Honestly speaking: I hate going to Cape Town!!! Why? Because it is just too beautiful! It reminds me of the three years I used to live there and whenever I go back for business or pleasure I ask myself: Why did I ever move??? Therefore, I try to avoid going there, simply because once I am back in the hustle and bustle of Jo’burg I forget about Cape Town’s beauty and I’m fine.. but when I’m there, I don’t want to leave!
To share my enthusiasm with you, let me take you on a blogsphere tour through Cape Town and hopefully you can take some useful tips with you if you’ll ever decide to visit this beautiful city below majestic Table Mountain.
Sleeping beautifully – Hotel recommendations
A no-go: the Westin
I usually stay at my lovely friend Christiane’s place (we used to share a house when I lived there and the guest bedroom is still mine whenever I do fly down). This time though, I arrived so late at night that I didn’t want to disturb her and her little boy and decided to stay at a hotel. We get a corporate rate at our crew hotel and that’s where we usually stay when we go on business: the Westin – DISAPPOINTING! No flair, located right next to the highway, outdated room-design, just another big-name chain bulk accommodation. Ok… there are also good thing to say about it: like the spa or the breakfast or the service. Still, I’d say there are nicer places to stay in Cape Town (except if you visit any of the trade fairs or exhibitions in the CTICC next door).
A go-go: Queen Victoria Hotel
My colleague from Zürich who went with to Cape Town for meetings was better prepared! He booked his hotel from Zürich already and chose the Queen Victoria Hotel at the Waterfront! What a lovely place!! I only saw the outside and the lobby when I picked him up, but I really liked it and regretted that I didn’t book the same hotel (I will next time, that’s for sure). Hidden away in the historical part of the Waterfront, in an equally historical building (or at least it was built like the historical buildings that used to be there), it is quiet and nevertheless in the middle of the happenings!
A must-go: Tintswalo Atlantic
Stunning, stunning, stunning! Tintswalo Atlantic belongs to the magnificent Tintswalo Collection and for me it is the candy of the collection, purely because of its unique location. Right on the shores underneath Chapman’s Peak Drive. For someone who knows the area it is probably unimaginable anything can be built down there. The Atlantic has anything you are looking for in a Boutique Hotel. Each suite has been decorated in a unique style and the outside area is just adorable! When lying in bed you can hear the waves slamming against the stoney shore, when taking a shower or bath you overlook the sea… one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been to!
Indulging heavenly – Places to eat
A must-go: The Grand Café and Beach
Most Cape Townians won’t like me anymore after publishing this “secret”: The Grand Café and Beach at Granger Bay!
I was meeting up with our PR lady last weekend. Her description was as follows: 2 Houses down the road from the Radisson! Right! 2 houses down the road the Radisson coming from East (or is it West?) is the Hotel school!! 2 Houses down the road coming from the other direction is..nothing!!! Well, at least it looks like nothing. It looks like a road leading to a construction site!!! Even the entrance area makes you think: did I really land up in the right place??? I mean usually PR people have quite a good taste and a feeling for the latest hot spot in town! And she did!!!! As soon as you enter, you are in a different world. Romantic decor with oversized chandeliers and Parisian café chairs – open to the ocean and tables either on the deck or on the sugar white beach! My other concern was the name.. Well, in Jo’burg there is a strip club also called “the Grand”.. I guess that this just shows the difference between the Mother City and Jozi..
Get more appetite: the Grand café & Beach
Another must-go: Five Flies
My last trip to Cape Town in January was a culinary experience extraordinary. I accompanied my uncle and aunt who were in South Africa for a visit and on top of the list was to experience fine dining. Having been at Five Flies before I knew they’d like it.. and they did! It was definitely in their top 3 places to eat out. Everything was just perfect. From the venue to the waiter to the food and wine. Calling a National Monument its home the ambience is well.. call it historical. Although it is also a conference venue, the atmosphere is not mass consumption at all. The waiters care for you as if you were their only table to be served. The menu is a creative variation from game to fish and everything in between.
It should be on every visitor’s list of places to eat out: Five Flies
Another must-go: Aubergine
I guess not knowing of Aubergine before was a real gap in my knowledge. I heard about from my uncle who saw it on TV in Germany and wanted to go while visiting Cape Town. I called to make a reservation, it was fully booked, they took down my number and called me back on our third last day in the Mother City to confirm our booking due to a cancellation. We were thrilled. Set in the historical part of Gardens, the restaurant is placed in one of these cute little houses, carefully restored. For me, this is how Cape Town feels: stylish contemporary. Compared to Five Flies is appears quite small, with maybe only round about 20 tables it gives you a real exquisite and intimate dining and wining experience. Offering a wine pairing with the dishes it is a definite must-go for any wine lover.
Sophisticated dining: Aubergine
More to follow…