Tag Archives: guest house

Dombeya wines have cellaring potential, good value!

Haskell Chardonnay and Merlot 2013Grant Dodd, Australia-based partner and CEO of Haskell Vineyards in Stellenbosch, hosted a #DombeyaDay on Thursday, a vertical tasting of five vintages each of their Dombeya Chardonnay and Shiraz, proving that their inexpensive wines can be cellared.

Haskell Vineyards belongs to Preston Haskell, who bought Dombeya, which makes wines under the Dombeya and Haskell labels, its winemaker being the highly regarded Rainie Strydom, who celebrates her tenth year with the wine farm this year. The farm was named after the Dombeya pear tree which grows on the farm, and originally produced angora wool.

Dodd related the conversation between Haskell and himself ten years ago, when Haskell bought the farm, about the Dombeya brand name.  Dodd suggested its Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 20 June

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is encouraging its members to use IT to improve the customer experience, saying that airlines ‘fly people and cargo, not planes‘. Consistency of customer experience is not yet satisfactory for airlines, with little differentiation. Customers would like to use IT to check in online, tag luggage themselves, board themselves, and collect bags themselves, an IATA survey found last year.  IATA’s goal is that 80% of passengers have a ‘self-service suite based on industry standards‘ available to them by 2020.

*   PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is not known as a Tourism consultancy, so its prediction about our country’s tourism future is a surprise.  Its report presents growth of 4% in international tourists 2013, far lower than the 10% growth in 2012.  Growth is said to be solid and good, but ‘not fantastic growth‘.  Almost three quarters of international visitors to our country are from Africa, the report confirms.  Nigeria would become the leading source market for our country, the PwC study predicts.  The Guest House category is the fastest growing in respect of room availability.  South Africa’s strength is that it attracts leisure as well as business travelers.

*   France must be feeling the tourism pinch, having announced plans to become more welcoming to tourists, English speaking ones in particular.   The country hopes to increase tourist numbers to 100 million, Continue reading →

‘Going Gooding: A Play on Radio’ by Malcolm Gooding documents golden era of SA radio!

Malcolm Gooding Whale Cottage PortfolioMalcolm Gooding’s name has been synonymous with radio since the ‘Seventies, and he has a most beautiful face for radio!  At the Franschhoek Literary Festival, Gooding performed his autobiographical play ‘Going Gooding: A Play on Radio‘ last night,  which was also the name of his show on the English programme of the SABC.  In one hour the audience was transported back to an era of radio personalities and cigarette advertising.  It is a shame that there were so few attendees.

Gooding opened a guest house outside Franschhoek recently, but appears to spend most of his time in Johannesburg, still doing voice-overs and documentaries.   The play tells the story of Gooding’s career in radio, which started close to fifty years ago.  A chance invitation by a friend to attend an audition as radio presenter opened the door which remains open for Gooding.  He described himself as a ‘voice prostitute’, having been called the ‘Golden Voice‘ of radio.  He demonstrated his diversity as a voice artist, doing at least 24 voices in his one-hour play.  He started off with an advertorial skit, of which he does many now, for ‘Blomail’, a play on words for Glomail, which uses Gooding for such infomercials!  He reminisced about his colleagues on radio, who have passed away, including Robin Alexander, Nigel Kane, Bill Flynn, Paddy O’Byrne, Bea Reed, and many more.  He did a hilarious piece on Patricia Kerr doing ‘ForcesMalcolm Gooding Patricia Kerr Whale Cottage Portfolio Favourites’, reading a letter in her very poor Afrikaans.

It was an era of radio dramas on Springbok Radio, the best known being ‘Squad Cars’, which exceeded 800 episodes. Gooding did an episode for us, in which he played every voice, including the narrator, an Indian and an Afrikaans policeman, a Dutch crime victim, and an Irish crime perpetrator.  Gooding described the very popular program as ‘SA police propaganda’.   Other popular radio dramas included ‘Taxi’, and ‘Consider your Verdict‘.  Radio advertisements for Chevrolet (‘Sunny skies and Chevrolet‘), Continue reading →

Freedom Day 2014: reflecting on 20 years of democracy!

SA FlagIt was the interview with a Cape Argus reporter on Friday that made me reflect on how far not only our country, but also I personally and my business have come in the 20 years since we voted on 27 April 1994.  The Argus interview was focused on the progress over the past 20 years I have seen personally, business-wise, and politically.

My very first feedback to reporter Dylan was that 1994 was the first and only time that I was allowed to vote, having a German passport.  I do not recall how it was possible for all foreigners (by passport) to be allowed to vote, when it has never been allowed before nor since then.  I loved standing in a queue somewhere in Sea Point, being part of the exciting day that would change our country forever, and how much goodwill there was amongst South Africans whilst waiting patiently in the queues. Little did we know that the rest of the world waited anxiously for the outcome of the election, fully expecting a revolution to take place, unbeknown to us residents, with thanks to the SABC in ‘protecting’ us from this world scenario.

I moved to Cape Town in 1990, and transferred my marketing research consultancy Relationship Marketing from Johannesburg, changing its emphasis to Public Relations for food clients such as Baker Street Snacks, Bonnita (now Parmalat), Aylesbury, and more.  The late John Harrison was a favourite client when he was GM of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.  Even Mark Shuttleworth was a client, before he became famous for selling his Continue reading →