Private House Sale: Buy the finest view in Hout Bay

Private House Sale: Buy the finest view in Hout Bay

 A luxury home? An art collector’s gallery? Or a Castle of Views in one of the finest positions to take in the beauty of Chapman’s Peak on Cape Town’s internationally sought-after Atlantic Seaboard coastline? We’ll let you decide… Private viewing to purchase by appointment below.

With priceless 180-degree views across the Bay of the most famous tourist attraction in Cape Town – Chapman’s Peak Drive look out point – this designer Hout Bay home, built by German travel author and international lifestyle personality Dieter Losskarn, is now available for sale on the private property market.

         

Commanding attention from its front row position in Hout Bay Heights overlooking the Bay’s private Yacht Club, popular Bay Harbour Market and vibrant fishermen’s wharf, its three-story elevation is a marvel of expansive space which stretches across three levels of floor to ceiling windows.

Designed and built by owner Dieter Losskarn, just four years ago, it stands as homage to his passion for German precision, sleek lines and superlative lifestyle living. Having travelled the world in his pursuit of a lifelong passion for fast and rare cars, Dieter Losskarn chose South Africa’s freestyle living as his home over 25 years ago.

Bay Harbour House is his fourth designer home in the country, and third home he has dreamt, designed and brought to life from a ground up vision. It’s no surprise he is a celebrated figure in Cape Town’s society circles with a life lived without template, where days are filled with fine dining, fine destinations and fine… well everything actually.

     

ARCHITECTURAL ELEVATIONS

Architecturally exact, Bay Harbour House maintains a light-steel ‘bone’ structure complete with exposed ceilings which anchors a ‘rib cage’ of steel lines as an interior design feature. The intention is a replica of a classic luxury car showroom, mirrored by smooth polyurethane floors and vast silent sliding steel-framed doors and windows. Offering character all its own, there’s no showmanship, rather a call for simple elegance as a backdrop for his particular passion… cars, bikes, luxury classics and vintage memorabilia.

   

Bay Harbour House is open plan living at its finest, and its expansiveness begins the moment you find yourself idling on the crest of the driveway as the gate quietly slides open; the yellow-flowering devil thorn trees parallel to the perimeter wall there to witness your first ‘oh wow’ moment of taking in the Bay and sheltering mountains. This is a panorama offering the first of many such views to reveal themselves on your tour, with all the drama of a theatre’s red velvet curtain being drawn across the stage on the Greatest Show on Earth… one in the panorama of Hout Bay, that is.

      

SLEEK AND IMPERIAL LIVING

The exposed aggregate driveway mirroring the look of the surrounding granite descends the incline and sweeps right into the ground floor garage…  ‘garage’ being a largely irrelevant term in its usual sense of the word. Here, one conjures five-star gallery space with private dining areas to be more apt… unless you’re a petrol head that is, but you better be a Mercedes Benz or Porsche driver if you want to give this ‘garage’ any credit.

    

Its high gloss polyurethane floor and uniformly spaced windows at both seated and standing eye-level provide the second ‘oh wow’ moment as you rip your gaze away from the polished luxury cars parked there to that mesmerizing and highly addictive view. Against the opposite wall are two separate alcoves, one serving as the Losskarn laundry and the other housing an overflow of vintage enamel signs which didn’t make it up onto the gallery-style walls upstairs.

Exit through the orange and black hazard-framed interior garage door and you enter the entrance hall featuring the first of two front doors to Bay Harbour House. One, being located at ground floor and serving as the main access to the first of the houses’ three en suite bedrooms with signature wrap around windows; and the ascending stairwell to the second floor, where the second and main front door is accessed from a hanging steel walkway leading from the property’s pedestrian access gate.

TAKE MY BREATHE AWAY

Mounting the stairs, bathed in the electric blue LED trim lighting and you’re met with the entire length of the home’s façade in picture windows confronting that magnificent view… third strike and the crowning glory of that ‘ow wow’ moment really hits home. The view is simply breathtaking.

   

Overlooking some much expansive space outside and across the bay to the blue sun-tipped mountains, it’s here the 7 metre high ceiling comes into play, providing as much space-play above and around your head as that offered by sea and mountains outside… it’s a surreal feeling of floating on a seascape of beauty.

LUXURY LOUNGES AND MANCAVES

The second-floor expanse is broken only by the stairwell opening you’ve just ascended, and the floor to ceiling fireplace which anchors the living room, dining area and kitchen where Dieter Losskarn’s hobby blends old with new. It’s a blank canvas waiting to be a Sistine Chapel ceiling.

       

Heat treated metal doors, metallic silver mosaic bathroom tiles and European interior fittings throughout the house reflect and deliver Dieter Losskarn’s straightforward luxury ascetic that speaks of focused intention rather than frills. It’s a modern interior take on simplicity delivered without slog… there is simply no place for dust to settle, the house offers a pristine backdrop waiting to be filled with the incoming owner’s own personal inspiration in interior intentions or their own classic design collections.

                                

Step out onto the balcony and a fresh breeze rushes to meet you as you take in a visual cocktail from the Noordhoek side of Chapman Peak Drive and lookout point across the sweep of the Hout Bay harbor, beach, and Hout Bay village and into the lush hips of the Constantia valley and Kirstenbosch Gardens just beyond the lip.

COPPER WHAT?

The top and third floor in your ascent is dedicated solely to the main bedroom. Offering a separate alcove shower, enclosed toilet opened to its own majestic view and the coup de grace of the ablutions; a free-standing copper bathtub in prime position in front of the sliding doors and bedroom balcony looking out onto ‘that’ view, you reign over ten metres in elevation.

     

In the bedroom, Dieter Losskarn has filled his man cave with a bespoke petrol-head bed, hand-tooled cupboard constructed and adorned with man-cave emblems and memorabilia from Hollywood film companies and his bespoke writing desk which takes pride of place in his office facing Chapman’s Peak drive that if you were any closer you would be looking eye to eye with hikers traversing its jagged peaks. Across the bay however, the only thing you might see are the occasional vehicle headlights and Tintswalo’s private beach lights come on as a summer dusk falls like a velvet mantle on this piece of Cape Town heaven.

      

BESPOKE HOUSE FOR SALE

There is no For Sale sign outside Bay Harbour House, neighbored by a church, an upmarket Guest House and an adjacent empty plot (the last one with a view!) waiting for a sharp-eyed business man wanting to make the most of its prime positioning. For those interested in the property for commercial use and the imminent development of the harbor, rest assured, no one else may build in front of your view and the rest of the mountainside is already claimed by a Russian business man continuing development of the renowned Lichtenstein Castle and surrounds.

   

Viewing by appointment: Mercédes Westbrook on C: +27 789707633 or E: mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOCCA REWARDS WITH GASTRONOMIC ROOTS IN ITALY

BOCCA REWARDS WITH GASTRONOMIC ROOTS IN ITALY

My dinner date at BOCCA, the Italian word for ‘mouth’ taught me two things: don’t be late for a German appointment and BOCCA proprietors Guido and Adnana Brambilla mean to tantalise every single one of the
10 000 taste buds in your mouth.

Find BOCCA at the junction of Bree and Wale street in Cape Town’s trendy CBD just a short stroll up from the V&A Waterfront to share in romantic sunset dinners, family-gathering celebrations, or if you are one of the city’s many singular tech-head imports needing a shot of divine sustenance during one of your coding marathons… we saw all three varieties of patrons there on its split-level interior where the focus is firmly on fine food creation rather than just fancy interiors.

CELEBRATE WITH TASTE

Once you’ve dived into your first urban Italian cuisine experience offered up by maestro chef Guido, you will be loudly joining the buzzing fray as people revel in its flavour sensations offered up in a snappy array of sublime food, conversation and laughter .

BOCCA has an Italian calling for inspiring a food celebration, as only the Italians know how, delivered to your private table. It’s a recipe for never leaving and always returning. As petite hostess Adnana says “You can come by yourself and sit at the counter for a glass of wine and a few small plates or arrive as a group and experience a selection of dishes. It’s really a place for people to connect over food.”

MENU MOZZAFIATO

There by invitation of a local foodie friend, my dinner partner and I were served a special BOCCA chef’s table, with each dish accompanied by detailed explanations from master chef Guido, so I benefited from an Italian lesson in the finer details of the variety and preparation of our particular dishes.

Putting his new menu into context, Guido says: “It’s all about uncomplicated Italian flavours, the kind you would enjoy if you were invited for dinner in an Italian household.”

We felt right at home at BOCCA with both of us delighting in each dishes unique sampling.

Guido and Adnana are particularly intent on sourcing the best local ingredients for their menu at BOCCA, adding their Italian flair to locally sourced South African products which they acknowledge as being of top-notch quality.

The local Stracciatella with roasted cherry tomatoes and confit eggplant was a first for me and I nearly swooned. Rich, creamy and almost the consistency of thick yoghurt, I was in heaven. The Polpo of Atlantic octopus with potatoes and basil pesto – a classic Mediterranean-inspired BOCCA dish was as breath-taking.

The star of the show for me however was the Polpettine; interesting for someone who ricochets between thoughts of turning vegetarian and eating all the crackling off the roast pork. Polpettine is a finely ground meatball of beef, pork and lamb to be dipped into a fresh ‘mayo verde’. Each bite is a series of new tastes unfolding one on top of the other and I couldn’t stop going back for more, nicking more than my fair share of it.

Before the arrival of the Brambilla’s, BOCCA was famous for its pizza and nothing has changed. With their imported Acunto oven – which cooks pizzas in 90 seconds, at temperatures topping 450°F – the dough sees a process of slow fermentation before being thrown by hand and pushed into its fiery heat.

The latest member of the BOCCA pizza family is their little PIZZETTE which is rolled smaller – about 16cm across – than a traditional pizza, and which means you can enjoy your favourite pizza flavours while still having space to try a variety of other new dishes served at the table.

We shared the Amatriciana with smoked cheeks of pork and pecorino on a puffy yet crisp base which was so ridiculously delicious it’s hard to view it as mere pizza – at least the takeaway sort of pizza I have previously come to know.

DOLCE ENDINGS

Not being a sweet tooth, I decided to forgo dessert for another glass of Sauvignon Blanc complements of Cape Town’s accessible Uber services but my dinner partner absolutely raved about the Tiramisu with Mascarpone Cream, declaring it the best he has ever tasted; high praise indeed with my own odious time-keeping long forgotten after a bacchanal of such fine fare.

Even as the happy last patron leaves BOCCA and midnight prepares to settle over the city, Guido is setting the next day’s fare in motion, placing his larger cuts of beef, lamb, poultry and port into the heat of the pizza oven for gentle slow roasting in preparation to start another staple Italian day in the kitchen.

Expect the menu of this upscale eatery to change four times a year as Guido works the South African seasons with his own brand of passion, dedication and hands-on approach extended with authentic Italian hospitality for every and all types of diners through their welcoming BOCCA doorway. It’s a guaranteed to be mouth-watering with the perfect selection of small plates ideal for sharing.

BOCCA is open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday from noon until 22h00 with last orders are taken at 21h30. Visit their website at https://bocca.co.za/.

Connect with Guido and Adnana Brambilla’s BOCCA on social media via @BoccaCT on Twitter; @boccaCT on Facebook; and bocca_ct on Instagram

Firehorse Media is a South African communications and PR consultancy owned and managed by Mercedes Westbrook, whose career as a journalist, editor, managing editor and communications consultant spans 22 years experience in the print and digital industry. Email her on mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za or C:+27 789707633.

Love Affair in Napier: The Story of an Overberg Farm

Love Affair in Napier: The Story of an Overberg Farm

It was our Great Escape! Five days of freedom from deadlines and the frenzy of the city sparked by the Christmas marketing glut that seems to binge earlier each year.

With Cape Town retreating in the review mirror of our new humming-bird blue 2019 Toyota Hilux, we dashed through touristy Hermanus and north along the mountain-fringed coastline, before turning left at the vintage village of Stanford and onto the R326 in our search for Napier, our first surprise stop on our small town writer’s road trip.

Enveloped by calm rolling farmlands as far as the eye could see, we must be forgiven for entertaining wild thoughts of an even deeper escape from the disruption of life in general. How wonderful it would be, we mused, to find a homestead here and simply disappear.

It seems Google maps was as distracted by the rolling peace because it could only find Napier in New Zealand at first shot. Finding my reading glasses, we landed back in the Western Cape both physically and digitally.

Tyre Tracks to Distant Horizons

Napier in the Western Cape is your next destination on the map when looking for a road less travelled. (Apologies to Dr M. Scott Peck for borrowing his book title, but I’m pretty sure he’d approve the likeness of horizons).

It’s the type of town you would miss if you blinked too rapidly, but most likely to become a firm and favorite getaway for travelers looking for small town quirk untainted by technology; tranquil farm stays; and idyllic day trips spent exploring the Cape Agulhas region.

For a mind-watering taste teaser watch the 60 second Explorio clip here, it’s exactly what you will see and provides a wonderful celebration of Napier’s ‘sky line’ and country roads which feature regular sightings of Blue Crane, South Africa’s graceful national bird.

Secret Getaway Far from the Maddening Crowds

Headed towards a newly-opened accommodation establishment; Stellar Overberg Traveller’s Lodge is guaranteed to recall your connection with nature. No big branding, no brash marketing, instead Overberg Traveller’s Lodge is a small town secret which was whispered in our ear. One we are delighted to be able to share with you too.

Originally a working wine farm, Tibor and Doris Tokay, together with their two young children, sold up their home in Switzerland and bought the property in May this year to offer travelers genuine ‘Old World’ hospitality according to the individual visitor’s needs.

Sharing a bottle, made from their own Sauvignon Blanc grapes at the long table of their homestead patio where they so warmly welcomed us, their love of Africa really came to the fore.

Tibor has a strong association with South Africa having spent his childhood here. Doris’ began hers when Tibor first brought her here at 18 years of age, a journey which culminated in them celebrating their wedding vows shortly thereafter. So began their journey of nearly 30 years travelling with their two children through Southern Africa until they chose Napier to settle in as their new life and home.

Swiss Family Robinson in Napier

With admiration, I sat and enjoyed their view which evidenced the hard work and passion they have poured into their wine farm.

The winery has been converted into four double luxury rooms with a circular Boma and long lap pool stretched out before it. A family suite is situated closer to the main farmhouse. Tibor runs tours and day trips for international guests and locals make use of this luxurious but practical farm stay as a roadside stop for families and small private groups such as bike tours.

The farm cultivates four different types of wine and olives after which each of the four suites are named. Our suite was super spacious at 37m squared, with a gorgeous European flair evidenced in the bathrooms.

Tibor is a fantastic photographer and each suite features magnificent shots of wildlife and vast landscapes gathered on their family travels. Doris matches his skills in the garden. Apart from the grape vines which gently quiver in the breeze  trimmed by beautiful hand-stacked stone walls, she has also recreated a Fynbos garden set with the loving care of a botanist. Buckets of fresh pink and green hues of flora colour the guest patios, followed through inside each bedroom with small touches of fresh flowers, stones and grass details in the bedroom and bathroom.

Everything thrives at Stellar Overberg. Their tousle-haired children can be seen running through the vineyards to feed the free-range chickens, nimbly ducking past the scarecrow in its pink Onesy and side stepping the myriad of baby tortoises which choose to call it home too.

In the evening as the sun sets in a dramatic display of orange, reds and purples, the frogs begin their chorus from the edge of the forest. As an avid dog-lover, their three pooches offer each a character all of their own. Their latest rescue Emma, showing strong cross breed connections with a jackal stole my heart completely but if you’re not a dog lover, the dogs can be kept away from the guest suite accommodation.

Free Range Al Fresco Fare

Apart from the delicious welcome bottle of wine, the highlight of our stay was our breakfast basket delivered to our patio table after our leisurely morning dip in the pool.

Using their own free-range eggs, it was the most flavourful scrambled eggs I have ever enjoyed. Using only local products from the surrounding farms, we were served fresh berries, cultured yoghurt, baked breads and aromatic coffee too.

We waved our goodbyes soon after, not with a slight twinge of regret for having to leave such peaceful freedom. With a well-functioning Internet connection, Stellar Overberg is a writer’s retreat heaven… or anyone for that matter who enjoys upmarket country living.  As one of the newest guests to have enjoyed their unique blend of Swiss South African hospitality, this gem is going to become a firm favorite for all who first journey here.

In their own words and African travel experiences, Tibor and Doris offer you a chance to be “touched by this country so close to our hearts, that you may take home the jewels of adventure and the dust of its red earth to remind you to return again one day…”

Small Town Secrets

New on the Vine

For a short time only, Stellar Overberg Traveller’s Lodge is offering a 15% opening discount. Visit their website at https://stellar-sa.vacations/ and book your stay at their affordable rates. Expecting their first season of grapes on the vine, 2019 is set to be an exciting year for them.

Special Occasions and Tours

With a large international network of incoming guests, Tibor offers specialised travel services which include airport transfers all the way to extensive travel planning for trips into Southern Africa. Custom plan your African experience with a selection of Fatbike rentals, guided day tours, airplane safari flights, support vehicles for motorbike and mountain bike tours and hiking expeditions. Or plan your wedding there and commemorate your special day in a small and special setting and make memories forever.

Tibor and Doris Tokay are wonderfully warm hosts and ready to help you organise your custom tour.

ABOUT US:

Mercédes Westbrook is a business and travel editor with over 22 years in the custom magazine publishing industry writing for local and international inflight magazines, and conference and incentive travel publications. She currently runs her own media and content creation company Firehorse Media at www.firehorsemedia.co.za.

Dieter Losskarn is a celebrated German travel author with six travel books under his belt published and sold in Europe and now translated into Dutch. He has also held the title of Motoring Editor for GQ South Africa magazine for the past 14 years and runs his own Taxi Cab of Good Hope day tour business in an original New York Checker Cab in Cape Town. Find out more about him at www.lossis.com

Love Affairs of the Karoo: A peek at ‘your’ Prince Albert

Love Affairs of the Karoo: A peek at ‘your’ Prince Albert

Renamed Prince Albert in 1845 in honour of Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg, the 5-star De Bergkant Lodge is the Fabergé egg in which would otherwise just be a dusty Karoo town if it weren’t for this vintage jewel in South Africa’s upmarket establishment crown.

Owned by Swiss couple Renate and Michael Sönke Sönnichsen, its 1858 National Monument building is a hotel firmly ticked on most international visitor’s watch-list, thanks in large part to German travel author Dieter Losskarn’s personal travel book exposés which cover the depth and breadth of the crème-del-a-crème of all which South Africa has to offer.

Today, De Bergkant Lodge’s large luxurious rooms enjoy full capacity; indicating that the original Prince Albert is not the only one to enjoy delicious affairs of the heart at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountains.

Find me a Prince

Descend the 27 km Swartberg Pass and the shocking pink and white bougainvillea-lined streets announce your entry into town. On the very first corner on the left, De Bergkant Lodge nestles on lush clipped lawns with sparkling white buildings that comprise its stately setting and the couple’s own heritage home and herb garden, together with 10 luxury guest bedrooms and not one, not two, but three emerald-cool swimming pools, appropriately bedecked with languishing guests of foreign-tongue all enjoying the heat and the gentle afternoon lull.

As much a part of its history, the courtyard is dominated by a flourishing vine tree, its sinuous roots exposed to eons of visiting faces and feet – including that of the Republic’s own past-President de Klerk with his wife Marike – and today followed up by frequent ANC government officials who enjoy this oasis managed to international standards of service and pristine comfort.

There on a love affair of my own, I couldn’t resist a stolen kiss under its mighty boughs which draped grandly above in lieu of my own African-style mistletoe; and surely more lucky than that of our Northern counterparts icy Christmas sprigs?

Royal Principles

History repeats itself more categorically on the walls of the high ceiling reception room where there’s a wealth of period collectables, paintings and whispered descriptions of past lives. The dominatrix-looking Queen Victoria herself attempts to look light-weight and elegant with her lace gloves poised across her wrists. On modern observation, her jowled jawline deflects the whole affect, but ‘her’ Albert must have looked past this physical faux pas and seen into the very heart of her bosom.

Heart is what you get at De Bergkant Lodge. A heart that ticks with reassuring precision, one you can rely on to bring you a truly fabulous five-star experience. A complete restoration rendered by Renate and Michael, has revived the evocative scent of its history but also delivered classical touches that speak of an eye for understated luxury.

Private Respite

The Protea suite, our weekend boudoir, was a haven of cool white linen expanses stretching across king size extra length beds, monogrammed towels and soft robes and nearly; but not quite, matched in size by its vast black and white tiled bathroom featuring a him-and-her shower side-by-side and a six foot ball-and-claw bath tub beneath a vast stain-glass window.

Living in its genteel comfort with simple touches of modern technology, the rest of the world simply fades away as you slip into a time tracked only by the rise and fall of the sun in its trajectory across the azure-blue skies. Each day prepared for by a pool-side breakfast of Black Forest ham, luscious-red erotic figs and poached eggs with hand-crisped bacon. This, enjoyed in the presence of an exotic party of jostling Cardinals at the bird feeders; just as surely intent on their own breakfast victuals.

Your Dining Pleasure

Romantic dinner invitations are enjoyed at two notable restaurants on the town’s main drag. Hosted by Michael and Renate, our dinner at The Real Food Company saw local greetings called out to the town’s celebrated gallery owner Brent, another Prince Albert resident who frequents its casual atmosphere to enjoy a variety of exceptional dishes created by chef Jeremy, confirming it as a simple yet sublime eating spot popular with international foodies and locals alike.

At Olive Branch we met with Hendry, an up and coming celebrity chef who specialises in bespoke Karoo dishes compiled from his own home-grown roots. Newly-wed for the second time round, he puts as much love into his dishes as he would his new family. Find out where Hendry is currently cooking when next staying at De Bergkant Lodge.

The understated sophistication of De Bergkant offers you a holiday in the true sense of the word; a chance to take time out, and rest and restore your body and mind in elegant reprieve before you set out to face the hurly burly of the world once again.

Nestled in the ancient history of its surrounding rock formations, it offers a special ambiance that settles around you, that can only really be experienced, rather than explained. Powered by the flat desolation of the Karoo, it’s a journey to the heart of transcendent beauty in a landscape dominated by dust and rock and craggy aloe.

Small Town Secrets:

When in doubt say Darling

Look out for Pieter Dirk Uys’ latest show in February 2019 playing at Prince Albert’s Art Deco theatre The Showroom. As South Africa’s beloved entertainer on speaking terms (in cheek) with political high points of South Africa’s modern history, Uys or Tannie Evita as he/she is known, is a regular guest at De Bergkant Lodge when travelling on tour away from his home town of Darling and own bespoke theatre establishment.

Burning Black Rubber

If you’re looking for adventure activity, there is much to do from mountain biking to hiking. Take a Unimog ride up the pass and a cycle back down again from atop its 1, 583-meter peak back into town – expect some rubber to burn while holding hard onto those bicycle brakes.

When the ‘safe word’ is Die Hel

If you have 4×4 vehicle, chance a trip down into the depth of Die Hel. With its own rich settler history, it is a road not built for the faint of heart… the relief from your hairpin descent will be rewarded with a cold beer and home-cooked Karoo lamb chops at Fonteinplaas in the Oude Klowers Plaaskombuis, nestled at the bottom where you are pleasantly surprised and welcomed by the last remaining relatives of this lost community of long ago. Visit the Cape Conservation offices a few kilometers further along the valley to find out more about the flora and fauna of the region. We crossed paths with Kudu, Klipspringer and troupes of baboon while descending into its depths.

The Faberge Egg of the Karoo

While the rest of the town of Prince Albert might fade into a mirage of heat there is one other heart-stop you have to do… a trip to Avoova to claim a piece of local artisan work made from ostrich egg shell. Now an international name, Avoova produce a large collection of bespoke and truly authentic South African artifact gifts with which you can claim and return home with in memory of your Karoo experience. While there in its cool interior, ask about Obie Oberholzer’s book – you might even be able to pick up an autographed copy depicting a photographic history and the most expansive and creative production of an authentic Karoo love affair to tuck under your arm and share with friends and family back home.

Urban Slang or ‘your’ Prince Albert:

A Prince Albert is another term for a male piercing that sees a ring threaded in through the urethra and out behind the glans for decoration and sexual sensation. It’s so nicknamed from the modern legend that Prince Albert (1819-1861), had one. Perhaps more than just an affair of the heart, you probably won’t look at Queen Victoria quite the same again; or risqué Prince Albert for that matter…

Luxury Travelers of Europe:

Published in German and Dutch, find Dieter Losskarn’s travel books at www.lossis.com and explore more not-to-be-missed experiences such as that offered by the 5-star De Bergkant Lodge in Prince Albert.

Toyi-Toyi for a Toyota:

Our Prince Albert journey saw us test driving the latest 2019 Toyota Hilux in a striking humming-bird blue. Think solid work horse with futuristic fairings which saw us speeding up and down some of South Africa’s most rugged terrain… certainly a popular choice of South African adventurers, we encountered mostly Toyota 4×4 bakkies on the road, as we descended and then ascended the near sheer rock face in record time, something those first ox-drawn pioneers would have simply swooned for.

How to Survive your First Radio Interview

How to Survive your First Radio Interview

Your marketing has paid off. The phone rings and you are invited for an interview on a popular radio show to discuss your field of industry expertise. After your initial excitement, it is natural that you might start to feel anxious, especially if you have never had an opportunity to speak live ‘on the air’ before.

Be aware that anxiety can quickly magnify into paralysing fear. This usually occurs in direct proportion to the degree of experience and understanding you may or may not have regarding public speaking and the immediacy of the radio interview environment.

Before your anxiety builds, arm yourself with the following tips so you can handle your interview with confidence and panache.

Tip #1
Research the station and the interviewer. Each radio station broadcasts to its own unique demographic of listener. Tune into the station and listen to the specific time slot you will be invited to participate in. How does the station ‘talk’ to its audience? Is it very formal in its style of broadcast or does it have a light-hearted and entertaining approach.  If you don’t have time to listen in to the show beforehand, visit the station’s website. You are likely to find links to recordings of previous interviews that have taken place. Understanding the personality of the talk show host and the type of questioning techniques they like to use will also forearm you with how you can best respond.

Tip #2
Research the audience. While listeners may vary to a slight degree in age and lifestyle, there will be a core audience which will participate in listener call-ins and questions. Understanding the listener’s goals, expectations and assumptions will assist in your delivery of information and how you respond to listener engagement and enquiries. Remember that each and every listener may well be your next customer.

Tip #3
You are not going to have time to cover every point on the topic during the interview. Armed with the knowledge of your audience and the tone of the show, make a bulleted list of the main points you would like to communicate. Stay focussed on these main aspects of the topic throughout the discussion and keep referring to them with examples and personal anecdotes. Make sure you have at least one example that illustrates both a problem and its solution.

Tip #4
Establish your credibility with the audience upfront. Open with a strong story or perspective regarding the topic. Use rhetorical questions to match the type of questions the audience might be thinking. Make sure you cover the top five most frequently asked questions from your own customer base. Refer to the audience regularly and keep your information relevant to how it applies to their world.

Tip #5
Your voice is the only thing the audience has to refer to you as an expert. Keep your pace deliberate and your voice deep. Use pauses for effect and to guide your thought processes, so you don’t fall into the trap of the umhs and ahs. If the line of questioning momentarily stumps you, or you lose your train of thought, transition the conversation back to one of the topic’s main bullet points you jotted down at the beginning. Be forearmed and anticipate what might be tough questions regarding the subject.

Congratulations on securing your first radio interview. Be confident that you have all the information and answers to any awkward questions that may arise and approach your interview with focus and clarity.

Mercédes Westbrook is a journalist and editor with an extensive career in the media publishing arena working with top South African brand marketing and management teams over a variety of publications within their aligned industries.

As owner of www.firehorsemedia.co.za she has adapted her communication skills for the digital platform to include content creation, website design, content marketing, social media management, and public relations. She can be reached on mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za

Fast Affordable Websites to Get You Noticed Online

Fast Affordable Websites to Get You Noticed Online

You’ve finally realised that you need a website – well done!

With a fast upload and modern appeal, your new website will provide you with a global platform and a personalised voice to market your products and services to a potential market of 3 billion people (the number of current web users worldwide) – statistics you cannot afford to ignore in today’s digitally connected workplace.

Your website will instantly go to work to highlight your unique selling points, to educate audiences about the benefits of your brand, position you in the marketplace and keep customers connected with the latest news updates and user information through regular posts to your blog and social media sharing buttons.

Warning: We strongly advise that you don’t attempt to build your own website yourself. We have also seen the Wix advertisements and it can be tempting to think you can save a few bucks on some website DIY. Now is the time to remember what your Granny always said… buy cheap, buy twice. Unless you are IT savvy and have lots of time to play around with design ascetics, understand SEO content and have kept up-to-date with the latest security plug-in to prevent you from getting hacked, you are only going to waste precious time and money. Trust us, we have seen way too many customers fail along this route.

We suggest that instead you focus on your core competencies and entrust our tight-knit team of professional entrepreneurs with your website build, monthly back-end maintenance, blogging and social media sharing (where required) for a stress-free and effective reach out to your targeted audience online.

As a core group of tech professionals, we help you get your business online in the fastest and most effective manner without the headaches of trying to understand tech, back-end strategy and current online marketing tactics. And we do it because we care!

What you pay is…

1 page Scrolling Website – R5 500
Basic Website – R7 500
Standard Website  – R9 500
Premium Website – R13 000

What you get…

A mobile responsive WordPress website in your field of specialisation using the latest DIVI Premium theme.

Installation of all necessary plugins for website aesthetics as well as seamless functionality. This includes Security plugins to protect your website against spam and hacking activity.

Set up of new email accounts.

SEO processes offering a Search Engine Optimization plugin that will be populated accordingly, thereby improving the site’s Search Engine Optimization with Google and other search engines. This plugin will also pull through your previous history with Google so as not to lose that from within Google’s Search Console.

Your own branding guidelines implemented over logos, images and design integrity.

Social Sharing buttons for site visitors to share your site on their own Social Media platforms.

Google map to your office premises.

Contact form to build your own database of customers.

A pull through of blog posts on the front page. There will also be a separate blog page where all your blog posts will be easily accessible to site visitors. This blog page will include a signup form.

Video clip Training session to familiarise you with the backend functionally so you can effectively upload your own content and media as and when required.

Monthly updates and security checks to keep your website running effectively.

T&Cs:
The above pricing includes all content and images supplied by the client. Should you need assistance with web content writing and image sourcing, an additional fee will be quoted.
Prices are quoted excluding Vat
Development of your site will only start once content and graphics have been supplied and a 50% deposit paid upfront.

Depending on which website you choose to go with, full functionality and an layout blueprint will be provided to you for agreed before commencement.

Please contact Mercedes Westbrook on mercedes@firehorsemedia.co.za to request a quote specific to your needs or call C: +27 789707633.

We look forward to chatting further with you

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