Cape Town overwhelms your senses, a city built around its astonishing geography — the winding roads, pastel-colored houses, highest peaks, the twelve apostles standing as guardians, the ocean stretching and curving like a necklace. You can look up and around at any moment and you are just blown over yet again.
No other African city combines heart-stopping beauty and historical gravitas so effortlessly. – NYTimes
Here is a Culture guide to get you through the different neighborhoods and the good food that’s around. Cape Town is a must-do starting point to any good adventure in South Africa, and this is just one post of a multi-part series.
STAY// O on Kloof
O on Kloof has to be the choice of a discerning traveler who wants hotel amenities in a private home. O is a small hotel with very intimate settings; the entrance feels like a grand stair entrance to a private mansion. Stepping through the main gate you find yourself in a serene modernist water garden.
You enter into a library and a bar with a side of the Atlantic Ocean as your views, the balcony overlooks the roof-tops of Sea Point towards the sea where huge ships slide slowly past Robben Island. Take a sip of champagne that is offered as a welcome drink and be ready to be wowed from here on out.
A sophisticated city sanctuary presiding over Cape Town’s cosmopolitan Atlantic Seaboard.
Named after its owner Olaf (Dambrowski), the O on Kloof is an oasis of calm on the bustling Sea Point, picturesque drives across a forest and thick wooded roads and couple of turns later you land on the other side of Kloof that is closer to the beaches and occasional viewings of the Humpbacks from your terrace.
Martin, the bartender/manager is ready to pour you Sherrys (that are on-the-house) or mix up some ‘heart-happy-drinks’.
Interiors of the ‘living room/library/bar’
Our room was the O-suite, biggest in the hotel with a jacuzzi, hot tub and terrace with great views.
Nothing beats a bubbly soak and a bubbly in your hand.
Wrap around terrace with loungers and hammocks for the ultimate relaxation.
On top of all this, I HAVE to mention the staff at O on Kloof for their incredible surprises and services that were provided. It was my birthday and there were cute reminders for the occasion in terms of the decor, a yummy mousse cake with my name on it, and plentiful of champagnes that were always waiting for our arrival.
Patrycja and Bernadette were more than helpful in securing reservations for us, setting us up with itineraries. It’s folks like these that make hotel a home out of home, well with cannot-get-this-at-home service.
High Tea at Mt. Nelson
Conversations are deep, mind fully relaxed, Tea time should become official everywhere!
You are literally transported to the bygone era, the rich, the elegance, ramblings of the high society while sipping tea, powerful men making decisions and you are suddenly sorta reminded of the divide if you look past all the scones and the petite finger food.
With an Apartheid rule until 18 years back, its evident that the divide is still pretty prominent in the ranks of staff in any establishment.
Old Biscuit Mill – Neighborhood Market
The revamped Old Biscuit Mill, built in the late 1800s, now hosts the buzzing Saturday morning Neighbourgoods Market
Locals gather to sample organic products, latest collections of South African designers, baked goods, tasting the latest batch of wines while traversing through countless booths of delectable food.
Leather goods by Chapel Clothing
Long community tables are set, to mingle with Capetonians and share conversations..
Wild Mushrooms on skewers
Impressive display of Roulades
A Tea Wagon. One Roobois, please!
A pizza joint with locations throughout S.Africa.
With the perfect toppings that cater to the Indian tastes – minced garlic and green chillies. That makes any shiz taste uber-good.
For the best breakfast in town.. The sleek white interior of the stylish Manna Epicure stands in perfect contrast to the delicious, farm style bread paired with freshly made juices.
A cute cafe with an interesting decor.
The gentle sound of birdsong, playing off a battered old turntable, welcomes you to the rough and ready interior of Birds Boutique Café, a quirky restaurant housed in a beautiful old building in Bree Street. Everything here is slightly unconventional, from the milk crates that serve as chairs to the old bedsheet that separates the dining area from the kitchen. – Unlike
A little bar/dining room close to Birds, is a neat place to grab a sandwich and people watch in the city-center.
A whimsical airstream trailer park in the rooftop of Grand Daddy Hotel, that also serves as rooms ranging from Easter egg interiors to Afro Punk to Goldilocks blonde outfit and a bar that surrounds it.
This over the top, tongue in cheek, accommodations are most sought after especially for its Long Street location, which is always filled with boisterous energy day or night.
Nightly events with live music, film projections make this airstream an unique place to hang.
For a colorful experience stop by the nearby Bo Kaap neighborhood. Pastel colored houses and impressive to the core color combinations make it a super locale for picture perfect photo-op.
A Beer Salon and Charcuterie bar, &Union is trying to educate Capetonians about fine beer. Located on Church Street, take a leisure stroll to nearby indie design shops and galleries.
Try atleast one meal thats down right South African cooking, with a cuisine that isn’t very diverse, go here for the experience. Local musicians perform here as well.
Curried ‘game’ stew with wild rice. (Game can be anything from Kudu, Ostrich, Springbok)
A magnificent city to live, to visit — makes you sad to leave it behind.
Very few places have that effect on you. ‘til next time I visit Cape Town!