The past two days have seen the start of a 10 day period in which Cape Town accommodation is booked out, with resultant chaos on the roads, and is impacting on tourism services, to the frustration of the many visitors, largely South Africans, in Cape Town, as well as its residents!
The positive aspect for the holidaymakers is the magnificent weather we have been blessed with, the South-Easter having stayed away so far, although it may make a vigorous comeback tomorrow. This has attracted locals as well as tourists to the beautiful beaches of Cape Town, Camps Bay and Clifton being the two most perfect and beautiful Blue Flag beaches in our city. I have not seen such parking demand as yesterday, when the parking spaces opposite and in front of the Camps Bay High School were full by midday.
The downside is that Cape Town is unlikely to cope with the volume of cars and visitors in the next week:
* for the first time City of Cape Town traffic services regulated traffic coming down from Signal Hill or up Kloof Road past The Roundhouse this past weekend, a crossing of many near-accidents. This means that traffic coming up Camps Bay Drive from Camps Bay is badly backed up.
* even worse was the situation at Table Mountain yesterday. I had offered to drop two Norwegian guests at Platteklip Gorge, where they wanted to hike up the mountain. Another set of traffic police helped me get onto Tafelberg Road, only to have a near collision with a bakkie belonging to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, stopping suddenly in our lane in front of the car, having travelled all the way down the mountain against oncoming traffic. He shouted at us that we were not allowed up the mountain, as no traffic was moving up or down, yet the Cablecar sign at the circle showed that the Cableway was open. We had seen cars parked Continue reading →
The Sweet Service Award goes to the Waterfront Boat Company, for hosting a group of guest house owners on a harbour cruise on a picture-perfect Cape Town evening, accompanied by Boschendal Grande Cuvee Brut and their Le Grande Pavillon Brut RosÃ©, and then hosted by Waterfront 221 restaurant, to introduce the Cruise and Dine package which the restaurant and the cruise company have developed.
The Sour Service Award goes to Bird Boutique Café in Bree Street. It was a first visit, and we sat in the entrance hall at a long table with benches. A waitress took our order. It took 20 minutes to bring tap water. The food order for the second person was not given to the kitchen. The orange juice had to be re-ordered. The food was slow in coming from the kitchen. I spoke to the co-owner Heike Stegmann, having asked for her, and spoke in German to her, out of courtesy to her, as I had read that she was German. She immediately told me that I could not say “Du” to her, but had to say “Sie”, as I did not know her! In South Africa most Germans would say ‘Du’, especially as I was older than she. No disrespect had been intended. There was no apology for the poor service, but we were told that we should have seen the note that customers must place their own order in the kitchen. As we were not sitting in that room, we did not see the notice! The waitress also did not tell us. The menu was worn and partly torn, and we had a chipped glass in which the water was served. The owners were in the kitchen, remaining hidden in the kitchen, behind a curtain. We could not see the “boutique” in the name of the ‘restaurant’, especially with the crates for seating! We bought 2 packets of home-made lebkuchen biscuits, and they were stone-hard when we ate them at home.
The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog. Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at firstname.lastname@example.org. Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.