Friday 29th April 2016 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Wednesday 13th January 2016 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
We have already predicted that Cape Town and our country will be overrun with German tourists in the next few months, given a documentary screened on 3sat German TV last week (‘Reisen in Ferne Welten: Kapstadt‘), as well as two movies about South Africa (‘Südafrika: Der Kinofilm‘, and ‘Der Geilste Tag‘ ) showing in German movie theaters (more…)Tweet
Wednesday 21st October 2015 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Eight South African Lodges count amongst the Conde Nast Traveler Top 100 Hotels & Resorts in the World Readers’ Choice Awards, which were announced yesterday.
The South African Top 100 lodges, with the ranking, are as follows:
3. Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat (photograph) (more…)Tweet
Wednesday 18th February 2015 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
* The inflation rate has dropped to 4,4%, a three year low, and down from 5,3% in December. The lower petrol price and slower food price increase benefited the inflation rate. The price of petrol is expected to increase in March.
* SAA is two-thirds through its 90 Day Action Plan, with a ‘business unusual’ approach to turn the airline around. ‘Cost-compression‘ measures have helped to achieve relative stability. Loss-making flights (to China and India) are to be cancelled, taken over by Middle Eastern airlines, and linked to SAA via code-share arrangements. More flights to Mauritius, Maputo, and Harare have been scheduled.
* The new visa regulations for tourists from China and India are hurting the South African tourism industry, said (more…)Tweet
Sunday 23rd November 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
* The Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Committee has kept the repo rate unchanged at 5,75%, the new Governor Lesetja Kganyago has announced. The rate did not change due to the reducing inflation rate, the lower international oil prices being an inflation benefit, and the weak economy.
* The Vancouver Sun writes about ‘Sensational South Africa‘, highlighting its ‘Big Five must-see list’. It includes Cape Town (‘the country’s prettiest city‘, Bo-Kaap, the City Bowl market – certainly not the best Cape Town has to offer – Table Mountain and its ‘tram ride‘, the Mount Nelson Hotel, and Robben Island), the Winelands (Franschhoek and its Wine Tram), Himeville and the Drakensberg, Durban, and Safaris.
* The City of Cape Town has announced its extensive plans for the safety of the city and its visitors over the Festive (more…)Tweet
Thursday 11th September 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
* In the World Travel Awards 2014 Cape Town was named Leading Destination as well as Leading Cruise Port (ironic as its facilities in the harbour to receive cruise line guests are so poor) in Africa. For Africa The Pepperclub Hotel & Spa was named Leading City Hotel; Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront Leading Conference Hotel; Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa Leading Hotel Residences; Ellerman House Villa One Leading Luxury Villa; and Table Mountain Leading Tourist Attraction. (received via media release from Cape Town Tourism)
* Top Stellenbosch chefs Tanja Kruger of Makaron at Majeka House, Christiaan Campbell of Delaire Graff, Bertus Basson of Overture, and Michael Broughton of Terroir, as well as Somerset West-based Chef Gregory Czernecki of Waterkloof will be preparing the food for Stellenbosch at Summer Place, a showcase of the best wines, art, and food from the Winelands town, which will be held on 15 October at Summer Place. Entrance costs R500. (received via media release from Random Hat Communications)
* Ultimate Braai Master ‘Time for Tough‘ 13 series Season 3 starts sizzling on etv this evening, at 20h30. It is described as the (more…)Tweet
Tuesday 19th August 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Last night’s episode 6 of ‘Hayden Quinn: South Africa’ was set in beautiful Knysna, showcasing its timber industry, being the Oyster Capital of our country, and home to Ile de Pain, one of the best bakeries in South Africa. It is a pity that beautiful Plettenberg Bay, and the fertile farming region of George, Sedgefield, and Wilderness were excluded.
The episode opened with Hayden meeting Markus Farbinger, the Austrian baker who opened Ile de Pain a number of years ago on scenic Thesen Island, baking breads and pastries, which one can buy to take away or to enjoy in their coffee shop. Schoon de Companje owner Fritz Schoon worked with Markus for a year, and learnt all he knows from Markus, before setting up De Oude Bank Bakkerij in Stellenbosch, now renamed. Fritz featured in Stellenbosch episode 2 with Hayden, showing him how to bake mosbolletjies, and went zorbing with him at De Morgenzon! Liezie Mulder is the chef and Markus the baker in their business, having a restaurant in the town centre too. Markus had baked some lavash flatbread in his woodfired oven, which Chef Liezie used to make South African Boerewors Wraps for breakfast, adding scrambled eggs, boerewors, and sheba, a salsa made from tomatoes, onions, garlic, cayenne pepper, red pepper, sugar, salt, and pepper. This was followed by a surfing (more…)Tweet
Sunday 9th March 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Yesterday the respected Sydney Morning Herald published a super article about Cape Town and its food and beverage entrepreneurs in the main (‘Cape Crusaders‘), the visit by its writer Rachel Olding having been sponsored by SA Tourism. Containing two errors, one significant in its incorrect name for Table Mountain, it raises the question as to whether SA Tourism should insist on seeing copy first before it is published, not a popular nor common offer made by writers!
The writer’s focus was on the entrepreneurs in Cape Town, ‘bringing fresh new energy to Cape Town‘. She adds: ‘In Cape Town, like so many international cities, they’re increasingly clad in plaid shirts, plugged into the hottest global trends and leading a hipster revival mixing the best of different eras and cultures with their own Capetonian touch’. She quotes a tour guide that Cape Town has baboons to remind one that Cape Town is in Africa, feeling more European in its nature!
Yours Truly on Kloof Street and on Long Street (owned by Daniel Holland); the Grand Daddy Hotel; Royale Eatery (described as ‘hip new‘ which it is not!); Deluxe Coffeeworks (owned by Carl Wessel and Judd Francis) on Church Street and in Gardens; the Old Biscuit Mill; A Store is Good on Kloof Street (owned by Dario Lette); Supremebeing and Wardrobe on Kloof Street; Frankie Fenner (more…)Tweet
Saturday 25th January 2014 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
As writers we get spoilt, with invitations to hosts of functions, and exposure to numerous PR companies and their client brands. The first event invitation of the year, to the Cape Town launch of Absolut Vodka’s #AbsolutBlackBox at the entrance to the V&A Waterfront last night, was an Absolut disaster, with poor food, few attendees, no one to interact with invited guests, poor lighting for photographs, and a general feeling that no one knew what was going on. It felt like Johannesburg-comes-to-Cape Town, so-lets-cut-corners-for-the-B-team!
It started with Capacity Marketing Pty Ltd from Johannesburg sending a media release, and then Simphiwe Majola from the consultancy calling to ask if they could deliver a parcel. We managed to find a suitable time, and a cocky delivery person dropped off a cardboard box. The box outer looked totally uninviting, so I only opened it once I came back from the function last night. Inside the box was a black wooden three box-in-a-box Russian doll type box set with a tiny invitation to attend the Cape Town launch of the ‘True Transformation’, claiming that ‘the Absolut Black Box has been transforming the social scene in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban with mini-events in the trendiest venues. Now, the main event has arrived. It’s invite-only. And you’re invited‘. The invite promised ‘mystery Djs, the country’s leading transformative artists (unnamed) and free-flowing Absolut, all inside a giant Black Box’.
The invitation stated that the location for the event was Gateway Canal in the V&A, which I had not heard of before, and Simphiwe explained telephonically (more…)Tweet
Tuesday 31st December 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
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…)Tweet