Monday 16 July 2018
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La Petite Colombe, mon amour

Franschhoek spoils for choice when one is considering where to dine. The best of South Africa appears to be concentrated in the main street and where to eat is not made any easier by La Petite Colombe’s winter special. Visitors can expect the same stellar standards in both service and cuisine, as they have come to know from world renowned parent restaurant La Colombe.

The winter lunch special that is currently on offer at Le Petite Colombe has been described as a bucket list worthy!

Artist with great taste

Artist Reason Ndlovu at work on one of his chocolate paintings.

Perhaps one day they will have a section in the National Gallery devoted to paintings done in chocolate. Well, so hopes Reason Ndlovu, a Franschhoek artist who has come up with an innovative idea – painting with chocolate.

It all began when Danny Windvogel of Huguenot Fine Chocolates was walking in the main road and saw Reason doing painting work on a shop door. Their subsequent chat led them to the idea that the process of making chocolate could be illustrated by means of an artistic portrayal in a chocolate painting.

A short time later, working on the premises, so that he had access to chocolate pods and pictures of the cacao botanical process, Reason began his two works which are almost finished and will have pride of place in the shop once completed.

More than 60 percent of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in Africa, so it was appropriate that the painting should have an African theme.

Val de Vie’s Berg River bridge opened

The new Berg River Bridge at Val de Vie was officially opened on 21 June 2018.

The Berg River Bridge at Val de Vie Estate was officially opened by Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality, Councillor Conrad Poole, on Thursday, 21 June 2018.

“The opening of the Berg River Bridge is a remarkable event for Val de Vie Estate and is the first private bridge of this scale in South Africa. Drastically reducing the travelling time to Cape Town International Airport, the Mother City and Stellenbosch was the main drive behind the project which cost the development company over R100 million,” said Ryk Neethling, Val de Vie Estate Marketing Director and Shareholder.

Stuart and Leigh greet PnP

Stuart Downie and Leigh Courtnage purchased the ‘Co-op’ in 1997. This photo dates from the mid-1990s.

Stuart Downie and Leigh Courtnage laid down the reins as owners of the PicknPay Franschhoek stores in May 2018, after 21 busy years in the Franschhoek retail sector.

Their retail journey together started in 1996, when their paths crossed at the then Franschhoek Verbruikers Ko-operasie in the centre of the village, or the ‘Co-op’ as everybody knew it.  They purchased the business and, in 1997, established the Village Supermarket.  In 2003 they joined the Pick n Pay family. A Pick n Pay Liquor store was added to their business in 2009 and a Pick n Pay Daily store in 2010.

State to launch turnaround strategy for Solms-Delta

The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform announced in a press release on 31 May 2018 that it is to initiate a turnaround strategy and a restructuring of the operations at the Solms-Delta Wine Estate.

The Department acquired the estate in December 2016 as part of the pilot phase of the Policy Framework on Strengthening the Relative Rights of People working the Land. As part of this agreement workers acquired a 45% stake in the wine making business.

Proposed luxury retirement village angers neighbours

Architect’s rendering of group housing units proposed for historic Die Eike property. (Jan Hanekom Partnership).

News that the owner of erf 3476 (Die Eike) is planning a luxury retirement village on the property has not been welcomed by the property’s neighbours.

Bruce Gatland, GM of La Cotte Farm, says: “If this development were to be approved, it would have a marked detrimental effect on the value and enjoyment of our property … La Cotte Farm is regarded as of great cultural and historical importance … We have gone to great lengths and expense to preserve and restore the heritage aspects of the property. The applicant’s proposal is alarming and disappointing in its apparent total disregard for this heritage.”

Pniel Female Farmer wins SABF award

Mbalie Zamisa (SBF) and Claudia Williams

Pniel entrepreneur, Claudia Williams, was recognised at a prestigious event at the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg on 5 June. The SAB Foundation Tholoana Enterprise Development Programme annual awards ceremony recognised seven entrepreneurs who are creating jobs in their regions. Just two years ago, this remarkable woman started off as the only employee in her own company. Due to her remarkable growth, she now employs 18 staff members.

2018 Bellingham wines built to last

Bellingham Chief Winemaker Richard Duckitt

Harvest 2018 is complete and Richard Duckitt, Chief Winemaker at Bellingham is enjoying a momentary reprieve.

The Cape’s devastating drought played a dominant role in this year’s harvest: the Winelands were declared a disaster area and the outlook at the start of the vintage wasn’t a positive one. A plunge in yields was to be expected, but this fear was compounded with the effect the drought would have on quality – as lack of water during the critical veraison period can affect berry composition, and in particular sugar accumulation and concentration.

New Huguenot Memorial Museum Manager

Anita van der Merwe

The Huguenot Memorial Museum has a new manager. Anita van der Merwe (nèè Du Preez) has taken over the reins from Elvira Johannes who was transferred to the Paarl Museum during 2017.

Anita has more than 20 years’ experience in the cultural sphere, during which time she worked in several parts of the country. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Library and Information Science from Stellenbosch University as well as a post-graduate qualification in Museum Studies. Her MA degree dissertation dealt with Cultural Landscapes.

She joined the Western Cape’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in 1997; initially as the Visual Art Genre developer in the Art and Culture section and later as a Heritage Researcher with a focus on geographic names – role she still fulfils.

Anita is a passionate garagiste winemaker and, fittingly, a French Huguenot descendent. She says she is excited by the opportunities offered by her new position and looks forward to becoming a part of the Franschhoek community and its activities.

New uniforms for FHS first netball team

Amy Kleinhans (left) and Alrishka Macaskill (right) with the FHS first netball team in their new uniforms.

Franschhoek High School’s first netball team is going into the netball season with brand new uniforms thanks to the generosity of Terbodore Coffee Roasters and a little help from local resident Amy Kleinhans.

Amy’s housekeeper, whose daughter plays for the team, approached her to help find a sponsor for new uniforms as their old ones were in a dire state. Amy approached Michael Macaskill and the team at Terbodore Coffee Roasters and they immediately came on board as the anchor sponsor for the new uniforms.

On 24 April the team and their coach met with Amy and Alrishka Macaskill to enjoy a coffee at the Big Dog Café and to show off their new uniforms. Their coach says the new uniforms are motivating the team to do well this season.

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