Everyone should visit Cape Town if they can!
Mountains, beaches, fine food, finer wines and friendly people! We’ve just returned from a whirlwind 5 day trip from Dubai.
Here are my recommendations for eating, sleeping and drinking if you plan to Visit Cape Town.
Visit Cape Town – Getting there
A 9 hour direct flight on Emirates from Dubai. Leave at about 9 am in the morning, and get there in time for afternoon tea! Cape Town is 2 hours ahead of Dubai. You could also go via Doha on Qatar Airlines, or via Ethihad, but that involves a long stop in Johannesburg.
Note there is a long gap between meals on the Emirates flight – almost 6 hours, so do take extra snacks on board. I always opt for Asian vegetarian food. Try and book the bulk head/bassinet seats if you can, a bit of extra leg room on a long flight is almost priceless! I watched the Kettering Incident thriller drama series for my ICE screen entertainment, there and back!
Where to stay when you visit Cape Town
There is a whole host of hotels and accommodation in Cape Town, decide where you want to be located and then see how much money you’ve got to spend. If you can afford it, then don’t think about it, just stay at the exquisite One and Only hotel in Cape Town. You’ll be talking about the breakfasts here for years to come! It’s also a few minutes walk from the very trendy waterfront area too.
A full post on our experience at the One and Only coming soon on the blog.
We also stayed at a cheaper option in a 2 bedroom apartment at the Cape Royale hotel not far from Sea Point. This option would work well for families and it’s well located for the waterfront and downtown Cape Town. It’s a good base in a great location and there are some nice cafes and shops within walking distance. There’s a large well stocked supermarket nearby too, great if you’re doing some picnics.
Favourite Eating places when you visit Cape Town
- The Bungalow in Clifton – Seafront and greenery with stunning interiors, I loved this place for the vibe, food and setting. Do take a jacket or shawl even it’s hot in the day, as it often turns much cooler in the evenings…
- The Grand Beach on the Waterfront – This place is by the sea, it’s has a full restaurant but we had a whole area by the seafront. It’s got a beach club vibe with lovely drinks and snacks, casual and laid back, great for a late lunch. I LOVED the fact the music wasn’t deafening loud as in some beach clubs we’ve been to in Thailand and Turkey.
Food is of a very good standard at the Grand Beach.
- Kloof Street House in Kloof Street – High class, urban gothic with amazing food and very impressive wines. Their bar tenders are hugely skilled at making a variety of different shots here! I’m not a shot girl at all, but even I was impressed with the caramelised orange and hazlenut shot! Great for a blow out dinner in a fabulous setting!
Also recommended but didn’t get round to trying
- Le Caprice – on the seafront
- The Food Lab on Bree Street near Long Street.
- The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club both in Woodstock in the Old Biscuit Mill. Co incidentally we spoke about the Test Kitchen a while ago on the Ticket Dubai Eye 103.8! If you wander around Woodstock, do try the coffee at the Micro roastery Coffee Express, fabulous coffee. Eat at any of the cafes you like the look of! Need gluten free? Then ask for the Banting option.
- Melissa’s seemed like a really good cafe in Franschoek too.
When you visit Cape Town visit the Vineyards
You have to visit Cape Town’s Vineyards and try the fine wines and food on offer, even it’s a just a plate of cheese and crackers! The quality is outstanding.
Choose from the Stellenbosh or the Franschoek areas, both about 50 minutes drive from downtown Cape Town depending on traffic and the route you take.
We LOVED Tokara in Stellenbosh for a great all round wine tasting session and high quality lunch experience.
Get a table on the large promontory platform on top of the vineyards for lunch if you can.
We also visited the more traditional Lanzerac Vineyard. They organized a chocolate and wine tasting pairing for us for which they are known. We also visited the Cape Point Vineyards as part of a special lunch party. We all adored the setting, the views and the peace of the place, fabulous food too. The picture of me at the top of this post is from the Cape Point Vineyards.
Visit Cape Town – What stood out for us
For us, an unforgettable, must do is definitely lunch at the sublime Babylonstoren working farm, garden, vineyard and restaurant. LOVED this place and need to go back here with my children one day! A full post on that experience coming soon on the blog. The pictures and video on the Babylonstoren post should speak for themselves though!
Visit Cape Town – what to buy
- We bought scented candles and soaps from Babylenstoren, you’ll find it impossible to resist their shop of scents!
- We also bought wine from the Tokara wine estate, pack that carefully in your suitcase!
- A new find for us and very popular apparently was the incredibly good Innveroche gin made with the fin bos herb, specific to Cape Town. Pair with your favourite tonic and you’ll soon see what all the fuss is about!
- Pick up some Proteas, Cape Town’s national flower, beautiful and very good value, I recommend going to Caroline’s Fine Flowers in the Waterfront Mall. They are very experienced at packing them up for you so you can carry onto the plane. Ask for Amanda.
- 2 local brands of toiletries I liked were Charlotte Rhys and Rain, both Cape Town favourites I think, with lot’s of natural ingredients.
- Buy some Rooibush tea from any supermarket – Woolworths’s food is popular – or grocery store. A natural, caffeine free tea with a very clean taste, available here and in London, but better from Cape Town itself.
- Browse for homewares and accessories around Woodstock, visit the Old Biscuit Mill area and just potter about. You’ll find some nice things.
Visit Cape town – Did you know…
That Cape Town is borderd by 2 oceans, the colder Atlantic, much nearer Cape Town airport and the warmer Indian ocean, reached via a 2nd flight from Cape Town to George. That’ll have to be on our next visit!
Uber is used extensively by locals in Cape Town. It seems to work well. I can’t wait to go back! Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll try and answer them here.
Know anyone else who’d appreciate an honest review and genuine recommendations based on first hand experiences?
Then please share this post with them.
More Cape Town pics on DoinDubai’s Instagram and Facebook.
Read another version of this article on Travel Arabia here.