Valentine’s Day 2019: Things To Do in Cape Town + The Winelands

From rose-garden picnics and wine pairings to laidback lunches and a six-course feast, share the love this Valentine’s Day.

It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but actually – if you strip away the commercialisation and sickly-sweet messaging associated with modern-day Valentine’s Day – its 3rd-century origins are rather lovely – and worth remembering.

One possible version is that 14 February pays homage to Saint Valentine, who secretly married young lovers when matrimony was outlawed in Rome in 200AD. Another portrays young Valentine sending a message, from prison, to a damsel he fell in love with, and signing it “from your Valentine”. Enough to entice even the most jaded sceptics, right?

So, whether you’re celebrating a new romance or time-tested love, or simply enjoying the Cape’s divine weather with friends and cherished ones, we’ve rounded up a list of things to do on 14 February. From picnics under the stars to chic innercity dinners and three-course winelands feasts, we’re sharing the love this Valentine’s Day.

A starlit picnic (or four-course dinner) at Boschendal

Boschendal: Things to Do Valentines Day
Claire Gunn

This illustrious winery is a scenic setting to be sure, with a maze of wonderful gardens and magnificent mountain views. The estate forms the perfect backdrop for any special occasion so why not go all out this Valentine’s Day with either a starlit picnic in the rose garden while being serenaded by acclaimed saxophonist, Don Vino Prins, or a four-course dinner at The Werf Restaurant, where Spanish guitarist Wesley Hlava will set the mood?
Menu While the exact menus are still being confirmed, picnic guests will enjoy bubbly on arrival, a romantic picnic basket, and a special gift. Dinner guests can look forward to a welcome cocktail, a superb four-course dinner and a Valentine’s gift.
When 6.30pm onwards
Cost Picnic for two: R825
Picnic for one: R460
Picnic for children under 10: R150
Four-course dinner: R1 250
The Tree House: R105 (Werf Restaurant guests can book children (4 – 14 years) into The Tree House for the evening)
Please note Prices exclude beverages and gratuity.
Good to know The nights can be chillier than expected, so bring an extra layer for warmth or even a blanket to snuggle under.
Contact Picnic: 021 870 4273, 021 870 4274,
Four-course dinner: 021 870 4209,
Where to find it Boschendal Estate, Pniel Road, Groot Drakenstein, Franschhoek

A three-course dinner at Harringtons Cocktail Lounge

Harringtons: Things to Do Valentines Day

Celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a trip back in time at the swankiest cocktail lounge in the East City! Songstress Carla Louw will be serenading diners with a string of romantic classics such as “Baby Don’t Cares for Me”, “The Way You Look Tonight” and “Moondance”, while you tuck into a delicious three-course dinner.
Singletons, fear not! Harringtons has you covered with selected half-price tapas all day long as well as happy hour from 4pm to 7pm.
Menu On the cards for the romantic evening is the choice between Whitley Neill Protea and Hibiscus gin served with pink tonic or L’Ormarins brut MCC as a welcome drink. Then, enjoy a starter of either chicken satay, mushroom arancini or Cajun-fried squid, before savouring a main course of either roasted vegetables, a chargrilled ribeye steak, or slow-braised pork belly. End the night on a deliciously sweet note with petit fours for sharing of brownies with a cherry-infused cream, strawberries, and a champagne jello.
When 6pm – 10pm
Cost R250
Contact 021 461 2276,
Where to find it 61B Harrington Street, Zonnebloem, Cape Town

MCC + sweet treat pairing all month long at Anthonij Rupert Wines

Rupert Wines: Things to Do Valentines Day

Driving up the tree-lined entrance of Anthonij Rupert Estate, guests are greeted by a classic Cape Dutch mid-nineteenth-century manor house, with perfectly manicured lawns and breathtaking mountain views – the ideal setting for a day of romancing. And this February, you will surely feel the love at this historic estate, with a complimentary rosé tasting all month long.
And, if rosé is not your thing, a bespoke MCC and sweet-treat pairing is also available throughout February.
Menu The L’Ormarins MCC and sweet-treat pairing features a strawberry macaron; citrus and dulce fudge; a raspberry blondie; and a cherry and white chocolate truffle with fresh cherries and raspberries.
Good to know During the month of February, if you purchase five bottles of rosé, you’ll get the sixth one free.
When Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4.30pm
Cost MCC and sweet-treat pairing: R95
Contact 021 874 9041,
Where to find it Anthonij Rupert Wyne, R45, Franschhoek

A relaxed Valentine’s Day market at Cape Point Vineyards

This weekly community market is where South Peninsula locals flock every Thursday evening in summer. And, because 14 February happens to fall on a Thursday this year, the weekly market will be Valentine-themed.
The festivities take place in the restaurant and picnic area of Cape Point Vineyards, whose award-winning wines are available at great prices. The views at sunset are breathtaking – especially with a glass of CPV sauvignon blanc to hand making it a wonderful, one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day experience.
Menu There are so many delicious stalls to choose from. Some of our favourites include The Lamb Man (for melt-in-your-mouth slow-roasted lamb neck), Earth Fire Pizza (deliciously crispy wood-fired pizzas) and the Donut Factory (for vegan donuts).
When 4.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 789 0900,
Where to find it Cape Point Vineyards, Silvermine Road, Noordhoek (via M3), Western Cape

A feast by Eric Bulpitt at La Motte Wine Estate

La Motte: Things to Do Valentines Day

Named after South African landscape artist, Jacob Hendrik Pierneef, this elegantly whimsical fine-dining restaurant – with it’s Delft-style porcelain dangling from the rafters – is the perfect setting for a magical night. With chef Eric Bulpitt at the helm, the menu is similarly creative. After your meal, enjoy coffee or a digestif on the deck and soak up the romantic ambience of this historic wine estate.
Menu Guests are treated to a glass of La Motte’s 2015 MCC on arrival followed by an exquisitely prepared meal, including parfait cones, oysters and champagne, beets and goat’s cheese, crayfish and rosé, duck and cherries, with chocolate, Turkish delights and bon bons to end the night.
Good to know A wine-pairing option is available on request.
When 7pm
Cost R695 (excludes beverages and gratuity)
Contact 021 876 8800,
Where to find it La Motte Wine Estate, R45, Franschhoek

Sharing plates at The Village Idiot

Village Idiot: Things to Do Valentines Day

It’s cemented itself as one of the city’s most popular watering holes, and this Valentine’s Day, The Village Idiot is hosting a sharing-themed soirée complete with background tunes by local acoustic artist Jak Tomas and an after-dinner DJ. There’s also a R50 special on all pink cocktails, so if you don’t have a date, bring your mates and toasts to yet another glorious Cape Town night.
Menu Choose between fillet medallions, with roasted potatoes and bearnaise sauce, or vegetable melanzane, before sharing a tempting trio of desserts. Revellers can also look forward to two drinks each: a choice between Standard Beer, house wine, Simonsig bubbly or non-alcoholic cocktails.
When 3pm – 10pm
Cost R360 per couple
Contact 021 418 1548, .a
Where to find it 32 Loop Street, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town

Live music and complimentary Pongracz at La Parada Waterfront

Reminiscent of a tapas joint on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, La Parada at the Waterfront is a welcome addition to V&A. The Catalan-style tapas joint, which already has sister branches on Bree Street and Constantia Nek, is a double-volume space in the Dock Road section of the V&A, and is stylishly decked out with hanging plants, tiled archways, postered walls and accents of wood, exposed brick, marble and tropical wallpaper.
And, come 14 February, there’ll be live music, and a complimentary glass of Pongracz to welcome diners.
Menu Because sharing is caring, we recommend the tuna tacos; flash-fried chilli-and-garlic prawns; patatas bravas; broccolini; seared fillet; and duck croquetas.
When 12pm – 11pm
Good to know The complimentary glass of Pongracz applies to all La Parada branches, but is only available while stocks last.
Contact 021 418 3003,
Where to find it Alfred Mall, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

A three-course dinner at Leeu Estate in Franschhoek

Situated in the picturesque Franschhoek Valley with breathtaking views of the Dassenberg mountains, Leeu Estates is the last word in sophisticated style. And, on Valentine’s Day, they’ve pulled out all the stops: enjoy the smooth sounds of the Cadillac Duo on piano and violin, while enjoying canapés and sundowners on the outdoor terrace, before enjoying an elegant three-course dinner in The Dining Room.
Menu A starter of poached langoustine served on a Parmesan tuile is followed by a palate cleanser of lime sorbet, and mint-and-gin granitas. Then guests can enjoy pan-seared duck served with a sweet potato fondant, and dessert of Pimm’s jelly, lemongrass sorbet, raspberry consumé and dehydrated raspberries.
When From 7pm onwards
Cost R650 (excludes beverages and gratuity)
Please note Tables need to be reserved by Friday, 8 February 2019.
Contact 021 492 2475,
Where to find it Leeu Estates, Dassenberg Road, Franschhoek, Western Cape

A romantic open-air cinema experience at The President Hotel

Chill in style at the sea-facing President Hotel, while you enjoy an open-air screening of Me Before You (with headsets to ensure that sound is kept to a minimum). Guests will receive a glass of bubbly on arrival, before enjoying a gourmet picnic for two (with a handwritten card and box of chocolates as an extra-special treat if you go for the VIP package).
Menu VIP picnic baskets include a starter, main course and dessert for two. While the chefs have not confirmed the exact menu yet, we’re sure it will be delicious.
When 6pm – 10pm
Cost Standard ticket: R395 (includes a seat, headset, welcome drink, popcorn and charcuterie board for two and dessert)
VIP package: R1 500 per couple (includes two glasses of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne on arrival, gourmet picnic basket for two, premium seating with blankets and pillows.
Good to know If you book a night’s stay on Valentine’s Day, you’ll also receive a 375ml bottle of MCC on ice, heart-shaped chocolates on your pillows and a room upgrade (subject to availability).
Contact 021 434 8111,
Where to find it President Hotel, 4 Alexander Road, Bantry Bay, Cape Town

A romantic dinner or lunchtime picnic at Nederburg

If food is truly the way to one’s heart, then Nederburg’s dinner and picnic feast will have you swooning. The three-course dinner will be served in the Red Table restaurant, situated in the Cape Dutch manor house, and will be accompanied by the sweet symphonies of Bokamosho String Quartet. Picnickers can enjoy a wonderfully relaxed afternoon in the winery’s beautiful gardens under the shade of old trees.
Menu The night kicks off with a glass of Nederburg’s Première Cuvée Brut, followed by an amuse bouche of confit duck in a phyllo parcel with apricot jus. Starters are a choice between a calamari and chorizo salad or a spiced cauliflower panna cotta with green chutney, followed by a red-wine-and-raspberry sorbet to cleanse the palate.
Mains is a mouthwatering choice between a ribeye steak and a sesame-crusted salmon fillet.

The picnic baskets include a freshly prepared selection of artisanal bread, hummus, cheese, fig preserve, thyme-and-lemon-chicken kebabs, springbok samoosas, roasted cajun spiced nuts, a brie-and-mushroom tartlet with caramlised onions, a fresh seasonal salad and, of course, a sweet treat. The basket comes complete with cutlery, crockery, glassware, wooden platter, blanket and an ice bucket.
Please note The Valentine’s Day picnic is available from 12 to 15 February 2019.
When Picnic: 12pm – 4pm
Dinner: 6pm until late
Cost Picnic: R550 per couple
Dinner: R595 (excludes service charge)
Make a Booking
Contact 021 877 5155,
Where to find it Sonstraal Road, Paarl, Western Cape

A five-course menu by the sea at Shimmy Beach Club

Shimmy Beach Club: Valentines Day

With its enviable sea-scraping location, live music and candlelit tables, you’ll feel like you’re on holiday when you arrive at Shimmy Beach Club this Valentine’s Day. And to complete the mood, you’ll be greeted with a glass of Graham Beck bubbly, after which you get to savour a five-course set menu.
Menu An amuse bouche of salmon and seared-tuna roses with black bean mayo and avocado sets the tone… Guests then have a choice of starters: spiced duck breast, avocado ritz or truffled beetroot carpaccio – before enjoying a palate-cleansing strawberry-and-black-pepper sorbet with balsamic reduction.
The main meal is a choice between sesame-crusted salmon, roasted rack of lamb or wild mushroom tortellini, while dessert is an even harder decision between Lindt dark chocolate fondant, a cheeseboard, white-chocolate-mousse cheesecake and petit fours. Now that’s one delicious feast!
When From 6pm
Cost R480
Contact 021 200 7778,
Where to find it South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

A six-course escape at Purple Rayn Boutique Guest House

Purple Rayn: Things to Do Valentines Day
Fortis Hotels

The newly opened Purple Rayn Boutique Guest House in Constantia invites guests to enjoy a six-course feast prepared by executive chef Warren Carney (formerly Asoka and Kloof Street House) and his team. From the moment you take your first sip of bubbly among the trees in the tranquil garden, you’ll feel a million miles away.
Menu Guests will be treated to canapés and a glass of bubbly on arrival followed by a choice of oysters; shiitake onigiri (a flavoured Japanese rice ball that’s shaped into triangles and served with nori) or ratatouille with rose, basil and goat’s cheese, before enjoying a palate cleanser. For mains, choose between sushi; a chicken and mushroom ballotine; crayfish linguine; glazed lamb cutlets or vegan pie.
Dessert is a blissful affair of either a hazelnut, salted caramel, ginger and honeycomb concoction; or a cheese platter with melon konfyt and homemade crackers. Linger longer with a rooftop coffee and specially made petit fours.
When 6pm – 9pm
Cost R695 per couple
Contact 021 110 0756,
Where to find it 9 Bellevue Avenue, Bel Ombre, Constantia

Sunset cruise to Clifton

Tigger2: Things to Do Valentines Day

Where better to celebrate summer and the day dedicated to love than aboard a luxury yacht? With breathtaking views of the ocean as sunset approaches (Table Bay or Clifton depending on the weather on the day), couples have the choice of a sunset cocktail cruise or sunset canapé cruise. Both cruises include welcome roses, while cocktail cruisers will be treated to an Aperol Spritz cocktail and a glass of sparkling wine at sunset, while those opting for canapés will be served once the yacht has returned to the Waterfront.
Menu Guests enjoying the canapé dinner will be treated to a 13-piece platter per person.
When Cocktail cruise: 6.30pm – 8pm
Canapé cruise: 6.30pm – 9pm
Cost Cocktail cruise: R530
Canapé cruise: R750

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Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula have two glittering coastlines with a beach to suit every mood and moment. Whether you’re after buzzing beach side bars, secluded coves, safe swimming beaches or a romantic spot for a sunset picnic, our guide to Cape Town’s best beaches will point you in the right direction.


Best for: sheltered sunbathing, seeing and being seen, sunset picnics

It takes about 10 minutes to drive from the city centre to any of Clifton’s four beaches. Coves of soft white sand separated by giant boulders that protect them from summer’s ‘Southeaster’  wind, each beach attracts a slightly different crowd though undoubtedly the most popular is Clifton 4th Beach.

In many ways it is the unofficial playground of the rich and beautiful but Clifton 4th is a classic Cape Town beach with a great holiday atmosphere. Toned bodies soak up the sunshine, vendors wander back and forth selling cold drinks and ice lollies, yachts bob about on the aquamarine ocean – just remember that the Atlantic Ocean here is usually quite cold and you won’t be doing much swimming.

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Best for: family fun, sunbathing, beach volleyball, sunset cocktails

Just down the road from Clifton you’ll find the gently curving crescent of Camps Bay – the best known beach on the Cape Town coast. Both locals and visitors flock to this palm-lined strip for people watching, to play beach bats or volleyball, walk their dogs or catch a tan while gazing up at the dramatic peaks of the Twelve Apostles range, part of Table Mountain.

If the wind picks up, nip across the road to one of many restaurants, cafes or fashionable bars where Cape Town’s beautiful people dine on seafood and salad or sip chilled local wine. On peak summer days these restaurants spill out onto the pavements, creating a wonderfully laid-back Mediterranean ambiance.

camps bay beach


Best for: beach picnics, surfing, body boarding, a local favourite

Twenty kilometres south of Cape Town on the way to Hout Bay, Llandudno may be a bit off the beaten track but this spectacular beach is certainly a favourite among locals. A narrow road winds its way down through an exclusive hillside neighbourhood to a soft sandy cove where you’ll find children building sandcastles, groups of friends playing beach bats and Frisbee, surfers carving patterns on the waves and waggy-tailed dogs bounding about.

As with all the beaches along the Atlantic coastline the sea is so refreshing it can make your skin tingle. However, it’s also a great spot to watch the sunset so take snacks (there are no shops) and a beach umbrella and look forward to serious sunbathing followed by a romantic beach picnic.

llandatno beach


Best for: penguin watching, family fun, safe swimming, snorkelling

For a Cape Town beach with a unique twist head to Boulders Beach; its soft sand and slightly warmer sea (Boulders is on the Indian Ocean’s False Bay coastline) are home to a large colony of endangered African penguins. These endearing birds have become minor celebrities and visitors flock to watch them strut their stuff between the hulking granite boulders – a highly entertaining sight to see.

Boulders Beach lies about 40km south of Cape Town, just beyond the naval base in picturesque Simon’s Town, which makes it a great stop on the way to Cape Point. If you’re travelling with kids, pack a picnic and plan to stay awhile as this is sure to be one of their holiday highlights.

boulders beach 15