Posted by: Taj Cape Town | Posted in Activities,Cape Town,Cuisine,Events,Hotel | on: April 20, 2017

The Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge is Set for Another Exciting Season

Now in its fifth year, the Cape Legends and Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge has grown from strength to strength. The benefits of the challenge are twofold – more than boosting the local hospitality industry, it is an inspiring social initiative. Often described as the Oscars of the hotel industry, the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge takes a grass roots approach to the hospitality industry, seeking to uplift, educate and train talented candidate chefs and candidate wine stewards.

The Taj Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge Team

Representing Taj Cape Town’s challenge team for the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge is up and coming chef Mathew Oliphant and rock-star wine steward Veronique Whitney Booysen.

Mathew’s career has been gathering momentum after a four-year course in food studies, where he grew his skills and experience before finally landing an opportunity to work in Taj Cape Town kitchen. He continues to flourish and soak up every ounce of knowledge he can.

With previous experience from other local hotels, Veronique has quickly learned the ropes and forged an intimate understanding of the hospitality industry. She continues to grow steadily under the guidance of Taj Cape Town’s seasoned professionals and presently runs the Taj Wine Gallery where she freely passes on her wealth of knowledge to others.

Inter Hotel Challenge Highlights

The Cape Legends and Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge is an ongoing event which runs from March right through until the awards evening in August. Each stage offers contestants an experience to aid in the growth of their careers and the expansion of their knowledge so that they are better equipped to meet the demands of the challenge. The most exciting stages, however, involve the preparation and pairing of the individual team’s menus to the Cape Legends fine wines and Distell spirits.

Who is Involved in the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge?

As many as 29 of South Africa’s best hotels participate in the national competition. Distell, Cape Legends Fine Wines, the Cape Wine Academy, the South African Sommeliers Association, Avanti, Capsicum Culinary Studio and the International Hotel School are key players in the challenge along with a host of sponsors including Woodview Wagyu Beef, Bio-Wheat ™ Flour, Lancewood Cheese, Rio Largo Olive Oil and Khoisan Sea Salt, amongst others. These companies passionately support the challenge by contributing prizes, workshops, sharing their kitchens and growing the skills of the entrants.

While only the judges will actually get to taste the final dishes, Taj Cape Town guests and visitors are able to sample gourmet meals at Bombay Brasserie, Mint, the Local Grill or an intimate fine dining ‘Chefs Table’ experience, at The Gallery.  Those looking for a unique cocktail experience can top off their meal with a fresh take on the artisanal cocktail at The Twankey Bar. To book a table, email or phone +27 (0) 21 819 2000. To book accommodation, phone +27 (0) 21 819 2000 or email

Posted by: Taj Cape Town | Posted in Activities,Cape Town,Events,History,Hotel | on: April 13, 2017


Get a Slice of History at Museum Night in Cape Town

Museum Night in Cape Town is the perfect time to explore the city at night. On Thursday the 20th of April 2017 a variety of Cape Town’s museums will be open from 5 pm until 10 pm for the third annual Museum Night. First Thursdays have collaborated with Iziko Museums to give you the chance to explore the Company’s Garden cultural centres and view exhibitions, shows and performances. With free museum entry, locals and visitors alike are in for an after-hours treat.

Participating Museums

Nine museums will be open and ready to give you an enlightening cultural experience. These are just some of them:

Iziko South African National Gallery

One of South Africa’s most epic art museums, the South African National Gallery houses a range of British, African, South African, Dutch, French and Flemish art. While this gallery continually hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions, it also displays exhibits from their permanent collection. Visitors will view a range of different artistic mediums from paintings and sculpture to beadwork and architecture.

SA Jewish Museum

Not to be mistaken for the Holocaust Centre, this museum was opened in 2000 by Nelson Mandela and Helen Suzman. Founded by philanthropist Mendel Kaplan, this museum is located in South Africa’s synagogue which was built way back in 1863. Watch audio-visual presentations, interactive displays and personal accounts of South African Jewish history.

District Six Museum

Since 1994 the District Six Museum has highlighted the painful struggle people of colour endured during apartheid. Housing a collection of artefacts, historical pieces and visual imagery, this museum shares the heartbreaking experiences of people who were forcibly removed from their homes during the apartheid era.

Iziko South African Museum

Founded in 1825, this museum is, in fact, the country’s oldest. Over the last 192 years, over 1.5 million specimens have been collected to form the museum’s displays. The public is able to see stone tools, ancient fossils meteorite samples and various animal and marine displays. One of the most impressive displays is that of the 20.5-meter blue whale skeleton.

Iziko Slave Lodge

Over the lifespan of this building, it has been referred to as the Slave Lodge, Government Offices Building, the Old Supreme Court and the South African Cultural History Museum. As one of the mother city’s oldest buildings, this is a place where human rights awareness and the history of slavery can be explored.

A Slice of History in Taj Cape Town’s Twankey Bar

Once you have explored every creative, cultural and educational corner of the galleries participating in Museum Night, the best way to unwind is with an artisanal cocktail at the Twankey Bar. Just one of Taj’s exquisite gourmet offerings, The Twankey Bar is situated on the corner of Adderley and Wale Streets just 500 meters away from the Company’s Garden.

A piece of history can be seen above the entrance to the door to the bar in the form of a sculpture of a shepherdess. It was commissioned in 1894 by the Board of Executor’s architect.  The sculpture was not well received by the townsfolk who felt the subject matter was both ridiculous and a waste of money. The shepherdess was thus nicknamed “Widow Twankey” after a then famous pantomime dame. Widow Twankey was first written about in 1861 and her character ran a Chinese laundry in Peking, China. She was a pantomime dame i.e. she was always played by a man and the name has stuck to this day.

For those who are excited to spend more than an evening in the city of Cape Town, Taj Cape Town is the luxury accommodation which eagerly awaits your arrival. Guests and visitors alike can both indulge in more of Taj’s gourmet offerings at Bombay Brasserie and Mint, the Local Grill. To make a booking, email or phone +27 (0) 21 819 2000. To book accommodation contact:, or call +27 21 819 2000.





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