An Insider’s Guide to the City of Cape Town
Want to know where to stay, what to eat, where to shop and what to see? Here’s insider’s guide to Cape Town. For Singapore Priority Magazine.
Serene Ellerman House, one of Cape Town’s swankiest addresses, is sparkling after a property-wide refurbishment. The décor reflects aquatic blues and greens, an enviable and relevant art collection and pops of colour that echo its surroundings. Grand sprawling terraces virtually spill into a shimmery Atlantic Ocean. A decadent spa, fine dining restaurant and 24-hour pantry ensure guests linger.
180 Kloof Road, Bantry Bay; ellerman.co.za
Having tragically burnt to the ground in a wild fire, the luxurious Tintswalo Atlantic, an eco-forward, 10-roomed retreat has risen boldly from the ashes. Rebuilt painstakingly over a year, the stylish suites, modelled after famous islands, provide a hideaway with airy bathrooms, balconies and space for lavish in-room treatments. Soak in the heated pools on the deck with sweeping views of Hout Bay
Chapmans Peak Dr, Cape Town; tintswalo.com/atlantic
Tjing Tjing Torii
Lodged between a daytime café and a trendy bar upstairs, this casual but vibey spot takes over from formal predecessor The White Room. Cosy corners and a vastly improved wine and cocktail list call for lazy evenings with friends, sampling Asian-style tapas of lime-cured fish, pork “dogs”, triple-fried chicken thighs and cardamom-whiskey caramel popcorn.
165 Longmarket Street; tjingtjing.co.za/torii
With its roots as a roving pop-up, [spasie] meaning “space” in Afrikaans, has settled as an exclusive underground restaurant, catering for 40. Guests can expect previous MasterChef winners or the country’s most lauded chefs to serve an intimate, glamourous feast based on whim. An invite-only system operates on Wednesdays with reservations open for Thursdays and Fridays.
97 Church Street; spasie.co/
Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar
Gin’s still popular the world over, and no less at Mother’s Ruin, a dedicated concept gin bar located in always-buzzing Bree Street. With more than 90 gins, including bottle-aged and infused numbers with flavours like rosemary, thyme and olive, expect carefully crafted mixes that push the boundaries. Join hip Capetonians for a gin cocktail and local charcuterie.
219 Bree Street; mothersruin.co.za
The Village Idiot
With a full-sized taxidermy ostrich atop the bar, you know you’ve come to a place that revels in tomfoolery. Curating a selection of local delights like “braai” (barbeque) boards and Durban-style peri-peri chicken, punters feel at home with pints of craft beer or crisp Chenin Blanc. The English-pub feel with dark wood and leather couches is balanced with spritely wait staff and quirky décor.
32 Loop Street; thevillageidiot.co.za
An inner-city art gallery, it’s become a space for emerging artists to help define a new luxury. The discreet venue aims to create valuable discourse, while breaking down secret codes and norms and presenting local art, in a multitude of forms that is lively, brave and timeless. Art collectors couldn’t be in better hands here.
56 Church Street; smithstudio.co.za
Voorkamer at Chandler House
Designer, and multi-talented artist Michael Chandler has opened up the front room (“voorkamer”) of his gorgeous space, groaning with new and old finds – art, homeware, and gifts, to display monthly contemporary works. Expect whimsical watercolours, excerpts of drawings from notebooks, inky sketches, previously unshown works and joyous items you will instantly covet. (52)
53 Church Street; thevoorkamergallery.com
An achingly cool three-level women’s concept fashion store, with carefully curated international brands that are handpicked by owner Kelly Withey, who specialised in fashion design in Paris. Every piece tells a story. This eclectic selection of ready-to-wear fashion and accessories in a chic setting is bound to get the fashionistas’ hearts pumping with delight.
5 Jarvis Street; maisonmara.co.za
Original T-Bag Company
An upliftment project in the impoverished Imizamu Yethu community in Hout Bay, founded by Jill Heyes, it’s now run by a growing team that produces handcrafted art, boxes, trays, coasters and cards made from recycled tea bags. Visitors are invited for an impromptu tour (also easily accessible on the City Sightseeing bus) and to browse the store of pretty handicrafts
144 Main Road, Hout Bay; tbagdesigns.co.za