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Wine with a view at Beau Constantia
10 Jun 2015
 
     

Wine with a view at Beau Constantia

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

Think The Shire with a modern-day twist and you may come close to the boutique wine farm that is Beau Constantia. Close, but not quite on the money, because chances are you have never experienced a wine tasting in a venue quite like it.

A rolling green embankment is the first thing you see as you walk down from the parking, but what grabs you is the squared, brick structures, sitting alongside huge glassed companions at the top of the hill. It is quite simply breath-taking.

The view from inside the venue is even more impressive. With the wine farm situated on the north-facing slope of Constantia Nek, you are treated to panoramic views of the Stellenbosch and Helderberg Mountain ranges and over False Bay as far as Hangklip. Jaw-dropping.

The wine here is equally as impressive, while the staff is knowledgeable and warm and another plus is that it is in close proximity to the Cape Town CBD and Southern Suburbs. All-in-all, that makes for a winning combination.

We tasted four wines during our tasting starting with the Pas de Nom white blend, followed by the Pas de Nom red blend.

The Pas de Nom range of wines has an interesting backstory as they have been dedicated to farm manager Japie Bronn who is recognised for his endless dedication to the vineyards and wine production at Beau Constantia.

But being incredibly humble and reserved, Japie did not want his name on the bottle, so instead the range went with Pas de Nom and paid tribute to Japie by featuring his signature beard on the label.

Next up was the Lucca a classic Bordeaux-style blend of 63% Merlot and 37% Cabernet Franc, a full and rich red with hints of blackcurrant and Morello cherries. Very nice.

The Aidan Shiraz was the last we tasted and was by far my favourite. With a darker texture and a bold, fruity taste, it was incredibly easy on the palate and a couple of bottles will not go amiss in the wine rack at the homestead.

On top of the wine tasting, Beau Constantia also offers a sushi menu from Sushi Box – both upstairs and downstairs – cheese platters, craft beers and wines from around the greater Constantia Valley.

The Tasting Room is open daily from 10am to 4.30pm, while the Wine Bar is open daily from 12pm to 8pm.

For more information on Beau Constantia: http://www.beauconstantia.com

Five amazing Cape Town breakfast spots with a view
3 Jun 2015
 
     

Five amazing Cape Town breakfast spots with a view

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

THE ANNEX  - KALK BAY

Sitting just behind Kalk Bay Books, the Annex Restaurant is just off the main road and sits in a historical building. Guests can enjoy their meals on the Annex veranda, in the courtyard, on the terrace or alongside a cosy fireplace in the library while overlooking the ocean. Delicious breakfast items include poached eggs served on Annex ciabatta toast with spinach and a Hollandaise sauce, French-toasted croissant drizzled with maple syrup and served with bacon and banana and so much more!

RHODES MEMORIAL RESTAURANT – RONDEBOSCH 

Sitting on the northern slope of Table Mountain, Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden gives diners an amazing view that spans from the Cape Flats to the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland Mountain ranges as well as views of both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Here you can enjoy smoked salmon with chives and scrambled eggs on a toasted bagel with cream cheese. Chilli con carne and two fried eggs on toast and much more.

THE MEETING PLACE - SIMON’S TOWN 

This unique spot can be found on the main strip running through Simon’s Town and is quickly becoming a favourite, place to meet. With a relaxed and welcoming vibe, The Meeting Place has been designed with relaxation in mind. Inside, comfortable couches are centred around an old-fashioned fireplace, while outside on the balcony garden-style chairs and tables await you. There are separate menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering a wide range of dishes to choose from. Breakfast is served until 12h00 and favourites include eggs Florentine, the chef’s breakfast croissant and the breakfast pizza. The gorgeous view is of the Simon’s Town harbour.

ON THE ROCKS RESTAURANT – BLOUBERG 

This popular local hangout has a breath taking view of Table Mountain. They’re open for breakfast every day until 12h00 and serve dishes such as a breakfast pan with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, pork sausage and potato rosti, various French toast varieties and so much more.

CATHARINA’S RESTAURANT - STEENBERG ESTATE 

Nestled on Steenberg Wine Estate, Catharina’s offers a gorgeous view of the vineyards. It’s a quiet setting and will make you feel as though you are well out of the city. The extensive breakfast menu is made up of dishes such as pancakes with various toppings, a farm breakfast with two free range eggs, bacon, pork or beef sausage, grilled tomato, sauté mushrooms and so much more.

Vergelegen Wine Estate
2 Jun 2015
 
     

Vergelegen Wine Estate in Somerset West is among the oldest wine estates in the Cape and visitors can retrace more than 350 years of Cape social and wine-making history on a visit to the historic estate. Among the heritage sites that can be visited are the original homestead, Sir Lionel Phillips's library, consisting of 4500 volumes, and a camphor tree grove estimated to be more than 300 years old. Wine tours and tastings are available at the tasting centre, there are two restaurants to dine at, a seated picnic area, and 17 exquisitely themed gardens on display for visitors to enjoy…

(GPS coordinates: -34.07655, 18.951711)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/vergelegen-wine-estate

Coffee Shops with Character in Cape Town
27 May 2015
 
     

Coffee Shops with Character in Cape Town

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

The coffee culture is strong in Cape Town with shops lining the corners and main strips across the city, calling on java connoisseurs to sample their latest brews. From little nooks in the CBD to seaside meeting places in Simonstown, check out some of our local coffee shops with character.

DELUXE COFFEEWORKS

Deluxe Coffeeworks makes the list for so many reasons: As well as offering fantastic coffee, this popular coffee house also offers great music and welcoming friendly baristas. Another draw of this funky industrial-style coffee house, particularly for tourists visiting the city, is its location: Situated in the centre of the city, just near Greenmarket Square, Deluxe Coffeworks is the ideal coffee stop if you need to spend some time in the city centre organizing your day trips, sorting out banking and organizing your travel money, or simply experiencing Cape Town’s urban heart. There’s no better place to take a break, unwind, and refuel with a delicious cup of coffee.
Address: 25 Church Street, City Bowl 
Website: https://www.deluxecoffeeworks.co.za

TRUTH COFFEE

If you like good coffee served in a gritty and industrialised environment then Truth Coffee is the ideal Cape Town coffee shop for you. Walking into Truth Coffee feels like you’re walking into a Victorian futuristic fantasy: steam punk lovers will be in awe of the well thought of décor. More important than the interior though is the incredible coffee: strong, hot and full of flavour. Looking to contact friends and family back home or simply check up on your emails? Truth Coffee also offers all of its patrons three hours of free WiFi. According to The Guardian, Truth Coffee is the best coffee shop in South Africa.
Address: 36 Buitenkant Street, CBD 
Website: http://www.truthcoffee.com

TRIBE

Some of Cape Town’s coffee shops are busy and bustling; others are perfect for hanging out with friends. The Tribe Coffee Café is a little different: It is the perfect place for enjoying a cup of coffee alone and enjoying some quiet reflection. The atmosphere is zen-like and soothing, there is no better place to relax and take some time out to truly unwind. And the coffee? The beans are gently roasted and the aroma fills the whole café: you certainly won’t be disappointed with the coffee in the Tribe Coffee Café.
Address: The Foundry, 170 Albert Road, Woodstock 
Website: http://www.tribecoffee.co.za

BOB’S BAGEL CAFE

One of those café’s that you discover when you head off the main stretch, Bob's Bagel Cafe, is everything we love about Kalk Bay - chilled, friendly and real. This little café serves up some great brew to go along with its bagels and opens up onto the park in central Kalk Bay. A top spot.
Address: 6 Rouxville Road, Kalk Bay 
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bobs-Bagel-Cafe/158947450935975

THE BLEND

This cosy little shop on Roeland Street is a favourite on the East End of the CBD. Serving a variety of blends, they pride themselves on their love of coffee and claim to have the best wraps in town. Are they? We’re not giving anything away, so you will have to try them yourself as you sip on a good, strong cup of java.
Address: 79 Roeland Street, Cape Town 
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Blend/154584028020921?sk=info&tab=pag...

THE BOOTLEGGER COFFEE COMPANY

Open from 6.30am, serving their much-loved red-eye coffee (just R14 a cup), the Bootlegger is unabashedly passionate about all things coffee. This super-cool, industrial-chic eatery roasts their blend daily and also offers up some seriously tasty meals, from classic breakfasts to tapas for lunch/dinner.
Address: 39-41 Regent Road, Sea Point 
Website: http://bootlegger.co.za

KAMILI

Another popular haunt in the CBD – we’re spoilt for choice really – Kamili may not look like much from the outside, but once inside the warm, ambient interior and basic benches provide a homely feel, while the blissful smell of their roasted coffee only serves to enhance your mood. Friendly staff and great coffee, Kamili is the perfect spot to dodge the rain and grab a quick cuppa.
Address: Corner of Long and Short Market Streets 
Website:  https://www.facebook.com/Kamilicoffee?fref=ts

THE MEETING PLACE

This unique spot can be found on the main strip running through Simon’s Town and is quickly becoming a favourite place to meet. With a relaxed and welcoming vibe, The Meeting Place has been designed with relaxation in mind. Inside, comfortable couches are centred around an old-fashioned fireplace, while outside on the balcony garden-style chairs and tables await you.
Address: 98 St George’s Street, Simonstown 
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Meeting-Place-Upstairs/27604346242317...

LEKKER

How could you possible go wrong at a spot named ‘lekker’? Lekker basically means: good, tasty, delicious, nice or anything to express approval or satisfaction. Situated on the main Kalk Bay strip, the restaurant claims to be the place to go if you’re looking for lekker coffee, lekker pastries and cakes, lekker food, lekker staff and service, lekker local favourites like milktart, koeksisters, botter marie and tea, vetkoek with jam and so much more.
Address: 106 Main Road, Kalk Bay 
Website: http://lekkerkalkbay.co.za

ROSETTA ROASTERY

The guys at Rosetta Roastery are seriously passionate – and knowledgeable – when it comes to coffee and they love to share all of that with their clientele. They source only the best single origin coffees from places as far afield as North and South America and Asia, while their shop has been featured on lists of the best coffee shops in the world. Minimalist, with a black and white interior, Rosetta lets their coffee do the talking for them – and the word is spreading.
Address: Albert Road, Woodstock 
Website: http://www.rosettaroastery.com

La Chocolaterie Rococo
17 May 2015
 
     

No ordinary chocolate shop, Chocolaterie Rococo in the Klein Karoo town of Oudtshoorn sells Belgian chocolate confections created by master chocolatier Marita Lamprecht. Marita describes herself as a chocolate artist and when you see her indulgent collections of chocolate stilettos, wedding cakes and other novelties, you'll agree. Marita uses only imported Belgian couverture to hand craft her seasonal chocolate ranges, so chocoholics can look forward to floral pralines in summer and spice-spiked truffles in winter. What makes this chocolate shop more unusual is Marita’s flair for matching chocolate and wine...

(GPS coordinates: -33.604252, 22.20967)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/la-chocolaterie-rococo

Bar Bar Black Sheep
13 May 2015
 
     

A 45-minute drive from Cape Town, in the quaint Swartland village of Riebeek-Kasteel, is the Bar Bar Black Sheep Restaurant. The small-town bistro has attracted a cult-like following of Cape Town foodies, who come here for chef Mynhardt Joubert's rustic Cape soul food. Eclectic decor and professional but relaxed service, along with Joubert's ability to transform ingredients that other chefs overlook or dismiss, into meals that diners and food critics rave about, give this bistro the edge...

(GPS coordinates: -33.383436, 18.896399)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/bar-bar-black-sheep

Home of Klipdrift
11 May 2015
 
     

Right in the heart of Robertson stands The Home of Klipdrift, producer of one of South Africa’s favourite brandies. Here, you can get an idea of the brandy-making process on tours of the large distillery. These informative guided excursions include a stop in the maturing rooms laden with oak barrels. Here, the air is permeated with the sweet spicy aroma of the evaporated spirit, known as the “angels share”...

(GPS coordinates: -33.811461, 19.881882)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/home-klipdrift

Mitchell's Brewing
30 Apr 2015
 
     

Mitchell’s Brewing and the draught beers it produces have been synonymous with Knysna for the past 28 years. Situated in the industrial area just to the east of town, they create good old-fashioned, traditionally brewed beers. Over the years, their flagship brands have been Foresters Lager, which makes up 75% of sales, and Bosuns Bitter. A tour of the small operation takes in each step of the process…

(GPS coordinates: -34.045261, 23.073427)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/mitchells-brewing

De Vette Mossel Beach Restaurant
24 Apr 2015
 
     

De Vette Mossel is fast becoming an attraction in itself rather than just a restaurant. It is situated on the sand dunes between the Little Brak River and the Great Brak River – follow the signboards on the R102, which runs along the sea side of the N2. Patrons indulge in a nine-course menu accompanied by fresh pot bread, creamy farm butter and homemade jam, and you can eat as much as you like of each course. It’s a three-hour dining extravaganza best enjoyed in a relaxed manner, dressed in bare feet and casual wear...

(GPS coordinates: -34.061681, 22.217274)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/de-vette-mossel-beach-restaurant

Troyeville Hotel
8 Apr 2015
 
     

One patron described the now famous Troyeville Hotel as, “rich in history and stale beer, pink lighting and devil-eyed flamingos, and the best prawns this side of Komatipoort”.

The Troyeville Hotel dates back approximately to the 1940s. As the former Jewish area of Troyeville turned Portuguese, so did the hotel. Its now legendary “Pink Flamingo” Portuguese restaurant (so-named because of the gaudy flamingo murals) is the still hottest ticket in town...

(GPS coordinates: -26.19904, 28.066276)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/troyeville-hotel

Pollsmoor Mess
4 Apr 2015
 
     

A maximum security prison canteen is probably the last place you’d imagine yourself eating, but if you ever find yourself in Tokai in Cape Town, the Pollsmoor Prison mess is open for business. The prison canteen has been open to the public for almost a decade and serves breakfast and lunch. While you won’t get haute cuisine and a wine list from the correctional facility kitchen, do expect a wholesome, home-cooked meal made from scratch. Meals are prepared by Pollsmoor's cooks, some of whom are inmates on work detail. The service is so friendly and professional you'd never know you’re being served by an inmate if it wasn’t for the regulation orange jumpsuit... 

(GPS coordinates: -34.067761, 18.431958)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/pollsmoor-mess

Mooiberge Farmstall
16 Mar 2015
 
     

There are many good reasons to take the family on a trip down the R44 towards Stellenbosch, but two of the best are scarecrows and strawberries. The Mooiberge strawberry farm is a landmark in this pretty part of the world. Overlooked by the Helderberg Mountains, Mooiberge has been producing plump, delicious strawberries for the public to pick since the mid-1990s. If pick-your-own sounds too much like hard work, send the kids off to play on the jungle gym while you shop for fresh strawberries and a host of other goodies in the Mooiberge Farm Stall... 

(GPS coordinates: -33.998241, 18.826243)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/mooiberge-farmstall

Four Food Trucks to Visit in CT
11 Feb 2015
 
     

Four food trucks to visit in CT

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

We predicted that food trucks would be a trend to watch in 2014 and we were right. Here are 4 food trucks to keep an eye out for in 2015. 

LIMONCELLO 

Limoncello Food Truck - Often seen at major events, the Limoncello truck gets around Cape Town, but it can also be visited at various markets and parking spots such as the Oudekraal market, Charley’s Bakery parking lot and the NeighbourGoods market in Woodstock. They serve up tasty Italian dishes that include pastries and pizzas.
Location: Cape Town markets and events
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Cape-Town-Food-Trucks/424139807602526
Twitter: @CTFoodTrucks
Email: [email protected]

FETTY’S STREET FOOD 

Fetty's Food Truck - Inspired by his travels around the world, Chef Damian has named his truck Yatra (meaning ‘journey’ in Hindi) to serve food that he has learnt to make on these trips. The focus is mainly Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican and US style food. You will find authentic and fusion dishes ranging from Thai egg fried rice and Phad Thai to Butter chicken, burritos and pulled pork burgers. The menu changes regularly so there’s always something new on offer.
Location: Various festivals such as the Festival in the Valley in Franschhoek this coming weekend (13, 14 December) and at the Vineyard Oval next Saturday. It’s also available for private functions.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Fettysstreetfood
Twitter: @thefet
Email: [email protected]

BRAZILIANT EXPRESS 

Brazilliant Food Truck - This family owned business has been around for just under three years and is the truck to look out for when you need a beverage to quench your thirst. They serve both hot and cold in the form of cappuccinos, lattes, iced lattes and slushies.
Location: Festivals and events such as Killarney race days, music festivals, craft beer projects, private event
Facebook: www.facebook.com/BraziliantExpress
Twitter: @Info_Braziliant
Email: [email protected]

BAGUETTE SANDWICHES 

Bagette Food Truck - Having started off as a joke between the owner, Steph, and the owner of his favourite coffee shop, Baguette Sandwiches is now a popular Cape Town food truck… of sorts. The sandwiches were first sold out of the basket of a vintage delivery bicycle and it’s now a fully-fledged sandwich delivery business. You can’t find them on the steps of the coffee shop anymore, but you can call them to deliver to you or find them at local events. The sandwiches have gone from being simple to gourmet as time went on. There is now a variety of breads including the German pretzel, rye, whole wheat and wheat-free.
Location: Anywhere you want them to be, festivals and events.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/baguette.sandwiches
Twitter: @BaguetteBicycle
Email: [email protected]

The Kwak Beer Experience
28 Jan 2015
 
     

The Kwak Beer Experience

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

“We will need your left shoe please sir, we can’t have you running off with our glass…”

And with that begins my Kwak Beer Experience at Den Anker at the V&A Waterfront. The relinquishing of my left shoe dates back to a tradition which began in 19th Century Belgium. If I want to drink the beer, I need to forfeit my left shoe… for a time at least. The tradition started because the glasses were extremely expensive and difficult to replace at the time. It sparked a Belgian custom in which the barman kept the left shoe of patrons until the glass had been returned.

Well, it turns out they are still expensive and in Den Anker’s case the tradition is going strong. So as you sip at your beer, your shoe will be kept in a basket behind the bar for as long as you have possession of the bowl-shaped glass. Thankfully I wore old shoes in preparation of my Kwak… just in case.

The experience is all part of the fun. Once you have handed your shoe over for ‘safe-keeping’, the beer arrives at your table served in a 25cm glass tube with a flared top and a round, bulbous bottom and is held by a wooden clamp. The reason for the clamp is that without it the glass would not stand. It would then break and I would be without a left shoe. Yes, the shoe is not just held in case of theft, but for breakage as well.

Turns out more than a couple of glasses have been lost to both. Customers have even been known to wear slops so they don’t feel too much of a loss when then make off with the glass. It is all shrugged off by Den Anker as part of the fun.

Apart from the quirkiness of the experience, the beer itself it worth the strange looks one gets while quaffing a beer sans left shoe. The beer is deep amber with a thick, creamy head. It is sweet, with a hint of fruitiness that makes the transition from lips to gut very pleasurable indeed. In short, the beer is far more than a quirky glass. 

I am joined at my table by Den Anker manager Brandon, who is not only the person who took brief ownership of my shoe, but is also a beer aficionado. He regales me with the history of the Trappist order of monks, who are famous for their Trappist beer, and gives me a rundown of what is available at the restaurant.

Now Belgians are to beer what South Africans are to wine and Den Anker has plenty on offer apart from the Kwak. They have six Trappist beers available to order and a multitude of others to sample. The restaurant also offers a beer tasting, which consists of six draft beers, including the owner’s Anker beer.

Me, I will be back for the beer tasting, but the Kwak is going to be hard to surpass. So was it worth giving up a shoe for the duration? Hell, I would have given up two. Next time I am going to be wearing slops…

For more information on Den Anker and the Kwak Beer Experience: www.denanker.co.za

Old Biscuit Mill
23 Jan 2015
 
     

Old Biscuit Mill

The award-winning Neighbourgoods Market is reviving and reinventing the public market as a civic institution in South Africa. The market takes place in an old sky-lit Victorian warehouse and courtyard at the Old Biscuit Mill in the emerging industrial neighbourhood of Woodstock, Cape Town. It features more than 100 speciality traders every Saturday, creating a weekly platform for local farmers, organic merchants, bakers, grocers, butchers, artisan producers and celebrated local chefs. As much as the market is a source for farm fresh foods and locally produced speciality goods, it is also a place where friends meet. There are live music performance and long trestle tables where you can enjoy your food and drink...

(GPS coordinates: -33.927516, 18.457605)

Read more at www.nightjartravel.com/food-wine/old-biscuit-mill

3 Cape Town Restaurants with Spellbinding Seaside Views
21 Jan 2015
 
     

3 Cape Town Restaurants with Spellbinding Seaside Views

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

Here are our top 3 restaurants in Cape Town with spellbinding views of the sea:

THE TWO OCEANS RESTAURANT

Cape Point, the southern-most tip of Africa is a vista at the edge of the world – crowned by fynbos and sunlight and surrounded by the majestic meeting of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, there isn’t a better place to celebrate the sunset. The Two Oceans Restaurant overlooks this superb panorama and is famed for its sophisticated seafood and chic sushi combinations. Or how about a delicious ostrich burger?

THE GRAND CAFÉ AND BEACH (GRANGER BAY)

Or why not enjoy your own private beach at the stylishly relaxed Grand Café at the V&A Waterfront? Umbrellas and tables stretch onto the sparkling white sand as the ocean beckons and the cocktails arrive cold and colourful while your pizza gets nice and crispy in the wood-fired ovens. You’ll feel like celebrity and you might just spot one.

THORFYNN’S RESTAURANT

Thorfynn’s Restaurant combines a wild ocean with an ancient Milkwood forest that tangles around the deck in the candlelight. It’s an unbeatable vista in the heart of Noordhoek’s Monkey Valley Nature Resort, with accompanying home-cooked goodness and family friendly ambiance. Burgers, pizzas and delicious vegetarian dishes compliment the landscape – the kiddies menu is also a real draw.

Photo: courtesy of Two Oceans Restaurant

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