WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Reserve Bank has left the Repo rate unchanged, but has warned that the inflationary pressure from petrol price increases and a weak Rand could influence the rate in future.

*   The City of Cape Town is setting up a company to manage the Cape Town Stadium, an asset which is costing the City and its ratepayers large sums of money due to losses made, at about R36 million a year! The establishment of the company is to be approved at the Mayoral Committee meeting today, which will then create a business hub around (more…)

FLF logoThe Sweet Service Award goes to the Franschhoek Literary Festival, for another excellent weekend bringing 5000 visitors to the village for two or more days, boosting accommodation establishments, restaurants and coffee shops, wine estates, and retail outlets. We received our first 2016 booking two hours after the 2015 Festival had closed, a demonstration of its success. It also brought a lovely concert series by Christopher Duigan to the village, as well as an excellent bassoon concert to La Motte. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Daniel ‘Harry Potter’ Radcliffe was spotted climbing Table Mountain yesterday.  He is in Cape Town for the filming of ‘Game Changer’.

*   Lion’s Head is closed to hikers, due to a rockfall, but Table Mountain National Park is hoping to re-open it in time for the weekend.

*   Cape Vintner Classification will be launched officially at the London Wine Fair this week, to counter the image of our country’s wines as ‘cheap and cheerful‘.  The Classification will represent the 80% of brands that make up 10% of our wine export volume, and will market quality local (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   SAA is pursuing a new procurement policy of aircraft parts, services, and supplies from ‘Black industrialists’.  A funding pool is to be established, to help such industrialists to set up their businesses.

*   All passengers travelling with children, arriving in or departing from one of our country’s airports, are subject to the new Immigration Regulations from 1 June onwards.  This applies to South Africans too, and not just to (more…)

Speakers Corner mural Whale CottageThe Cape Town city centre is a gem of history, many beautiful old buildings being restored by developers and given a new lease on life.  A new 3000 m² development by Urban Lime on the corner of Church Square and Parliament Street, previously a warehouse, will become a grand 4-storey urban development Speakers-Corner, with 15 offices, a restaurant, a bar, and specialist retail outlets, it was announced at a function in the building last night.

One had to announce one’s arrival downstairs in a corner space of the Victorian building, which will become part of the restaurant, and it had a ‘Retro Woman’ mural painted by Johannesburg-based mural artist Sonny, giving one a taste of what is to come.  The building has exposed brick, original (more…)

Sirocco facing Sushi Bar Whale CottageI had been led to believe that one of the better restaurants in Knysna is Sirocco, and I do recall having eaten there once before, when it was more of a fine-dining restaurant.  I was very disappointed when I spent part of my S&T allowance from the Department of Justice at Sirocco last night. Sirocco entrance Whale CottageLoadshedding was not the only problem the restaurant had to cope with, Manager Sonia de Lange having shed her service ethic too!

I had popped in at Thesen Island earlier in the afternoon, and had a look at the fire-damaged Ile de Pain, speaking to staff at a neighbouring shop, and they recommended Sirocco.  When I visited Knysna a month ago, also with the compliments of the Department of Justice, I had experienced
dreadful service at three restaurants I had attempted to eat at, in particular at the Island Café at The Turbine Hotel & Spa! On Facebook a number of visitors to Knysna shared that the town appears to have a problem with restaurant service.

It was hard to see the entrance to the restaurant, as there is a Col’Cacchio now, and (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Uber and Discovery Health are partnering in a flu vaccination drive on Friday 22 May, between 10h00 and 16h00, a Discovery Health accredited nurse coming to one’s home or work and offering five vaccinations to persons 18+ years for R100. The promotional code is UBERHEALTHSA. The nurse will also bring a flu prevention pack with some surprise items. Discovery Vitality members receive 1000 Vitality points, while DiscoveryCard holders will receive a refund of the R100. (received via media release from Uber).

*   KWV has won 35 international awards in three competitions in the past week: At the International Wine (more…)

FLF Emma Sadleir, Rebecca Davis, Tom Eaton Whale CottageThe Franschhoek Literary Festival has never viewed Social Media as a serious literary genre, and its token recognition of writing on Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is reflected in the event’s poor use of the medium to communicate with its audience of attendees and potential future visitors.  It is a shame that the two Social Media sessions overlapped so much, much of what was said on Friday being repeated on Saturday, not surprising in that two of the three speakers were the same persons.

Friday’s session was one of the Festival opening events, and was not as well attended as one would have thought, but the starting time may have been too early.  The target audience was not (more…)

Cab Sav Report Waterford winemaker 2On Thursday afternoon we were invited to attend the annual presentation of the results of the fourth Christian Eedes Cabernet Sauvignon Report, held at Burrata at an unusual 15h30 start time.  Thirteen wines were scored at 90 or more points out of 100, and Waterford Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 was rated the top, out of 60 invited entries.

We were welcomed with a glass of water, and jokingly Christian Eedes opened the proceedings with an explanation for the tableclothless tables, the water we were served, and the pizzas to come.  His former sponsor Sanlam had dropped him, he explained, and hence the austerity of the (more…)

snapscanA Cape Town study conducted by &Innovation has shown that locally-developed mobile payment Apps can influence the tips paid by customers to waitrons, the speed of the payment method making customers feel less guilty when they leave a smaller or no tip.  Based on restaurant turnover of R21 billion per year, the value of tips should be R2 billion.

The study found that the tip payment behaviour when paying by means of SnapScan, FlickPay, GUST Pay, and Zapper differs from payment made by cash or credit card. Whichever payment technique is easiest and most convenient for the customer at the moment of payment is used, without consideration of the impact it may have on the restaurant or coffee shop, and its staff.  The mobile payment method means that they don’t ‘look the waiter or cashier in the eye’.  It also means that the tip jar remains untouched. (more…)

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