South Africa’s southern most city is an eclectic and fascinating landscape of traditions, cultures and influences. By Nick Walton
Kick off your stay at the city’s coolest new boutique hideaway. Towering above Cape Town’s picturesque Victoria & Albert waterfront, The Silo is housed within a former grain elevator that was once the tallest building in sub- Saharan Africa. Reimagined by London’s Heatherwick Studio, The Silo boasts just 28 individually-designed and decorated guest rooms, including a spectacular penthouse with ocean views.
Your first stop should be downstairs, at the stunning new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), a modern art museum designed to rival the likes of the Tate Modern in London and MoMA in New York. The new museum boasts 9,500sqm of exhibition space spread across nine floors, with 100 galleries carved from the former silo structure. Be sure to check out the rooftop sculpture garden.
Stay on the waterfront and make a beeline for one of the city’s hottest new spots, La Parada. Dedicated to inventive tapas and Spanish wines, highlights of the menu include the tuna tacos with rainbow mango salsa; grilled calamari with chimichurri; local mussels with saffron cream; and Bikini Toasties with truffle aioli. Tap into the city’s vibrant art movement with a street art tour of Woodstock, one of the city’s most eclectic precincts. Township Art Tours offer morning and afternoon departures that explore this fascinating neighbourhood, with chances to meet local artists and to see their bold and imaginative works.
Make for one of the country’s most famous hotels, Belmond’s Mount Nelson Hotel, for arguably Africa’s best high tea. Set in the hotel’s enchanting lounge, and accompanied by live piano music, this unique afternoon tea includes an indulgent feast of locally-inspired treats matched with a signature tea blend of Darjeeling, Kenya, Assam, Keemun, Yunnan, Ceylon and rose petals from the hotel’s gardens.
Time to walk off that indulgence, with a trip up iconic Table Mountain. The Aerial Cableway is the best way to reach the summit – simply take the free shuttle from Lower Tafelberg Road to the cableway’s base before the exhilarating ride 1km up the rocky mountain’s flank. The views, especially at sunset, are nothing short of spectacular.
Make for one of Cape Town’s sexiest new spots, Tjing Tjing, a seductive cocktail bar with four unique spaces – although we recommend the rooftop lounge. Here you should try the signature gin and tonics, which are laced with the likes of honey, rooibos and rose petal, or a locally brewed craft beer like the Devil’s Peak First Light
Delve into the local foodscape at new sensation Upper Bloem, which celebrates the cuisine of chef Andre Hill’s home suburb, Bo Kaap. All the colours and flavours of the Rainbow Nation fuse in an enticing dinner menu that includes the likes of ostrich ‘bunny chow’ dumplings with buffalo fromage blanc; Cape Malay fish curry with pickled cucumber; and Frankie Fennern Karoo lamb kebabs with quail eggs and hay-smoked tomato smoor.
10 am (the next day)
Time to indulge in South Africa’s rich winemaking tradition with a visit to Groot Constantia Estate, on the outskirts of Cape Town. The winery was established in the 1600s by Simon van der Stel, former Governor of Cape of Good Hope, and today guests can explore the original Cape Dutch manor house, enjoy a wine tasting in the Cloete Cellar, and enjoy one of the winery’s acclaimed brut rosé wines with a picnic on the estate’s manicured lawns.
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