Drinks, food, houses, Uncategorized

Cape Town City Snapshots

Text Raphaella Frame, Naomi Larkin, Leigh Robertson, Michelle Snaddon Photographs Warren Heath, Lar Leslie, Anton Robert, Simon Scarboro, Supplied Best Sunday walk Stroll on the boardwalk around the dam at Silvermine Nature Reserve, or up the hill behind it through the fynbos to the beautiful viewpoint overlooking Noordhoek, Cape Point and the coast leading to Simonstown. Wild Card holders gain free entry to this pristine mountain wilderness area. A dip in its tannin-coloured dam water will leave you tingling – or do the river walk, which is wonderfully cool in summer. sanparks.org Best urban park The new Biodiversity Showcase Garden in the Green Point Urban Park is right next to the stadium, and covers a large wetland area that’s an inner city gem with views of Signal Hill and the Mountain. Kick off your shoes and feel those indigenous water-wise grasses underfoot and enjoy walkways over waterways in this fascinating and interactive biodiversity garden. Open 7am to 7pm. Best Newcomer Store The Farmer’s Daughter (083-481-9863) in the historic De Oude Bakkerij building in Church Street, Stellenbosch, is owned by well-known stylist Retha Erichsen. It’s chock-full of exquisitely crafted, locally made goods. Retha is also the driving force behind The Hearth Fair (thehearthfair.co.za) now trading at US Gallery on the first and last Saturday each month from 9am till 2pm. Best Bookshop Kalk Bay Books has a diverse range personally selected by owner Ann Donald. End a spot of browsing and buying with a meal (or just coffee and cake) at its Annex Restaurant, which offers spectacular views over the seaside village’s picturesque fishing harbour. Look out online for regular literary events as well. 021-788-2266, kalkbaybooks.co.za Best Bar Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar in Longmarket St in the CBD has been the talk of the town since its opening earlier this year. The sexy interiors have an Asian twist, with a red lacquer bar taking up one wall. Carry your tipple outside or grab a seat indoors. Platters of snacks are available to order, and the delicious cocktail menu is extensive. 021-422-4920, tjingtjing.co.za Best Neighbourhood Eatery The Woodlands Eatery in Vredehoek has all the requirements for a good night out without breaking the bank or having to get all 'poshed' up. Owners Larry Steenkamp and Sarah-May Cronwright have combined an eclectic decor of vintage style with unpretentious food. The pizzas are really good – there's no scrimping on toppings; salads are a hearty mix of seasonal inclusions like figs and Larry's Burger has a cult following. It's always busy so book ahead. 021-801-5799. Best for Tech Stuff Stellenbosch became the envy of tech (and design) enthusiasts from afar when Buro opened its doors in the De Wet Centre earlier this year, selling sleek Macs and other cutting-edge gadgets alongside a hip selection of magazines and stationery. At the time of writing, a Central City store was due to open on Kloof St, vaunted to be as minimalist-chic as the original. 021-882-9079, buro.biz. Best Burger The worst thing about the burgers at Loading Bay Café in De Waterkant is that they’re only available on Thursday nights. Choose between a meat or vegetarian patty (there are different variations every time) and a side of either truffle-salted fries or a delicious salad. The small and stacked burgers are served on a lightly toasted kitka bun and packed with flavour. 021-425-6321, loadingbay.tumblr.com Best for Girly Pampering Petticoat Parlour in Green Point would be the perfect place for a movie montage – the interiors are reminiscent of a 1950s diner, and the appropriately themed music makes the pleasure of having your nails done all the more playful! Besides the fun of it all, the therapists are professional and thorough, and you can expect reasonable price tags, too. 021-434-9484, petticoatparlour.co.za Best ‘Coffice’ With the rise of the mobile workplace, we’re likely to spot all manner of bloggers and other less desk-bound professionals setting up a ‘coffice’ (office-meets-coffee-shop). The Field Office on Barrack St in the CBD not only serves good coffee, but has clothing, arts and gifts, too. It’s also the showroom of young design stars Pedersen + Lennard. 021-461-4599, fieldoffice.co.za Best beach picnic spot Clifton Fourth Beach is perfect if it’s windy, but locals will tell you that Bakoven is the most spectacular setting, especially at sunset. Sit on the rocks and you’ll have a 360-degree view of Lion’s Head, the Twelve Apostles and the sea. Pack a blanket and candles into your picnic basket and stay till the coastline twinkles with evening lights. Best for Pre-Show Drinks and Dinner The sophisticated decor at Rondebosch’s Baxter Theatre’s revamped Play Bar and Act Restaurant has injected real glamour into the space. Grab a light bite, such as a wrap or a muffin, from the Play Bar during the day, or enjoy tapas platters and wine in the evening. Alternatively book a table at Act Restaurant and order from the elegant a la carte menu. 021-685-3888, theforum.co.za Best Artisan Bread Jason Lilley transformed what was previously the Jardine Bakery space on Bree Street into Jason Bakery, a fresh and contemporary nook that’s so much more than a bakery. Choose from artisanal loaves of any kind, but definitely also sit down to enjoy a mouth-watering sandwich with one of the wines from The Cardinal range, or a glass of Graham Beck or Champagne Pannier bubbly. 021-424-5644, jasonbakery.com Best Dim Sum Lisa Tsai, wife of Nigiro Tea merchant Ming Wei Tsai, is at the helm of Southern Suburbs gem O’Way Tea Café, and Marion Kumpf (ex Aubergine sous chef) heads up the kitchen. Uniquely, their offering is entirely vegetarian, and the dim sum is to die for — try the braised Har Gau filled with mushrooms and cabbage, or order a dim sum platter for two. 021-671-2850, oways.co.za Best Country Breakfast Bartholomeus Klip close to Hermon in the Cape Winelands is an HL favourite getaway, and the cuisine – along with the beautiful farm setting, charming decor, friendly service and fabulous swimming pool - is a huge draw card. Chef Louise Gillett's breakfast is a banquet every day, with a spread that ranges from eggs and bacon to fresh berry panna cotta and their famous muesli pie. 022-448-1087, bartholomeusklip.com. Best Healthy Take-Out Lunch Famed for delicious ‘Love Sandwiches’ made with two signature pestos and a choice of delectable fillings, The Kitchen in Woodstock is where Capetonians in the know (and a visiting Mrs Obama) grab a bite on the run. The salads, of which you can choose up to six in a serving, are our favourite lunchtime choice. The array of tasty options changes daily and they’re excellent value. 021-462-2201, karendudley.co.za Best Bicycle Shop With a network of bicycle lanes introduced to city roads earlier this year, and a blossoming romance among braver locals for the European-style two-wheeled commute, Woodstock Cycleworks is like a candy store for enthusiasts of especially old-school Dutch and vintage bikes. Describing itself as ‘a neighbourhood bike shop – a shop for big kids and small kids’, this delightful store also sells spares and services bikes. woodstockcycleworks.com Best for Bubbly & Oysters Close to the city and yet with all the best attributes of the winelands, Steenberg in the Constantia Valley is hard to beat. The evening tapas menu at stylish Bistro1682 is superb, but it’s a tough call when faced with the option of enjoying the lovely ambience with wild (when available) oysters and glasses of their quaffable Steenberg Brut MCC. Do try the dressed oysters, served on weekends (R80 for four plus glass of bubbly). steenberghotel.com Best Flat White Beloved of the urban caffeinista set, tiny and ultra hip Deluxe Coffee Works in Church Street might be on the extreme side of intimate, but at least you know you’re rubbing shoulders with fellow devotees. It’s just their fine, house-roasted coffee here, no food, but there are piles of magazines to browse between watching the passing parade from a seat at the window. Don’t leave without a bag of beans. deluxecoffeeworks.com Best Art-House Cinema The Screening Room at luxe Franschhoek establishment Le Quartier Francais is intimate as it gets, with this gloriously old-fashioned feeling theatre (complete with plush velvet curtains) seating up to 30 people only. Do bags one of the comfy two-seater sofas, perfect for lounging on with a complimentary glass of wine in hand as you watch latest and classic art-house flicks. 021-876-8443, lqf.co.za Best Pizza Massimo’s at Oakhurst Farm Park in Hout Bay is legendary among discerning local foodies for its authentic, imaginative pizzas and affable hosts, Piedmontese chef-patron Massimo Orione and his wife Tracy. Pizzas are made from stone-ground Eureka Mills flour, use fior di latte mozzarella, and range from the simplest Salvia (mozzarella, butter and sage) to versions with Chorizo, Pancetta and bagna cauda. Wash down with craft beer and cult wines. 021-790-5648, pizzaclub.co.za Best Beer That &Union has made HL’s hot-list yet again says much about this Bree Street establishment’s continuous evolution, with new brews like the mighty fine Versus Goliath joining their offering of ever-popular craft lagers. Grab a Bucket ‘O Love (four 330ml craft lagers for R100), offered every day except Real Music Wednesdays, when you can enjoy unplugged sets by local artists, and Fridays. andunion.com Best Fresh Mex You might want to book a taxi to ferry you to and from El Burro on Green Point’s Main Road – their Mexican cocktails made from imported tequilas are so good, and so in keeping with the vibe on summer nights out on the balcony, you’ll want more than just one. Just as more-ish is the food, which is authentic southern Mexican, with fresh ingredients (no stringy melted cheese here) and zingy bursts of flavour. The fish taco is heaven! 021-433-2364 Best Men’s Haircut Local blokes like that they can eschew the tired metrosexual label and enjoy the sort of old-school masculine pleasures their grand-dads might have experienced at Barnett Fair in Bree Street. Here they can succumb to skilful of-the-moment haircuts along with traditional hot towel shaves, in a space that’s accordingly cool in a satisfying lo-fi kind of way. 021-424-1302 Best Pedicure If you think you know a good pedi from an average one, you’ll be in for a (pleasant) surprise when experiencing the altogether different, and incredibly effective, version at the Bastien Gonzalez studio at the One&Only Spa. The French podiatrist has expertly trained the very professional therapists here in the art of thoroughly transforming tired, unpretty feet – nails get buffed with a fine pearl scrub for optimal natural beauty. 021-431-5810 Best View The city’s best assets remain its natural ones, and no matter how many times you’ve been to the top, there’s nothing to beat the 360-degree vista while ascending or descending Table Mountain in the Revolving Cable Car. Best of all, you can take along wine and snacks to enjoy with the sunset, or buy from a good selection at the well-stocked deli. Follow on Twitter (@TableMountainCa) for weather updates. Best for Gifts Even if you happen to be shopping for the most difficult design-phile, you’ll find plenty of joy at our favourite trio of City Bowl stores – Marigold (021-422-5451) on De Lorenz Rd and Haas (haascollective.com) on Rose Street for original and quirky collectibles and Africa Nova in the Old Cape Quarter in De Waterkant (africanova.co.za) for breathtaking contemporary crafts. This original article was featured in the December 2011 issue of House and Leisure...