards held in London. Continue reading →
* Despite the disaster in Cape Town harbour earlier this week, our country has a lucrative future as far as cruise tourism goes. Nine cruise ships have scheduled stops off our coast for 2015, in Cape Town, Durban, Richard’s Bay, Port Elizabeth, and East London, a 70% increase in cruise liner passengers. A number of the cruise ships are returning to the country, after previous visits. The Queen Mary 2 will return for a second visit next year, and the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will visit in 2016. Vital to the expansion of cruise tourism is world-class terminals in ports, and Cape Town’s inefficiency as far as Customs staff goeswas in the spotlight this week. Cape Town is one of the most popular stops in the region, for American tourists in particular.
* National Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom will lead a local delegation representing our tourism industry to World Travel Market (WTM) in London this coming week, one of the largest (after ITB in Berlin) tourism trade exhibitions in the world. More than 50000 tourism players are likely to attend WTM. The Minister said: ‘The WTM is one of the premier events where South Africa engages with the global travel trade. Besides maintaining excitement about our destination, and all that we have to offer, this platform is about doing business and growing international tourist arrivals to our country. We will be promoting the variety of experiences we offer in South Africa, and build on our reputation as a unique, diverse, friendly and accessible destination‘. The Minister will address a summit relating to mega-events and tourism at WTM, based on our country’s FIFA 2010 World Cup experience.
* SABMiller has announced that it is selling its 40% stake in Tsogo Sun Holdings, worth R11,7 billion, writes the New York Times. The company is the second largest beer brewer in the world. Tsogo Sun Holdings owns 90 hotels, 14 casinos and resorts, and a number of restaurants and cinemas.
* The Cape Winemakers’ Guild members have done well in the recent Decanter Awards, winning a total of eight trophies, four international trophies and four regional ones: Frans Smit of Spier Wines won an International Trophy for Best Rhone Varietal under £15 for the Creative Block 3, and regional trophies for Spier 21 Gables Chenin Blanc 2012 as best local Chenin Blanc, and for Spier 21 Gables Pinotage 2011, Best local Single Varietal Red over £15. Carl Schultz of Hartenberg won the International Trophy for Best Bordeaux Varietal under £15 for his Hartenberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2010; Gary Jordan of Jordan Wines won the International Trophy for Best Chardonnay for his Chardonnay 2013; and Andries Burger of Paul Cluver Estate won best International Trophy for his Sauvignon Blanc 2013. David Nieuwoudt of Cederberg won the regional trophy for Best local Red Rhône Varietal over £15 for his Shiraz 2011, and Miles Mossop won a regional trophy for Best local Sauvignon Blanc over £15 for his Tokara Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc 2013. (received via media release from GC Communications)
* Muratie is hosting a Mini Port Festival in conjunction with Juvenal Corks on 27 July, the top 10 local port producers offering Continue reading →
* MailOnline has written a flattering article about Franschhoek in the main, entitled ‘Touring South Africa… one sip at a time. Discover a wine taster’s paradise on a trip to Cape Town and Franschhoek‘. The writer shares her experience on the hop-on hop-off Franschhoek Wine Tram, sampling the wines of Mont Rochelle, La Couronne, and Môreson, eating at The Tasting Room, lunching at La Petite Ferme, and visiting Delaire Graff with its diamond boutique and Tretchikoff’s ‘Chinese Girl‘ (which she defines as being in Franschhoek too!). In Cape Town she stayed at both the Cape Grace and Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, went up Table Mountain and to Robben Island, lunched at Baia in the V&A Waterfront, had afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson, bought art at Ebony, and dined at The Pot Luck Club.
* Load shedding appears to be rearing its ugly head again, with freezing conditions throughout the country this week, with snowfalls spread between the Helderberg in Somerset West to the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal. Last night a sms warned of load-shedding in Hermanus, Gansbaai, and Stanford, 15 minutes before it was due to commence at 20h00, but its commencement was delayed later into the evening. The City of Cape Town has posted possible scheduled times for load-shedding, but seems confident that it will not happen any time soon. Camps Bay is not marked as a load-shedding area, nor is the airport understandably, and the townships and residential areas to the east of the airport also appear load-shedding-free!
* The Two Oceans Aquarium in the V&A Waterfront is adding a multi-million Rand development in the previous parking area Continue reading →
* The United Arab Emirates publication The National praises the culinary climax of the Cape (‘South Africa: cape of good grub‘), with its ‘laughable’ prices of tasting menus and meals at some of our top restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands, including The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club, Delaire Graff (they mistakenly refer to Indochine as ‘Asiate‘) Tokara, The Tasting Room, Bread & Wine, Pierneef à La Motte, and The Greenhouse!
* South African wines will be available to taste, at no charge, at the Asheville Wine Market in North Carolina. Wines offered are Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc 2013, Sutherland Chardonnay 2010, Indaba Mosaic Red 2013, and Kanonkop Kadette 2011.
* Horst Frehse has been promoted to Executive Director of the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, with his role as Continue reading →
* Wilhelm Pienaar, Nederburg winemaker, led a tasting of the 56Hundred range at the residence of the South African High Commissioner to Kenya last week, oddly with entertainment by dancers from Botswana!
* Kfm’s Breakfast Show with Ryan O’Connor and his team is broadcasting from The Rubens at The Palace Hotel in London, sister hotel to the Twelve Apostles, The Oyster Box, and Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, all belonging to the Red Carnation group, until Wednesday. (received via FIVE STAR PR)
* SAA says it will not be making a profit before it takes delivery of more eco-friendly aircraft in three to four years time.
* A new app has been launched to guide tourists around the Cape Peninsula, and Cape Point specifically. Developed by Tourism Radio, the Cape Point Route app contains information about 80 tourism facilities on the route, including restaurants, accommodation, and cultural and historic attractions. (received via e-mail from Cape Point Route)
* World leading chefs Rene Redzepi, David Chang and Alex Atala will appear on the front cover of Time next week, in a story with the headline: ‘Gods of Food: Meet the People who Influence what (and how) you eat’. Chefs Dan Barber and Albert Adria also feature in the article, as well as ‘farmers, activists, bureaucrats and businessmen’.
* The Cape Times reports that the City of Cape Town Liquor By Law allowance to offer ‘champagne’ breakfasts in hotels and restaurants before 11h00 is ‘culturally discriminatory’, in not allowing ‘traditional’ drinks to be Continue reading →
* Cape Town has a new ambassador in Katie Holmes, Tweeting from Table Mountain with a photograph yesterday: ‘Beautiful day in Cape Town’.
* The SA Brandy Foundation has recognised the contribution of a number of its product drinkers, and has inducted them into the Brandy Guild of SA: Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, Warren Haefele, Schalk Burger, Wini Bowman, Peter Pitsiladi, Mike Meyers, and Amaro Fernandes. (received via Manley Communications)
* Carlos Santanawill be performing at the Grand Arena in Cape Town on 25, 26 and 27 February, his first Cape Town appearance ever.
* About 41000 visitors from around the world attended the World Travel Market(WTM) in London earlier this week.