Its “APD free” sale takes place this weekend and will save a family of four visiting the Mexican resort £324.
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin’s founder, described APD – which is paid by all passengers flying from a UK airport – as a “disgrace” and claimed that the Government will collect around £600 million from the tax during July and August – equivalent to £10 million per day.
“In an Olympic year, it is obscene for the Treasury to be taking £10 million every day from visitors and British holidaymakers alike,” he said. “This suffocating tax has rocketed way out of control. Years of above-inflation increases have hit passengers hard, are hitting the economy hard and are impeding our recovery from the recession.”
Following the most recent rise in the tax, an eight per cent hike made in April, a family of four travelling to Europe must pay £52 in APD, while those flying farther afield are hit even harder. The cost of APD for a family of four flying to the United States or Egypt, for example, is £260; for those travelling to the Caribbean or South Africa, it is £324; and a family visiting Argentina or Australia must pay £368. Those figures are doubled for those flying in premium-economy, business- or first-class cabins.
Strange Random Tax Quote:
- Virgin Atlantic celebrates new Cancun route with tax-free tickets (dailymail.co.uk)
- Virgin Atlantic planning Heathrow to Moscow flights (guardian.co.uk)
- Flight tax rise comes into effect (confused.com)
- Air Passenger Duty: flights from London could face higher tax (telegraph.co.uk)
- Sir Richard Branson Does A Rapid About Turn On All Things Green (toryaardvark.com)
- Pressure mounting to lower flight tax (express.co.uk)
- Taxpayers Alliance backs anti-APD campaign (abtn.co.uk)
- Taxpayer’s Alliance calls for end to APD ‘burden’ (telegraph.co.uk)
A wine’s flavour can suggest many things besides grapes: blackberries, vanilla, citrus, chocolate, herbs, even tar or hay. It’s all in the mind and sometimes merely in the crazed craniums of wine critics. But there’s a new style of South African red that leaves little doubt as to what’s on offer. It has been dubbed coffee pinotage and the flavour has Starbucks written all over it.
In fact, the labels on most brands provide the first not-so-subtle clue. There’s Barista, Cappuccino Pinotage, Café Culture, Coffee Pinotage, The Bean and The Grinder, to name a few. The last two even feature images of a coffee bean and an old-fashioned hand-crank grinder, respectively. It’s enough to make you reach for an espresso cup in lieu of fancy stemware.
Several brands were recently launched in various provinces across Canada, ramping up the coffee-wine buzz that has been building since the launch of the first such example, Diemersfontein Pinotage, a decade ago.
Based on South Africa’s signature red grape, pinotage, the phenomenon is the accidental brainchild of Bertus Fourie, Diemersfontein’s former winemaker. A master’s graduate in oenology from the University of Stellenbosch, Mr. Fourie had specialized in the effects of wood aging on wine. By lining steel tanks with heavily charred French-oak staves the secret is in the temperature and duration of toasting and fermenting with a special strain of yeast, the wine developed an uncanny essence of espresso as well as chocolate. A similar thing happens with other varieties, but not to the same degree as with pinotage.
Strange Random Wine Quote:
- Pinotage on Tap (POT) comes to the UK (pinotage.org)
- Taste Pinotage Sunshine on 16 Dec (pinotage.org)
- The Power of Pinotage! (cybercellar.wordpress.com)
- Cape Ardor Launches a Dedicated South African Wine Website in the United States (prweb.com)
- The Wines of South Africa (winebookclub.org)
- South African winemaker uncorks award (travelnews.britishairways.com)
- Bokke Wines Portfolio Tasting (gothicepicures.blogspot.com)
- Naked Wines to Host Crowd-powered Online Auction with South African Producers (prweb.com)
- Biodiversity Bombshell (blogs.timeslive.co.za)
- Beyers follows Mao with a new little red book (blogs.timeslive.co.za)
- Black South African tastes success in winemaking (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Great South African Pinot (barrys-wine.blogspot.com)
Cape Town is currently undergoing a historic rebranding as a result of the Name Your Hood initiative, which aims to provide local communities a voice and an identity, as well as provide locals and tourists alike a simpler way to navigate the city.
As part of the initiative, one of Cape Town’s hippest and up and coming areas has been named The Loop and includes the immediate blocks surrounding Bree Street and part of Loop Street, from Strand Street up to Buitensingel Street.
According to Nick Seewer, CEO of Pepper Club Luxury Hotel & Spa, which is located in The Loop area, the rebranding initiative should be welcomed and supported by hospitality players in the area, as many local and international tourists aren’t actually aware of the different neighbourhoods in the city bowl.
“Cape Town is marketed as a single destination to tourists when in fact each suburb has its own unique character. The history of each location and the people of the individual communities have their own distinct ‘flavour’ which differentiates each neighbourhood from the next.
“The majority of visitors tend to think of Long Street as the ‘heart’ of the city due to its reputation, when in fact Bree Street has the same potential, along with a diverse history and often less crowds. The Loop caters for various interests, whether it is art, history, food or shopping,” says Seewer.
Strange Random Name Quote:
“The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.” – Chinese Proverb
- Adderley Street Flower Market (missjonesandtheelusivefoodorgasm.wordpress.com)
- Cape Town, 1:23 PM (socksandbuses.com)
- What is the zipcode when mailing from US to Cape Town (wiki.answers.com)
- Cape Town for Christmas (ebookers.com)
- Cape Town Hospitality: Hotels catch the scent of recovery (hoteliertv.com)
- Get an appetite for Africa. The table’s all set (independent.co.uk)
2010 in Review
Re-live top events and moments from 2010 from around the globe through search, images, and video.
Strange Random Search Quote:
- Zeitgeist 2010: Year in Review (dvirreznik.com)
- Zeitgeist 2010: What people searched for. (makethelogobigger.blogspot.com)
- Random chat site Chatroulette is UK’s fastest rising search term on Google (newstatesman.com)
- Google Zeitgeist (lostateminor.com)
- Myxer Makes Google Zeitgeist’s Top 10 As One Of 2010′s Fastest Rising Search Queries Worldwide (prweb.com)
- Year in review – Google Style (startupblog.wordpress.com)
The World Cup in South Africa, climate change, the credit crunch and technology have all left their mark on the way we talk, the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English reveals, as the latest crop of new words to be added to its pages is published today. Football fans will perhaps be unsurprised to learn that the vuvuzela, whose apian drone soundtracked yet another summer of hurt, has blared its way into the dictionary‘s pages. By being ushered into the dictionary, which is based on how language is really used, the metre-long plastic horn has cemented its immortality as well as its ubiquity.
Strange Random Dictionary Quote:
“If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?” – Stephen Wright (American Actor and Writer, b.1955)
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- Vuvuzela enters Oxford Dictionary (mirror.co.uk)
- New buzz word ‘vuvuzela’ earns a place in English dictionary (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Internet Influences Abound As “Tweetup” Is Accepted Into Oxford Dictionary of English (thenextweb.com)
- The English Dictionary of Non-Words (wired.com)
- 8 Food Words Rejected (For Now) By The Oxford English Dictionary (huffingtonpost.com)
- 99-year-old error in Oxford English Dictionary (newslite.tv)