HELP SLOW THE SPREAD OF COVID-19

Follow these steps to help keep you and others safe:

  • Stay home if you can and avoid any non-essential travel. Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet — about two arm lengths — away from others if you must go out in public. Stay connected with loved ones through video and phone calls, texts and social media. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect household surfaces daily and high-touch surfaces frequently throughout the day. High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow — not your hands. Wash your hands immediately.

Source: redcross.org

Autumn in Cape Town is pretty much here, and while there are many who wish that we could eke out just a little bit more summer, this time of year is quite special indeed.

April and May typically fall into the autumn season; marked by gloriously vivid scenery, warm pleasant weather and crisp, cool mornings and evenings. In the southern hemisphere, much like our northern counterparts, this time also represents harvesting and the transition from summer to winter.

Mostly though, autumn is a time to get outdoors and enjoy a more chilled pace of life.

Why We Heart Cape Town Autumn

So what makes this time of year great? Here are a few reasons for starters…

1.       Scenery – yes, we have already brought up the scenery (twice!), but even to a born-and-raised local, the views are quite something to behold. Cape Town is known for its changing seasons, and watching the countryside transform into a landscape of red, orange, gold and brown is simply magical. Even in the City Centre, you will notice the trees and parks take on their pretty autumn colours. Take a drive out to the Winelands or the West Coast, and you will see even more transformation.

2.       Weather – all the way up to May, the average temperature tends to be around 18 degrees Celsius during the day. This is an average however – you can easily enjoy scorching hot sunny days that are perfect for the beach. There may be some chilly days too of course. The summer winds drop down notably, and with the wet season a while away, this is a pleasantly mild time of year to explore the city and its surrounds.

3.       Hiking and Walking – if it’s outdoor stuff you’re keen for, this is a great time to head to Kirstenbosch Gardens or Table Mountain for a good walk or hike. Kirstenbosch showcases the autumn scenery beautifully, and with loads of paths to follow, you can enjoy anything from a gentle stroll to a more challenging hike. Table Mountain’s lower paths, especially on the Signal Hill side, are also fantastic at this time of the year. Other good walking spots include Silvermine Nature Reserve and Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve too (both on the False Bay side).

4.       Food and Wine – harvest time means one thing in this part of the world… loads and loads of perfectly ripe grapes in the vineyards! Of course, wines are created and barrelled at all sorts of times. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Cape Winelands is where you want to be in autumn. On cooler days, fireplaces add a cosy warmth. On warmer days, you can eat outside and look out at the vineyards under the shade of an ancient oak or plane tree. Good food, good wine, good vibes.

5.       Activities – there’s plenty else to do besides wine tasting of course. White shark diving is excellent from now until spring, with good visibility for spotting sharks. You can also check out the scenery from a whole new perspective with abseiling, paragliding or even a helicopter flight. Check out the comedy circuit around Long Street during the evenings, or stop past Neighbourhood bar for a pub quiz night. Families, older travellers, couples and single travellers of all ages and stages will find lots to do – day and night; indoor and outdoor.

 

Source credit: https://www.cometocapetown.com

One of South Africa’s oldest towns and Naval base, Simon’s Town (sometimes misspelt as Simons Town or Simonstown) is a picturesque and historical town where many happy memories are waiting to be made just 35km outside Cape Town. From the Toy and Navy museums to the eateries and shops, here’s how you should plan your day in Simon’s Town.

MORNING

Start the day with a walk and a bite to eat, to prepare for the day ahead.

DO THE AUDIO TOUR

Start the day with an audio tour to get a sense of the lay of the land. The tour starts atthe station, takes in the “historic mile”, and ends in the village centre where all activities are based. The tour is narrated by the local author  Maureen Miller.

 

COFFEE, PASTRIES AND SOMETHING SWEET

The audio tour ends within ambling distance of two of our favourite places to grab a bite. The Sweetest Thing offers an exceptional array of mouth-watering cakes, pastries, pies and sweet treats that are proudly local. Stop by Monocle & Mermaid for a hot cup of coffee, pastries or wrap and browse their local art and music on sale while soaking up their charming décor.

PENGUIN WATCHING

Visiting the African Penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach is high on everyone’s must-see list and you simply can’t leave without saying hello to our monochromatic friends. Boulders is a part of the South African National Parks and all along the penguin viewing path you’ll be able to see penguins in their natural habitat. At Foxy Beach you can also have a swim with the penguins!

 

Penguin_swimming_at_boulders_beach_cape_town

MIDDAY

Once you return from Boulders, you should have some time to explore the village before lunch.

EXPLORE THE MUSEUMS

Work up an appetite for lunch with Simon’s Town’s most affordable entertainment. The Simon’s Town Museum, SA Naval Museum and Warrior Toy Museum have collections that will have you reminiscing.  You can delve into the heart of the Muslim community’s heritage by visiting the Heritage Museum in King George’s Way.

Simon's Town's Warrior Toy Museums
The Warrior Toy Museum in Simon’s Town will take you down memory lane. Picture by Estee de Villiers

 

SALUTE JUST NUISANCE

On Jubilee Square, you’ll find the statue of the Great Dane Just Nuisance who is a legend in these parts. Enlisted in the 1930s, Just Nuisance is the most famous dog in Naval History. There’s also a special display for him at the Simon’s Town Museum and his grave site on Red Hill is also a frequent stop for visitors.

Just NuisanceThe Statue of Just Nuisance on Jubilee Square in Simon’s Town

 

FRESH FISH

Dine on a seafood platter, oysters, prawns or the catch of the day at local favourite Bertha’s as you look out onto the harbour. For classic fish and chips, check out the Salty Sea Dog just across the way in Wharf Street  If you’re heading towards Cape Point, stop over at the Black Marlin for great views and a relaxing atmosphere as you enjoy some fresh seafood.

Bertha's restaurant

 

AFTERNOON

There are a few options of what to do come afternoon, depending on your interests. Here are our suggestions.

GO DIVING OR KAYAKING

Let your arms do the work and kayak along the coastline to visit the penguins at Boulders Beach. If you’re looking to get into the water, dive with the experts of Pisces Divers and see how beautiful the waters of Simon’s Town are from below.

SHARK CAGE DIVING

If you want to see the famed great white shark up close in False Bay, then you’re spoilt for choice. There are many service providers who can take you on an adventure into shark-infested water, with activities ranging from cage or scuba diving to breaching and predation tours. African Shark Eco-Charters, Apex Shark Expeditions, Pisces Divers, and Shark Explorers are all accredited organisations offering a variety of shark-based activities.

SHOPPING

Visit the Jubilee Square for all kind of craft and souvenirs and pop by the Little Shop on the Square for more. There’s also a great selection of vintage, second-hand and charity stores along the main road, so keep your eyes and ears open for a bargain or ten.

BOAT TRIPS

Awaken your inner sailor and head to the seas where you can go whale watching (between June and November) and appreciate the splendour of Cape Point from the ocean. A cruise to Cape Point with Simon’s Town Boat Company offers everything from whales (in season) and exploring ocean caves, to stunning cliff faces and the most spectacular view of Cape Point from offshore.

 

Source: capetown.travel

 

Cape Town Cycle Tour History

It all began with a leisurely breakfast in 1977. The breakfastees – engineer Bill Mylrea and architect John Stegmann – can even remember what the breakfast cost: a princely R1. The subject was cycling, cycling safety for the small number of recreational cyclists who travelled the roads of the Western Cape, and mobility for the masses.

What Cape Town needed as it expanded apace, more than anything else, was a network of safe and efficient cycle paths that would keep riders safe and allow commuters to get to and from work swiftly and in one piece. After many years of submitting, pleading, begging and cajoling, these efforts were getting nowhere, mainly thanks to government’s lack of will, and partly because of lack of kickbacks. Not even a 3 000-signature petition could persuade the Department of Transport to just look into the possibilities. It became clear that the established cyclists needed to revolt. And so they did. Mylrea and Stegmann created The Big Ride In.

Held under the auspices of the newly formed Western Province Pedal Power Association (now called PPA) in 1977, it set out to demonstrate that, actually, a lot of people rode bikes. And so they did, with hundreds riding into the Cape Town CBD, to the City Hall, the Grand Parade, Adderley Street and the Foreshore. Included in their number was the mayor, John Tyers. And it was impressive, to all but the relevant authority, which still saw no future for bike paths. From this hugely unsuccessful success was born the Peninsula Marathon – a gruelling event that would, according to the experts at the WPPPA ‘require at least two months’ preparation’. They even went as far as recommending: ‘Unless you are able to spend R300–R500 on a super machine, your best bet is a ten-speed tourer (with drop handlebars, if you like) for around R100 new, or R50–R75 second-hand.’ The Peninsula Marathon never saw the light of day, as an event. In late 1978 legendary Cape Town mountain biker and potter Steve Shapiro harangued the marketing folk at The Argus (where he was working at the time) to get involved.

It was to be a mass-participation event open to all who wanted to enter. That second bit was important: this was a trying time for forward-thinking sports administrators, and actually for forward-thinking humans. From the outset, the organising committee wanted the Cycle Tour to be an official, sanctioned event, but no matter how much the Department of Sport loved the idea and wanted a part of it, their proviso that it only be open to white participants remained a stumbling block, to the degree that Mylrea was forced to write the department’s representative an extremely polite letter in the build-up to the event, telling him that this was a non-segregated event. This was brave stuff in the late 1970s, when BJ Vorster and PW Botha were ruling the roost. But the spirit of cycling, and its inclusivity, prevailed, and on 28 October 1978 over 500 cyclists left the start line outside the Castle in Strand Street.

The route we know and love today almost didn’t happen, on a number of levels. Initially, a number of options were looked at – northwards to Melkbos and back; out to Paarl for a 250–300km return trip; at one point it was even going to be a two-dayer – before the founding fathers settled on a start as close to the City Hall as they dared, before heading south along the newly built Blue Route freeway and on down to Simon’s Town. From there, the initial plan was to head into the Cape Point Nature Reserve, turn around at the farthest point, and for the riders to return whence they came.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, if the thought of 35,000 riders negotiating that narrow reserve road in two directions is too scary), the managers of the park, SANParks in today’s parlance, threw their toys out of the cot, and rather than kowtow to yet another quasi-government department, the organisers decided to bypass the entrance to the reserve and head through Misty Cliffs, over Slangkop and then Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie, before finishing at the lamp-post opposite what is now The Bay Hotel (it was called the Rotunda in 1978), where a pair of tables welcomed finishers.

The plan was to start with a bang – the SADF was persuaded to ‘fire’ a cannon from one of the Castle ramparts; in reality, they agreed to put a thunderflash in what looked like a cannon. At 07:00, precisely nothing happened, as those entrusted with our national safety failed completely to ignite the glorified firework, housed in a cannonesque steel pipe that was also packed with flour to simulate smoke. After some muttering, a second attempt was made, with disastrous effect as the entire contraption blew up. Thankfully nobody was hurt, and the first batch of riders – the non-registered – got under way.

From its infancy, the Cycle Tour set standards in world cycling, and world sport. This was to be the first time that the average Joes would race the same course at the same time as the officially sanctioned racing cyclists. The world and national governing bodies were, and still are, dead set against this happening, for any number of nonsensical reasons, but the organisers were determined to have a celebration of cycling for all cyclists, so the split-group arrangement was instituted to great effect. The event would separate the two well into the 1990s, and the federations are still, regularly, threating ‘their’ riders with dire consequences if they ride this unsanctioned monster, 41 years later. Thankfully, sense prevails each time, unmentionables are unknotted and the biggest timed bike race in the world marches on.

 

Source: https://www.capetowncycletour.com

 

Whether you’re celebrating a life event or just want an excuse to feel like royalty, a high tea (or afternoon tea) is the perfect occasion to indulge in dainty pastries and a good pot of your favourite tea. Cape Town luckily has a great selection of high teas and of course, we would recommend you try them all. Here is our top ten to get you started.

THE SILO HOTEL, V&A WATERFRONT

Location, location, location… that’s the selling point at the Silo Hotel. Their incredible views over the V&A Waterfront, Table Mountain, and the harbour is unbeatable. To boot, they’re also located in the same grand building as the Zeitz MOCAA, which in itself is a must-visit. The snacks and teas are perfectly fitted to the iconic setting. You can start with a glass of bubbly on the roof and work your way down to the hotel, where you can enjoy delicious pastries and some of the best macarons in Cape Town. They have both an Afternoon Tea and a Royal Tea, with the latter including a wider selection of dainty treats.

 

THE TWELVE APOSTLES

Awe-inspiring views and some of the best scones you’ll ever have await you at the Twelve Apostles Hotel’s Tea by the Sea. The hotel’s unique location at the foot of the Table Mountain range, with a view stretching over the Atlantic to  the horizon makes it a truly unique experience. They also have a vegan high tea on offer and their high teas are served from 10 am till 2 pm.

 

ONE & ONLY

Vista Bar and Lounge at The One and Only is the perfect setting for a tranquil afternoon of indulgence. Sip on your favourite teas and coffees while overlooking the Waterfront Marina area and spoil your taste buds with the delectable selection the Afternoon Tea has to offer. Whether you like sweet or savoury treats you’ll be feasting on the contents of the four-tiered stand for hours. Flavourful sandwiches, buttermilk scones, melt in your mouth eclairs, panacotta, cheesecake and so much more.

 

THE MOUNT NELSON

The elegant Pink Lady in the heart of town is always a spectacular idea. Experience old-school grandeur with their sweet treat buffet and a varied selection of teas at the Mount Nelson’s evening tea. They also have great South African treats on offer and it’s impossible to not feel glamorous in their sophisticated indoor space, on the patio or in the luscious green gardens. The cakes are highly recommended and in winter you can order a pot of hot chocolate that will warm you right up.

 

Mount Nelson High Tea

THE STACK

With their colourful and inspiring decor, the Stack is certainly one of the boldest places for a high tea in town. Located in an old converted mansion that has been refurbished to perfection, you can enjoy tea and treats on their balcony with a view or in their vibrant indoor area. Their offering is good value for money and their French Bistro-style food is exquisite. Handmade chocolate seals the deal and if you love good cocktails you might even want to stay on for some of those too.

 

THE CONSERVATORY AT CELLARS-HOHENORT

Indulge in savoury treats such as roasted vegetable and goat’s cheese tarts, and grass-fed beef and peppadew sosaties, followed by an array of sweet delights including classic madagascan chocolate cake, a mélange of flavoured cupcakes and fresh fruit pavlovas – not to forget the traditional finger sandwiches. The high tea includes fine selection of fragrant teas and coffees – and you may want to add a celebratory glass of bubbly.

 

THE CAPE GRACE

With a convenient location right next door to the V&A Waterfront, the Cape Grace gives you the feeling of being in a different place and time while Table Mountain is still in view. The hotel takes great care of its guests and your every need will be catered for. Enjoy a selection of tasty teas (from traditional to exotic to fruity) and feast on a multi-tiered tray of savoury treats (like scones, cucumber sandwiches, and salmon) as well as beautiful and dainty pastries. If you’re lucky you might even spot a seal frolicking in the water just outside your window.

 

High tea at the Cape Grace

THE VINEYARD

The Garden Lounge at the Vineyard in Newlands has an afternoon tea that includes a selection of tasty cakes, pastries, and savoury bites inspired by local culture and flavours. Served between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm daily, you’ll also have your pick of local botanical teas and their passionfruit cheesecake is what dreams are made of. The hotel is a historic spot, founded by Lady Anne as a country cottage here in 1799. Take advantage of the beautiful surroundings while you’re there and take a walk in the hotel’s historic, riverside gardens overlooking Table Mountain’s eastern slopes.

 

RHODES MEMORIAL RESTAURANT

The Rhodes Memorial Restaurant wins the prize for the biggest scones with a view as well as the most family-friendly high tea location. Its setting at the foot of Devil’s Peak gives it some of the most spectacular views of the city and beyond. They also have Buchu tea and a delicious greek platter on the menu and they offer serious value for money.

 

HAVE YOUR OWN HIGH TEA

Cape Town has some spectacular picnic spots where you can sit and have your very own high tea with a view. Pack your favourite local tea and stock up on treats, and head to Signal Hill, the beach, or a park for a special afternoon out.

Source: capetowntravel.com

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