I’ve been meaning to write this for a while; I’ve been caught up in all the fuss over the Olympic Games since I’ve been in London and am only now getting around to putting this all down on paper, or computer to be more accurate. Having spent almost 6 months in Cape Town this year exploring and discovering all the wonderful eats and treats of the ‘Mother City’, I thought I should share some of my favourites in case you are ever down in that beautiful part of the world. I suppose we should begin at the beginning – Breakfast, my favourite meal of the day! Inner city breakfast spot Manna Epicure on Kloof street is a definite favourite if you love a good eggs benedict. Other good breakfast spots in the city include Clarke’s (though the portions are quite serious so it’s the perfect spot if you’re ravenously hungry); Dear Me, for exceptionally well crafted wholesome food. For the best pastry and bread in town, not to mention some stellar coffee and healthy breakfasts, you have to try Jason Bakery on Bree street. For something a little healthier, Skinny Legs and All on Loop street is fabulous and serves up a variety of muesli and fruity treats. Heading out of town; Rhodes Memorial up on the North Slope of Table Mountain has spectacular views and great food. Superette in Woodstock might look shabby, but the food is incredible. Empire Café in the surfer town of Muizenburg is great for a full-on, post-surf breakfast, and the stunning views over the ocean are not bad either.
Long lunches are really what Cape Town is best for, but where you go is really dependent on the mood you are in. For something laid back and interactive try the Neighbourgoods Markets at The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock – the market is full of fabulous food and crafts and there are some very good restaurants in the vicinity; if you’re after something a little more up market, The Test Kitchen here is by far one of the best eateries in Cape Town. My favourite lunch spot is The Food Barn in Noordhoek – see Food Barn blog post for review. The best views in town during lunch would be Harbour House at Cape Town Waterfront, or their sister restaurant in Kalk Bay. The Lookout Deck at Hout Bay sits over the water and does fantastic seafood, and for something really special I suggest trying The Greenhouse at The Cellars Hohenort on a Sunday, just remember to book in advance.
If, like me, you like to be outdoors, then there are some excellent activities in and around Cape Town. If you run, try parking in Camps Bay and running out along the water’s edge to Llandudno – beware the cyclists here though. If you like a good walk there is Lions Head or Table Mountain – although Table Mountain can be done by cable car if you just want to see the sights. If you’re an adventurous soul, there are some other stunning walks outside of town which include my favourite, the Krom River Walk, Du Toitskloof in the Limietberg Nature Reserve; it’s one of the least known tracks and there are never many people around, if any, although you will need to collect a pass before you go.
There’s scuba-diving, rock climbing, hand gliding, surfing, river rafting, horse riding and plenty of ideas for kids activities – check out Uncover The Cape and Cape Adventure Zone.
As the Cape is known for its wine, I would suggest trying some of the wine estates for good food and wine tours – there are several tour operators and if you are staying at one of the hotels you can usually book something through the concierge.
Dinner spots in and around Cape Town vary; for something inexpensive but really fabulous try Society Bistro or La Mouette. For something more ‘fine-dining’ there’s Savoy Cabbage, Aubergine, Signal, Le Quartier Francais and The Roundhouse (both highly recommend you try this); or La Colombe, which is my absolute favourite and comes rated at number 16 on the World’s top 50 restaurants. Cape Town is full of stunning eateries and it really comes alive at night – for a more comprehensive guide check the Eat Out guide which has extensive lists and good search options to help you decide.
Fashion: Waterfront, Long Street, Kloof Street and Neighbourgoods Market
Bars: Cafe Caprice, Orphanage, Asoka, Tjing Tjing (above Dear Me), and as always, the infamous Rafikis (cheaper, louder and more often than not, crowded).
Hotels on a Budget: Daddy Long Legs, 51 on Camps Bay, Ashanti Lodge.
Luxury Hotels: Cape Grace, Babylonstoren, Ellerman House, any of the Collection McGrath Hotels, The Twelve Apostles, Tintswalo Atlantic, Constantia Uitsig, Le Quartier Francais, Delaire Graff, and my favourite, La Residence.
Best Burgers: Clarke’s or Royale Eatery
High Tea: The Mount Nelson, Twelve Apostels or the One & Only.
Craft Beer is a full on thing in Cape Town and I wholeheartedly recommend checking out &Union – especially on a Tuesday night when @Texxonfire does a live music night with up-and-coming bands.