As we hunker down at the end of the week with a glass of local Klein Constantia wine in our hands, our consultant team likes to shoot the breeze. The conversation turns to why we live in and why we love Cape Town. Here are 10 of their suggestions in no particular order:
- The sea. Or rather two oceans. We have the Atlantic, but the remnants of the Indian Ocean hits our False Bay coastline. Surfing, kayaking, diving, swimming, sailing and every manner of water sport available.
- The beach. We enjoy some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Where even in the height of summer, you can park your car close to a beach with minimal crowds. Favourite surfing beach: Muizenberg. Favourite swimming beach: Water's Edge, Simon's Town. Favourite walking beach: Noordhoek. Favourite lying around, tanning and doing nothing at all beach: Camps Bay.
- Table Mountain. Not only our famous rock but the whole Table Mountain range which is made for hiking, mountain biking, walking and picnicking. Favourite hiking route: Skeleton Gorge, Kirstenbosch. Favourite Mountain biking routes: Tokai Forest. A favourite walking route with dogs and children: Cecilia Forest.
- Sundowners. There is so many beauty spots its hard to know where to begin. My personal favourite is the enclave of Llandudno near Hout Bay. Visiting friends on their terrace and watching the crimson sun melt away on the horizon. Sublime.
- Wine. To go with your sundowner, we are not short of top quality wines. The vineyards of Constantia are the oldest in South Africa and produce some excellent wines. By international standards, still reasonable in price and you can visit these vineyards who have, very often, excellent restaurants attached. Favourite Cape Town wine: High Constantia.
- Braais. A definite South African term for barbecue. No South African get together is complete without a braai. Our outdoor lifestyle lends itself to eating outdoors. High-quality beef or Karoo lamb or boerewors (farm sausage) are the favourites.
- Kirstenbosch. These botanical gardens are deservedly world famous. The unique aspect about these gardens is that there are no areas off limits, you can wander around and walk wherever you want. People are positively encouraged to have al fresco picnics and adult get-togethers and children's parties abound.
- Restaurants. Some of the best quality, locally sourced foods in the world at the most reasonable prices. A winning combination. Obviously, seafood is a local speciality but going out to dine is an affordable delight. Difficult to pin down an absolute favourite. My candidate? The Food Barn in Noordhoek village.
- Green Point Stadium. An odd choice perhaps but quite logical. Built for the 2010 Football World Cup, the stadium is an iconic piece of architecture and is a beautiful addition to the city with the backdrop of Table Mountain. Anyone who goes for a football or rugby match or a concert raves about the stadium.
- Proximity. What that means is that everything is close together. Which other cities could you name which has mountains, beach, outdoor and indoor recreational activities, fantastic restaurants and local vineyards all within half an hour drive? Coupled with an enjoyable temperate climate, it is a winning combination. Oh, I almost forgot, my daughter, says she loves the penguins on the beaches of Simon's Town!
Ten best things about Cape Town