Urchin Makes Waves in Cape Town’s Culinary Scene

The culinary panorama in the Mother City has been elevated with the opening of Urchin Restaurant, located at The Hyatt Regency Cape Town on Buitengracht Street.

There is a complexity to achieving true simplicity in a restaurant setting. It is an art. At Urchin Restaurant it is a beautifully and precisely choreographed ballet in which sustainable fresh fish and seafood are the prima and danseur. The hallmarks of the Urchin elemental ocean dining experience are underpinned by excellent, unobtrusive service, locally sourced and produced ingredients, and world class wine from a carefully curated wine cellar.

The Chef

Throughout his life, Chef Gerard van Staden has strived to achieve greatness within his chosen field, and so far, his personality and inquisitiveness have allowed him to achieve many great things in South Africa and abroad. Growing up in a single parent family in Zimbabwe, Gerard taught himself to cook out of necessity, not knowing that he was following a path which would eventually lead him to becoming acclaimed Chef of the Year on three occasions, alongside South Africa’s Number One restaurant in two different locations.

Continue reading

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide

Things can get a little awkward when you realise that you forgot to buy a Christmas gift for your loved ones.  But don’t be too hard on yourself, we’ve all been there. Despite the best laid plans, Christmas always manages to appear out of nowhere and surprise us. Between all the shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, and prepping for the big day, something is bound to fall through the cracks. The good news is that you’ve realised before it’s too late, and there is still plenty of time to muster up a meaningful gift.

Let’s face it, figuring out what to gift someone can be quite challenging. Even more so when you only have a matter of days to pull something together.  While you could grab a holiday card and stuff it with cash, the best gifts are thoughtful ones. That’s why the gift of experiences is an amazing idea as experiences are meaningful, surprising, and often, much more impactful. And what bigger impact can you make when you give the gift of experiencing the Kruger National Park? Kruger National Park, and its surrounds, boast some of South Africa, and the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders. From the iconic wildlife, such as the Big Five, to majestic rivers and waterfalls, and vast forest canopies to unique outdoor experiences.

Below is a last-minute Christmas gift guide to suit any budget and what’s even better is that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. 

Continue reading

Sandton City Launches Iconic Festive Season Campaign

Tansey Coetzee & daughter Peyton with Santa Claus at Sandton City

As the festive lights start sparkling, and families start counting down to the upcoming holidays, South Africa’s most iconic shopping centre, Sandton City, has unveiled its festive season campaign. Titled The Festive City, it’s everything Christmas dreams are made of, featuring the most sought-after brands and more.

For starters, the centre court (outside Checkers) will play host to festive brand immersions for shoppers of all ages, by two beloved brands. LEGO®’s zone will feature a maze filled with ever changing play zones, once-in-a-lifetime building experiences, a chance to also add your brick to the South African flag build, two LEGO® brick pits, a Duplo zone for the small ones and the chance to shop the latest LEGO® collections with promotional offers.

The Little Generosity Shop by Cadbury Dairy Milk will provide you with ways to spread generosity and kindness. Here, you can donate toys to children in need, enjoy a reading corner, get Cadbury’s branded gift wrapping and do exclusive shopping in a generous chocolate world filled with treats.

Santa Claus himself will make his much-anticipated arrival to Sandton City on the 1st of December and will also be stationed in the centre court, where photo opportunities and merchandise extensions will make any heart sing.

Fan favourite brand Chuckles® will stage a Life’s a Ball activation on level 6 outside Woolworths. Visitors to this area will be able to shop the exclusive Chuckles gifting range, and personalise their Chuckles purchases right there, making these gifts even more special.

Continue reading

DJ Kyeezi Opens Destiny – New Upmarket Lounge in Cape Town

Together with three industry friends, popular radio and media personality DJ Kyeezi announced his latest business endeavor DESTINY, a luxury champagne lounge that opened in the Cape Town inner city this week – just in time for the festive season.

Radio personality Khanya ‘Kyeezi’ Siyengo earlier this year joined forces with three partners, restaurateur extraordinaire Theo Pearson, experiential event specialist Bevan Chetty and marketing guru (and my personal friend) Natano Brache, to come up with a luxury destination, set to change the face of entertainment in the Cape Town CBD.

Having officially opened its doors, the launch was attended by local celebrities, media and other key industry players including AKA, Clarissa Cupido, DJ Milkshake, Tamara Snow, Danine Naidoo, Chad Saaiman, Shahan Ramkissoon, Neevas Harris, culture kings Hayden Manuel and Rolo Rozay. 

This premium champagne lounge targets a young discerning, affluent local and international clientele. Nestled in the heart of the city, DESTINY plans to set the precedent for the highest quality entertainment with a combination of class, luxury and style offering the ultimate summer experience.

Continue reading

First Circle K Convenience Store Opens in South Africa

South Africa’s first Circle K convenience store, now open in eastern Pretoria, is a precursor to a multi-store roll out in the coming months and part of a bigger forecourt deal with Puma Energy which will give access to over one hundred sites across South Africa.

Millat Convenience and Puma energy concluded an agreement that will see an accelerated roll out of Circle K stores on Puma Energy forecourts across the country.

The agreement is a clear sign of the confidence two major international brands have in South Africa’s future in the short term and could create around 2000 jobs.

Continue reading

Taj Hotel Cape Town Gets A Refresh

The Taj Cape Town has always presented the perfect meeting place between the past and present: a magnificent heritage building with a proud history in the epicentre of an equally historic city, where the movers and shakers of the day meet. Now, the hotel is readying for an exciting future, thanks to a new reveal of its beautifully refreshed ground floor.

Mark Wernich, General Cluster Manager Africa for Taj Hotels, notes that there are many reasons to be proud of Taj Cape Town; not least the way it has graciously thrived through a tumultuous time for the entire hospitality industry. With both local and international arrivals on the up, the refurbishment of the hotel comes at the perfect time for Taj Cape Town to welcome a new breed of international tourists, business and MICE travellers and local guests on the lookout for exceptional experiences.

“The beauty of our spaces has always attracted people eager to indulge in a little opulent luxury – from barristers to members of parliament, from international guests who are already familiar with Taj Hotels’ exacting standards and commitment to Tajness to locals who want an inner city experience with a difference,” Wernich muses. “The elements which created this appeal remained unchanged – our warm hospitality and emphasis on helping guests create lasting memories of this beautiful city will always be a given. But we’ve upped the ante by modernising and refreshing the space, while also adding some fantastic new offerings.”

Continue reading

Cape Town Jazz On The Lawn

This December, live music lovers are in for a treat with the much-anticipated return of one of the city’s most vibrant and socially interactive jazz festivals, the original (and now official) Jazz on the Lawn. After a decade-long hiatus, the new Jazz on the Lawn Weekender (now planned over two days, 10-11 December 2022) builds on the very successful formula that made it a mainstay on the jazz calendar for a few years running. Jazz on the Lawn is a registered trademark of Uncle Cal Entertainment.

Continue reading

What to watch on National Geographic this Summer

Cinematographer Tom Fitz stands semi-submerged in the ocean waters of Biscayne National Park, filming the bird life and the surrounding mangrove coastline landscape. (photo credit: National Geographic/Phoebe Fitz)

Do you want to feast your eyes on some of the best programming and content that is due to arrive on screen this summer? I was one of 50 selected media to join a live stream today, to showcase National Geographic’s new slate of programmes in the coming weeks. As a surprise, we were honoured to have none other than Bear Grylls, as a special guest, who answered questions about his National Geographic show called “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge.”

The Walt Disney Company Africa announced the upcoming content slate for both National Geographic and National Geographic Wild for Spring/Summer 2022, with channels that now broadcast in high-definition. With a promise to ignite the explorer in all of us, and with a 133-year legacy, viewers across the continent will also be able to immerse themselves in the very latest and ground-breaking storytelling in stunning high definition for the very first time, taking them further than ever before.

Featuring the best and brightest scientists, explorers, photographers and filmmakers in the world, the coming months’ content highlights offer something for everyone, as several new natural history series, feature documentaries, and programming stunts, will showcase the wonder of the natural world, take them on exhilarating adventures and illuminate historical figures who epitomize the strength and triumphs of humankind.

Continue reading

La Parada Tapas Bar opens in Rosebank, Johannesburg

Last week I attended the media launch of La Parada Tapas Bar in The Firs Centre, Rosebank, Johannesburg. It was a colourful night, filled with ladies in feathers and lots of food and drinks!

La Parada has about 8 branches nationally with Rosebank being the most recent launch. It is known for its tapas, which is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine. Tapas may be cold or hot. In some bars and restaurants in Spain and across the globe, tapas have evolved into a more sophisticated cuisine. Tapas can be combined to make a full meal and it is a social type of cuisine, ideal for sharing. We were able to taste a selection of the tapas, that were served by waiters floating around the floor. The prawns were my favourite, followed by the tantalising pizzas and sliders.          

                                               

Continue reading

National Geographic Photo Competition 2022

 © Nat Geo Explorer Tessa Barlin

As part of its Planet Possible initiative, which aims to inform, inspire and empower consumers to live more lightly on the planet, National Geographic invites photographers across South Africa to participate in 2022 edition of the National Geographic Photo Competition. Themed #ExploreNaturalAreas, this year’s competition, supported by Sunday Times and TimeLIVE, aims to celebrate South Africa’s natural spaces and highlight the need for their protection.

© Nat Geo Explorer Tessa Barlin

While the 2021 competition was only open to amateurs, a large number of entries were submitted by professional photographers. This year, both groups of enthusiasts may participate as the competition will feature both an amateur and professional category. Entrants stand in line to win a share of R 100 000 in cash, with each category offering prizes of R 25 000 for first place, R 15 000 for second place and R 5 000 for third place. Additionally, the top 10 images in each category will be published on TimesLIVE on 4 September. The winning shots be showcased in the Sunday Times, on TimesLIVE and on the National Geographic Africa social media platforms on 11 September.

Continue reading