We recently travelled from London back home to South Africa for a three week holiday. We started our journey to Woody’s family in Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, for Christmas. We all moseyed down the 1500km over two days by Land Rover to Saldanha, just north of Cape Town. We spent New Year’s eve here with friends and family, before finally reaching Cape Town where we stayed for just under two weeks. The best part, and the main reason for going all that way, was being right by my bestie Sheona’s side when she said ‘I do’.
The trip was glorious, but as ever it went by in a whirlwind. In an attempt to remain relatively relaxed we made a conscious effort to take things a bit slower. We spent quality time with those we wanted to see and did things for just the two of us. I have a tendency to forget that I’m actually on a holiday when I return home and find I am often putting everyone else’s needs ahead of my own. It is a major operation fitting everyone in and this time I was a bridesmaid – it basically took militant planning and organising. A blog post all about the hen do is on my to-do list.
We stayed with the most wonderful humans, Don and Jaco, who are friendly, fabulously gay, helpful and did I mention wonderful? We found their modestly handsome abode on Airbnb and were delighted to discover the menagerie of animals living with them. Two flooffy bunnies, quails & canaries – and I accidentally made them temporarily adopt a lost kitten that followed me home. It’s the small things in life like singing birds and floppy bunnies to greet you in the morning that make your stay so special. I must admit I was a bit apprehensive about staying with hosts, but it works out to be a lot more affordable for a longer stay. It also means that you always have a local to tell you where the sweet spots are.
The last Airbnb place we stayed in was also very cozy and central, you can find it here if you need a place with more of your own space.
EAT & DRINK:
- Greenhouse Restaurant – This was is possibly my favourite thing to see! The Greenhouse is situated on Babylonstoren wine farm, which is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the area. More on this to follow soon.
- Picnic at the Cape Point Vineyard – This was given to us as a gift and what a treat it was. All we had to do was arrive, our pre-packed picnic was set up for us with a lovely blanket and cushions. There was almost too much food and everything was delish. I would highly recommend this, as it is affordable and very casually romantic.
- Hallelujah – This pan Asian fusion food spot is damn good and is run by our friend Julia. Her steamed buns are life and I love them best with prawns. The restaurant is only open on certain days and it varies according to Julia’s bouldering schedule – so check the website. Find it just off Kloof street.
- Power and the Glory – Right next door to Hallelujah and pretty much good for everything from brekkie to drinks in the eve. Gardens is a great area to start your evening at and venture down to Long street if you’re feeling brave.
- Jason Bakery – Let me be frank with you, Cape Town is not very good at making croissants, but Jason Bakery is setting the record straight. These guys know how to bake carb-o-licious creations and make you leave any ambitions of fitting into your slim jeans at the door. Their coffee is great too.
- Truth Coffee – The coffee here is outstanding and the food is really good too (portions size = small giant). The steampunk industrial decor makes the vibe very cool. It is a great space for meeting people, working or doing a solo trip. My only negative comment is that the service has never been amazing. Try the benedict’s underbelly for something LCHF and super tasty.
- The Old Biscuit Mill is a fantastic spot for shopping and eating, with all the stores and dining areas being unique and interesting. They also have a wonderful neighbourhood market on every Saturday, which is well worth checking. We went for our final family dinner at Burrata and this little restaurant knows how to whip up a mean pizza. They also serve other Italian-ish meals with a superb wine list to accompany your meal – the calamari was fantastic. A good daytime spot, also at the OBM, is Saucisse Boutique Deli. This tiny deli has a super selection of locally sources foods like cheese, oil, cold meats, herbs, eggs and that sort of thing. Stop here for a quick stock up and a nibble while you browse.
- Café Ganesh – A bit of a dingy joint, but that’s what I love about it. Very affordable and the service is ultra chilled- feel right at home. The samoosas are great.
- Tiger’s Milk – a wide selection of good food and drink right on the Muizenberg beachfront. Go for a surf and fuel up here. We had our the hen do dinner here after our fancy high-tea at Casa Labia, which is well worth the visit for their freshly made scones and scenic view.
- Café Olympia – This spot in Kalk Bay is ideal for a seafood lunch and then a lazy stroll down the strip for some ice-cream and some full-belly browsing. If you don’t want to wait, try Kalky’sacross the road for some street style cuisine. Cape to Cuba make some very drinkable cocktails and the sandy floors makes for the beginnings of a great night out.