Mauritius

We have just returned from a trip to Mauritius and stayed on the West coast of the island which meant that every day ended with a breathtaking sunset over the ocean. Although Mauritius is undoubtedly a tropical paradise, the island has much more to offer than just beautiful beaches.

The cuisine in Mauritius is heaven for the seafood lover. The dishes where influenced by Indian, French, European and Chinese cuisine but many of the dishes are unique to the island.

The capital of Mauritius, Port Louis which is the country’s political, cultural and economical centre was great for local cuisine and bargain shopping with hundreds of stalls selling Mauritian souvenirs, local delicacies and of course, Mauritian rum!

Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens is one of the main attractions of the island.  We were taken on an informative guided tour through the gardens which not only boasts rare and magnificent plant species like the giant water lily, but also showcased several fascinating bird species.

The lavish estate, Château de Labourdonnais sits amongst the magnificent orchards in Mapou and offers intriguing excursions as well as an impressive venue for events. The lush gardens with hundred-year old trees, endemic plants and orchards with tropical fruits is absolutely spectacular. The tour ended with a tasting of the estates own locally crafted rum.

A firm favourite with every one of our small group and the highlight of the trip was swimming with the dolphins. Swimming with pods of wild spinner dolphins was a massively rewarding and therapeutic experience which will never be forgotten. This was followed by a boat trip to the stunning island of L’ile aux Benitiers where we had a barbeque lunch and some leisure time to explore the lagoons and coral reefs around the island.

From beginning to end, the Mauritian people showed sincere warmth and hospitality.

 

Phinda Rock Lodge

We recently had the opportunity to visit the refurbished Phinda Rock Lodge, which is part of the &Beyond group of hotels. Situated in Northern Natal, just 300km north of Durban it is easily accessible, either by road or their private airstrip.

Phinda Rock Lodge is a small exclusive lodge which caters perfectly for small executive groups. The Lodge itself has 6 double suites which include private plunge pools overlooking the landscape.

 

Phinda Rock Lodge has had a major refurbishment which takes it into the league of the very best safari lodges in Southern Africa.

 

Spectacular Zambia

With all that Southern Africa has to offer it’s not always easy to stand out as a top contender. If Zambia Victoria Falls with its natural heritage and spectacular landscapes, including one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, isn’t enough, some extraordinary activities and experiences should leave you with a lifetime of exceptional memories.

The Royal Livingstone Anatnara Hotel has easily got to have one of the best sun-set locations in the world, on the deck overlooking the top of the Victoria Falls. Guests gather as if in a spiritual ritual daily and sit memorized by its tranquil beauty.

If you prefer the sunset from different angle, we invite you to join us on the Royal Livingstone Express train onto the Victoria Falls bridge. The initial brain child of Cecil John Rhodes, the significance of visiting the bridge and the “Cape to Cairo railway scheme” will see you fulfil Rhodes dream of “crossing the Zambezi River on a train, where as they pass, will catch the spray of the Falls”.

The Silo Hotel

The Silo Hotel has recently opened its doors for visitors in Cape Town, Run by the magnificent Royal Portfolio Hotel Group, it is well known for its other luxurious hotels in Africa.

  

The Silo has been built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex occupying six floors above what will become the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA). Zeitz MOCAA will house Africa’s largest collection of contemporary African art and will open in September 2017. We think this museum will become Cape Town’s answer to Le Louvre and the Tate

From the outside, it’s an industrial beast with an standout set of 25-feet-high convex windows overlooking the V&A Waterfront. The inside, by contrast, is a riot of color, patterns and design, with 28 individually designed rooms stocked with vibrant custom furnishings, oversized chandeliers and feature artworks.

The hotel compromises of 28 rooms, for dining options it offers a bar, a cafe, a rooftop restaurant and a private dining room that can accommodate 22 guests.

The hotel also features a spa, a panoramic rooftop bar with swimming pool and The Vault, the hotel’s very own private gallery of African contemporary artists in the building’s basement.

  

The Silo has long been a landmark of Cape Town and in 1924when it was completed was the tallest building in Sub Saharan Africa at 57m tall. It has been a functional grain silo and integral part of Cape Town ever since and only recently closed in 2001 when it began it’s new chapter in the Zeitz Museum and Silo Hotel.

The Test Kitchen

The Test Kitchen with the brilliant Luke Dale-Roberts at the helm, who has been at the forefront of the Cape Town culinary scene since his time at La Colombe stretching back to 2006.

 

This was the perfect venue for our privatised tasting menu lunch for our VIP Group from Haivision. The TTK team did not disappoint – the meal was outstanding, the service exceptional and each and every member of the group were full of praise and compliments for an out of this world dining experience.

Watching the artistry in the open plan kitchen was spectacular, the team work and various role players coming together to create perfection on a plate was both inspiring and at the same time somewhat mesmerising.

       

Restaurant accolades include

2016 Eat Out Restaurant of the Year
2016 No 22 in The Worlds Best restaurant and Best in Africa.

We have a number of photos from this event, The balance can be found on our Facebook page here: Facebook

The 8 course menu that we used can be seen below, I am sure you will agree extravagant and amazing are suitable adjectives !

TEST KITCHEN

 The below menu will be available for guests on the day.

 8 COURSE SET MENU 

DARK ROOM

TEST KITCHEN BILLIONAIRES SHORTBREAD
PORK SCRATCHING, PINT OF GUINNESS , CELERIAC SALT AND VINEGAR
PEKING QUAIL SANDWICH
SMOKED LAMB, BARLEY AND TOASTED GINGER
WAFER, XO DRESSING 

FIRST COURSE

12 HOUR SMOKED TROUT TARTARE, HOMEMADE SOUR CREAM, LEMON VERBENA OIL, DILL OIL
GOURMAND Almenkerk Chardonnay 2014
TEA Weekend in Shanghai

 SECOND COURSE

 TTK NICOISE SALAD
GOURMAND Bellingham “Bernard Series” Viognier 2013
TEA Imperial Lapsang Souchong

 THIRD COURSE

SEARED SCALLOP WRAPPED IN BACON, CAULIFLOWER AND CHEESE, BLACK GARLIC SALSA
GOURMAND Fable Mountain “Jackal Bird” 2012
TEA Indian Nights

 FOURTH COURSE

PAN SEARED SWEETBREADS, LIQUORICE LIVER JUS, LIME GEL, PRESERVED LEMON AND PINENUT
GREMOLATA
GOURMAND Crystallum Pinot Noir 2015
TEA Indian Nights

FIFTH COURSE

PAN SEARED DUCK BREAST, SOUR CHERRY CLAFOUTIS, DUCK LIVER STUFFING, SOUR CHERRY JUS
GOURMAND Bosman Nero d’Avola 2015
TEA Lemon Bush

 SIXTH COURSE

LAMB MINESTRONE, POTATO PARMESAN DUMPLING, LAMB AND TOMATO EXTRACTION
GOURMAND Oldenberg Vineyards Cabernet Franc 2011
TEA African Ball

 SEVENTH COURSE

“BREAD, MILK & HONEY”

 EIGHTH COURSE

STRAWBERRY ROSE ICE CREAM, COCONUT MERINGUE,
MINTED STRAWBERRY SHERBET,
RHUBARB AND BURNT VANILLA BUTTER, BERRY SNOW
GOURMAND Silverthorn Green Man 2014
TEA Pink Flamingo

 

Munich, Germany

Having just returned from an amazing trip to Munich and the surrounding area, the incentive product surpassed our expectations and by a distance too.

The history, cuisine and culture of the Bavarian people, amazing technology on show at BMW, top quality hotels and the magnificent scenery. Not to forget the Olympic Tower  at 198 m high as well as the tranquil Tegernsee lake with the Alps as a backdrop all combine to create a full and exceptional programme.

The sunny warm weather was perfect and the late sunsets a treat, especially when enjoyed in one of the many Beer Gardens in the city.

Our DMC Conference and Touring were brilliant, they display the efficiency Germany is renowned for but do it in such a personable and fun way.

It is easy to twin Munich with Austria and the Central European location allows for easy extension trips to a host of major European cities. My own personal favourite (which I am saving for doing on my next group) is one of the good value for money River Cruises Conference and Touring are famous for.

Escape to the Cape Incentive

In an action packed “Escape to the Cape” incentive trip with one of our best clients started off in Johannesburg, meeting the attendees off their international flights and chartering 6 private flights with personalized event branding to fly them into Cape Town. First stop was Shamwari with 4 lodges all booked exclusively, we had amazing game drives, seeing amongst others, Lions mating, elephant herds and giraffes. We culminated our stay at Shamwari with an open fire bush dinner under the stars.

Our Cape Town leg of the programme included canapés on Table Mountain during check-in then a 45 Harley Davidson transfer to the One & Only Hotel. Our stay at the Cape Town Waterfront was made special by a troupe of Cape Town Minstrels who led the way to dinner at Sevruga Restaurant

Activities whilst in Cape Town included Shark Cage Diving in the Great White capital of the world, a dinner in a cave overlooking the ocean which included 9 helicopter rotations as well as a 16 vehicle transfer in classic cars to one of the most exclusive and luxurious villas in Clifton.

The program culminated with a private cheese, wine, biltong and beer tasting as well as farewell lunch at the prestigious Delaire Graff Wines estate

A few comments from our client and Shamwari:

Jan the head ranger at Shamwari said
“In the 7 years of being a ranger here I’ve never seen so many charters land in sequence and so professionally with-out a single hitch”

Rachel of Zibrant Live! said
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you again for all your hard work, dedication and professionalism which made this event such a success. The unforeseen challenges were handled so smoothly and quickly, and nothing was too much trouble. It was an absolute pleasure to work with you, and you are a credit to TIE. We love working with the team and look forward to bringing more groups in the not too distant future!

What we crammed into 4 days was unbelievable and the experiences were first-times for most, if not all, of the group. They were blown away by what we created, and I don’t think the programme could have been any better.”

Rhino Anti Poaching Technology Event

On Tuesday, 11 April 2017, The Inside Edge travelled to the Houtbosrand Ranger Station in the Kruger National Park as part of a joint exercise involving South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the South African National Parks (SANParks). The ranger station, situated approximately 80km from the Mopani Rest Camp, is home to the command and control centre of the first wide area surveillance system (W.A.S.S.) in the Kruger National Park known as Postcode Meerkat. Ultimately, the purpose of the exercise was to allow the CSIR an oppurtunity to fully demonstrate the system’s capabilities to representatives from the SANDF and SANParks all while highlighting its vast array of advantages. The Inside Edge was responsible for some of the logistics involved during the two days it took to fully demonstrate the system’s capabilities.

The Postcode Meerkat system is the brain child of SANParks, Peace Parks Foundation and the CSIR who partnered together to research, develop and manufacture this game-changing system. The system itself comprises of a suite of radar and electro-optic sensors that can detect, categorize, observe and track humans moving in the park. This W.A.S.S.’s appliance will not only guarantee early warning and rapid response capabilities but will improve ranger reaction times, allow for better planning and support the apprehension of poachers. In addition, the system has been designed to be mobile so that it can be rapidly deployed to prevent poaching crisis zones from developing.

Ultimately, the Postcode Meerkat will significantly increase the park’s ability to protect our rhinos, other vulnerable species and could help save the lives of both humans and animals. The Inside Edge was honored to be a part of this joint exercise and truly believe that this technology can help bring poaching to an end.

Kapama Game Reserve Incentive

What:

Incentive Event for UK Company for employees across the UK who exceeded their sales target

How Many:

50 participants

Where:

Kapama Game Reserve (lodges)

Highlights:

World class safari experience, including on an afternoon game drive witnessing the spectacular sighting of a Leopard successfully hunting a warthog

Surprise Bush Dinner for the participants

Kapama Game Reserve is situated in the Limpopo province, next to the Kruger Park, in an area renowned for its wildlife and superb safari destinations, Kapama is home to the Big 5 game as well as over 40 mammal species and 350 bird species. Hoedsruit airport is a 10 minute drive away making this a prime incentive destination for clients who are inbound from Cape Town or Johannesburg.

Please be aware video below is not for sensitive viewers.

Incentive Programme

What:
Incentive Event for Investment Company with all staff from London, New York and Hong Kong offices attending

How Many:
150 attendees in single accommodation

Where:
Three Centre Programme which started in Cape Town before flying on Charter Flights to the Pilanesberg Airport, for a night in a luxury tented camp with 150 tents split into two villages in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. After which the group went on to spend the last two nights at the Palace Hotel at Sun City before flying home.

  

Highlights:
Spectacular events featuring top quality entertainment on each of the six nights in South Africa. Action packed activities during the day with many flexible options to choose from. Viewing Lion, Elephant and Rhino as well as a wide range of general game in their natural habitat, on both the game drives and bush walks.

Comments:
Best Programme ever how can we possibly beat this in the future?