Tag Archives: Vaudeville

Madame Zingara pitches her ‘Victoria’ Spiegel tent in the V&A Waterfront for ‘The Miracle Tour’!

The V&A Waterfront is a magnificent location for the new Madame Zingara Theatre of Dreams ‘The Miracle Tour’ show, which kicked off in the Belgium-made Spiegel tent last week, and will remain in the Mother City for another four months or more.   It must be one of the slickest ‘restautainment’ operations, feeding about 400 patrons each night, with unbelievable service and amazing entertainment.  Owner Richard Griffin is the ultimate showmaster, and just gets better at it year after year.

Located across the Aston Martin showroom, in which building there is ample and reasonably priced parking, the Theatre of Dreams is in the small parking area alongside the cinema parking exit, making it easy to get to.  GM and Ringmaster Marvin Haddon told us that they had negotiated with the V&A Waterfront management for a long time to obtain a space, and that the retail management company is being very supportive in making their Cape Town run a success.  The marquee tent is better protected against the infamous south-easter than in most other locations in Cape Town, if one remembers where Griffin has had to pitch his tent in the past, including the bottom end of Adderley Street under the highway bridge, and in the bush at Century City!  The marquee is not very visible, as branding has been reduced to ‘MZ’ with pink hearts, at the front and back of the area, with faux swans, more hearts, warthogs, and more. One enters into a smallish reception area with a bar, and a number of the show characters stand outside for photo opportunities, some as ‘frozen statues’.  A choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks is offered, and even Richard was waiting outside, saying hello to his patrons.  The ‘check-in’ was painless, nothing as complicated as it was at now ex-Vaudeville, which was a Madame Zingara ‘substitute’ in Cape Town for a  while, having featured ex-Madame Zingara star Irit Noble.  Marvin made it an even more special evening, coming to check on us regularly, and made us feel like very special guests, an amazing ability the Madame Zingara staff has.  They really seem to love their jobs, are looked after well, seem to enjoy dressing up, and know where the boundary lies in dealing with customers. Griffin (right, with The Specifics) wrote in his invitation letter that he is proud of the employment his show can offer, with a ‘R2,2 million on group payroll’.  Once inside, one sees more frozen statues, the one in honour of Alexander McQueen attracting attention especially.  The Madame Zingara Photography Emporium has two seats, and allows one to take photographs within a beautiful frame of flowers.  One can have face-painting done and can buy hats and other party decorations.

‘Victoria’, with her stained glass windows, can seat 437 patrons, we were told, and one does not feel cramped.  The stage runs down the middle of the tent, half way, almost like a fashion ramp, the end part being raised up or down, and also revolving, used for amazing effects.  Depending on the size of one’s party, one is seated at tables on a raised section further back for larger groups.  Tables near the stage run the risk of being picked on, as one gentlemen came to regret wearing his striped ‘pyjama shirt’.   Our host and waiter Jason chose to play the little red devil, and he was charming, nothing being too much trouble.  He did struggle to get us to drink more than some wine and sparkling wine, and lots of water.  The marquee is very cool when one arrives, being airconditioned, but it got hotter and hotter inside, being sold out on Thursday evening.  The table has a display of red flowers with the table number, but is removed after one is seated to make more space.  A winelist offers wines and ‘bubbles’ at reasonable prices, but does not specify the vintages. Sparkling wines include Pierre Jourdan Brut (R50/R190), Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel (R195), and Moët & Chandon (R650); Madame’s house white wine (R35/R120), La Motte Sauvignon Blanc (R155), Warwick Professor Black Sauvignon Blanc (R185), Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc (R135) and more; Madame’s red wine costs R40/R135, Rupert & Rothschild Classique (R220), Beyerskloof Pinotage (R140), and more.

The action never stops once one sits down, and Cathy Specific (who had ‘her’ own show ‘Cathy Pacific’, and right in the main photograph) welcomes the audience, table by table, as long lost friends, in ‘her’ blue air hostess uniform.  Once we were taken through the four course menu, and dietary adjustments were requested, the starter portion of dipping sticks, cheeses, a cream of sweet potato soup, a peppadew dip, tsatziki, hummus, kalamata and green olives, and nuts was brought to the table.  A highlight of the evening was being taken to see the kitchen, in which Chef Lee Cox is in charge.  Every night he and his team prepare 430 portions of each course, and it is run as a military operation, timing being of the essence, songs being his cue as to when the food must come out of the kitchen. The waiting staff literary run from the kitchen into the marquee, ensuring that the food remains hot, and the dessert cold. Chef Lee worked at Five Flies previously, and said that he orders 1 ton of AAA grade Karan beef fillet (their signature main course) a month. Stock take is done weekly, and on Tuesdays he receives the food delivery to the value of about R110000 for the week ahead. They are recycling conscious, and have a good daily rubbish collection service in the V&A. He has a ‘culinary kitchen crew’ of 28, and ‘everyone knows what to do’, he said.  He is proud of his good storage facilities.  Impressive was that Chef Lee came to our table after the main course had been served, to personally receive our feedback.

The first act of the show is introduced by MC Mr C (left in main photograph), a local who has worked in similar shows in Germany, and he reminded one of the MC in ‘Cabaret‘, with a wicked sense of humour and a German accent.  Cathy Specific too is funny, and has an amazing figure, whatever the outfit.  Two acrobats (Sam and Justine call themselves Adage) inside a chandelier-shaped ring, were followed by a handsome Lisa and Daniel dancing to Tango-type music which picks up pace, as does that of the dancing, with elegance and grace. The Specifics have evolved from the Three Tons of Fun, and have grown to four members, singing popular hits.

The second course was a tasty butternut and potato ravioli served on a bed of wild mushrooms.  The second act started off with Mr C transforming himself into Marlene Dietrich, and singing a popular ‘Falling in love again‘.  Three Russians (The Strongmen Sergei, Sergei and Alexander) look like wrestlers, two being massive and the third small in comparison, perform amazing acrobatic feats, never putting a foot wrong.  Two further performers Miles and George, The Acurians, do somersault flips, one on the soles of the other, sometimes doing double, and even triple flips, not all successful.  The performers were so professional that when they lost their footing, they did the section again, and added an extra flip, as if it had been choreographed like that for the show!

My main course choice of Venison Wellington was a hefty portion of Kudu loin served with spinach and wrapped with mushrooms and pastry, and mash.  I was envious of Katie’s sesame seed encrusted Norwegian salmon, served with lemongrass and litchi, teriyaki sauce, and a fruit salsa, a work of art.  The third option is a vegetarian one, which includes marinated tofu.  The most popular main course is the beef fillet, served with a chocolate chili sauce.

The third act started with a splash, Sam showing a leg and then an arm in the bath, and got out of the bath, splashing her wet hair on the patrons seated around her and doing some acrobatic acts too.  While she and the bath disappeared into the stage, the bath reappeared almost instantly, this time with Mr C, also having fun in the bath!  Oompah type music inspired what must have been German patrons to get onto the stage, and enjoy themselves dancing whilst everyone else was eating.  They had to be asked to return to their seats.

The final course is the piece de resistance, being Death by Chocolate, a platter with a delicious Tiramisu, a chocolate brownie, a hot phyllo cigar, and a ball of Gorgonzola infused chocolate ice cream.  Just when one thinks that the show is over, the fourth act starts, with a Rocky Horror Show ‘Time Warp’ dance in which everyone participates, guided by Cathy Specific.  One of the most unbelievable acts is that of Mongolian contortionist Vicky, who bends her body into the most unusual shapes. Sam does some more smart acrobatic moves above the audience, and is followed by two drumming and rope whipping Argentinians.  A giant sized disco ball is erected, and the audience that doesn’t have to get up early the next morning is encouraged to dance.

Madame Zingara delivers on its promise, printed on the winelist: “It has always been our dream to build a space where our working family is inspired and empowered and our guests are welcome to be part of the Madame Zingara magic, even if just for one night. We invite you to step into our world where disbelief is suspended and all things are possible. The Miracle Tour is our tribute to the miracle of life and a celebration of this magical journey”. Whatever problems one may have experienced during the day, will have been forgotten by the time one leaves the world of Madame Zingara!

Note: One is not allowed to photograph the acts during the show, so we have used those from the Madame Zingara website and Facebook page.

Madame Zingara: The Miracle Tour, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.  Tel  0861 623263. www.madamezingara.com Twitter: @Madame_Zingara  Tuesday – Saturday, until mid-year.

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

‘Clifton Shores’ reality TV show of Cape Town: beauty on the beach!

Last night the new 13-series reality TV show ‘Clifton Shores‘ premiered on Vuzu to mixed reaction, locals slamming the production on Twitter, yet the beautiful shots of Clifton were praised from a tourism perspective.

‘Clifton Shores’ documents the ability of a bevy of beautiful American lasses to adapt to ‘survive’ in Cape Town, said executive producer Quinton van der Burgh, reports the Cape Argus. He explained that they cast the girls in America, on the basis of not only their beauty but also their brains.  Katy, Kathy, Destiny, and Jamillette were selected and came to Cape Town last year for the filming, being joined by local lasses Raquel, Rikki, and Claire, as well as local lads Quinton, Brett, Toby, and Steven.  The unique idea for the series came when Van den Burgh, billed as a ‘coal mining magnate’,  was driving between Johannesburg and the coal mines, looking to get away from the ‘black’ in his life, he explained!

They were accommodated in a Clifton mansion, and had to work for Van den Burgh, playing the role of a billionaire businessman.  They had to use their social skills to raise funds for a charity, and to host parties. No script was used. ‘We just started rolling and the drama comes as we go along. It is as real as we get’.  For example, one of the girls is fired. He said about filming locally in Cape Town: “It is a brilliant idea because everything happens in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful destinations in the country. So we see them work and play in a city that allows both all year round” .

Van den Burgh explained that he has made the series to be successful amongst American viewers first and foremost, to make it financially viable, having had to make this choice early on in his production.  Two American networks have expressed interest in the show.  He proudly praised the marketing role of the series: “Also, there is a need to show Cape Town as a tourist destination and, judging by the way the ladies have fun, we are doing a good job in marketing the place” .  The stars of the series were filmed around Cape Town, at the beaches, and even attending the J&B Met earlier this year.  The video for the series shows some clips, including lots of footage of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay in the background to Clifton Beach, abseiling down Table Mountain, paragliding down Lion’s Head, flying over the Cape Town Stadium and V&A Waterfront, and also moves to the Palace of the Lost City, where they do game viewing, and ride elephants.

The Cape Town tourism industry should be grateful for Van den Burgh’s decision to shoot the series in Cape Town, and choosing Clifton (one of the top ten beaches in the world, he motivated).  One hopes that it will be sold to American networks with good audiences, to encourage them to visit Cape Town and its ‘Clifton Shores‘!  The reality TV series (see trailer) comes one month after the Bollywood movie ‘Cocktail’ was released internationally, having been predominantly shot in Cape Town too.

POSTSCRIPT 4/9: Last night we watched the series for the first time, being the third episode.  It showed the Bay Hotel in Camps Bay, at which a meeting was held, paragliding down Lion’s Head, beautiful Table Mountain, a township, and a show at the now ex-Vaudeville. A surprise was that the episode was only 30 minutes long.

‘Clifton Shores’, Vuzu (DStv channel 123), Tuesdays at 21h00. www.cliftonshores.com

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

Cape Town & Winelands Restaurant closures bad sign for winter to come!

Capetonians are still reeling from the news that the country’s and our city’s largest restaurant, Paulaner Bräuhaus, closed down on Sunday evening, after ten years of operating in the V & A Waterfront.  Our blogpost about this closure has received more than 1000 unique views in the past 48 hours, an unheard of high readership demonstrating the interest in this story.  Kloof Street appears to be experiencing a particularly bad series of restaurant closures, the street having the most restaurants in Cape Town.  Our list of latest restaurant openings and closures will be updated continuously, as we receive information.

Cape Town

*   Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room has opened on Bree Street, as an American-style diner, owned by Lyndall Maunder, ex-Superette

*   Chez Chez Espresso and Cheesecake Bar has closed down off Kloof Street, Tamboerskloof.

*   The Black Pearl (ex-Seven Sins) on Kloof Street has closed down

*   Andy Fenner (JamieWho?) and friends have opened Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants in Metal Lane, 8 Kloof Street, opposite McDonald’s.  They are stocking Farmer Angus McIntosh’s beef, Richard Bosman’s pork, and eggs and chicken from Simply Wholesome.  A barista will make coffee, and Jason will bake special chorizo muffins and bacon brioche for them.

*   Neil Grant, ex-sommelier of Rust en Vrede, has opened Burrata, a new restaurant in the Old Biscuit Mill

*   Societi Brasserie has opened in Constantia

*   Luke Dale-Roberts, Eat Out Top Chef, has opened the Pot Luck Club, a Tapas Bar next to The Test Kitchen (photograph above). He will also open a real Test Kitchen, a private experimental place to develop new recipes

*   The Bungalow has opened as a 400-seater restaurant where La Med used to be, part of the Kovensky Group, also owning Pepenero, Paranga, The Kove and Zenzero.

*   La Belle Café & Bakery has opened in the Alphen Boutique Hotel.

*   5 Rooms Restaurant has opened at the Alphen Boutique Hotel

*   Gypsy Café has opened in Observatory

*   Kuzina in the Cape Quarter has been sold, and is now called Rocca.

*   Sabrina’s, which opened about two months ago where Depasco was, at the corner of Kloof and Long Street, has closed down

*   Arts Café has opened at Artscape.

*   Chef Craig Paterson has started as Executive Chef at Dash (Queen Victoria Hotel), the V&A Hotel, and Dock House

*   Caveau at the Josephine Mill has closed down

*   Café Sofia in Green Point has become Slainte

*   Knead has opened a large outlet in Lifestyle on Kloof, Gardens

*   Mitico has opened a pizzeria and ’spaghetteria’ on Kloof Street, where St Elmo’s used to be

*   Mamma Mia in Steenberg has closed down

*   Don Pedro’s in Woodstock has re-opened, under Madame Zingara management

*   Madame Zingara is said to be re-opening in its original building on Loop Street

*   Tong Lok on Kloof Street has closed down.

*   Mason on Kloof Street has closed down (to become a Slug & Lettuce)

*   Buzz on Kloof Street has closed down

*   Myög has opened as a frozen yoghurt outlet, at 103 Kloof Street

*   Thai Café has opened in the old Cape Quarter

*   Paulaner Bräuhaus in the V&A Waterfront has closed down!

*   The Fez is closing down.

*   Giorgio Nava’s Down South Food Bar has closed down

*   Fat Back Soul has been renamed South China Dim Sum Bar

*   On a Roll has opened in Mowbray as a gourmet hot dog restaurant

*   The Dog’s Bollocks has opened as a burger pop-up restaurant

*   Saints Burger Joint has opened on Kloof Street

*   Cape Bubble Tea, which recently opened in Camps Bay, has closed down

*   Dear Me has opened its Pantry

*   Chef Jannie Melis has left French Toast

*   Jackal & Hide has opened on Kloof Street

*   Eat on Breda Street has closed down

*   Graham Beck’s Gorgeous bubbly bar has opened at Catharina’s at Steenberg, with Jenna Adams as the Manager.

*   Operator Pamela Trevelyan and Chef Lana Doyle have left Sunbird Bistro in Camps Bay.

*   Col’Cacchio is opening new outlets in Claremont and Westlake

*   Chef Daniel Botha, who started at Salt restaurant at the Ambassador Hotel in November, has left. Dale Thebus is the new head chef.

*   Vaudeville has closed down

*   Shin Tai Asian Kitchen is opening on Regent Road in Sea Point

*   Bistro 1682 Manager Juergen Welp has left, and has been replaced by Marc Cowen.  Assistant Manager Jenna Adams has moved over to Catharina’s to run Gorgeous by Graham Beck.  New assistant managers are Cable Ermstrom and Hilton Klassen.

*   A new Vida é Caffe is opening on Prestwich Street in April, and a cupcake shop is said to be opening around the corner, on Ebenezer Street, next to T & Co/Table 13, in Green Point

*   GM Nigel Pace has left the Cape Grace Hotel

*   Il Cappero will moving from Barrack Street to Fairway Street in Camps Bay, opening in May.

*   Saints on 84 Kloof has opened on Kloof Street

*   Sushibox has opened at Newlands Village

*   Richard’s Supper Stage & Bistro has opened on Main/Glengariff Roads in Sea Point, as a dinner theatre (from May), and restaurant, owned by Richard Loring and Roland Seidel

*   ‘I my Laundry laundry restaurant has opened on Buitengracht Street

*   West Street Café has opened in the new Woodstock Foundry, owned by Chef Alan West

*   Orphanage has opened as a cocktail and tapas emporium on Bree Street

*   Valora on Loop Street has closed down

*   ACT Restaurant and Play Bar at the Baxter Theatre closed down overnight on the last March weekend, without paying its rent for the past three months.

*   Philip Arno Botes is the new Chef at Pure Restaurant at Hout Bay Manor.

*  Take & Bake German Bakery has closed down on Main Road Sea Point

*  Maz Sushi has closed down on Main Road Sea Point

*   Planet Green Salad Bar has opened on Kloof Street

*  Burrata will introduce a new 3-course food and wine pairing menu before the end of April.

*  Vanilla in the Cape Quarter has closed down.

*   Chef Bruce Robertson has opened Bruce’s Beach House for lunches, in Scarborough

*   Cake designer Martin Senekal has closed Cafeteria in De Waterkant, now only selling on order and at the Old Biscuit Mill market

*   Madame’s on Napier has opened in De Waterkant

*   Moyo is to open where the Paulaner Braühaus was in the V & A Waterfront.

*   Sinn has closed down its Deli at Wembley Square

*   Table Thirteen is closing down in Green Point and moving to Paarden Eiland at the end of May

Franschhoek

* Leopard’s Leap has opened its Tasting room and Liam Tomlin Food Studio and Store outside Franschhoek

*    Reuben’s is opening a Franschhoek branch in his self-owned building off the main road, when his Huguenot Road branch lease expires this year

*   Dieu Donné in Franschhoek has leased its restaurant to Martin and Marco from Durban, and they have renamed it Roca.

*   The sushi restaurant has closed down

*   MCC Franschhoek has opened in the Village Square, opposite the church, stocking 34 MCC’s from Franschhoek and serving food as well

*  Babel Tea House has opened at Babylonstoren, serving sandwiches, cake and teas.

*  Donovan Dreyer from Grande Provence has resigned, and started as Restaurant Manager of Indochine at Delaire Graff.  Aldo du Plessis has taken over as Restaurant Manager at Grande Provence.

*  The Franschhoek Food Emporium has closed down.

*   Bijoux Chocolates has closed down its chocolate manufacture, will continue selling chocolates.

*   Chef Bjorn Dingemans has left The Franschhoek Kitchen at Holden Manz, to open up a new restaurant on Lourensford wine estate in spring. Cheyne Morrisby is the new chef at the Franschhoek Kitchen.

*   Chef Vanie Padayachee has joined Le Quartier Français

*   Chef Darren Roberts is leaving Grande Provence for a new appointment in the Seychelles at the end of April.

*   Alton van Biljon has been appointed as Restaurant Manager at Haute Cabriere.

Stellenbosch

*    Cavallo restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, this year or next

*   Cupcake on Dorp Street has closed down, and Dorpstraat Deli will open

*   De Oude Bank Bakkerij has opened a bar, serving Bartinney wines, and craft beers.

*   Bruce von Pressentin has been appointed as Executive Chef at The Restaurant @ Longridge

*   David Higgs has resigned as Executive Chef from Radisson Blu Gautrain in Johannesburg (previously with Rust en Vrede), and was said to be headed for his home country Namibia.  He starts at The Saxon in Johannesburg in May.

*   Slug & Lettuce will open where Beads is on Church Street

*   De Huguenot, with its Harry Q Bar and wedding reception facilities, will be auctioned on 14 March.

*   Stables at Vergelegen Bistro has opened as a lunch restaurant in Somerset West.  Its Lady Phillips Restaurant is being given a make-over by Christo Barnard, and will open in June, with a new name called The Vergelegen Restaurant.

*   Warwick wine estate’s new chef is Dane Newton (ex-Chamonix, Cascade Manor).

* Tokara closes for a winter break from 22 April, re-opens on 4 May

Paarl

* Chef Matthew Gordon has opened Harvest, a new restaurant at Laborie

*  The Spice Route Restaurant has opened on the ex-Seidelberg, now belonging to Fairview.

Hermanus/Overberg

*    Simone’s Restaurant has opened in Napier

*   Tipples Bar and Grill has opened in Hermanus

*   Rivendell Estate and Bistro has opened as a restaurant and winetasting venue on the road between Hermanus and the N2, near the Kleinmond turn-off.

*  Grilleri has closed down

Garden Route

*   Katarina’s has opened at the Kurland Hotel.

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

Telegraph Travel ‘Cape Town City Break Guide’ an improvement, but not error-free!

After writing about the disastrous error-filled and outdated Conde Nast Traveller  Guide to Cape Town earlier this week, it was refreshing to see a link on Twitter about the Telegraph Travel’s  ‘Cape Town City Break Guide’, written by local travel writer and ‘destination expert’ Pippa de Bruyn (author of a ‘Frommer’s Guide’ to South Africa and to India, and of  ‘A Hedonist’s Guide to Cape Town’), resulting in a far more accurate guide for the tourist visiting Cape Town.

The Guide kicks off with the Beauty positioning for Cape Town (the one that Cape Town Tourism has just thrown away by using Inspirational’, as the new positioning for Cape Town, even though it is not unique for Cape Town and has been used by others, including Pick ‘n Pay!), in stating that “Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world”.  It is accompanied by a beautiful shot of Clifton, with the Twelve Apostles as backdrop.  The reasons for travelling to Cape Town are motivated as its ‘in-your-face beauty’; the pristine white beaches; the proximity of nature; spotting zebra and wildebeest on the slopes of Table Mountain; watching whales breaching in False Bay; being ‘halted by cavorting baboons near Cape Point’; being a contender for World Design Capital 2014 with its art galleries, ‘hip bars’, opera, and design-savvy shops; the unique marriage of Dutch-origin vegetable gardening, winemaking introduced by the French (this fact must be challenged, as it was the Dutch who established the first wine farms), Malay slaves’ spices, and English ‘Georgian mansions and Victorian terraced homes’;  its contrasts of pleasure and poverty, of ‘pounding seas and vine-carpeted valleys’, and its award-winning wines and produce offer ‘some of the best (and most affordable) fine dining in the world’.

The ‘Cape Town City Break Guide’ includes the following recommendations:

*   travel time is suggested as ‘pretty much any time of the year’, and a warning of wet Julys and Augusts now is inaccurate, given the wonderful non-winter weather experienced in Cape Town during both these months this year!

*   misleading is the claim that Cape Town offers the best land-based whale watching in the world – this positioning belongs to Hermanus, and is corrected a few pages further into the guide.   Also misleading is the claim that the best ‘summer deals’ are available in October and November – most accommodation establishments have the same rate for the whole summer, and do not drop rates at the start of summer.

*   it is up-to-date in that use of the MyCiti Bus is recommended to travel between the airport and the Civic Centre, as well as to the Waterfront.  Train travel between Cape Town and Simonstown is not recommended, due to dirty windows and lack of safety, one of the few negatives contained in the Guide.  The red City Sightseeing bus is recommended, as are bus tours, taxis, Rikkis, and car hire.

*  The ‘Local laws and etiquette’ section does not address either of these two points.  Instead, it warns against crime when walking or driving, and recommends that tourists should not ‘flash their wealth’.  Potential card-skimming in the Waterfront and at the airport is also a potential danger, travellers to Cape Town are told, not accurate, and unfair to these two Cape Town locations.

*   Tourist attractions recommended are Cape Point, driving via the Atlantic Seaboard and Chapman’s Peak; wine-tasting in Constantia; the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens; exploring the city centre on foot, walking from the city centre to Green Point; taking a water taxi from the Convention Centre to the Waterfront; the Footsteps to Freedom Tour; the Company Gardens; the National Gallery; summer concerts at Kirstenbosch; tanning at Clifton beaches; shopping for wines or going on a wine tour; High Tea at the Mount Nelson hotel; going on tours which allow one to meet the ‘other half’  locals;  walking through the Waterfront or taking a sunset cruise; the Two Oceans Aquarium; eating fish and chips in Kalk Bay; going up Table Mountain by foot or cable car; day trips to Cape Point, the West Coast National Park to see the spring flowers, and the Winelands (referring to Franschhoek as the now out-of-date ‘Gourmet Capital of the Cape’, by stating that ‘it is the only place where you have award-winning restaurants within walking distance of each other’, not correct either).

*   in the ‘Cape Town Hotels’ section, it states disturbingly (and information out of date) that ‘Cape Town isn’t cheap’, and therefore suggests that clients stay in Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof, Higgovale, and Bo-Kaap  (but none of these suburbs have restaurants, something guests would like to walk to by foot from their accommodation), as well as De Waterkant, the V&A Waterfront (probably one of the most expensive accommodation areas!), and ‘Greenpoint’ (sic).  Self-catering and ‘B&b’ (sic) accommodation is recommended.  Hotels previously reviewed by The Telegraph are listed: the Mount Nelson, Ellerman House, the Cape Grace, Cascades on the Promenade, Four Rosmead, An African Villa, Rouge on Rose, Fritz Hotel, and The Backpack hostel, an interesting mix of hotels, and not all highly-rated in its reviews. No newer ‘World Cup hotels’ are recommended. 

*   For nightlife, Camps Bay’s Victoria Road, Long Street and Cape Quarter are recommended.  Vaudeville is strongly recommended, but has lost a lot of its appeal.  Other specific recommendations are Asoka on Kloof Street, Fiction DJ Bar & Lounge, Crew Bar in De Waterkant, Julep off Long Street, and the Bascule bar at the Cape Grace.  The list seems out of date, with more trendy night-time spots being popular amongst locals.

*   The Restaurant section is most disappointing, given the great accolade given to the Cape Town fine-dining scene early in the guide. Four restaurants only are recommended, and many would disagree that these are Cape Town’s best, or those that tourists should visit: The Roundhouse in Camps Bay, Willoughby & Co in the Waterfront, 95 Keerom Street, and ‘Colcaccio (sic) Camps Bay’!  A special note advises ‘gourmet diners’ to check Eat Out and Rossouw’s Restaurants  for restaurants close to one’s accommodation.  Stellenbosch restaurants Overture, Rust en Vrede and Terroir are recommended, as are Le Quartier and Ryan’s Kitchen in Franschhoek, and La Colombe in Constantia.

*   Shopping suggestions include the city centre, Green Point, Woodstock, De Waterkant, and Kloof Street, the latter street not having any particularly special shops.  The Neighbourgoods Market in the Old Biscuit Mill is recommended as the ‘best food market in the country’ (locals may disagree, with the squash of undecided shoppers, and increasingly more expensive), and may recommend the City Bowl Market instead).  Art galleries are also recommended.

While the Telegraph Travel  ‘Cape Town City Break Guide’ is a massive improvement on the Condé Nast Traveller  Cape Town guide, even this guide contains unforgivable errors, which a local writer should not be making.  One would hope that Cape Town Tourism will get the errors fixed.  We also suggest that they recommend the addition of Cape Town’s many special city centre eateries, and that the accommodation list be updated.  The exclusion of Robben Island on the attraction list is a deficiency.   The delineation between recommendations for things to do in Cape Town is blurred in some instances with recommendations in towns and villages outside Cape Town, which may confuse tourists to the Mother City.  Overall, the Guide appears superficial and touristy, and does not reveal all the special gems that Cape Town has to offer.

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