Entries tagged with “Atlantic seaboard”.


The Test KitchenDear Sarah

We are extremely proud to have you living in your newly adopted home city Cape Town, and that you are such a fantastic tourism ambassador for our country in general, and for Cape Town in particular.  You put Cape Town on the world tourist map with your article earlier this year in the New York Times about Cape Town being the number one  ’52 places to go in 2014′, the best free publicity our city has ever had.

I was therefore shocked to see your article about Top Chefs in Cape Town’ in Travel + Leisureand the choices you made in selecting what you have listed as the top five chefs in Cape Town: Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen, Peter Tempelhoff of The Greenhouse, Reuben Robertsons Riffel of Reuben’s x 4 (in Franschhoek, Cape Town, Robertson, and Paternoster) plus Racine, Bruce Robertson of The Flagship, and Franck Dangereux of The Food Barn, in that order. You did not define your guidelines for selecting the five chefs, nor did you appear to use the same criteria in selecting the chefs that are on your list – the justification for inclusion appears more anecdotal and random.  Equally, I am surprised about the chefs you excluded from the list!

You seem to praise Chef Franck for his ‘foreign pedigree, but why single him out when Chefs Luke and Peter also have foreign roots?  Does that make them better chefs?  All of the chefs on your list have worked overseas, so they deserve equal mention in this regard.  You ‘warn’ Travel + Leisure readers to ‘watch out for these five Cape Town chefs and memorize their names now – they’re poised to break through to the global stage any day now‘!

Let me comment on each of your Top Chef choices: (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   In honour of Mandela Day last Friday, and the launch of the new DVD of the ‘Lego‘ movie, a collection of limited edition Lego figurines of local presenters, including Gareth Cliff,  Bonang Matheba (ex Metro FM), Lee-Roy Wright (SABC3 presenter), DJ Fresh (5FM), and Casper Lee (actor Spud 3) has been created.  A set of three Nelson Mandela mini Lego figurines has also been launched.

*   The few women honoured in Cape Town by means of statues is soon to become something of the past, when steel cut-outs  of such women luminaries and outspoken leaders as the late Albertina Sisulu, Miriam Makeba, Adelaide Tambo, and Nadine Gordimer are erected along the Fan Walk leading to the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point, a World Design Capital 2014 project called ‘Wonder Women’.   Architect Mokena Makeka will make up the steel statues of the women, with a positive and negative image.

*   This coming weekend the focus in Cape Town will be on Street Food, with talks at Sidestreet Studios on Saturday 27 July by Andy (more…)

Bunter Cape Town das-mussen-sie-gesehen-haben_256410_960x644If it depends on Bunte magazine, Germany’s largest selling lifestyle magazine, the Boerewors dishes sold at Gourmet Boerie are a memorable part of a visit to Cape Town!

Guiding visitors to Cape Town, last week’s article about our city is the last substantial one since the 2010 World Cup, when Cape Town was featured in Bunte regularly.  Cape Town has fallen off Bunte‘s travel radar,  despite Germany now being the largest source country for tourists to Cape Town.

Table Mountain, Camps Bay, and Robben Island are described as the tourist classics of Cape Town.  The article advises visitors to see the city from the top of the mountain, so that one can admire the view of the city centre, the other mountains, and the ocean.  Views from Lion’s Head and Chapman’s Peak are also praised, as is what is described as one of the longest coastal roads along the Atlantic Seaboard travelling south.

A number of ‘culinary delights‘ are recommended for eating and drinking. Good coffee is recommended at Origin, roasting its own coffees, and is said in the article to be in ‘Cape Quarters’, but obviously meaning De Waterkant!  Belthazar is recommended for (more…)

Peninsula Steenberg John Loubser Whale Cottage PorfolioOn Thursday evening I was invited by Communication Services Africa (CSA) to attend The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel monthly Wine & Dine at its Sunset Restaurant, paired with Steenberg Wines, both clients of the PR consultancy.  We had a fun evening, with a lot of banter from both the host Chris Godenir and Steenberg General Manager and Cellar Master John Loubser.

Chris Godenir has been at Three Cities for a number of years, and has a special relationship with his staff at The Peninsula All-Suite Hotel, not losing his cool easily.  One has to get used to his sense of humour, which he surrounds himself with continuously, making one unsure whether he says something in jest or is serious.   Poor John and I both were on the receiving end of Chris’ jibes, and I decided to take the positive out of his comments, which in my case showed that he reads my blog!

Chris announced that the Wine & Dine was the first opportunity for their new chef Hajierah Hamit to cook for a special group, the dinner being sold out. I sat next to Chris’ vivacious wife Alison, and she told me interesting stories about integration in the workplace, the challenge no longer between different cultural groups, but rather between age groups, quoting generation Y and X behaviours in the workplace, and how these can cause conflict.  She is a consultant smoothing over such age related conflict in the workplace.  At the media table too were Joanne and Patrick Gibson (Joanne writes for the Sunday Times Food Weekly about wine), Cayleigh Bright of Glamour Online and her friend Will, and Megan Drury from CSA. (more…)

Mining IndabaThe Mining Indaba is an annual bonanza for Cape Town, the city being booked up to the same extent as over the Festive Season, with more than 8000 delegates attending the conference and exhibition in the next week, and many more ancillary persons staying in Cape Town to connect and negotiate with important international mining executives. One feels sorry for tourists trying to obtain last minute accommodation in Cape Town, as they probably will have to stay in far out suburbs, or even in other towns near Cape Town next week.

Investing in African Mining Indaba‘ is the largest mining investment event in the world, and the largest mining event in Africa, and is the largest gathering of the most influential mining stakeholders and decision-makers, according to its website.  It has been hosted in Cape Town for the past 19 years. Last year 7800 delegates from 1500 companies from 100 countries attended the Mining Indaba. (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Malaysian journalist David Bowden visited Cape Town late last year, when our mountains were snow capped, and he enthused about the city, documenting his journey as ‘Cape capers’.  He was accommodated at the Twelve Apostles hotel, and was shown Hout Bay, Chapman’s Peak, Klein Constantia, Steenberg, Boulders’ Beach, and Bo-Kaap.

*   Meryl Streep has waxed lyrical about her time in South Africa, both in Cape Town whilst shooting ‘The Giver‘ and on holiday with her family in an unnamed game reserve, in an interview on the Ellen Degeneres Show, which has 3 – 4 million viewers.   A ‘highlight’ for her was being in South Africa when Nelson Mandela passed away, and experiencing the happiness and grief all in one.

*   The MyCiTi Bus route expands to include Hout Bay (with Hangberg and Imizamo (more…)

Cape Town Festive Season Cape Town PartnershipCape Town experienced one of its busiest Festive Seasons ever, so much so that the city can be said to have been out of control as far as access to its attractions, beaches, shopping malls, and roads was concerned.  Perfect weather and a weak Rand attracted locals to the Mother City.  Once again the Atlantic Seaboard was the most attractive location for tourists in terms of restaurants, beaches, and accommodation, with resultant chaos in this area in particular at all levels.

The Festive Season period was a very short ten day period, from 27 December – 5 January this year, and almost every accommodation establishment, especially those on the Atlantic Seaboard, was fully booked.  Guests were predominantly from Johannesburg, or living overseas with South African family connections, meeting up in the city.  At Whale Cottage Camps Bay our international visitors were Norwegian, British, and Dutch during this period.

While it felt fantastic that Cape Town was so popular, one felt that the city was doing itself a disservice in that tourists had to experience: (more…)

2013Today ends one of the less nice years, and the number 13 in it should have been a warning of  how bad it could become.  While it has many negative associations, it also was  a year of highlights, from our perspective.

For me personally the year was overshadowed by the passing of my father, and while I was lucky to have him in my life for such a long time, reaching the ripe old age of 97, it still was a shock when he went in April.  He brought our family to South Africa, and specifically to the Cape, for which I will be eternally grateful.   He helped shape my interest in the business world, and took a keen interest in my Market Research, Public Relations, and hospitality careers.   Added to this was the further loss of our beloved Madiba, who passed away on 5 December, a shock when it happened, despite one knowing that it was just a matter of time.    It felt like a double whammy loss year.  Heaven has gained two truly great gentlemen.

2013 has had some positive aspects: we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Blog, well established and with more than 30000 unique readers per month.  We thank our loyal readers and commenters, as well as the Public Relations companies which feed us with up to date information and invite us to launches, particularly in the wine industry.  We particularly commend Waterford Communications for its professionalism in dealing with us as friends as well as writers, never taking any coverage for granted, always being willing to assist with more information, having a knack for choosing excellent weather days for client functions, and saying ‘thank you‘ for coverage received, a rare treat! The PR company leads an industry plagued by poor writers, who bombard one with media releases (often being irrelevant), repeating information already written about, and demanding proof of coverage granted to the client brand! (more…)

My CiTi Bus Camps Bay Whale Cottage PortfolioThe MyCiTi Bus finally started operating on Saturday, about eighteen months behind schedule!  Given that we want to inform our Whale Cottage Camps Bay guests about the service, my colleague and I went for a test drive of the Camps Bay – Civic Centre – V&A Waterfront Silo route yesterday.

The first step was to obtain our MyCiTi Bus cards, which one needs to load credit on to, for swiping when stepping on the bus.  It was announced that one could obtain a free card (a saving of R25) from the Camps Bay Library, where an official from the City of Cape Town sold us R30-loaded cards, the only cards one can purchase at the library this week.  These can only be bought for cash, and only one per person can be obtained, ID details being taken.  The City representative was uncertain about the other places at which one can load more credit onto the card, saying that Kauai was to be a point to do so, but that its system was off-line yesterday.  He thought Pick ‘n Pay Camps Bay would be another point, but he wasn’t sure.  There does not appear to be any place to purchase cards once the City’s generous offer of free cards ends on Saturday. One would then have to go the Queen’s Beach station, or to the Civic Centre to buy cards there. Each card comes with a pin, which one can change at a station, and is required to load more credit.   There was only one newspaper advertorial on the table, and no leaflets, saying he was waiting for more. When I asked for more information for the guest house, he gave me a pile of the newspaper copies from under the table!

We took the bus from the Whale Rock bus stop opposite Pick ‘n Pay MyCiTi Bus Whale Rock stop Whale Cottage PortfolioCamps Bay just after 14h00, and we were delighted to see the name choice.  The bus travelled alongside Victoria Road, up Argyle Road , into Geneva Drive, onto Camps Bay Drive, down Kloofnek Road (this seems to be a very dangerous stop, as we observed a tourist family getting on the bus, which had been to Table Mountain and must have crossed the very busy road without a pedestrian crossing to get the bus stop), connecting into Kloof Street (very long (more…)

Chapman's PeakMother Nature hit the Mother City and Winelands with a vengeance on Friday evening, with torrents of rain causing flooding and massive damage to tourist areas, which are closed for repair. More than 100 mm of rain was measured in most affected towns.

Accompanied by thunderstorms, the heavy downpours went on for hours, and the accumulated waters caused flood damage to many homes and businesses. Somerset West was worst hit, as the Lourens River burst its banks, flooding nearby houses, and the town received 200 mm of rain.  The 125 patients in the Vergelegen Mediclinic had to be evacuated when water reached knee-height, the patients being sent to its Stellenbosch and Panorama branches.  The N2 highway in the Somerset West area was closed on Friday evening, but has since been re-opened.  In Strand Beach Road was closed due to flooding, and many home and apartment owners were stuck in Medi Clinic Somerset Westgarages during power outages.  The X-ray unit of Strand Hospital caught fire due to an electrical short.  The scenic coastal road between Gordon’s Bay and Betty’s Bay has been closed due to rockfalls.  In Hermanus the local supermarkets were all flooded due to the volumes of rain.  Whale Cottage Hermanus had water come in under the door, the volume of water not able to run off quickly enough.   The road between Hermanus and Stanford is closed, as is the road to Creation wine estate*.  Our Whale Cottage Franschhoek has a river running through it, and thankfully it did not break its banks (more…)