Cape Town South Africa, a Food and Wine Lovers Paradise

 

Cape Town is a jewel in South Africa and a city you definitely must visit at least once in your lifetime.  Home to people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions Cape Town provides the opportunity to taste amazing food and wine, meet lots of diverse people and see some breathtaking and beautiful scenery including unique flora, fauna and animals.

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For an incredible luxurious experience overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Hout Bay I highly recommend a stay at Tintswalo Atlantic.  This beautiful 5 star boutique hotel has it all including bathtubs with ocean views and rooms with balconies right over the ocean allowing you to sleep peacefully while hearing the crashing waves of  the Atlantic Ocean right outside your room.  The service is top notch with your every need being catered to.  Before turning in to bed enjoy a soak in the hot tub under the starts overlooking the ocean while sipping bubbles.  Also be sure at some point to enjoy a hot bath in your room with oil, bath salts and candles while gazing at the Atlantic.  This place is the perfect romantic getaway with petals scattered in the room and local shells, plush robes and heated floors.   If you are unable to spend the night here consider coming to enjoy cocktails while watching the sunset and then enjoying the 4 course dinner menu crafted by extraordinary chef  Jeanette Van Staden.   She will take special requests and makes tasty food often with local ingredients such as ostrich and springbok which tastes as amazing as the setting it is served in and can be paired with wine from their extensive wine list.  We enjoyed the house wine from Protea Wine with our delicious meal.   Many locals come to the Tintswalo Atlantic for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions.   Brunch is also incredible here and worth a trip in and of itself.  You can enjoy fresh baked pastries, smoked salmon, cheese and cold cuts, yogurt with fresh fruit and muselix, fresh squeezed juice and omletes cooked to order all bought right to your table on plentiful platters to enjoy while sitting on the balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

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While in Hout Bay, be sure to check out World of Birds.  This sanctuary has not only birds but monkeys tortoises and other animals.   In fact, over 3000 birds and small animals of 400  different species are presented in more  than 100 spacious landscaped walk thru aviaries allowing you to get up close and personal to the birds and animals.  If you love animals, this place is definitely worth a visit.

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The Victoria & Alfred waterfront is another area of Cape Town definitely worth exploring.  This area has lots of restaurants, shopping and places to stay.  The Victoria & Alfred Hotel is located right on the harbor in the midst of the waterfront action and has amazing views of Table Mountain.  Staying at this hotel provides easy access to both the shops of  the waterfront and to downtown.  They offer an elaborate buffet breakfast including typical breakfast foods, fresh tropical fruits, oysters on the half shell and even oysters rockafeller.  If  you love seafood, consider trying OYO Restaurant located in the Victoria & Alfred Hotel.  The dining room overlooks the water and you can sit inside or outside for lunch or dinner or just relax and enjoy the peaceful setting on the waterfront while sipping  South African wines by the glass.    Another great way to relax is a massage at Sanctuary Spa located on the hotel grounds .

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For a more  luxurious hotel with an elegant, classy, sophisticated feel, consider staying at the Queen Victoria Hotel a sister property just across the street from the harbor.  This hotel has very large rooms high ceilings and excellent service.

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The best meal of our entire trip was at Dash Restaurant & Bar in the Queen Victoria Hotel.  Chef Sam Wasserman is South African and UK trained and her food looks as good as it tastes.  It has innovative flavors beautiful presentation and the restaurant has an extensive wine list showcasing lots of amazing South African wines to complement the spectacular food.  Our meal included seared foie gras, a trio of sorbets for a palate cleanser and springbok with roasted vegetables which we paired with a Rustenburg John X Marriman Red Blend from Stellenbosch that was phenomenal and hot chocolate fondant with orange ice cream & bitter sugar brittle for dessert  This is a must eat place for any foodie in Cape Town!

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Table Mountain is viewable from pretty much all parts of Cape Town and it is definitely worth hiking or taking the cable car up to the top.   There are amazing 360 degree views of Cape Town and beautiful flora and fauna.  A great time to visit is just before sunset.  Bring up a bottle of  South African wine relax and drink it while watching the sunset.  This is what South Africans call a “sundowner”  For our sundowner we enjoyed a bottle of 2013 Cederburg Chenin Blanc which was crisp creamy and delicious.

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If you would like to stay in a less crowded area of the waterfront consider the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront.  This hotel has large nautically themed rooms  with glorious views of the Atlantic Ocean and a pool and lounge chairs overlooking the Atlantic where you can relax and unwind.  It also has a large patio with heat lamps where you can enjoy lunch dinner or drinks at Tobagos the hotel restaurant serving local and international specialties.  We were there on a hot day and the place was full of both hotel guests and locals enjoying the lovely setting and nice atmosphere.

 

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While in Cape Town be sure to drive down to the Cape of Good Hope.  It is a scenic drive taking you down to a point where  you can see both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans.  Along the way be sure to stop at Boulders Beach to see South African penguins and if you are lucky you will also see baboons which run free in and around Cape Town.

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If you love plants visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens where you can wander and see all kinds of plants and flowers  including some used for healing, aromatics and also decoration.  Don’t miss the boomslang  a canopy walkway offering expansive views of the gardens and surrounding protected native bush areas.

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To experience a more edgy, artsy, and  urban part of Cape Town consider staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town Upper Eastside.  If you stay here you can walk to Old Biscuit Mall see some of the local artist’s studios and get a feel for the changing vibe in this up and coming neighborhood.  Be sure to eat at Liberty’s Restaurant in the hotel and enjoy the  food prepared by Chef Simon Kemp which has big flavor and nice ethnic fusion twists.  We enjoyed cajun shrimp, grilled seabass and a summer fruit tart all of which were delicious and bursting with flavor.

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Finally, for a real understanding of what is happening in South Africa and how it is changing since the end of Apartheid in 1994, I strongly recommend a a visit to Robbin Island and a township tour with a stop for lunch at Mzoli’s in Gugulethu for a taste of delicious South African braai grilled with its signature secret mix of herbs and spices and a first hand view into the changes taking place as Black South Africans  seek to find their place in the new South Africa.

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Mzoli's Place Butcher & Braai

Where ever you stay and whatever you do in Cape Town, one thing is certain, the food wine and sights are truly spectacular and if you love food and wine you will truly feel like you are in paradise!   Please let me know your favorite places to go in Cape Town!

For further information on the hotels and places discussed in this article go to:

Tintsawalo Atlantic  
http://www.tintswalo.com/atlantic/
 
World of Birds 
http://www.worldofbirds.org.za/
 
Victoria & Alfred Hotel 
http://www.newmarkhotels.com/accommodation/hotels/victoria-alfred-hotel/
 
Sanctuary Spa 
http://www.newmarkhotels.com/activities/sanctuary-spa/
 
Queen Victoria Hotel and Dash Restaurant & Bar 
http://www.newmarkhotels.com/accommodation/hotels/queen-victoria-hotel/
 
Table Mountain
 http://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/
 
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront
http://www.radissonblu.com/hotel-capetown/contact
 
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens 
http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch
 
Cape of Good Hope & Boulder Beach
http://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/attractions.php#goodhope
 
DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town, Upper Eastside
http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/south-africa/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-cape-town-upper-eastside-CPTUEDI/index.html
 
Mzoli’s 
http://www.capetown.travel/attractions/entry/mzolis_place

 

 

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