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

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Staycation – Ways to be a tourist in your own town

Feeling like you never get to go away on a special holiday? You don’t need to travel far to do some sightseeing, relax, and get an exhilarating feel of adventure. Here’s how to be a tourist in your hometown and see your city with new eyes:

Show foreigners around

Take foreigners around your area – be it friends from another part of the country, family or an exchange student from Finland. Think of places that are usually branded as “too touristy” and try to enjoy the experience just as much as your guests do.

Take a bus tour

Do you know the history behind the buildings seen in your hometown? Do you understand how and why your city was founded?

Take a bus tour that is usually meant for tourists to gain some local history knowledge. Engage yourself with the tourists on the bus to see what they find interesting – you might be fascinated about a few things you forgot your city has to offer. City Sightseeing‘s hop-on hop-off bus includes all major Cape Town, Jo’burg and Soweto tourist attractions.

Stay in a hotel or guesthouse

To set yourself in a mood for exploring and travelling, book into your town’s favourite hotel or guesthouse. Jo’burgers can indulge in a staycation at the Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa, which should tick all the boxes. (See our recent post about their bubbly bar here). Being away from home for the evening will add to the touristy feeling you’re after.

The Fairlawns Treehouse Studio

Schedule time for those “one day” places

We all have places that we pass regularly in our town or city that we plan on visiting one day. It will never happen if you don’t actually decide on a date to go. While busy, look at recommendations and tourist brochures of activities in your area and create a schedule of the things you want to do.

Go on a taste adventure at the most touristy restaurant in town

Go to the most touristy restaurant in town and eat the meals they specialise in. Look at coffee shops and restaurants you usually don’t go to and try various cuisines. Stepping out of your comfort zone when it comes to restaurants, is exhilarating and refreshing. If staying in Pretoria, why not visit the Monument Restaurant and experience authentic Afrikaner food.

Cheer on a local sports team

To get a feel for the spirit in your city, go to a stadium near you and watch a sports game with passionate locals and tourists.

Do something that only your city can offer

Most towns and cities are well known for an outdoor adventure like no other. Go out and explore your town’s most fun activity. If you’re from Cape Town, head to Table Mountain and experience the Aerial Cableway.

Glide into vacation-mode

When leaving the office for your staycation, leave all your worries behind and settle in for your well-deserved holiday. Put on some music, open a bottle of wine, relax and get ready for your holiday at home.

Written by: Katrien Nel

Images: Supplied

Jekyll & Hide’s Take on Travel Trends

Founded in 2003, Jekyll & Hide is a bespoke leather fashion brand based in the seaside town of Cape Town, South Africa. With a dedication to timeless leather craft and design, the Jekyll & Hide team travels far and wide across South America, Asia, Africa and Europe to source the finest leather the world has to offer.

Travelling Mystery Guest recently had the opportunity to chat to Bernard Bultemeier, the founder of Jekyll and Hide, about his opinion on travel trends and what to look forward to from them.

New products have to keep up with the modern techno lifestyle. According to Bernard, laptop bags are the most popular modern techno product.

“As people’s lifestyle changes (working from coffee shops, on-the-go, etc.) the use of functional business and laptop bags has become a big part of our business.”

Jekyll & Hide’s laptop bags are very functional and are created for the modern business person. They have built in padded laptop pockets, RFID protected cell phone- and wallet sleeves and multiple compartments for diaries and iPads. Jekyll & Hide adapts their laptop bags to the size of laptop screens so that one can shop a product that suits your computer perfectly.

According to Bernard, dual-purpose products like the laptop backpack, or the cross-body bag which can carry a tablet will eventually replace conventional handbags. “As our lifestyles change (we commute to work on bikes or on public transport) the need for practical and well-designed products is key. With the increase in cell phone use, people now don’t have a free hand to carry a bag because they’re constantly on the phone. With multipurpose backpacks, you can carry all the essentials while still cycling and using the phone at the same time. Backpacks are also better for your posture (if worn properly). People are becoming conscious of the way they walk and move. Standing desks, yoga and Pilates are all big trends so the more we can do to help with this lifestyle, the better.” 

Leather bag colours change as the seasons and trends do, however, Jekyll & Hide try to keep a traditional feel to their products. They focus on items and colours that are lasting and as coloured leathers are very easy to fake and it’s a lot harder to produce a real-leather looking piece in natural colours, Jekyll and Hide’s traditional colours are a clue of the quality and authenticity of the brand.

Jekyll & Hide’s Oxford travel bags are probably their most iconic and recognisable products. The Oxford range is also their best seller with its classic look that never seems to go out of style.   

At first, we thought that the brand was named after the 1886 detective novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. We now found out that the brand actually has nothing to do with the novel. “Some people remember the name, Jekyll and Hide, but can’t pinpoint where from, so there’s often an existing connection with new customers but they don’t really know why. The word hide comes from the leather hides we use and Jekyll just had a nice ring to it and was nice and different from all the Italian style names that launched into the market at the time.”

Jekyll & Hide tries to bring a bit of colour and design into the lining of their bags instead of the actual outer design. Funky colours and patterns are seen when one opens a bag or purse which is always a welcoming surprise. They aren’t necessarily bringing in local South African designs (as it’s a global brand) but they do bring in trending patterns like the Aztec look of the Ndbele range. Jekyll & Hide tries not to box the products into a tourist category, though, so they just use very subtle pops of local or trending elements. 

Jekyll & Hide is now also expanding into other fabrics. They’re creating a canvas backpack for example that still has a lot of leather elements in, but they’re starting to mix materials. They also have a travel bag with poly carbon elements.

“We try and create products that are light and make life easier, which means being open to other developments and materials. We’ll always bring through the luxury leather elements of the brand, but we’re no longer focused on 100% leather items.”

Cape Town Hospitality Enthusiasts: We are looking for you!

Travelling Mystery Guest is searching for individuals interested in becoming mystery guests based in Cape Town.

The company assists hotels, restaurants, guesthouses, lodges, shopping centres and other tourism destinations with Customer Journey Evaluations. With Customer Journey Evaluations, Travelling Mystery Guest sends a mystery guest to evaluate the establishment’s brand promise and the overall customer journey. The mystery guest is responsible for taking notes and compiling a comprehensive report on the experience.

As Travelling Mystery Guest is continuously expanding, we’re looking for Capetonians that would like to become mystery guests. Ideally, we are looking for well presented individuals with a passion for and some experience in the hospitality and tourism industry.

Successful candidates will undergo training on the company’s mission and vision, assessment standards, requirements and quality assessment reporting.

If you think you have what it takes to become a mystery guest, send your CV to enquire@travellingmystery.co.za or alternatively to admin@travellingmystery.co.za.

Hemelhuijs comes to Jo’burg

Jacques Erasmus and Hemelhuijs, the home of Cape Town’s most sophisticated explorations in traditional Cape farm cuisine, have finally brought some of their culinary magic to Johannesburg. Hemelhuijs and So Yum have collaborated to present Hemelhuijs x So Yum, a new offering anchored by Hemelhuijs’ famous breakfast menu served at So Yum’s Hyde Park premises.

Hemelhuijs x So Yum was prompted by So Yum’s recent move to a new, larger and more central position upstairs at Hyde Park Corner, the grande dame of Johannesburg’s boutique shopping destinations. Jacques and Ernst Fischer, owner of So Yum and various other Asian restaurants, had long joked about collaborating, and So Yum’s move presented them with the ideal opportunity.

While So Yum is offering a small Asian-inspired breakfast menu including little-known dishes such as soft Japanese rice porridge and a selection of Asian omelettes, the central breakfast offering is from Hemelhuijs.

Johannesburgers will welcome Hemelhuijs’ freshly crafted, gem-bright juices and its well-loved signature breakfast dishes. Favourites such as traditional soft “mieliepap” served with local honey and salted butter and toasted “mosbolletjie” loaf with cultured cream and hand-made jam or marmalade tease the palate with their nostalgic associations presented with contemporary refinement.

From lunch on, the menu’s emphasis tips back to So Yum, albeit with a selection of So Yum x Hemelhuijs salads which can be constructed on bases such as the delectable papino, orange and shaved fennel with fragrant leaves and honey-lime dressing, or raw shaved vegetables and pear, beetroot and Japanese dressing. So Yum x Hemelhuijs will also serve a selection of their Cape Town counterpart’s paradisal cocktails.

Hemelhuijs’ café-style home in the chic historic district of De Waterkant in Cape Town is known for its whimsical but exquisitely conceived interior decoration, beautifully presented conceptual seasonal menus and stylistic transformations. These aesthetic flourishes will find a more subtle expression in the interiors and menu at So Yum, not to mention in the insertion of a nook at the entrance of the restaurant stocking the sought-after Hemelhuijs Home Collection.

Hemelhuijs’ current seasonal menu and interior theme in Cape Town is inspired by the legendary 18th century Swedish botanist and naturalist Carl Linnaeus, drawing on the aesthetics of his horticultural taxonomy and the beautiful botanical illustrations, engravings and scientific diagrams he produced. Hemelhuijs’ lavishly produced menu is underpinned by the structure and aesthetics of Linnaeus’s work, with photographic imagery styled and presented by Jacques through three-dimensional overlays of seasonal ingredients over Linnaeus’s illustrations, capturing not only the freshness and vitality of the ingredients, but also their botanical genealogy.

We’ve subtly introduced the Hemelhuijs identity to So Yum with small details and gentle touches,” says Jacques.

The design and imagery on Hemelhuijs x So Yum’s menu card draws on the mothership’s production, and the table décor includes a delicate sprinkling of Hemelhuijs’ aesthetic DNA. Signature items from the Hemelhuijs Home Collection feature on the table settings, such as its gold ceramic spoons and Black Salt, and So Yum x Hemelhuijs breakfasts are served on Hemelhuijs’ original Sepia Collection stoneware crockery.

These items and more are available from the Hemelhuijs Home Collection. The shelves of the calming, graphite-painted corner dedicated to these wares are piled with other ranges such as Hemelhuijs’ Bone Collection, Gold Collection and much-loved Boerendelft. Scented candles, Black Salt and the Erlenmeyer laboratory flasks the juices are served rub shoulders with them.

In addition to our basic collection, we have what we call our evolved collections, which are more closely tied to and inspired by seasonality and the restaurants thematic and aesthetic transformations,” says Jacques.

The season’s horticultural inspiration also finds expression in a special range of linen printed with imagery drawn from the menu design, including tea towels and napkins.

A specially designed limited-edition iteration of a series of Hemelhuijs’ collaborations with ceramicist Ella Lou O’Meara celebrates the Asian flavour of Hemelhuijs x So Yum. She has hand painted a range of blue-and-white abstract Asian-inflected designs on beautifully oversized tobacco jars. This range complements a related series of large vessels she and Hemelhuijs produced in Cape Town combining classic floral illustration with its contemporary mythology, mixing the scientific and fantastical.

I am very excited to be introducing our first culinary foray in Johannesburg,” says Jacques, “and I’m delighted that we can collaborate with our old friends at So Yum to introduce our unique flavour to a new context.”

Hemelhuijs X So Yum breakfasts are served from Monday to Sunday 08h00 – 12h00.

www.hemelhuijs.co.za

Enter now for the Sanlam Top Destination Awards

The Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2018 will be held at the prestigious Bay Hotel on Thursday, 20 September. Ideally located in Cape Town’s tourism hub, the five-star hotel boasts unsurpassed views across the world-renowned Camps Bay beach, making it the perfect location for a gala evening of this caliber.

Sanlam Top Destination Awards was created in celebration of local hospitality personnel that have pioneered ahead of the game in the travel and tourism industry. The black-tie awards, taking place in the newly renovated Rotunda, welcomes guests to an evening of decadent dining, tasteful entertainment, fine wines and an authentically #AfricanExplorer theme.

Title sponsor for the awards remains financial giant, Sanlam. Other sponsors in support of the Sanlam Top Destination Awards 2018 include Romatex Hospitality Textiles, 3D Virtual Africa, Travel Africa TV, David Green Time Pieces.

How to enter:

Establishments can enter by registering on www.discountraveler.co.za. Public voting is open for guests, patrons and supporters to cast their votes on both the Discount Traveler and Top Destination Awards websites. Voters can win incredible prizes, including one of four uniquely crafted David Green time pieces, valued at R 4 000.

Voting closes on 1st of August 2018.

The Test Kitchen to ‘wow’ diners with a pop-up restaurant in Mauritius

Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius is excited about their new culinary partnership with The Test Kitchen, an internationally acclaimed fine dining destination based in Cape Town. Set to further cement the resort’s position as Mauritius’ leading dining hotspot, Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa will host The Test Kitchen for six weeks – from 12 April to 26 May 2018 – at the Republik Beach Club & Grill.

Guests will be invited to experience a unique culinary journey curated by The Test Kitchen’s award-winning Chef-Patron, Luke Dale Roberts, during the partnership. Synonymous with the finest, most creative and innovative food in Africa, Roberts will be bringing outstanding gourmet experiences to the shores of Shangri-La’s Le Tousserok Resort & Spa with a tapas menu and a five course menu, of which two variations will be available at different dates. The menus will reflect his journey around the world and will be specially curated to showcase Mauritian spices and flavours at their best. The pristine white beaches of Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa will provide a stunning backdrop for this once in a lifetime experience, which will see Roberts and his stellar team of 17 share their expert techniques and passion for flavour alongside the resort’s chefs. To further heighten this gourmet experience, guests will also be treated to tableside cocktail blending.

Described as a “world class dining destination that is worthy of a flight” by the prestigious JHP Gourmet Guide and awarded both “Best Restaurant in Africa” as well as “22nd Best Restaurant in the World” in the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in 2016, The Test Kitchen definitely has an international appeal. Diners from across the globe travel to South Africa to experience Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’s unique and innovative culinary journey of 21 courses, presented on a Food Map. This April, for the first time, the restaurant is taking its gastronomic adventure to new heights, by launching its first ever international outpost, The Test Kitchen Mauritius, at Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa. The special collaboration will give food lovers the chance to sample The Test Kitchen’s famed cuisine in paradise – the shores of this iconic Mauritian property.

Opened by award-winning Chef Luke Dale Roberts in 2010, The Test Kitchen consists of a Dark Room and a Light Room, both only open for dinner. Dining at this restaurant is a true culinary journey, commencing in The Dark Room with a snack menu paired with curated cocktails, followed by a 5-course gourmet menu in The Light Room. It is within The Dark Room that guests are presented with a Food Map on a parchment scroll informing them of the culinary treasures they are about to taste, followed by the arrival of the first of five Dark Room dishes. The Light Room is an airier and more formal room with a menu that reflects Chef Luke Dale Roberts’s journey around the world. Signature dishes include the Peruvian ceviche, harking back to the months Roberts spent travelling through South America, as well as a Billionaire’s Shortbread as a nod to the chef’s love of Scotland. To echo The Test Kitchen’s Dark Room and Light Room, guests will start their evening at the Republik Bar area to enjoy the tapas menu with cocktails as associated with the Dark Room. They will then continue their gastronomic journey at the beachfront restaurant, for a five-course gourmet menu in tribute to the iconic restaurant’s Light Room.

In addition to Republik Beach Club & Grill, Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa is also home to six other trendy restaurants and bars with cutting-edge dining concepts, vibrant atmospheres and artistic collaborations. The hotel also boasts two swimming pools, an 18-hole par 72 championship golf course, a kids’ club and CHI, The Spa focusing on indigenous and holistic wellness. The resort features Ilot Mangénie, a private island exclusively accessible to resort’s guests, as well as three iconic beach villas which come replete with dedicated teams of staff.

The Test Kitchen Mauritius experience is priced at MUR 3500 (about R 1250) per person, including the Dark Room’s snack menu of four dishes, served tapas style, and the Light Room’s five-course gourmet menu.

For more information and reservations: Tel: 0800 028 3337, sltr@shangri-la.com.  

www.shangri-la.com/mauritius