Monday 18 February 2019

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A (relatively) rare sighting

The Cape Leopard Trust team show off their new t-shirts at Leopard's Leap Family Vineyards.

Spotting a leopard in the wild is a rare and special experience. A sighting apparently almost as rare is to find the entire Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) team in one place! On Thursday, 14 September, this rare occurrence actually happened, when the ten members of the Cape Leopard Trust team met at Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards. The venue was particularly appropriate, as Leopard’s Leap is one of the Trust’s main sponsors.

The reason for this unusual gathering was to bring together the usually widely-dispersed research, education and administrative teams for a group photo, and to showcase the new t-shirt range. It was also a valuable opportunity for a catch up in person rather than via Skype, and a chance to welcome the newest team member, Ismail Wambi to the fold.  The stylish, new t-shirts are part of a new merchandise range that will shortly be available for sale on the CLT website as part of a green gifting campaign.

The Cape Leopard Trust is an active predator conservation working group with projects in Cape Town, the Boland and the Cederberg. It uses research and environmental education as a tool for empowering conservation, finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict. Since its inception in 2004 it has become an authority on predator conservation not only in the Cape, but also nationally.

www.capeleopard.org.za

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.

Leeu Estates on Travel + Leisure’s It List 2017

Leeu Estates

Leeu Estates features on Travel + Leisure’s prestigious ‘It List 2017’.  Leeu Estates and the other award-winning properties will appear in the March issue of Travel + Leisure and can also be found on TravelandLeisure.com.

Every year Travel + Leisure editors and contributors vet the most exciting debuts around the globe to create this highly selective list, which encompasses openings and major renovations from the previous year. This year, only 44 properties were included on the It List and Leeu Estates is thrilled to be one of the chosen few.

“It is a great honour to have Leeu Estates included on this prestigious list, in such good company. Analjit Singh, founder of Leeu Collection, along with the team, has brought to life the beauty and warmth of this property.  We look forward to further growth in 2017 and invite everyone to experience the magic of Leeu Estates and the entire Franschhoek region,” said Carrie Wicks, CEO of Leeu Collection.

www.leeucollection.com

Friday Braai Lunches at Miko Restaurant

Mont Rochelle Hotel’s Miko Restaurant is firing up the braai for summer. Every Friday lunchtime from 12h00 they are serving up a barbeque feast.

Whatever your dietary preferences there’s something for everyone: expect steak, boerewors, line fish, chicken thighs and more from the barbeque. Then help yourself to a selection of beautifully prepared salads from the salad table. Honey roasted carrots with feta and toasted pumpkin seeds and balsamic vinegar; Baked beetroot with orange segments and basil pesto; and Grilled aubergine with feta and marjoram dressing are just three of the many options.

Remember to try one of the traditional griddle cakes and to leave room for dessert! Choose from Grilled pineapple with coconut ice cream and Traditional malva pudding with Amurula cream. If you can’t make up your mind… try a bit of both!

Add some wine from the farm, or a little further afield, combine with great company and you have a recipe for a very ‘lekker’ local lunch.

R320 per person or R375 per person including ½ bottle of Little Rock Wine.

Available on Friday for lunch until 29th March 2019.

To find out more or to book a table, please call: 021 876 2770

Six More Estates Join Franschhoek Wine Tram Experience

Debbie and David Blyth with the Provincial Western Cape MEC Award that Franschhoek Wine Tram received at the annual Provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards for its contribution to the tourism industry.

Visitors to Franschhoek can now choose from no fewer than twenty-seven wine estates when booking their Franschhoek Wine Tram experience.

“We are very excited about the additions to our service,” says owner David Blyth. “Our passengers can look forward to stopping over at Anura Vineyards, Solms-Delta Wine Estate, GlenWood Vineyards, Paserene, Haute Cabrière and Môreson Wine Farm. All these estates joined us during the last quarter of 2018.”

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!

Boschendal bubbles sparkle at the 2017 IWSC

Boschendal Grand Cuvée Brut

There’s nothing better than bubbly to toast a special moment; that satisfying ‘pop’ immediately signifies a joyous occasion or achievement. No doubt, Boschendal will be ‘popping’ its own Boschendal Grande Cuvée Brut 2013 to celebrate the vintage’s win of a sought-after gold at the 2017 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC).

The estate’s acclaimed white wine and MCC maker, Lizelle Gerber, says the accolade means a great deal, “The IWSC is a renowned competition that sets the benchmark for premium vintages around the world so it’s a great honour to win this esteemed award.”

She says it has taken years to perfect the Grande Cuvée Brut 2013, which forms part of Boschendal’s world-class bottle fermented Méthode Cap Classique selection. The MCCs embody vibrancy and depth due to an intensive crafting process which begins already in the vineyard.

Crafted from classic varieties in the time honoured traditional method (Méthode Champenois),The MCCs have extended lees contact that results in a balanced, full and creamy mouth feel with elegant minerality and a seamless finish.

When savouring the award-winning Boschendal Grande Cuvée Brut, Gerber says there’ll be notes of fresh green apple and hints of citrus supported by discreet almond biscotti and brioche – accents typical to the classic bottle-fermented wine style. She suggests the vintage pairs beautifully with good quality smoked salmon or a cream cheese and chive breakfast.

Boschendal’s MCC’s have also been receiving other accolades of late. Some of these include the Jean Le Long Prestige Cuvee 2007 which achieved Top 100 and Double Platinum status in the National Wine Challenge / Top 100 SA Wines, the premier fine-wine only event in SA in late April. The Jean Le Long Prestige Cuvèe Blanc de Blanc 2007, known as the “prestige cuvee” in Boschendal’s Méthode Cap Classique range, received Gold at the Old Mutual Trophy Wine Show earlier this year.

Staying on the gold streak, the Boschendal Brut NV was announced this week as having won Gold at the Six Nations Wine Challenge 2017. The Six Nations Wine Challenge is a Global Wine Events Platform delivering a rare & exclusive opportunity to all participating wine estates, media & partners by identifying, recognising & show-casing to both trade and consumers the very best of the best ‘NEW WORLD WINES’ & promoting their outstanding quality, diversity & richness annually.

www.boschendal.com

New Delight at Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant

Farmed cob with steamed West Coast mussels, crispy cauliflower, toasted sunflowerseeds, dill and mussel liquor dressing

Expect a fresh interpretation to the acclaimed wine and food experience on Franschhoek-based La Motte Wine Estate. With an eye on global culinary trends and embracing the signature modern focus of newly appointed executive chef, Eric Bulpitt, Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant is shining a new light on heritage cuisine.

Since opening its doors in 2010, Pierneef à La Motte has been renowned for its exceptional cuisine, innovative wine experience and authentic Cape Winelands hospitality. “We are passionate about our heritage and in keeping with the international trend, the focus at Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant will stay on heritage cuisine and an authentic food experience. It is, however, time for a fresh interpretation and Chef Eric’s creativity and bold authenticity will introduce traditional cuisine to guests in a brand new way”, says La Motte CEO, Hein Koegelenberg.

Lunch at Pierneef à La Motte treats guests to a sophisticated à la carte menu within the restaurant’s elegant ambience, beautifully embraced by tranquil gardens. Chef Bulpitt’s selection of starters, mains and desserts changes with the season and the menu represents seasonal and sustainable, locally-sourced artisan ingredients. All dishes come with wine suggestions from an award-winning wine list offering both current and older vintages of La Motte, an interesting selection of other South African and international wines as well as an exceptional representation of Franschhoek Méthode Cap Classique wines.

The à la carte lunch is served inside the restaurant and on the water deck, from Tuesday to Sunday, 11h30 – 15h00. Reservations are recommended.

Welcoming guests to its culture of sharing, the Garden Menu is a brand new addition to the Pierneef à La Motte offering. Guests are invited to enjoy this more relaxed dining experience under the estate’s majestic oak trees during warmer weather, from October to Easter. Relish the calm garden ambience, enjoy a glass of wine and choose from an ever-changing seasonal menu of delicious sharing options.

Despite its more informal feel, the Garden Menu echoes the à la carte menu’s theme of modern heritage cuisine. Expect unique South African tastes such as flavoursome Cape curries, mosbolletjies, biltong, curry lamb kebabs, cinnamon pancakes and all those interesting combinations of sweet, sour and savoury, presented with Chef Eric’s innovative touch. The menu offers guests a selection of smaller plates to enjoy with La Motte wines.

Commencing in October 2018, the Garden Menu is served in the garden or on the Pierneef à La Motte stoep from Tuesday to Sunday, 11h00 – 17h00. (Last orders at 16h30). No Reservations.

With the delightful confectionery of the Farm Shopalways a temptation, the La Motte gardens also offer a beautiful opportunity to sit down with a glass of the estate’s award-winning Méthode Cap Classique, coffee or tea and a choice of delectable bakes.

The La Motte Farm Shop is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 09h00 – 17h00.

The La Motte Wine and Food Tasting is one of the motivations behind the estate having been announced the winner an exceptional four times, in the Drinks International Wine Tourism Best Food and Wine Matching Experience. As part of the renewal in the restaurant, the menu for the La Motte Wine and Food Tasting has also seen a complete transformation.

The food pairings support the restaurant’s focus on modern heritage cuisine, curated with the input of Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche to complement the five La Motte wines in the tasting. The food tasters are delicately plated but still represent everyday flavours and tastes and will guide guests towards more reliable food-and-wine selections, with reference to weight and intensity, as well as the influence of the primary taste sensations. Presented by a well-informed Wine Ambassador, this Friday morning event is both educational and entertaining.

The La Motte Wine and Food Tasting takes place on Fridays at 10h00. R295 per person. Strictly by appointment only.

www.la-motte.com | 021 876 8000

1693 Restaurant Not Stuffy At All!

I have to say that I’m not used to having chefs throw food at me – especially at media lunches – yet that is pretty much what happened to me recently!  Happily it wasn’t done in anger and was all part of the spectacle at what was a most memorable lunch at the 1693 pop-up restaurant in the historic 1693 cellar at Bellingham Estate.

Kusasa Stars return from Sweden to heroes’ welcome

The Kusasa Stars were proud ambassadors for both Franschhoek and South Africa.

Franschhoek’s Kusasa Stars returned home on 26 July from a life-changing trip to the Gothia Cup 2018 in Sweden.

Emotional family reunions were the order of the day, while the boys’ schools also celebrated their efforts in Sweden.

The following day the team paraded triumphantly through Franschhoek on BuildIt’s open-back lorry with a huge soccer ball and were celebrated by residents and visitors alike as they arrived at Sacred Ground for a celebratory lunch. The Kusasa Stars were truly treated as returning heroes!

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