Mr and Mrs Smith Hotel of the week| Beaumont House – Cape Town

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on January 14th, 2012

January’s the most anticlimactic of months: it starts with a bang of popping champagne corks and exploding fireworks, then immediately peters out, leaving you with nothing but a hangover and soggy streamers on your light fittings. But if you’ve found yourself slumped in the New Year doldrums, Smith has the solution: a springtime escape to sunny South Africa.

Style Cape crusader
Setting 1930s decor in leafy suburbia

Why this week? Your hosts at Beaumont House are currently offering seven nights for the price of five for stays between now and 28 April. While you’re there, catch one of the Summer Sunset Concerts at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens: their event calendar runs until 1 April, and includes a host of South African rock, blues and classical performers as well as international musicians.

Our favourite bits Beaumont House has more debonair, early 20th-century charm than an Evelyn Waugh character strolling rakishly through an exhibition of Lee Miller photographs, but its thoroughly modern luxuries include underfloor heating, Charlotte Rhys toiletries and walk-in showers. The two Garden/Pool Suites, away from the main house, are private and peaceful with their own covered patios.

Mr & Mrs Smith say… ‘Owned and run by British couple Gill and Peter Deering, Beaumont House is a tastefully renovated 1930s property, in the heart of the most exclusive part of this sprawling South African city. The Deerings, who left Surrey 10 years ago for a life in the sun, are central to the hotel’s success. It’s the couple’s native-like knowledge of the surrounding area – which not only includes the tourist spots of the coast, but also some of South Africa’s finest vineyards – that makes a stay here. The Deerings certainly brought with them their very own bubble of the high life. The guesthouse’s stylish, French-inspired interiors are testament to their impeccable taste. The overall effect is one of serene sophistication. The combination of light, airy design – all pale colours and clean lines – and well-chosen antique and contemporary furniture is a stylish antidote to the bustle of the city. If you are lucky, your stay might coincide with one of Gill’s showbiz friends’ visits and during cocktail hour, maybe they’ll make the most of the piano in the ivory-hued living room.’ Read the full anonymous review of Beaumont House in Cape Town, or find more hotels in South Africa.

You say… ‘Beaumont House is the ultimate peaceful idyll out in the suburbs. However, when you can drag yourself away from all the unadulterated luxury, make sure you talk to your wonderful hosts, Gill and Peter. Their knowledge of the constantly evolving Cape Town restaurant scene is bang up to date and if you take their recommendations, you’ll experience the whole gambit of culinary delights on offer.’ (Phil, BlackSmith, stayed on 22 Nov 2008)

Posted by Rachel on January 6th, 2012

Peter Tempelhoff is Cape Town’s First Grand Chef

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on December 20th, 2011

The annual Relais & Châteaux Congress in Lisbon hosted a gathering of some of the world’s most renowned and celebrated chefs.

It was here that Peter Tempelhoff, Executive Chef for The Collection by Liz McGrath, was awarded the prestigious status of Grand Chef.

“To receive this award is something I have dreamed about for many, many years and I feel it is the start of a bright and wonderful future for us all.” Liz McGrath

Under the Grand Chef banner, you will discover the most celebrated names in the gastronomic world today. These renowned chefs constitute an international culinary benchmark, showcasing their genius, which reflects their own individual cultures.

Their restaurants, with their exquisite settings and service, fine wine cellars, and unrivalled cuisine, present the Grand Chef qualities of creativity and refinement which will delight any epicurean. These chefs can be found in cities all over the world from New York, Geneva, Sydney, Tokyo, Paris, and now The Cellars-Hohenort in Cape Town!

Peter Tempelhoff will join chefs of the calibre of Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Michel Roux Jr. of Le Gavroche, Michel and Alain Roux of The Waterside Inn, Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck, Hélène Darroze in Paris, Thomas Keller from Per Se and French Laundry, Daniel Boulud and Joel Robuchon – to name but a few.

“It is also a very humbling experience for me, as I am aware of the responsibility which comes with the title… to Liz McGrath, our team and ultimately to all of our guests. I look forward to this challenge and putting Cape Town firmly on the map as a world class gastronomic destination!” Peter Tempelhoff

Following quickly on the heels of this award, the Greenhouse restaurant at the Cellars Hohenort has just been awarded the best restaurant in South Africa by the 2012 Eat Out magazine!

Cape Town’s skies among the bluest of the blue

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on December 20th, 2011

And — in what South African tourism authorities this week hailed as “actual proof of our claims to having the best skies” — researchers told the Sunday Times that Cape Town’s recorded sky could have scored up to first place had it not been for partly cloudy days throughout the test period.

Measured by Britain’s National Physical Laboratory, readings were taken in 22 countries in a three-month project to establish the place whose heavens had the best hue, brightness and colour.

Recordings of a sparkling blue but partly cloudy scene from Cape Town’s cableway station at 10am two months ago saw South Africa scoop fifth place out of 20 top travel destinations.

Rio de Janeiro came first, followed by Bay of Islands, New Zealand; Ayres Rock (which is now mostly known as Uluru), Australia; and Denarau Island, Fiji. Milky and uninspiring skies above San Francisco, Peru and England came last.

Mariette du Toit, general manager of Cape Town Tourism, said: “We’ve been raving about our blue skies for ages, but now we’ve got scientific proof that we’re among the very best — this is definitely going to be added to the accolades in our marketing material.”

The project team leader at the laboratory, Nigel Fox, said calculations from “spectrometer” light instruments showed that the blue wavelengths dominated most in sub-tropical southern hemisphere countries like Brazil, South Africa and Fiji.

Fox said team members were shown photographs of the sky taken at the 22 cities and “visually, we put the top countries in the same sort of order”.

He added: “There was a little bit of subjectivity on exactly where the measurements took place and clouds did have a significant impact. But we standardised the tests as best we could — like taking measurements at the same time of day — and we’re generally confident in the results.”

Kanu’s KCB 2007 wins Best Chenin Trophy at IWSC

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on December 13th, 2011

For the LOVE of Chenin

In mid-November, Johan went up to London to receive Kanu’s Trophy for the best Chenin Blanc producer in the world. Our winning wine was the Kanu KCB 2007, a wooded Chenin Blanc that has stolen the heart of the world. Johan talks about how we feel about winning the IWSC (International Wine and Spirits Competition) trophy, his love for Chenin, as well as his tasting experience of this wine.

Cape Town: World Design Capital 2014

Posted by peter | Articles, Videos | Posted on December 7th, 2011

In her acceptance speech Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille said: “It is an honour for me to be addressing you here today as mayor of the first African city to be named a World Design Capital. A city belongs to its people and it must be designed for and with them and their communities. For many years, people have been applying innovative solutions to our challenges. They have been using design to transform various aspects of life. But they have often been working without an overarching social goal in mind.

“The World Design Capital bid process and title have helped to bring different initiatives together and have made us realise that design in all its forms, when added together, creates human and city development.
“The World Design Capital designation gives cities like Cape Town additional motivation to actively think of transformative design in development plans. We look forward to learning from other cities that are using design as a tool for transformation, including past winners Torino, Seoul and Helsinki and our fellow short-listed cities, Dublin and Bilbao. We are honoured to have been considered with them.”

The Cape Town Partnership started the World Design Capital bidding process over a year ago, on behalf of the City of Cape Town. A Bid Committee was tasked to frame the theme of the bid and to source content and case studies for the bid book. It included design case studies in the Stellenbosch area. On 31 March 2011 the 465-page bid book was formally submitted to the International Council for Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) in Canada, with the theme, “Live Design. Transform Life”.

Explaining the importance of the year 2014, De Lille said it will be the celebration of 20 years of democracy in South Africa,
“That celebration will allow for a time of reflection, to think about how far we have come as a country and a city. We will also be positioning ourselves to plan for the future. The next 20 years, and the 20 years after that, demand nothing less if we are to prosper as a city and a society and truly mature into our full potential.

“2014 then is the moment when the past and the future will come together for Cape Town, in contemplation and in action. In South Africa, cities were designed over decades to divide people. But since our new democratic era, we have been focused on trying to bring people together, to create a sustainable city that fosters real social inclusion.”

“The challenges faced by cities today are numerous. Sometimes, they seem unique. When we broaden our horizon, however, we discover the tremendous energy and innovation of individuals, communities and firms using design every day to create solutions. They are to be found within our city… and all over the world.

“In 2014, we will channel that energy into a series of events that celebrate design as a driver of social and economic change in the urban environment. We invite the global design community to become a part of our design journey, in our city, in Africa and in the world,” De Lille said.

Cape Town’s bid has gained widespread public and private sector support at City and Provincial level. It provides the opportunity to embed design thinking into urban development planning for social and economic growth. The accolade will also enhance Cape Town’s reputation globally as being a place that is known for more than just its natural beauty.
Previous World Design Capital title holders have seen increased visitor numbers as a result of the designation. Torino, Italy, World Design Capital for 2008, reported higher visitor numbers in their title year – which coincided with the global economic downturn – than in 2006, when they hosted the Winter Olympics.

Bulelwa Makalima-Ngewana, Managing Director of the Cape Town Partnership and co-ordinator of the bid on behalf of the City said: “It has been a long and rewarding journey to get to this point. The real key to our success has been the partnerships that have been forged during the bid process, and the unwavering support of the City of Cape Town and the Provincial Government of the Western Cape. Being named World Design Capital for 2014 is a unique opportunity for us to reposition Cape Town on the world stage as a city of innovation, creativity and caring – and to continue to foster and promote our design industries at home and abroad.”

The World Design Capital 2014 title results in a year-long programme of design-focused events that will see creative communities across the globe turning to Cape Town for social, economic and cultural solutions. These connections are vital in the long-term links the city will secure with global role-players within creative industries. This win also highlights how design innovation has led to growth in the Stellenbosch area, taking the bid beyond the city’s borders to acknowledge the design assets of the region.

Said Stellenbosch Mayor Conrad Sidego from Taipei, where the theme of the IDA Congress is “Design at the Edges”: “The edge is where design of the past and design of the future meet – in this moment we have the opportunity to shape a new design legacy for our region.

The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award for South Africa 2011

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on December 6th, 2011

The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award for 2011 was recently announced during the festivities at the Swartland Revolution. The Award has been established to bring focus – and recognition of achievement – to the growing group of professional wine waiters in South Africa.

To achieve this merited status, the finalists had to endure a testing day of written exams, blind tastings and a practical assessment. In the practical they had to skilfully decant an aged wine,select and present wines to ‘guests’, pairing them with items on a menu. Joakim Hansi Blackadder was announced as this years top achiever and was awarded The Bollinger Exceptional Wine Service Award 2011. Wayve Kolevsohn was second, followed by Greg Mutambe, sommelier at the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa

Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen scoops the Chef of the Year award

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 23rd, 2011

Luke Dale-Roberts, owner of Cape Town dining destination The Test Kitchen, scooped the Chef of the Year award at the 2011 Eat Out Dstv Food Network Restaurant Awards held last night at The Bay Hotel in Camps Bay.

With a string of accolades from previous Eat Out Awards (including Chef of the Year in 2008) Luke Dale-Roberts has plenty to smile about today. At a glamorous awards ceremony and gala dinner held at the Rotunda, Bay Hotel last night, The Test Kitchen was also awarded 2nd best restaurant in South Africa in the 2011 Eat Out Dstv Food Network Restaurant Awards. The awards, which seeks to honour the best restaurants and chefs in South Africa coincides with the launch of the 2012 Eat Out Directory which showcases some 1000 eateries throughout South Africa. The leading food awards in South Africa, a place in the top 20 is a high note for many chefs, in the top 10 understandably even more so.

Luke, who opened his cutting edge eatery The Test Kitchen in November 2010, has achieved in twelve months what many culinary talents take years to accomplish. A consistent performer in the Eat Out Awards since his arrival on the South African food scene, Luke’s Chef of the Year 2011 accolade confirms what many experts in the culinary industry know – his is a remarkable talent that continues to push culinary boundaries without losing sight of the expectations of diners. Consistency, innovation and entertainment are the pillars of the experience Luke sets out to offer and he does so with a fresh and compelling approach – one that ensures his eatery is fully booked virtually every lunch and dinner shift.

Although Luke is undoubtedly thrilled he will certainly not be resting on his laurels. From a recent collaboration with leading food innovators Woolworths on a gourmet Christmas range due for launch in early December to a new dining concept The Pot Luck Club which will open next month, Luke has had a busy year, which makes his achievement at The Test Kitchen that much more impressive “I think the secret to the success of the restaurant so far is that every single person who works here is completely and utterly committed to doing their level best every single day – from the selection of the produce we work with to presenting each dish on the plate – we all want the same thing, for the diner to be blown away by the combination of flavours and the taste experience that we have put so much effort into creating”, says this humble chef whose laidback character belies a steely determination to produce perfection on every single plate.

True to form, though last night’s awards and the after party were festive affairs, Luke and his undoubtedly over-the-moon team are back in the place they love best – at The Test Kitchen, preparing for the onslaught of diners determined to get a taste of the brilliance that has landed them their coveted position.

The Test Kitchen is located at Shop 104 a, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Greater Cape Town scoops 9 of the top 10 Eat Out awards

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 23rd, 2011

At a glittering awards ceremony held at the Rotunda at the Bay Hotel, we announced the winners of the 2011 Eat Out DStv Food Network Restaurant Awards and the prestigious Top 10 restaurants.

Restaurants are judged on food, service and ambience, as well as other aspects that make or break the eating out experience. This year we also included a host of new categories, making these the most extensive culinary awards in South Africa. Without further ado, here are the winners:

EAT OUT TOP 10 2011

The Greenhouse
International, African
Cape Town (Western Cape)

The Test Kitchen by Luke Dale-Roberts
Tapas, Contemporary, Fusion
Cape Town (Western Cape)

Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français
Franschhoek (Western Cape)

The Roundhouse
Contemporary, French
Cape Town (Western Cape)

Contemporary, Mediterranean, South African
Stellenbosch (Western Cape)

Bistro, French
Stellenbosch (Western Cape)

DW Eleven-13
Contemporary, International
Johannesburg (Gauteng)

Jordan Restaurant
Stellenbosch (Western Cape)

Sushi, Japanese
Cape Town (Western Cape)

La Colombe
Fusion, Asian, French
Cape Town (Western Cape)

Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point – a gem for tourists

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 23rd, 2011

It takes a very special chef to meet the challenges of running a kitchen that is like no other. Luckily for the Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point, Phil Alcock is a chef who relishes a challenge.

“Most restaurants are able to build up a core clientele of regulars, people keep coming back for their favourite dishes,” Phil points out. “At Two Oceans Restaurant our guests are almost all tourists so my aim is to make sure that they have an experience that leaves them dreaming of coming back again, or at least sharing their great experience with others.”

While the tourist market provides the bulk of the 650 guests the restaurant serves each day, it is clear from Phil’s new menu that he is offering something special to locals as well, especially those who are green card holders and can enter the Cape Point Reserve for free.

“Previously our menu was a mix of foods, but I have decided that a restaurant which is situated at the meeting point of two great oceans needs to provide a seafood experience like no other,” he says.”It starts with the best possible quality fish and seafood. We’re providing world class food with a uniquely South African twist.”

Finding ways to meet challenges is typical of Phil. His journey to culinary excellence started when he was just 14, not because he had a particular interest in food but because he wanted to buy a motorbike and he realised that the only way he was going to get it was to earn the money himself.

“I bought the bike, but in the process of peeling the carrots and washing the pots, I also learned that the kitchen was a place where magic was performed and it was the place that I wanted to be.”
That decision led to a lifetime of learning, working in some of the best kitchens in all areas of the globe and honing the skills that are apparent in each masterful dish on the Two Oceans menu.

“Now I feel like I have come home. I have a job in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, I am able to spend time with my family in the evenings, and I am loving it. Each day is completely different and each day I return home with the satisfaction of a job well done.”

Waterkloof clinches Best Architecture and Landscape title

Posted by peter | Articles | Posted on November 5th, 2011

Bio-dynamic wine beauty, Waterkloof Estate, known for its sustainable wine farming on the elevated outskirts of the Helderberg Winelands, has clinched South Africa’s Best Architecture and Landscape title at the prestigious Great Wine Capitals (GWC) Best of Wine Tourism Awards 2012.

In addition, this magnificently appointed ‘cellar in the sky’, perched high on the slopes of the Schapenberg – where even the steep incline provides functional advantages in their winemaking process – also excelled with third place in the Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices and Wine Tourism Restaurants categories.

In 2009, Waterkloof Cellar, which also features a fine dining restaurant, gorgeously appointed, 10 meter high glass promontory flowing from a slick wine tasting lounge, triumphed as the first South African architectural feat for Castle Rock Design – an Australian based company that is internationally recognised for its innovation in the design and management of wineries, luxury resorts and hospitality related projects.

“Waterkloof is committed to making elegant wines in the most honest and authentic method possible. Clearly the building must be a reflection of this commitment. The whole principle of the design is based around honesty, transparency and authenticity. There is the absolute minimum of applied finishes. Rather we wanted the natural materials to be expressed, warts and all,” shares Waterkloof’s architect Mitch Hayhow, Director of Castle Rock Design.

From the first encounter with this aesthetic masterpiece it is clearly visible that unlocking nature’s true potential holds no secrets at Waterkloof Estate. Cocooned in a contemporary glass and concrete sphere, the deep, open barrel cellar becomes apparent immediately as you enter the building and make your way to the modern, unadorned tasting lounge which spills onto the ‘glass box’ restaurant.

Here massive walls of clear glass reveal an ultra-modern gravitational cellar with ranks of wooden, open top fermenters and create a majestic sense of space through the uninterrupted, outstretched views.

All these experiences are set against the unintimidating backdrop of sweeping views of Waterkloof’s amphitheatre of vineyards, the Hottentots Holland and Helderberg mountains and full expanse of False Bay to Cape Point in the distance.


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Address: Beaumont House
3a Primrose Avenue
Upper Claremont
Cape Town, 7708
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