If you can go to just one of the Cape vineyard towns, Franschhoek is much quieter and less tourisity than Stellenbosch. The town’s name means French corner, and it really feels like Provence has come to South Africa. There’s a lovely restaurant called Le Quartier Francais which serves divine lunches. And if the driving gets too much and you want to stay for a few glasses of wine, there is a charming guesthouse behind the restaurant.
Willoughby's, down in the waterfront centre, is one of the best seafood restaurants I have ever been to. Melt-in-your mouth sushi, HUGE rock oysters from Namibia, the freshest fish (served in the pan with delicious potatoes) and really good paella. No booking, and really casual, it’s great for lunch and there’s no need to reserve. And it’s dirt cheap by British/European standards - you couldn’t eat like this at home.
Ground floor, V&A Waterfront shopping centre
A tour company run by a young man from the Cape Town Flats area trying to get his business off the ground. Chris took us on a wonderful day's tour of the wine fields and to the Cape of Good Hope. He was fun, informative and relaxed. We felt good about redressing some of the financial imbalances only too visible as a result of the years of apartheid.
Tel: Chris on 083 246 1924
Location - location - location. I haven't found a place in the Cape which feels so quiet and so yet close to the sea - it is so beautiful. The sea has a unique colour at this side of False Bay - just magical. The restaurant has great seafood. The 3 times I have been there the service has been really friendly. Almost the ideal lunch spot for those on trips to or from Cape Point or the penguins in Simonstown (3 miles away). The only warning is that it is quite exposed so if the wind is blowing you may need a sheltered outside spot. I really hope you go and enjoy it as much as we did.
Rikkys is a nice, cheap and for the most part safe way to get around town. Taxis are quite expensive and slow in Cape Town, and the minivans, well ... A Rikkys will pick you up from where you are and drop you off at your destination, but it will also pick up other people. So its a cross between a taxi and a bus basically. The service covers central Cape Town as well as Camps Bay and Clifton.
Sleazy little bar with all the essentials: pool tables in the back, small dancefloor and a DJ on Monday nights packin the house. Friendly bar staff and interesting crowd - backpackers up the road ensures continuous variety ;)
OK, so this isn't strictly in Cape Town - it's out in the wine district of Constantia which is a 40-minute or so drive out of the city...but it's so, so, worth the journey. Constantia Uitsig is one of a number of vineyards that you drive by, and like many of them it has its own restaurant and accommodation.
We sat around the pool and had what has to have been one of the best meals I've ever eaten, all washed down with the vineyard's own wine (which we then went and bought half a case of). The service was incredible, the food quite gorgeous and the scenery stunning. Doesn't really get any better. And the total cost? Well, it was a couple of years ago now, but the bill for two with wine came to around £60 - which is a fortune by South African standards - but a bargain in the grand scheme of things. For a real treat, you could stay in one of their rooms as well but that was a treat too far for us.
The taxi journey to the city centre should last no more than 20 minutes, but only use Touch Down Taxis, the company officially authorised by the airport. Shuttle buses run from both the domestic and international arrivals buildings and are available on-demand or pre-booked. The first passenger costs R120, then each additional passenger from the same group costs an extra R30.
Turn of the century building set in acres of greenery at the foot of Table Mountain. Their traditional afternoon teas are said to be formidable. Doubles are between R3,460 (low season) and R5,125 (high season). Luxury suites go from R8,030 (low season) up to R12,165 (high season).
76 Orange Street; Tel: 27 21 483 1000; www.mountnelson.co.za
Once a prison, now cheap accommodation in a great setting, within walking distance of a multitude of bars, restaurants and shops. Doubles start at R460.
Portswood Road, Victoria and Albert Waterfront; Tel: 27 21 406 1911; www.bwl.co.za/
Stripped brickwork and wireless internet in the rooms. Elegant bars, a gym and a narrow open-air pool. Doubles start at R1,000.
Corner of Somerset Road and Ebenezer Road; Tel: 27 21 418 1234; www.proteahotels.com/findhotel.jsp?croid=vjunc
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com