Let me Introduce Myself

Posted on 24 October 2013

My career so far, from sheep farm to wine writing with a few diversions along the way. Continue Reading

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Tasting Notes

March 2015

Posted on 27 March 2015

The Leeuwenkuil Shiraz 2013 has a subtle, spicy nose with a suggestion of violets, warm plum flavours with the tang of cranberries and a suggestion of black pepper lurking among the many layers of flavour. Taste it and you’ll see why I love a good Shiraz. Continue Reading

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The View From My Rock

Is a picture really worth a thousand words

Posted on 18 February 2015

David recently held an exhibition of his whimsical paintings at the Olympia Deli in Kalk Bay... Continue Reading

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A Wry Look at The World of Wine

Posted on 15 July 2010

Want a good giggle? Enjoy reading David's take on the sometimes oh-so-pretentious world of wine. Continue Reading

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Celebrating Pinot Noir

Posted on 16 March 2015

Eager Pinot Noir aficionados can sample some of South Africa's finest at the Vineyard hotel in Newlands on Sunday, April 12 between 2 pm and 5 pm. You can even make a weekend of it ... Continue Reading

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Winter in Calitzdorp

Posted on 15 March 2015

The annual Calitzdorp Port & Wine Festival is being rejuvenated this year with a unique full month “Winter in Calitzdorp” experience from June 13 to July 19 instead of just a festival weekend. Continue Reading

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Wine, picnic … and Easter eggs!

Posted on 11 March 2015

Let the kids go Easter egg hunting while you enjoy wine tasting and a picnic at Anthonij Rupert Wines in Franschhoek in April between the 2nd and the 12th. Continue Reading

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Sip your way through the Constantia valley

Posted on 03 March 2015

Taste the different wines of the Constantia Valley every Monday and Friday at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands throughout the month of March Continue Reading

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Special wine-paired dinners

Posted on 17 February 2015

The season of wine-paired dinners at the Vineyard Hotel in Newlands begins with a burgundy-inspired evening with Glen Carlou on April 11 – followed by the Pinot Noir Festival the following day Continue Reading

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Let’s Go Mushroom Hunting!

Posted on 16 February 2015

There are only 40 spots open each day for the legendary wild mushroom hunts at Delheim Wine Estate on May 30 & 31 and July 3 & 4 – so book yours ASAP. Continue Reading

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Beards, Barrels & Bot River

Posted on 16 February 2015

Book your spot early for a harvest celebration with a difference at the Bot River Barrels & Beards on April 17 & 18 - where big beards, bountiful tables and beautiful wines set the tone Continue Reading

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Wise up to Super Salts

Posted on 02 February 2015

Enjoy the Fleur du Cap wine and salt tasting experience at Die Bergkelder in Stellenbosch and take home a booklet with recipes pairing these elegant wines to some of the world’s finest artisanal salts. Continue Reading

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Tavern of the Seas

Tavern of the Seas readers often ask for details of past issues. To make things easier (and to amuse you… or make you think) past columns will now appear here, roughly two days after they are first printed in the Cape Argus. Thanks to Independent Newspapers for allowing us to do this.

  • A miniature railway world provides gigantic fun

    March 30, 2015 at 12:35 pm by David Biggs

    (Published: 26th March 2015)
    School holidays are approached from different angles by various members of the family. School kids look forward to long, lazy days on the beach, or fun with pals, eating fried chicken in the mall. Holidays are seldom like that in real life. They’re often sheer boredom, hanging out in the mall with the same bunch of kids you dislike in the school playground.
    Parents cringe from two weeks of having kids in the house with nothing to do.
    The reality is that everybody mooches about wondering what to do next and the time slips away unnoticed until the “Back to school” advertisements appear in the newspapers to create a pall of gloom over everybody.
    If you are looking for something completely different for your school-going children, I can recommend a visit to a miniature world tucked away behind a hotel in St James.
    David Catlin, who has retired to the St James Hotel, has spent hundreds of painstaking hours creating what must surely be the biggest model railway set-up in the Cape.
    It’s far more than just trains. His railway – the St James and Regional Railway — takes visitors past villages and farms, a polo club, a dinosaur theme park and an airfield. Tiny workers go about their business down at ankle level and David has a story for each of them. I enjoyed the tale of the spoiled little girl who won all the prizes at the riding school because her grandfather was the chairman of the polo club and made sure all the other competitors were disqualified on technical grounds.
    Such is life at full-scale too.
    As you pass the little village church you can hear the organ and choir making sacred music inside. The attention to detail is amazing. The buildings are constructed of proper, scaled down, ceramic bricks to withstand all the weather the Cape can throw at them. This is an outdoor world where one of the daily tasks is clearing leaves from the railway line.
    David doesn’t charge for visiting his little world, but there’s a collection box for Rotary of Good Hope Club charities.
    If you’d like to take a child or grandchild (or even the inner child in yourself) to see the railway world, give David a call on 0832724340 to book a time and tell you how to get there.
    I’m definitely going again. It’s a wonderful feeling to be 50meters tall and stride about a Lilliputian world like a giant, carefully avoiding stepping on a builder’s lorry.
    Or kicking a little girl’s pony. (I was tempted.)

    Continue Reading
  • Small people with big ideas help change the world

    March 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm by David Biggs

    Continue Reading
  • Let’s make a point of saying “thank you”

    March 26, 2015 at 12:15 pm by David Biggs

    Continue Reading
  • ‘Speak softly, and carry a big stick’

    March 25, 2015 at 5:54 am by David Biggs

    Continue Reading
     Have 109 more links to previous articles please

    Nederburg 2013 Interviews David Biggs