Saltar Menú de navegación
Archive |

What to do in Andalusia


The African city where oceans meet, cuisines collide and creativity blossoms
31.07.15 - 16:03 -
0 votos

Cerrar Envía la noticia

Rellena los siguientes campos para enviar esta información a otras personas.

Nombre Email remitente
Para Email destinatario
Borrar    Enviar

Cerrar Rectificar la noticia

Rellene todos los campos con sus datos.

Nombre* Email*
* campo obligatorioBorrar    Enviar
Cape Town calling
The Twelve Apostles seen from Camps Bay. :: A. F.
As aircraft come into land at Cape Town International Airport, passengers are afforded one of the most memorable city views in the world; beautiful bays, a striking city skyline and of course the iconic table mountain. A relatively new addition to the scene is the huge Cape Town Stadium, a costly yet elegant legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Its graceful multi-storey curves, covered in a fabric-like skin, subtly change colour in the Atlantic light – a stunning silhouette against the city’s peaks. The view takes in the townships too, the zinc and steel roofs of the simple homes glint in the sunlight, each one connected by an electrical cable to a shared telegraph pole, like spokes on a bicycle wheel.
Mountain high
I’ve arrived in South Africa’s winter, yet clear blue skies and Spring-like temperatures greet me in this African metropolis, lovingly called the ‘Mother City’. So no sooner had I checked in at one of Cape Town’s most historic hotels, The Winchester Mansions, with its elegant suites; cool pool area; and notable bistro, I was on my way to visit the city’s unmistakable Table Mountain. The cableway with its innovative rotating gondolas, is undoubtedly touristy but is a wonderful way to experience Table Mountain. Rich in indigenous plant life, as well as wildlife including the curious and mischievous Dassies rodents, the Table Mountain National Park is a great way to immerse yourself in this special part of South Africa’s beautiful Western Cape.
Afterwards, I joined locals for a sundowner at Harveys, the Winchester Mansions bar restaurant that looks out over Sea Point to the sinking sun on the Atlantic horizon. Cocktails blend into dinner, and my first chance to try Cape cuisine; so it had to be big, juicy False Bay mussels and line-caught Kingclip. The ambience is a mix of Northern European elegance and Mediterranean flair. 
At first Cape Town might feel quite European, a little traditional, and rather conservative. Yet this is an African city so to feel the vibe you need to head downtown. Buy a generous bunch of glorious proteas from Trafalgar Flower Market, and navigate the buskers and street vendors in the city centre.
With a history that has encompassed colonialism, slavery, apartheid and now democracy, Cape Town is a multicultural, cosmopolitan African city. Colourful Cape Malay townhouses in the Bo Kaap district spill into the trendy and progressive De Waterkant village, whilst the über rich are found in their overtly luxurious homes of Camps Bay and Clifton.
Beach chic
To get a flavour of Cape Town’s sexy beach life, spend a night or two at Cape View Clifton on the city’s Atlantic seaboard. For all intents and purposes, one could say it’s a seaside guest house - but oh, what a luxurious one! As soon as you step into the property the view embraces you. The striking boulders and white sands of Clifton are at your feet, while the ocean view stretches out before you from the fabulous pool deck. This is one of the most stylish places I have stayed in Cape Town. The Cape View suites and family apartments are impeccably presented with a seductive aesthetic of cool greys, silvers and creams warmed by antique and vintage furniture, and accented by art. 
The southern peninsula and Cape Point is visible in the distance. It’s an evocative place, close to where the currents of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet, and resting place of hundreds of shipwrecks over the centuries. It makes for a fascinating day trip from Cape Town. Take a taxi or hire a car – but be aware that Cape baboons might stroll out in front of you, or jump on the car bonnet as you head south but it’s all part of the fun of heading to Africa’s most south-western point. On the way, stop off at Boulders Beach. Be awed by the scenery and see the charming penguin colony.
Urban eats
Back in the city, a visit to the Woodstock neighbourhood offers an alternative breath of fresh air too – a burst of creativity. This district feels less sanitised, less elitist. It reminds me of London’s Shoreditch, a buzzing multiracial place with a genuine edge and compelling vibrancy. The Old Biscuit Mill is a hub of dynamic indie businesses and eateries here. Luke Dale-Roberts helped put this place on the map with his cool yet unpretentious Pot Luck Club restaurant. Now headed by chef Wesley Randles, this top-floor loft-style eatery makes eating out a fun, sharing, and social experience. Come early for the district’s Saturday market and you’ll be offered some equally tempting food from the local restaurants and street vendors. 
Brit chef Luke Dale-Roberts has now created The Test Kitchen, a place of culinary experimentation that plays with the flavours and cultural references of South Africa’s multicultural cuisine. Topping the world’s restaurant league tables it’s a popular evening out so book early, but don’t expect foodie pretension; this is South Africa where despite inspirational creative presentation and world-class gastronomy, dining out here is about your company and not just the plate.
Wine o’clock
Wine pairings with food are common here; after all the Western Cape is one of the world’s renowned wine regions. Constantia, one of the country’s first wine growing areas, dating back to the 17th century, is one of Cape Town’s most established and upscale neighbourhoods. Home to the must-visit Kirstenbosch botanic gardens, this verdant area is a great place to feel connected with Cape nature. Visit La Colombe, an internationally recognised restaurant, found on the organic wine estate of Silvermist Lodge. Expect visually stunning food that teases and satisfies the taste buds, served with excellent wines - and at very affordable prices. 
A typical tourist vacation in Cape Town will include a visit to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront development. The once-forgotten docklands are now a family leisure hub for the city. At the heart is the city’s One & Only Hotel, a swish property with an award-winning spa. It’s a relaxed interpretation of urban luxe with a family brasserie-style restaurant under the name of Reuben’s, the South African Winelands chef.
I had started my visit to Cape Town on a high, atop Table Mountain, so it was only fitting that I should end my visit just as memorably. I chose a paragliding flight; crazy I know but running off Signal Hill together with a trained pilot is an adrenaline-pumping way to enjoy the city, before landing gently on the lawns in front of the Winchester Mansions. It will remain one of my lasting perspectives of the Mother City.