“Drunken Doodles”


We love our cartoons at Stormhoek, especially the ones by Hugh Macleod.

The Telegraph today, states that a “drunken doodle”, drawn on a wall by Picasso, has been bought for 250 000 pounds, by The Wellcome Trust, the UK’s biggest medical charity.

Drawn in 1950, in crayon, on plaster, it represents the only “mural” Picasso produced in England.

The drawing, which according to The Wellcome Trust, symbolises “an unusual meeting of great scientific and artistic minds”, will be put on display as part of the Wellcome Collection, a 30 million pound venue exploring the connections between medicine, life and art.

The Collection goes “live” in London, in June 2007.

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Moving and Word of Mouth


When i moved to London nearly 9 years ago, i remember the pain of having to find a house and a job and well, all the rest of the stuff that goes with moving across the world!

The Guardian had an interesting article today on The Gumtree’s national marketing push.


I don’t really know when these guys started but they were tiny 5 years ago. Now they’re owned by EBay and are an online classified ad website that spans the UK, Australia, South Africa, Ireland and Poland. And it’s all due to understanding what their “consumers” need and want and also…the power of word of mouth…

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Symbiotic Relationships


The symbiotic relationship between bloggers and journalists is an interesting one…

Over at theshowroom restaurant, in Cape Town, a similar relationship exists. Flamboyant Bruce Robertson, ex Advertising creative and former head chef at the exclusive Cape Grace Hotel, offers a “minimalist melbournesque décor and graphic presentation” style restaurant that is housed in a luxury car showroom – look right for the Lamborghinis and Porsches and left for a view of Table Mountain. The clientelle would most certainly be beneficial to both i would imagine.

Graham and I loved the all-white dining room dotted with Starck’s transparent ghost chairs.


Says Bruce:

“I really get a kick out of the visual thing, after all, you eat with your eyes first”

“Cooking a dish is never entirely new, it’s just how you put it together”

A sexy car evokes the same emotion, does it not?!



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with Life.

To Smoke or Not to Smoke


Britain soon follows Canada, Ireland, and an increasing number of American cities, with a ban on smoking in the workplace and in restaurants/bars.

An interesting article in the Guardian UK discusses the pros and cons of the ban from a global perspective and highlights a few bloggers that feel they are being oppressed.


Yes it’s a personal choice, but if it impacts on another’s breathing space and has the potential to cause illness due to secondary inhalation, there has to be a debate.

A little more of the Extreme


One of our favourite places on our trip to Cape Town (besides staying at the Stormhoek House of course!) was the amazing, funky, cool, hip Extreme Hotel in Cape Town. Thanks to Chris for the recommendation!

Who would have thought that a hotel’s toilets and smoking room could totally enthrall you and take you on an extraordinary visual ride of a lifetime!

*The “Coughin Room” shows its black humour in the form of coffins (“coughing”, geddit?) as seats, a tombstone as the cigarette vending machine and my favourite bit of all, a ceiling that’s a photograph of friends and family looking down at you in your coffin, in your grave. Hmmm.

*The toilets, all named, are outrageous but fabulous. Wacky comes in when sitting down on the seat… you’re watched by a life-size photo taken at a Protea Hotel general managers’ conference. Protea Group MD Arthur Gillis and founder of the Extreme Sports Channel and International Hotel group, Al Gosling (a 35-year old American) are in the front row observing!



*Al Gosling is focusing on cities where extreme sports are part of the culture (hey Al – you have to open up in Tarifa, southern Spain and capital of the Windsurfing/Kitesurfing world!).

*The whole place is amazing from Salvador Dali style red lights, to a rock climber hanging off a rock face in the foyer, funky chairs with TV’s in them, velvet chairs with hanging chandeliers and a bar with a really innovative, delicious menu.

*The breakfast room is filled with exotic decor, a swimming pool that runs parallel with surfboards and colourful plastic swimwear that adorns the glass walls.

*The bedrooms are stylish with the most heavenly, comfortable beds, a directory of activities that would leave any extreme sports enthusiast drooling and an ultra modern tv and radio setup to keep you company.

***If you like adventure sports, escapism and well, outstanding customer service (no, no-one is paying me to say all this – just go! Tel:+27 (21) 488-2555) then the Extreme Hotel is it. We’ll be back!


Fireflies & the Stormhoek Braai

Friday night saw the rustic and magical Stormhoek house host its first ever Bloggers’ Braai. Having never been to the Stormhoek vineyards before, I have to say that this little place is as close to heaven – literally and figuratively – as it gets.

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The evening began with an aperitif of Stormhoek Rosé, followed by a guided tour of the Stormhoek Vineyards by Graham, Thor and Cuppie. Upon entering the dark “Enchanted Forest”, we learnt of mystic goings-on behind the shed where fireflies dance and light up the vineyards, discussed the semi-circle of viognier plantings and were graced by the mysterious presence of Poppy, the estate’s beautiful black horse.

Our stumbles in the dark (Graham has far too many amazing stories to tell!) and Gerry’s disappearance (hilarious) were followed by a mini-tasting of 2 new Stormhoek wines, a handout of schwag (see the naughty t-shirts!) and bottles of limited edition Stormhoek sparkling wine, organised by the lovely Leanne.


Speeches from Al, Graham and myself were followed by a top class dinner cooked by our favourite Englishman Chris (a Stormhoek SA counterpart) and his pretty girlfriend! ). Great conversation with all present.

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Thank you to all who came and made it such a fantastic and fun evening. It was great to meet all of you and we look forward to seeing you next time we’re out.


Tesco Visit to Stormhoek


The Tesco Boys: Richard Mew (above) – Commercial Buyer and Graham Nash – Product Development Manager (wine quality guru) are out in South Africa next week and will be visiting the Stormhoek Winery on Thursday. Richard has never been to SA before so hopefully Stormhoek and the rest of the SA wineries on this tour will show him a good time!

I fly out tomorrow evening to meet the mighty Graham Knox on Monday morning and Al flies out on Monday night. The itinerary is very exciting, filled with media meetings, tastings to see how the 2007 vintage is/has gone and a catch up with everyone involved in making Stormhoek work!

Will update you on the Tesco visit and any exciting happenings as they occur.

Stormhoek in the Sunday Times & a Cool Website

We spotted a nice write up about Stormhoek in the Sunday Times (South Africa) this weekend and were very flattered by the following exerpt from the article:

“…experts said this week the company’s broader achievement was blazing a new marketing trail for all small SA export businesses, by harnessing the power of Internet blogs to become a global microbrand.”

Talking about internet blogs, a friend of mine, Lee Thomas, chatted to me via skype this week and recommended this really cool blog:


ingredientx : some of it is naughty/cheeky and some of it’s rather real… i think you might be able to identify with one or two of the vids!


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