Think going to Cape Town for the weekend is mad? Think again. With virtually no time difference, you can fly overnight from London and explore this vibrant city totally jet-lag free…
Located just outside the main city, 12 Apostles is one of the city’s leading luxury hotels and for good reason. With ocean views and old-school hospitality, everything is taken care of. Suites are spacious, the spa is a haven of relaxation and the location means you can enjoy the city without the bustle. Don’t miss the Leopard bar during your stay, it’s beautifully retro, the cocktails are strong and you’ll get all the interior inspiration you could possibly need.
If boutique travel is what you’re after, The Dockhouse is a new hotel situated on the famed V&A waterfront. With just six rooms, it may be cosy but it’s also cool. White, clean aesthetics, marble bathrooms and a bang-in-the-centre location makes it perfect for really getting to know the city.
Anyone that’s been to Cape Town will tell you the first thing you should do is go up high to get a panoramic view of the city and there’s no better place to do it than Table Top Mountain. You can hike the trail which will take you around two hours or if you’re feeling a little lethargic, the cable car is the better option.
On Saturday mornings there’s an excellent farmers market where all the locals flock to. Found in Woodstock, the area is the East London equivalent of Cape Town – full of artists, chefs and quirky shops. Walk around, sample the likes of artisan chocolate and excellent coffee and then wander around the ceramic, interior and clothing shops that are popping up all over the area.
Robben Island is a must. Only a half an hour boat ride from the city’s Waterfront, see first hand where Nelson Mandela was kept for 27 years. Your tour guide will be an ex-prisoner who will provide you with sobering insight. This World Heritage Site is not one to miss.
Booking onto a tour is a good option to see the famous South African penguins at Boulder’s Beach and Cape Point – the most South Westerern point of the African continent. African Eagle will pick you up from your hotel, show you the coastal spots you’d like and be able to inform you about the history of the sites and the spectacular landscape. You can do either a full or half day tour depending on your timings.
Take a morning to pop into the Bo Kaap museum before walking around the area famed for its coloured houses. Don’t forget to stop by the corner shop opposite the museum for a homemade Cape Malay donut and a strong cup of coffee.
For those looking to shop, Woodstock is great for one-off clothes and homeware. In the city, Watershed at the waterfront, is a renovated shopping warehouse full of one-off designs and clothing. Other streets and spots worth checking out are Green Market Square, Long Street (great for South African handmade souvenirs), Bree Street and Kloof Street.
Dinner at Pot Luck Club was the best meal we had during our time in South Africa but that’s not totally surprising. It’s owned by the same man who runs Test Kitchen, the country’s number one restaurant. Perched high in the eaves of Woodstock’s Old Biscuit Mill, sip a Thai Green Curry cocktail (it’s delicious, trust us), before dining on asian-fusion small plates all whilst taking in panoramic views of the city. It does tend to have a three month waiting list but if you’re too late, call up and try your luck. You never know, somebody may have dropped out.
The Power & The Glory is a delightful cafe-come-wine bar on Kloof Street. The salad with seared sirloin steak with a crisp rosé is highly recommended for a light lunch. Follow immediately after with cake and coffee.
Societi Bistro is where the locals dine so it can only mean one thing: it’s scrummy. An Italian/South African menu, if you want to try ostrich, this is where to do it. Other highlights include the truffle oil spaghetti with egg yolk and parmesan as well as the Sirloin steak with brandy sauce. Dine here for dinner instead of lunch.
South African Airline offer double daily overnight flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg and 19 daily connections to Cape Town. Book now on flysaa.com or call 0844 375 9680.
Visit the Drostdy Hotel in Graaff-Reinet to relax and explore luxurious historic spaces in South Africa’s Karoo heartland. Uncover a secret weapon of socially responsible tourism that is changing lives through hospitality training and you’ll realise why your holiday here makes a difference.Continue Reading