Petro’s Guide To Cape Town
- Reviewed By
- Petro Stofberg
Our co-founder and COO Petro was born and raised in South Africa on her family farm, Bosjes. Though she’s now lived away from there longer than she lived there, it’s somewhere that still feels like home to her and a place she visits regularly. So, what better way to share her love for one of the country’s most vibrant cities, Cape Town, than by collating a guide to its hotspots and must-sees for our travel special.
Where To Shop
Cape Town may be best known for its stunning vistas and beautiful beaches, but it’s also home to some shopping gems – I certainly get my shopping fix whenever I’m there. There are many great stores and boutiques to choose from but these are a few of my favourites…
A beautiful concept store that stocks a selection of international brands including Nanushka, Ganni and Veja, as well as gorgeous beauty and home products (I always leave with at least one beautiful-smelling purchase!).
A carefully curated store that offers pieces by 40 young South African designers across fashion and home, as well as its own in-house label. There’s also a chic café-bar that serves delicious pastries, brunch, coffees and drinks, so you can literally spend hours here.
It may sound odd, but this is literally a hole in the wall that sells collectable vintage watches, as well as offering repair and refurbishment services. The man that owns it has a wealth of watch knowledge and is so, so helpful. It’s a treat to visit, especially if you’re a timepiece lover.
A homeware and furniture store that mixes local pieces with international items. It’s a real treasure trove for furniture, lighting and beautifully crafted home accessories. The only issue you’ll have is fitting your purchases into your case for the journey home!
This is a must-visit. They have the most amazing textiles, all woven in their mill in Plett, and this store even has its very own inner-city micro mill – a space where innovative and contemporary woven textile design meets traditional manufacturing processes on a restored antique loom. From blankets to towels and napkins, everything is fantastic quality and well worth taking home with you.
Where To Eat
Eating out is a highlight of every holiday, but nowhere more so than in Cape Town, where there’s a host of amazing restaurants. From brunch spots to waterfront dining, these are my recommendations…
In my book, hands down, the best breakfast in Cape Town. The omelette and huevos rancheros will change your life.
For low-key, light café lunches, I can’t recommend these two spots highly enough.
For a long weekend lunch complete with a tipple or two, head to Mano’s, where you’ll find the best schnitzel in town. Il Leone is an amazing Italian restaurant – my top tip is to mix the aglio e olio main course with the starter meatballs. Knocked back with a negroni, it’s divine.
If you’re in the mood for dinner that could turn into dancing on the tables, then this is your go-to. Great bord kos and fantastic cocktails (be prepared – it gets wild).
For a relaxed lunch with kids (if there is such a thing!), The Lawns is great. Set in a forest with ocean and sunset views, its location really is unrivalled.
An institution, but still one of my favourites and great for waterfront dining.
There’s always a line of people outside all-day brunch spot Jarryds, and that’s testament to its delicious food. Well worth a trip to Sea Point for.
The Best Beaches
With a buzzing city centre and beautiful beaches within easy reach, Cape Town boats the best of both. These are some of my must-visits…
Nestled in the suburb of Camps Bay, this beach is much quieter than the ever-popular neighbouring Clifton Beaches and Camps Bay (which you’ll also find in this list). Great for surfers and walking distance to shops and restaurants.
Camps Bay Tidal Pool
Found on the southern side of Camps Bay Beach, this pool is great for kids and often a bit warmer than the sea. There are tons of cafés and restaurants nearby, too, making it a great day trip for all the family.
Arguably the most famous and best beaches in Cape Town, there are four to choose from, named simply 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Surrounded by beautiful houses (Clifton is one of Cape Town’s most affluent neighbourhoods), they’re the perfect people- and property-watching spots. Be prepared to climb a lot of steps, though!
One of the most naturally diverse beaches you’ll find and also one of Cape Town’s most popular. It’s a real family favourite of mine and incredibly scenic. Be aware that there’s not much there, though, so be sure to pack a picnic and drinks.
Between Camps Bay and Llandudno lies Bakoven, a boulder-strewn beach that hides a couple of gorgeous coves and is rich in rock pools and kelp forests. Again, there aren’t any amenities, so be sure to take supplies.
What To Do
Culture and activity opportunities are rich here, so you’ll find an abundance of things to do. In my opinion, this is what’s not to be missed…
Hike Lion’s Head
There are many spectacular hikes in Cape Town, but one of my favourites is Lion’s Head. It’s one of the city’s most popular mountain climbs for tourists, as a relatively easy (as mountains go) 5km route only takes about two hours to complete. The views at the top are simply spectacular.
Climb Table Mountain
The city’s most famous attraction is worth the hype. If a hike doesn’t appeal, you can take a cable car to the top instead.
Visit Zeitz MOCAA
The Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is the first major institution dedicated exclusively to artists from across the African continent and diaspora. Housed in the most amazing building designed by British architect Thomas Heatherwick, it’s a wonder to behold. Inside you’ll find limited-run exhibitions alongside a vast permanent collection.
Go To Boulders Beach
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip to see the African penguin colonies that reside on Boulders Beach, a treat for adults and kids alike. If sea life is a hit with the little ones, I can also recommend Two Oceans Aquarium, one of the best in the world, I think.
Visit Robben Island
Just off the coast of Cape Town, Robben Island is best known as the site of the prison Nelson Mandela was held in for 18 years. It’s full of historical importance, as well as an abundance of nature and wildlife.
Worth The Drive
If you’re looking to travel out of the city for a little calm, look no further than these spots…
A beautiful Stellenbosch farm-to-table hotel with must-see gardens and a gorgeous spa. It’s the sister hotel to The Newt in Somerset and every bit, if not more, stunning.
I can’t not mention our family farm, about an hour out of Cape Town. The Chapel is considered an architectural must-see, and when it comes to food, there’s Bosjes Spens, with great homemade breads, pizzas, pastries and other comfort foods, or alternatively, there’s a more fine-dining experience at Bosjes Kombuis. A newly refurbished guest house with works of art by local South African talent, such as William Kentridge, Penny Siopis, Wim Botha and Portia Zvavahera, and a brand new spa are about to open, and not forgetting the beautiful gardens to walk through and for kids to play in.