Entries tagged with “Clifton”.
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Monday 10th February 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Decanter included three South African wines in its 2013 top 50 wines, out of a total of 3200 wines evaluated. Alheit Vineyards’ Cartology 2011 was ranked 4th; Vuurberg White 2011 was ranked 36th; and Adoro Red 2006 was ranked 37th.
* Given that the week of romance is upon us, the top five most romantic beaches of South Africa have been named, Clifton making first place, followed by Umhlanga Rocks, Noetzie in Knysna, Margate, and Noup in the Northern Cape.
* About 10% of tourists arriving in South Africa come to participate or watch a sports event. Now a new sport called Bossaball, a combination of soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and an Afro-Brazilian martial arts form capoeira, is to be introduced to our country by Zinto Sports.
* The Cape Town Art Fair 2014 will be held at The Pavilion in the V&A Waterfront from 28 February – 2 March. The entrance fee of R120 also entitles entrance to ‘GUILD’, an exhibition of Design, held at The Lookout, also in the V&A. Both exhibitions form part of Cape Town hosting World Design Capital 2014.
* Allan Mullins has been appointed as ‘chief wine selector’ by Africa Wine Merchants, (more…)
Friday 24th January 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, 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…)
Thursday 16th January 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Inhouse Brand Architects has designed a unique yacht-shaped GH Mumm VIP Lounge at the Grand Café and Beach in the V&A Waterfront. Tables are cork-shaped, curtains look like sails, and the flooring is wooden decking, reflecting the status of the international champagne brand. (received via media release from Inhouse Brand Architects)
* MasterChef SA is to produce Season 3, a Tweet from Season 2 Finalist Seline van der Wat informs, with auditions being held around the country in February and March.
* German beer brewers are using ‘flavour hops’ to add unique taste notes of oranges, grapefruit, and peaches to beer, reports The New Age.
* Johannesburg has the largest proportion (600, representing 48%) of South (more…)
Sunday 5th January 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* The Daily Mail journalist Gary Edwards visited Cape Town just at the beginning of December, to tie in with the launch of the movie ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘, his first visit in 10 years. He found that little has changed in Cape Town, although the exchange rate was not as favourable as when he visited in 2003, despite being attractive now. He praises the sunshine, and highlights his experiences of visiting Table Mountain, Cape Point, Bungalow in Clifton, Cellars-Hohenhort, the Twelve Apostles Hotel, the V&A Waterfront, the Coffeebean Route, Robben Island, and other ‘Seven Wonders of Cape Town‘, a name he made up. He gives the beach at Camps Bay a mention too, but uses a photograph of Clifton!
* OR Thambo airport was the largest port of entry into South Africa during December, and the airport, Beitbridge, Lebombo, Maseru Bridge, Ficksburg, and Oshoek had more persons crossing the border than arrived at Cape Town International airport. International arrivals were from the UK, the USA, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, France, India, China, Nigeria, Sweden, and Canada. In total there were 4 million border crossings, roughly half entering and leaving the country.
* Retail outlets selling alcohol will have to offer free condoms and water too, if (more…)
Thursday 2nd January 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Yesterday was the most chaotic day I have seen in Camps Bay in 20 years of living in the suburb. We know that New Year’s Day is busy, and is a stay-away zone, due to the thousands of Cape Town residents who come from other areas and take ownership of the beach in the suburb, without the City of Cape Town sending any reinforcements to secure the suburb. What was experienced in Camps Bay yesterday may be the deathknell for tourism in Camps Bay and Cape Town.
We warn our guests to stay away from the Camps Bay beach on 26 December and 1 January, but nothing could have prepared us for yesterday. One should have known that chaos was coming, when all the restaurants on the street level of the whole beachfront strip, with the exception of health food franchise Kauai, were closed for business! When I was advising my guests about alternatives of things to do and places to eat, I had to admit to them that most restaurants in Cape Town are closed on New Year’s Day, despite the city teeming with tourists! I drove down Kloof Street, and was pleasantly surprised that about half the restaurants on this popular restaurant street were open for business, a few proudly Tweeting that they would be open until about 22h00 last night, which is a whole lot better than last year, when only the franchise restaurants were operating. Manna Epicure, Da Vinci’s, Arnold’s on Kloof, Vovo Telo, Hudson on Kloof, Knead, Mozzarella Bar, and newly opened The Black Sheep are some of the restaurants that were operating, and should be commended for feeding the many tourists in Cape Town. The restaurants in the city centre were all closed.
In Camps Bay I needed Bay Response at my guest house, but they had to cut short their service when they were called to assist Pick ‘n Pay Camps Bay, of which the front door was being broken down by unruly beachgoers! We heard sirens throughout the day, especially early afternoon, when there was a near-drowning on Camps Bay beach, despite lifeguard services offered. The beach is just too full, and often inexperienced bathers and unsafe rip tides can lead to loss of life.
I had driven to town for a quick coffee break in the early afternoon, and it took 15 minutes to travel 250 meters from Hussar Grill (more…)
Monday 30th December 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
The past two days have seen the start of a 10 day period in which Cape Town accommodation is booked out, with resultant chaos on the roads, and is impacting on tourism services, to the frustration of the many visitors, largely South Africans, in Cape Town, as well as its residents!
The positive aspect for the holidaymakers is the magnificent weather we have been blessed with, the South-Easter having stayed away so far, although it may make a vigorous comeback tomorrow. This has attracted locals as well as tourists to the beautiful beaches of Cape Town, Camps Bay and Clifton being the two most perfect and beautiful Blue Flag beaches in our city. I have not seen such parking demand as yesterday, when the parking spaces opposite and in front of the Camps Bay High School were full by midday.
The downside is that Cape Town is unlikely to cope with the volume of cars and visitors in the next week:
* for the first time City of Cape Town traffic services regulated traffic coming down from Signal Hill or up Kloof Road past The Roundhouse this past weekend, a crossing of many near-accidents. This means that traffic coming up Camps Bay Drive from Camps Bay is badly backed up.
* even worse was the situation at Table Mountain yesterday. I had offered to drop two Norwegian guests at Platteklip Gorge, where they wanted to hike up the mountain. Another set of traffic police helped me get onto Tafelberg Road, only to have a near collision with a bakkie belonging to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, stopping suddenly in our lane in front of the car, having travelled all the way down the mountain against oncoming traffic. He shouted at us that we were not allowed up the mountain, as no traffic was moving up or down, yet the Cablecar sign at the circle showed that the Cableway was open. We had seen cars parked (more…)
Sunday 8th December 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines
* Thirteen venues linked to the late Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg and Pretoria are paying homage to the great leader. They include his house in Alexandra; his house in Soweto; Nelson Mandela Bridge; the Nelson Mandela statue in Nelson Mandela Square; the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory; Liliesleaf Farm; Constitution Hill; the Apartheid Museum; Freedom Park in Pretoria; the Union Buildings; the Workers’ Museum; the Palace of Justice in Church Square, and Chancellor House.
* The Sydney Morning Herald lists 20 reasons to visit Cape Town today, clearly out of date as it recommends seeing whales from land (they have left for the Antarctic already), and there is no reference to Nelson Mandela’s passing! It oddly refers to the longest wine route in the world between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (the latter city is not associated with wines), and referring to indigenous fynbos as ‘native flowers’ is a ‘lost in translation’ reference! It does highlight Clifton and Camps Bay as top beaches. The writer received information from SA Tourism, which makes the incorrect information unforgivable.
* In the twenty years since the late Mr Mandela’s release and subsequent Presidency of the country tourist arrivals grew by 10 million!
* Announced prior to the passing of Madiba, SAA and SA Tourism shared plans to tie in with the release of the movie ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom‘ in the United Kingdom, to promote our country as a tourism destination.
* An American publication recommends three South African wines out of (more…)
Tuesday 3rd December 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
The 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 Camps 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…)
Wednesday 10th July 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Last night’s episode 9 was interesting, in that it was shot away from the MasterChef SA kitchen, and that ten ‘Food Bloggers’ were invited to judge the pizzas made by two teams of Finalists, the first team challenge of Season 2. The South Easter created havoc for the Finalists as well as for the bloggers. The ‘Blogger’ participation was a huge let down, and serving the guests pizza to judge was an insult.
The episode began with the Finalists descending on the kitchen of their house, to be confronted with a box of aprons and the instruction to divide themselves into two groups of seven. The names were written on pieces of paper, and a Le Creuset pot served as the vessel from which the names for the two teams were drawn. They were then driven to Maiden’s Cove, between Camps Bay and Clifton, a parking space with a beautiful view of Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles, Chef Pete Goffe-Wood saying that Camps Bay ‘is one of the iconic locations in Cape Town‘. The challenge sounded simple – Limoncello and The Good Life Food Trucks arrived, and the two teams were randomly allocated a truck each as their home base to prepare 12 savoury and 12 dessert pizzas each within 90 minutes. Pizza ovens had been erected, one per team, and a small pantry was set up, the two team representatives having 3 minutes in which to grab their ingredients. Chef Andrew Atkinson reminded the Finalists that team work is the hallmark of a quality kitchen. They were also told (misleadingly) that the guests were ’10 of South Africa’s top food bloggers‘, and ‘are discerning customers‘! Chef Pete won the dessert pizza section of an international pizza competition in Australia last year, the Finalists were told. (more…)
Monday 10th June 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
The publicity for the start of Season 2 of MasterChef SA is still surprisingly low key, with little PR for the new series having been seen to date. A number of changes relative to last year’s Season 1 can be expected when Season 2 kicks off on M-Net tomorrow at 19h30, the biggest being that the value of the winner’s prize package has dropped dramatically to about R1 million, from R8 million in Season 1:
1. There will be two shows a week, for 13 weeks on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, at 19h30, with 26 episodes in total.
2. The show content will be less focused on cooking, and more on the human drama, with in-depth interviews with the contestants, video diaries, fun moments and ‘extended storylines’. Interviews with experts, guest chefs, and the judges will also feature. There will be more masterclasses, and more rewards, M-Net Publicist Ingrid Engelbrecht has told the Sunday Times.
3. There is a ‘significantly higher’ standard of cooking than in Season 1, according to Ms Engelbrecht, as the Season 2 participants had a better understanding of what was expected of them from having watched Season 1, reports the Sunday Times.
4. There are fewer Finalists, now called ‘contestants’: 16 instead of 18.
5. Season 2 was filmed at Nederburg at the beginning of this year.
6. The same judges Pete Goffe-Wood, Andrew Atkinson, and Benny Masekwameng are involved, and Chef Arnold Tanzer is the Culinary Producer once again.
7. One episode (9 July) will feature food bloggers, including Andrew Lieber from Gourmet Guys, Ishay Govender from Food and the Fabulous, Candice Bresler from The Gorgeous Gourmet Blog, and Sam Linsell from Drizzle and Drip. We have been told that Jane-Anne Hobbs, Anel Potgieter, Nina Timm,and Andy Fenner were also invited to participate in the episode filmed at Maiden’s Cove, between Camps Bay and Clifton, but were cancelled in the last minute, as were we.
8. Gordon Ramsay is a guest chef and judge, a Tweet by Chris Whelan has indicated.
9. Nederburg is the wine sponsor again, and is offering eight ‘online master classes in food and wine pairing’, conducted by its cellar master Razvan Macici, a new clip posted on the Nederburg website every two weeks, its PR consultancy De Kock Communications has announced.
10. Fledgling Bakoven restaurateur Zahir Mohamed of Baked Bistro auditioned for MasterChef Season 1 and 2, and he features in the first fifteen minutes of the first episode tomorrow, an interview in yesterday’s Sunday Times has revealed. Mohamed is the son of Shawn MacLachlan, who owns a catering company looking after Manchester United and its fans. Other contestants are Cape Town based Zane Jacobs, Tiron Eloff from Randburg, Alta Wasson from Stilbaai, and Khumo Twala from Johannesburg, according to the Sunday Times.
11. The winner’s prizes offered by the official sponsors have been announced by M-Net: R400000 cash from Robertsons, a VW Golf 7 (new sponsor replacing Hyundai), five nights at the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa in the Seychelles from Tsogo Sun, one year’s free shopping to the value of R100000 at Woolworths, and a year’s supply of Nederburg wines plus a sommelier course. The modest Tsogo Sun prize is a surprise, given the generous two year restaurant contract which Season 1 winner Deena Naidoo received at Montecasino! We have been told that the hotel group does not expect as high a viewership of Season 2, and that the controversy surrounding the Montecasino restaurant prize led Tsogo Sun to drastically downscale its contribution to the winner’s prize package.
12. The bar has been raised for MasterChef SA Season 2, relative to MasterChef Australia, the producers wishing to exceed the standard of the latter. Lani Lombard, M-Net’s Head of Communication, has said about Season 2: ‘The first Season of MasterChef South Africa definitely inspired amateur chefs to get more creative. We noticed very early on during the Audition phase that the contestants’ standard of cooking was significantly higher this year and because of that, the show provides pressure-cooker entertainment right from the start’.
12. MasterChef SA Season 3 is likely to follow.
In January I was the only blogger to be be invited to a Media Day on set at MasterChef SA at Nederburg. Our blogpost (edited by M-Net) of the Media Day provides more background information.
MasterChef SA Season 2 starts cooking on Tuesday 11 June at 19h30, after the last episode of MasterChef Australia.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @Whale Cottage