Entries tagged with “French Connection”.


Diners Club Winelist banner Whale CottageThe Diners Club Winelist Awards for the Western Cape were held at Shimmy Beach Club yesterday, saluting the restaurants in the province, and the standard of their winelist content and presentation. Bushman’s Kloof won best Winelist in the Western Cape.  During the course of this week the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal awards will also be presented.

A judging panel, led by wine judge Dave Hughes, and consisting of Winnie Bowman, Nikki Dumas, Fiona McDonald, and Christine Rudman, evaluated 208 winelists nationally, and 100 from the ‘Cape‘, a province which has not existed for years!  Diners Club threw the Western Cape and Eastern Cape into one ‘Cape’ pot in reporting on the results and in handing out the awards yesterday!  A substantial number of Western Cape restaurants did not enter the competition this year, down from 96 entries last year to 80 this year.

Odd was the choice of venue, being the Bar section of Shimmy Beach Club, which did not have Diners Club Pongracz Whale Cottageenough parking for the attendees, some walking for more than 1 km to get to the venue.  We were welcomed with a glass of Pongracz, and the food was very meagre, being macaroni cheese croquettes and sushi!  There was not enough seating for everyone, in a room which had some round tables, a few chairs and couches, but had no presence in making this function special for the award winners, compared to the venue used at the Vineyard Hotel last year.  It also was not a finalist for the Winelist Awards! Very odd was using Anna Trapido as the MC, not generally known to the local restaurant wine stewards and sommeliers, in being the editor of the 2015 ‘Diners Club Rossouws (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   The 2014 Beautiful South wine tasting event in London, a collaboration between Argentinian, Chilean, and South African wine producers, is to be reduced to 250 exhibitors, fifty less than last year, to reduce the dominance of South African wines.  Beautiful South will be held at the Olympia on 10 and 11 September.

*   The Hermanus FynArts Festival 2014 takes place from 6 – 16 June, as an ArtsFest and Winter School. The organisers describe it as ‘a 10-day celebration of South African arts with a focus on the visual arts’, with 20 art exhibitions.

*   World renowned Copenhagen restaurant Noma, the world’s number one restaurant until 2012, is moving to Kikunoi restaurant in Kyoto early next year for two months, working with Chef Yoshihiro Murata, Noma owner and Chef Rene (more…)

Diners Club Winelist Awards 2More restaurants in the Western Cape than in any other province entered and received a Diners Club International Winelist Award 2013. At the 30th Awards function held for the Western Cape at the Vineyard Hotel on Wednesday,  MasterChef SA Judge and Tsogo Sun Chef Benny Masekwameng announced the 38 winners in the Diamond, 30 in the Platinum, 26 in the Gold,  and 2 in the SilverDiners Club Chef Benny Whale Cotatge Portfolio Award categories, 96 awards in total.

Veteran wine critic Dave Hughes chaired the judging panel, which included fledgling judge Chef Benny, restaurant guide editor JP Rossouw,  wine judges Christine Rudman and Fiona McDonald,   Winestyle.biz owner Nikki Dumas, and the Cape Wine Academy head Marilyn Cooper.  He said that it was fitting that the Awards ceremony was held at The Vineyard hotel, the Newlands area having been the first in Cape Town in which grapes were grown, but soon (more…)

The Bastille Festival is Franschhoek’s largest event, in its ability to attract visitors to the French Huguenot village, with 3000 visitors per day expected to enjoy the best of its foods and wines.  This year the Bastille Food and Wine Marquee has a new location and is bigger than ever before.  French wines will form part of the Bastille Festival for the first time this year, the Festival celebrating the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, this coming weekend on 14 and 15 July.

The Bastille marquee of 1300 m² has been erected in its new location in the parking area between the church and town hall, with its entrance off the main road, connecting the centre of the Festival with the other fun activities on the main road, which significantly competed with the marquee wine and food tastings last year.  The Le Franschhoek hotel’s Dish restaurant (selling quiche, French flag fudge, and French chantilly meringues), Haute Cabriere (Moules Belle Rose), Reuben’s (serving Beef Bourguignon and wok-fried squid and chorizo), Allee Bleue (salmon and smoked chicken baguettes), Backsberg (lamb ciabatta), Bread & Wine (porchetta sandwiches), Cotage Fromage (veal and foie gras burger), French Connection (steak rolls), Le Quartier Français (Bunny Chow, chocolate brownies), Mont Rochelle (Boerewors rolls, chicken wraps), Allora (shawarmas), Solms-Delta (Cape barbeque), Val de Vie (vol au vent), and Wild Peacock (oysters), and other local restaurants and wine estates will be selling their foods and offering their wines to taste in the marquee, at the cost of R150, which includes a tasting glass and a booklet of wine tasting coupons.

For the first time a VIP marquee will be available at the higher entrance fee of R395, which will allow one to rub shoulders and exchange tasting notes with the following 10 winemakers and their wines from the Rhône-Alpes region in France:

  • Gilles Barge, Domaine Barge (Cote Rotie, Condrieu)
  • Jean Luc Monteillet, Domaine De Montine (Grignan Les Adhemar, Cotes Du Rhone, Vinsobres)
  • Gilles Verzier, Vignobles Verzier, Chanteperdrix (Cote Rotie, Condrieu, Saint Joseph)
  • Nadia Fayolle, Domaine Des Martinelles (Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage)
  • Yves Cuilleron, Cave Cuilleron (Cote Rotie, Condrieu)
  • André Mercier, Vignerons Ardechois (Vins D’ Ardeche, Cotes Du Rhone, Cotes Du Vivarais -photograph)
  • Dominique Courbis, (St Joseph, Cornas)
  • Yann Chave, Domaine Yann Chave (Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage)
  • Pierre Mollier, Mas De Bagnols (Ardeche, Cotes Du Vivarais)
  • Laurent Vial, Domaine Du Colombier (Crozes Hermitage, Hermitage)

Two wine tastings of these winemakers’ wines, with the best of Franschhoek wines too, will also be held, at Grande Provence on Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15 July at 9h00, at the cost of R395, which includes the entrance ticket to the Bastille Marquee too.

Many wine estates will also host French inspired activities at their farms. Grande Provence, for example, will host an art exhibition focused on Le Monde front covers. For lunch it will serve Vichyssoise soup (R45), Boeuf Bourguignon (R90), Moules Marinière (R55), and a selection of French cheeses. At dinner guests will be offered a French inspired 3 course meal at R320 per person.

The main road will see many of the  restaurants and shops, decorated in blue, white, and red in keeping with the theme, offering food, beer, and wines for sale from their shop exteriors. Reuben’s, for example, will sell white truffle infused bean cassoulet soup, French onion soup, Puglia cheeses, Lynx wines, Jimmy Jagga ciders from KWV, Peroni draught, Jack Daniels, Boschendal sparkling wines, Deluxe coffee, and fresh fruit and vegetables outside its restaurant.

Alongside the fun food and wine events, the largest and longest running boules competition, the Waiter’s Race, Franschhoek minstrel parade from Solms-Delta, fencing, barrel-rolling, a farmer’s market, a craft market, children’s activities, and a French food market will be held over the weekend too, reports The Month. In addition, there will be 10 km, 25km, and 55 km mountain bike trails on Sunday 15 July, as well as a 12 km Salomon Bastille Day Trial Run on Saturday 14 July, from the Drakenstein Prison to Franschhoek, to commemorate freedom, the prison being the ‘home’ of Mr Nelson Mandela towards the end of his incarceration, and the prison he was released from in 1992, when it was still called Victor Verster. On Friday 13 July James Stewart will perform at a pre-Bastille Festival dinner with a French theme at La Petite Ferme.

Bring your berets and full purses, dress in the French colours, and enjoy two fun-filled days in Franschhoek, focused on its good foods and wines.  Book early, as the Saturday marquee entrance number is capped, and was sold out prior to the event last year.

Bastille Festival, Huguenot Road, Franschhoek. 14 and 15 July, 12h00 – 17h00. www.webtickets.co.za. Tel (021) 876-2861

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

The Sweet Service Award goes to The Kitchen at Maison Estate in Franschhoek, which did not charge for a slice of their new foie gras parfait, served with a delicious home-made grape jam, which I took home as a take-away after a coffee and tapas lunch.  I only noticed that they had not charged for the parfait when I had returned home and checked the bill, and called the Manager Julian Smith, to make him aware of his error, and offering to pay for it on my next visit.  He said that Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg had decided that I should not be charged for it.  This is one of the special touches of Maison.

The Sour Service Award goes to Col’Cacchio Franschhoek, and its Managing Partner Elizabeth Rossouw, who threatened to call the police when we refused to pay for an inedible Tiramisu costing R35!  It was covered with a toffee sauce, and consisted of mainly (artificial) cream, and had barely any finger biscuits, no coffee, no liqueur, and no mascarpone.  Despite sending the dessert back after one spoonful, it appeared on our bill.  Ms Rossouw arrived at the table, called me by my surname, even though we have known each other for years (we stopped going to French Connection when she managed it, due to her aggressive and unfriendly nature), as a sign of respect she said, and said that she had tasted it and it was perfect, and that we must pay for it! The Tiramisu was a compromise dessert choice when I had to return my first choice ‘Meringa’ Eton Mess type dessert, which was served with ice cream rather than cream, and without the fresh berries, contrary to the menu description, even though I had taken the trouble to check with the manager Andrew that it contained real dairy cream. No one came to the table to proactively inform us that the cream had ‘melted’ due to the heat of the kitchen, which was the ‘creative’ excuse provided by manager Andrew when I asked for him about the ice cream!  Despite my visit and experience being shared on Twitter on Monday, I have not received a call from the Col’Cacchio head office or from David Foster, the owner of the Franschhoek branch, regarding the misleading menu descriptions of at least two of the Col’Cacchio Franschhoek desserts.

The WhaleTales Sweet & Sour Service Awards are presented every Friday on the WhaleTales blog.  Nominations for the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be sent to Chris von Ulmenstein at info@whalecottage.com.   Past winners of the Sweet and Sour Service Awards can be read on the Friday posts of this blog, and in the WhaleTales newsletters on the www.whalecottage.com website.

It would appear as if the world-wide recession has only hit South Africa, and the Cape in particular, now and with a severe bang.  There is almost daily news of restaurant closures, three alone in the past three days, sad given how much the restaurants have invested in building a brand name and a regular following for their businesses.

The more than 100 restaurants in Cape Town and in the Winelands that are offering such generous Winter specials must be commended, and we will do our best to make their specials known to as many persons as possible.  We encourage our readers to do the same, to prevent any further closures.

We have created a new blogpost, with the restaurants opening and closing, and chefs moving, since spring 2011.

The following restaurants have closed down in the past few months, and these may not be the only ones as the winter takes its toll:

*   Jardine’s Restaurant has closed on Bree Str

*   Liquorice and Lime has closed down on St George’s Mall

*   Cheyne has closed on Bree Street

*   The Kitchen Bar in the Quarters’ Hotel in Hermanus has closed

*   The Bistro in Franschhoek has closed down

*   The Sandbar in Camps Bay has closed down

*   The Blonde building is up for sale, and does not appear to be re-opening in August, as was announced by The Caviar Group, owners of Blonde

*   The Green Dolphin Jazz Club in the V & A Waterfront has closed down

*   Mezzaluna in Loop Street has closed down

*   Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant judge Pete Goffe-Wood’s Wild Woods Restaurant has closed down.

*   Restaurant Christophe closed down in Stellenbosch on 25 June. Eat Out Top 20 Chef Christophe Dehosse will be back at Joostenberg from August.

*   Nando’s in Camps Bay has closed down

*   Haute Cabriere, under the chefmanship of Matthew Gordon, closed on 7 June at the wine tasting venue with the same name in Franschhoek.  See below for re-opening.

*   Karma closed down in Camps Bay

*   Hermanos in Hermanus has closed down

*   Fizz Affair Champagne and Wine Bar has closed down in Franschhoek

*   Doppio Zero in Green Point has closed down

*   Nzolo Brand Café has closed down in Church Street

*  L’Aperitivo has closed down.  See below for Valora.

*   On Broadway’s in-house restaurant has closed down.  Re-opened as Roberto’s on 7 July – see below.

*   Doppio Zero Claremont has closed down

*   Brio 1893 is closing down on 12 August

*   Chenin has closed in the old Cape Quarter

*   Cafe Max has closed down in De Waterkant

*   Bella Lucia has closed down in Wynberg

*   Iconic restaurant Linger Longer has closed down in Johannesburg after the death of chef Walter Ulz, 2010 Eat Out Lannice Snyman Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

*   Postocini Express has closed on Greenmarket Square

*   De Huguenot Restaurant, only having open for six months, closes at the end of October.  The Harry Q bar will continue operating, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The De Huguenot Estate will concentrate on weddings and events.

*   Wildflour has closed down on Regent Road in Sea Point.

*  The Olive Shack in Franschhoek has closed its restaurant operation, and will only operate as a shop selling olive-related products.

*   221 Waterfront has closed down in the V&A Waterfront

*   What’s On Eatery in Watson Street has closed down

But all is not doom and gloom, and the restaurateurs that are opening restaurants in these difficult times must be congratulated and wished well.  These restaurants opened their doors this year :

*   Etienne Bonthuys (ex-Tokara) has opened his long-awaited restaurant on Dorp Street, Stellenbosch, called Casparus, in partnership with artist Strijdom van der Merwe (left).

*   DISH has opened at Inn on the Square, Greenmarket Square

*   The Olive Shack at Allora in Franschhoek has opened as a deli, doing olive oil tastings, and serving Breakfast, Greek lunches and picnics

*   Tables restaurant has opened at Nitida wine estate in Durbanville

*   Mozzarella Bar has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens

*   Café Benedict has opened on the main road in Franschhoek.

*   Trinity has opened as a ‘super club’ in Bennett Street in Green Point

*   Il Cappero Italian Restaurant* has opened in Barrack Street

*   Caffé Milano* has opened on Kloof Street, Gardens

*   The Stone Kitchen has opened at Dunstone Winery in Wellington

*  The Franschhoek Food Emporium has open in Place Vendome, and is owned by legendary Topsi Venter’s daughter Danielle

*   What’s On Eatery* has opened in Watson Street, between Loop and Bree Street

*   Haas Coffee Collective has opened on Rose Street in Bo-Kaap

*   Crunch:The Pastry Shop coffee shop and bakery has opened in Paarl, owned by Gerard van Staden, previously chef at Le Franschhoek Hotel

*   Dear Me Brasserie and Tjing Tjing Bar has opened on Longmarket Street (right).

*   Act Restaurant and Play Bar have opened at the Baxter Theatre

*   Le Coq has opened in Franschhoek

*   Dash has opened in the Queen Victoria Hotel in the Waterfront

*   Café Dijon has opened another branch at Zorgvliet wine estate

*   Harbour House has opened a branch in the V & A Waterfront, where Fisherman’s Choice was

*   KOS Coffee & Cuisine has opened in The Regency on Regent Road in Sea Point

*   Café Extrablatt has opened where shu used to be, in Green Point

*   Skinny Legs & All has opened on Loop Street

*   Leopard’s Leap will open its picnic facility, tasting room and cookery school outside Franschhoek in November/December

*   De Huguenot Estate has opened The Marianne, Harry Q Bar and Fraiche, with ex-Hunter’s Country Lodge chef Tanya Kruger in the kitchen. (The De Huguenot restaurant closes at the end of October – see in closures above, and Fraiche Deli will no longer open).

*   Cicciobella Pizzeria has opened in Hout Bay

*   Takumi has opened, with Chef Papa San the Sushi Master

*   Sunbird Bistro has opened in the ex-Sandbar space on Victoria Road in Camps Bay, with Lana Doyle as chef and Pamela Trevelyan as Manager. Smart blue/white interior. Serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails and tapas.

*   The Grand Camps Bay will be operated by the ex-Sandbar for Breakfast and lunch.  The Grand takes over from 4 pm.

*   Mezepoli from Johannesburg is opening in the Nando’s space in Camps Bay on 20 October

*   Saboroso has opened in Bakoven, where Marika’s used to operate

*   Café Le Chocolatier has opened a chocolate manufacturing and demo outlet Le Chocolatier Factory, next to its restaurant, in Franschhoek, utilising Lindt equipment and chocolate

*   Haute Cabriere Cellar Restaurant has re-opened, with new chef Ryan Shell.

*   Cavallo restaurant is said to open on the stud farm on R44, between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, in 2012 or 2013

*   Roberto’s has opened underneath On Broadway, owned by Chef Roberto de Carvalho, ex-chef at the Twelve Apostles Hotel and the One & Only Cape Town

*   Luigi’s is opening in Paarl where Ciao Bella used to be

*   Our Place is opening in Durbanville where Avocado used to be

*   Friends Café has opened at 44 Belvedere Street, Claremont. Tel (021) 674-5510

*   Valora has opened where L’Aperitivo was, on Loop Street

*   Rococoa has opened in The Palms Decor and Lifestyle Centre in Woodstock

*   Luke Dale-Roberts (The Test Kitchen) is opening another restaurant in Wynberg, said to be where Bella Lucia is – this report, initially announced on the Spill blog, has been denied by Luke Dale-Roberts

*   Reuben’s is opening another Franschhoek branch off the main road, and will run it concurrently until its main road branch lease expires next year.

*   Toro has opened in the old Cape Quarter, near the back entrance of Andiamo, as a Wine/Aperitivo Bar, with an ex-Overture chef

*   Goloso Italian Deli and Wine Bar has opened on Regent Road in Sea Point, next door to Wildflour.

*   Franschhoek Famous Pancake House, with owner Gideon, has opened as a take-away pancake outlet, in Mont View Centre, next to the gym, in Fabriek Street, Franschhoek.

*   Cafeteria has opened in De Waterkant, initially selling wraps, sandwiches, coffee, and beautiful pastries, cakes and macaroons by Martin Senekal as take-aways, and planning to expand into a sit-down coffee shop in October.

*   A late night dinner and dance restaurant will open in the ex-Brio space in October, with a chef from St Tropez, and a DJ from Cannes

*   LM Grills has opened in Onrus, outside Hermanus, previous owners of restaurants with same name in Johannesburg and Mocambique

*   Chez Chez has opened as an Espresso and Cheesecake Bar (serving 13 different cheesecakes), 3 De Lorentz Street, Tamboerskloof.

*   Bistro on Rose has opened at 35 Rose Street

*   The Slug & Lettuce has opened on Long Street

*   Rhapsody’s franchise restaurant, mainly in Pretoria, is to open next door to Café Extrablatt in Green Point, where Doppio Zero used to be

*   Wale Rose Lifestyle has opened in Bo-Kaap, on the corner of Wale and Rose Street, serving Cape Malay as well as ‘cosmopolitan food’.

*   Andy Fenner (JamieWho?) and friends are opening Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants on Kloof Street, opposite McDonald’s, in December

* The Kitchen at Maison opens on Maison wine estate in Franschhoek on 16 November, with Chef Arno Janse van Rensburg (ex-Ginja, ex-Myoga), and Manager Julian Smith (ex-Grande Provence, ex-Waterkloof, ex-Pierneef a La Motte)

*   McDonald’s is opening a ‘concept store’ in the V&A Waterfront, where 221 Waterfront used to be

*   Batho’s Place African Restaurant has opened in the township in Franschhoek.  082 090 8660

*   Liam Tomlim’s Cookery School opens at Leopard’s Leap at the end of November, next door to La Motte in Franschhoek, also serving picnics.

*   F.east Indian Restaurant has opened corner Long and Bloem Streets, in Cape Town

Restaurant changes:

*   Chef Jacques de Jager, has left Salt Restaurant, after about 18 months

*   Restaurant Manager Darren Morgan has left Dash Restaurant, and is now at the One&Only Cape Town

*   Food & Beverage Manager of Dock House, Queen Victoria Hotel and V&A Hotel, Alton van Biljon, has left

*   Chef Lucas Carstens has left Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town, and joined Cuvée Restaurant, at Simonsig wine estate

*   Blues in Camps Bay is reducing the size of its restaurant, and re-opens as Blues Beach House on 14 October

*   Chef Leigh Trout has left Mange Tout at the Mont Rochelle Hotel, and has bought Bird Café and Gourmet Eatery on Bree Street, with Kevin Mink.  They re-opened on 1 September with an amended interior and a new menu.

*  Ex-Hermanos chef/owner Wayne Spencer is now at Burgundy in Hermanus

*   Carl Habel, Sommelier of The Mount Nelson Hotel, has been appointed Restaurant Manager of Planet Restaurant too

*   Peaches and Cream on the Main Road in Paarl has been taken over by Anica Bester

*   Mediterrea in Hermanus has changed its name to Grilleri

*   Patron Chef Stefan Louw has taken over the running of Heaven on Newton Johnson wine estate in the Hemel en Aarde wine valley.

*   The Black Pearl is the new name of the Tapas, Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, with new owners, of the ex-Seven Sins on Kloof Street.

*   Chef Oliver Cattermole has left Dash restaurant at the Queen Victoria Hotel, and joined What’s On Eatery on 1 October.

*   Cocoa Oola has opened on Kloof Street, where Oishii used to be

*   Chef Anri Diener has left Majeka House, and Chef Tanja Kruger from De Huguenot Restaurant takes over her position

*  Chef Daniel Botha has left Le Franschhoek Hotel, and starts at Salt Restaurant on 1 November

*  Chef Oliver Cattermole, previously with Dash and What’s On Eatery, has started as Executive Chef at Le Franschhoek Hotel on 7 November.

*   Chef Matthew Gordon in Franschhoek is opening a new restaurant in Paarl

*   Dieu Donné in Franschhoek has leased its restaurant to Martin and Marco from Durban, and they have renamed it La Rocca. Chef Jo van Staden has returned to Durban with her husband, Chef Gerard van Staden, who has returned to the Beverley Hills Hotel.

*   Chef Chris Smit of Café BonBon has resigned

*   Chef Christo Pretorius, previously of De Huguenot, has started at 1800 Restaurant at the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel

*   Sommelier Neil Grant of Rust en Vrede has resigned, leaves at the end of November, and is said to open a new restaurant in the Old Biscuit Mill

The following restaurants are taking a winter break:

*   La Colombe: 30 May – 20 June

*   River Café:   10 – 30 August

*   Constantia Uitsig:   4 – 26 July

*   The Grand Café Camps Bay:   June and July

*   Pure Restaurant: 1 – 31 July

*   Terroir: 1 – 11 July

*   Grande Provence:   18 – 31 July

*   Pierneef à La Motte:  15 June – 15 July

*   French Connection: 30 May – 20 June

*   Freedom Hill: July and August

*   Overture: July

*   Waterkloof: 27 June – 20 July

*   French Toast Wine & Tapas Bar 18 – 24 July

*   Tasting Room and Common Room at Le Quartier Francais closed until 31 July

*   The Olive Shack at Allora in Franschhoek is closed until the end of September

*   Tokara Restaurant: closed 8 – 22 August

*   Blues in Camps Bay is closing for a month from 22 August – 2 October, for renovations to reduce the size of the restaurant

*   Allée Bleue will not be serving lunch on Mondays and Tuesdays during September.

*   The Kove in Camps Bay is closed until mid-September for renovations

*   Laborie Restaurant in Paarl is closed for renovations until end October.

POSTSCRIPT 28/7: Pete Goffe-Wood, ex-owner of Wild Woods in Hout Bay, has written a frank article on Food24 about why he recently closed his restaurant. He blames Capetonians for not supporting restaurants in winter months, which means that they have to cover costs out of savings created in summer, to keep the business afloat in winter (this is a general Cape winter scenario for all businesses in the tourism industry – if one does not know about this, one should not be in the business in the first place!).  He writes that Johannesburg restaurants do not suffer this seasonality.  The recent 2-week summery spell proved what an important role the weather plays – business was booming for restaurants and accommodation as Capetonians left their homes, went out, and spent money, a welcome cash injection in these difficult times.  The Bastille Festival in Franschhoek had record attendance during this period.

Restaurant Specials cause cost undercutting, which attracts business and provides cashflow, but does not help the industry, he writes. If specials weren’t offered, one probably would have seen a far greater number of restaurants closing down. They are hugely popular, and on this blog the Restaurant Specials listings are the most popular of all blogposts.  He also blames restaurant owners, often chefs, for being too ‘emotional’ about their businesses, and for not seeing the signs of tough times early enough, which may call for closing one’s restaurant.  Clearly opening any business at the moment is high risk, and for a hospitality business the risk is even higher.   Goffe-Wood also lashes out at the recent Weekend Argus article about Restaurant Closures, using names from this blogpost.  As much as he blames journalist Helen Bamford for getting her facts wrong, he does too, in calling her Linda!  Describing a non-renewal of a restaurant lease as not being a restaurant closure or failure is very debatable – if things were going well, leases would have been renewed, especially for a restaurant like Haute Cabriere, where Chef Matthew Gordon had operated for 16 years!

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

We are delighted that many restaurants in Cape Town and the Winelands have seen the benefit of offering specials, and have done so since last winter, many running through summer too.   The winter specials for Cape Town and Winelands restaurants follow below, and will be updated continuously:

*   Pure at Hout Bay Manor: 3-course dinner for R195, includes 2 glasses of Groote Post wine, 10 May – end June. Closed July.  Tel (021) 790-0116.

*   Pepenero in Mouille Point : sirloin and chips R79, seafood platter R 129, 1 kg prawn platter R99, oysters R9 each, sushi platter R109.  Half price sushi all day.  From 9 May. Tel (021) 439-9027

*   Sinn’s Restaurant at Wembley Square:  lunch (6 options) at R50.  3-course dinner with glass of wine R150.  Sunday Buffet – 2 courses plus coffee R120, 3 courses plus coffee R150.  Winter. Tel (021) 465-0967

*   Theo’s on Beach Road, Mouille Point: oysters R6 each, 1 kg prawns R99, line fish R79, for lunch and dinner.  300 gram sirloin steak, spatchcock chicken peri peri, 500 gram spare ribs all R79 for lunch only.  Full sushi platter R99, half platter R50. Winter. Tel (021) 439-3494.

*   Sevruga in the V&A Waterfront: half price sushi Monday – Saturday 12 - 6 pm; 25 % off sushi Sunday 12 – 2pm, 50 % off Sunday 2 – 6 pm, 3-course menu R160, daily, lunch and dinner; 2-course lunch R120. 3-course lunch and dinner R160. End September. Tel (021) 421-5134

*   Myoga at Vineyard Hotel, Newlands: 7 course dinner, with 5 choices per course, for R195, Mondays – Saturdays, throughout winter. Tel (021) 657-4545

*   Beluga, The Foundry, Green Point: 1 kg Prawns R99; 50 % off sushi and cocktails all day Sunday, and from 12h00 – 19h00 weekdays. 2-course lunch R120; 3-course lunch and dinner R160.  End September. Tel (021) 418-2948.

*   221 Waterfront:  3-course meal at R135 on Wednesdays.  Dine & Cruise package: 1,5 hour cruise, 2 glasses sparkling wine, 3-course meal R370; Lunch & Cruise package: 1 hour cruise and meal R210.  Winter. Tel (021) 418-3633

*  The Lookout Deck, Hout Bay:  Seafood Platter with line fish, mussels, calamari and prawns R65. Until 31 August. Tel (021) 790-0900

*   La Mouette, Regent Road, Sea Point (photograph above): Tasting Menu (items change monthly) 6 courses R240 for 2 persons, Tuesday – Sunday dinner, Friday and Saturday lunch.  Winter. Tel (021) 433-0856

*   Bertha’s in Simonstown: 1 kg Queen prawns cost R99 each, Calamari, mussel, chips, BBQ chicken and wing platter R99, 600g ribs plus 500ml Windhoek draught R99. Winter. Tel (021) 786-2138

*   Aubergine:  2-course lunch R184,  3-course lunch R235.  2-course dinner R200, 3-course dinner R275.   Wednesdays – Fridays except public holidays. Winter.  Tel (021) 465-4909

*   Ferryman’s Tavern, V&A Waterfront: Combo-specials R100 (linefish + calamari), R85 (sirloin + calamari), R99 (pork rib + chicken wings), Mussel hotpot R75.  Winter. Sunday Hot Pot Buffet Eat as much as you like R120, Sundays, until end August.  Tel (021) 419-7748

*   Hildebrand: 2 courses R99, 3 courses R130 if eat before 19h00;  Winter. Tel (021) 425-3385

*   Leaf Restaurant and Bar: 50 % off sushi all day, Dimsum 30 % off, Burgers R50 – R65.  Winter. Tel (021) 418-4500

*   Blowfish in Blouberg: Breakfast specials: egg and bacon sandwich R19, Three Cheese and Mushroom omelette R25, Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs R25; Lunch specials of Surf ‘n Turf, Rack of Ribs, Thai Chicken Curry, and Mussel and Chorizo Chowder at R49 Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 17h00; Dinner specials: seafood platter, slow roasted lamb shank, oxtail stew, and seafood curry R99, Monday – Saturday 17h00 onwards. Winter. Tel (021) 556-5464

*   Vanilla, Cape Quarter:  1/2 price sushi 12h00 – 18h00,  half-price cocktails 4 – 6 pm. Winter. Tel (021) 421-1391

*   Knife restaurant, Century City:  Bagel R35; Salad R45; Rib, meatball, chicken wing and chip platter R60, all specials include a beer/glass of wine/colddrink and coffee.  Lunch special, 12h00 – 15h00, Mondays – Fridays. Winter. Tel (021) 551-5000

*   Saul’s Sushi @ Vegas, Sea Point: 30 piece sushi platter R99 – Wednesdays and Thursdays; two for the price of one – Sundays.  Winter. Tel 087 151 4595

*    Bhandaris Indian Restaurant: Buffet R99 Wednesday dinner and Sunday lunch and dinner. 30 % off for pensioners on Tuesdays. Lowest value meal for free if buy bottle of wine or two drinks for a pre-booked table of up to 10, on Monday evenings; Lamb R79, Chicken R69, Fish R85 – Tuesday – Sundays.  Winter. Tel (021) 702-2975/Tel (021) 782-1525.

*    Zorba’s, Lagoon Beach Hotel, Lagoon Beach Drive, Milnerton: Seafood and meat platter for two plus two glasses of Hartenberg wine R199  19 August – 19 September. Tel (021) 528-2093

*   Trees Restaurant, Townhouse Hotel, Cape Town:  Casserole or steak with starch of day and glass of wine R105.  Winter. Tel (021) 465-7050

*   Down South Food Bar, 267 Long Street: Rib & Prawn Platter including a side and sauces R75.  Winter. Tel (021) 422-1155.

*   Il Cappero, Barrack Street: Daily lunch main course special at R40.  Three month Winter Special Card, costs R 140 for 11 starters, 11 main courses and 11 desserts, at 50 % off the menu price.   Monday – Friday. May – July. Tel 461-3168

*   Cape Town Fish Market:  ”All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R 60, Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays; Seafood lunch buffet R125, Sundays and public holidays.  Winter. Tel (021) 418-5977

*   Trinity, Bennett Street:  “All you can eat” Dim Sum R135. Two-for-price-of-one burgers Wednesdays. Pizza R50 until 7 pm daily.   Seafood platter R100  on Thursday.  “All you can eat” ribs Mondays R99.  Two for the price of one sushi and Dim Sum Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 20h00.  Pizza R50 Monday – Saturday 12h00 – 19h00. Winter. Tel (021) 418-0624

*   French Toast, Bree Street: Bruschetta tapas free  Monday – Saturdays, 5 – 7 pm.  All wines costing R 400 or less half price on Mondays.  2-course lunch consisting of soup and choice of two tapas plus glass of wine or cup of coffee R89, Monday – Friday 12h00 – 16h00.  Winter. Tel (021) 422-3839.

*   Cru Café Restaurant & Wine Bar, Cape Quarter: Scrambled egg and salmon breakfast for 2 plus bottomless cup of coffee R 78, Weekdays; 2 gourmet burgers with onion rings, French fries and Stella Artois beer R120 weekday lunch; Comfort food (Bobotie or Bredie) for two for R119, including 2 glasses of wine, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. T-bone steak (350g) for two at R150, Friday and Saturday evenings. Until September. Tel (021) 418-6334

*   Krugmann’s Grill, V&A Waterfront: 250 g rump or sirloin R45, 19 – 21 August; 250g rump and starch R59, daily.  Winter. Tel (021) 418-9393

*   The Square, Vineyard Hotel, Newlands:  ‘Tastes of 2011′ focuses on different theme every month, from April – September.  British menu change weekly,  2 courses R140 or 3 courses R170.  Dinner only, Monday – Sunday.  Tel ()21) 657-4500

*   Dunes, Hout Bay : Sunday buffet with smoked salmon, oysters and cooked breakfast R100. Current. Tel (021) 790-1876

*   Arnold’s on Kloof, 60 Kloof Street, Gardens: Jack Black stew (type of stew changes throughout winter) for two plus bottle of Altydgedacht R99.  Tel (021) 424-4344. Throughout winter.

*   Five Flies, One free main course for every main course ordered.  Until end August. Tel (021) 424-4442

*   Balducci’s, V&A Waterfront: Alfresco Lunch specials – soup and salad R89, fish R89, calamari R89, seafood platter for two R245, Steak Roll and chips R85, Steak and chips R99, Burgers R55 – R75, Glass of wine R27, bottle R99.  daily 12h00 – 16h00. Tel (021) 421-6002

*   Harbour House, Kalk Bay: 2-courses R140, 3-courses R160. Excludes Sundays.  September. Tel (021)  788-4133

*   Live Bait, Kalk Bay: Seafood platter R65. Sunday – Thursday evenings, and Monday – Friday lunch. September. Tel (021) 788-5755

*  Polana, Kalk Bay: Mozambique-style prawns, Algarve salad and chips. R50, Sunday – Thursday dinner and Saturday lunch. September. Tel (021) 788-7162

*   Massimo’s Pizza Club, Hout Bay: “Order any 2 adult take away (pizza, pasta salad)” to a minimum value of R100, and get an &Union beer, Darling Brew beer or a 500ml bottle of Bob’s Your Uncle wine for free, all day Wednesdays and Thursdays, Fridays until 17h00.  Lunch offer – Free glass of house wine or beer when ordering main course, Wednesday – Friday, 12h00 – 16h00. Until August Tel (021) 790-5648.

*   Codfather, Camps Bay:  half-price sushi 12h00 – 18h00, daily.  Winter. Tel (021) 438-0782

*   Caffe Milano, Kloof Street: Lunch specials - Rump on a baguette R70; Pizza with pomodoro sauce, mozzarella and basil, R 70.  Winter. Tuesday – Sunday. Tel (021)426-5566.

*   Black Marlin, Simonstown:  2-course meal R115, 3-course R140 includes glass of wine.  Until July. Tel (021) 786-1621

*   Savoy Cabbage:  2-course R175, 3-course R195 includes glass of wine .  Until end August. Tel (021) 424-2626.

*   Bayside Café: for every main course, get another lesser-priced main course.  Lunch Monday – Friday,  Sunday – Thursday.  Until October. Tel (021) 438-2650.

*   Mamma Mia Restaurant,  Steenberg:   2-courses R150, 3-courses R175.  Until August. Tel (021)  701-8585

*   Café Chameleon,  Plattekloof: lunch pizza minus 10%, until August. Tel (021) 911-1025.

*   Cape Town Fish Market, ”All you can eat Breakfast Buffet” R60, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays; Seafood buffet lunch R125, Sundays and public holidays. Winter. Tel (021) 554-5962.

*   Tobago Restaurant, Radisson Blu, Granger Bay: two main courses for price of one, Monday – Saturdays.  Until 30 September.  Tel (021) 441-3414

*   La Bruixa, Sea Point:  Seafood paella for two for R260, includes a salad.  Lunch 12h00 – 15h00.  Until June.  Tel (021) 434-8797

*   Sinatra’s, Pepper Club Hotel, Loop Street:  Glass of bubbly and 6 oysters for R 60.  Fridays from 16h00.  Until December.  Tel (021) 812-8826

*   Chai yo, Canal Walk: Buy two main meals and get lesser priced one free.  Winter. Monday – Sunday.   Tel (021) 555-0620.

*   La Boheme, Sea Point:   2-courses R95, 3-courses R115.  Throughout 2011. Tel (021) 434-8797.

*   Food Barn, Noordhoek:  3-courses with 2 glasses of Steenberg wine R165,  4-courses with 3 glasses of Steenberg wine R185,  5-courses with 4 glasses of Steenberg wine R215.  Lunch daily.  Wednesday – Saturday dinner, May – October. Tel (021) 789-1390

*   What’s On Eatery, Watson Str:  2 course dinner at R 99, includes a glass of wine. Breakfast weekdays R25.  Lunch R39, menu changes daily, on weekdays, R5 extra for glass of wine or milkshake, every 7th lunch is free with What’s On Loyalty Card. 11 May – October. Tel (021) 422-5652

*   Nobu, One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town:  5-course R299, May – August. Tel (021) 431-4511.

*   The Kove, Camps Bay: 2-courses R 120, 3-courses R150.  Rump steak R79, Fillet R99, Grilled Norwegian Salmon R99, Peri Peri baby chicken R90, Line fish R90, Seafood platter R165, Gourmet Burger R60.    Winter. Tel (021) 438-0004

*   The Greenhouse, Cellars-Hohenhort Hotel, Constantia: 6-course meal with wines from Klein Constantia R295. Tuesday – Friday.  Until September. Tel (021) 794-2137

* Dear Me,  Longmarket Street: 25 % off standard price of 3-course (R240) or 5-course (R350) dinner.  Thursdays.  From 19 May until July.  Tel (021) 422-4920

*   Zenzero, Camps Bay: 2-courses R150, 3-courses R180.  Parmesam lamb R99, Veal Saltimbocca R89, Beef & Reef R 120, Gnocchi Ragu R69, Pancetta and pea risotto R79, Canneloni R69, and Kingklip R99.  Winter. Tel (021) 438-0007

*   The Round House, Camps Bay: 7-course lunch and dinner R240, or R460 paired with wine.   Winter. Tel (021) 438-4347

*   Planet Restaurant,  Mount Nelson Hotel:  4-course Vegan Journey menu R300, 4-course The Journey menu R220, 6-course The Journey menu R300.  Winter. Tel (021) 483-1000.

*   Brio 1893: 3-course dinner R165.  Monday – Thursday.  Closing down 12 August. Tel (021) 422-0654

*   GOLD Restaurant: Winter special R200 + 10 % service fee.  June – September. Tel (021) 421-4653

*   Salt Restaurant, Ambassador Hotel:  2 courses R120 amd 3 courses R140.  Receive a voucher for a free bottle of Hartenberg wine for the next visit if order two 3-course meals.  Until 31 August. Tel (021) 439-7258

*   Tuscany Beach, Camps Bay: 50 % off partner’s main course, Dinner, daily; 25 % off Sushi, 12h00 – 18h00, daily.  Winter. Tel (021) 438-1213.

1800 Degrees, Cape Royale Luxury Hotel: Hot and cold Tapas and jazz, with a bottle of Diemersfontein wine per couple R195 per person, Sundays, 12h00 – 15h00. 100 gram sirloin, 100 gram rump and 100 gram rib eye steaks R99 plus one sauce and jacket potato.  Winter. Tel (021) 430-0511.

*   St Elmo’s: 2 large regular pizzas R99,90,  2 medium regular pizzas R69,90 Take-away, Daily.  2 Large pizzas R79,90 on Tuesdays;  1 Large pizza plus 400g rack of ribs and chips for R109,90, Take Away, daily; Small pizza plus 330ml Coke R24,90, Monday – Friday lunch. Winter. www.stelmos.co.za

*   Café Delicieux, Welgemoed: 2-course dinner R125, 3-courses R155.  Friday evenings.  Winter. Tel (021) 913-1053

*   Café Manhattan, 74 Waterkant Street and 247 Main Road, Three Anchor Bay: Burger and a glass of wine R45.  Winter. Tel (021) 421-6666/Tel (021) 439-9666.

*   Pigalle, Green Point: 3 course dinner and show R330 – R350, 8 June, 21 July, 10 August, 14 September.  Tel (021) 421-4848

*   Pepper Club on the Beach, Camps Bay: Seafood platter R149,95; Sirloin plus 3 prawns R 98,95; Prawn platter R98,95.  Until 31 December. Tel (021) 438-3174

*   Mint, Taj Hotel: 3 courses plus a glass of Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc or Merlot R185, Monday – Sundays, Until 30 September. Tel (021) 819-2000

*   News Café, Green Point: English Breakfast R19, 7h00 – 9h00 Monday – Friday, 7h30 – 9h00 Saturday and Sunday, until 1 February 2012

*   Long Street Café: Butter Chicken Curry and rice, R55, until 10 June, Monday – Sunday.  tel (021) 424-2464

*   Savour Restaurant, 15 on Orange: 3-course meal R180, Monday – Sunday, Until 31 August. Tel (021) 469-8037

*   La Colombe, Constantia: Lunch – 3-courses R240, 3-courses plus wine R280, Monday – Saturday, until 30 November.  Dinner – 5-courses R310, 5-courses plus wine R390, Monday – Saturday, until September. Closed 30 May – 20 June.

*   Catharina’s, Steenberg Hotel: 2-course lunch R165, 3-course lunch R195, 3-course dinner R215.  Until 1 September.  Tel (021) 713-2222

*   The Grand Café and Beach Granger Bay: 2-courses R 125, 3-courses R150, Tuesday – Sunday. Winter. Tel (021) 425-0551

*   Constantia Uitsig: 2-course lunch and dinner R190, 3-course lunch R220, 3-course dinner R250, Monday – Saturday. Until 30 September.  Closed 4 – 26 July.

*   Blues, Camps Bay: 2-courses R120, 3-courses R150, includes a glass of wine and cup of coffee. Monday – Sunday.  Until 1 September.

*   River Café, Constantia: 3-courses and carafe of wine R180, lunch, Monday – Saturday.  Until 30 September. Tel (021) 794-3010.  Closed 10 – 30 August.

*   La Cuccina, Hout Bay: Homemade meal for two plus bottle of wine R100. Monday – Saturday. Until 30 December.

Mugged on Roeland: All you can eat Pizza R80, Friday evenings. Until 30 December. Tel 084 5894 665

*   Chapman’s Peak Hotel, Hout Bay: Free bottle of Elements wine plus 2 Amarula Crème Brulee with two meat main courses ordered; 1 kg prawns R99; Soup R35; Malay Lamb Curry R89; Mussel Mexicana R69; Winter Platter R99.  Monday – Saturday lunch and dinner. Until 30 September. Tel (021) 790-1036

*   Rick’s Café Américain, Park Road: Tapas or Mezze Platter plus 1/2 litre house wine R105; 1/2 litre Paulaner, Erdinger and Valentins beer R 30, 5 – 7 pm; Lunch specials from R39; and more specials on drinks. Winter.  Tel (021) 424-1100

*   Barocca, Camps Bay Club: 2 for the price of one burgers Tuesday evenings; Pasta and a glass of wine R50 Thursday evenings.  From 5 pm.  Winter. Tel (021) 438-1992

*   Seaforth Restaurant, Simonstown: Deep fried prawns R90 Tuesdays; hake and chips R38 Wednesdays; Eat as much calamari as you like R49 Thursdays; Steak and calamari R78 Fridays; Eat as much as you like pork spare ribs R88 Saturdays. From 6 pm. June. Tel (021) 786-4810

*   Pizzeria Villagio, Howard Centre, Pinelands: Free glass of Teddy Hall wine with home-made pasta on Tuesdays.  Winter. Tel (021) 531-4473.

*   delish, Hout Bay: Cooked breakfast R35; Soup and ciabatta R30, Monday – Friday lunch; Tagines, ragouts and curries plus glass of wine or beer R75, from 12h00, daily.  Winter. Tel (021) 790-5324

*   Café Sofia, Sea Point, Kloof Street, Camps Bay and Green Point: Buy 2 main courses and get one free, from 17h00, daily.  Winter.

*   Saul’s Taverna, Sea Point: 2-course meal and cocktails for two R140.  Winter. Tel 087 151 4592

*   Adega, Sea Point: Lamb shank R69, Feijoada R89, 1kg King Prawns R95. Winter. Tel (021) 434-3029

*   La Grotto, Plumstead: 300g rump steak R89. Winter. Tel (021) 797-8420.

*   Wangthai, V&A Waterfront, Constantia, Lagoon Beach, Somerset West:  Free glass of Durbanville Hills wine with Curry Festival meal.  Winter. Tel (021) 421-8702/(021) 794-0022/(021) 551-9254/(021) 855-0112.

*   Addis in Cape Ethiopian Restaurant, 41 Church Street: 2-course set menu R130.  Tel (021) 424-5722. Winter

*   Ocean Basket, Western Cape: Oysters R8 each, until 15 July.

*   Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel, Camps Bay: 4-courses R370, 5-courses R495, wine flight prices R50 – R135, until October. Tel (021) 437-9000

*   Diva Pizza, Buitenkant Street: 2 large margherita pizzas with choice of two toppings R85 on Tuesday and Saturday evenings.  Until 31 August. Tel (021) 461-0013

*   Harveys, Winchester Mansions, Sea Point: 2-course lunch R130, 3-course lunch R160; 2-course dinner R150, 3-course dinner R 180.  Monday – Sunday. Winter. Tel (021) 434-2351.

*   Savour, 15 on Orange Hotel: Sunday Lunch Buffet plus ’never-ending supply of Methodé Cap Classique’ R265.  Winter. Tel (021) 469-8000

*   Karibu, V&A Waterfront: 220g rump, Malay chicken, calamari, and bobotie R49.  Monday – Sunday lunch, Sunday – Wednesday dinner.  Until 31 August. Tel (021) 421-7005.

*   Hussar Grill, Green Point and Camps Bay: 2-courses R99, no corkage.  Winter. Tel (021) 433-2081/(021) 438-0151

*   Tokyo Restaurant & Sushi Bar: Buy one get one free daily; Sushi Buffet Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturday evenings R110.  Winter. Tel (021) 424-5108.

WINELANDS

Franschhoek

*   Allee Bleue, outside Franschhoek: choice of three 250g steaks at R115, including a glass of estate wine, current. 3-course lunch R 100, and R150 with wines paired.  Chicken and Prawn Potjie with Roti and glass of Allee Bleue Isabeau or Shiraz R85.  Lunch, Wednesday – Sunday. Until end September. Chicnic picnics daily (weather depending), R145 per person. Summer Tel (021) 874-1021

*   Ryan’s Kitchen at Rusthof, Franschhoek: 3-course dinner R195; 6 course Taste of Africa dinner R295.  Winter. Closed 27 June – 14 July.  Tel (021) 876-4598.

*   Reuben’s, Franschhoek: 2-course lunch and dinner R 220, 3-courses R268, 4-courses R315.  Current. Tel (021) 876-3772

*   Allora in Franschhoek: 3-course Sunday lunch R100.  Winter. Tel (021) 876-4375.

*   L’ermitage, Franschhoek: 1-course R93, 2-courses R125, 3-courses R175, and glass of wine with each option. Lunch. Winter. Tel (021) 876-9200

*   French Connection, Franschhoek: 2-courses R95, 3-courses R125.  Winter. Tel (021) 876-4056

*   Grande Provence Jonkershuis, Franschhoek: 4-course lunch and dinner, minimum 8 guests, R200.  Monday – Saturday dinner, Monday – Sunday lunch.  Closed 18 – 31 July.  Until 30 September. Tel (021) 876-8600

*   Mon Plaisir @Chamonix, Franschhoek: 2-courses R 170, 3-courses R199.  Winter. Tuesday – Sunday lunch, Wednesday – Saturday dinner.  Tel (021) 876-2393.

*   Monneaux Restaurant, Franschhoek Country House: Cape Malay Curry R95, Wednesday evenings; Firecracker Menu - 2 courses R145, 3 courses R175, all nights.  Winter. Tel (021) 876-3386

*   Salmon Bar, Franschhoek: 3-course dinner plus glass of Porcupine Ridge R150, Fridays and Saturdays.  Winter. Tel (021) 876-4591.

*   Mange Tout, Mont Rochelle Hotel, Franschhoek:  2-courses plus glass of wine R150, 3-courses plus glass of wine R190, Winter Brunch Buffet plus glass of bubbly R150.  Winter. Tel (021) 876-3000.

*   Fyndraai, Solms Delta, Franschoek.  2-course Sunday Lunch Buffet R125. Tel (021) 874-3937.

Paarl

*   Laborie Restaurant in Paarl: 5 food portions each paired with wine R395.  Winter. Tel (021) 807-3095

*   Freedom Hill: 10 % off discount with Loyalty Card.  Closed July and August.  Winter. Tel (021) 867-0963

*   Bosman’s, Grande Roche, Paarl: 2-courses R120, 3-courses R155.  Monday – Sunday lunch.  Until April (except 20 December – 10 January). Tel (021) 863-5100.

Stellenbosch

*   Olivello, Klapmuts, outside Stellenbosch: 2-course meal R115, 3-course meal R135 plus glass of wine.  Winter. Tel (021) 875-5443

*   96 Winery Road, Stellenbosch: 3-course lunch and dinner from a la carte menu (with a few surcharges), with glass of Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc or Petit Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, R180, Winter; 4-course Chocolate dinner in conjunction with Lindt Chocolate Studio.  R300. 15 June. Tel (021) 842-2020

*   Warwick, Stellenbosch:  Tapas menu range R15 – R45 per dish. Winter. Tel (021) 884-4410

*   Dornier Bodega, Stellenbosch: Meat-free Mondays, Comfort Tuesdays, Pasta Wednesdays, Soup Thursdays, Fish Fridays, all R79, lunch, May – September, Tel (021) 880-0557

*   Towerbosch Restaurant, Knorhoek Wine Estate, Stellenbosch:  Soup & Bredie Menu with soup and bredie R90, Wednesdays – Saturdays; Asado Argentian-style braai on Sundays R165.  May – August. Tel (021) 865-2958

*   Tokara Restaurant, Stellenbosch: Chef’s Menu - 3 courses and amuse bouche and palate cleanser R225.  From 10 May, during winter. Tel (021) 885-2550

*   Jordan Restaurant with George Jardine, Stellenbosch: 1-course meal with glass of wine R95; 4-course meal with 2 glasses of wine R 225. Tuesday – Saturday lunch, Thursday and Friday dinners.  From 10 May in winter.  Tel (021) 881-3612

*   Terroir, Kleine Zalze estate:  2-courses R170, 3-courses R195.  Includes glass of Kleine Zalze wine.   May – September. Monday – Saturday lunch and dinner,  Sunday lunch.  Closed 1 – 11 July. Tel (021) 880-8167

*   Restaurant Christophe, Stellenbosch:  4-course dinner R150 Tuesday – Saturday.  Inexpensive Bistro lunches Tuesday – Friday.  Closed down 24 June. Tel (021) 886-8763

*   Overture, Stellenbosch: 2-course meal R 160.   Winter, but closed in July.  Tel (021) 880-2721

*   Wild Peacock Food Emporium, 32 Piet Retief Str, Stellenbosch: 3-course dinner and glass of wine R140.  Wednesday evenings. Winter. Tel (021) 887-7585

*   Delaire Graff, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch : 3-course Organic Tasting Menu with 2 glasses of wine R295, Monday – Friday lunch, Wednesday – Friday dinner.  Winter. Tel (021) 886-8160

*   Johan’s at Longridge, Stellenbosch: 2-course lunch plus glass of wine R150.  Friday – Tuesday lunch (closed Wednesdays and Thursdays).  Winter. Tel (021) 855-2004.

*   Delheim, Knorhoek Road, Stellenbosch: 3-course Mushroom Week mushroom menu R120 for 3 courses and 3 glasses of Delheim wine.  Until 10 July.  Tel (021) 888-4607

Somerset West

*   Waterkloof, Somerset West: Receive a R100 voucher off for a meal in June, for meals in May.  Tel (021) 858-1491

Hermanus

*   Season in Hermanus: Sunday lunch roast from R65; Afval plus soup and glass of wine R65 on Wednesday for lunch or dinner; Lowest priced of two steaks ordered on Friday evenings is free.  August. Tel (028) 316-2854

*   The Class Room, Hermanus: 3-course Sunday lunch R130.  Winter. Tel (028) 316-3582

*   Rossi’s Italian Restaurant, Hermanus: Half price pizza and pasta Mondays;  free bottle of house wine for table of 2 or more on Wednesdays; Children under 4 eat free on Thursdays. Winter.  Tel (028) 312-2848

*   Mediterrea, Hermanus: 50 % off all main courses, Sunday – Thursdays.  Until 31 August. Tel (028) 313-1685

*   Joe’s Restaurant, Stanford: Abalone Buffet (abalone fritters, sausage, scotch eggs, burgers, curry, samoosas, and lasagne) R95, daily lunch. Winter. Tel (028) 3410 662

Plettenberg Bay

*   Nguni - Friday dinner special R50.  Every Friday.  Winter. Tel (044) 533-6710

POSTSCRIPT 5/5: TV presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen has praised her Restaurant Special meal at Blowfish as follows: “Thank you for your HotWinter specials on your site, tried out the lunch special at BlowFish, it was good value for money xoxo”

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

Copyright: Whale Cottage Portfolio

During the first sharp winter spell earlier this week, questions were asked on Twitter about restaurants with fireplaces in Franschhoek.  As a service to the Franschhoek visitor, I have compiled a list of warm and cosy restaurants and wine tasting rooms with fireplaces:

Restaurants with fireplaces

Allora Restaurant: Italian style menu with pizza, pasta and other Italian dishes   Tel (021) 876-4375

Bistro Allée Bleue:  cosy atmosphere in this blue-decor bistro at the entrance to the wine estate. Tel (021) 874-1886

Café BonBon:  Very cosy room, home-cooked style food (right).  Tel (021) 876-3936

Common Room: Tapas style restaurant at Le Quartier Français. Tel (021) 876-2151

Country Kitchen: Second restaurant at winetasting center of Mont Rochelle Hotel and Mountain Vineyards  Tel (021) 876-3000

Dieu Donné:  Large fireplace for the large restaurant with a view, menu varied style  Tel (021) 876-3384

Dish: Restaurant at Le Franschhoek Hotel. Tel (021) 876-8900

Dutch East: multi-style menu.  Tel (021) 876-3547

Elephant & Barrel: pub tucked behind French Connection, good spot for sports match broadcasts.  Tel (021) 876-4127

Franschhoek Kitchen: two rooms, one with a large fireplace, good fresh cooking from Chef Bjorn Dingemans. Tel (0-21) 876-2738

Franschhoek Station Pub & Grill: with its 1915 fireplaces (above), must be Franschhoek’s oldest.  Tel (021) 876-3938

French Connection: French style menu Tel (021) 876-4056

Grande Provence Restaurant: smallish fireplace but warm restaurant with excellent fine dining menu. Tel (021) 876-8600

Grillroom:   steakhouse that also sells meat.  Tel (021) 876-2548

Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant:   cosy eating in a cave-like cellar restaurant.  Tel (021) 876-3688

Kalfi’s Restaurant: the fireplace caused a fire in the restaurant, closing it down for two days earlier this week.  tel (021) 876-2520

La Petite Ferme: this long-established restaurant with a view, located at the foot of the Franschhoek Pass, has a fireplace in the entrance room of the extended restaurant space.  Tel (021) 876-3016

Le Bon Vivant:  highly creative chef Pierre, but disappointing service, tucked away one block from main road, behind ABSA.  Tel (021) 876-2717

Le Coq: Two fireplaces, one each for the Grill and Light Meal sections of the new restaurant on the main road.  Tel (021) 876-4404

L’Ermitage Restaurant: restaurant at L’Ermitage Hotel, at foot of Franschhoek Pass. Tel (021) 876-9200

Mange Tout: fine dining restaurant inside Mont Rochelle Hotel. Tel (021) 876-2770

Monneaux:   multi-style menu, located within Franschhoek Country House.  Tel (021) 876-3386

Pierneef à La Motte: soon-to-be award winning restaurant with creative chef Chris Erasmus, Cape cooking with a modern twist.  Tel (021) 876-8800

Reuben’s Restaurant: large fireplace in this well-known fine-dining restaurant (right). Tel (021) 876-3772

Rickety Bridge Restaurant in the Vines:  hot and hearty meals served include curry and casseroles. Tel (021) 876-2016

Winetasting Rooms with a fireplace

Boekenhoutskloof: Home of highly regarded Boekenhoutskloof wines, as well as of Chocolate Block, The Wolftrap and Porcupine Ridge.  Tel (021) 876- 3320

Glenwood: Cellar tours at 11h00 daily.  Chardonnay Vignerons Selection is flagship wine.  Tel (021) 876-2044

Grande Provence: Both Grande Provence and Angel Tears wines sold.  Tel (021) 876-8600

Haute Cabriere: Cabriere Pinot Noir and Pierre Jourdan sparkling wines. Cellar tour and Sabrage on Saturdays at 11h00.  Tel (021) 876-8500

La Bri: Its labels are inspired by colourful flowers.  Tel (021) 876-2593

La Chataigne: Three wines are made – a Sauvignon Blanc, the Kastanje white blend and Marron red blend.  Tel (021) 876-3220

La Petite Ferme:   Cellar tour and tasting offered.  Tel (021) 876-3016

Le Manoir de Brendel:   Produce Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz wines.  Tel (021) 876-4525

Maison: excellent Chenin Blanc and Shiraz with very friendly wine-tasting in Weylandts-interior cottage (left). No charge for the tasting, and blue cheese and biltong are served with the wine tasting.  Tel (021) 876-2116

Mont Rochelle Mountain Vineyards:  Miko is the flagship wine, named after the late owner of the estate. Cellar tours three times a day.  Gourmet food and wine tasting.  Tel (021) 876-3000

Rickety Bridge Winery:   Cellar tours by appointment. R15 tasting fee for five wines, but waived if wine is bought.  Tel (021) 876-2129

Topiary Wines:   First Platter 5-star for their sparkling wine in 2010.  Tel (021) 867-0258

Vrede en Lust:  No tasting fee is charged at this wine estate at the entrance to Franschhoek, in Simondium. Known for Boet Erasmus, Mocholate Malbec, Marguerite Chardonnay, and more. Tel (021) 874-1611

It was interesting to note that a number of restaurants and wine estates called said that they were waiting for the delivery of their wood, and would only have their fireplaces blazing from next week onward.

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

Franschhoek still officially carries the Gourmet Capital crown, even though it faces strong competition from Stellenbosch, which is seeing the opening of an increasing number of excellent restaurants, so much so that we recently suggested that the town establish the Stellenbosch Restaurant Route.

Franschhoek probably has sat back on its gourmet laurels for a while, but must be delighted about the opening of two new excellent restaurants, Ryan’s Kitchen and Pierneef à La Motte, which add new interest to Franschhoek as a culinary destination.  In fairness to Franschhoek, I have suggested a Franschhoek Restaurant Route:

*   Pierneef à La Motte is culinary art, and has upped the quality of Franschhoek’s restaurant choice.  Its focus is Winelands Boerekos with a contemporary twist.  Chef Chris Erasmus is a breath of fresh air, working with historic recipes and transforming them into works of art,  reflecting Pierneef’s standards.  Tel (021) 876-8000

*   Grande Provence  is quietly delivering quality cuisine, with chef Darren Roberts doing the most beautiful presentation of his food.   The restaurant is not afraid to charge  a price that reflects his standards of cooking.   Outstanding decor, and surrounded by artwork from its Gallery.  Perfection is visible from the time one drives into the wine estate.  Top 10 restaurant for the past two years. Tel (021) 876-8600.

*   The Tasting Room is loved by some, but not by all.  It is expensive.  It seems to have good nights and bad nights.  Joint 10th with Overture on Eat Out Top 10 Restaurant List last year.  Tel (021) 876-2151

*   Ryan’s Kitchen has only been open for three months, set in a guest house,  with a high-tech kitchen, and quality cuisine by chef Ryan Smith.  “Contemporary South African cuisine” is the restaurant positioning, and a stronger African feel will be introduced in October, with a “Taste of Africa” menu.   Tel (021) 876-4598

*   Reuben’s has been the darling of Franschhoek, and a recent Tweet stated that it is the restaurant that tourists visit, while those that know go to Le Bon Vivant.   Opened 6 years ago, the restaurant’s service standards have dropped as Reuben’s has expanded to Robertson, and chef Reuben Riffel has taken on more projects.  Recently lost the sommelier to Bosman’s, but may not be a bad thing for the restaurant, as she was not very customer-friendly.  The biggest compliment to Reuben and his team, but also the largest challenge, in opening Reuben’s at One&Only Cape Town  (A first meal at the new Reuben’s was a-maze-ing).   Tel (021) 876-3772

*   Allee Bleue has been very low key restaurant-wise, and it is uncertain exactly where the management wants to go with its dining options.  The Bistro at the entrance to the wine estate has always been friendly, and serves Bistro-style food at reasonable prices.  The departure of Chef Dane Newton is a shame, but with his replacement currently working at the Michelin-starred Schwarzer Adler, interesting things could be coming out of this kitchen soon. Tel (021) 874-1021

*   Cafe Bon Bon is one of the most relaxed and friendly breakfast and lunch-time stops in Franschhoek, on a most beautifully developed small-holding.  Tel (021) 876-3936

*   Haute Cabriere is owned by Franschhoek restaurant mogul Matthew Gordon.  While many find the ‘cave’-like interior a shame given the beautiful view outside, it remains popular, also as a wedding venue, and has a good relationship with Cabriere wines. Tel (021) 876-3688

*   La Petite Ferme is one of the best known restaurants with consistent quality and does not amend its menu much.  Visitors return, not only for the quality food but also for the wonderful view over Franschhoek, and for the relaxed atmosphere.  Tel (021) 876-3016

*   Dieu Donné also has an excellent view from its glass ‘walls’.   Its food quality was better when it first opened about two years ago. Tel (021) 876-2493

*   Le Bon Vivant is tucked away, off the main road, and is a ‘loner’, doing its own thing.  Beautiful presentation of food by chef Pierre. Tel (021) 876-2717

*   Rickety Bridge has a restaurant right at the vineyards, and offers picnics in summer.  Tel (021) 876-2129

*   French Connection is another Matthew Gordon restaurant, and is a pedestrian favourite of locals and tourists.  Good main road location.  Serving breakfast as well now.  Tel (021) 876-4056

*   Dutch East was struggling when we visited it in June.  It seemed to be trying too hard.   There is no particular style of food served.   Tel (021) 876-3547

*   Chez d’Or was previously Cafe Rouge, and has expanded its size, and brought the restaurant closer to the main road.   Sandwiches and pedestrian Bistro food.   Tel 082 372 7645

*   Allora is a good quality Italian restaurant.  Despite sister-restaurants in Johannesburg, the welcome is personal and one does not get a chain-feel at all. Good value family eating.  Tel (021) 876-4375.

*   Col’Cacchio is one of a chain by the same name, and one can predict what is on offer.  Not the best service, but very popular for outside sitting.   Tel (021) 876-4222

*  Boschendal- other than going there for historical reasons, or to eat their long-standing buffet lunch, there is little to attract one to an estate that does not yet embrace excellence, a shame given its heritage.  Its Le Piqniques are well-known and very popular in summer.   Tel (021) 870-4272

*   Fyndraai at Solms-Delta wine estate is a pleasant surprise, with interesting Kaapse kos.  On good weather days, sitting on the terrace is a treat.  Tel (021) 874-3937

*   Cotage Fromage is a joint venture between Matthew Gordon, Duncan Doherty and Pierre Smith, serving breakfasts and lunches, and doing the catering for wedding and other events at Vrede & Lust.   The menu does not reflect the capabilities of the three chefs.   Tel (021) 874-3991

*   The Grillroom is another Matthew Gordon restaurant, and fills a niche for patrons wanting mainly steak.  Unique restaurant in that one can buy good quality meat to take home too, as well as Franschhoek wines.   Tel (021) 876-2548

*   Cafe des Arts has taken over from Topsi’s, a Franschhoek institution.  Topsi still appears to be there regularly. (Tel (021) 876-2952

*   Salmon Bar is undergoing a renovation in part of the old Bouillabaisse building, which will enhance its visibility when it re-opens in November. Tel (021) 876- 4591

*   Bread & Wine is linked to Le Quartier Français, and only serves lunches.  Previously included in Eat Out Top 10 list, to the surprise of many. Good bread and charcuterie.  Tel (021) 876-3692.

*   Mon Plaisir is on the Chamonix estate, and is owned by a French couple offering French fare.  Little ambiance inside the restaurant.  Tel (021) 876-2393

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

For the 17th year, Franschhoek will put on its French dress, and Franschhoekers will dust off their berets, celebrating the 14 July storming of La Bastille.  “Again in 2010, Franschhoek’s Bastille Festival, which began as a village fete, will be a celebration of freedom for all!” says the Festival brochure.   The Bastille Festival takes place this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday the Bastille Festival activities get off to a rolling start at 8h00 with a Boules Tournament on the Dutch Reformed Church grounds on the main road.  From 10h00 onwards there is ”a showcase of artisanal food and fare” in the Town Hall and one can sit down at a Parisian cafe.   Locally made olives and oils, fruit preserves, honey products, tasty take-home treats, Cape cuisine, and fresh vegetables will be sold.

The highlight for regular Bastille Festival supporters is the marquee in the centre of town, that sees almost every Franschhoek winery (Akkerdal, Allee Bleue, Anthonij Rupert, Bellingham, Boekenhoutskloof, Boschendal, Dieu Donne, Glenwood, Graham Beck, Grande Provence, La Bri, La Motte, Lynx, Mont Rochelle, Rickety Bridge, Rupert & Rothschild, Solms-Delta, Topiary and Vrede & Lust) paired with almost every restaurant in town (Allee Bleue, Dieu Donne, French Connection, The Grillroom, The Restaurant at Grande Provence, Haute Cabriere, iCi, La Petite Ferme, Monneaux, Plaisir de Merle, Reuben’s, and Fyndraai).  The food and winetasting marquee is open from 12h00 – 17h00 on Saturday and Sunday, and entrance costs R 100, which entitles one to five tasting coupons.   Tickets can be booked at www.webtickets.co.za

The Porcupine Ridge Barrel Rolling competition starts at 14h00 on each of the two days, and a Waiters’ Race will be contested at the Food & Wine Marquee at 13h00 on Saturday. 

Whale Cottage Franschhoek has a Bastille Festival weekend accommodation package – write to winelands@whalecottage.com.  

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