We are planning a short trip to Cape Town scheduled during dark mid-winter here in Rome...which is delightful, steamy, summer there!
I am so looking forward to re-visiting one of my favorite spots in Africa. Now usually when we went to South Africa from Zimbabwe it was vacation mixed with a long list of things that had to be done/purchased and lugged back...doctors visits, car and plumbing parts, groceries ( I had mastered the art of the last minute woolworths run before the airport to fill a cooler with milk, cheese, fresh pasta, etc...) This trip will be pure pleasure, beach, food, wine and shopping (NOT for car parts!!)
This is very requested mish-mash of a list is compiled from many trips over many years and was primarily geared to those travelling from Zimbabwe...
Gillian’s Cape Town List
At the airport pick up a copy of Time Out’s Cape Town for visitors. Another great resource is a magazine called Eat Out…has all the fab restaurants throughout the country.
Fairlady and Femina are the two women’s magazines, House & Garden, House and Lesuire. and Food&Home - Entertaining are the décor magazines…all will have great articles on where to go, eat, shop…Heat and You are the South African version of people…essential beach and plane reading…
Don’t be scared by restaurants in malls…because of security this is often where they are (more in joburg, then Durban and Cape Town the least of all)
Cape Town is probably even busier than Durban at Christmastime…again, book now even if you think you might cancel…as a point of reference…we used to book in august
Sea Point – there was not much of anything to see and do here and had a slightly seedy quality - but with the world cup stadium nearby it has probably changed quite a bit…
Long Street – very busy and loud at night…boutiques and antiques and bead shops in the daytime…all kinds of nightlife to choose from…The Ice Shop near the top – fabulous ice cream in chocolate dipped cones! Candace at icon villas’s has been very helpful with accomdation…
Greenmarket square – African craft market in the middle with the usual…chic boutiques and coffee shops on surrounding streets…antique stalls are also often set up around here
Crush – St George’s mall – smoothies and great sandwiches
African image – too cool coffee shop with hipster shop attached
Five Flies – Keerom street (we stayed in a top floor apartment in the building right next door) Very, very good fancy restaurant…5 stars
Olive Green Cat…there is a ring here I am still thinking about…have even written and tried to figure out a way to get it Rome…100 shortmarket steet, heritage square
Kloof Street is a great ½ a day…start at Vida e Caffé and walk up the hill…lunch at Melissa’s (no. 94) is a must…Heartworks next door to Melissa's, is a charming crafty shop filled with treasures that are all income generating projects…totally guilt free shopping
Kalk Bay another fabulous ½ day…very cute and charming
Camps Bay – The place to see and be seen - Paranga is a chi-chi restaurant with a stellar view and very good food…Sinnful (upstairs – decadent ice cream)
Blougberstrand – this is where the iconic table mountain pictures are taken…also almost always Kite Surfing to watch
Mount Nelson – famous old fashioned hotel – where the movie stars stay….classic afternoon tea – vic falls hotel-like… a very hip champagne bar
Waterfront – a little touristy – but I guess that’s the point! shops, restaurants, movies (art house theatre is downstairs) seals….I love to sit on a bench in the sun in the afternoon and watch the cloud come over the mountain.
Canal Walk –This is a huge shopping mall with a game and pick and pay…great one-stop shopping…mcdonalds is here
There is a shuttle bus from the waterfront…goes to the clock-tower tourist center and they have the schedule…I left from the commodore hotel…
Wakame – Beach road and surrey place Mouille Point (in between sea point and waterfront on beach road) 021-433-2377…incredible views, good sushi…go early and catch the sunset…
Bahia waterfront - upstairs – expensive fish restaurant…incredible views of Table Mountain and harbor… …
Vida e caffe – (in waterfront mall) super cool coffee bar…fabulous sandwiches on the run
Constantia – posh suburb in the middle of the mountain…Groot Constantia is a good easy vineyard stop.
About 45 minutes from Cape Town…charming and stunningly beautiful winemaking village
We stayed in a place called The Cottage firstname.lastname@example.org 021-876-2392…a 1-room cottage in a very nice young couple’s back garden…very affordable and you can walk to town. (this was a while ago….try safari.com if they are no longer reachable)
I have always wanted to have a meal/stay at Klein Oliphants…a young couple…open kitchen…rave reviews from people I have sent there.
Haute Cabriere – one of my favorite south African wines/champagnes (pinot noir and brut) on Saturdays the owner gives a champagne making tour – the Patrick Mavros of the wine world – very entertaining!!.
The French Connection – a new bistro style restaurant…has a glass walled kitchen…the kids can watch the chefs…
Boschendal – book ahead for the pique-nique – sit outside under the mountains and have a lazy, boozy lunch…
Rueben’s – we have never managed a reservation ….so I guess that tells you something…
About an hour and ½ from Cape Town – Rehoboth-like seaside village…on the rocks the actual beach is about 7k away (voeklip and grotto) one of my favorite spots near cape town, we have been 3 times.
Nelshof Guest House (grotto beach) is very nice though it was a long time ago since we stayed there...literally sat in bed and watched/listened to the whales!
Walehaven Winery – mom produced wines just outside of hermanus…the pinot noir is amazing…
Bientang’s Cave – so so restaurant in a cave at the waters edge – amazing setting
Savannah Café – upstairs in shopping center – incredible views across walker bay…good coffee
the new Moyo restaurant (no relation to local’s of same name ) is an amazing experience…it’s in the village at Spier in wine country….you sit under tents and have a multi-course food and wine feast…book a treehouse table…about ½ hour/ 45 min out of town
Spier is also quite fun…you can take a steam train out to the estate…there is something for everyone…a cheetah rescue, raptors, horse riding, wine tasting, playground…
The Maharani is the glam sailboat cruise we took… r350 a person…we took the sunset cruise on new years day…non-stop cocktails and half way through you anchor and have oysters and cheese and snacky things…this was one of the coolest things we have done in cape town…the boat is next to the Victoria and Albert hotel…082-650-1199 John Leslie
If you feel like a drive…about 130k west (on the r27 past bloubergstrand) is a restaurant experience called Die Strandloper (22-772-2490)…in langebaan…amazing…it’s like 19 courses…you sit on stone picnic tables on the beach and the food never stops…mussels and grilled fish and the best bread ever…it ends with a crayfish braii about 3 hours after you started…well worth the drive…if you do head that way…Darling is very quaint and Groot Post has some really nice wines and picnics…in Darling we stayed a Trinity guest house…very relaxing…a must see is the comedy/cabaret by Afrikaans drag queen Pieter Dirk Uys…side splitting
Fairview in Paarl has very good wine with a great sense of humor! There are goats roaming in a tower at the entrance….they make incredible cheese…there is a café where you can have a salady lunch and try all the cheeses and wines…very good bread
Waterkant is cute...haven't stayed there but have walked around...very cool little shopping area right there...check out the apartment we stayed in in camps bay, www.c-life.co.za lloyd perry is the contact
This last trip the coolest thing we did was a wine and chocolate tasting - unbelievable!!! do not miss this - at Waterford Estate near Stellenbosch...and make sure you buy the whole thing to bring home!!! we are still talking about it...
Haiku 33 Chuch street 021 424 7000 (near greenmarket square) - asian tapas - make a booking…very very good…same people as Bukhara …the Indian restaurant dynasty…
The Twelve Apostles ...to Azure the fancy place - lovely meal, incredible wine guy, ZERO attitude... also do a picnic you can have on the grounds...groovy cocktail bar upstairs…also have a small movie theatre and meal package…
Manna - up at the top of kloof street...all white décor, gourmet sandwiches and drinks (green tea pear juice)...don't go home without a jar of milk jam and a visit to the bathroom!
Boulder’s Beach/Simon's Town…on the false bay side…very entertaining to watch the penguins…simon’s town is cute…the place to eat is called the meeting place (upstairs) on the main road