Archive for March, 2011

Are we on a first name basis with you?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Being on a first name basis with your guests is set to be a hot trend in the luxury category this year. The aim of this switch is to make the experience more personal for the guest but it doesn’t work for everyone.

I quite like the change. I think titles and surnames are very 1950’s, and when you throw a Mrs. in front of my surname I can’t help but feel 30 years older than I am.

Bookings are so 2010 …

Monday, March 28th, 2011

A huge trend this year – in restaurants around the world – is the implementation of a no bookings policy. Yip no need to call ahead just pitch up and queue with the rest of lunch or dinner crew. This trend is spreading like wildfire abroad and – from the looks of things – it is working. People don’t seem to mind waiting for a table as much you’d think they would.

We’ve been in love with the no reservations concept for years! When we opened The Common Room we implemented this exact trend and we quickly discovered that – although it’s a cool idea – it’s not a concept South Africa is ready for … at least not yet. Maybe we should try again a year from now?

Say What?

Friday, March 25th, 2011

So often restaurants remember to factor in everything except the acoustics.

It doesn’t matter how good the food and décor are if you can’t have a conversation, during your meal, it ruins the experience. You should be able to enjoy the cuisine and the company without ever having to raise your voice, or climb over the table to hear what your companion is saying.

Introducing Isabelo

Friday, March 18th, 2011

A year ago we launched the Mrs. Ndaba Programme and, at the time, we never dreamt it would capture as many hearts and imaginations as it has.

Our desire to give back, support and teach the local community – through this concept – has proved so popular that we now supply healthy meals to over 70 children in three different preschools five days a week.

This initiative has grown to be so much bigger than just the Mrs. Ndaba’s crèche and Friday muffins. To reflect this growth, and the fact that it now supports so many children throughout their school week, we’ve decided to rename this project Isabelo.

Isabelo, which is Xhosa for sharing and caring, is still entirely funded by the generous donations of our guests and other friends of Le Quartier Français. The children’s’ daily meals are all prepared by the Le Quartier Français team, who selflessly donate their time and expertise, so every penny that is donated is spent on the kids.

Condé Nast Readers’ Travel Awards 2011

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Please vote for Le Quartier Français in the Condé Nast Readers’ Travel Awards. We’d really like to appear on this coveted list and with your help we can!

If you vote you not only win our undying love and appreciation you will also be automatically entered into a free prize draw to win a luxury five-night stay for two at the award-winning Banyan Three Phuket in Thailand. The holiday is on a full-board basis and includes return flights from Heathrow. Wow!

You vote, for Le Quartier Français, by clicking here. Go on you know you want to!

Broken Telephone

Friday, March 11th, 2011

We are experiencing some intermittent issues with our phone line.

If you’re trying to get hold of us and don’t get through please send a mail, with your request, to louise@lqf.co.za. Alternatively you can find us on Twitter or on Facebook.

The Tasting Room Experience

Monday, March 7th, 2011

There is a great article, about The Tasting Room experience, in The Australian Travel Online. It offers a really comprehensive look at the inspiration behind the incredibly popular Surprise Menu and much more.

We’ve included the article below so, if you’re looking to escape your Monday morning for a few delicious minutes, give it a read.

Have you met Roger?

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Roger is our assistant General Manager and he’s the person who makes the impossible possible. If we didn’t know better we’d swear he was a superhero!

We asked him, and those who spend a huge amount of time working with him, to tell us - in a few descriptive sentences – a little more about Roger.

Weirdest food fetish?

Dry cornflakes.

Interesting trivia?

I love to cook and often spend time with Margot on recipes.

Favourite item of clothing?

A grey winter jersey with a cream stripe.

Favourite car?

Anything vintage.

Virtues?

I am not a keen drinker but I do love learning about wines and you can often find me in our Wine Guru’s office asking for suggestions.

The dark side…

Occasionally I like a good whisky and I am a staunch Bulls supporter.

Your best quality?

To give the answer to this question credibility we had to ask the people he works with and they all came back with the same answer:

Patience. It rivals that of a Saint.

Long live the globetrotter!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

It’s good to know that, as far as trends go, travel is not dead. In fact globetrotting, including visits to lesser known countries, is very much on-trend for the year ahead.

You can expect to see your friends adding photos to Facebook of the cool, sometimes obscure, places they’ve visited or are going to visit in 2011. The only thing you’ll have to deal with, if you’re not heading out on your own adventure, is extreme trip-envy. For this there is only one cure … you’ll simply have to book an exceptional escape of your own.