29 November 2017 Issue 20 Dec/Jan

72 hours in Cape Town, South Africa

Between the flat-topped Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean sits Cape Town, South Africa’s second-largest city. Courier Life discovers what it has to offer over three days.

South Africa’s coastal city has long been a favoured destination for Europeans looking for sunshine over the dark and cold winter months. After a wander around some of the best spots in town, Courier took an hour’s drive out to nearby rustic farm hotel, Babylonstoren.

The Guide

Local photographer and blogger Amy Scheepers has figured out how to pack Cape Town’s best sights into just 72 hours. She’s lived in the city for four years, and describes it as an inspiring and beautiful place to live and work. ‘Even though I live in the heart of the city, it’s still so laid back and relaxed,’ she says. ‘The weather being incredible most of the time helps too.’

Bo-Kaap

This district is a notable manifestation of Cape Town’s history; rich in culture and undeniably beautiful. The colourful houses, which stretch as far as the eye can see, were painted by Muslim residents to celebrate Eid. Head there early to avoid the crowds.


Bo-Op

On the corner of Rose and Wale Street is one of Bo-Kaap’s most recent developments, run by a co-operative of Cape Town designers. The main store stocks local fashion brands, while its cafe, Deluxe, serves great coffee. Head upstairs to Harvest Cafe for a healthy lunch.


Yours Truly

Scheepers describes Yours Truly as an ‘institution for any Cape Town gathering’, as evidenced by the venue’s buzzing crowds from early afternoon into early morning. The business now has four branches, with the most recent addition – Eagles Nest – on Loop Street, set in a three-storey Victorian building.


Mulberry & Prince

A popular spot that’s been described as ‘a taste of the Big Apple in Cape Town’. The brunch menu includes items such as waffles and fried chicken and custard-soaked brioche.


AKJP

This is one of Scheepers’ favourite spots in town to pick up local designs, from clothing to jewellery and accessories. The shop has a clean and minimal aesthetic, and is focused on championing Cape Town talent.


Hallelujah

A tiny restaurant with an Asian-influenced menu. Reservations can only be made for tables of four or more. Smaller groups should arrive when the doors open to get a seat and experience the spectacular bao buns. The restaurant is also next door to a cosy local bar, for a quick drink before heading home.


General Store

The General Store on Bree Street is a small grocer and cafe, serving up fresh healthy brunch and lunch. Scheepers says the lunch buffet is well worth a visit – if only just to try one of the cafe’s delicious brownies. The aesthetic is minimal, and the staff are always friendly.


Zeitz Mocaa

South Africa has a vibrant art scene, and the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa contains some of the best pieces. Located on the waterfront inside an old grain silo, the building was designed by Thomas Heatherwick – who also worked on London’s new Routemaster buses.


Babylonstoren

These beautiful farmyards are a short drive from the city, and well worth it. The grounds have been divided up into sections that feature fruit, vegetables, bees, ducks and chickens, and a maze of cacti. The Greenhouse serves up tea, coffee and cakes for a pick-me-up in between strolling through the vast gardens. Meanwhile, Babel, one of the four on-site restaurants, serves fresh, seasonal ingredients in a verdant setting.