Travel Cape Town in October

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Spenser Hilliard, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. I shall be in Cape Town in earlyish October. It's work related but I'll also have some time to dine out and explore a bit. I have had a look at the recent threads about recommendations in the Cape Winelands, but I probably won't have the chance to travel far afield and am really looking for suggestions of things to do, see, eat and drink within Cape Town itself and would greatly welcome any suggestions.
  2. I've not even visited Cape Town in my previous two trips to the Cape -- but for in-depth reviews of Cape Town restaurants with up-to-date info on new openings and closes you could do worse than read Chris von Ulmensteins blog - WhaleTales Blog

    She's a foodie. In 2016 she travelled to London and New York to eat in restaurants as the Top 50 Restaurants in World.
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  3. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Spenser, for posh nosh, I am sure you would love Aubergine. Not nearly so trendy as Test Kitchen, but easier to get a table and excellent food and wine, plus a 25-year track record for the chef/patron. Do you know yet where you are staying and I will see if there are other suggestions nearby?
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  4. Chef Warehouse at Beau Constantia is a lovely restaurant but you made need to book soon. Like Peter even though I live only 45 minutes away I spend most of my time in the Winelands and Hermanus .
    Think Cape Town is overrated
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  5. La Mouette in Sea Point was excellent when we visited 18 months ago.
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  6. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator


    Interesting - we usually stay in Seapoint and after 3 visits to La Mouette, we've given up on it. Every time service has been abysmal, and food not really that good, and despite wanting to like it a) because it is 3 minutes from our hotel and b) because we knew the chef carried a good reputation from his time in London, we've left thinking it was hugely disappointing.
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  7. This is all very useful, many thanks to everyone who has responded. I haven't been to Cape Town before so have little idea of what's what. I shall be staying at the Vineyard hotel in Newlands and, since posting this, have managed to extend my stay by a few days so will now have a bit more flexibility to explore further.
  8. Sorry double post
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  9. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator


    You are minutes away from a hotel called The Cellars-Hohenort, whose restaurant, The Greenhouse, was brilliant last year. Very upmarket, African tasting menu, but superb.

    You are also very close to a whole host of Constantia vineyard restaurants that are really good, from the top end La Colome, to excellent more casual fine dining options like Buitenverwachting and the Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg estate.
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  10. If you have more time Spenser get out of Cape Town and visit the Winelands and Hermanus. Many fine restaurants in both including Overture near Stellenbosch and La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek. The latter is a lovely town to visit . The Vineyard is a good hotel with a nice restaurant and as Tom states close to Constantia .
    I may well be out there by then so would be good to meet up if you have the time .
  11. Thanks everyone. The forum comes up trumps (if you can still use that expression) once again.
    Keith, I shall drop you a DM.
  12. Stayed at Vineyard 18 months ago and the restaurant was v good. They host Roger Jones from the Harrow in Bedwyn every January for a number of themed dinners including his tri-nations challenge so they have a good reputation to maintain.
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  13. A second vote for the vineyard - it’s a lovely hotel and food excellent. Plenty to do in and around Cape Town Spenser, just depends if you want to do wine/food tourism or a bit of normal tourism. Cape point well worth a visit, table mountain too. Plenty of life at V&A waterfront. October is whale season so as Keith says head to Hermanus if you can - it’s doable as a day trip and the whales come very close in which is pretty spectacular. If you fancy some serious adrenaline then it’s also good for shark diving!
  14. What's the best way to get around Cape Town - are taxis cheap/plentiful/necessary? Is it good "walking" city?

    (sorry for barging in like this, but we're going in Dec too!)
  15. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    If you are lucky there's pretty spectacular whale watching just from the cliffs around Hermanus - no need to even venture off dry land.

    Uber runs in Cape town and taxis are cheap. Last time we took one from Seapoint to Constantia for dinner, the driver just sat and waited 3 hours to take us back, with no additional charge. Though I guess it was a slow night!

    Walking around the centre and V&A is fine during the day and distances between interesting sites not huge. I wouldn't walk around the centre at night, but have friends who rent an air B&B and do so without a problem.
  16. I'd welcome other thoughts on safety in Cape Town and the Cape in general. My wife is very keen on us all visiting (2 youngsters included, 7 and 10). I'm somewhat scarred by having worked in the emergency department at Groote Schuur. It was almost twenty years ago, but the horrors, and the often casual and random nature of the violence, have stuck in my memory.
  17. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator


    Obviously this would be much better answered by someone who lives in Cape Town, but I will throw in my tuppence worth from what I have observed. In 20 years of visiting I think the city has become safer, though in truth, for the sensible traveller who avoided the less salubrious areas after dark (as in any big city) it was never, ever as dangerous to visit as people made out. Certainly during the day, and in all the tourist areas, from the Waterfront to the city bowl and the beach communities, it's as pleasant and safe feeling to me as any city. A forumite and friend rented an apartment downtown near Long Street (from memory) last year and he and his wife walked around the restaurants and bars that line that area even late at night with no problem, and I was surprised when taxiing back from restaurants to Seapoint where I tend to stay, to see the pavement cafes filled with relaxed people enjoying drinks and food at midnight on a Saturday.

    Of course you have to be sensible about where you go, and have to keep your wits about you, but I'd be doing that in London, Paris or New York too.

    Out in the winelands there is still security in evidence, but towns like Franschhoek are idyllic and peaceful.
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  18. Spenser,

    Pot Luck Club - the casual offspring of the Test Kitchen. Still need to book way in advance though. Good selection of chenins.

    La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek, as Keith says, was truly excellent earlier this year, and much better than the original.

    Foxcroft in Constantia was fun, a bit of Shoreditch.
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  19. Agree with Tom re security . Most of the violence is in the townships and is frequently directed at illegal immigrants of which there are many . Having said that I have visited a number of townships during my 20 years there,although never at night
    Have never felt insecure in all my time and obviously if I had then I would have left
    As a matter of interest my son and his family intend to live there when he retirees in about 5 years
  20. E9E0B1D2-06EF-408B-818D-3D84804E9CB5.jpeg Sobering figures from townships in or near Cape Town
  21. I worked in the Khayelitsha township hospital. It was memorable.

    But it's reassuring to hear other experiences and that tourism would be safe.

    Is La Petite Colombe related to the La Colombe that I think I remember from Constantia 20 years ago?
  22. Yes except La Colombe moved to another location near the top of Constantia Nek.
  23. What happened to le Quartier Francais in Franschoek, which was comfortably the best food we had when we were there about 15 years ago?
  24. It is now La Petite Colombe :)
  25. Ha! Thanks

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