Entries tagged with “Atlantic seaboard”.


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…)

My CiTi Bus imagesThe MyCiTi Bus route in Sea Point (connecting commuters to Fresnaye, the Civic Centre and the V&A Waterfront) will begin operating this weekend (via Beach Road and High Level Road), on 2 November.  The long-awaited roll-out of the service to Camps Bay is on 30 November, about 18 months after its promised start date!  By this weekend 83 MyCiTi Buses will be operating in Cape Town, increasing to 107 buses by the end of November.

News24 reports that the MyCiTi bus service will begin operating in Vredehoek, Oranjezicht,  Sea Point, Melkbosstrand, and Duynefontein this coming Saturday.  On 30 November the route from the new V&A Waterfront Silo (the previous Clocktower area) to the Civic Centre and Camps Bay via Kloofnek Road will commence.  The planned introduction of the N2 Express from Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha, which was scheduled to be launched in December, appears to be (more…)

KOI Entrance Whale Cottage PortfolioThe opening of KOI Bantry Bay at The Ambassador Hotel has been eagerly awaited, after it was announced that Salt Restaurant would be replaced with a Gauteng-based group restaurant, KOI restaurants already operating in Sandton, Rosebank, and in Pretoria. The KOI restaurants are sister restaurants to the Wakame (with Wafu) restaurant group in Cape Town, which was founded 15 years ago, and is headed up by co-directors Stewart Bond and Rory Jossel.  There are no koi at KOI, and other than a logo on a business card, there is no representation of the decorative carp in the restaurant.  The website defines the KOI name as being Japanese for ‘Come, Love, Fish‘.

Always on the lookout for a good restaurant on the Atlantic Seaboard, a rarity, I was looking forward to seeing how the restaurant group would give the hotel restaurant space new life. Despite having the most magnificent location, ideal to see sunsets as it faces west over the Atlantic Ocean, the restaurants at The Ambassador just do not seem to have staying power, and neither do their chefs and staff for that matter!   Some decor changes have been made, wooden grids guiding one to the end of the passage, with only one entrance now, the previous entrance to the lounge KOI Interior Whale Cottage Portfolioand bar area having been closed. The lounge area now is restaurant seating too, with space for a total of about 100 patrons the Manager Chris Somhohlo said. Wood dominates the decor style (Chris couldn’t remember the name of the decorator), with wooden table tops, wooden chairs with woven seats, and the woven grid theme picked up in the visual display covering an entire wall, in the new ceiling lighting, and in the lampshades too.  The (more…)

Brett Herron, the City of Cape Town Councillor and Mayoral Committee member for Transport, Roads, and Stormwater, is a busy man, fighting the Golden Arrow Bus Services on the one hand, and the South African National Road Agency Limited’s (SANRAL) proposed N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway Project on the other.

Yesterday we heard in a news broadcast that Golden Arrow is taking its appeal of a recent court decision to allow the roll out of further MyCiTi Bus routes in Cape Town to the Supreme Court.  This will mean a further delay of the eagerly awaited and heavily delayed launch of the Atlantic Seaboard route from Hout Bay through Camps Bay, Sea Point, Tamboerskloof, to the city centre and the V&A Waterfront.  Last month the City’s bus service did not run for three weeks due to the SA National Transport and Allied Workers Union calling a strike over wages, and caused traffic chaos when the Justin Bieber and Bon Jovi concerts were held in the Cape Town Stadium!

Today the Councillor has issued a media statement, triumphantly announcing that the City’s urgent interdict to stop SANRAL from going ahead in developing its proposed Winelands N1 and N2 toll roads has been successful, due to then national Transport Minister Jeff Radebe not having been fully informed about the costs of the toll road development.  The N1 toll road is planned from the R300 turnoff to Sandhills near Worcester, and the N2 toll road from the R300 turnoff to Bot River.  We have written previously that wine farmers and estate owners, and agricultural producers, were up in arms when the toll road announcement was first made public 18 months ago, driving up food costs and being bad for tourism!

The City’s interdict application was assisted with some toy-toying outside the Western Cape High Court by his fellow Tourism, Events and Marketing Mayoral Committee member Grant Pascoe, and a rent-a-crowd. Pascoe is better at marketing the DA than he is at marketing Cape Town via his newish Tourism, Events and Marketing Directorate, having announced the interdict victory on his Facebook page, and linking the victory to the DA!

Councillor Herron’s media statement is as follows:

“STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S MAYORAL COMMITTEE MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT, ROADS AND STORMWATER, COUNCILLOR BRETT HERRON: City wins again in fight to halt proposed N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway Project.

The City of Cape Town scored two victories in its attempt to halt the proposed N1/N2 Winelands Toll Highway Project in the Western Cape High Court this morning.  The court has granted the City’s application for an interdict against the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL), seeking to halt the Agency from taking any steps to implement the proposed project, pending the final determination of the City’s review application. The City was also successful in its application that SANRAL be compelled to provide a number of documents which formed part of SANRAL’s decision making process; and which SANRAL have been refusing to provide.  The City’s people and its economy simply cannot be burdened by unnecessary toll roads.  SANRAL’s decision is one that affects us all, but that will have a particularly profound effect on the poorest and most vulnerable groups that call Cape Town home”.

The toll road project would place a R10 billion financial burden to provide services to SANRAL, which the City of Cape Town’s ratepayers would have to bear.  The bulk of the Western Cape wine estates and its visitors would be affected by the implementation of toll roads outside Cape Town.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

I have been to eat at Goloso Deli and Restaurant on Regent Road twice in ten days, and have been impressed with how popular this eatery has become amongst Atlantic Seaboard locals and tourists walking past in four short months.  Chef Alessandra Masciadri and her husband Chris Kennedy have created a rustic eatery that brings the best of Italian home cooking to our city.

Chef Alessandra is a qualified lawyer, and left her practice in Milan to follow her husband Chris’ dream to come back to his home country, on condition it was Cape Town, to be near the ocean, and because it is more continental.  Chris grew up in Johannesburg, where he had worked at an international law practice, and was sent to Milan.  This is where he and Alessandra met.  Chris now practices as an advocate in Cape Town, but is hands on in chatting to the guests. Alessandra is not so confident in her English, and asks Chris to translate if she cannot think of the right English word.  She told me that her family loves cooking, and it was her grandfather making charcuterie and selling it in a deli near Como that shaped her family’s love for food.  She and her sisters were taught by their mother to cook, ‘deepening their passion for cooking’, and they went for cooking lessons too, which expanded their repertoire.  Chris and Alessandra love travelling around the world, as well as in Italy, and it is here that they focused on the small villages where they picked up unusual Italian dishes, and have brought them to Cape Town, finding the right ingredients locally being the only impediment.  She loves her restaurant, and says the immediate feedback from her customers makes this new career much better than the law one she left behind in Italy.

‘Goloso’ means ‘a little bit greedy’ or to be a glutton, Chris explained, and this was the name given to the outlet by the previous owner, who ran it mainly as a deli, and offered a few take-away and sit-down Italian dishes.  Chris and Alessandra bought the restaurant five months ago, and took over the neighbouring shoe shop space too, painted it red and yellow, and decorated it simply with wooden shelves to house the wines and Chef Alessandra’s cook books.  The red Vespa photograph says ‘Italy’ better than anything else!  The wooden tables have a table cloth,  with sheets of paper over them. Cutlery is unbranded, and a Goldcrest coarse sea salt grinder, a Natural pepper grinder, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar imported from Italy are on the table, with a paper serviette.  The restaurant can seat 43 inside and out.  Most of the deli part of Goloso has been removed, but they will be selling Chef Alessandra’s home-made pasta to take away.  The chef is also making basil pesto, tomato paste, aubergine paste, as well as olive paste, for customers to buy. Their pastes and pastas are freshly made, and do not contain preservatives.

Before my order arrived Chef Alessandra sent out tomato bruschetta, as well as a brown paper packet of bread slices, an unusual way of serving it. Preparation space is very limited for Chef Alessandra and her team, and a dry wall section taken out of the restaurant seating area has an open top so that one can hear the plates clanging as the dishes are prepared, the only negative of the restaurant. The Chef pops in at the tables, greeting her guests, many being locals, and some having become regulars and friends already.  It is no surprise that Goloso is fully booked most evenings.  I asked Alessandra what she enjoys eating, and she likes plain pasta sprinkled with olive oil, with chili, garlic, and parsley.  Her favourite pizza is a Margherita.  She rarely has time to go to a restaurant, but has enjoyed the Cape Malay restaurant in the Old Cape Quarter the most.

The menu comes in a black plastic cover, with plastic pockets, with a dish scratched out with a coki pen. It is changed regularly, and there is always a dish of the day.  I ordered the Polla al Limone, but did not like the sound of chick peas for the vegetable served with it, so Chef Alessandra offered some lovely fresh pasta and butternut with an assortment of nuts roasted in olive oil. The chicken was prepared in lemon and wine, and the sauce was heavenly, the dish being excellent value at R100.  The specials board on the day I ate at Goloso offered a special of pasta and chicken with mussels in white wine sauce, at R70. The menu offers Antipasto of carpaccio of beef (R70) and vegetables (R50); seven salads, including Caprese (in two sizes R27, R50), salmon, and Sicilian; sixteen pasta dishes, with Tagliatelle, penne, and Tagliolini, served with a range of ingredients, including bacon, smoked salmon, gorgonzola, chicken, mushrooms, eggplant and more. Main courses include rump steak, chicken, veal, and beef fillet.

The Tiramisu (R35) was excellent, a generous portion topped with cocoa and roasted flaked almonds, and thick and creamy.  I ordered a Hausbrandt (Italian coffee supplier from Trieste to Goloso, and also supplying their gelato) Cremoso (R25), a liquid coffee gelato, Chris explained, to which one can add a liqueur.

Chris and Alessandra are making the most of their space, and offer an extensive Breakfast menu, with add on items charged separately. Scrambled eggs cost R28, for example, and R32 with chorizo, and R55 with salmon.  Omelets (plain at R28, with a bolognese sauce at R36, or with three fillings out of a choice of nine R55), fried eggs, French Toast (plain at R25, or with a bolognese sauce at R36), muesli, fruit salad, yoghurt, smoothies, continental breakfast platters, antipasto platters, muffins (choice of carrot, honey and date, mixed berry, Lindt, banana, apple), and Swiss Lindt brownies are some of the Breakfast choices.

Goloso is licensed, and offers a mix of reasonably priced wines and liqueurs.  Chris showed me their Limoncello on Sorrento, which comes from Franschhoek, as well as the Organic liqore du cioccolato, which is available in mandarin and raspberry flavours too.  The wine list is a laminated sheet, not specifying vintages.  A fair number of the wines are served by the glass.  Arabella from Robertson serves as the house wine, the Sauvignon Blanc costing R25 per glass and R90 per bottle. Sauvignon Blancs from Noble Hill, Cederberg, La Motte, and Graham Beck are also available, a Graham Beck Unwooded Chardonnay (R20/R80), Amani (R140), and Ken Forrester Petit Chenin (R25/R90) on offer too. Red wines include a Fairbridge red blend (R20/R80), Umfiki Cabernet Sauvignon (R20/R80), Arabella Shiraz (R90), and Secret Cellar supplying the Merlot (R25/R95), and the MCC (R100).  Corkage costs R30.

Chris and Alessandra are having such a good time in what they do that they are opening Goloso Pizzeria across the road, closer to the refurbished Checkers, in March. The flour will be imported from Italy, being ‘doppio zero‘ finer flour, as will be the tomato base and most of the toppings, such as artichokes, olives, mozzarella di buffalo, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive oil and balsamic from Modena.

Goloso is a very friendly homely eatery without any airs and graces, at which one can enjoy genuine Italian fare prepared with love and passion, at good value.  Chef Alessandra and Chris would like their restaurants to feel like ‘mother’s kitchen’, with customers feeling at home, and well cared for by Alessandra and her team.  It looks as if they have achieved this in a very short period of time, being full most nights.

Goloso, 90 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town.  Tel (021) 439-2144.   www.goloso.webs.com Monday – Sunday 7h00 – 22h00.  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage