02 May 2016

A Guide to Cape Town And Its Surrounding Areas (Part One)


Cape Town is a beautiful city and one of my favourite places to go on holiday. It's got everything you could possibly want, from the beach, to the mountains, to the wine estates. Since there's so much to do, I've spilt this little guide into two parts. For today's post, I'm focusing on what you can do in Cape Town itself.

There's so much to do in Cape Town so I'm going to share my favourite things including recommendations of where to eat and stay. The one thing you simply have to do is go up Table Mountain via cable car. You can also hike up but the cable car rotates 360 as you go up so you can really soak up the views. Once you're up, there's a lot of walking and stunning views. Make sure you carry plenty of water, wear SPF and comfy shoes. Take a camera with plenty of memory because trust me, that view is worth capturing. You can see the entire city in all its glory. 


View from Table Mountain
View from Table Mountain
View from Table Mountain
The best time to go up is a day when the weather is clear, so if you have a sunny day, get your tickets and get up there. I've been up twice and both times were spectacular. On my most recent visit, the mist started rolling in on some parts of the mountain and it was breathtaking. Your hotel should be able to arrange tickets for you and most likely a transfer or way of getting there and back. 

My next point of interest would be the V&A Waterfront which is full of shops and restaurants. There's a good mixture of shops from Zara to The Body Shop and there are quite a few designer stores too. It's worth a visit if only for the food market which is full of stalls with lots of delicious treats from samosas to crepes and of course, biltong. 


Snapshot of V&A Waterfront
A good day trip is the Cape of Good Hope which is a national park where you can see the Atlantic and Indian Ocean meet. Again, there's a lot of walking, but it's great fun and so interesting. If you're lucky, you may even see some wildlife. We saw a family of zebras which was pretty incredible.

Cape of Good Hope
Spot the Zebras
Zebra in Cape of Good Hope


Cape of Good Hope 
Cape of Good Hope
Each time I've visited Cape Town with my family, we've rented a car as my dad loves doing all the driving and being out on the open road. If you or whoever you're travelling with is comfortable doing that, then I definitely recommend it as there's so much to see and travelling by car is the best way to do it. We often spent afternoons just driving in and around the city and pulling in at some of the viewpoints. There's never a bad view in Cape Town. Chapman's Peak Drive is also worth doing and you can take a picnic with you to enjoy at one of the seating areas along the drive, overlooking the ocean.

Chapman's Peak Drive
Camps Bay is really popular as it has a beach but it's actually my least favourite place I've been in Cape Town. It's always so crowded and I think the hotels located there are more for people who enjoy nightlife. I personally think there are nicer places in the city to spend time in. However, the area around Camps Bay is beautiful and has some of the best views in the city. 


View of Camps Bay 
Camps Bay
View of Camps Bay
Camps Bay
View on Kloof Road
Accommodation:

Cape Town is full of stunning hotels. You're more likely to find smaller boutique style hotels and as far as I know, there's only one resort style hotel, the One&Only. I prefer to stay at one of the smaller hotels as I feel they're much more personal and welcoming. Without a doubt, my favourite hotel is Cape Grace. It's the only hotel I'll stay in when I'm there and it's the perfect size. Not so small where you feel like the only guest, but not so large you feel like you're one of the hundreds. Cape Grace is situated on the V&A Waterfront so it's the perfect location. You've got everything you could possibly want in terms of shops and restaurants on your doorstep, but since it's overlooking the marina, it's so peaceful and quiet.

View from Cape Grace
View from Cape Grace Hotel Room
If you can, try and book a room overlooking Table Mountain and the marina as it's so pretty. Just basking in the afternoon sun looking out onto the marina is good for the soul. We also saw a family of seals pretty much every day from our room. Cape Grace has got all the details right. They've picked up on things most hotels miss, whatever the destination. For example, they use SLS free toiletries and instead of a bar of hand soap, they use pump bottles, all of which are frequently replenished. They also provide bottles of fabric wash (also SLS free) which is a nice touch. I love the decor of the hotel. I don't know quite how to describe but it's the perfect balance of old and new. Clean lines but with character from oversized sofas and distressed writing desks. It's all well thought out.


View from Cape Grace 
The service is just brilliant and the food is also excellent. They're also very accommodating if you have any allergies or intolerance's. I want to give a shout out to Quanita the Food and Beverage Manager who was always around at breakfast. She's so kind and always looked after us. It was lovely to chat to her each morning. Liesel, the concierge was also amazing. She's hilarious and I remember one evening just chatting to her about life and travel. The chauffeur transfer service is also brilliant and the driver we had, Ricky, knew so much about Cape Town and was always recommending places to visit. All of the staff go out of their way to welcome you can make you feel at home. My mum caught a cold from the flight over and when they noticed, they'd bring her a hot lemon, honey and ginger drink every morning. You don't even have to mention something, and they're already there doing it. Across the board, I think Cape Town do hotels well. They have such a high standard for everything from the food to the decor. 

Food:

There are so many great places to eat and I think one of the best ways to find a good restaurant is to talk to your concierge, as they'll be full of good recommendations. I recommend Sevruga which is on the waterfront. They do everything from fresh grilled fish to dim sum all served up in a relaxed A La Carte fare. I was so impressed that the managers and owners would come round each table and chat to the customers. That's something I've only really found in hotels. 

Pepenero is another excellent restaurant. It's more of a bistro so a little more relaxed than Sevruga and it's located overlooking the ocean at Mouille Point. They have an extensive menu and everything is fresh and cooked perfectly. The staff at both Sevruga and Pepenero are so lovely too and go out of their way to adjust a dish to your liking, especially if you have an allergy or intolerance. 

So that's it for the first part of my Cape Town posts. Part two should be up later this week and will be all about what you can do in the surrounding areas around Cape Town. If you want more recommendations of hotels, then please check out Africa and Beyond. They have so much information on their website and are excellent at arranging everything.

Thanks for reading,
Avani
xoxo
(P.S. Apologies for the weird spacing of the text and pictures, I cannot seem to fix it!)
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2 comments

  1. These pictures are stunning!! <3 Lovely post!!

    Amelia | http://amelia-g.blogspot.com.au/

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