We’re delighted to have received this news today:
TripAdvisor is delighted to recognise Liz at Lancaster Guesthouse with a 2013 Certificate of Excellence. This prestigious award, which places you in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travellers.
Guests who stayed recently at Liz at Lancaster went off to Katzys in Rosebank for live music and had a great evening. Situated in the Firs , a mall in nearby Rosebank, right next to the well-renowned Grillhouse –this is the place to be seen. Resident bands perform 5 times a week , and patrons can order off the Grillhouse food menu plus there is a drinks menu which includes a wide selection of cocktails and over 100 different types of whisky. There is an extensive choice cigars on offer. Purpose built as a live music venue, Katzys has the latest sound and audiovisual equipment. It’s no wonder the young and upwardly mobile flock here. Katzy’s has a smart casual dress code, and that there is no cover charge from Mondays – Wednesday. On Thursdays (after 6.30pm) the cover charge is R150 per person, on a Friday (from 7.00pm) R100 per person, and on Saturdays (from 8.00pm) the cover charge is R100 per person. www.katzys.co.za 011 880 3945 The Firs , cnr Oxford and Bierman Ave Rosebank
Further to the south in Newtown at 10 Henry Nxumalo, is Bassline which was founded in 1994 in Melville and became known for jazz and blues. In 2003 the original Bassline closed and was resurrected in 2004 in the downtown Newtown Cultural Precinct, with a 1000-capacity concert venue and an smaller 150-seat performing space, both with top-of-the-range sound. In front of the Bassline is a life-size bronze sculpture of legendary songstress Brenda Fassie by artist Angus Taylor. See https://www.facebook.com/lizatlancaster#!/lizatlancaster/posts/10151610477991926 Coming up on the 24th and 25th May is the Africa Day concert where Ishmael Lo is going to be performing. For more about the events on offer at Africa day, see http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2507&Itemid=168
The face of the travel and tourism industry is changing rapidly, not only in the way that people access information on their holiday destinations, but also the kind of travelers and the experiences they are looking for. According to Google, 19% of hotel queries came through mobiles in 2012 , and it is predicted that more people will access the web through their tablets or phones than from desktops or laptops in 2013.
Also the profile of travelers is changing. A new report released by the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG): The new kinship economy: from travel experiences to travel relationships, identifies changing trends. The report (cited by Tourism Update 13 March 2013) identifies new emerging categories of travellers:
Liz at Lancaster has just received a new batch of house wine: a cabernet sauvignon/merlot red from Stellenbosch and a Chenin blanc white. These are very drinkable wines at reasonable prices R52 a bottle for the red and R45 for the white.
Recently, we had guests who were off to Kruger after staying here and asked if they could take a bottle of our house wine when they left. Of course we were delighted to oblige. We didn’t know how the story would end though. We had guests who arrived some time afterwards having come from Kruger. When they saw our house wines they beamed and said ‘You won’t guess what happened to us . We opened a rubbish bin when we arrived at the Kruger exit to throw away all the stuff that had accumulated in the car and there on the top was a bottle (empty!) of Liz at Lancaster’s house wine. As you were our next stop, we felt this was a sign.!’
We are delighted that our house wines are so well travelled!
Clustered around the lower Rosebank/Parkwood border on Jan Smuts Ave is a number of galleries which offer an exciting range of exhibitions http://www.rosebank.co.za/view/index/rosebank_joburgs_art_destination/62/1/153 Tessa Cuncliffe includes 3 of them in her top 5 galleries ‘for the not so arty’ http://www.jhblive.com/kultcha/features/the_top_5_jozi_galleries_for_the_not_so_arty/136012
Showing at Everard Read from 11th April to 4th May are Pappetti’s large scale canvases depicting industrial landscapes, interiors and human figures. Also on at Everard Read from 18th April is a collection of 10 of John Meyer’s landscapes. There will be a walkabout of this exhibition at 10 for 10.30 on Saturday 20th April.
A group exhibition of various artists entitled Property of a Gentleman , including the work of Simon Stone (whose gentle whimsy I love), is showing at Circa on Jellicoe from 6th April to 18th May.
An exhibition of Robert Hodgins work (canvases in his studio at the time of his death is showing at the Goodman Gallery.
David Krut is showing Mine a solo exhibition of Mary Wafer’s work. These paintings comprise a personal reflection on the tragic events at Marikana in August 2012. The exhibition closes on 25th May.
At Gallery Momo there is a group show of Works on Paper opening on 24th April and running until 27th May.
Slightly further afield but still in the Parks region is In Toto in Birdhaven where an exciting group photographic show Exposure runs until 20th May. The exhibition features works by a variety of well known South African photographers including Michael Meyersfeld (who also curated the exhibition), Francki Burger, Lien Botha, Bob Choops, Vivian Van Blerk, Sally Gaule, St.John Fuller, Stephen Hobbs, Marcus Neustetter and Paul Gaffney.
At 44 Stanley Ave at AOP, Wopko Jensma is showing at a solo exhibition entitled Possessing tools/Professing artistry. The show runs until 4th May.
Another major player in the Joburg art scene is the Wits Art Museum in Braamfontein. Showing currently is an exhibition Izilwane/Diphologol Animals and Art in Africa which runs until 12 May. Not to be missed is the retrospective exhibition of Sekoto’s works entitled Song for Sekoto 1913 – 2013 which opens on the 26th April and runs until the 2nd June.
While in Braamfontein browse the galleries around 70 Juta St : Michael Stevenson, Kalashnikov, Room amongst others. And finally in central Joburg CBD at the Standard Bank Gallery Mikhael Subotsky’s photographic exhibition entitled Retinal Shift runs from Wednesday 17th April to 15th June.
Although it’s on until the 30th June make sure that you aren’t lulled into a lack of urgency to see this amazing exhibition, waking up at the end of its run to realize that you have to rush to see it in time before it ends. Dr Gunther von Hagens’ plastinated bodies provide an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the amazing workings of our bodies. I saw Body Worlds when it was showing in Cape Town at the Waterfront and will definitely be going again to see it here in Joburg. Showing at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown (Cnr President and Miriam Makeba Sts), it is not a cheap outing – but worth every cent. Tickets cost R140 for adults, R110 for seniors and students, R90 for kids between the ages of 6 and 17 and R400 for a family booking (two kids, two adults). For more images of the bodies on display look at http://www.jhblive.com/reviews/events/dead_bodies_everywhere/136952
The Grace hotel in Rosebank started as part of the Brand’s family-owned and run group of hotels. The first of these hotels was the Mount Grace in the Magaliesberg. In 1983 Chippy Brand and his wife, Cynthia, with no training in the hospitality industry, transformed the venue from a run-down church camp into a popular country-style hotel renowned for its personal service and chamber music festival. Chippy remembers Mount Grace as Fawlty Towers in those early years, and soon, what started out as an expensive hobby, became an all- consuming vocation for the Brand family, forcing Chippy to sell his engineering business and embrace what he regarded as ‘the crazy hospitality business.’ They then expanded into the urban hotel market, opening two further hotels in 1996: the R78-million Cape Grace at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in 1996 which was run by their oldest son, Charles, who had spent several years working at Southern Sun and The Grace in Rosebank. Stuart, the Brand’s second son, continued to manage Mount Grace. In 2004 Brand sold The Grace in Rosebank to Hyprop Investments, who in turn brought in African Sun Hotels as operating managers. After over-extending during the 2010 World Cup and with the post 2010 slump in the hospitality industry, African Sun exited its operating agreement and the doors of The Grace closed in August 2011. For more see http://mg.co.za/article/2011-09-02-saying-goodbye-to-grace. It was not long before Southern Sun Hotels took over the management and less than a year later the doors of The Grace opened again. And so a proud tradition, which started with excellent personal service and a family owned enterprise, has been transformed into 5 star service from a world-renowned chain. The Grace is back in business in a big way. See http://www.rosebank.co.za/view/index/getaway_to_your_city_54_on_bath/62/1/154
“White Man Walking” is a project which combines three of my pet hobby horses: the amazingly creative and innovative projects that come out of the Goethe Institut; the problem of pavements which deny pedestrian access and force people to walk in the streets; and alternative ways of experiencing the city. The project arose out of an artists in residence programme at the Goethe Institut when two Stuttgart-base artists, Susanne Kudielka and Kaspar Wimberley, came to Johannesburg with the intention of exploring issues around security. They began walking the streets looking at how different neighbourhoods managed their public spaces. And the initiative soon began to ‘investigate how public pedestrian sidewalks have gradually disappeared, replaced by landscaped garden extensions and driveway walls’. (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151438030982893.1073741827.55684872892&type=1) Laurice Taitz writes a great blog on her experience of ‘taking a car for a walk’ through Parkwood : http://todoinjoburg.co.za/2013/04/suburban-walking-in-joburg/.
In November last year, parts of the Johannesburg Parks region were hit by a devastating hail storm - large hail stones fell with a ferocious intensity. They shredded leaves of agapanthus and arums, as well large robust trees, and reduced every impatience and begonia plant to a bruised and damaged lone green stalk. Of course the Pollyannas/’every- cloud-has-a-silver-lining’- chirpers all said ‘But hail has so many nutrients it will all come back’. Cynical as ever I muttered under my breath ‘Yeah right’. But, yet again I had to eat humble pie. The flowers have all come back with a vengeance and have provided an amazing display in Liz at Lancaster’s garden and potted plant areas. Alick, Liz at Lancaster’s wonderful gardener said to Liz rather bashfully: ‘I talked to them’. Well Alick – it worked! Thank you Alick and thank you hail!