Fisherman's Catch & Grill Interior Whale Cottage PortfolioI had noticed the fish restaurant Fisherman’s Catch on the main road coming in to Franschhoek for a few months, the building previously having been used as a Tool Hire shed. The signage outside promises ‘West Coast comes to Franschhoek‘! While sceptical of trying a fish-focused restaurant in Franschhoek, it was better than I expected, yet has the potential for great improvement!

From the photographs I took of the outside signage I noticed that the restaurant has two names, its latest name being Fisherman’s Catch & Grill.   The owner Ian Davie from St Helena Bay explained that its official name is Fisherman’s Catch. Ian is the leaseholder, and had a West Coast person manage the restaurant for him at the beginning of the year.  Ian had to close the restaurant for a while after the manager had a heart attack.Fisherman's Catch & Grill Sign old Whale Cottage Portfolio Ian re-opened a month ago, adjusted the restaurant name slightly, appointed Brett Smith to manage the restaurant, and appointed the kitchen staff (ex Reuben’s and Kalfie’s), who came to train on the West Coast. Ian had the decor done. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Indaba will have 23 African countries promoting their countries’ tourism products, making it the first comprehensive Africa tourism exhibition.   A total of 400 exhibitors has been signed up for the show, held in Durban from 10 -12 May, with more than 1000 visitors confirmed to date.

*   Mozambique and South Africa have signed a biodiversity and an anti-poaching agreement to combat the poaching of rhino in the Greater Limpopo Cross-Border Park in particular, which is a culmination of the Kruger Park, the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique, and the Gonarezhou in Zimbabwe.  The number of rhino killed due to poaching has grown almost 300-fold in the last seven years!

*   BBC Worldwide will not be doing a fourth season of ‘Come Dine with Me South Africa, despite attracting 5 million local viewers.  The broadcaster is looking at doing a more localised program.

*   ‘Cook Franschhoek‘ will be held in Franschhoek from 13 – 15 June, with Franschhoek chefs doing cooking (more…)

LiquorThe Western Cape government is seeking input into its Draft Western Cape Liquor Amendment Bill, with a series of public hearings about eleven proposed amendments to the Bill planned.

Provincial Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, has invited Capetonians and Western Cape residents, liquor consultants, and licence holders to have their say about the proposed changes, according to a media release received from the Minister’s office.  The deadline for comments on the Draft Bill is 10 May.

Minister Winde said: ‘With legislation, despite extensive public participation, some unintended consequences only come to light after full implementation. We are eager to address these issues with urgency to ensure the new Liquor Act roots out non-compliant legal liquor traders who are harming our communities. This draft bill came after consultation with several stakeholders and I’d like to encourage communities and businesses to contribute their insights to this amendment process’.

The Liquor Authority has received complaints from residents regarding the ‘150 litre clause’. This clause was (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and wine news headlines

*   In Departure Hall B in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt airport passengers can play the piano made available for all to enjoy by both pianists as well as waiting passengers, and has been described as a big hit!

*   Health food franchise operator Kauai has opened a branch in Dubai. in what appears to be its first international branch.

*   Sainsbury’s SO Organic South African Fairtrade Cabernet Sauvignon NV is one of ten organic wines recommended by The Independent, also coming from Argentina, France, Italy, Spain, and Australia, and is by far the cheapest of the ten, at £6.  It is also rated ‘as a fantastic drinkable red wine’.

*   Tim James writes that the Cape Point WO (Wine of Origin) area name has been replaced by ‘Cape (more…)

Folliage Chef Chris Erasmus Whale Cottage PortfolioA quick Easter Hot Cross Bun and coffee at Pierneef à La Motte was a double treat when Chef Chris Erasmus came to say hello and joined me at the table to share the news about his new Folliage restaurant, which he plans to open in the heart of the Franschhoek village just before the Bastille weekend in mid-July.

Chef Chris was beaming, clearly excited about his new project, even though he says that he is a little nervous about running his own business for the first time.  Chef Chris worked at Le Quartier Français, at Pied à Terre in London, and at Ginja in Cape Town before he joined Pierneef à La Motte almost four years ago, and took the restaurant to Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant last year.  He leaves La Motte on 15 June. He is opening his restaurant on the corner of Berg Street and main road, just two blocks from our Whale Cottage Franschhoek, in walking distance for our guests, who prefer to walk to the village for dinner than to drive to any of the good restaurants on theFolliage exterior building Whale Cottage Portfolio wine estates just outside the village. The restaurant will seat up to 70 for lunch, including outside, and 40 inside at night.  The building belongs to the owners of La Petite Dauphine, and one of its owners, Gert Gertzen, is a highly regarded interior designer, and he is working with Chef Chris in planning the decor, which will have a wood ceiling, and wood furniture, on a concrete floor.

Right next door is the IS art gallery, which moved into the same building a week ago, a (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   CNN has included Cape Town as one of the Best Easter egg hunts around the world, in the company of London, New York, Miami, Vienna, Washington, France, Toronto, and Sydney.  The hunt for the treasure chest of Easter eggs on Table Mountain was guided by clue cards handed out by Mad Hatters Tea Party characters.

*   Fourteen travel bloggers, two from South Africa, will form part of a #MeetSouthAfrica blog campaign by SA Tourism, the bloggers travelling throughout our country and blogging about their journey, culminating in INDABA, the travel expo in Durban in early May.

*   The Banking Ombudsman has reported that 23% of the almost 5000 complaints received in the past year related to ATMs, the number of such complaints close to doubling from the year before, reports The New Age.  About 40% of the (more…)

Camps Bay beachA survey conducted amongst 20000 travel agents by Benchmark Hospitality International in the USA has culminated in the ‘Top Ten Travel Trends for 2014′.  Good news is that travel bookings are on the up, and that beach holidays are on an upward trend too!

The results were as follows:

1.   80% of the travel agents were optimistic about travel growth, half of these expecting it to be ‘very strong’.

2.   Most growth will come from leisure travel, and half of this from the luxury segment.  However, leisure and business travel often is combined.

3.   An increasing number of clients are booking directly, understandably of concern to travel agents.

4.   Beach-related travel is showing the strongest growth, responsible for about half of all travel. The balance of (more…)


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Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:    Twitter: @WhaleCottage

China airlinesThe tourism industry is growing faster globally than the world’s Gross Domestic Product, a study commissioned by Amadeus and published by Oxford Economics has found, reports eTurboNews.

Its report ‘Shaping the Future of Travel: Macro Trends Driving Industry Growth Until 2023‘ has predicted an annual global growth of 5,4% compared to GDP growth of 3,4%.

The Report also highlights global Tourism trends:

1.   China will overtake the USA in becoming the largest economic force, and Asia generally being a growing market, with emphasis on India and Indonesia, and to a lesser degree Russia.  Travel by Asians is set to double in the next ten years, at double the rate of European travel, and overtaking the number of European travellers by 2013, at over 2 million.

2.   The level of short haul business flights in Europe and the USA achieved in its hey day in 2008 is only likely to be seen again by 2018. Asian business travel is predicted to grow by 55%.

3.   Low cost airlines are predicted to grow their business for international travel. (more…)

Cape Philharmonic OrchestraThe Sweet Service Award goes to the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra for its 100 years of delighting lovers of classic music and for bringing in international artists as well as conductors.  The Orchestra receives no financial support from the City of Cape Town, to reflect what a treasure it is for our city, and is dependent ion handouts from the Lotto and income generated through its concerts. (more…)

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