City Guide: Cape Town
Pristine beaches, a laid back pace of life and an incredible foodie scene make Cape Town one of our favourite cities in the world. Situated between the grandeur of Table Mountain and the wrestling shores of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans; Cape Town is surrounded by breathtaking landscape. For Brits, it's an affordable holiday destination and with the introduction of Uber into the city, it's now even easier to make the most of Cape Town on the cheap.
Here's our curated edit of our favourite places to visit in this wonderful city.
Jarryd's - When in Cape Town, one of our favourite morning activities is to take a swim in the pool at Sea Point Pavillion - 50m seawater pool right next to the ocean, with waves from the Atlantic crashing over the edges - then stroll over to Jarryd’s for coffee and/or breakfast. Everything is just very good here and that’s no doubt down to owners Jarryd and Ariel Segal, two Capetonian brother’s who grew up in Australia and worked in the Sydney Cafe industry before returning to Cape Town. Jarryd’s is known by the locals for great coffee, super friendly service and ingredients which are sourced locally. Try one of our favourites, the Smoked Salmon Potato Rosti Stack.
Truth - We couldn’t not mention Truth Coffee given that this 3 storey Victorian warehouse tuned cafe and roastery has been named the World’s best coffee shop by the Telegraph. To use their words, “This steampunk inspired artisan coffee shop is filled top to bottom with metal piping and quirky old machinery. But people don’t just flock there for the decor - the coffee is all hand-roasted in a vintage cast iron drum, and the company supplies many of South Africa’s top hotels”. Check it for yourself, we highly recommend it!
[Shop design by Haldane Martin, photos by Mickey Hoyle.]
Chardonnay Deli - Just some of the things you can look forward to at this deli about 20 minutes drive from the centre of Cape Town include freshly baked artisan goods and a menu jam-packed with smoothies and super-juices.
Founder Charmaine has always had a passion for creativity and hospitality - by the age of 17, she had received an entrepreneurial certificate from her high school and initiated her school’s first ever catering club.
Chardonnay Deli is situated in an old farm and you can relax in the courtyard for breakfast or lunch and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding valley.
Babylonstoren - Dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren is a historic Cape Dutch farm, known for for its magnificent garden laid out over 8 acres. The garden comprises 15 clusters spanning fruit and vegetables areas, berries, bees for pollinating, indigenous plants, a prickly pear maze, ducks and chickens! Our favourite thing to do - take your shoes off and lie face down in one of the fragrant lawns! Then, go and enjoy a hearty lunch of artisanal breads, handcrafted cheeses and homemade herb oils within the Greenhouse restaurant.
Book ahead of time to partake in a garden tour or to visit the bamboo spa.
Tokara - This is one of those restaurants which you’ll never forget and will be recommending to all of your friends for years to come. Not only is it one of South Africa’s leading fine dining restaurants featuring award-winning wines AND an award-winning chef, Tokara is an architectural icon in itself with its steel, glass and stone structure. If you want to enjoy a romantic meal at sunset, then this is the place for you. The restaurant juts out over the vineyards and olive groves, providing you with breathtaking views over False Bay and all the way to Table Mountain.
Our recommendation - take a day trip out of Cape Town to visit the Franschhoek wine valley for a vineyard tour and on your way back, visit Tokara for dinner. You will need to book well in advance as this place is seriously popular!
Hallelujah - Take away joint meets American diner meets Asian street food. There’s vinyl flooring, pink flamingos on the wall and bubbly by the glass. Hallelujah is a food and champagne bar with a difference. The stripped back menu of just 10 items doesn't scrimp on flavour. Try the Mozambiquan Prawns on Steamed Buns with Coriander and Lime Sauce. Go with friends and order dishes to share.
Yours Truly - With fairly lights and foliage aplenty, Yours Truly is an oasis within the city which truly lives up to its hype. Located on 73 Kloof Street, Yours Truly transforms from cafe by day, to beer garden at night serving up live DJ’s and acoustic sessions every weekend.
Yours Truly started off as just one cosy coffee shop in 2010 but has since grown into a fully fledged lifestyle brand with now four locations around the city, an airbnb apartment and their very own wine brand - Truly Wines. Visit our favourite, the Kloof Street location for after-work drinks, pre-drinks before a night out on the town or a lazy chill on a Saturday afternoon.
Goldbar by Coco - If you’re in want of a sophisticated night out, Goldbar by Coco is well worth a visit. This lounge bar, located on Loop Street, pulls in a stylish crowd with DJ’s playing house, hip hop and dance every Wednesday to Saturday from 9pm to 3am.
The Village Idiot - For casual drinks, head to Village Idiot on Loop Street. This quirky restaurant and bar embraces South African braai culture whilst emanating an English pub vibe. This place is not short on flamboyance, just check out the giant Ostrich in the middle of the bar and a carefree, slightly silly attitude is always welcome here. With its pool table, board games, DJ and a balcony hosting spit braai’s on the weekend; Village Idiot is a place to come with friends and camp out for a whole night of fun.
Llandudno beach - This is one of the most peaceful and secluded beaches around. The white crescent beach is situated between Hout Bay and Camps Bay and thanks to minimal parking options and not much in the way of shops nearby; Llandudno rarely gets too crowded.
Known for its soft white sands, crystal blue waters and giant boulders; this beach is a firm favourite with families, couples, surfers and photographers. There are plenty of walks to be had and hidden coves to be discovered but nothing will take your breath away quite like watching sunset at Llandudno.
For shops and restaurants, the buzz of Hout Bay is only a 10 minute drive away.
Silvermine Nature Reserve - Take a 30 min drive out of the city to reach Silvermine, part of the Table Mountain National Park, and take a leisurely hike up to the Elephant’s Eye cave for spectacular views of the Cape Flats. For a family-friendly hike, go for the Silvermine Reservoir Trail, a 1km walk around the reservoir which was originally built in 1898. Picnic and braai spots are dotted around the reservoir and you can even take a dip if you fancy it. There are plenty of mountain-bike trails, unique species of flora and fauna to observe and if you’re feeling especially adventurous, it’s possible to hike all the way to the upper cable car station on Table Mountain.
Kirstenbosch Gardens - No visit to Cape Town would be complete without a trip to Kirstenbosch Gardens. Why? This botanical gardens is considered one of the greatest in the world. Named a UNESCO World heritage site; its sheer grandeur is difficult to match. Set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is made up of protected mountain side and natural forest. The estate, which covers 528 hectares, is home to indigenous plant life, cultivated gardens, including fragrance gardens, plus a canopy walkway. It’s a picnic’ers paradise!
Bo-Kaap - The candy coloured, cobbled streets of Bo-Kaap may be one of Cape Town's most photographed suburbs but you'd be missing out if you didn't read up on the history of this area before you visit. Formerly known as the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap has been the traditional home of Cape Town’s Muslim population since the second half of the eighteenth century. The muslim residents of Bo-Kaap have painted their houses in colours ranging from bubblegum pink to lime green in celebration of Eid which marks the end of Ramadan where it is customary to dress up in bold colours.