Friday, 12 February 2021 08:16 AM
A perfect blend of scenery and city bustle, the Mother City has rolling vineyards, quaint coastal towns along its peninsula, and the world’s coolest neighbourhood. In every corner of this vibrant city, there is a little something for everyone.
Voted the coolest neighbourhood in the world by Forbes in 2018, Kalk Bay is a small, funky, harbour town just south of Cape Town. Spend a day here and explore the colourful, cobblestoned streets, filled with artisanal bakeries, retro stores and secret boutiques. Tuck into a pizza with a side of live music at the Brass Bell – an institution of Kalk Bay – or enjoy fine dining at Live Bait, a restaurant where waves crash against its big windows. Walk the pier and be entertained by the celebrity seals, with a backdrop of stretching sea views that’ll take your gaze across False Bay.
With restaurants, glitzy bars and five-star hotels, the Camps Bay strip is where you get to rub shoulders with celebrities and even feel like one yourself. Start your day with an early morning walk along the picturesque Pipe Track, a gentle walk that’ll take you along the contours above Camps Bay. Soak up the views of the coastline and Twelve Apostles Hotel, before heading down to a cafe along the strip for a gourmet breakfast. If you’ve worked up a sweat exploring, then head to the palm-fringed Camps Bay beach instead and take an icy dip that promises to bring the heat down. Come evening, toast the sunset with an expertly mixed cocktail from any of the ritzy restaurants.
Cape Town’s kaleidoscopic Bo Kaap is one of the city’s prettiest and most photogenic neighbourhoods. Dressed in all the colours of the rainbow and more, this historic suburb’s origins date back to the 1760s, when the rental houses were built and leased to predominantly Muslim slaves, with the houses bland and white. Today though, Bo Kaap is pulsing with a proud Malay heritage, and vibrantly coloured houses are a tribute to their people’s freedom. Explore local craft markets or follow your nose to delicious restaurants, where traditional Cape Malay food is prepared. Tours given by locals are a good way to discover this iconic precinct; always be respectful of the residents and their homes.
The Deep South
Head towards the south of the peninsula, to Cape Town’s Deep South. Hout Bay, Noordhoek, Kommetjie and Simon’s Town are perfect little retreats away from the city, each with its own quirky and unique character. The fishing town of Hout Bay provides a sanctuary for surfers and has a market, famous for its variety of food and live music. A little further on the coast is Noordhoek, a rural suburb below Chapman’s Peak. Here you will find the Noordhoek Village, a melting pot of live music with SA’s biggest acts, great restaurants and the Noordhoek Hotel. Keep heading south and you’ll encounter the surfing town of Kommetjie, where some of South Africa’s greatest surfers have honed their skills. Hop across the peninsula to Simon’s Town and explore the city’s naval neighbourhood. Take a tour, visit the penguins at Boulders Beach or dive a little deeper with a scuba experience. Jubilee Square is where you can pay homage to the statue of Just Nuisance, one of the South African Navy’s most famous enlistments. This Great Dane was ranked ‘Able Seaman’ which even entitled him to naval rations!
Skirting 114 curves over nine kilometres, Chapman’s Peak is easily one of South Africa’s, if not the world’s, most scenic drives. Clinging to the edge of this famous peak, Chapman’s Peak Drive links Hout Bay to Noordhoek with views that look from Hout Bay, all the way to Kommetjie. With several stops along the route, each one is an unmissable photo opportunity. Do the pass in style with Cobra car hire, with the rooftop down and the wind in your hair.
CBD and the V&A Waterfront
The beating heart of the Mother City is the Central Business District. Walk her streets and discover a fusion of culture, cuisine, song and dance. As South Africa’s coffee capital, the Cape Town CBD is where it all began, with scores of roasteries found throughout the streets. Look out for coffee hotspots like Kamili. Long, Loop and Bree Streets are a heartland for great restaurants, bars and entertainment, with cabaret theatres like Gate 69, broadway-esque performances found at Artscape, or watch a film at the Labia Theatre, Cape Town’s oldest movie theatre. Discover gin and rooftop bars, like the Secret Gin Bar and Sky Bar at the Grand Daddy Hotel.
You can also explore Parliament Street to see the Houses of Parliament or visit other museums like the Cape Town Holocaust Centre, District Six Museum, Cape Town City Hall and the South African National Gallery.
To escape the bustle of the city, you needn’t walk far, with Cape Town’s famous Company’s Garden, a perfect little hideaway in the middle of the city. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, an age-old pear tree that still bears fruit, and curious squirrels, this is an idyllic spot for a quiet lunch.
Spilling out toward the ocean, where the city meets the sea, is the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, a hub where South African flavour comes together with an international twist. Visit the many boutique stores and dine at incredible restaurants where you can eat in the beauty of Cape Town. But the best view of the harbour, city and the iconic Table Mountain can be enjoyed from atop the ferris wheel.
Constantia Wine Route
The Constantia wine route is the oldest in the country and includes five producers of wine, each with their own unique history and beautiful estates. The original Constantia wine farm was cultivated by Simon van der Stel, and has since been split into several award-winning farms. Groot Constantia is the oldest farm and is home to rolling vineyards, some amazing restaurants and even a glimpse of False Bay. Not to mention some resident ducks. You could also head to the upper foothills of the Constantiaberg to enjoy a tasting among ancient trees. Buitenverwachting has some delicious wines and platters to pair, which can be savoured on the verandah or under the shade of an age-old oak tree in the centre of the lawn. Constantia Uitsig is a picture-perfect vineyard, dotted with delicate flowers and singing birds indigenous to South Africa and the region. Lastly, is Steenberg Wine Estate. This is the last along the Constantia wine route, but definitely not the least. Its pretty garden, contemporary design, delicious bistro and fine labels make this one of Cape Town’s best wine-producing establishments.