Entries tagged with “Design Indaba”.

imageTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The Design Indaba has announced that it will eliminate the Design Indaba Expo, largely due to the large drop in attendance this year, reaching the 2009 attendance level. The venue of the Design Indaba conference will change to Artscape, and the date will move from the last weekend in February. Owner Ravi Naidoo would like to take the event to Johannesburg and Durban too, as well as internationally.

*  South Africans traveling in Europe can now access data via an Orange Holiday (more…)

WineLabel Banner Whale CottageLast night the inaugural Wine Label Design Awards, sponsored by Rotolabel, were hosted by Winemag.co.za at Beau Constantia, a relatively unknown wine estate very close to Constantia Nek, with a most beautiful view over the Constantia Valley.

We were served a welcome drink of Villiera Tradition Brut MCC, and welcome water, it being a very hot day.  I sat outside, to catch some of the cool breeze, and chatted to Wendy Appelbaum of DeMorgenzon, and Adam Mason of Marvelous.  Attendees were mainly related to award winning wine labels, with some wine writers in attendance too.

John Pace from At Pace Design & Advertising acted as MC, and said that through the (more…)

Cape Town StadiumWhat excellent news it was to see on Twitter yesterday afternoon that now former Councillor Grant Pascoe has defected to the ANC for ‘personal reasons’, a decision Mayor Patricia de Lille (who appeared to be a close friend), said caught her by surprise.  She announced that he has been stripped of his position as Councillor and as Mayoral Committee member of Tourism, Events, and Marketing with immediate effect.   We have been very critical of Pascoe’s lack of marketing knowledge and leadership, once again leaving our City’s tourism industry without a marketing plan for the forthcoming winter, which kicked in earlier than usual last week!

The announcement was made by the ANC, and not by Pascoe himself.  The political party said: ‘Councillor Pascoe joins an overwhelming number of South Africans, who despite finding themselves in other political parties, recognise the ANC as the only organisation with the track record, capacity, and determination to build a South Africa’.  Pascoe explained that he was unhappy with the direction which the DA was taking, and had discussed this internally.  To avoid a fight, he decided to leave. He said he feels ‘at home‘ in the ANC, EWN reported! Yet on Pascoe’s Facebook page for his ‘political organisation‘, his ‘About Grant Pascoe’ still states: ‘The Democratic Alliance is South Africa and Cape Town’s best hope for a better future for all our people‘!

Pascoe served as a City of Cape Town DA Councillor for 13 years, and as a Mayoral Committee member for eight years, the last four of which were heading up the Tourism, Events, and Marketing portfolio.  Two years ago he initiated the creation of a Tourism, Events and Marketing directorate, which reported to him and is headed up by Anton Groenewald.  Pascoe’s sole contribution was to bring soccer events to Cape Town, which made no impact on the tourism industry in terms of bookings, reflecting his personal interest in soccer.   From the outset we have criticised Pascoe’s incompetence in the Tourism portfolio: (more…)

Cécile and Boyd FoundationOn Friday The Guardian published a very lengthy article about Cape Town’s role as host of World Design Capital 2014 (WDC), and highlighted the unusual locations of design gems in Cape Town, including the townships and previously run-down city areas, as opposed to art galleries.  Unfortunately this is the second international article about Cape Town in two days with errors!  The article highlights what a visitor to Cape Town should see during this design-centred year, and contains shocking news for the Tourism industry.

Journalist Lisa Grainger anticipated visiting upmarket galleries, style emporiums, and seeing craft art, but instead she spent most of her week in Cape Town in townships with guide Fernie, to experience real creativity born from poverty. ‘Because it is in these townships that some of the most inspiring people live: people who are incredible, positive, engaging, brave. And I want visitors to see the good there is here, the real heart of South Africa’, he explained to her.  

She was told by Priscilla Urquhart, PR and Media Manager of Cape Town Design NPC, the company responsible for implementing World Design Capital 2014 for Cape Town, that our city’s budget (supplied by the City of Cape Town) is R 40 million, compared to close to R60 million spent by Helsinki two years ago, when that city carried the honour. Budget constraints prevented the creation of City-led design projects in Cape Town, but allowed the city’s design industry to offer its design projects for consideration, and about 450 have become official World Design Capital 2014 projects, summarised in a fold-open brochure. There is no showcase for these projects, the Design Indaba and Guild design fair having been the only two exhibitions where some of the work linked to some of the projects could be seen, unfortunately having run concurrently at the very busy end of February.

A shock is reading Urquhart admit to the journalist that ‘the WDC programme wasn’t designed to attract tourists, but to try to (more…)

WDC 2014 logo Whale Cottage PortfolioThis is one of the hardest blogposts I have written, with a moral dilemma of being an invited guest at what one expected to be a social highlight for the year. The Gala Dinner for Cape Town hosting World Design Capital 2014 turned out to be an embarrassment in poor organisation and food!   We trust that Cape Town Design NPC, the company operating the year-long design accolade, will forgive its frankness.

The Gala Dinner was the first substantial function organised for World Design Capital 2014,  the New Year’s Eve concert having been an event shared with the City of Cape Town, and was intended to be for all the people of Cape Town.  Only 270 guests were invited to the Gala Dinner, and included Cape Town Mayor de Lille and Stellenbosch Mayor Conrad Sidego; Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom; sponsor company representatives such as Media24 Chairman Ton Vosloo; members of the diplomatic corps; top designers; members of the Board of Cape Town Design NPC; and a large media contingent, both local and international.  Given the calibre of the guests, the fact that almost everything was wrong with the evening was an embarrassing disaster!  The dress code was formal with a touch of yellow, given the World Design Capital 2014 colour for the year.  The men seemed better in adding the yellow touches via gold or yellow ties and bow ties, while the ladies struggled to find something yellow in their wardrobes, including Cape Town Design NPC CEO Alayne Reesberg.  SurprisingWDC2014 Gala Dinner Alayne Reesberg was how many guests wore jeans and open shirts, despite the dress code specification.

The dinner was set up in a temporary structure for the Guild Fair, the decor exhibition which is running in conjunction with the Cape Town Art Fair at The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront.  Tables seating 20 guests each were set up in long rows, with no WDC2014 Gala Dinner Yellow beaded animals Whale Cottage Portfoliodecor other than sets of three yellow/gold Monkeybiz beaded animals on the tables.  The last time I was in the neighbouring The Lookout venue was for the Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant Awards in November, and the New Media Publishing team had done a fantastic job in decorating the massive venue. On Friday night there were no design features at all, and lighting was big industrial spotlights, (more…)

J&B Met 2014The 37th J&B Met will be held at the Kenilworth Racecourse today, the longest standing sport event in the country.  More than 50000 fashionistas, socialites, and horse racing fans are expected to attend the event which has a jackpot of R2,5 million generates about R68 million for Cape Town and the Western Cape, and creates an income of R14 million for fashion design alone.

The theme this year is ‘Made to Conquer – Dress Victoriously’, and will inspire the J&B Met attendees in buying their outfits for the most prestigious society event.  The J&B Most Elegant Couple Competition will acknowledge the most creative interpretation of the theme.  Shop windows of fashion outlets in top Cape Town shopping malls will be dressed to match the theme.

Western Cape Tourism Minister Alan Winde lauded the economic impact of the event: ‘The J&B Met illustrates the importance to our economy of events tourism. It’s one of 19 events which contribute more than R1.3 billion to our regional GDP. In the previous financial year, these major events attracted close to 200 000 tourists to the Western Cape. Over the next few weeks several signature events will be taking place including the Mining Indaba, the Design Indaba and the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. With its R2.5 million main prize, the J & B Met is a premier fixture on the Western Cape’s events calendar. I believe the Western Cape economy is the real winner of the Met, as the event attracts over 50 000 visitors and generates an estimated R68 million for the province. It’s a key economic driver and plays an important role in job creation, most notably in the events tourism space‘.

Entrance to the J&B Lifestyle Village ‘powered by 5FM’ costs R495 (includes entrance, parking, entertainment such as Goldfish (more…)

Bastille Festival WinetimesEvents hosted in the Western Cape generated R1,3 billion for its economy in the last financial year, said Alan Winde, Minister of Finance, Economic Development, and Tourism at the Wesgro AGM last month.

Close to 200 000 tourists were attracted to the province by the 19 events, which included the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour, the ABSA Cape Epic, the Vodacom Funny Festival, and the Knysna Oyster Festival. The largest money spinners by far for the province in terms of their economic impact are the Cycle Tour (R450 million), Design Indaba (R326 million), and the ABSA Cape Epic (R218 million).

The Minister said that the events list is diverse, reflecting the diversity of the province.  Some events are held in the ‘traditional off-peak season, which is in line with the efforts to ensure the Western Cape is an all-year round destination’.  Unfortunately few of these winter events benefit the tourism industry of the Western Cape, with the exception of the Franschhoek Bastille (more…)

World Design Capital 2014 FrameCape Town Tourism is confident that our city’s designation as World Design Capital 2014 will attract more tourists to our city next year, reported Southern Africa Tourism Update earlier this month.  The year-long event will also position Cape Town on a different platform, and already the first signs of the event are to be seen in Cape Town.

‘World Design Capital provides us with an opportunity to showcase Cape Town as a caring, innovative city in a double-decade-old democracy. The tourism industry has a vital role to play in demonstrating the living story of Cape Town through experiences, tours and our collective destination knowledge. We need to think beyond our traditional tours and packages to offer something that speaks to an evolving and exciting urban brand – not just for World Design Capital 2014 but beyond‘, said Enver Duminy, new CEO of Cape Town.

The International Advisory Committee (which includes Ravi Naidoo of (more…)

Yesterday afternoon Anton Groenewald, Executive Director of the City of Cape Town’s new TEAM (Tourism, Events, Arts, Marketing) Directorate, addressed the French networking group CAP40 at the Alliance Française on the topic ‘Perspective on strategic and policy intiatives to grow the Tourism business in Cape Town‘.  He was described as the ‘keyholder that can unlock tourism to the Cape’. Groenewald has become the most powerful person in Tourism in Cape Town, and has a considerable budget.

Groenewald is an interesting man, very honest (often at his own expense) and direct, very goal-orientated, non-political in his actions, and charming even though he may be ruthlessly honest.  He is not always ‘media-correct’ in his honesty, yet he does not seem to mind being quoted, no matter how sensitive his response may be to the parties he may be commenting about, as we discovered last year when Cape Town Tourism was blowing its own horn about the number of Twitter impressions it had created by inviting four international bloggers to the city. For Groenewald it is all about the bottom line, his mantra being ‘commercialisation’ to achieve revenue targets. His department has promised Cape Town Tourism R117 million for the three year period from 1 July 2013 onwards, but with demanding revenue and commercialisation targets to be achieved. He certainly means business, and was honest in admitting that a head of Cape Town Tourism who has been in the position for nine years no longer is fresh enough to be on top of her game.  He confirmed that its outgoing-CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold did not need any encouragement to not renew her contract.  They will shortly start recruiting a replacement CEO nationally as well as internationally.  His no-nonsense attitude shows when he stopped Cape Town Tourism PR (more…)

A visit to The Woodstock Exchange last week reflected how Woodstock is growing in stature as Cape Town’s design hub, not only in terms of digital design, communications design, but also in terms of food. The Woodstock Exchange opened in December, and has an interesting mix of design-related tenants, restaurants, and food suppliers.

Superette is the most visible tenant from the striking grey and yellow building exterior, taking one of the largest spaces of the building, and its branding is visible from the street on the windows and its canopies.  A number of trendy Vespas are parked outside, and they add to the design attractiveness of the building.  A central passageway has a listing of all the tenants in the building, the upstairs floors occupied by the design agencies with trendy and interesting designer names, such as We are Awesome. Social Plus One, Nice One Steve, Wetink, Wolf & Maiden, Sons & Daughters, and Smellsgood.

My first stop was at Honest Chocolate, where I found Michael de Klerk, in an almost replica of their Wale Street shop, but with a massive back end space, in which they now have a team making the chocolate. They have expanded their repertoire to include three very unusual ice cream flavours, each having a super food added to them, for example Lucuma (a Peruvian fruit) Coconut, Chia (a seed) Chocolate, and Spirulina (seawood) Mint Chip, and costing R34. Michael explained that raw cocoa in itself is a superfood, and the added flavours complement their chocolates. We spoke about their first Design Indaba attendance, where they ran a competition for chocolate bar wrappers, which they extended on to their Facebook page.  He said that The Woodstock Exchange tenants support each other and that they network.  They had considered the V&A Market on the Wharf, but had been worried about the winter trade, Michael said.  Tel 082 736 3889.

Michael referred me to his next door neighbour Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour, a quirky interior giving a parlour feel, with a chest of drawers, and very clever use of old suitcases serving as shelving to display antique tea cups and picture frames. Jessica Bonin started her business in 2010 in an old Jurgens caravan, which she moves to events, or is at Oudekraal with other food trucks.  She wanted to start a ‘tea-volution’, and sells special looseleaf teas, which are classified as being black, white, green, yellow, Oolong, and Puerh.  She describes her business as a ‘Purveyor of magical infusions and tasty curiosities’. Tel 0836282504

Dark Horse and Kingdom are a mix of two design elements forming a whole inside the shop. Dark Horse is a local design studio offering apparel, homeware, and furniture.  Kingdom is a ‘curated exhibit’, I was told, of art, vintage pieces from antique shops sourced from India, Berlin and Denmark.  I was attracted by the hats, some having a vintage feel about them but are brand new. They also sell designer sunglasses, crockery, and jewellery.

Simply Wholesome was a huge disappointment, the shop assistant Gloria being extremely suspicious, withholding information, and not customer-friendly. She emphasised their free-range pasture-reared and grass-fed products of chicken, eggs, bacon and beef.  A big sign in the shop spells out their dedication to sourcing quality products ‘fresh from the farm’, which they monitor at source regularly, they claim. They sell some ready-made pies (R28), quiches (R28), sandwiches (the egg mayonnaise sandwich was on a nice seeded roll but had barely any filling), biscuits, muffins, milk, cheeses, butter, seasonal vegetables and fruit, home made marinades, gluten-free biscuits, raw honey, olives, peach slices, apple cider vinegar, satin tea bags, chutney, pickled onions, Madecasse chocolate, and yoghurt. They also sell teas under the Organic label from The Tea Merchants, the business of the co-owner.  I did like the glass tea pots, with matching glass cups.  They only sell take-out products, and do not have any seating outside their shop to even allow one to eat their sandwiches!  This was the only unfriendly experience in the whole centre.  Tel 021 447-6426.

I just missed the kitchen being open at Ocean Jewels, and bought a packet of calamari (R45) to make at home.  They still have their stand at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill, and are widely regarded as selling the best quality fish to consumers.  Her sit-down prices are very reasonable, with tuna and salmon burgers and salads costing around R50. Fishcakes, potato wedges and salad costs R30, and hake and chips costs a little more.  They sell prawns, clams, mussels, crabsticks, scallops and smoked salmon too. Tel 083 582 0829.

The friendliest of all the outlets was Pedersen & Lennard and {Field Office}, a furniture design and coffee shop all in one, a sister branch to the one in Barrack Street.  The space in the Woodstock Exchange is larger and has more light, opening on to a sunny deck.  The manageress Roberta Grantham is ex-Botswana, and the friendliest I have experienced in a long time.  She made the visit there an absolute pleasure.  Other than making Deluxe coffees, they do not prepare any food, selling Willy’s Foods’ sandwiches (R35), pies with interesting ingredients such as beef red wine, lemon and chicken, curried vegetable, and beef chocolate chilli (R30), and salads; and lovely lemon polenta cakes (R15), chocolate brownies, milk tart slices (R20), and cup cakes (R15) made by The Little Bakery.   Tel (021) 447-2020. Monday – Friday 8h00 – 17h00.

I arrived at Superette just after the kitchen had closed at 16h00 (an hour before the restaurant closed!), and I was unable to order anything other than liquids from the waiter. When the manager Vuyo returned, he was charming, and I asked him for a simple rye toast with cheese and avocado, which tasted like heaven after an afternoon in the centre and not being able to eat (other than the milk tart) elsewhere in the centre because of the kitchens having closed!   The interior is large, with lots of yellow, a stand selling deli items (including olives, olive oil, Secateurs wines by AA Badenhorst,  honey, nougat, Rosetta coffee – also in the centre but which I did not see, Fruit crisps, Dunk biscuits, rusks, Prince Albert olive oil, tomato chili), and plants hanging from the ceiling, much like Dear Me has.  They serve an all-day breakfast, in a price range of R35 for kippers to R70 for a smoked salmon egg basket.  They also offer toasted banana bread, mushrooms  and beans on toast, and an interesting sounding Nutella-stuffed French Toast! Sandwiches cost R55 – R65, including one with Bratwurst! Bangers and mash costs R65.  A nice touch is that a glass of water is brought to the table automatically.  Tel (021) 802-5525.

The Woodstock Exchange, 66 Albert Road, Woodstock.  Tel (021) 486-5999.  www.woodstockexchange.co.za Twitter @WdstockExchange

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