Tag Archives: GrandWest Arena

Eat Out Awards 2016 blooming slick, Gregory Czarnecki of Waterkloof Chef of Year!

imageAt 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 →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 6/7 July

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   M-Net’s channel location will change on 5 August, as Cape TV will be broadcasting from it. Multichoice is paying for installers to visit each affected Cape Town subscriber for the decoder to be adjusted, at its expense.

*   If membership of FEDHASA Cape is an indicator, then the hospitality business is going through tough times, their membership numbers declining due to businesses closing down or changing ownership, reports Travel News Weekly?

*   South Africa loves its Scotch, having imported R1,7 billion of whisky, reports the Financial Mail.

*   Are Celebrity wines worth their endorsement?  James Molesworth rates the wines of Ernie Els, Brangelina, Sting, and other celebs on THV. Continue reading →

Grandwest Sweet and Vida e Caffe Sour Service Awards

The Sweet Service Award goes to Yaz of Grandwest, for her care in assisting a 86-year and 94-year old couple to find their seats in the massive Grandwest Arena for the Andre Rieu concert on Sunday afternoon.  The couple’s family had tickets in another section and was not allowed to help them to their seats.   Yaz organised that a staff member showed the couple to their seats, and also bring them water that had been bought for them.  Grandwest also laid on shuttle buses, which took older show guests to a back entrance, which is at the Arena entrance, saving these guests the long wait in the security queue, as well as the long and crowded walk through the Grandwest Casino and Restaurant Court to the Arena.   The Grandwest staff were most efficient in dealing with such a large crowd of Rieu fans. (Rieu announced in his show that he and his orchestra will be back in Cape Town on the Grand Parade, opposite the City Hall, next March).

The Sour Service Award goes to Vida e Caffe in Piazza da Luz, Regent Road, in Sea Point.   Two staff members stood at the counter, looking ready to take the order last Sunday.  A cup of cappuccino (size specified) and an orange juice was ordered.  Neither of the two staff took the order, so it had to be repeated.  There was no apology. The manager Kenny also could not explain the order problem, and was rude.  He was asked to bring the number of the Vida head office and write down the names of himself and his colleague.  He did not bring the details, and after a 15 minute wait, the client went to the counter.  He told the customer to wait, saying he was too busy to write the details down.   In addition to this, ice was brought to the table in a chipped glass.     Another staff member was seen washing a cup under running water, without using dishwashing liquid or a cloth or sponge.   On contacting the Head Office the next day (Head Office is closed on weekends!), it emerged that the customer had been given the incorrect telephone number.   The Operations Manager Paul promised to get back to the customer, but has not done so 4 days later.

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

Cape Town going into Top Gear

The Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and The Stig will be performing in Cape Town’s GrandWest Arena from 28 – 31 January, the first visit of this hugely popular BBC motoring programme team to the Mother City.   5FM presenter Sasha Martinengo will also participate in the Top Gear Live show.

Consisting of both an expo and stunts (outside the arena),  and “the best bits of Top Gear and will be attempting them live in the arena.  It’s ambitious, but I am sure it will work out well” Clarkson is quoted in the Cape Argus.  The report says that the world’s fastest cars will be pushed to the limit. “Fans on four continents can expect an edge-of-the-seat experience with flaming rally cars, extreme underground street racers, and cars that change colour.  Other sequences will feature The Stig leading  a troupe of international stunt drivers with a mix of hand gestures, sonic pulses and Morse code, showing audiences the ultimate in precision driving.”   Audience members will be able to interact with the Top Gear personalities.   Sound levels of up to 104db. and 30 000 sq meters of fireballs will be experienced.

The equipment required for the show will be transported in 135 trucks, 3 ships, and a freight plane, and the show entails the use of 94 cars and 150 sets of tyres.

Clarkson and his team have such a vast following that most of the tickets have been sold already.  The wine industry of South Africa has been up in arms about some of Clarkson’s views of South African wines.

Top Gear Live is at the GrandWest Arena, from 28 – 31 January, with shows twice or three times a day. Tickets cost R 250 – R 450, and can be booked at Computicket. www.mphshow.co.za

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