Tag Archives: Mama Africa

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 16 March

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The first World Congress of Nephrology finishes at the Cape Town International Convention Centre today, the first time that the Congress is held in Africa.  A total of 3000 kidney specialists have attended the Congress since Friday, reports The New Age.  Later this year the World Congress of the International Federation of Aesthetic Dentistry and the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health will be held in Cape Town.

*   Cape Town is the focus in an UK article entitled ‘Paradise found in South African city‘, suggestions given for what to do and see in a week in ‘one of the most vibrant cities in the world‘, including Table Mountain;  V&A Waterfront; Cape Quarter; the Codfather in Camps Bay; Africa Café and Mama Africa; afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson, Cape Grace, and Table Bay hotels; Steenberg in the ‘Constancia Valley‘ (sic); the Old Biscuit Mill; Kirstenbosch; Shimmy Beach Club; and a helicopter trip over the city.

*   Described as a hunting haven‘ may not be good for our country’s image! The big-game hunting industry Continue reading →

Beerhouse Cape Town: largest ‘hub’ of local and imported beers in Africa!

Beerhouse Bottled Beers Whale Cottage PortfolioThe largest selection in Africa of beers on tap (16) and bottled beers (99) is available at newly opened Beerhouse, on party mile Long Street in Cape Town.  The Beer List states that ‘we see ourselves as (part of) the world beer revolution’, and Beerhouse plans regular events to ‘incubate the ideals of craft’ and to celebrate the world’s oldest and greatest beverage’!

One cannot miss the strong beer yellow painted building exterior opposite Mama Africa.  The Beer Hall is upstairs, once a bead outlet.  The decor of the beer hall  is quite plain, with some TV screens, and framed pictures of dressed up beer bottles in felt, representing traditional dress from around the world. The backs of wooden benches are painted beer yellow, and banquettes have been upholstered in the same colour.  Beerhouse on Long Exterior Whale Cottage Portfolio While they were renovating the building, they found attractive raw brickwork, and left some of it at the top of the walls.  Lovely wooden floors had to be tiled, as the dust was affecting shops downstairs. Interior decorator Justin Plunkett of Joom came up with the theme of 99 beer bottles, after the well-known song ‘99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall’.   Continue reading →

Cape Town Tourism encourages tourists to swim with sharks! Is National Geographic campaign already a flop?

One wonders what is going on at Cape Town Tourism and its marketing of Cape Town, the little that is done! With shock we saw an advertisement for Cape Town on the National Geographic website, alongside the blogposts which their ‘Digital Nomad’ Andrew Evans had written while he was in Cape Town, inviting tourists to the city to ‘Swim with sharks’.  Not only was this advertisement irresponsible in general, but in extremely poor taste, having been posted just days after champion Camps Bay bodyboarder David Lillienfeld was fatally attacked by a Great White shark at Kogel Bay, in False Bay, on 19 April.  The advertisement was Cape Town branded.

The shark attack caused a huge outcry, in that the Kogel Bay beach does not have sharkspotters (Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, St James, Kalk Bay, and Noordhoek have them), and in that National Geographic was implicated in the shark attack, in that Chris Fisher, a documentary maker for the TV channel, had been filming ‘Shark Men in False Bay’, having received a permit allowing ‘chumming’, luring sharks with a mix of fish and oil, to the boat. The permits issued to the film team were withdrawn immediately after the shark attack, but have since been reissued, on condition that the team’s vessel Ocearch only operates near Gansbaai and in False Bay, and that a maximum of 12 sharks may be tagged, reported iol.co.za.  Reuters quoted contradictory research about the effect of chumming on shark attacks. False Bay has 260 Great White Sharks, according to shark scientist Alison Kock, reported the Cape Times. Shark cage diving, mainly talking place in the Gansbaai area, is also blamed for a greater number of shark attacks. The Western Cape provincial government is to hold a special public hearing about shark research and tourism shortly, reports the Cape Argus.

The visit by blogger and Tweeter Andrew Evans kicked off a multi-prong year-long National Geographic marketing campaign jointly sponsored by Cape Town Tourism and Durban Tourism.  No budget figures for the campaign are available, which includes coverage on National Geographic TV, as well as in the National Geographic magazines in limited countries such as China and India.

Readers of the National Geographic blog were invited to ‘follow our Digital Nomad through South African cities‘, and Andrew spent just over a week in Cape Town, from 16 – 25 April, Tweeting his way around the city (he has just more than 15000 followers on Twitter, not an extraordinary number for his international exposure, and surprisingly only about 2300 Facebook likes). Andrew documented his impressions and experiences in only five blogposts about Cape Town. Four blogspot were very short, and the last one was entitled ‘My Cape Town Favorites’ , containing more information, and sharing information about accommodation, restaurants, and sights he experienced in Cape Town.

The restaurant section intrigued me, and it was disappointing to read where Andrew had eaten: Mama Africa; Kalkys; Bread, Milk and Honey; Lola’s, Eastern Bazaar, Noon Gun, Two Oceans, and the Cape Royale, mediocre restaurants at best. The best of the collection was the Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson Hotel, an Eat Out Top 20 Restaurant.  Andrew did not eat at Cape Town’s (and South Africa’s) best restaurant (The Greenhouse) or at the Test Kitchen (best chef).  Just after his visit, Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ The Test Kitchen restaurant made 74th place on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants! We wrote a comment about this on the blogpost, and Andrew replied, writing that his meal at Planet was a memorable one.  We then asked via a further comment how he chose the restaurants he went to, Cape Town Tourism clearly guiding him about this! To our surprise, the comments and Andrew’s reply have since been deleted, probably at the insistence of Cape Town Tourism!  We note that a correction we offered about the ‘Signature (sic) Hill’ winery Andrew wrote about has been corrected!  Despite a Cape Town Tourism media release announcing that Andrew would also visit Robben island and the three wine routes in Cape Town, these attractions were not included in his visit. But he did go up Table Mountain, play with penguins at Boulder’s Beach, kayaked around Cape Point with Lewis Pugh, and visited the Aquarium, Kirstenbosch, Woodstock, Bo Kaap, District Six, Noordhoek Beach, Camps Bay, the V&A Waterfront, Long Street, Muizenberg, and Kalk Bay.  His experiences were mainly Tweeted with a photograph of each of his tourist destinations.  Although Andrew called for recommendations of places to see and visit in Cape Town, and receiving many suggestions, he did not appear to make time to visit any of the more unusual attractions in the city and in surrounding towns and villages.  Surprising is that Andrew did not reply to any of the travel suggestions he received, Cape Town Tourism Communications Manager Skye Grove responding to the more controversial comments (and clearly deleting those that she did not like!).

Andrew spent a week in Durban in the second half of the joint campaign with Durban Tourism, and now advertisements for Durban strongly brand the city (“Durban: The warmest place to be”) on the National Geographic blog, the advertisement and a banner for Durban running alongside the Cape Town blogposts by Andrew, which does not make marketing sense at all!  While Andrew was in Durban he made a fatal error in a racist Tweet “Black woman visiting from Jo’burg & Muslim woman watch the sunrise & the surfers at #Durban beach”. He also Tweeted about OR Thambo being notorious for theft out of luggage (ouch!) – most incoming international flights are via this airport, so the Tweet is damaging to South African tourism in general, hardly what Cape Town Tourism or Durban Tourism should be paying National Geographic for!

The multi-million Rand National Geographic marketing campaign for Cape Town and Durban has not commenced on a good note. One must question the wisdom of two (competing) cities sharing a marketing campaign (as bad as Cape Town Routes Unlimited marketing ‘Cape Town & Western Cape’ as one brand), and why Andrew’s often naive content was not checked for the many mistakes he has made, reflecting badly on our city, the premier tourism brand of South Africa!  One questions what impact this campaign has had for Cape Town, in a period when Cape Town’s tourism businesses are facing a deadly quiet second half of May, as well as June and July! Cape Town Tourism’s shark swimming advertisement is in poor taste and must be scrapped immediately!

POSTSCRIPT 11/5: The Cape Argus has reported that the public hearing will be held on Tuesday.

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

Adoro Mourvedre wine and cheese Taste & Tweet a treat!

Last night Adoro Wines held a Tweet-Up at L’Aperitivo in Loop Street, with twenty-five Cape Town Bloggers and Tweeters invited to join them for a cheese and wine Taste & Tweet.

Erica Liebenberg from Meles PR organised the Taste & Tweet.  She has a number of PR clients, including Graham Beck, Belfriend, Elgin Valley Vintners, Eagles’ Nest, Freedom Hill Restaurant, Glenwood, Hidden Valley, and Paarl Vintners. 

The wine that Adoro winemaker Ian Naude used for the cheese tasting is his Mourvedre, with a port nose, and sweet taste on the palate, having acidity of 8gm per litre and 14 % alcohol, creating a good balance of sweet and sour.  Ian explained that what makes South African wines so unusual is that it makes “old world meets new world wines”.  The Old World (German, French, Spanish) style wines are created from grapes from the Elim/Hermanus area, while the New World Style wines are made from grapes sourced from the Swartland.  Ian says he makes his wines in his head first, and then he decides on the regions from which he can source the grapes to make his dream wine.   The Adoro Mourvedre bottle is an attractive and slim one, described by some as looking like an olive oil bottle.

All present were in agreement that the wine was excellent as an accompaniment to the six cheeses tasted, being the following:

*   Simonsig six-month matured Gouda, a soft cheese with sweet andfruity flavours.  This cheese won second place in matching with the Mourvedre amongst those present.

*   Fairview Roydon Camembert, made from pasteurised Jersey cow’s milk and cream, with some goat’s milk added, and aged for four weeks

*   Asiago is an imported Italian cheese from Veneto, made from pasteurised cow’s milk, and is aged for 12 – 14 months.

*   Taleggio is imported from Italy, made from pasteurised cow’s milk and aged for four weeks

*   Gruyere tasted came from Kleinrivier near Stanford, and had a surprisingly bland taste.  It is classified as a hard cheese and is aged for 4 – 6 months.

*   Gorgonzola is imported from Lombardia in Italy, made from pasteurised cow’s milk and aged for 6 – 8 months.  This cheese was voted as being best matched to the Adoro Mourvedre.

To reflect the reaction of the Tweeters present to the cheeses tasted and their match to the six cheeses, we list the Tweets written during the Taste & Tweet (read from bottom up): 

StefanLuka 8:36pm via web

Verdict: Gorgonzola cheese is voted the best match for Adoro Mourvedre 2009! Couldn’t agree more! Connoisseurs watch out! #adorocheesewine

Final verdict: cheese really works with Adoro Mourvedre ’09 and the wine retails at R110 for 500ml #adorocheesewine

Amazed at the gorgonzola pairing, great match but the asiago wins for me #adorocheesewine

Game over. Now we can park our analysis and just enjoy the evening. Really interesting exercise. Cheers! #adorocheesewine

Best Tweeter at Adoro Taste and Tweet @StefanLuka #adorocheesewine

#Adorocheesewine Seriously guys.

Having a OMG moment with this Gorgonzola, imported from Italy. #adorocheesewine

#Adorocheesewine I really deserve to win.

#Adorocheesewine Vote for me

Last cheese great gorgonzola gastronomic heaven! #adorocheesewine

Gorgonzola wins this for me – wine shines like a superstar #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineAdoro Mourvedre & Gorgonzola: a match made in heaven

Find the Gorgonzola shortens the finish of the wine on the first sip. It kinda offers swell of flavours, troughs and peaks #Adorocheesewine

Gorgonzola cheese & Adoro Mourvedre, spirit is lifted & brooding above earthly things, heavenly match & made for lovers #adorocheesewine

Woohoo imported gorgonzola rocking the room! #adorocheesewine

Not my gig @laurencohenGot invite from melespr for the #adorocheesewine Will slap organiser for not inviting you.

@406 Is very excited about the Gorgonzola. apparently “the real cheese has arrived #Adorocheesewine

Ok, final round. Let’s see how it handles gorgonzola! #adorocheesewine

The wine is mouvedre with 14% alc and 60g residual sugar #adorocheesewine

Just in case we forgot to say what this amazing wonder wine is- Adoro Naturally Sweet Mouvedre… #adorocheesewine

Gruyere & 09 Adoro Mourvedre: a symphony of sweet and salty flavours resulting in seamless match, a pure dolce vita concept #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewinecardboardy gruyere spoils the Adoro Mourvedre ’09

Ok, left field comment: the adoro mourvedre apparently goes well with choc souffle. #adorocheesewine

Gruyere, sweet and salty profile, creamy & nutty (when younger), develops earthly & complex flavour over time, hard cheese #adorocheesewine

Difference of opinion now, gruyere up for some grrr-not for others they balance out…#adorocheesewine

Combination of Gruyere (our first hard cheese) and the Sweet Mourvedre is nuts, full on mushroom flavour has been created #Adorocheesewine

Now tasting gruyere with the wine. Saltiness assertive makes wine too sweet #adorocheesewine

Adoring Adoro Mourvedre 2009, perfect to drink with cheeses, @StefanLuka writes the most beautiful wine tweets #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewine James diligently taking notes… http://twitpic.com/353l88

@StefanLukaKak! You’re wrong. Raw garbage more like! #Adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineAdoro Mourvedre: Taleggio cheese intensifies the flavours of the wine

The Taleggio pairing with the Sweet Mourvedre is like a slap in the face. Bam. flavour! Bam Bam! Other flavour! not fun. #Adorocheesewine

Taleggio creamy, tangy delicious! Bit nutty. Wine coping well. #adorocheesewine

Taleggio with its distinct smell & 2009 Adoro Mourvedre from Swartland – a marriage of elegance and raw power. Superb match #adorocheesewine

Italian asiago cheese and this adoro mourvedre like each other are u over it yet, I’m having fun #adorocheesewine

Adoro spam continues…..Now on to Taleggio from the North of Italy, feet smelling wine. Not a good pairing. #Adorocheesewine

Adoro Mourvedre wonderful pairing with cheeses: Asiago, Taleggio, Gruyere, Gorgonzola, Camembert, Gouda #adorocheesewine

@smokingsheddoesn’t normally drink, but loving the Adoro Mouverdre, fab cheese #adorocheesewine

Get stuffed… Not you but where you can buy the wine! #adorocheesewine

3rd cheese from Veneto Italy – Taleggio. So yum & strong – good match #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineAdoro Mourvedre, Asiago, creamy sweetness intensified by the wine

Heading into stronger territory, Asiago. 12 – 14 months of ageing. Remarkable that the wine is standing up to it. #adorocheesewine

Taleggio: soft, washed-rind cheese made from cow’s milk, aromatic & mild, tangy, meaty notes, a fruity finish, aged 4 weeks #adorocheesewine

Asiago, from Veneto is semi-soft cheese from cows milk. It was fated to be consumed with this wine. Coming on a bit strong? #Adorocheesewine

Wow – asagio has lovely bite that sings opera with the wine #adorocheesewine

Sweet, passionate and gentle confluence of Asiago and Adore Mourvedre 2009… a poetry in making, a hint of fiery desires #adorocheesewine

The cheese is now asiago. The pairing is killing. Adds massive complexity. I just heard it is “haunting” #Adorocheesewine

Pairing with the Camembert is like a fresh berry falling from a tree, quickly squelching into the mushroomy forest floor #Adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineasiago up next. For those as clueless as I was asiago is imported italian semi-soft cheese…

Erica from @aussiewinechickis a supremo behind this gorgeous wine and cheese exercise at L’Aperitivo bar #adorocheesewine

I prefer nr 2 @fairviewwinecamembert roydon paired with #adorocheesewine

2nd cheese from @FairviewWine– Roydon Camembert. Creamy & delish. Gouda better with wine #adorocheesewine

@fairviewwineroydon next pairing #adorocheesewine

After the romp home there is a funky, forest floor flavour left behind. #Adorocheesewine

Asiago: cheese from Veneto, Italy, semi-soft, from pasteurized cow;s milk (aged 12 -14 months) & is DOP (Protected origin) #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineRoydon camembert & adoro ’09 mourvedre: strawberries & cream

Next cheese Camembert: four week aged from Fairview. I find the wine romps home, trampling the cheese in the process. #Adorocheesewine

Fairview Roydon 4-week aged Camembert paired with Adoro Mourvedre #adorocheesewine http://plixi.com/p/55761479

Cheese 2, Fairview Roydon – yum yum. Creamy but a little cool. Again great affinity withe wine. #adorocheesewine

Camembert and naturally sweet Mourvedre… awesome… like a kissing softly a young lady 🙂 #adorocheesewine

Sorry forgot #adorocheesewine! On the ball now got too carried away with fab mouvedre….

#adorocheesewineAdoro Mourvedre 09 and aged gouda. Better together than apart

“This is a semi-soft or semi-hard cheese” lol only in sa #adorocheesewine

Gouda Tasting with Adoro dessertstyle wine, specially made for pairing with cheese #adorocheesewine http://plixi.com/p/55760726

Hello everyone #Adorocheesewine

The chef says its a semi soft/hard cheese -haha! a gouda from parmalat #adorocheesewine

Adoro has done well to get everyone tweeting. Hoping everyone likes the wine. Good Launch. #Adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewine Fee Mac is loving the fruit garnish with the wine http://twitpic.com/353e5k

Parmalat gouda with adoro works well… Wine a lot lighter than nose gives away #adorocheesewine

The sweet Mouvedre: like a loveable uncle with a sharp wit. #Adorocheesewine

Gouda: traditional hard cheese with sweet & fruity flavours that intensifies with & is made from pasteurized cow’s milk #adorocheesewine

Liking the Gouda with the Mourvedre. Cheese gets more creamy with added nuttiness, wines’ fruit undiminished #Adorocheesewine

First cheese a six-month matured gouda good match #adorocheesewine

Gouda Tasting with Adoro Mourvedre #adorocheesewine

Cheese 1, local gouda. Described by chef as semi-hard or semi-soft. One wag quipped: “sounds like a porno!” #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewinechef James explaining cheeses gouda up first http://twitpic.com/353d60

At L’aperitivo about to begin tasting new Adoro Natural Sweet Mourvedre. Starting with a Parmalat gouda #adorocheesewine

Gouda is very mild, creamy and fruity cheese which blends in superbly with Adoro Mourvedre Natural Sweet 2009 #adorocheesewine

Natural sweet 2009 Adoro Mourvedre with 14% alcohol rocks… let’s se how the marriage with Gouda will work 🙂 #adorocheesewine

Smells like port but not jammy #adorocheesewine

So we are gonna taste a wine that’s not fortified but it has 60mg residual sugar. #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewineGreg Ladman’s comments priceless!!

Its a sweeter red wine made to pair with cheese but not fortified #adorocheesewine

This is our naturally sweet Mourvedre(it is not fortified, RS is around 60g/l) #AdoroCheeseWine

One of the first south africans about to taste adoro’s new wine made specialyfor cheese #adorocheesewine

Wine maker Ian naude talking about how this project started #adorocheesewine

Mourvedre from Swartland was our first “cheese wine” (it is very much sought ‘sweetish’ red wine) #AdoroCheeseWine

The basic idea: we need wine that will complement cheese #AdoroCheeseWine


At Adoro cheese and wine Taste & Tweet at Aperitivo #adorocheesewine

#adorocheesewine http://twitpic.com/3539jo

Adoro Wines from Latin word meaning “to adore” #AdoroCheeseWine

A great evening was had by all, and new friendships were made over lovely glasses of Adoro Mourvedre, six cheeses and lovely snacks presented by L’Aperitivo. Dusan Jelic, Tweeting as @StefanLuka, was proclaimed the most creative and eloquent Twitterer of the evening.

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