South African Cape Winelands home of world class restaurant



Delicious desserts we sampled at The Tasting Room

In a picturesque village in the heart of South Africa’s Cape Winelands, and a short drive away from Cape Town, we found a special place. We wouldn’t have known from the street sign on the main road of Franschhoek that behind the understated facade there was a world class gourmet corner worth a special trip.


The wine cellar at The Tasting Room

Inside, a cozy dining room, a lovingly organized wine cellar stocked mainly with local wines, warm and attentive staff and kitchen wizards made our evening a delight. Click here to read a complete article about The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek.

Adventurer showcases Africa mountains in book

sbtrmountainsafrica.jpg *

Mountain climbing enthusiast Duncan Souchon shares some of his passion for high places in Africa in the recently published Mountains of Africa (International Publishers Marketing,$29.95), a 191-page hardcover book. A combination of color photos, historical tidbits and quotes, the book transports armchair travelers, most of us unwilling or even unable to visit and climb the summit of these natural treasures, to the mythical heights of the Dark Continent.

Photos from 19 sources grace the pages of the book displaying the peaks and distinctive areas of 15 mountains: Table Mountain, The Ruwenzoris , Mont Cameroon, Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Namib Desert Peaks, The Ethiopian Highlands, Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon, The Atlas, Mulanje, Ol Doinyo Lengai, Virunga Volcanoes, Tsodilo Hills, and Ukhalamba-Drakensberg.

Souchon has sought peaks and adventure for the past 16 years. He has traveled across Africa and visited some of the continent’s highest mountains. His previous book, Serpent Spires, discussed mountaineering in the Ukhalamba-Drakensberg mountains.

*Photo: International Publishers Marketing


Click here to buy Mountains of Africa

Finally a travel vest designed for woman

By Josette King


Scottevest Women’s Travel Vest*

As a frequent adventure traveler, I have long felt the need for a multi-purpose lightweight vest with roomy, secure pockets to organize my travel necessities (a secret additional airline carry-on bag of sorts); and one that would substitute for my day pack once I got to a destination. I wished it comfortable to wear, light enough to double as a windbreaker, and inconspicuously stylish. No bulges to advertise where I stowed my valuables, please! My new Scottevest Women’s Travel Vest delivers it all.

With its discretely tapered waist, the hip-length vest is flattering enough for casual wear, while its lightweight brushed cotton blend water-repellent outer shell makes it well suited for sport activities. Its 21 pockets come in a variety of sizes and purposes to keep things organized and easily accessible in a variety of situations. For instance, a pocket just the right size for travel documents piggybacks on a larger pocket intended for reading material.

Once in the wilderness, these same pockets turned out to be perfect for carrying camera lenses and accessories, while two separate tiny Velcro-secured slots on either side of the front zipper, intended for MP3 ear buds, were just right for camera memory cards. Best of all, the thoughtful design and placement of the pockets allows for comfortable distribution of weight of the items carried, while the no-bulge pockets keep a streamlined look. Click here to read more about the Scottevest Women’s Travel Vest

*Photo courtesy Scottevest

Tiny Cape Town property fun for foodies, wine enthusiasts


Beaumont House is in a residential area on the outskirts of Cape Town


The pool at Beaumont House

On our team’s last visit to the Cape Town area they discovered a five room property that shone for its luxury features, sophisticated international clientèle and foodie orientation. The lovingly restored historic home sparkled with thoughtful touches including beautiful landscaping, WiFi Internet access, a fabulous breakfast, and an honor bar well stocked with wines from the region.

“This was always our dream when Peter retired,” said Gill Deering, one of the owners and managers who dedicated countless hours to the refurbishment of the house.


The entrance hallway at Beaumont House

“It’s all about managing people’s expectations. And, I’m and bit of a foodie. We try to provide an opportunity for guests to indulge,” said Peter Deering, an enthusiastic wine lover who co-manages the property with his wife Gill.

Peter Deering is also the property’s concierge, procuring restaurant reservations, personalized city tours, and winery tours with ease and vicarious pleasure. Click here to read our dedicated feature on Beaumont House.