A distinctive blend of local ingredients and Asian cooking techniques invented by Malays who were brought to South Africa as slaves, generations ago. One example is “roties”, flat bread filled with spiced meat and vegetables.
Chapman’s Peak Drive, cut into the sheer mountainside, offers spectacular views of the sandy bays below, as well as the city by night. It was closed due to rockfalls, but is now open again.
The cliffs of the Twelve Apostles, a mountain range jutting from the flanks of Table Mountain, provide a spectacular backdrop. Take a bottle of white wine, and settle down on the fine white sand to enjoy a blissful view.
During apartheid, the multi-racial neighbourhood of District Six was bulldozed and its mixed-race population evicted to townships outside the city. This museum documents the joys of living in what was once one of the liveliest parts of Cape Town, as well as the injustice of white minority rule. Wonderful photographs of the city as it used to be.
25A Buitenkant Street; Tel: 27 21 461 8745; www.districtsix.co.za/
Blue-and-white decor with giant fishtanks set in the walls. Set in a busy complex of bars and restaurants, this is a good place to sip local wine, order sushi and people-watch.
72 Waterkant Street; Tel: 30 204 36 32; www.the-tank.co.za/
The place to start your day. Pavement tables, charming staff and a hip clientele on a street packed with bookshops, galleries and curio shops. It’s vegetarian, but carnivores should not be put off, the food is excellent - try their delicious cupcakes.
228 Long Street; Tel: 27 21 423 0885
It takes about three hours to reach the top, but it’s worth it. Gaze north over the heart of Cape Town, to the Atlantic beyond and Robben Island in the distance. If you can’t face the climb all the way to the summit, there are plenty of fine views from lower down. Take a hat, and plenty of water.
A good place to stay is The Ambassador Hotel in Bantry Bay. Free wireless internet - and if you like to internet in your room, they do not mind at the front desk to lend you a laptop when it is not busy at the communication centre.
Book a seaview room and enjoy the sunset. If you don't, no problem, just go to the (sports) bar. There is an excellent shuttle service to and from the V&A waterfront till 11pm. Nice and friendly atmosphere and the food and wine is good.
34 Victoria Road, Bantry Bay 8005
Tel: 27 21 439 6170
This is very nice hotel in Fourways. You'll need to rent a car as it is about 10 miles from downtown Joburg. They have the best breakfast buffet on the planet. You can relax by taking a stroll within the safe walls of the hotel, at the swimming pools, bird watching ormake a trip to Fourways mall. Three-star with a five-star service.
Just returned from a South African mini tour - of which African Breeze was a big highlight.
Was a bit apprehensive, as UK guesthouses can be quite foreboding, but the African guesthouse experience was an absolute pleasure.
Simon, Cathy, Brooke and Daniel were all superstars, with nothing too much trouble, from airport transfers, through getting us in and around Knysna at night, to providing a comprehensive tour service - and that's before we mention the warm hospitality, stunning breakfasts and the little extra's that you would never get at a "chain" or bigger hotel.
Here it's all about the personal touch - even getting this poor husband out of trouble when he "accidently" led his wife into quicksand (an honest mistake) and her lovely shoes consigned to the bin.
Go for it and give yourself 3-4 days for the entire Knysna experience to settle you in.
Paul,Deb and Grace
(Try Rhino Base camp for a small safari, and the elephant park just out of Knysna is a delight too- oh and don't miss Natures Reserve)
The accomodation is chalet style, but comfortable. Each room has a separate theme, and overlooks a golf course. It has a decent restaurant with a fair selection of wines, and the locals use it, so it's not overpriced.
On Monday nights the beach is taken over by drummers and fire dancers of all ages, types and genders. Bring a picnic, settle in and watch the sunset and then the beach comes alive with the mesmerising sound of drums and the sublime sight of fire on sand and water. Get there early or else you'll have to keep moving to take it all in.
Clifton Beach (2nd)
Buffels Bay is in the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Turn left from the access road just before reaching Cape Point itself. The beach is extremely quiet and has seawater pools for swimming, colourful rockpools for the kids and a collection of braii machines (concrete firepits for bbq'ing).
The view is magnificent and with very few people the beach is teeming with wildlife including buck, ostrich and baboons. The baboons can be pretty persistent trying to steal your sausages from the fire so ask a local about borrowing a baboon whip to scare them off if they come round!
This can be organised by your hotel. Ours included a quick visit to Bo Kaap, the Malay/Muslim area, which is highly photogenic and has an interesting history. Then we paid a call to the District Six museum, which is fascinating. On to a township where we saw the development of the area, visited a shebeen and saw inside one of the flats. We spoke with a gentleman who had been living in the same room since 1970. You should usually have a chance to see a creche - lots of lovely cuddly children (!*!). Try to ensure that at least a fair proportion of the (fairly pricey) payment goes to the township itself.
New restaurant with a beauty salon (massages, manicures, pedicures) and gym attached. Three menu-styles include sushi, Mediterranean (excellent vegetarian dishes) and north Indian menu (try the prawn curry with naan bread). Relaxed informal dining with the intimacy of a family bistro but the class of a high-end restaurant. Ideal for those who regard health and a good-time as synonymous. A smoothie bar is coming soon too. Lunch on the balcony and watch the bustling heart of Cape Town's CBD. Ideal place to relax, pamper yourself and then spoil yourself with a delicious, healthy meal, all in one go.
63 Nedbank Centre, Strand, Cape Town; tel: 21 422 0639
A restaurant on the seafront at Camps Bay, overlooking the sea and in the shadow of Table Mountain. It looks like a chippy but it is delicious. The food is superb and the prices are excellent. Try the king prawns.
Camps Bay seafront
South African fine art is really exciting at the moment - truly world class - and Cape Town has a number of excellent galleries to visit. A good place to begin would be the National Gallery (at the edge of the Company Gardens) and then move on to the Association of Visual Arts in Church Street. The Michael Stevenson Gallery (between Green Point and the Cape Quarter) exhibits leading contemporary artists, as does the Bell-Roberts Gallery in Bree Street (which also publishes the quarterly _Itch_ magazine). Another publication _Art South Africa_ provides a thorough guide to, and articles on, current issues and exhibitions.
Unbelievable food and amazing value. This restaurant is so cool! It's done up in a kind of gypsy chic (lots of vaguely mystical ornaments and flower petals everywhere). It's surprisingly dark and intimate for such a large restaurant. The food sets it apart though - it's delightful, sumptuous and delicious in dazzlingly original combinations (e.g. fillet steak in a chocolate and chilli sauce has to be tried to be believed). Also great wines and desserts. A must-visit on any trip to Cape Town but be sure to book in advance!
192 Loop Street, Phone: +27 21 426 2458
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