One thing about living in Cape Town is that you are never short of visitors. Everyone wants to visit Cape Town so it makes you feel very popular. I try not to think about the fact that nobody visited me in all the years I lived in PE and very few while I was living in Durban. But back to the dream… these visitors need to be entertained and if you are anything like me, they need to be impressed.
So, what’s hip and happening? What are the must dos and must sees? Here are some of the things I’m recommending, some are new but others have been around for a while. It’s not a comprehensive list, nor does it include the usual tourist stuff. Use my list and give other suggestions and feedback in the comments.
The Grand on the Beach – This place is just so different and cool, even if the service and food is bad (I’m not saying it is, in fact my experience was good) you still want to eat here just to check it out. The restaurant is inside a wharehouse and spills out onto a private beach which they created by shipping sand there. Wear summer/beachy gear during the day because it can be hot. The menu is the same as The Grand in Camps Bay, and it’s good.
The River Cafe at Constantia Uitsig has been taken over by Luke Dale-Roberts of La Colombe. It’s a lovely casual summer venue which now offers top class food.
Bistro 1682 at Steenberg, another nice summer place with a grassy area for kids to play. An awesome space with good food and apprently the service has been sorted out. My post on the launch is here.
The Strandloper in Langebaan is an institution, overseas guests love this spot and it’s a great way to spend a day. Many courses of local food, mainly freshly caught local fish, all prepared on fires right there in front of you on the beach. Read my review here.
The Roundhouse now offers reasonable priced lunches and breakfasts on the terraced lawns overlooking Camps Bay. It’s amazing, a very special treat. (Guys, try and meet the pastry chef, Vanessa Quellec, she is hot). Read my review here.
Vaudeville – This could be under restaurants too because it’s a dinner and show offering. They have recently opened and it’s a memorable experience. The venue is fantastic, the food good, and the show amazing.
Nothing beats a concert in Kirstenbosch Gardens. Show are on Sunday evenings and you can see the full schedule of artists here.
Another music option is the Aqua Festival at the Waterfront. There are a series of shows running into Jan, all happening on a floating stage with Table Mountain as a backdrop. Schedule here.
For something more vibey, check out Goldfish at their Submerged Sundays at La Med.
Visitors who have not seen the Airstream trailer park on top of the Grand Daddy hotel must go check it out. Go and have a drink at the bar up there or watch a movie at the Pink Flamingo outdoor cinema.
Don’t forget about our great markets. Saturday mornings are well spent at the Stellenbosch market or the Neighbourgoods market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock.
Have cocktails at the Vista Bar at the One & Only hotel. It’s not as expensive as you think and the place is beautiful, they have a DJ laying down some cool beats and the cocktails are excellent.
I was a great fan and frequent visitor to the River Cafe a couple of years ago, so I decided to take TGD’s (The Great Dax’s) advice and eat there on Sunday.
Unfortunately this proved to be the worst meal we have had out and about in CT in a long time. Only 1 of the 4 main courses were acceptable (almost good), 2 were below average and the fourth was awful. Although they replaced the most offending meal (confit of lamb) there was no real apology or explanation other than, “the chef agrees that it is no good”!
Another little irritation for a pedant like me – the wine list. Why not arrange the wines by cultivar… or even price… or arrange it by any system rather than the random jumble of wines. Fortunately (?) it is a very brief list.
Oh my! Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. I haven’t been yet but heard good things. Let’s hope it improves rapidly, I can’t imagine Luke Dale-Roberts would want his name associated with anything less than fantastic.