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Winter Offers and Events at Bushmans Kloof
19 Mar 2014

For a truly unique wilderness escape this winter, urbanites in need of a break should head to the five-star Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat in the Cederberg Mountains. Only 270km from Cape Town, the Relais & Châteaux lodge offers a warm, welcoming respite from the Western Cape winter. A host of special events and offers means that there is something for everyone, from gourmet delights to family breaks – all at great value-for-money winter rates.

Epicurean delights aplenty await the discerning palate during Bushmans Kloof’s Signature Food and Wine Weekends. Executive Chef Floris Smith will team up with some of South Africa’s most revered winemakers and wineries to present the perfect pairing of finest local cuisine with outstanding wines, all within the luxury wilderness setting that is Bushmans Kloof. (Meerlust Estate 30 May - 1 June 2014; Bouchard Finlayson 27 - 29 June 2014; Cederberg Private Cellar 25 – 27 July 2014; Steenberg Vineyards 22 – 24 August 2014; from R2270 per person per night, sharing and including all meals and lodge activities) 

Bushmans Kloof will also bring a taste of Cape Town and Durban to the Cederberg this winter in the culinary shape of two Guest Chefs from its renowned Red Carnation Hotel sister properties. Christo Pretorius, Executive Chef at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, will preside over the lodge’s kitchen in June to spoil guests with the contemporary French cuisine the hotel’s Azure Restaurant is known for. In July, The Oyster Box’s Executive Chef Kevin Joseph will present a delectable curry evening that promises to be a feast for all senses. (Christo Pretorius, 20 – 22 June 2014; Kevin Joseph, 11 – 13 July; from R2270 per person per night, sharing and including all meals and lodge activities)

Furthermore there are special treats for spa fans in store at Bushmans Kloof, thanks to a range of relaxing wellness packages. The wide open plains of the reserve, with its abundance of flora and fauna, mystical rock formations and crystal clear water falls, are the perfect setting for a Natural Wellness retreat. The Bushmans Kloof Spa combines ancient wisdom with modern expertise, offering a sanctuary to revitalise the senses, re-align body and mind and restore a harmonious balance. This indulgent 3-night spa break includes a tension-easing Bushmans Kloof Back, Neck and Shoulder massage, using unique products made from indigenous Rooibos, flowers and plants. (1 April – 31 August 2014; from R2085 per person per night, sharing and including all meals and lodge activities)

Nurture in Nature proves that a relaxing break doesn’t always have to wait until the weekend – guests in need of some time out can take advantage of the quieter weekdays and escape to the Cederberg to reconnect with themselves and nature. This 2-night package combines energising outdoor activities with indulgent spa treatments to recharge batteries and revitalise body, mind and spirit. ‘Escapees’ will re-emerge feeling like a new person, ready to face the world again. (1 April – 31 August 2014 - Sunday to Thursday only - from R2040 per person per night, sharing and including all meals and lodge activities)

For those who are office-bound during the week, the 3 Night Winter Getaway package, available seven days a week, is just the ticket. During their stay guests can enjoy a unique wilderness experience, invigorating outdoor activities, warm hospitality and passionate service - trying everything, or doing absolutely nothing but inhale the beauty and succumb to the tranquillity of the enchanting surroundings. A stay of 3 nights or more includes one private dinner on a night of the guests’ choice. (1 April – 31 August 2014; from R1885 per person per night, sharing and including all meals and lodge activities)

Bushmans Kloof’s ever popular three-night Family Fun events are a wilderness adventure for all generations. Exciting outdoor activities for young and old allow families to spend precious quality time together, away from everyday life and in the heart of nature. A special supervised children’s programme also ensures that there is some important alone time for Mum and Dad while the children experience fun excursions around the reserve.

(Tue 1 – Fri 4 Apr 2014; Fri 18 – Mon 21 Apr 2014 (Easter Weekend): Adults pay R9630 per person sharing for 3 nights; 6 – 12 Years R7060 per child for 3 nights; 3 – 5 Years R3405 per child for 3 nights, and kids under 2 stay for free. Sat 5 – Tue 8 July 2014; Tue 8 – Fri 11 July 2014; Fri 12 – Mon 15 Dec; Mon 15 – Thu 18 Dec: Adults pay R7510 per person sharing for 3 nights; 6 – 12 Years R5365 per child for 3 nights; 3 – 5 Years; R3040 per child for 3 nights; and kids under 2 stay for free. Rates include all meals and lodge activities) 

Last but not least, an irresistible offer - guests staying at Bushmans Kloof for three nights may treat themselves to a complimentary fourth night at five-star sister property The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. The ‘One more Night in Africa’ package includes an overnight stay in a Classic mountain-facing guest room with a potential complimentary upgrade (subject to availability); a welcome drink on arrival; Full English Breakfast; a complimentary shuttle service to Camps Bay and the V&A Waterfront throughout the day; use of the spa facilities; and a candlelit turndown with pillow treats.  (6 January – 31 March 2014 and 1 September – 19 December 2014: from R10380 per person sharing for 4 nights; 1 April – 31 August 2014, from R6810 per person sharing for 4 nights)

Tel: +27 (0)21 437 9278
Email: [email protected]
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Easter Holidays at De Hoop 2014
3 Mar 2014

With a delectable variety of accommodation and activities, De Hoop Nature Reserve is a winner when it comes to guests who like to be spoilt for choice.

During the Easter school holidays, the kids can enjoy a fun-filled Nature Quest, some creative baking, clay modelling, a Marine Walk at low tide, a delicious Kiddies Picnic, the exciting Night Adventurer and Star Stories and Smores under the night sky. Parents can enjoy some well-earned relaxing Spa treatments, some quiet time walking around the magnificent reserve, go on guided birding walks or ocean side discovery trails. Scrumptious food and caring staff add to Nature’s bounty, so guests are guaranteed to have a wonderful time at De Hoop.

During the Easter Weekend (18-21 April), there will be:

· Easter egg hunt on the lawns
· Family brunch under the fig tree
· Visit from the Easter Bunny
· Chocolate Making -  Easter Egg Truffles

About the De Hoop Collection

The De Hoop Collection opened in the De Hoop Nature Reserve in 2008 under the creative and entrepreneurial hands of Carl Trieloff and William Stephens, who worked closely with Cape Nature to offer guests a unique experience of unparalleled peace and tranquillity in a spectacular and unspoiled setting, which is scrupulously conserved by Cape Nature.

Accommodation: The De Hoop Collection offers a wide range of accommodation, from affordable options for families on a budget, couples wanting a romantic getaway which is reasonably priced to the more seasoned guest accustomed to high-end luxury. There are camping and caravanning sites for outdoor fanatics, charming self-catering rondawels, slightly more luxurious self-catering cottages in addition to the romantic suites with fine dining. Nature’s diversity is reflected in the accommodation on offer!

Activities: Avid bird watchers will be overwhelmed by the birdlife here, and with an annual Bird Fair in Stanford sponsored by De Hoop, the reserve should be a destination to diarise! All ages are catered for: Nature lovers will be enthralled by the fascinating guided rock pool and eco-quad bike rides to discover the fynbos, as well as the knowledgeably guided beach-based whale watching. The more adventurous and energetic guests can set out on the picturesque hiking and mountain biking trails. With a swimming pool, tennis court, boules courtyard, mountain bikes and a specially-tailored kids’ programme during holidays, complete with baby-sitting services, what more could you wish for in such beautiful surroundings?

Bookings: Reservations can be made at 021-422 4522 or [email protected].


Stellenbosch Wine Routes Rakes in International Wine Tourism Award
3 Mar 2014

South Africa’s first and foremost wine route, the Stellenbosch American Express ® Wine Routes, has reaffirmed its standing as a premier wine tourism organization, by clinching the title as Best Promotional Body at the Wine Tourism Awards 2014 of the authoritative Drinks International magazine – one of the most trusted and respected global drinks journals.

Now in its fourth year, this coveted competition serves as an industry benchmark for excellence in the field of wine tourism and the Stellenbosch Wine Routes was lauded for its comprehensive efforts in implementing innovative tourism initiatives to promote the region and the myriad of events and activities it has to offer.

“The establishing of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes in 1971 was seen as the start of wine tourism in South Africa. Not only did it herald the first co-operative venture between a corporate entity and a wine region, but it also enabled a specific wine region to approach the whole topic of wine tourism on a level that had until then not been seen in the South African wine industry. Today we are recognised as the leader in South African wine tourism and the country’s foremost wine route in terms of quality wines, tourism offerings, professionalism, reputation, innovation and community involvement,” shares Annareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes.

This prestigious award follows shortly after the birth of the wine route’s dynamic 2014 marketing campaign, Stellenbosch Experience, which was launched in conjunction with Stellenbosch 360 (aka Stellenbosch Tourism) to expand the region’s wine tourism footprint locally and aboard.

The Stellenbosch Experience aims to position the Stellenbosch Winelands as Africa’s wine tourism capital and one of the top wine tourism regions in the world and invites wine and tourism entities to join the campaign as preferred marketing partners to elevate the region and their brands nationally and internationally.

“Aiming at maximum international recognition, the region and participating marketing partners will be represented at ITB, Berlin in March for the international launch of the Stellenbosch Experience to the world's top travel trade and media, followed by the Tourism Indaba in Durban in May,” explains Bolton.

As part of the campaign, the wine route recently launched its new, inter-active blog, StellenBlog, which shares and celebrates the latest success stories, communities and rich culture of this historic Winelands destination with daily updates on the latest Stellenbosch attractions and achievements through various categories featured on the catchy blog wall.

Other campaign elements include an enhanced digital presence across all social media networks and an innovative wine tourism blogger campaign with top international and national travel, lifestyle and food bloggers between April and September.

The Stellenbosch Wine Routes currently boasts more than 150 wineries as members, which have been divided into five sub-routes (Bottelary Hills, Greater Simonsberg, Helderberg, Stellenbosch Valley and Stellenbosch Berg). Besides its reputation for wine tourism excellence, the route also leads the way in transformation and empowerment endeavours. These include wine appreciation courses for farm workers and educational visits to Stellenbosch by BEE travel agents and hospitality students.

For more information on the Stellenbosch Experience initiative visit the new blog, contact Mariette du Toit-Helmbold at [email protected] or phone 083 225 5955.

Highly valued art on show at The Cape Town Art Fair
27 Feb 2014

Two of the most highly valued and seminal South African paintings will be on show at the Cape Town Art Fair this weekend (28 February-02 March, The Pavilion, V&A Waterfront).  Two Arabs by Irma Stern and Chinese Girl by Vladimir Tretchikoff will be on the Strauss & Co, Condé Nast House & Garden and Delaire Graff Estate stand.

Irma Stern's painting, Two Arabs, achieved an astonishing South African auction record when it was sold by Strauss & Co in 2011.  It is amongst the most important Sterns to come onto the market in recent years and the most expensive painting ever sold at auction in South Africa. It has been kindly loaned to Strauss & Co by a private collector.

Said to be one of the most widely reproduced and instantly recognisable images in the world, Vladimir Tretchikoff's painting, Chinese Girl, was acquired in 2013 by collector Laurence Graff, Chairman of Graff Diamonds, who had a lifelong fascination for the work.  In November last year Chinese Girl was repatriated to  South Africa, after spending  59 years out of  the country, and was unveiled at Delaire Graff Estate by Stephan Welz,  Managing Director of Strauss & Co, with the assistance of the model depicted in the painting, Monika Pon-su-san.  Chinese Girl is on permanent display at Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch and has also been kindly loaned for the Cape Town Art Fair.

As different as these two important portraits are, they both share the accolade of having topped the art auction market in recent years. Bina Genovese, Director of Strauss & Co. says that it is a great privilege for us to have this rare opportunity to exhibit paintings of such international renown.  “We are able to give the public a unique chance to see these rarely viewed, original works first hand."

To be exhibited in conjunction with these two captivating portraits are Dakar Woman and Arab Man, Dakar, both by Irma Stern. These exceptional works, executed in 1938, will be included in Strauss & Co's upcoming auction, which takes place at the Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town on 17 March 2014. "One can imagine the impact that Dakar, with its heady mix of African and French cultures, would have had on Stern during her first sojourn there in 1938," states Emma Bedford, Senior Art Specialist at Strauss & Co.  These works are testimony to Stern's extraordinary skill and mastery of different mediums - Dakar Woman, a lavishly executed oil painting, and Arab Man, Dakar, a powerful charcoal drawing.

Highlights of furniture and decorative arts from the Strauss & Co March auction include a pair of monumental Venetian blackamoors in the manner of Valentino Besarel, a handsome pair of Empire mahogany commodes, and a 17th/18th century Dutch cabinet from the Property of the RB Stuttaford Will Trust and the Estate Late Mrs DE Stuttaford-Burton. These exceptional pieces will further embellish the stand at the Fair.

In the context of this stand and as part of the series of lectures offered at the Cape Town Art Fair, Ruarc Peffers, Senior Art Specialist, Strauss & Co, and Andrew Lamprecht, Senior Lecturer, Michaelis School of Fine Art, UCT will engage in a dialogue entitled Irma Stern, Vladimir Tretchikoff and the Art Market: A Dialogue on Change and Difference. They will discuss recent changes in the art market and, in particular, examine the continuing interest and ever-increasing prices fetched for works by Irma Stern and the recent upsurge of interest in and value of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s work. What do these two roughly contemporaneous yet highly diverse artists have in common, if anything at all? What shapes the market and popular interest in an artist and who dictates the shifts that occur in the art world?  The talk takes place on Friday 28 February from 5-6 pm in the Imax Theatre, The Pavilion.

The Cape Town Art Fair
The Pavilion, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront
Friday 28 February - Sunday 02 March 2014
10am to 8pm daily, Sunday 2 March until 6pm

Afronaut Talks Currency in a New Way
25 Feb 2014

Gerald Machona – one of the top ten young artists practising in South Africa today - has chosen the Cape Town Art Fair to create a performance piece that invites the audience to critically engage with currency and its value. Central to this performance will be an attempt to explore the devaluation of the rand through his character, Ndiri Afronaut (a space suit made of money), and his artistic oeuvre of decommissioned currency.

The character Ndiri Afronaut performs in an astronaut's suit meticulously stitched out of decommissioned Zimbabwean dollars and depicts Machona’s linking of history and contemporary trends of African diasporic migration on the continent and specifically, most recently, the migration of Zimbabwean nationals into neighbouring SADC countries and abroad, following the country’s political and economic collapse.   This extraordinary artwork will be ‘live’ at the Cape Town Art Fair on Saturday 01 March 2014 at 13h30.  

While South Africa hosts the largest population of these Zimbabwean nationals living in the diaspora, in May of 2008 they were among the foreign nationals persecuted by the xenophobic attacks. It was reported that people were targeted through a process of profiling that assumed authentic South Africans are lighter in complexion or fluent in an indigenous language; this resulted in 21 of the 62 casualties being local citizens. Such beliefs have complicated who is considered an ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ in South African society - pitting ‘native’ against ‘alien’ and perpetuating an exclusive sense of belonging that is reminiscent of Apartheid doctrine.

Foodies Flock to Flavourful Cape Town
24 Feb 2014

From secret food meets to trendy markets, original food trucks and award-winning restaurants; Cape Town continues to offer a rich variety of foodie experiences.

A year-round calendar of popular food and wine festivals, such as Taste of Cape Town in April and the Good Food and Wine Show and Gugulethu Wine Festival in May, are amongst the events that Capetonians and travelers look forward to every year. The alluring Spier Secret Eat events include pop-up food and movie nights, and a secret harvest market in March. But it’s the day to day hum of a vibrant coffee culture, (Cape Town’s steampunk-style Truth Coffee Shop was named best in the world by MSN Travel) and the after work craft-beer community, make Cape Town a place you need to taste.

With fresh produce, gourmet picnic food and skilled Saturday chefs galore, markets have become social hangouts for weekend mornings, occasional evenings and celebrations. The Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock may have set the benchmark but there are now more than 70 markets in just about every corner of Cape Town and surrounds– most are family friendly and full of eye-candy, with the most delicious culinary offerings and many opportunities for people watching.

In addition to its food and wine events, Cape Town is also well known for its award-winning restaurants and top chefs. Eight of the Top Ten South African Eat Out Restaurants for 2013 are situated within or on the outskirts of the Mother City with the Test Kitchen topping the list once again. From fine dining to African, Asian and a fusion of flavours in between; all of it can be served up with excellent, often award-winning wines (many of them garagiste or small yield) from the region.

This year a project called 2014 Food will also run throughout the year at various venues around Cape Town for World Design Capital 2014. 2014 Food curates a series of food events that aim to activate the public and stakeholders to take a sustainable approach to growing fresh produce for our urban food economy.

Match food with design and culture and come to Cape Town in its ‘cosy season’. Winter also means that Cape Town restaurants offer up excellent specials to enjoy gourmet for less, watch Cape Town Tourism’s blog for details.

UK expat Luke Dale-Roberts, owner of The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club, says: “I’ve lived in South Africa for seven years now and during that time the food scene has really exploded. Seven years ago the food scene had just started taking off but in the last three to four years there has been this trend of setting up smaller offerings like burger bars or tapas restaurants, where the usual rule book is thrown out and start-ups go with their gut feeling. I think that in the next few years we will see even more of a boom in the food industry. I have a lot of favourite eateries in Cape Town - some of my favourites are 95 Keerom in central Cape Town for beautiful Italian food, the exceptional Chef’s Warehouse in Bree Street by Liam Tomlin, and a more recent find is Redemption at the Old Biscuit Mill for really great burgers.”

CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, concludes; “As the original port city in South Africa we have been influenced by food and flavour for many years. Today this has culminated in an extraordinary food scene. The year-long calendar of gastronomic events adds to the international appeal no matter the season and is a big part of what visitors love about Cape Town.”

Food Routes CSI Tool
24 Feb 2014

Find out where you really want to wine, dine and recline at the click of a button

Planning your ultimate culinary travel adventure is now a piece of cake with the newly launched Food Routes platform. Showcasing unique and diverse South African culinary destinations via an interactive website, Food Routes empowers food-loving travellers to pick and plan their preferred ‘wine, dine and recline’ experiences at the click of a button.

Whether you are an avid traveller; intrepid explorer; foodie lover, or pleasure seeking businessman, Food Routes ticks all the right boxes when it comes to offering the country’s warm hospitality through a fusion of excellent accommodation offerings and memorable epicurean experiences. 

Via its effortless online booking system, one gets access to endless journeys of enjoyment destined to fulfil the food lover’s quest for the Eden’s of eating and the Shangri-La’s of sleep – enhanced with authentic taste adventures and food related points of interest guaranteed to enchant the Foods Routes traveller whilst en route.

Food Routes is not just another booking portal. It is an exclusive expressway to an amazing array of wine and food adventures across the country and if you are always seeking for unsurpassed gastronomic encounters and mouth-watering excursions during your travels, then Food Routes is your perfect culinary conductor,” explains Riaan Kruger, co-founder of Food Routes. 

Food Routes has now also introduced an invaluable ‘Food Forensic Tool’ called Culinary Sensibility Identities (CSI) on its website. This serves as a nifty online evaluation process in which the traveller can compare and match his own unique culinary personality profile to that of a compatible destination.

“Research in the world of food travel has shown that often the reason behind a disappointing culinary experience is the lack of knowledge as to the preferences and expectations of the diner and making sure that the destination’s culinary concept and execution is a good match for that diner. Think of the proverbial “bad blind date” experience. Neither party knows what to expect – a recipe for disaster!” shares Kruger. 

The 12 distinct CSI’s featured on the Food Routes site enable the culinary conscious traveller to discover his own dining preferences to ensure a most enjoyable experience, for the diner as well as the establishment. Whether you are a Daredevil, Locavore or a downright Authentic, the outcome of the evaluation basically steers one in the right direction when planning your next holiday trip.

“South Africa ranks right up there with the world’s top foodie destinations when it comes to quality, innovation and diversity and Food Routes gives enthusiasts access to a comprehensive portfolio of gastronomic places and bespoke pleasures to revel in while staying at some of the finest establishments in the country. From authentic artisan producers and must-visit micro breweries to fresh farm markets and awarded restaurants – we cover the gourmet side of your journey and allow you to literally plan your holiday to your taste,” adds Kruger. 

From über-cool city spaces to unspoilt hideaways in the Karoo; relaxing mountain retreats to awe-inspiring seaside lodging, the featured Food Route establishments are all cocooned in comfort and luxury, but are as diverse as their menus. Listings are by invitation only and each of the chosen accommodation establishments has been carefully vetted and has an excellent reputation when it comes to culinary prowess.

Food Routes has also identified a selection of unparalleled and authentic dining experiences in South Africa, including some of the DSTV Eat Out Top 10 restaurant super stars of South Africa

The Food Routes website is a visual feast for the eyes and features numerous culinary experiences i.e. – a handy map and route planner – monthly chef chitchats – delicious recipes – a laser-beam focus on the best festivals and markets as well as a Table Talk blog to dish out the latest food for thought. 

Visit to devise your next South African ‘wine, dine, and recline’ adventure and book online, select an enquiry-based quote or request a tailor-made experience designed around specific preferences. Booking requests can also be emailed to [email protected] or contact Tel: 082 5427566 or 023 626 3498. Follow Food Routes on Twitter @foodroutescoza and Facebook.

Hot Air Ballooning at De Hoek Country Hotel
22 Feb 2014

The weekend of 21-23 March 2014 has been set aside for De Hoek Country Hotel’s ballooning adventure weekend, in conjunction with Air Ventures Hot Air Ballooning. The exquisite Magaliesberg mountain range, where this country hotel is situated, is an ideal area for this activity.  

Weekend guests taking advantage of this event will be welcomed to De Hoek on Friday and have a leisurely afternoon before the presentation of hot air ballooning at 18.30. A delicious three course dinner will be served afterwards.

On Saturday morning at 05.00, guests will meet on the Bridge Bistro for some tea or coffee and rusks while the crew prepare the balloons for flight. Take off is scheduled for 06.00 and the flight will take about an hour. On landing, guests will enjoy chilled champagne and orange juice and certificates of bravery will be handed out by the pilot. A sumptuous breakfast will be served on their return to the hotel.

Activities such as archery and mountain walks are available throughout the day. A light lunch precedes optional boules or lawn croquet before high tea and a signature De Hoek five-course dinner with wine pairing is a perfect ending to an exciting day.

A leisurely Sunday morning breakfast makes the weekend’s relaxation complete; a stroll on the lawns or a good read in the library gives you time out before you depart.

At a cost of R10 350.00 per couple, all inclusive, the De Hoek Ballooning Experience is an indulgent adventure.

Due to the success of previous Ballooning weekends, De Hoek’s luxury suites will be in demand. To book or make an enquiry, call 014 577 9600 or email [email protected].

OYO Cocktail Tea Bar
5 Feb 2014

OYO Restaurant & Cocktail Bar Launches Cocktail Tea Bar

Some four hundred years ago, ships carrying a precious cargo – tea – circled the Cape on their way from the plantations in the Far East to the finest salons in Europe.

Today, OYO Restaurant & Cocktail Bar in Cape Town’s Waterfront will be introducing a first in Cape Town and South Africa as they introduce a range of tea-based cocktails. That’s right! Tea based cocktails, inspired by the exotic flavours of rare Sri Lankan teas will be introduced to the existing cocktail menu. 

This is a novel use of tea which is more often associated with spreads of biscuits, petit fours and cucumber sandwiches served in the late afternoon; or perhaps images of China and Sri Lanka, thanks to the ubiquitous status of this beloved beverage, which many cultures build entire ceremonies upon its consumption alone. But a creative chef knows that tea is not just a drink served with food or a means in itself. Healthy and diverse, tea should be an integral ingredient to any restaurant, whatever the kitchen’s cuisine offerings. 

It is with this in mind that OYO – the signature restaurant of the Waterfront’s Victoria & Alfred Hotel, operated by Newmark Hotels, Reserves & Lodges - has introduced exciting changes to their cocktail offering. Each month will see the introduction of two of these new tea-based cocktails to the menu, with the ‘Sweet Valentine’ and ‘Fantasy’ as this month’s choice. 

A popular spot for those looking to immerse themselves in a sensory experience second-to-none, including indulgent alfresco dining on the quayside terrace with a unique setting of the majestic Table Mountain as your exquisite evening canvas, is just one of the many reasons why OYO Restaurant & Cocktail Bar is a popular sundowner spot. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014, saw the official launch of OYO’s new bar offering: the OYO Cocktail Tea Bar. Brain child of Victoria & Alfred Resident Hotel Manager, Rey Franco, the cocktail recipes which have been inspired by the tantalizing flavours of Dilmah teas, such as apple, cinnamon, vanilla and berry, to name a few, with a mix of Bols cocktail liqueurs. 

Rusty Cerven, brand ambassador for Bols and bar tender at the Connaught Bar in London, gave fascinating demonstrations on the Terrace, followed by light tea-inspired canapés and cocktails from the new Dilmah teas-inspired cocktail menu. Rusty, who stayed at the V&A Hotel following his victory at the Bols Bartending World Championship 2013, gets his inspiration from the different countries and cultures that he visits, and is always researching new ingredients and flavours. 

With a mischievous smile, Rey admits that his idea to introduce tea-based cocktails to the menu is because its flavours often “intrigue customers.” “Tea is unexpected,” Rey explains. “Because of the versatile nature of tea and its spectrum of flavours, people get to explore more, and that means lots of returning customers eager to try the next tea-infused combination.”

In support of this new concept, the upcoming months will see the announcement of a head bartender, the introduction of different tea ranges to the menu, weekly cocktail profiling and the launch of tea-inspired menus to complement the cocktail menu. “The beauty of these tea-based cocktails,” says Rey “is that they can be enjoyed without the alcohol. The experience is in the combination and pairing of flavours”

As the last rays of reflected sun fade a golden shimmer against the backdrop of the mountain in prelude to the moonlight and energy of the harbour by night, OYO Restaurant & Cocktail Bar offers the perfect setting to sip on a refreshing cocktail. 

Eikendal Weintaufe 2014
4 Feb 2014

Eikendal is set for happy times and high jinks in the vineyards when this prominent wine estate hosts its ever-popular Weintaufe Harvest Celebration with a feast of activities to delight the whole family on Sunday, 2 March 2014.     

A beautiful setting at the water’s edge beckons young and old to kick off the shoes and indulge in laid-back weekend vibes and vibrant family fun on the farm, fuelled with live music and barrels of entertainment, all washed down with delicious estate wines and wholesome country fare. 

Conveniently situated midway between Stellenbosch and Somerset West, Eikendal is a prominent Winelands destination renowned for its consistency in producing quality wines and at the Weintaufe the spotlight will fall on its flagship Chardonnay 2014. After the baptism of this first wine of the harvest, visitors will get to taste the newcomer straight from the barrel.

Attractions and activities at the not-to-be-missed Weintaufe 2014 include vineyard tractor rides and walks, cheetah viewing, craft stalls, lucky draws, golfing action at the dam, pony rides, a jungle gym, grape stomping action and fly fishing. Delicious food and wine will be on sale, so bring your friends and family and claim your spot on the lush lawn for the perfect ending to your weekend. 

Entrance to the Eikendal Weintaufe 2014 is R30 per person and includes a complimentary glass and barrel tasting of the christened Chardonnay for adults, whilst children under the age of 12 get in for FREE. 

Tickets will be available at the gate on the day and the event starts at 10h00 with the official baptism and tasting of the new Eikendal Chardonnay at noon.

For more information on the Eikendal Weintaufe 2014 or to secure your tickets prior to the event contact the cellar on Tel: 021 855 1422 or send an email to [email protected].

K-Way VOB Running Club
4 Feb 2014

Run, run as fast as you can (or just for fun) with K-Way VOB Running Club

Summer, winter, morning or evening, there are few activities as convenient as walking or running. No matter where you are in the world, all you need is a suitable pair of shoes and comfy clothing to get some exercise – indoors or outdoors. Set aside 20 minutes. Inhale deeply. Stretch out your legs. Left-right, left-right. Get your heart pumping. It really is this easy.

“We’ve supported many athletes over the years across a variety of outdoor disciplines,” says Nick Bennett, Marketing Manager.

“The spirit behind the K-Way brand is for customers to ‘Gear up. Get out’ and that’s why we decided to extend our athletic relationships to include VOB Running Club. Runners and walkers can ‘Gear up’ with K-Way and ‘Get out’ with VOB,” Bennett adds. 

VOB is the largest running club in the Western Cape and they host 20 weekly events, which include morning and evening runs, time trials, track sessions, trail runs and social events. These are open to non-members too. They also have a talented development squad of committed development runners. It’s because of this well-established infrastructure that VOB is able to offer something to all runners and walkers, regardless of age, ability and interest. 

“Like us, VOB has an increasing focus on trail and they present trail runs every Saturday morning. They’ve created a strong community to grow running across all levels and they provide a safe environment for runners to get outdoors, especially on trail. We’re proud to have the K-Way logo emblazoned on their traditional blue-and-white-striped vests,” says Bennett.

K-Way’s road and trail athletes assist the company in developing and improving their ‘Fast and Light’ range of moisture-wicking and performance gear and apparel.

“Our partnership with K-Way has evolved very quickly, with thanks to the foresight of the K-Way team,” says VOB Running Club chairperson, Ian Nixon.

“Our brands link seamlessly and club members have embraced the new sponsorship with excitement. We look forward to the challenge of growing together, for the benefit of our members and the greater running community,” he adds.

At the K-Way VOB Running Club launch, held on Monday evening, enthusiastic participants ran a social, eight-kilometre route below the slopes of Table Mountain. Starting from the Cape Union Mart store in the Gardens Centre, there was much chatting and laughter as the runners meandered through the streets, enjoying the warm summer evening. 

This scenic route, starting from the Gardens Centre, will be held bi-weekly – on alternate Monday evenings.

This run also provided an opportunity for those present to meet and chat to K-Way athlete AJ Calitz. He had an exceptional year in 2013 where he won numerous races, often setting new course records. Calitz’s most notable achievements included a convincing win at the 100-kilometre Verdon Canyon Challenge in France and another sub-4h30 run at The Otter African Trail Run.

Although Calitz is a world-class, competitive trail runner, he took advantage of the social run to meet other runners. He’s always up for a good chat.

“The possibilities really are endless as to what K-Way and VOB together are able to present and achieve,” adds Nixon. “After the success of our first run from the Cape Union Mart store, I can confidently say: ‘Things have only just begun!’”.

The K-Way VOB Running Club can be found online at They also have a presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Lucas Mathonsi, Master Tracker
3 Feb 2014

One of four Master Tracker's in the world in our midst at at Lion Sands Sabi Sand

Lucas Mathonsi was born in the village of Sgagula (near Hoedspruit) in 1961, to a large family consisting of four brothers and four sisters.

Lucas's father was a ranger in the Timbavati reserve, and from the age of five, Lucas would accompany him on walks in the bush where he was taught about the animals in the reserve, and how to track them.

Over the next 47 years, Lucas honed his skills working as a tracker in the Timbavati and Balule reserves, before joining Lion Sands in 2006 as a Senior Tracker. Lucas is renowned for his particular penchant for tracking the elusive Leopard.

In 2013, under the tutelage and mentorships of Louis Liebenberg, Juan Pinto and Wilson Masia, Lucas achieved the much coveted Master Tracker qualification, becoming one of four existing Master Trackers in the world, and only the second tracker to be awarded this prestigious qualification in the Lowveld since 1994! 

The Cybertracker qualification is a tracker assessment that was created by Louis Liebenberg in 1994 when he realised that the art of tracking is a skill and talent that needs to be recognised and validated. An assessment system was created and revolves around the identification of tracks as well as following animal tracks and trails in order to find the animal.  The basic principles of the assessment system is set out on the website and has evolved over the years as an internationally recognised organisation and assessment system that has now also taken off all over the world specifically in Italy, Spain, The USA and Canada.

In celebration of this remarkable life achievement we will be naming the link road between Lion Sands Sabi Sand and Lion Sands Kruger National Park the "The Mathonsi Link”.

Lucas is the proud father of two sons, Peter and Temba.

Lion Sands Game Reserve safari team is extremely proud of Lucas' accomplishments, and of having him as part of the team at MORE.

Make A Dinner Date With Reuben’s
3 Feb 2014

Make A Dinner Date With Reuben’s And Some Of South Africa’s Finest Winemakers 

Once again chef Reuben Riffel and his team at his restaurant at One&Only Cape Town have invited some of South Africa’s finest wine estates and winemakers to join them for a series of monthly gourmet extravaganzas throughout the year. A plethora of 5 Star-rated wine farms, including some of the best-known names in the business, will be joining sommelier Luvo Ntezo and Reuben as they taste, sip and savour the perfect food and wine-matches ready for their guests to enjoy. The results of their endeavours will then be served as a deluxe 5-course dinner to lucky diners at a regular event on the last Wednesday of the month. Hosted by charismatic MC and One&Only brand ambassador, Aubrey Ngcungama, guests can expect superb food, wine and entertainment throughout the evening.

The first dinner on 26th February will be hosted by Charmaine MacRobert of Iona Vineyards. Situated in cool-climate Elgin, Iona is a recognised specialist producer of some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc’s in the country, but Andrew Gunn, Iona’s winemaker, has recently added the popular ‘Mr P’ Pinot Noir to his stable, so expect some meaty partners for this wine which are sure to thrill. The following month, on 19th March, will be the turn of highly-acclaimed Solms-Delta Wine Estate. This trail-blazing initiative is the benchmark for good business-practice and staff-empowerment initiatives, but at the same time produces utterly delicious and food-friendly wines which are sure to complement Reuben’s food.

Hidden Valley Wines in Stellenbosch will be Reuben’s guests on 30th April when the winemaker will be talking about their exciting winemaking venture under the sea – yes, really! With unusual varieties, definitely different winemaking techniques and a varied range of vineyard areas, there will be plenty to learn at this dinner. The following month on the 28th May sees Chris Williams, winemaker of Meerlust Wine Estate take to the floor showing off some of South Africa’s greatest icon wines. The Rubicon has more than stood the test of time, but also look out for the delicious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, both varieties well-suited to the breezy vineyards overlooking False Bay.

Warwick Wine Estate will be joining the Reuben’s team on 25th June bringing their internationally-acclaimed range wines to partner delicious dishes. Winemaker, Nic van Aarde will be presenting these iconic wines on this evening. The 30th July is the turn of Glen Carlou winemaker, Arco Laarman, joining the One&Only team for a winter food pairing feast guaranteed to enhance the robust, yet elegant flavours of his rich and hearty reds and full-bodied Chardonnays.

The following month, it’s the turn of the Graham Beck winemakers on the 27th August, when they will be showing off the prowess of bubbly maestro Pieter Ferreira, cellarmistress, Erika Obermeyer and winemaker Pierre de Klerk. The Graham Beck range of wines covers everyday quaffers up to special, commemorative wines of the very highest quality and the winemakers will be sharing their selection paired with some warming winter food.

The 24th September dinner is hosted by two of the Cape’s most enduring legends and endearing characters. Giorgio Dalla Cia is the man behind most of the Meerlust success of the 80’s and 90’s and, along with son, George, is happily replicating his triumphs with 5 Star wines under his own label as well. The word ‘raconteur’ could have been made for both father and son, so don’t expect an early night as you enjoy tales from more than forty years of wine. They’re a hard act to follow, but if anyone can manage it, it’s Thelema Mountain Vineyards, which, with pioneer Gyles Webb at the helm, has been at the forefront of Cape wine for the past 30 years. Son Thomas is often the public face of the company these days and both are full of tales, history and, of course, wonderful wines. The date for this special evening is 22nd October.

With the final dinner of this series, One&Only Cape Town could almost be accused of ‘saving the best till last’ as they welcome the multiple award-winning Boekenhoutskloof on the 26th November.  Marc Kent is a giant in the wine industry, winning accolades and plaudits for his wines both locally and overseas. With wines consistently rating amongst the finest examples SA can produce, this is a superbly-fitting end to an exciting series of delicious dinners.

The Reuben’s Wine and Dine evenings are priced at R350 per person for a 5-course menu with wine-pairing. Interest in this series of exclusive events is expected to be high and guests are urged to make their bookings as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

To reserve your table at Reuben’s One&Only Cape Town, call (27) (21) 431 4511 or mail to [email protected].

Reuben’s Wine&Dine Dates 2014:

26th February – Iona Vineyards
19th March – Solms-Delta
30th April – Hidden Valley Wines
28th May – Meerlust Wine Estate
25th June – Warwick Wine Estate
30th July – Glen Carlou Wine Estate
27th August – Graham Beck Wines
24th September – Dalla Cia Wines
22nd October – Thelema Mountain Vineyards
26th November – Boekenhoutskloof


Loved up at Liberty’s Restaurant
3 Feb 2014

Liberty’s Restaurant at DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town Upper Eastside is celebrating love this Valentine’s Day. Designed by Executive Chef Simon Kemp, fall in love with this specially created menu that promises to evoke passion and desire in one and all with its innovation and creativity.

The beautiful Valentine’s menu features fusion-inspired dishes using fresh, organic herbs and vegetables from the garden. A scintillating 4-course meal awaits and is priced at R300 per person, which includes a chilled glass of Miss Molly’s.  

Experience the magic of love and a passion for food and enjoy delights like Crayfish, Scallop and Prawn Ceviche with avocado and cucumber cannelloni or try the Char Siu BBQ Pork Belly served with sesame fried Pak choy and cider apple for starters. Medallions of Beef Fillet rolled in sea salt and cracked pepper flambéed with brandy, and served with Pecorino baked potatoes and Chevin stuffed mushrooms will delight as a main course or try the mouthwatering Salmon en Papillote, which is salmon baked in a bag with orange, saffron and chardonnay, over watercress pommes puree and sautéed asparagus.

But keep space for dessert as the ultimate in indulgence is revealed … Chocolate Fondant and cherry ice cream or Mexican Spiced Coffee Tequila Crème Brûlée served with a banana, caramel and chocolate spring roll. Pure heaven. 

Liberty’s Restaurant at DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town Upper Eastside is open weekdays from 7am to 11pm. The restaurant incorporates a smoker’s lounge, library and an outside piazza dining area. Estreet Bar and Lounge next door offers a selection of the best local and organic wines, single malt whiskys and the finest potstill brandies South Africa has to offer.

And for those who wish to extend the magic of DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town Upper Eastside, guests can take advantage of a very romantic special accommodation offer on February 14th. For just R1 895 for a double room, this includes dinner and breakfast and of course, a romantic turndown.

For reservations at Liberty’s restaurant or the eStreet Bar and Lounge please call +27 (0)21 404 0570 or visit:

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection Shines
3 Feb 2014

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection Shines in the Tripadvisor 12th Annual Travellers’ Choice Awards

The Tollman family-owned Red Carnation Hotel Collection has swept the board in the TripAdvisor 12th Annual Travellers’ Choice Awards, which were announced this week. No less than 11 of the Collection’s 15 four and five star properties in South Africa, the UK, Switzerland and the USA were recognised in the rankings across all of the award categories.

Of Red Carnation’s properties in South Africa, the iconic Oyster Box Hotel in Durban was listed seventh best hotel in South Africa and 18th best hotel on the continent of Africa. The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town was listed 10th best hotel in South Africa and the 22nd best hotel for romance in South Africa.

Of Red Carnation’s London properties, The Milestone Hotel has been named the UK’s best hotel. Further to this achievement, The Milestone has also been named the number four hotel in Europe and fifteenth in the world. The five-star Hotel 41 was named 13th best small hotel in the UK, 12th best luxury hotel in the UK and 14th best hotel for romance in the UK. The five-star Egerton hotel in Knightsbridge was listed fourth best small hotel in the UK, and 11th in Europe. Amongst the four-star hotels, the Chesterfield in Mayfair was named 21st best hotel in the UK, and the Montague Hotel in Bloomsbury 23rd best hotel in the UK.

Ashford Castle in the West of Ireland, which Red Carnation acquired in June 2013, was named ninth best hotel in Ireland, tenth in Ireland for Best Luxury Hotel and 13th in Ireland for Best Hotel for Romance. In Geneva, Red Carnation’s Hotel d’Angleterre was listed third best hotel in Switzerland and 21st in Europe, and third best luxury hotel in Switzerland.

‘Everyone at Red Carnation Hotels is immensely proud at our significant presence in the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards’, commented Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of Red Carnation Hotels.’

‘TripAdvisor is doubtless a key driver of business for us. Travellers want to know what to expect from their hotel stay before they commit, with honest reviews from other consumers being a clear influencer in purchasing decisions. I’m delighted for all our hotel teams that they have been recognised for their hard work in providing excellent levels of comfort and service to all our guests.’

‘Above all, we attribute our considerable guest loyalty and our continued success on TripAdvisor to our personalised approach to guest service. Our philosophy is ’no request too large, no detail too small’ which guarantees an individual approach for each and every person that stays with us.’ 

‘Furthermore, these awards are also a testament to our inspirational President and Founder Mrs Beatrice Tollman. She has an innate sense of what it takes to make the guest experience truly exceptional, and has an exceptional eye for detail and design.’

About Red Carnation Hotels

Red Carnation Hotels is an award-winning collection of five and four star family-run boutique hotels in London, Dorset, Guernsey, Geneva, Florida and South Africa. Each property has its own individual character and unique location that reflects the local environment, culture and cuisine. They all share the qualities that win Red Carnation so many prestigious awards – splendid luxury, generous hospitality, inventive and traditional cuisine, private art collections, passionate service and loyal staff committed to creating richly rewarding experiences for all their guests. For more information about these award-winning hotels and the rest of the Red Carnation Collection, please go to

Montblanc Ambassador Hugh Jackman
22 Jan 2014

Montblanc Announces Hugh Jackman As Its Global Brand Ambassador

Geneva, 21st January 2014 – During the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, Montblanc announced Hugh Jackman as its global brand ambassador. The award-winning Australian stage and screen actor will be featured in the luxury brand’s forthcoming advertising campaign and act as an ambassador in all international markets with the exception of the United States.

Born in Sydney, Hugh Jackman has proven his incredible versatility as an actor, taking on roles on both stage and on screen. He won critical acclaim for his role as Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables” for which he won a Golden Globe in 2013, and was nominated for an Academy Award. In addition to his acting skills, Jackman has won awards for his outstanding presenting skills, including a Primetime Emmy for his work at the 59th Tony Awards in 2005. He reprised his role as “The Wolverine” in 2013, and will star in “X-Men: Days of Future Past” to be released in May, 2014.

Montblanc International CEO Jérôme Lambert said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership, and welcome Hugh Jackman into the Montblanc family. He represents all the attributes of the Montblanc brand: elegant, talented, pioneering and committed to the arts. He inspires and enthrals audiences worldwide with the quality of his performances.”

Global Brand Ambassador Hugh Jackman said: “I am delighted to be part of the Montblanc family as I have always admired what the brand stands for, its fascinating history and the quality and uniqueness of the products they create.”

Montblanc, has embodied the finest European craftsmanship and excellence in design for more than a century. Celebrated for generations for its iconic writing instruments, the luxury brand offers watches crafted in the most refined Swiss watchmaking tradition, fine jewellery and leather goods collections.


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