“From the wildlife to the scenery, everywhere we visited had a real ah factor.”
— Mark, art director
OUTTAKES FROM OUR STYLE GUIDE
“Who would have thought you could go sledding in the desert?”
— Gayle, stylist
GOING THERE? TRAVEL WRITER SARAH KHAN SHARES SOME IDEAS…
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly into Cape Town International Airport (CPT)—South African Airways flies to Johannesburg from New York and DC, while some European and Middle Eastern carriers fly into Cape Town—then order an Uber. A ride to the Central Business District (CBD) will take around 20 minutes and should cost you around 150 rand ($10).
FOR A CULTURE FIX
When it opens in September 2017, the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa will be the world’s biggest showcase of art from the African continent. Until then, you can view highlights from the Zeitz Collection at a pavilion at the V&A Waterfront.
One of Johannesburg’s top contemporary art galleries opened a cavernous Cape Town outpost last year. Stop by to discover local talents like Alexandra Karakashian, Dumile Feni, and Blessing Ngobeni.
FOR A BEACH BREAK
Clamber down steep stairs to make your way to the four adjacent beaches that make up Clifton. Each section, separated by behemoth boulders, has a slightly different appeal—the first is a hit with surfers, while the fourth hosts outdoor concerts in the summer.
Farther down the Atlantic Seaboard, Noordhoek Beach’s wide expanse makes it a popular spot to go horseback riding.
This airy second-floor space stocks a range of fashion, accessories, furniture and art, all by burgeoning local designers and artisans. Keep an eye out for design-minded souvenirs in the form of silver and yellow enamel rings by Long Jean Silver, wooden sunglasses by Ballo, whimsical patterned socks by FEAT and funky dishware by Ash Ceramics.
FOR A DETOUR
Drive 45 minutes north to spend an afternoon at the sprawling sand dunes just outside the town of Atlantis. You’ll need a permit to explore the area—or book ahead to join an eco tour, complete with 4x4 driving or sandboarding.
This 1899 grande dame is a bit of a Cape Town institution, famed for its rosy pink façade and lavish high tea. Many of the 198 rooms, tucked away amid lovely gardens, come with views of iconic Table Mountain.
A rambling multilevel villa on a cliff overlooking Clifton Beach. The seven suites, plus a new deluxe apartment, are decorated in contemporary African style: woven baskets, vases of colorful protea flowers and mock kudu horns on the walls.
This 19th-century national historic landmark manse went through a complete renovation last year. Its 15 bedrooms marry old-world details, like ornate fireplaces, with bold, over-the-top touches—think zigzag cushions and chandeliers hewn from driftwood. The location, just off Kloof Street, puts you in walking distance from many of the city’s best restaurants.
TO EAT & DRINK
This popular daytime spot changes its menu as well as its interiors every season. Expect creative, contemporary South African breakfasts and lunches, served artfully in whimsical ceramics. Ignore the “no photos” sign: You’ll definitely want to Instagram your potato rösti with poached egg and smoked salmon gravlax.
Cape Town has no shortage of coffee shops, but Truth Coffee is one of the city’s best. Pop into the cavernous café for a decadent brunch washed down with a flat white—or a quirky-named blend like Silky Vengeance.
One of South Africa’s most beloved retreats: a collection of historic whitewashed Cape Dutch cottages and farm houses that’s been converted into a boutique hotel nestled amid 200 acres of working farmland. Book well in advance for a meal at the farm-to-table Babel restaurant (nearly everything is sourced from the surrounding gardens) or stop by to sample the farm’s chardonnay, chenin blanc and rosé at its new tasting room.
The sleek artisanal food market opened last year in an 18th-century building in the heart of Stellenbosch, with stalls serving everything from organic cheese to craft beer.