News & Reviews

New experiences, desirable items , dance, design, books on inspiring local imagery and epicure, and a frisson of mystery will keep you warm this winter.  


The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment that has become popular all over the world and can be worn for both formal and casual occasions. Mantua Silkwear honours the Japanese art of kimono-making as a specialised ancient craft and has recently launched a limited range of unisex silk kimonos, made in Stellenbosch.

The company’s founder and designer, Juandi Andrag, is drawn to the luminosity of silk and its ability to mould itself to the body, and is inspired by the spirited, colourful spirit of Africa. She uses watercolour artworks in her design process, printing them onto silk in limited editions and then crafting the silk into light garments that flow around the body. As a women- owned brand in Africa, Mantua Silkwear champions the development of local craftswomen, and is open to collaborate with artists and designers who speak the same visual language.

Mantua Silkwear has had international success with sales to Bloomingdales in New York, attended several trade shows in Paris and also took part in a group show as part of Paris Fashion Week in February 2022.
Instagram @mantuasilkwear


With more than 400 pages of inspiring imagery, Proud South is a captivating and visually stunning book produced by Lidewij Edelkoort and Lili Tedde that celebrates the rich cultural heritage and contemporary creativity of the Southern Hemisphere.

A compilation of interviews, articles, essays and images, it presents the diverse perspectives, traditions and innovations of the Southern Hemisphere’s artists, designers and thinkers, offering a refreshing perspective on design and creativity. Images throughout the book are stunning, capturing the colours, textures and forms of the Southern Hemisphere’s creative expressions. Instagram @lidewijelko


The South African International Ballet Competition (SAIBC) has announced that this year’s event will take place from 23 to 26 July as a hybrid event, with performances on the Artscape stage in Cape Town as well as online.

The SAIBC is regarded as Africa’s most prestigious ballet competition and attracts dancers of the highest calibre from all over the world. There are three age groups – ages 9–12 (scholar), 13–16 (junior) and 17–22 (senior) – and they feature classical ballet and contemporary dance.

This year, to celebrate the 10th competition at Artscape, it will present the SAIBC Recognition Award, which acknowledges the significant contributions made by South Africans to the growth and sustainability of ballet. Another exciting new element to be introduced is a choreographic category, in which local and international choreographers have been invited to enter new works.

Photographers who have been capturing the competition since its inception will exhibit outstanding images of dancers in the foyer at Artscape in honour of the late Pat Bromilow-Downing, one of South Africa’s most distinguished ballet photographers. Submissions close on 1 July 2023.



Home to the FynArts Festival, Hermanus offers an invitation to immerse yourself in art and the finer things in life. However, any visit is also a chance to savour the magnificent environment and Walker Bay, where the first whales will be arriving.

Stay at the Hermanus Boutique Guest House, situated opposite Fick’s Pool. From here it’s a short walk along the cliff path to the centre of town and when the bustle becomes too much, you can withdraw to the tranquillity of the guest house. Taking an understated approach to luxury, the spacious rooms are comfortably appointed in neutral tones with accents of colour. Plush chairs invite you to sit back with a book, and there’s a spa bath that promises pure relaxation.

“We want our guests to feel comfortable and at ease; they must feel like they are at home,” says the general manager, Mariane Maree.

Good to know: Stellenbosch Visio readers get a 25% discount on bookings of two nights or more. Send an email to reservations@hermanusguesthouse.co.za with promo code Visio2023. Offer valid from 1 June to 31 August 2023.


Clout/SA is a creative agency that believes an understanding of the business world is vital for creative people to gain an edge and be successful. It aims to help young South African designers to master the basics of business and ultimately transform the country’s design landscape.

“Many designers have incredible creative talents, but are missing foundational business principles and practices,” explains Clout/ SA’s managing executive, Nokuzola Jennes. This led to the development of a business mentorship programme for local designers in partnership with Enterprise Room, a business management consultancy.

The programme provides on- site training to prepare participants for the ongoing off-site training programme, where mentors are allocated to assist them with finances, production and other aspects of running a successful business. Clout/SA also provides designers with exhibitions and opportunities for production and manufacturing.

The founding project was Nando’s Design Programme and its latest is Nando’s Portal to Africa, an online shopping platform for designer furniture. Since its launch in 2018, the platform has facilitated more than R80 million worth of sales across 20 900 products, thus one of the largest exporters of South African design. Instagram @clout_sadesign


The people who work with wine are often deeply rooted in their terroir. That profound connection is captured in Harvest Table, a book by Oddo Vins et Domaines, the multi- national firm behind local wine estates Pink Valley, Taaibosch and Le Chant. Taking inspiration from their farms in Stellenbosch, Provence, Sicily and Rioja, Oddo’s executive chef Monché Muller explores the food heritage of these winelands. Across 70 recipes and 312 pages of captivating photography and text, it is not only a love of the land that comes through, but strong family bonds.

“I knew from the beginning that I wanted it to be a family-orientated book. That extends from the owners, father and daughter Pascal and Lorraine Oddo to my own daughter, who’s in the book, making bread with our winemaker, Schalk-Willem Joubert,” says Monché. “We all belong to the same family of Oddo Vins – that’s why there’s a picture of everyone who works on our farms in the book. Around the world, we’re living by the same motto: we want to get the best produce and make the ingredients shine.”

Although Harvest Table is beautiful enough to justify its place on a coffee table, it would be a shame not to cook from it. To capture authentic tastes, Monché met with local suppliers and made food alongside them. Immersing herself in each region’s food culture was a rewarding experience, she says. “Whereas the fresh produce markets in Europe are absolutely wonderful, here we have great meat. But you can be in South Africa and attempt a French recipe or vice versa. It is food that people can actually cook without feeling intimidated.”

Regulars at Pink Valley may recognise the rooibos butter, a favourite heritage recipe of Monché’s that has its roots in her childhood. “I grew up cooking food over the fire and I learnt how to smoke butter when I was quite young. But perfecting the recipe was a process.” Heritage is clearly important to the team at Oddo Vins and the chef is quick to explain the reason. Simply put, they’re building a legacy for years to come.
Good to know: You can buy Harvest Table (R750) at Pink Valley Estate or from leading bookshops.


For adventurous thrill-seekers and the curious at heart, a mystery weekend in Franschhoek is a must-do activity for winter. The Franschhoek Mystery Weekends are all-inclusive getaways that are meticulously planned and tick all the boxes that Franschhoek is renowned for.

The experience begins with a check-in event where you’re invited to mingle over a glass of wine before opening your special Mystery Weekend box, which contains all the details of the next few days. Winter is the season of indulging in red wine, the charm of roaring fireplaces and the comfort of warmth, and a mystery weekend in Franschhoek saves you the hassle of weeks of planning.

The confirmed dates for this year’s Franschhoek Mystery Weekends are 16–18 June, 28–30 July and 25–27 August. Each booking includes two nights’ accommodation, break- fast daily, a surprise event on the Friday night, dinner on the Saturday night and lunch on the Sunday. Terms and conditions apply.

For bookings or queries, contact mysteryweekend@franschhoek.org.za.