* The Department of Home Affairs has ‘rubbished‘ the claim of SATSA (SA Tourism Service Association) that it is seeing a decline in airline ticket sales to our country of 30%, saying that the association is only trying to ‘cause confusion‘. SATSA CEO David Frost has described the Department’s reaction to the decline as ‘insulting’. The Department has stated that its priority is the safety of children, and not tourism!
* Cape Town and Camps Bay have been featured in the Indian dance show ‘Dare2Dance‘, SA Tourism Country Manager for India Hanneli Slabber having sent links of two videos. The Camps Bay dance scene with a blindfolded dancer on a platform dangling above the ocean, with Camps Bay in the background, is breathtaking, and sure to create huge interest in the suburb.
One of the better restaurants in Plettenberg Bay (there aren’t many, and two favorites The Grand and Nguni are currently closed for winter breaks) has been Sand at The Plettenberg. Two years ago the restaurant changed its name to SeaFood at The Plettenberg, in line with a similar restaurant at sister hotel The Marine in Hermanus, and last year new Executive Chef Grant Parker took over the kitchen when the hotel re-opened after a long winter break. The setting and selection of mainly seafood dishes was perfect on a beautiful day.
I had been assisted in the foyer of the hotel by Guest Relations Manager Laula, who did everything, including serving me in the restaurant. She is a very new staff member, but was willing to find information for the questions which she could not answer. She sent Annemie Parker, the General Manager and wife of the chef, wearing her Relais & Chateaux pin, to explain the changes in the branding of the restaurant. Little about the restaurant interior has changed since she took over in running the hotel a year ago, coming from Cybele Lodge, except for two panels of photographs with Southern Right whales, but hard to identify as such, with the way the light falls on the glass panels over them. Annemie said that McGrath Hotels Group Executive Chef Peter Tempelhoff comes to visit every two months or so. She said that Chef Grant devised most of the dishes on the new restaurant menu, with guidance from Chef Peter, but with a section of The Collection signature dishes, which are served in all three the McGrath hotel restaurants, including The Conservatory at the Cellars-Hohenhort in Constantia. With the change in restaurant name, the style of the restaurant to that of a Bistro was also changed, away from fine-dining. Continue reading →
* Terroir will feature in a six part series ‘Seasons of Terroir‘, produced by Justin Bonello of ‘Cooked in Africa Films’, to reflect what it takes to run a busy restaurant in a competitive industry. It will be broadcast on National Geographic (channel 181) from 25 March at 18h15, for six consecutive weeks. The restaurant celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Broughton says: ‘After watching the series, I hope viewers will have a better understanding of what cooking in a modern-day, professional kitchen is all about. For one, it is not nearly as glamorous as it is often depicted in the media. In fact, it is tough, demanding and relentless. If someone is really committed to following a career as a chef, including the long, often anti-social hours, it is an exciting and rewarding choice. It has certainly been rewarding to be part of the growing gourmet culture in Stellenbosch – I can’t think of a better place to experience great food and wine than on a wine farm like Kleine Zalze…’ (received via media release from Manley Communications)
* Bain’s Cape Mountain single grain whisky from Wellington has been awarded a gold medal at the 2014 China Wine and Spirits competition, based on its value for money. (received via media release from De Kock Communications)
* Cape Town is celebrating its Carnival, with the theme ‘Imagine’ linked to Cape Town hosting World Design Capital Continue reading →