Tag Archives: Stellar Organic

Restaurant Review: Just Pure The Bistro offers impure service and food!

Just Pure The Bistro Exterior Whale Cottage PortfolioLooking for a coffee shop in Hermanus over lunch yesterday I popped in at Just Pure The Bistro, located within a showroom that sells the Just Pure pure skin and body care range.  I had no intention to write about my sandwich and coffee stop, but the dreadful service from the staff and owners compelled me to write a review.

The balcony has a fantastic view onto the ocean, and the ocean was particularly rough yesterday, with massive waves, making it a pleasure to sit outside.  I used to love going there when Bellini had its art gallery and coffee shop in the same space.  I walked inside the shop, not having been there for some time, and saw that the Just Pure showroom still looked the same, found a Cape Times on a table, and chose a table to sit at outside.  I was not welcomed by any staff, and saw a waitress yawning as I wanted to ask her for a table.  She brought a menu and I placed my order of a glass of ice, a jug of milk, and an espresso, wishing to make my own iced coffee, and a glass of ice water.  She brought the ice on a saucer, and there was no glass into which I could pour all the ingredients.  She returned with the same number of ice cubes in a glass, so I had to send her back to fill it up.

I chose to order a ‘Country Loaf’ sandwich, from the ‘Gourmet Open Sandwiches‘ section,  with tomato, mozzarella, and avocado, which I asked to be toasted, and expected a seed type loaf.  The waitress returned, after having taken the order, to double check that I wished to only have one slice , described confusingly in their menu as a half portion (R49), two slices being a full portion (R65).  It took at least half an hour to be served, but it gave me a chance to read the newspaper, and to catch up on Social Media, having spent about two hours driving to Hermanus.  What I was served was an attractively presented but non-gourmet plain slice of Continue reading →

Allora! WineStyle goes Italian and cheesy for Autumn!

I have the highest regard for the new WineStyle magazine, which was launched late last year as a wonderfully impressive coffee-table quality food and wine magazine.  The latest issue has just been sent to subscribers, and once again impressed with its fantastic quality photography and print production.

The theme of the Autumn edition is Italy, and the magazine introduces the theme with a trip to “Under the Tuscan Sun”, a lovely travel report by Karen Wright, with a clarification of the Chianti wines from this region.  I did this journey a few years ago, after I had read the book with the same title by Frances Mayes, travelling to Florence, Sienna, San Gimignano, Montalcino, and Montepulciano, and following in Mayes’ footsteps in Cortona.  Then follows a tasting of affordable Italian wines, none costing more than R100, and included Lamberti Santepeitre Valpolicella Ripasso, Zaccagnini Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, Teresa Rizzi Prosecco Brut, and Medici Sangiovese Rubicone.

The magazine focus then returns back ‘home’, and award-winning wine writer Joanne Gibson focuses on the allowable levels of lead, mercury and even arsenic in South African wine!   She asks why sulphur dioxide must be declared on local wine labels but not the fourteen other ‘restricted substances’ listed in the Liquor Products Act 60 of 1989.   The article describes the effect of sulphites on those with an allergy to it, and Gibson writes that often it is not the allergy to sulphites but rather to wine generally.  She lists low-sulphite wines as including Anura Brut, Krone Borealis Brut, Reyneke Reserve White, Stellar Organic Winery, Villiera Brut Natural Chardonnay, Waverley Hills, and Woolworths Brut Natural and their Chenin Blanc.

The article on cheese and wines, by Diane Heierli, with photography by Christoph Heierli, is good enough to eat.  The photographer impressed in the first edition already.   The article highlights that our local cheeses are excellent, and that we do not have to import them to enjoy good quality cheese.  In fact, a next article highlights six ’boutique cheeseries’, being Dalewood Fromage, Goat Peter Cheesery, Belnori Boutique Cheesery, Foxenburg Estate Cheesery, Hijke Cheese, and Buffalo Ridge. Each of the cheesemakers recommend a suitable wine to pair with one of their cheeses.

From cheese and wine, the magazine moves to mushrooms, the article produced by the Heierlis as well, and providing recipes such as “Moreish mixed mushroom risotto”, “Super simple creamy mushroom sauce”, “Mushroom and pecorino pizza”, a beautiful looking “Spicy Asian enoki broth”, and “Balsamic glazed brown mushroom and steak”.

What seems out of place, relative to the theme, is the last article on the Route 62, although ‘cheese-lovers paradise’ Gay’s Guernsey Dairy in Prince Albert is mentioned.  The cover photograph of the magazine, linked to this article, does not reflect wine or food at all, and I would question if it was the best photograph to use, given the many lovely photographs in the magazine.   Right at the end, the magazine goes back to its Italian beginning, with a recipe for ‘La Limoncello’.

Every week WineStyle  sends a newsletter to its subscribers, to bridge the three month gap between issues.  In this way the brand interest is kept alive, and the editor can provide ongoing food and wine news.  The new newsletter design is perfect, in now creating synergy between the magazine design, and that of the newsletter.   Once again, the concept of WineStyle  being environmentally friendly, in being print-on-demand, and only posted to its subscribers at no charge, is saluted.  It is not commercially available. 

WineStyle has set an incredibly high benchmark in food and wine publishing, with editor Jenny Ratcliffe-Wright at the helm.  The advertisers are demonstrating their support already, being Glen Carlou, Pongracz, Hermanuspietersfontein, Constantia Glen, Highlands Road Estate, Kleine Zalze, Klein Constantia, Bouchard Finlayson, Fleur du Cap, and Paul Cluver, and that is just mentioning the wine advertisers.

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