I first visited the Mother City in 1997, shortly after apartheid was abolished (in 1991), and am amazed to see the development the city, and South Africa, has undergone.
On my first visit to Cape Town I experienced all the main sights, like Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years), the District 6 Museum and the iconic Table Mountain.
All worth a visit but every time I return to Cape Town I aim to discover and explore new areas, experiences and interesting (day) trips.
I am more than happy to share my favourite experiences from my most recent trip to Cape Town with you…
Accommodation in Cape Town
I was based in one of the charming cottages in Waterkant, the perfect, and quite safe, base for exploring the ocean front, the city and the hinterlands.
Or actually two different cottages, as they are quite popular, and it was not possible to stay the entire period in the same cottage.
The newly renovated, quite sassy, cottage on 9B Loader Street in De Waterkant with an amazing view to the Table Mountain from the private roof terrace, and the more intimate and homely cottage on 40 Napier Street in De Waterkant with not only a private roof terrace but also a private pool.
Both cottages are managed by De Waterkant Cottages.
Cafés & Restaurants in Cape Town
I have visited quite a few of the much-hyped restaurants in Cape Town, like The Pot Luck Club, The Shortmarket Club, Beau Constantia and La Tête.
However, I have to confess that I most times prefer laid-back eateries, like the below
Lunch Restaurants in Cape Town
Specializing in coffee (roasted in-house), cakes, breads as well as hearty breakfast and lunch dishes
The Loading Bay
Quite stylish café with healthy all-day breakfast options
Chef’s Warehouse & Canteen
A perennial favourite with Cape Malay inspired set tapas menu
Innovative and flavourful dishes in a chic, and ever-changing, setting
Clarke’s Bar & Dining Room
Inner-city landmark famous for its burgers but equally fine for breakfasts and coffees
Dinner in Cape Town
Il leone mastrantonio
Italian-inspired comfort food in a simple, yet stylish, setting
A casual (almost) seaside eatery with a Mediterranean- inspired menu
Flavourful, innovative food based on local, seasonal ingredients
Markets in Cape Town
Capetonians love their food markets and my two favourites are
Set in The Old Biscuit Mill in the ‘upcoming’ district of Woodstock. It is great for street food and a good opportunity to explore Woodstock and its many design and vintage shops.
Oranjesicht City Farm Market
Set in Granger Bay(near the Waterfront) it is a more glossy version, featuring farm-to-table produce as well as tasty street food.
NB Both markets are only open on Saturdays and get very busy from 11.00 am to 1.30 pm. In other words, I recommend that you arrive at 9.30 am for breakfast or at 1.30 for a late lunch.
Events, Experiences and Sights in Cape Town
I always try to plan some cultural expeditions, when I visit Cape Town, preferably experiencing new aspects of and/or neighbourhoods in the city.
This time around I did
Boo-Kaap Cooking Tour
Lead by local foodie favourite, Zainie Smith, who opened the first Cape Malay restaurant in Cape Town, and expertly guides to the best local spice shops, gives an introduction to the history and culture of this particular Cape Town ‘hood as well as heads a hands-on cooking class (strongly supported by her son Zayed and his wife).
Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2018
Which surprised me positively with striking, edgy and, I imagine, commercial art as well as a great vibe!
Mobile Phone Photography Workshop
With Trevor Samson, a talented, experienced and inspiring photographer based in the quaint, very charming, seaside village Kalk Bay.
James Fernie’s philanthropic cultural tours which let you interact with the locals in three or four community projects in Cape Town’s largest township, Khayelitsha (an area where you should definitely not venture without a local guide).
BTW uthando means love in Xhosa.
Seitz Museum of Contemporary African Art
The awe-inspiring museum collects, preserves, researches, and exhibits 21st century art from Africa and its diaspora.
Trips from Cape Town
A truly impressive Cape Dutch vineyard, farm, garden, hotel, spa, restaurant and café where most of the food is procured from their own farm.
Babylonstoren can be visited on a day trip just for a walk through the gardens and a meal. Or you can opt for the more luxurious version with an overnight stay and a visit to the spa.
Popular seaside village with the local fishermen still plying their trade from the beach, and much-loved for its food scene. I particularly enjoyed the food and amazing beach views at Wolfgat, Leeto and Gaittije.
Paternoster is about 140 kilometres from Cape Town and ideal for a small getaway. However I would consider making the trip for the lunch experience at Wolfgat (book in advance).
Guides to Cape Town
I have been to Cape Town eight or ten times already and know the city fairly well but I always take inspiration from other Cape Town lovers, like Francois Botha, who’s a Cape Town boy himself, at &Simple and Allan Torp at Bungalow5.
More Tips for Cape Town
I invite you to send me an email at walther.griese (a) gmail.com if you have any suggestions for places which I definitely should experience on my next visit to Cape Town. Or if you would like additional information about the above experiences…
Updated on 15 March 2018