Welcome to the July 2013 edition of the much sought-after Rissington Rag And now (honestly) for something completely different ...
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Rissington is so busy we have decided to celebrate by giving you an absolutely minimal amount of Marketing News and lots of other interesting stuff instead.
So here goes...
A Day in the Life of an HotelierIn place of the usual comic stories about hotel life (you'll have to wait for my next book for that) I thought I would share a couple of old menus to titillate your taste buds. Firstly, here is Rissington's Menu from when we opened 18 years ago in September 1995. It was a fixed price affair, hand-written, and cost R45:
Here's another one. This menu, from The Carlton Hotel, Johannesburg, dates back to 1963:
And finally here's the 1983 Menu - the so-called Bill of Fare - at Nelspruit's sadly-defunct Red Lion Tavern:
Red Lion Tavern
Bill of Fare
Asparagus á la Caréme
Room van Aspersies
Turtle a la reine
Skilpad "a la reine"
Consommé Nouvelle Régime
Helder "Nouvelle Regime"
Mushroom De Couche
Room van Sampieone
Rolled Ham & Asparagus
Ham en Aspersie Rolletjies
Hot Asparagus Spears in butter sauce
Warm Aspersie in bottersous
Fresh Oysters per 1/2 Doz.
Vars Oesters, per 1/2 dos.
Smoked Trout "Horseradish"
Gerookte Forel met peperwortels
Smoked Salmon "Caviar"
Gerookte Salm met Kaviaar
Escargots Au Gratin
"Escargots Au Gratin"
Braised Celery Hearts
Gesmoorde seldery harte
Coquille St. Jacques
Coquille St. Jacques
Crayfish A'la Meuniere
Grilled Prawns Portuguese Style
Gebraaide Garnale Portugese
Manier per Dos.
Kingklip St. Geran or Mornay
Koningklip "St Geran of Mornay"
Sole a la Provencale
Tongvis "a la Provencale"
Forel met amandel
Coquille St. Jacques (Grandé)
"Coquille St. Jacques" (Grandé)
Jongeend met wynsous
Duckling with Peas
Jongeend met ertjies
Fillet Steak Poivre
Beeshaas met sous
Rump with Sauce
Kruisskyf met sous
Garlic sauce, Mushroom sauce
Pepper sauce, Cheese sauce
to fill your plate
om u bord te vul
Lamb Chops Rosemary
Roast Beef and Mustard
Geroosterde Beesvleis & Wortels
Braised Ox Tongue
Braised Ox Tail
Roast Pork and Apple Sauce
Geroosted Varkvleis met Appelsous
Homemade Apple Pie & Cream
Tuisgemaakte Appletert met Room
Red Lion Logolla
Rooi Leeu "Logolla"
Stawberries with Cream (in season)
Aarbeie mer room (in seisoen)
Ice Cream with Hot Choc. Sauce
Roomys met warm sjokoladesous
Irish, French, Jamaican, Russian
Ierse, Franse, Jamaika, Russies
and Liqueur Coffees
A Selection of Local
'n Verskeidenheid van
and Imported Cheeses
Only Red Room
Luncheon Menu/Middagete Spyskaart
Steak & Kidney Pie
Beeshaas- en Niertjie-paté
Curry & Rice
Kerrie & Rys
Sausage & Mash
Wors & Kapokaartappels
Lewer & uie
For all outside catering
us at 26951
Vir alle spyseniering
kontak ons by 26951
Sales Tax Excluded
French- and Afrikaans-speakers will take particular pleasure in some of the unusual translations, the punctuation and the chronic accent abuse but either way there are some ideas to be conjured with. I love the ‘King Steak to fill your Plate' and I wish I could remember what a Red Lion Logolla was. And a Haig Plaige. We were hooked on the place and went for lunch every week on our marathon Nelspruit shopping trip from Cybele. The Coquilles St Jacques - shellfish topped with cheese and grilled in a kind of ashtray - were delicious. We always went for the "Grandé" !
Weather Envy and a Currency CheckThe R500 per person Bed and Breakfast cost of staying in the cheapest rooms at Rissington at the current exchange rate works out at approx £33 or €38 or US$50. And our weather in winter is as good, in many cases, as a Northern Hemisphere summer's day. Compare your weather today with ours by clicking HERE. See how it says No Rain, No Rain, No Rain. It is a gloriously sunny day today and bear in mind that we are always a good 3 degrees warmer than the website claims so, for interest's sake here are a couple more useful facts:
- Ice cream at Rissington costs £1.60. A half-decent ice cream in London is £7 plus 30p for each extra topping. An ice cream in Rome (according to The Guardian) last week cost a 'whopping' £13.50. That's just over R200!
- A fine South African beer at Rissington costs R12 which is £0.80 or US$1.20. A Coke at the Royal Livingstone Hotel in Livingstone, Zambia, costs US$6.50. A good beer in London is £6.00. A cheap-cheap beer (Pabst) in New York would cost you US$3 (as well as being undrinkable and labelling you an alcoholic).
- Point made.
Chris becomes Something of an Interior DesignerI was actually talked into this moment of drama by Molly, my Indian style-guru at Valencia Wholesalers in Nelspruit. I would never have dared to do it on my own. New cushions in the sitting room (and new pool cushions in the background). I have to give it to her - although she has never been to Rissington, it's a big improvement on the striped 1980s stuff we had before and gives a welcome dash of colour to our best (and least-used) room.
The Battle of The Gappers - the Result and an AppealOur gappers continue to give us and our guests a great deal of pleasure. The recently home-departed Alice and Charlie were reconciled after the childhood battles we revealed in the last newsletter; so much so that we all visited the Cape together before I put them on separate planes to the UK where they are currently gearing up for university. Both of them did us proud and we wish them well for the future. I am sure they will be back.
Alice and Charlie on the Robberg Hike, Plettenberg Bay.
Our gapper roles are filled until July 2014 and include some English lads, a Welsh boyo (Siwrne dda!) and, over Christmas, Hans and Stefan Minnaar - a pair of twins from Graaff-Reinet. So we really shall be seeing double. If you know of anybody looking for a 3-6 month stint in Africa between school and university (or after university) next year, please put them in touch with me. It's great fun, offers good experience in management at an early age and it inevitably also gives them a few good travel jollies as well. Remember the rules: No problem children. If you don't know what do with your errant son or daughter for six months, then neither do we!
Corrupt CopsIt is a never-ending source of shame to us South Africans that the number of reported cases of corruption amongst police and traffic officers in South Africa is increasing sharply.
I fear the Police and the gifts they seek
- If a traffic officer tries to extract a cash payment from you, insist on accompanying him or her to the nearest police station. He or she will almost certainly give up.
- To dispute the fine, you will have to go to a police station
- Remember - corrupt traffic officers are already nervous of being caught, so take down registration and badge numbers and watch their confidence wilt.
If you get the impression I feel strongly about this... YES I DO. I hate these leeches as much as I hate People who Skype in Public Places.
The Where in the World CompetitionThe Answer to the April 'Where in the World' competition - JJ, Oscar and HM The Queen (Please Stand) plus a corgi (or is it a dorgi?) are photographed in Bachelor's Acre, Windsor, Berkshire. Patricia and Benny Catteeuw-Duthoo, from Adinkerke in Belgium, win a three-night stay for two, bed and breakfast. They also win the prize for the largest number of double letters in a surname ever in the history of mankind.
In case you missed it, click on the picture above for another opportunity to view JJ's entire holiday homework slide show on YouTube.
Here's this month's picture of the now-home and therefore-lamented Gapper Charlie and my late Land Rover. Cool picture, hey? But does anybody know where they are standing?
Send us your Pictures and Win a PrizeWe also want your best Rissington photos, so that we can see how you see us through the lens of your camera. Please email your favourite shots – only a few really good ones per person please – which best show Rissington as you loved it. There will be a suitable prize for any photos used in our marketing material (so please don't send them unless you are happy for us to use them).
Rissington's Best Year Ever ContinuesWe are sailing towards our best year ever (by far) and we are very grateful to all of those loyal folk who keep coming back. There are more and more of you and I always think it is such a great tribute to the team here that the number of returning guests continues to rise. New tariffs are available until end October 2015. Let us know if you need them. We have frozen the rates in the courtyard rooms again and also in the larger rooms.
Remember that we always offer upgrades to the best rooms and discounts to returning guests and favoured tour operators whenever we can and that we have a corporate rate for bona fide businesspeople. To stir a few memories, have a look at the website www.rissington.co.za.
Our Facebook page still gives details of last minute deals and occasional tantalising photos. Sign up below. The Twitter account sends out very occasional opinions and humour but no celebrity nonsense. Become a follower to keep up with us – click on the logo below – but if you are interested in Justin Bieber or the Kardashians, follow them instead.
here or on Amazon here.
On Yer Bike: Chris's Travels... and Hlengiwe's!I have just been to the Cape in winter and do you know it really wasn't that bad? The weather was considerate, the flowers were out and the roads were empty. If you are looking for a really great place so stay around Plettenberg Bay, I strongly recommend a few days (or weeks) at Fairview in The Crags. Deep in the fynbos, this gracious home gives you the chance to imagine that you have your own baronial manor on the Garden Route … Click on the Fairview logo below to visit the website:
www.christopherharvie.com and read the pieces as I get around to writing about my experiences. Forget the Blog. I stopped that long ago. I am however now blogging on the Portfolio website. You can catch up with those tourism-related thoughts by following Portfolio on Twitter or clicking on their logo here:
Come and stay ...
There. A different kind of Newsletter. Finally, a comment in the Visitors Book from a Colombian guest a few weeks ago: We love it here. Very nice staffs and you have an uncommon sense of humour. Followed by this morning's Dutch guest who wrote Thank you for the very good hospital.
Well, I don't know. But we try.
Come and see us. It'd be madness not to ...
Chris, Hlengiwe the Explorer who has just come back from Zimbabwe, Swirly Shirley, Kevin from Barberton, Skinny Sheila, Sipho, Kanan the Barbarian who has a new Barack Obama hairstyle in honour of that President’s visit, Sammie (Star) and Will the Gappers, Thandi, Cindy, Dudu, Yvonne, Zelly, Hendrina, Betty, Thuli, Gladys, Sanny, Zenzile, Sisters Ntombifuthi (Foots) and Nokuthula (Noggs), Joseph, Cassim, Aubrey, Sbusiso, Patrick and Rasta. And of course JJ who had an absolutely great mid-year school report. And Bull, the dog, whose report, if he had one, would say that he is becoming braver when faced with small children. This is where he and I differ.