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Cricket final goes down to the wire

Pniel Primary and Bridge House Prep faced each other in the final of the Groot Drakenstein Games Club’s Under-12 Cricket Tournament.

The Groot Drakenstein Games Club’s Under-12 Cricket Tournament, after eight weeks of round-robin, quarter and semi-finals, resulted in a very apt final between Bridge House Prep and Pniel Primary.

New Head Chef at Lust Bistro & Bakery

Award-winning restaurant, LUST Bistro & Bakery, has announced the appointment of Johan van Schalkwyk as new Head Chef. Upholding a high cooking standard, the new chef’s aim is to focus on fresh and organic produce.


The CCMC pays homage to two South African Composers

The Cape Chamber Music Collective, in collaboration with the renowned Amici Quartet, celebrates two Cape Town based and South African composers who both died last year – Thomas Rajna and Allan Stephenson.

This programme is the fifth offering by the CCMC this year in a series of concerts in and around Cape Town:

Franschhoek: Friday 27 May 19:00 at the NG Kerk. Tickets are R140, including a free glass of wine.

Thomas Rajna was born in Budapest and settled in South Africa in 1970, where he held the position of professor of piano at the South African College of Music and also lead a very active career as a composer.

Allan Stephenson left England in 1973 to take up the position of sub-principal cellist with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. He was a prolific composer with in excess of 100 works to his name.

Stephenson’s Miniature String Quartet and Rajna’s String Quartet No.2 are reminiscent of their major compositional influences:  for Stephenson, his love of African and Jazz rhythms; and for Rajna, his Hungarian heritage.

Puccini’s short Crisantemi/Chrysanthemums is very apt since chrysanthemums are associated with funerals in Italy. Parts of it were reworked by Puccini for some of the most poignant moments in Acts III and IV of his opera Manon Lescaut.

The programme concludes with Ravel’s String Quartet in F maj. This was Ravel’s first substantial multi-movement work and displays influences from Debussy’s quartet, composed ten years earlier. The work demonstrates Ravel’s skillful ability to use classical form and structure to present unified melodies and themes, complex rhythmic patterns, and a wide range of tone colours and textures.

Student tickets available at the door for half of the full price on the day of the performance.

Creative eating at GlenWood

GlenWood's Tasting Palette

Conjuring up a new concept in a crowded field takes some doing.  After a languid lunch at the GlenWood tasting room in early December I have to say “By Jove, I believe they’ve done it!”

GlenWood’s Fine Wine and Food Experience is indeed a fresh take on food and wine pairing.

This is how it works: On arrival, each guest is presented with tastes of six of the estate’s award-winning wines together with a ‘tasting palette’ featuring tastes of six carefully prepared matching dishes. A knowledgeable waiter/tasting room assistant is on hand to explain more about the wines and matching dishes.  Once guests have tried all six pairings they get to choose one of them for their main course along with a glass of the matching wine, or one of the others if they’ve hit upon their own favourite pairing during the tasting.

On my visit the following pairings were on offer: Sauvignon Semillon 2016 with Smoked Salmon Trout, Shiraz Vigneron’s Selection 2016 with a ‘Rugby Snack’ (You’ll have to go there yourself to find out what that is!), Chardonnay Unoaked 2017 with Ceviche, Chardonnay Grand Duc 2015 with Chicken Legs, Merlot 2016 with Chicken Caesar Salad and Syrah Grand Duc 2014 with Rump Steak.  End your meal with a taste of Noblesse Grand Duc – GlenWood’s maiden noble late harvest.

GlenWood’s wines never fail to impress and certainly live up to the estate’s mantra of Simple, Natural, Quality. While it’s their Chardonnays that tend to steal the limelight – and bucket loads of awards – I have to say that I consider their Sauvignon Blanc Semillon a revelation.  Franschhoek isn’t prime Sauvignon Blanc territory, but at GlenWood it benefits from the cooler temperatures of the Robertsvlei Valley.  The addition of Semillon – an iconic Franschhoek cultivar – results in a wine that balances frivolity and class and makes its way straight into my list of top 5 summer wines.  The Platter’s Wine Guide judges loved the 2015 vintage so much they awarded it five stars in their 2016 guide. The current (2016) vintage claimed four stars in addition to being rated 90 out of 100 points by, winning Gold at the SA Women’s Wine Awards and Double Gold at Vitis Vinefera 2017. To top it all off it’s budget-friendly too!

The Tasting Palette can be enjoyed indoors in the tasting room, or outside on the terrace.  Take my word for it though; the terrace is where you want to be on a hot summer’s day.  Shade, pond, views… need I say more?

The price of the Fine Wine and Food Experience Price including Tasting Palette, main course and glass of wine is R395 per person.  As GlenWood only seats 20 guests at a time (fantastic, as you’ll never feel crowded) booking is advised. A vegetarian alternative is offered, but booking is essential for this option. | 021 876 2044

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 Motte shines in 2018 Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards

La Motte CEO Hein Koegelenberg celebrates the estate’s acknowledgment as Drinks International Best Food & Wine Matching Experience with Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche and Chef Gregory Caci from Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant.

No stranger to international acclaim for the quality of its wine tourism offering, La Motte Wine Estate has again been acknowledged as Best Food and Wine Matching Experience in the 2018 edition of the Drinks International Wine Tourism Awards.

Sacred Songs a Capella

The Cape Town Chamber Choir brings their current concert programme, Sacred Song, to Franschhoek on Saturday 8 June at 16h00 in the Dutch Reformed Church.

This will be the choir’s first concert in Franschhoek. The Choir annually connects with music societies and groups, to bring the concert to local audiences. They have had successful performances in Montagu, Tulbagh, Hermanus and Napier over the past few years.

Laura de Kok, Chairperson of the Choir, says Franschhoek was chosen for this performance as it has established itself in the Western Cape as a chamber music focal point with the Dutch Reformed Church at its heart.

The first part of the choir’s current programme focuses on Sacred Songs by German Romantic composers (e.g. Mendelssohn, Rheinberger, Grieg). It includes the Three Sacred Hymns by Rheinberg, featuring the beautiful Abendlied. The second part of our concert brings it closer to home, as they present sacred songs by South African composers. The beautiful Three Nocturnes by Peter Klatzow leads this part, followed by Hans Huyssen, Niel van der Watt and Hendrik Hofmeyr. The last work on the programme, Gebet, was composed and dedicated to the CTCC by Rudolf de Beer.

Tickets are available on Quicket, and on the day at the venue (Snapscan & cash). (No card facilities).  Adults – R150 Students & pensioners R120

Concertgoers are invited to join the choir for a glass of wine afterwards.

Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Supplied

La Cotte Farm: An Icon Restored

The La Cotte manor house overlooks rambling gardens with unrivaled valley and mountain views.

For almost twenty years the manor house and werf on La Cotte Farm, one of the nine original Huguenot farms in the valley, lay neglected.  Then, with new owners, came new life as an understated country hotel and restaurant on a working farm right at the edge of the village.

Visitors won’t be able resist. They’re bound to be enchanted. Ancient oaks, white-washed walls, simple gabled buildings and rambling Cape Mediterranean gardens combine with unrivalled valley and mountain views to charm all comers. It’s no surprise that old SA master Hugo Naudé chose to paint the view from the manor house more than once.

How to plan for your pets this festive season

It’s hard to believe the festive season is mere weeks away! After the way 2020 turned out, you’d be forgiven for leaving your holiday planning to the last minute – up until a few months back there wasn’t a holiday to be had, with many of us thinking we’d be stuck indoors for the foreseeable future.

However, with many restrictions lifted, the festive season can still be festive – albeit with safety precautions in place. If there was ever a year we needed a break, this would be it. While our pets are our priority during the year, with all the year-end hustle and bustle, we often find ourselves forgetting to make arrangements for them over the December period.

David Roache,’s Chief Operating Officer, says that arranging pet care over this period can be very stressful for pets and pet parents alike.

“We have found that over this period, there is an increase in claims. This is because of pets being stressed by changes that may occur in their usual schedule. This unfortunately can lead to them becoming sick or attempting to escape, especially if they have a pet sitter or are left on their own for long periods of time. Plus, this year may be even more tricky with many people having worked from home, or are still working from home, and your pets have become used to having you around.”

Snow and Misdemeanours

Snow igloo
Caption: The igloo Wilroux Ackermann and friends built in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve.

A late winter storm at the end of August led to the heaviest snow falls the valley had seen in at least 20 years.  As villagers know by now snow on the mountains means a busy weekend for those in the tourism sector.

While main road businesses benefitted from the visitor influx, most visitors were here for one reason: to get as close to the snow as they could. That meant a bumper weekend for the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve at the top of the Franschhoek Pass.

Cars were already streaming up the pass at dawn on the Saturday morning. By midmorning the parking area in the reserve was overflowing and visitors were parking along the pass for more than a kilometre from the reserve’s gate.

According to a spokesperson for the reserve most visitors were well-behaved and kept to the rules – in particular the requirement to stick to the footpaths. Where people strayed off the footpaths significant damage was done to the fynbos, which is particularly brittle under very cold conditions. Paths also suffered under the heavy foot traffic. Reserve management has already undertaken remedial work to the footpaths and is exploring ways to encourage the trampled fynbos to recuperate.

In a novel incident a helicopter owner offered flights into the mountains for those who didn’t feel like hiking to the snow. These were however unauthorised – no landings are allowed in protected nature areas – and were reported to the aviation authorities.

While snowball fights and snowmen were the order of the day, one group of friends went the extra mile and built an igloo. This impressive, though technically illegal activity, garnered Wilroux Ackerman and his friends a fair bit of media attention.

Wilroux and his friends used a plastic container to make the ‘bricks’ for their igloo which they constructed on the Perdekop trail near the Wemmershoek lookout. They started work at 10h00 and completed their project around 5 hours and 366 ‘bricks’ later. His helpers were his sister, Lenchen-Marié Ackermann, Donovan Oliveros, Nicol Oliveros and Richard Smith.

Text: Editorial Desk  Image: Wilroux Ackermann

NOTE: The management of the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve wish to inform the public that they no longer accept cash payments at the reserve entrance. The public are requested to either pre-buy their permits via or bring a credit / debit card along.

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