Getting sweaty in South Africa during European wintertime.
When you need to shoot a commercial during Belgian wintertime, chances are high you end up in Cape Town: great production values for less money, big blue skies and with a similar feel to some European cities. I took advantage of this business trip by adding some extra days of pleasure with my boyfriend. This post includes some great Insider tips from Capetonian surfbabe Donna (IG: @donna_ddw). Working as a chaperone in the film industry, she knows all the hidden gems in her home city.
CAPE TOWN IN 3 DAYS
We were staying at the Winchester Mansion hotel. Iconic beachfront hotel – Atlantic ocean side- directly on Sea Point’s boardwalk. Backside view is as amazing with the Lion Head mountain as a backdrop. Every Sunday there is a jazz brunch organized in the hotel’s luscious garden.
If you look for a cheaper alternative, the Backpack hostel could be a good alternative.
NATURE TRAILS AT/
Table Mountain, often with a table cloth. Prominent landmark. Inaugurated in 2012 as one of the new 7 wonders of nature – the only one in an urban area. Take the aerial cableway (or one of the hiking routes up) where you can enjoy a 360 view. Once up, you can enjoy the most awe-inspiring panoramic views and wander around for about 1 hour (a shared 1st place with the Rio de Janeiro Cristo Redentor view).
70 km south of CT city: Cape of Good Hope. Where the cold water of the Atlantic and the warmer Indian Ocean merge. Typical weather in Cape Town, 4 seasons in a day.
SUNSHINE PLAYGROUND AT/
Wait for the sun to set at Camps Bay, where no 2 sunsets are ever the same. It can get extremely windy when the southeasterly blows on a sunny afternoon.
SEA POINT. A promenade takes you from the Windsor Mansions hotel to Sea Point (on the road to Camps Bay). Look out for the seawater tidal pools (Saunders Rock tidal pool, with its imposing granite rocks lies in beautiful Bantry Bay) and some rocky beaches. On the opposite side, you’ll notice some fine art deco apartments with French names.
It hosts one of the most breathtaking beach pools of the world overlooking the Atlantic Ocean: Sea Point swimming pool. Olympic-sized pool and entertainment pools, open throughout the year. Can accommodate up to 1300 people/day.
The beaches are too chilly (our judgment) to swim in as it’s the Atlantic Ocean side.
GRAB A CAR AND VISIT AROUND/
Rent a car for a couple of days, or arrange Uber services which are great in Capetown. Make sure you visit:
- The colorful Victorian beach huts and tidal pool on Saint James beach. Situated on the False Bay coast, Indian Ocean side on the road to Cape The Good Hope. Postcard perfect visit.
- We lunched in a somewhat hidden but excellent seafood bistro – Brass bell at Kalk Bay (just passed Saint James beach). The butter fried sole with peas and mashed potatoes was finger licking. Surrounded by rolling waves the restaurant is nestled into the tidal pool. From this beach, you’re one stop away from Boulders Beach.
- Head to Boulders Beach for penguin galore. Endangered African penguins are walking free around on the beach, get a suntan with never-seen entertainment.
- Bring a souvenir: Everyone comes for the Biltong from the German butcher “Gardens Continental Butchery and Deli”. This dry out cured meat from springbok, ostrich or just regular beef.
- Wine tasting at Stellenbosch (situated about 50 km east from Cape Town), a university city, but more famous for its winelands. We chose Delaire Graff, a luxurious winery yet at very affordable prices. Book ahead and combine wine tasting with a tasty lunch overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch and majestic mountains. World class. Luxurious lodging is also a possibility on the domaine, but with prices starting as of 12000 Rand (+/- 700€) it’s for honeymoon purposes only
- The SAVOY CABBAGE.co.za: South African food with a hint of Europe. Eat Springbok, the national dish. Gracious and elegant fine dining in a visually attractive design restaurant with stone, old bricks and concrete makes you hesitate if you’re in Cape Town, or rather in London or New York.
- THE RED HERRING.co.za. Unpretentious eatery at Noordhoek. Sun drenched deck tucked away amongst the trees, beachy relaxed feel. Great choice for a pizza or fish & chips lunch.
- Sushi restaurant, the CODFATHER.co.za: seafood and sushi venue at Camps bay, close by the beach, crowded by cosy, with wooden tables and candlelight. There is no menu, make your fish choice at the counter and enjoy fish heaven.
- LA PERLA.co.za. Beach road Sea Point. Italian inspired restaurant with charming terrace with beach view. Oldfashioned service meets very cosmopolitan crowd.
- Head to BELMOND MOUNT NELSON HOTEL, aka the pink palace, for the best afternoon tea of the world. Posh colonial hotel since 1899. If you’re not a guest, don’t be scared off by the amount of security barriers and personnel, just walk in like a stylish vamp on Havaianas. We finally decided to leave the tea aside and took champagne and some appetizers instead. Top notch service, Grande Dame worthy.
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront: a huge shopping mall in the middle of the city’s harbor. It has some Disney look & feel, but the shopping experience is great (and way cheaper than in Europe). While you’re there, taken one hour to visit the 2 Oceans Aquarium behind the corner and witness the elegance of the great white sharks. Note to my single friends: plenty of fish in the sea. From there you can also take a boat to Nelson Mandela’s prison at Robben island.
If you like more local stuff & atmosphere, grab a taxi on Sunday brunch time and head to the Old biscuit Mill in Woodstock, mixed bag of designers. (foto kaapstad bracelet)
Don’t be kak, be lekker.
INSTAGRAM AROUND FOR MORE INSPIRATION:
If you’re interested to upgrade your surfing skills: @clairebevo
For the best coffee brew in capetown: @origincoffeesa