Situated at the heart of the beautiful Company Gardens sits the maternal grandmother of Fine Art in South Africa, the South African National Gallery. Since 1930 the gallery has played host to some of the greatest arts work in South Africa, through both its permanent collection and regular temporary exhibitions. The gallery has excelled in marrying the competing aesthetics of the more traditional bequests of 19th and early 20th century art with the more challenging post colonial works from emerging African artists. It is the permanent home to Jane Alexander’s The Butcher Boys, arguably the most famous piece of modern art sculpture in Africa.
It’s a large, airy, cool space perfect for whiling away an hour or two as you learn more about South African art as well as featured works from across the content. Its location is walking distance to both the Slave Lodge and The South African Museum making it the ideal central point for a museum meander along with the squirrels under the trees in Government Avenue.
Cape Town has a global reputation in Jazz with artists like Abdullah Ibrahim, Jonathan Butler and Jazz dance funksters Goldfish making sonic waves across the planet. Music is part of the fabric of Cape Town, from the pure unadulterated joy of the Kaapse Klopse to the Sundowner Concerts at Kirstenbosch Gardens, music is everywhere. What better way than to experience this legacy, than in the homes of the artists that actually make the music? On the Cape Town Jazz Safari, you are treated to an intimate concert with a local musician, followed by supper and leisurely conversation in the artist’s own home. The dinner is homemade with the finest local cuisine, so even for non-music fans this is a rare glimpse into the lives of real Cape Towners.
The whole experience takes over four hours and when possible the tour ends at a local live music club for a night cap and if you in the mood, a little boogie too.
Seeing as our other two options are quite far afield, we thought we’d bring things a little closer to home and visit the South African Museum in the City center, located in the Company Gardens.
The museum has a fascinating display devoted to the Khoisan people with the possibility of listening to sound clips of the language (which is an absolute joy to hear). There are all manner of artefacts, artwork, outfits and installations which are super informative and very well laid out.
In the way of a trigger warning, please be aware that this is a story that does not have a happy ending and that it is in essence another version of the story of the aborigines, the native north american indians and of so many inigenous peoples the world over. So, whilst being tactfully displayed, the installations are honest and factual.
You can also view black and white footage of early encounters between local tribes and settlers, which is played on a loop in a darkened room.
The rest of the museum is also a must-see, make a morning of it and then head over to trendy Kloof Street for some nibbles.
Rick’s Cafe Americain is a great spot to enjoy some local, Moroccan or Mediterranean cuisine while enjoying their rooftop terrace views.
While they do not pave the walls with giant screens, they do have decent TV’s for viewing sport, and the snacks and platters more than make up for the shortfall in square meterage of screen. Take the Moroccan Skewer Platter for instance, with Moroccan spiced Chicken Brochette, spicy lamb Koefte skewers, roasted vegetable skewers and Line fish and olive skewers with a selection of dipping sauces (Harissa mayo, mint yoghurt & Aioli).
Alternatively, you can try Ricks House Platter, amazing chilli poppers with peppadew mayonnaise, Moroccan chicken skewers, Moroccan spicy meatballs and roasted Pork Riblets with a Honey and Chilli glaze.
The venue is relaxed and casual with North African influences visible everywhere, especially in the oh-so-tasty food. A great place to catch a game and some amazing finger food.
Grab your mom and whisk her off to a four-course pairing lunch with Villiera Wines and live music performance by Francesca Biancoli.
Tucked into the center of Cape Town, in Orange Street, you will find a stunning locale with a great Mother’s Day offer. Think Norwegian salmon tartare, avocado mousse, soy lime broth and ikura caviar as a first course, and smoked paprika seared Linefish with grilled broccolini, saffron scented potato puree, gremolata crumb and lemon butter as a second...
Your stunning four course gastronomic experience will be paired with Villiera Wines, a fantastic winery from Stellenbosch that amongst many other laudable achievements is also a highly active member in the Biodiversity of Wine Initiative (look it up, it’s actually fascinating).
To put a bow on it, you will receive Lush Cosmetics gift boxes as well!
When you mix up a South African brewer and a pair gesticulating Italians and throw them in a Victorian House at the foot of Table Mountain, you are bound to create something pretty amazing, presenting: Unfiltered.
With a huge array of great beers on tap, including their fantastic Saggy Stone and Rosebank ranges they also serve up a killer sugar free Amamdalia gin and tonic.
On the menu, don’t skip the mozzarella balls, they might sound simple but they are awesome. Bocconcini balls, deep fried and served with a homemade tomato chutney. Sticking with the vegetarian theme,have a brilliant Taco as a main, with barbecue-roasted chickpeas, cauliflower, black bean and corn salsa, guacamole and kimchi.
Beer, Tacos, Pizza and atmosphere, this place has it all :-)
In the interest of saving the best for last, you’re going to LOVE Kyoto Garden.
They have established themselves for having the most outrageously delicious tasting menu in Cape Town. A tour-de-force of flavour, ingenuity, culinary maturity and sheer genius that is utterly in its own class.
What to expect:
First Course: A sushi platter comprising two pieces of grilled eel nigiri, two pieces of cut scallop nigiri and two pieces of umi.
Second Course: Scorched squid arranged in a pool of black ink.
Third Course: Tempura - that is all we’ll say, and it is without doubt the best we’ve tasted.
Fourth Course: Palate cleanser consisting of ice cold noodles served with thin slices of lime, perfect to reset your palate for what’s to come.
Fifth Course: A perfectly prepared lobster with a deep burnt brown butter.
Sixth Course: Ice cream, three balls, one Miso, one Black Sesame and one Matcha. A sublime ending to an astounding meal!
The menu is variable, so this may be subject to change, but it is masterful and wonderful in all kinds of ways!
On the picturesque and ever-busy Kloof street you will find this beautiful little Deli where the passion for food translates into every item they make and stock. This is a community grocer with an interest in social upliftment and supporting the smaller artisan producers and various cottage industries.
The Olive Branch also supplies many of the top Cape restaurants with difficult-to-source ingredients, as well as believing in a holistic approach to health and food.
The shops is an amazing old-worldy experience, and you should stock up on their artisan ancient grain breads, their meticulously pickled olives, feta and dolmades to your heart's content.
Once you’ve stocked up, pack your backpack and head up to the best view in the world, Lions Head. On a scale of 1-10 this is about a 6.5 (depending on your fitness), but well worth the effort!
Arabian nights comes to the peninsula in this desert fantasy inspired, eastern-themed extravaganza!
The celebrations are brought to you by Bazique Festival and Wolfkop Weekender, who have put together twelve hours of music and entertainment in the wonderful outdoor/indoor venue at the foot of Table Mountain.
The line up includes legendary performers such as Floyd Lavine, Kid Fonque, Dean Fuel, Toby 2 Shoes and Richard Marshall who will ensure your transition into the new year is a beautiful one.
It’s time to dust your face grey, apply liberal amounts of fake blood and hit the streets with friends, family (and even pets) for the terrifying-to-behold meandering, shuffling mayhem that is the Cape Town Zombie Walk.
The organisers help raise funds for local charities like the Lucky Lucy Foundation for abused and neglected animals, so you know that your contributions are going to a good place.
“Zombie Walk has a 100% safety record with no real blood ever spilled.” :-)
This is a great way to discover Cape Town, meet some fascinating and dedicated costume lovers and raise some money for well-deserving causes.