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Rumours have abounded for some time now that the city of Cape Town was considering demolishing the Bellville Velodrome but a document published recently has now confirmed their intent.
In the “Draft Broader Tygervalley Urban Design Framework” the city provide details of what the plans are for the area, which indicate that the Tygervalley Precinct will be upgraded to a “secondary CBD”, including high-rise office space, shopping centres, public transport initiatives etc. A multi-storey shopping centre called “Galleria” is to built on the site of the current Velodrome – though there is no direct mention of what exactly will happen to the Velodrome.
Upon hearing the news, and after chatting with Jeanne Nell, (South Africa’s National 1km Time Trial & Keirin Track Cycling champion) Cape Town cycling enthusiast Ridaa Ismail felt strongly that the plans should not go ahead and started the Save the Drome campaign to try and give the facility and those who use it a voice.
X: What makes the Drome so valuable to the Cape Town cycling community?
R: The Velodrome is not only valuable to the Cape Town cycling community but the entire South African track cycling community. Bellville Velodrome is the only Olympic standard velodrome on the African continent and is the training base for all our Olympic and Paralympic track cyclists.
There are plans for a velodrome to be established in Potchefstroom but that will take a while to be constructed. If the Bellville Velodrome is demolished it would mean that there is no training base for our Olympic and Paralympic track cyclists training for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Rio Olympics. These sportsmen and women have sacrificed their lives to fulfil the dream of winning Gold, and if the Velodrome is demolished, their dream of representing South Africa on the biggest stage will be gone. Continue reading
Meet for High Tea – a decadent afternoon affair!
The time-honoured tradition of high tea may be long gone in most homes and establishments but there are still a select group of hotels and venues that indulge their visitors!
Guests at some of the country’s top hotels can enjoy a mouth-watering selection of decadent sweets and treats lovingly created by celebrity chefs. Then wash it down with a dazzling array of teas and coffees.
It’s not just the culinary experience, but the act of stopping your day to take time out with friends and maybe put on a special outfit – all in luxurious comfort.
Whether you’re a regular tea aficionado or an occasional crumpet-lover, High Tea is something you should experience at least once!
Whether you’re staying at home this Heritage Day long weekend or you’re heading out to explore South Africa, we’ve got some ideas of places you can visit and events you can enjoy to celebrate!
Acoustic music in the mountains… what more could you ask for? Brought to you by the same experienced crew that produce Splashy Fen every year, White Mountain is its’ smaller, mellow cousin. Discover new local artists or support your favourites, all while indulging in the magical mountain vista. Take the family for an unforgettable experience.
Broadly considered to be KZN’s premier arts and culture festival the annual Witness Hilton Arts Festivaland produces a sterling programme of drama, comedy, music, cabaret, arts and crafts, children’s theatre, Mindscapes discussions, workshops, films and exhibitions appealing to all who visit the festival each year. This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the festival.
For the fourth year running over 3000 KZN electronic music lovers will once again gather on the banks of the Hazelmere Dam for a massive outdoor festival involving two days of house, dance and electronic music, Swimming, Tanning, Partying and fun times.
Head to where it all began to celebrate in the ultimate Heritage Day place. Expect musical performances from the likes of Louise Carver, and Idol’s winner, Elvis Blue as well as the Cradle Festival Wine Weekend, which includes cheese and wine tastings, as well as loads of fun activities and competitions for the whole family to enjoy. The daily kids programme offers parents peace-of-mind and a day-off to spoil themselves and relax while being able to enjoy the live entertainment, cheeses and wines. A Craft Expo allows exhibitors from the Cradle and surrounding areas to showcase their business and service offerings. Continue reading
In December 2012 a unique new restaurant opened in Cape Town. Keenwa celebrates all things Peruvian with a menu that highlights some of the country’s most famous dishes like Salchipapas, Empanadas, tequeños and Ceviche, prepared with love by Chef Fabricio Durand from Lima.
Owner German de la Melena was also born in Lima and travelled the world as a model before deciding to settle in Cape Town.
Now German has gone one step further by opening the country’s first and only Pisco Bar above the restaurant. Pisco is the national liquor of Peru, made from grapes and is particularly popular when combined into a sour cocktail.
We chatted to German about bringing a taste of Peru to Cape Town.
X: Can you explain the concept behind a “Pisco Bar”?
G: Pisco is a Peruvian liquor and it is very well known to every tourist that goes to Peru and it is at every party in Peru as well as in every bar and restaurant there. When I opened the restaurant (Keenwa) the venue was perfect for a bar as well so I thought, why not make it as unique as the restaurant and serve Pisco? P.I.S.C.O. Bar comes from a trip we did with 20 friends to Peru to do the Amazon Jungle and the Inca Trail. The guides started calling us the Pisco group because that was what we always drank and we had a joke about the D.I.S.C.O. song from the late 70′s or early 80′s.
X: What makes P.I.S.C.O. Bar unique?
G: The fact that we are the only ones in the whole country that serve Pisco and not only the popular Pisco sour but also a couple more cocktails made with Pisco. Our tapas Peruvian style and also the decoration and venue are very different.
X: Can you tell us a bit about some of the beverages you have on offer?
G: We import the Pisco from Peru and we serve Pisco sour – lime juice, sugar, Pisco and a little bit of egg white. We also make these with passion fruit, chilli, raspberry and chichi – the last is a drink from Peru made of purple corn. A different cocktail that we also make is Chilcano, the trendiest drink in Peru nowadays, with Ginger ale and Pisco and a dash of lime juice. I just go with whatever is trendy at the bars in Lima and Peru in general.
X: How has the local community reacted to the bar?
G: The bar is still new and not well known yet but the people that come around love it! They love the decor, they love the vibe and especially everybody loves the Pisco sours! Continue reading
Do Dim Sum – Dumplings for Dinner!
Similar to hors d’oeuvres and a bit like Spanish tapas, “Dim Sum” literally means “to touch your heart,” and consists of a variety of dumplings, steamed dishes and other goodies served in Asian restaurants.
Though Dim Sum has been around for centuries in the East, it’s only fairly recently been gaining popularity in the West and South Africa is also jumping on the buffet trolley.
Currently Cape Town leads the way once more with the largest selection of venues and flavours, but there are also a handful of places serving traditional as well as more modern Dim Sum in Joburg and Durban.
The African bushveld feels like a vast and never-ending space when you’re in the midst of it, but it’s at these times that you feel the most intimate connection to this natural environment and its inhabitants.
At Rhino River Lodge in Zululand, the small team aims to give each guest that uniquely personal nature high.
“We want them to get an intimate look at nature, so that all of our guests leave with a renewed appreciation of the bush, mindful of the importance of conservation and how it can play a role creating a space where people can relax, and hopefully re-awakening that childlike thrill of seeing a special nature moment – be it as simple as examining an intricate leaf or looking up at the stars, or as complex as negotiating a bush walk round an extremely rate and hugely endangered black rhino,” says manager Shona Lawson.
She’s one of a group of just 15 people who total the workforce at this quaint lodge within the 23,000 hectare Zululand Rhino Reserve. The lodge consists of four luxury en-suite rooms plus there are also two rustic family cottages that can accommodate up to four people.
Reserve manager Dale Airton leads the team with Shona, head ranger Isaac Gumede and support rangers Jenine and Jason take on the wildlife and bushveld challenges. In addition there are 3 trackers who also work on the grounds and 7 ladies who run the kitchen and housekeeping services. Continue reading
Guaranteed you’ve probably never actually WANTED to do laundry, and certainly you’ve never raced down to the laundromat with great excitement! But Clayton Howard & Mico Botha have decided to change all that. They’ve made laundry fun.
In April this year the dynamic and creative pair opened the doors of I LOVE MY LAUNDRY in Cape Town, giving life to South Africa’s one and only destination laundry! I LOVE MY LAUNDRY is not just a laundry you see. It’s also a quirky coffee and Dim Sum Bar and entertainment venue.
We chatted to Mico about this unique business.
Xtra: What kind of menu can customers expect at I love my laundry?
Mico: We are a Coffee Bar & Dim Sum Bar specializing in Korean Dim Sum and we offer vegetarian and meat flavours on our ever-changing Dim Sum menu. I LOVE MY LAUNDRY also caters for private functions and events around our 14-seater dining table and on Thursday evenings we host our popular fondue evenings. It’s an off-the-wall and unique venue offering a personal touch and client specific service.
X: What factors do/did you consider regarding your business location?
M: Definitely visibility for the brand.
X: As far as the laundry side goes, what kind of services do you offer?
M: We wash dry and fold your laundry at only R10 per kg. Ironing, alterations and dry-cleaning services is also available but what really defines our service is the fact that we only use organic top quality chemicals on all your fabrics and we package and fold your process parcels in our eye -catching orange wrapping paper. A “gift” to all our loyal clients and a mark of our caring attention to detail when it comes to your laundry needs. Continue reading
P-Town Taste – Best restaurants in Pretoria
Far from how its’ often portrayed, Pretoria is actually a stylish and cosmopolitan city filled with vibrant culture, bustling business and delicious cuisine.
In this collection, we’ve highlighted some of the city’s best dining spots as recommended to us by various online and personal sources.
There’s plenty of variety too – from Korean, Chinese and Indian to excellent Italian and fabulous French and even a healthy dose of African tastes.
Anything goes with chocolate. This is the philosophy of Kereth & Cindeez Guilbride, the couple who opened Chocolate Heaven in Rosetta in the KZN Midlands.
This wacky, one-of-a-kind store is earning quite a reputation on the Midlands Meander for giving their customers a fresh taste sensation with their favourite ingredient at the centre!
Biltong, gherkins and even olives are some of the crazy components you might find yourself mingling with your melted chocolate delight during their patented Chocolate Dippingz Experience.
“We decided to do things differently,” explains Cindeez, “not your usual truffles, pralines etc. We have gone in a totally unique way with chocolates that contain biltong, curry, and many other combinations that really work. We also make more normal chocolates for the not so adventurous and therefore cater for all tastes.
However, she says, the biggest draw card at Chocolate Heaven is the Chocolate Dippingz® experience.
“This is where we sit you down give you a pot of melted chocolate and come and offer you a variety of different condiments, from your biltong, gherkins, olives to strawberries, fudge and Turkish delight. We have four trays of goodies to choose from, and one rule – YOU HAVE TO MAKE A MESS!”
Although Cindeez admits it takes passion to create such unique products, these wannabe Willy Wonkas only started concocting crazy chocolate recipes seven years ago. Continue reading
Braai 4 Heritage – Bond around the fire!
Mix Heritage Day weekend combined with Braai Day and it all adds up to fun times in the sunshine surrounded by friends and family.
We created this unique Braai Day collection in celebration and support of one of our favourite holidays in the year as well as one of our favourite past-times.
Get all the info you need to follow the Braai Day revolution with our links, learn the awesome Braai Day anthem featuring Soweto Gospel Choir, HHP and Die Heuwels Fantasties.
Then use our listings to plot out all your braai requirements – from charcoal to braai equipment and venues where you can stoke your fires.
PE Cuisine – The best of Port Elizabeth Dining!
Smaller cities are often neglected in the “best nosh” lists and we don’t think that’s fair! We want all popular establishments to get their dues!
That’s why we created this latest collection highlighting some of Port Elizabeth’s best places to wine and dine.
As a tourist city, PE can’t afford to rest on its’ laurels in the entertainment arena and that’s why it’s no surprise there are a solid group of restaurants, bakeries, delis and bistros that keep the locals and tourists smiling, serving everything from steak to sushi to fresh seafood.
Route 62 – the Great Karoo!
It’s an area of South Africa that many who live elsewhere may not even have thought of, let alone visited, but this scenic tourist route covering the Western Cape and Eastern Cape is one that could keep you good and lost from civilization for some time.
Adventure is never far away on Route 62 where you’re surrounded by a wealth of natural resources from mountains, passes, rivers to vineyards and orchards.
This collection contains just a small selection of some of the more interesting places, sights and activities you could sample on your Route 62 road trip like adventure activities, wine farms, antiques and collectables, nature reserves, animals and water sports- just enough to peak your interest in the magical Karoo…
They say husbands and wives should never go into business together, but if that were true Moemas Patisserie & Food Shop would never exist!
Danielle Postma believes her husband Mike is the backbone of their popular Johannesburg eatery, having put in place all the systems & procedures necessary for its success.
“We work together,” she says, “but I am more of the creative side, dealing with outside catering and new products, whereas he deals with staff issues and the day to day running of the business.”
Mike & Danielle met in London where she was studying (and dreaming of owning a pastry shop of her own.) Then Mike followed her across the ocean, where their plans started to come together.
“I convinced myself I would sit on a chair in the corner and watch the happy customers. The reality is that I’m always too busy! I always knew I’d return, and when we did, we started seeing a life coach who helped us break it all down into manageable steps so that it became a reality.”
They now have two children, Charlie (3) and Jess (1), who keep them busy when they are not being more busy at Moemas.
“When you have a young family you never seem to spend enough time with them – balance is a daily struggle, but when you’re trying to create a strong successful business maybe even more so,” Danielle admits, but she’s proud of how her marriage and family life are holding fast amidst the mayhem.
Moemas has earned a reputation – not just in plush Parktown, but all the way across the city – for exceptionally high standards and the ability to surprise and delight their patrons time and again with their daily selection of cakes, pastries, sweet and savoury tarts, steaming pies and delicious fresh salads.
“Our window display of pastries is a popular drawcard. The fact that customers can’t make up their minds, compelling them to return works well. At the moment our cupcakes are super popular, our customers know they can rely on the fresh deliciousness! I think it’s our ability to evolve and continue creating beautiful food that our customers enjoy.” Moemas also won the 2012 Joburg’s Choice Award for Best Muffin with an unprecedented score of 5 and a half. Continue reading