The Sweet Service Award goes to the Opening of Parliament, and the SABC2 coverage of the President’s State of the Nation Address last night, the best one hour comedy show which the TV channel has ever broadcast! It was an entertaining mix of the cellphone signal being blocked in the House, no water provided, regular TV black-outs, ‘scrambled’ audio which made it impossible to hear President Zuma, the Speaker, and other speakers speak, the continuous raising of questions by members of the House, the eviction of the EFF by armed police from the House, and the voluntary walk-out by the DA. Comedian Pieter-Dirk Uys (more…)
Entries tagged with “Neil Pendock”.
Fri 13 Feb 2015
Tue 20 Jan 2015
Jamie Goode is a well-known award-winning ‘wine journalist‘ and wine judge from the UK, writing his Wine Anorak blog for the past 14 years. Uncharacteristically he has lashed out at ‘wine writers ripping off wineries’, describing this as a ‘disturbing trend‘!
Goode wrote on his Blog last week: ‘A rant. I don’t rant often, but I’m driven to do it today. As a wine writer, I’m alarmed by the recent trend for other wine writers to behave parasitically by charging wineries to reproduce reviews. I’m (more…)
Thu 23 Oct 2014
I have not been to Nitida wine estate in Durbanville in a long time, nor to its Cassia restaurant. As the FNB Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc awards were held at the wine estate, it was a good opportunity to revisit, and to experience the new function venue, which comfortably seated 120 guests for lunch yesterday.
Invited guests included two representatives each of the FNB Sauvignon Blanc Top 20 shortlist, writers, and FNB staff as well as their clients. Prior to the lunch, each of the 20 Sauvignon Blanc producers manned a tasting table, and provided information, making it a good opportunity to rub shoulders with other guests. (more…)
Mon 30 Jun 2014
Platter’s Publisher JP Rossouw introduces changes to top wine guide: will wine lovers and wine estates be happy?
Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein under accommodation, Blogging news, Cape Town, Chris von Ulmenstein, Food news, hospitality, Restaurant news, Tourism news, Whale Cottage Portfolio, Wine news, Winelands
Slowly a number of changes are being introduced to the publishing and marketing of ‘Platter’s South African Wines’ since JP Rossouw took over as Publisher of the wine guide about six months ago. Not all the changes may be to the liking of the wine estates, users, and advertisers of the Guide.
For the first time Platter’s has advertised! Yesterday I saw an advertisement for Platter’s in the Sunday Times Food Weekly supplement, advertising the Guide, with its newish parent Diners Club benefiting from it too. The advertisement bears the headline ‘Platter’s Wine Guide discovers the perfect pairing’, being a self-aggrandizing accolade to the marriage between Platter’s and Diners Club! The copy reads: ‘Platter’s Wine Guide, South Africa’s original and most authoritative guide to who’s who and what’s what in the Winelands, has the perfect partner in Diners Club, the world’s original and most prestigious charge card. Platter’s has always been the go-to-guide to discovering, rating, pairing and sharing South African wines. Now there’s a quick and easy way to also enjoy Platter’s on your mobile device or desktop. Filled with the latest wine news, festival alerts, hot picks and competitions, Platter’s has become an even more valuable guide. Whether you are shopping for wine, wanting to learn more, or need help planning a trip to cellars, Platter’s will enhance your journey. No App required. Simply go to www.wineonaplatter.com to subscribe’. The pay-off line is corny and meaningless: ‘When your thirst for knowledge coincides with the means to enjoy it, you BELONG‘! One would hope that Rossouw was not the copywriter of this nonsensical ad, given his past copywriting career! More likely is that the advertisement comes from the Marketing department of Diners Club, the give-away being that it contains the Facebook page address and Twitter handle of Diners Club, but not of Platter’s, a bizarre omission! (more…)
Sat 22 Mar 2014
Mon 17 Mar 2014
Banning bloggers not a response to Social Media criticism: an open letter to Michael Pownall, GM of Taj Cape Town!
Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein under accommodation, Cape Town, Chris von Ulmenstein, conferences, hospitality, Restaurant news, Service news, social media, Tourism news, Whale Cottage Portfolio, Wine news
I laughed when I received your letter of 28 February in the post this weekend, to advise that I have been banned from your five star establishment, a member of Leading Hotels of the World!
You wrote: ‘This letter serves to inform you of our shock and disappointment at the manner in which you have dealt with our establishment in the social media. As a fellow colleague in the hospitality industry I have been (sic) amazed that you have failed to address our perceived shortcomings and your concerns, (sic) directly with me, the general manager. We are fully supportive of social media, however, one should have details 100% correct before publicly. (sic) Slandering (sic) one of my team and our establishment, it is so unnecessary and unprofessional. To this end, we wish to advise you that you are no longer welcome nor permitted to enter or be in the Taj Cape Town hotel without my personal permission. Should you enter the premises, you will be apprehended by our Security Department and asked to leave’.
You do not state which 0f the references by us to the Taj in ‘Social Media‘ you refer to:
* was it the Tweet about the rude service from your barman during the interval of a concert at the St George’s Cathedral a few weeks ago, which I reported to your Duty Manager?
* was it the poor accommodation at your hotel after the poor Gastronauts gourmet dinner at Mint more than 3 years ago, so bad that I chose to go home in the middle of the night?
* was it the Tweet four months ago about the poor non-caring attitude of your Banqueting Manager Eugene Myburgh, when he showed no regard for my complaint about slipping on your dangerous highly polished wooden floor in your Banqueting section, once again reported to your Duty Manager, with no response?
* was it the mention a month ago about your new Conference facility you are opening in The Reserve this month, mentioning my doubt that your Manager Myburgh will be capable in running it if he cannot even run the tiny Banqueting section in your hotel? (more…)
Tue 11 Mar 2014
* Speculation about the reason for the stepping down of Koos Bekker as CEO of Naspers at the end of last month is that Bekker may be planning to create the world’s largest global internet, media, and digital group.
* Bloomberg Businessweek has highlighted Cape Town as the jet set holiday destination of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey, paying R50000 per day to stay in the new villa at Ellerman House, which houses owner Paul Harris’ art collection and new Wine Gallery (a serious one, not a six bottle one like that of the petite Pendock Wine Gallery)! Unfortunately the article contrasts the opulence of the villa and its guests with the poverty of the inhabitants of the townships in Cape Town, and highlights the city’s poor reputation as the ‘most violent city in Africa‘!
* Top UK chef Michel Roux Jnr has resigned from the BBC produced ‘MasterChef: the Professionals’ and ‘Food and Drink‘, describing negotiations with the BBC as a ‘frustrating process’, the corporation not having an appreciation of Roux’s commercial relationships.
Tue 31 Dec 2013
Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein under accommodation, Blogging news, Cape Town, Chris von Ulmenstein, Events, hospitality, MyCiTi Bus, Restaurant news, Service news, Tourism news, Whale Cottage Portfolio, Wine news
Today ends one of the less nice years, and the number 13 in it should have been a warning of how bad it could become. While it has many negative associations, it also was a year of highlights, from our perspective.
For me personally the year was overshadowed by the passing of my father, and while I was lucky to have him in my life for such a long time, reaching the ripe old age of 97, it still was a shock when he went in April. He brought our family to South Africa, and specifically to the Cape, for which I will be eternally grateful. He helped shape my interest in the business world, and took a keen interest in my Market Research, Public Relations, and hospitality careers. Added to this was the further loss of our beloved Madiba, who passed away on 5 December, a shock when it happened, despite one knowing that it was just a matter of time. It felt like a double whammy loss year. Heaven has gained two truly great gentlemen.
2013 has had some positive aspects: we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our Blog, well established and with more than 30000 unique readers per month. We thank our loyal readers and commenters, as well as the Public Relations companies which feed us with up to date information and invite us to launches, particularly in the wine industry. We particularly commend Waterford Communications for its professionalism in dealing with us as friends as well as writers, never taking any coverage for granted, always being willing to assist with more information, having a knack for choosing excellent weather days for client functions, and saying ‘thank you‘ for coverage received, a rare treat! The PR company leads an industry plagued by poor writers, who bombard one with media releases (often being irrelevant), repeating information already written about, and demanding proof of coverage granted to the client brand! (more…)
Wed 11 Dec 2013
Twice this past weekend über-nasty Neil Pendock has publicly shared that he has been fired from the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year judging panel, clearly very angry about this, and lashing out at Diners Club, its CEO Ebrahim Matthews, and its management and Board members.
One wonders how precocious Pendock can be surprised about being fired, when he:
* has attacked the ‘Platter’s South African Wines 2014’ guide and the evaluation of wines in it ever since his services as a wine taster were no longer required. The Guide is now owned by Diners Club. He described the Platter’s Guide as ‘a cynical vuvuzela for fashionable wine brands‘!
* has implied that as a director of Diners Club, Reg Lascaris’ part ownership of Boekenhoutskloof has earned its Cabernet Sauvignon a 5-star rating in the Platter’s guide. He asks: ‘…is the Reg Lascaris/Diners Club cosy monopoly about to be challenged?’
* wrote critically about the Diners Club gala dinner held at La Residence ten (more…)
Sun 1 Dec 2013
La Residence pulled out all the stops in hosting the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013 Awards last night, seating and serving 150 guests in its massive entrance hall, lounge and dining room, demonstrating why it was recently voted joint Best Hotel in the world by Conde Nast Traveler. The Awards evening was described as ‘a gathering of wine aristocracy’, and the ‘Oscars of the Wine Awards’! The Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award is the only award given to an individual, and is even more special in that it is received in the presence of an audience of experts and peers.
Gareth Cliff of 5FM was a good MC, admitting his ignorance as a wine drinker, and doing a brilliant Julius Malema impersonation based on wines (with Ed Morton and Nick Solomon of La Residence in the photograph below). As the venue was so large, video screens were set up throughout the venue, allowing each table to see a screen close by. A Twitter Feed ran on the screen, Cliff being a heavy Tweeter, which will have pleased his hosts at La Residence and Diners Club, with his 571343 Twitter Followers. Diners Club Winemaker of the Year 2013 Finalist Johan Jordaan from Spier was an informative and fun table neighbour, as was Franschhoek Tatler editor Siegfried Schäfer and Helgard van Schalkwyk from Lynx Wines. Johan was an excellent ‘lighting assistant’, in lighting my plates with his phone to photograph the food! (more…)