“On the 12th day of Christmas my Capetonian gave to me…one list of things and a crow sitting in a pine tree…” Seasons greetings! Welcome to Cape Town! I’m Meg and this is my blog, Boring Cape Town Chick. I live and work in the Mother City and LOVE exploring all it has to offer. So for the 12 days of Christmas I’m giving you IDEAS on how to enjoy your holiday. ENJOY! And if you have any queries, feel free to leave a comment down below. Welcome!
Top 12 Things To Do in the Mother City.
In no particular order…
Day 1 – Explore The Local Gin
Yum! The gin craft industry has exploded in South African over the past 2 years and the local gin is exceptional. Discover the best the city has to offer at my favourite drinking spots:
The Secret Gin Bar, City Bowl
Tucked behind the Honest Chocolate Shop in Wale Street (which is also a whole world unto itself) is the secret Gin Bar. Try the Geometric gin with their locally made tonics. I like the Floral Tonic, but if you prefer a drier edge, try the Citrus Tonic – all delicious either way!
The Gin Dock, V&A
The Gin Dock is a new secret gin spot tucked behind the Cape Grace in the Scheryn Pavilion (V&A). Usually locals avoid the Waterfront during summer, but the Gin Dock’s sneaky location gives you exceptional views of the harbour and marina towards Table Mountain so it’s worth visiting. Try their in-house gin, Amari, which is distilled from sea water. This Atlantic inspired gin is crisp, light and fresh – perfect for summer.
Wilderer Gin at the Spice Route, Paarl
Wilderer is my all time favourite local gin. Don’t bother with a slice of lemon, just have it neat with a Leeds & Finch tonic to start. While it’s available in various bars, why not visit their tasting room at the Spice Route? Taste the local fynbos flavours as you gaze across the Paarl Valley. Heaven.
Musgrave Gin Soiree, Radisson Blu CBD
Every Friday this summer, SA’s biggest local selling gin Musgrave is hosting a “Soirees”. Relax on lounges at the Radisson’s poolside landing while you gaze into the bright blue sky. Enjoy their pink gin and pink tonic with candy floss pairing! Tickets are R150 and includes a burger and welcome drink.
Day 2 – Find Animals Around Cape Town
Cape Town may be home to over 4 million people, BUT we are actually surrounded by a number of awesome animals. Here’s where to find them:
- Ostriches and Baboons – Cape Point nature reserve.
- Giraffes, springbok and eiland – Take a 2 hour game drive at Villiera.
- Whales – anywhere along the Atlantic Seaboard.
- Penguins – Boulders beach out in Simon’s Town (they’re so cute!).
- Zebras – Hospital Bend – yip! The highway right in the middle of Cape Town!
- Lions – Vredenheim in Stellenbosch.
- Eagles & Owls – Spier Winery.
- Cheetahs – Paardevlei in Somerset West
If you want to do a proper game drive, try Aquila Game Reserve just 2 hours from Cape Town. They have something for the whole family and will ensure you see rhinos, lions and elephants.
Day 3 – Party to Local Music
South African has a KICK ASS local music scene. International styles remixed with a South African twist, from drum n bass to indie to jazz to house, there’s something for everyone in Cape Town. During the 12 days of Christmas I recommend the following gigs:
- 22nd Dec: The last Heads Will Roll for 2018 has a stellar line up including Hyphen, Haezer, George Daniel, Miki San Tzu (JHB), Jon Casey (PTA), Headphase (JHB). Expect Tech House, Bass House, Future House, Breaks, Trap, Dubstep and Drum n Bass. R50 all night, doors open at 10pm. If you prefer bands, head to the House of Machines for Black Cat Bones.
- 23rd Dec: Cape Town’s most loved hip hop party, Upper Cut takes place at the Waiting Room. for their Golden Era edition. Expect 90’s hip hop and classic tunes all night for their Golden Era edition. Alternatively, head to the Catacomb Club for electronic stalwart Sibot’s “In With the Old Afterparty” vinyl launch.
- 24th Dec: Cape Town house duo Pascal & Pearce will be entertainer guests at hidden V&A restaurant and bar, Vista Marina, in a St Tropez inspired afternoon of sipping on bespoke Jose Cuervo cocktails and cool house beats.
- 25th Dec: Fiction Presents a Merry Damn Christmas – for some reason many people float into Fiction after their Christmas feasting. This always turns into THE biggest party as people celebrate friends and family while listening to a mix of cheesy and epic beats. I’ve been at Fiction every Christmas night for the past few years and it’s been awesome!
- 26th Dec: Sizzled Summer Music & Food Festival returns to the Caste of Good Hope to combine various music genres, food and ethnicities. “We do our best to curate a line-up that’s fresh, different and far from the norm!” 70% sold out, tickets are available for R150 from Computicket.
- 27th Dec: The Rivertones at Earthfair Market. This long running reggae band has kept many a Capetonian’s head bopping over recent years, join them at the Earthfair Market for a chillaxing afternoon.
- 28th Dec: It Came From the Jungle is Cape Town’s longest running weekly drum n bass night. Join Niskerone and his line up of local DJ’s for a night of drum n bass.
- 29th Dec: Jack Black Jazz Night featuring Dan Shout. Eat, drink craft beer and listen to fun jazz tunes in the heart of Diepriver. Not local music but worth sharing, Anderson Paak at Grand West. Fiction Fest feat. ANG – pay R150 and drink as many of their selected drinks as you require, BOOM!
- 30th Dec: Legendary South African band, Wonderboom, will be down from Joburg and rocking Bertie’s Mooring out in Gordon’s Bay for the release of their new album Rising Sun.
- 31st Dec: One of South Africa’s most successful exports, Goldfish, will be rocking Kirstenbosch for New Year’s eve. Having residencies in Ibiza, this house duo that combines live instrumentation with electronic beats has taken the world by storm. Tickets are available for R385 from Webtickets.
- 1st Jan: Moonshine – Jazz with a Kick! Cape Town’s much loved wedding, corporate and party band will be back at Barrister’s Pub in Newlands to rock n roll you into the new year. From 4pm onwards, R50 cover charge, book now! South African band Freshly Ground will be performing on New Year’s Day at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Tickets are available for R135 – R180 online.
- 2nd Jan: Enjoy funk, rock n roll and disco at Holy Funk at Fiction.
Day 4 – Go For a Stroll
No really. Get outside! There’s a reason why people choose the Cape Town lifestyle over the Jozi money. We are lucky enough to live in a truly exceptional city with incredible views from all angles.
Get involved and take a stroll along the Sea Point Promenade – a great option as Sea Point is a lot less windy than other areas. View the “table” from Blouberg beach or watch children play in the Company Gardens in the heart of the city. Us locals love a little stroll!
Day 5 – Upgrade Your Transport (Tram, Chopper, Quad)
In the last 2 years I’ve managed to take a flight around Lion’s Head in an NAC helicopter and get lost on the white sands of Atlantis. ALL of which were BEYOND epic! Remix your transport and enjoy these EPIC activities while on holiday. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!
Day 6 – Go For a Pre-Packed Picnic
A number of wine farms around the Western Cape have put together a number of exquisite picnics. Paired with their famous wine, it’s a wonderful way to have a relaxed, lazy lunch under the shade of a willow tree or shine of blue skies. Try:
Hartenberg is a rustic farm that’s less glamorous than many others, however, their produce speaks for itself. Their award winning wine and outstanding food is in my top 3 for picnics. Balanced, well thought out and absolutely delicious, relax under the shade of the willow trees.
Allee Bleue Picnic
Allee Bleue is home to many of the herbs grown for Woolworths. So I’m talking fresh, fresh, fresh herbs and produce! They have a tabled picnic with a number of treats for two.
Gabrielskloof is a little further out of town, but they also serve super good food. Gaze over the valleys towards Hermanus as you sip on beautiful wine and tuck into delicious food. Again, always happy when I visit Gabrielskloof as I love the layout and views.
Cape Point Vineyards Picnic
Cape Point Vineyards overlooks Noordhoek and Kommetjie. It has exquisite views across the valley and see. The food isn’t as good as in the farmlands, however, their sunsets are spectacular and they have little shop where you can buy snacks if you don’t picnic.
Perdeberg is the latest picnic spot on my radar. Having visited last week, the Cape Doctor ruined the opportunity to sit outside. So we sat inside in their tasting lounge and lapped up their delicious wine and food. Their picnic basket is definitely one of my top 3.
Day 7 – Roof Top Drinks
There are plenty of awesome roof top bars in Cape Town. I know this is big in Jozi and the world over, but can you blame us? There’s nothing better than taking in a city with a bird’s eye view. Here are my favourite roof top bars for a sundowner:
One Up is a whisky bar situated in the heart of Long Street. It’s open from 5pm – 4am, most days, and offers a beautiful view up and down Long street, including Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. Expect vinyl beats on Saturdays and electronic beats all week around, as the sun goes down and the lights of the city go up.
Cape Town’s latest edition to the roof top scene is the Radisson Red. After their spectacular launch, Red Bull launched their new summer flavour there and kept the party going among locals. Their views are incredible from the harbour’s edge, offering full panoramic views across the city bowl.
Tjing Tjing is about 4 stories up so if you have a dodgy knee, ankle or leg, this one may not be for you. The wooden caven opens up like a luxury attic bedroom, offering guests a cosy seat on their couches under the Cape Town sky.
Cloud 9 Bar
Cloud 9 is a boutique hotel on the slopes of Lion’s Head. Tucked away between Tamboerskloof and Kloof street, the Cloud 9 rooftop bar offers 360 degree views ALL across the city. It can sometimes be a bit windy though (typical Cape Town!), so take a jersey, order a cocktail (R60 – 80) and enjoy the spectacular views.
Day 8 – Watch the Sunset from Oudekraal
Oudekraal is part of Sanparks and is located on the “Camps Bay” side of the mountain. Exit Camps Bay along Victoria road and keep driving until you pass the Twelve Apostles Hotel. There are various laybys available after 6pm that allow you to park and watch. The sunsets are SPECTACULAR! (We usually braai there too, which is awesome as we get to swim among the rocks, take in the mountain and chillax at the sea.) PS This sunset pic was taken on an iPhone and is not edited. #EpicColours
Day 9 – Go Wine Tasting and Pairing
By now you’re starting to get that Cape Town is all about the food and a view. Well, for me anyway! I love to go wine tasting and absorb the views and enjoy the treats provided. Here are a few wine pairing options:
- Delheim – Wine and cupcake pairing: R85pp
- Eikendal – Wine and cheesecake pairing: R70
- Hidden Valley – Wine and chocolate pairing: R85
- Villiera – Wine and nougat pairing: R220 (with game drive, R100 without)
- Stellenbosch Hill’s – Biltong & Wine Tasting (with bacon!): R65
And just for the best views from Constantia, Constantia Glen – wine and charcuterie board (this isn’t an official pairing, but one I highly, highly recommend!)
Day 10 – Explore Local Art
There are a number of wonderful galleries in and around Cape Town that display some of South Africa’s most famous artists. After going for a stroll in the Company Gardens, visit the Iziko Museum and Art Gallery. Look out for the famous work, “The Butcher Boys”. Cavalli Wine Estate out in Stellenbosch has a beautiful gallery as well, featuring famous artworks such as Pierneef. Grand Provenance also has a really interesting art filled farm and gallery.
Day 11 – Lunch with a View
Cape Town is well known for its amazing food! Don’t miss out on these incredible locations:
Bosjes out in Ceres – Perfect for the whole family, this Pete Geoffwood restaurant serves scrummy, affordable food for visitors to the country side.
Waterkloof in Somerset West – Award winner restaurant Waterkloof is perched HIGH in the Somerset hills and boasts a view across Gordon’s Bay and the Cape Flats. Pop in for a cheese board and wine tasting or have a full lunch time.
Lunch at Tinswalo Atlantic – Hands down some of the best views across Houtbay comes from Tinswalo. This 5 star hotel offers beautiful lunch time fare that will lull you into pure bliss. Be sure to book as this is an exclusive hotel and “popping in” isn’t appropriate.
City Views from On19 – Right in the heart of the city is the Westin’s On19. Eat great food from the top of the building while taking in the city’s views.
Day 12 – Get Merry On the Franschhoek Wine Tram
The best way to see a number of farms without having to drive, the Franschhoek Wine Tram is an absolute HOOT! Around R220 per person, stay over the night and have a blast!
I hope this helps you and that you have an amazing time in the mother city!