Category: A tourist at the tip (Page 1 of 2)

Cafe Roux

Noordhoek Farm Village – family-friendly fun for days, and a scenic drive home

This blog has been very quiet, I know – shocking for someone who’s trying to get a blog up and running, I know! No big overwhelming reason, just all the normal little reasons of sick children, holidays, Christmas etc etc

But I’m back, and we’re kicking 2017 off with one of my family’s favorite Cape spots – Noordhoek Farm Village. After Poppet made it clear a few days ago that getting her to the beach was going to be an uphill battle, we refocused on somewhere for brunch that we could all enjoy – and Cafe Roux at Noordhoek Farm Village was an easy choice.

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vergenoegd duck parade

Vergenoegd – a new Winelands market – the one with the ducks!

Last weekend we were up bright and early to fetch new passports for The Husband and Poppet from Home Affairs in Somerset West. Not our favorite activity, to put it mildly … So we decided to follow it up with a visit to a new market at Vergenoegd wine estate on Baden Powell Drive.

If Vergenoegd sounds vaguely familiar, like you’ve heard you should go there for a specific reason but can’t remember what it is, the blog post title and picture should have jogged that memory – it’s famous for the duck parade. Ducks are employees here, paid in the snails and other goggas that they eat in the vineyard.

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Lunch at the Clock Tower District

The Clock Tower District has often seemed like the unpopular kid at the Waterfront club. A small shopping mall with a few tourist-oriented stores and couple of restaurants – hardly seemed worth the effort to walk ALL the way from the enormous, bursting-with-energy Waterfront hub.

But the Husband persuaded me that there was a new playground right next to the restaurants so we decided to try the “other side” of the Waterfront for lunch this past weekend. And I’m so glad we did!

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Spice Route – gem of the Paarl valley

The Spice Route in Paarl is one of those places I’ve heard about numerous times and never been to myself. At almost an hour’s drive from home, it’s quite an expedition with small kids, but made its way to the top of our places-to-go list this past weekend.

WOW – this is a place that really delivers! Visions of Durban spice markets came to mind, but we soon discovered this was an entirely different form of wonderland. Spice Route’s website explains the origins of their name: “Centuries ago, anyone with a desire to explore exotic flavours and experiences would have needed to wait for the seasonal return of the traders travelling the Spice Route.
Fortunately, these days a journey of discovery is right on your doorstep, with the modern-day Spice Route in Paarl – a sensory feast for today’s connoisseurs of craftsmanship and authenticity.”

So what is it exactly?

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Cape Dutch architecture

Stellenbosch (part 2) – a kid-free morning

We explored Stellenbosch for the first time in years a few weeks ago, and I decided then to come back with a girl friend and no kids, so I could properly enjoy the gorgeous shops that abound in central Stellenbosch.

First stop was the unique Schoon de Companje, to indulge my new ice cream addiction at fanny Chanel. What started as a bakery, has grown to encompass an enticing array of coffee, wine, cheese, ice cream and other fresh foods. Definitely worth a pop in or a more leisurely meal.

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Kirstenbosch – a place for all seasons

Kirstenbosch shouldn’t need an introduction for anyone who knows much about Cape Town. It truly is a place for all seasons – in more ways than one.
Literally: the ultra-expert team who keep Kirstenbosch looking like the world-renowned botanical garden it is, ensure that it looks spectacular no matter the season. In South Africa it’s spring-time, and the flowers put on quite a show when I was there a few weeks ago.

But it’s all the place for all seasons of life. Right now, in the the season of little children, it’s a place to explore, to run off extra energy, a giant playground.

Pre-kids, this was our Sunday afternoon concert hall. Kids and their busy-ness/schedules/illnesses have prevented regular Sunday afternoon visits to Kirstenbosch’s Summer Sunset Concerts, but we’re hoping this is the summer we get back there more regularly. I highly recommend them if you’re in the area, an amazing venue to listen to the best in SA music. Click here for the 2016/2017 schedule.

We’ve already booked our tickets to see Jeremy Loops and Goldfish – who are you keen to see?

Brunch at Groot Constantia wine estate

One of the great aspects of our neighbourhood is the proximity to the Constantia Valley and its wine route. The tourist heartbeat of this route is Groot Constantia. At less than 10 minutes drive from home, it’s a great place to take the kids to feed ducks, run on the rolling lawns or grab a bite to eat.

This past Sunday we headed to Jonkershuis restaurant on the estate for brunch. As I’d already had cereal at stupid-o’clock when the kids got me up, I opted for a croissant. Hooray, a local spot that serves proper flaky, buttery croissants, as opposed to the chewy substitutes that seem to be more prevalent in Cape Town. The husband had a great full English breakfast. Prices are a little inflated as one would expect for a tourist spot with a view, but not overly so. And the view is pretty darn special.

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Stellenbosch – a day trip to delight the senses

We recently had that rare opportunity of a free weekend – absolutely nothing in the calendar! A day trip was clearly needed, and this time we chose Stellenbosch as the destination.

First stop – wine tasting of course. We went with the gorgeously Provençal Waterford estate. Because wine paired with chocolate.

Waterford just oozes French charm. Their lavender wasn’t at its most glorious, but there’s still plenty to admire.

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Postberg – a Spring flower day trip

I have clear memories of childhood day trips to see the flowers on the West Coast. Some of these memories were probably cemented by the fact that I lost a tooth on one trip – and amazingly the tooth fairy found me and left a coin under a bush!

So I was really looking forward to taking our girls this spring, and did so a few weeks ago. We went to West Coast National Park, about 1-1.5 hours outside Cape Town, and home to the beautiful Postberg Flower Reserve which is only open during flower season (August and September).

An early start is recommended as the reserve can get crowded later in the day. Vygevallei farm stall on the R27 is a useful coffee pit stop, with lawns, a jungle gym and a few farm animals to keep the kids entertained.

The entrance to West Coast National Park is directly off the R27. Visit their website for the latest details on opening hours, costs etc.

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Reclaiming the cable car for the locals?

Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain has been a little more accessible to locals in the past week, as the cable car celebrated their 85th birthday by reducing the cost of a return ticket from R225 to R85, via a coupon in the local community newspapers.

We attempted to go last week but underestimated the popularity of the special and weren’t prepared to wait in the long queue. So this past Saturday we made the effort to get there before the first car left at 8am. It still took about 90 minutes to get through the queue and up the mountain, but the kids coped well so all was good.

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