V&A Waterfront gets a stylish addition

One of Cape Town’s most glamorous shopping, socialising and dining destinations is getting a suitably stylish new addition this month.

The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is one of the city’s most popular spots. It is a magnet for both local and international style mavens, thanks to the plethora of diverse offerings, its infectious buzz and of course the magnificent Table Bay harbour and Table Mountain views.

The Harbour House Group is well versed in responding to the diverse tastes of South Africa’s socialites and foodies alike and the news that La Parada V&A Waterfront is opening is perfectly timed for the summer months, when tourists pour into the city. Featuring two beautifully dressed floors of dining and cocktail spaces, La Parada V&A Waterfront is a polished destination that marries thoughtfully conceived and on-trend surrounds with their much loved contemporary tapas menu.

Traditionally served in Spanish wine bars, at La Parada V&A Waterfront the tapas concept has evolved from the traditional two-bite snack experience to a more modern shared-plated offering. La Parada V&A Waterfront Brand Chef, Roche Rossouw, says:

“We serve everything from smart, snack style choices like prawn croquettes to more robust offerings like our famous crispy Pork Belly or our grilled cheese with ham and truffle – we cater for every level of appetite. The La Parada offering works for any time of the day and suits the brand’s diverse mix of guests.” Whether people are popping in for a cheeky glass of wine and enjoying sharing plates or are planning to linger longer, there’s something on the menu that matches any food mood”.

La Parada V&A Waterfront joins its sister eateries at Constantia Nek and Bree Street and like its popular predecessors, there is no doubt this convivial dining concept will fill a niche.

“La Parada is a really stylish space but the style of food makes it unpretentious too – it’s the kind of spot that’s perfect for after work drinks or to host your birthday party”, says Harbour House Group Marketing Manager, Tahlia Bester.

A new addition to La Parada V&A Waterfront is the inclusion of an upstairs private area in the design. The lounge, dining and bar concept is tucked away from the main restaurant and is a discreet, thoughtfully conceived space for guests to meet, eat and drink. A dedicated hospitality team and additional whisky bar concept will add to the exclusive ambiance of this stylish space.

“It’s all part of the brand tapping into what people want – our research shows that guests want to be part of the main restaurant mix but they like the option of a more private space too,” says Tahlia.

An eye catching palette of wood, exposed brick, marble and tropical touches reveal a nod to current trends and the eatery’s Spanish influences while detailed patterning, lush greenery and touches of metallic are timeless additions that add more visual layers to the mix. Add the extraordinary views of the harbour and you have a winning combination that’s sure to lure a cosmopolitan, fun loving and food focused crowd.

La Parada V&A Waterfront opens early in November, situated at 1 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.

www.laparada.co.za

Advertisements

MSC Cruises brings a Cuban Experience

In just over a month from now MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and leading cruise line in Europe and South America, will be introducing MSC Armonia to Miami for the first time.

From December 10th this year, MSC Armonia will offer unique 7-night Caribbean sailings departing from Miami, calling at Montego Bay, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico before arriving in Havana, the Cuban capital, staying overnight. MSC Cruises’ 7-night programme to Cuba will include two days in the bustling city of Havana over the weekend.

Guests can expect not only a brand new attractive itinerary, but also a variety of enhancements to make the MSC Armonia experience that much more memorable. On board, guests will delight in fresh entertainment and new gourmet culinary choices, while ashore, an overnight stay in Havana will allow guests the full experience of this culturally vibrant city.

Highlights of the Cuba cruise include a new, mouth-watering specialty restaurant, a Havana-inspired Mojito Bar, an enhanced pub menu and new complimentary treats to the cruise experience.

The cruise will also include some new entertainment concepts, including the addition of local Cuban music while in port in Cuba. Various musicians – straight from the city of Havana – will join guests on board to play the best local Cuban music during the Saturday evening of the ship’s overnight stay in Havana.

The overnight stay in the buzzing capital of Cuba, allows for MSC Armonia’s guests to fully enjoy all that the city has to offer. Cruisers will be able to immerse themselves in many aspects of Cuban culture, both during the day and in the evening, through a variety of unique excursions to choose from. Shore excursions will explore local highlights from music, art and architecture to classic cigar rolling, rum distilling and much more. You will be able to ride in vintage American cars, sip on local rum and classic Habanos cigars and dance at Havana’s largest nightclub.

The MSC Armonia has been tailored with a wide range of amenities and services for families, including a brand new splash park for children, varied dining offerings, all-hours entertainment, a broad choice of relaxation and wellness options and more.

The Commissary – Exciting, no nonsense dining in CT

The Commissary is a new, exciting approach to pared down, no nonsense, dinner-only dining. It’s under the care of rock star restaurant duo, Chef Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison, and under the mentorship of Luke Dale Roberts, set to shift Cape Town’s cuisine scene.

As if The Test Kitchen, The Pot Luck Club and The Shortmarket Club aren’t enough to keep Luke Dale Roberts and his highly competent crews on their toes, the opening of another cutting edge eatery is sure to set both local and international food wires alight. The Commissary opens its doors on November 1st and is a new pared down, food market-esque concept that The Shortmarket Club Chef and co-founders Wesley Randles and Simon Widdison and their team will head up six evenings a week.

A commissary is a basic provisions store which you’ll find in the army, hospitals and prisons – and while we definitely won’t be serving prison fare, we’re taking things back to basics in a big way with our new dining venture”, says Wesley.

“I’ve had the idea in my head for a while – a space where people can come and enjoy seriously approachable, affordable food with big, unapologetic flavours”, says Wesley, who together with front-of-house talent Simon Widdison has made a name for The Shortmarket Club in just two years of operation.

The Commissary will be under the same roof as its sibling inner-city eatery.

I wanted to create something that really epitomises getting back to basics – it’s a no reservations restaurant, there’ll be communal tables in an open plan space, there’ll be music playing and a busy atmosphere. We’ll be serving food on eco-friendly, disposable plates and the most basic cutlery – it’s a cool, no frills atmosphere with small plate, flavourful food taking centre-stage”, he says.

The news of The Commissary comes in days after the announcement that another new concept fine dining destination, care of the growing Dale Roberts restaurant empire opens this October. Salsify, at historical landmark The Roundhouse in Camps Bay, will open with Chef Ryan Cole at the helm and promises to be a boundary-pushing, sensory fine dining experience.

As with Salsify, The Commissary venture is a partnership with multi award winning Chef Luke Dale Roberts acting as mentor and advisory partner and with Wesley, Simon and their team operating the rest of the business.

Over the years I’ve realised that one of the things that really motivates me is helping team members reach their potential and find their own way – getting to play a part in that journey is so exciting.” Wesley came to me with the idea a while ago and I loved it – it’s a back-to-basics approach to food which really resonates with me and everything I love about food and I couldn’t think of anyone more driven and committed than Wesley to make it work”, says Luke of his 29-year-old mentee.

With space for just 45 diners at a time and a busy, convivial atmosphere, The Commissary aspires to hit a gap in the ever changing Cape Town restaurant market. It’s a fast-paced eatery perfect for 21st century diners with things to do and places to be. The design of the space by the business’ design director, Sandalene Dale Roberts, taps into this busy atmosphere too.

I wanted to really ramp up the space with colour, it’s the kind of concept that allows for it. Food markets have taken the world by storm and we also wanted to reflect that style of dining and entertainment – you’ll find communal tables with built-in lazy Susans and I’ve also designed chairs that have been printed with pattern and colour”, says Sandalene. She explains that the look and feel of The Commissary doesn’t reflect a specific look and feel: “We’re wanting to encompass a mood we’re seeing everywhere where quirky, interesting details are partnered with great food”.

Expect a small-plate menu, big and bold flavours and a street food influence. Attention to detail, the use of the very best ingredients and a focus on flavour first remain cornerstones for this eatery. “Everything else that’s added is a layer”, says Wesley. The wine list will also be small and carefully crafted.

For local foodies, this concept is a thrilling one and there’s no doubt that getting a spot in this cutting edge new dining destination is going to be a hot seat indeed.

 

88 Shortmarket Street

Dinner, Monday to Saturday from 5PM to 10:30PM.

(27) (21) 422 2902 / info@theshortmarketclub.co.za

TOKARA’s Rare Plant Sale

Experience TOKARA in all its natural splendour when this acclaimed wine and olive estate opens its extensive private gardens to the public for the annual Rare Plant Sale on Saturday, 20 October.

This popular event is a spring highlight for plant lovers. From indigenous offerings such as fynbos and proteas to the more exotic, the wide variety of plants will appeal to all tastes. In addition to the wide variety of plants, there will also be tea and other refreshments for sale. TOKARA will definitely also be well represented with their elegant wines and award winning extra virgin olive oils.

Meander through the indigenous, exotic and vegetable gardens, explore the woodland walks and discover the untold works of art spotted throughout the farm. The colossal landmark, the Angus Taylor Dionysus sculpture, commissioned by owners GT and Anne-Marie Ferreira proudly stands against an impressive Simonsberg backdrop.

The Rare Plant Sale starts at 09h00 with tickets (R50) that will be available at the gate. Children aged under 10 can enter for free. The TOKARA Tasting Lounge, restaurants and Delicatessen will be open as usual on the Saturday.

For more information, email pieterdiener@gmail.com.

 

Image credit: Supplied

TAU makes luxury safaris affordable

Spring 2018 at Tau Game Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve makes for a revitalizing 5-star safari, complete with invigorating Tau Spa Oasis treatments to complement the superb Big (and small) Five, game viewing and delicious food.

Image by: Tilly Dix

Watching the wildlife meet at a large waterhole from the safety of your private room deck or the lodge’s hospitality and pool decks adds further excitement to an unforgettable safari.

The lodge is enclosed within the Madikwe Game Reserve, resulting in humans being subtly fenced in while game, including several crocodiles, roam free. Smaller game, such as the protected African wild dog, is flourishing in the Madikwe Game Reserve, while inquisitive squirrels and cheeky vervet monkeys forage for snacks around the lodge. Not to mention the constant nest-building of the bright yellow weaver birds around the lodge’s decks.

“Ah, we did not want to leave – my camera worked overtime – we made precious memories.”

October rates start from R 4 354.00 per person sharing per night and all packages include the following:

  • 3 meals per day, including tea and coffee
  • 2 game drives per day, including refreshments on game drives
  • Use TAUSPRING18 when making a reservation.

Park entrance fees (R 180.00 per person per night) are excluded from the package rates. So are are tourism levies (R 100.00 per person per night), airstrip fees (R 60.00 per person on landing), beverages ordered at the bar, telephone and internet usage, laundry, spa facilities, curios and other extras. A compulsory rhino conservation fee of R 150.00 per adult per night and R 75.00 per child per night (2 – 12 years) is applicable to assist the reserve in its anti-poaching efforts.

Image by: Tilly Dix

Early morning safaris are spectacular, offering magical light for photography, with a pitstop for Amarula coffee and delicious buttermilk rusks overlooking the verdant bush, whilst game rangers keep a vigilant eye on game and predators. They have respect for the bush by allowing the creatures of the wild their space. Afternoon game drives include dazzling African sunsets with decadent sundowners before returning to the lodge for a convivial dinner with guests and rangers conversing about their safari sightings of the day.

Dinner is hosted in the boma, restaurant or dining deck – depending on the weather – always presenting a surprise element for guests.

The tranquillity of the African bush, notwithstanding the protestations of a coot protecting its young from an over-zealous young crocodile, or the greeting ritual of elephant nearby, make for an unforgettable stay at TAU – place of the lion.

The TAU Cubz Club, TAU Spa Oasis and Tau Conference Centre make this an ideal malaria-free destination for romantic, family, leisure or corporate safaris.

www.taugamelodge.co.za

“Sisters-and-sweet” will celebrate diversity and heritage

September is “sister”-time at Stellenbosch Hills. To celebrate Heritage Month this year, the popular winery has tweaked its famous Local-is-Lekker Biltong & Wine Pairing at its cellar – for a limited time only – to also feature a most traditional confection: the koe(k)sister.

The quintessential South African dessert treat will be the kicker on the Stellenbosch Hills‘ experience that pairs its wines with biltong and droëwors. Extending the celebration of cultural diversity, tasters will be offered the choice of two versions: a plaited, sweet and crunchy koeksister or the Cape Malay-style equivalent koe’sister. The latter generally comprises a spiced dough-ball that’s deep-fried, dipped in boiling hot syrup and rolled in desiccated coconut.

Launched in 2005, Stellenbosch Hills’ Local is Lekker Biltong & Wine Pairing pioneered a genre that has subsequently been taken up by wineries far and wide.

Heritage Month is an extension of South Africa’s official Heritage Day, celebrated annually on September 24, officially launched in 1995. Like biltong, koe(k)sisters are regarded as an unmistakable part of the South African culinary lexicon.

Stellenbosch Hills’ Heritage Month offer will feature the full meaty experience of six wines, with the koe(k)sister paired with Stellenbosch Hills Muscat de Hambourg.

With a colour reminiscent of sunset, the wine is explosively fragrant with aromas and flavours of candy floss, boiled sweets, rose petals and violets. It shows best when served with koe(k)sisters, on crushed ice, over vanilla ice cream and strawberries or at room temperature in winter.

Other members of the pairing board are:

Springbok Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve White: A perfect balance between lean, dry game and the wine’s sumptuous citrus and buttered toast flavours.

Moist Beef Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills Polkadraai Pinotage/Merlot: Succulent complexity matched with sweeter notes of the premier red blend.

Ostrich Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills Merlot: Milder game meat perfectly complemented by the plummy, ripe fruit flavours of a well-rounded companion.

Smoked Beef Biltong & Stellenbosch Hills Shiraz: A unique oak-smoked and cured biltong, gently spiced, connects seamlessly with smoky flavours of a wine that exhibits a hint of dark chocolate.

Kudu Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills Cabernet Sauvignon: Subtle, yet rich game flavours – the perfect match for silky tannin and notes of ripe black fruit.

Traditional Beef Droëwors & Stellenbosch Hills 1707 Reserve Red: Exotic zest of roasted coriander offsets the wine’s clean spice and ripe tannin.

This exclusive and proudly South African pairing is available only for the month of September at R75 per person. Bookings can be made on 021 881 3828/9 or info@stellenbosch-hills.co.za.

www.stellenbosch-hills.co.za

Something new for Parktown North

After three years of serving up some of the best wild boar Mac ‘n Cheese in Parktown North, The National has closed its doors. But, not for long.

Chef James Diack is giving his Parktown North speakeasy a face lift, transforming it into a wine and food bar, which will be called Douglas + Hale. “I’m always keeping myself busy, and I am really excited about this new concept for the Johannesburg restaurant scene,” he says.

“I have always had a passion for wine and cocktails – having originally studied viticulture in Stellenbosch.”

The name pays homage to both Diack’s grandfathers – Douglas Diack and Mathew Hale. They’re also James and his brother Nick’s second names.

Douglas + Hale will serve an incredible range of fine wines – by the bottle, but mostly by the glass, all in Riedel Glassware,” says James.

“We’ll also have some absurdly good cocktails made by our in-house mixologist.”

For the food, James is keeping it simple and he’ll keep some of The National’s favourite dishes. “It’s a small, simple eating menu that will keep you interested through the evening,” he explains.

The rustic and relaxed atmosphere is set to become a local must for after work cocktails, pre-meal drinks, or a final night cap before you head home (in an Uber – no drinking and driving allowed!).

Douglas + Hale will open to the public on 25 September 2018. For bookings, contact them on 011 327 3030. Find them at 19 4th Avenue, Parktown North.