WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   World Design Capital 2016 will be hosted by Taipei, and the city received the baton for the bi-annual event from incumbent Cape Town last weekend from the President of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, with Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille present. Taipei’s theme will be ‘Adaptive City: Design in Motion’.  

*  Crown Princess Mary of Denmark will open the ‘Danish Showroom for Design, Architecture and Consumer Goods at Youngblood in Cape Town on 3 November.  Danish design products of ten companies will be on display, and the exhibition aims to improve collaboration between our country and Denmark.  Entrance is free, from 4 – 6 November.

*   A Ghandi tourism route has been developed, and was launched in Johannesburg by SA Tourism, with thirteen places on (more…)

La Motte Pierneef Sauvignon Blanc Whale CottageLa Motte has changed the packaging of its Pierneef Collection range, bringing the J.H. Pierneef lino cut prints to the front label, having originally been launched with prints of the valuable artworks on the back label.

The late artist Pierneef, said by many to be our country’s best artist ever, has made an important impact on La Motte, his lino cut prints collection having been used by the wine estate for a number of years.  In negotiating the right to use the prints, of which Hannelie Rupert-Koegelenberg had received a set of 128 prints as a gift from her father Dr Anton Rupert, she and her husband Hein Koegelenberg got to know Pierneef’s daughter Marita Bailey, who lives in the UK.  Mrs Bailey approached the Koegelenbergs to buy the private family collection of Pierneefs, which they agreed to, and they built a special gallery and museum to house the works of art.  It did not stop there.  As La Motte was building a restaurant (and a new Tasting Room as well as Farm Shop) at that time, it was decided to name the restaurant Pierneef à La Motte, wishing to associate the success of the artist and his pursuit of excellence with that which they planned for the (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The South African Football Federation (SAFA) has declined the offer to host the 2015 African Confederations (Afcon) Cup, due to Morocco cancelling its hosting due to the Ebola threat. SAFA says that our country does not have the funds to host the event.

*  A host of South African companies is participating in the South Africa-China Expos next week, 51 local companies participating in the expos in five Chinese cities. Their participation is supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, so that trade and investment between the two countries can be increased.  Bayede wine company is one of the participants, and wants to enhance its presence in China. Robinson and Sinclair Wine Company is another exhibitor, while Rooibos Tea will be promoted generically.

*   The Nedbank Green Wine Awards 2014 recognised Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2013 as Best Wine Overall in the Made from Organically Grown Grapes category, as well as Organic Best White Wine.  Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho 2012 won (more…)

Blaauwklippen Artwork for Blend label Whale CottageFriday’s 31st Blaauwklippen Blending Competition event was not only a celebration of the enthusiasm and skills of wine clubs around the country, but also of the rejuvenation of Blaauwklippen, with a number of changes made with a new Tasting Room venue, the addition of a new Bistro with a new champion for it, a new Spirits Room, and a redecorated entrance and cellar function room.   The Blending Competition made history with its most unusual outcome.

We were welcomed on a perfect function weather day on the lawn between the Tasting Room and the Manor House and Jonkershuis, a space I had never seen before. We were served Blaauwklippen’s Ons Sprankel wine, and canapés made by new Blaauwklippen Bistro owner and charcutier Steve Jeffery.  They were served by dapper looking waitresses, wearing Bistro black outfits and cheeky hats, looking smarter than most restaurant staff I have seenBlaauwklippen Canapes Waitress Whale Cottage in a long time.  They offered platters of spinach and feta phyllo pastry parcels, and mozzarella pesto roulades, which doubled up as the starters (I did not see the third canapé specified on the menu).  Natalie Campbell told me that the Manor House is used for conferences and weddings, while the Jonkershuis is used for staff accommodation.

I had a chance to chat to Steve before we sat down, and he told me that he has been at the Old Biscuit Mill for the past nine years, selling his charcuterie products, having had a stand at Blaauwklippen’s Market at one stage too.  Rolf and Steve had been talking for about two years about doing something jointly, and (more…)

Mercedes-Benz logoThe Sweet Service Award goes to Mercedes-Benz Culemborg in Cape Town, for the assistance by its Service Manager Dean Guimaraes in opening my car roof, which stopped working yesterday morning. Despite arriving at 16h00 on a Friday afternoon after returning from a function in Stellenbosch, Dean checked out the car.  He found that a part of the roof mechanism had broken, and managed to open the roof, despite the broken part, which they will replace next week, once ordered on Monday. (more…)

MasterChef 3 9 9 Finalits Whale CottageLast night MasterChef SA continued with more boring viewing, the simple task of the Invention Test being to make a MasterChef Chicken MasterPiece, using the whole chicken, including the giblets! It was surprising how poorly this challenge was executed.  Penny Fitchet won the Invention Test with her Coq au Vin, while Claire Allen was sent home.  It was shocking to see how casually Reuben Robertsons Riffel was dressed, with a crumpled pair of slacks and a round neck jersey, while his colleague judges Pete Goffe-Wood and Benny Masekwameng looked smartly dressed and professional!  Riffel was filmed with his hands in his pants MasterChef 3 9 Judgespockets too!  Shocking was the spelling errors in the M-Net media release!

Having returned back to the MasterChef SA kitchen at Nederburg, after having spent some time (and two episodes in Durban, Umhlanga, and Ixopo), the Finalists appeared happy to be back ‘home’ in their kitchen. On each cooking station was a black apron, with each contestant’s name embroidered on it.  The contestants had 90 minutes to prepare their chicken dishes, transforming the ‘common chicken‘ to a MasterChef chicken MasterPiece, Riffel said.  They enjoyed (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Silverthorn Blanc de Blancs 2011 was jointly named Wine of Show in the 2014 Six Nations Wine Challenge, with New Zealand’s Dog Point Pinot Noir 2012.   The 600 entries from five southern hemisphere countries plus the USA were evaluated by top wine judges, one from each country.   Our country won the Trophy for Sauvignon Blanc, Australia won for Malbec, Chile won for Riesling, Argentina for Shiraz, the USA won Bordeaux Blend, and New Zealand won for its Chardonnay, and was named Nation of Show. Entry is by invitation from the judges, and is designed to find the New World wine champions.  Michael Fridjhon was the South African judge.

*   A new Table Mountain frame has been erected outside Charly’s Bakery, offering the perfect framework for taking a photograph of Table Mountain, with a mural of the late Nelson Mandela in the foreground. (seen via Twitter)

*   Du Preez Wines is set to produce wines in the Arrivals Hall of Cape Town International, the gateway to the Western (more…)

Haar Exterior Whale CottageIt was a call from Nick, who handles Social Media for Haas Collective, an advertising agency, art and interior decor consultancy, and coffee shop, that motivated my colleague and I to return to the new Haas building on Buitenkant Street yesterday, to write this piece.

Haas became a firm favourite when it first opened more than three years ago on Rose Street, giving life and energy to this Bo-Kaap street, being a convenient stop with parking usually available and devoid of parking marshalls.  It became a second office (even though wifi was always problematical, with changing passwords) and a welcome meeting place, all first-time visitors being impressed with the art-focused interior.  The food was always secondary, prepared from a kitchen across the road in a rented building, adjacent to where the Haas advertising agency had its offices too, in addition to the upstairs offices. Service deteriorated over time, as the waiters became more arrogant and slack, jiving in the entrance section, talking noisily, and not proactively following up with the kitchen. Inge has been the only efficient manager on the coffee shop side of the business, but (more…)

Maison Deli main pic Whale CottageWe recently wrote about Maison Estate, and the visit in winter by its Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg to Portugal, Spain, and Australia, from which he has brought back new menu ideas.  These ideas have been incorporated into their menu, and a clever way of attracting attention to them is to incorporate them into a Tapas menu which greets one when one arrives in the Tasting Room.  The quality of the Tapas is the best I have experienced to date, and is excellent value for money.

As one enters the Tasting Room and The Kitchen building at Maison, a lounge area to the immediate right has been transformed into the Deli, with a High Table at which one can sit with bar stools, and ‘decorated’ with scientific looking equipment and preserves made by Chef Arno and his team.   A large shelving unit ‘divides’ the Deli section from the remaining (now much smaller) lounge, the shelves being filled by the hard work of Chef Arno, including green tomato atchar, pickled broad beans, marmalade, aubergine and courgette chutney, green figs, vinegar, chili relish, pickled Jerusalem artichokes, onion relish, spiced tomato ketchup, plum chutney, olive oil, courgette relish, yellow tomato atchar, olives, lemon cordial, and fresh ciabatta.  The items on the shelves are interspersed with home decor items from Weylandts stores, owned by Maison owner Chis Weylandt,Maison Deli shelves and produce Whale Cottage including tea sets, glass jugs, wooden boards, cutlery sets, placemats, bowls, plates, and more.  A refrigerated display unit contains jars of duck rillettes, pork rillettes, pork terrine, pancettas, saucisson, salamies, smoked yellowtail, fresh farm eggs, lemons, massive 5-year old Angus six week dry-aged thick 500 gram slices of T-bone (R300), and guineafowl pistachio parfait.    Almost all the produce used for the items sold in the Deli was harvested from the farm.   The styling of the Deli section was done by Marc-Anthony Hewson-de Swardt, Group Visual Merchandiser of Weylandts. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine new headlines

*   The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has announced that its profit has increased to its highest level ever, at R1,7 billion, a 73% increase on the year before.  The profit increase was achieved despite the decline in passenger numbers.  The airport infrastructure is to be improved, without any ‘significant’ increases in passenger tariffs.

*   SA Tourism captured attention for our country on Times Square in New York last week, with Hugh Masekela and Sindiswe Nxumalo, a cast member of ‘The Lion King’, performing on a double decker bus to publicise the ‘Ubuntu: Music & Arts of South Africa‘ Festival being held at Carnegie Hall until 5 November. Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela are headline artists for the Festival, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of our democracy, and aims to position South Africa as offering more than the Big Five, in having ‘the most hospitable people in the world‘ as well as the most resilient, given the country’s 350 year history.

*   The Franschhoek-based  Bhabhathane (meaning butterfly in Xhosa) charity promoting childhood development and education (more…)

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