It’s local gems like these that I miss and wish I visited more. I miss the food, the vibe, the music, the culture, the company. I miss it all, and I know you do too.
In this week's blog, we daydream about all the wonderful places in our ‘Future Escape Guide’ created by Capetonians for South Africans of our top 5 hidden gems in Cape Town in the hopes that once the dreaded lockdown has lifted we will spend more time supporting local and discovering hidden gems within our own community.
First on our list is a magical, cultured place in the wall of Roodehek street in Gardens Cape Town. Home to the Dog’s Bollocks and a few other very creative but NSFW names. Anyone who’s been to Yard has a story to tell and if you’ve never been, well then you sure are in for a treat.
The reason I said you’re in for a treat is that...well, they basically treat you like a dog, but in the… best and most hilarious way possible? I’ve also just realized that there is absolutely no way for me to describe the experience without freaking you out a little so I’m going to suggest that if you’re looking to try out a trendy but arbitrary restaurant where the waitresses scream at you but serve you the most amazing burger you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting… go to Yard. Don't forget to awkwardly thank your waitress for shouting at you before you leave.
“My boyfriend and I went to The Dogs Bollocks for a day date and the waitress asks one of you to give your name and then they scream for you when your food is ready and you kinda, have to go collect it yourself but it’s all part of the experience and we loved it!” - Annie
Honestly, their slogan really sums it all up. “Those succumbing to their curiosity and stepping into the shops at 35 Bright Street, Somerset West, will soon be transported to a cat lover’s paradise.” I mean… sign me the hell up!? I mean, am I right fellow feline cuddlers, cat whisperers and kitty hoarders?
What will make any cat lover's heart melt, even more, is that CatHeaven is not only a cat cafe to meet and greet the coolest cats in town, it’s also a cat shelter where all of the cats have been rescued from overcrowded shelters. So not only are you able to show these furballs some love but CatHeaven also offers in-house adoptions so you’re able to visit your cat ANY TIME YOU WANT.
Naturally I’m wondering why this cat cafe isn't classified as essential because I wanna throw all of my money, love and support at these cats 24/7, 356 days a year.
3. Take The Damn Wine Tour, Sis
If there was ever a time for a miracle like turning water into wine then now would be an appropriate time. #lockdownblues But, until that happens, I personally cannot wait to take advantage of any and all wine trains, tours, conferences, meetings ETCETERA.
I’m also secretly hoping that Franschhoek Wine Tram is going to have a crazy post-lockdown sale to ease the pain of any mother, father, child and anyone who’s had to endure any zoom meetings at all, so… I’m just going to put that energy into the universe and hope for the best.
You don't even have to go far. I'm pretty sure there's a wine farm in almost every street in Stellenbosch. There really is nothing like sharing a bottle of wine with your favourite people... and hello? We have world-class, award-winning wine made right here in Cape Town. Also, anyone who still has alcohol left during this time... let's be friends. Sorry, I'm getting. little choked up it's just... it's been so long, I feel like I'm forgetting what rosé tastes like which is the biggest tragedy of it all.
4. Basically Everything in Gordan’s Bay
If you’re looking for a Sunday day trip with the fam then Gordan’s bay should be at the top of your list. Honestly, I haven’t been a huge fan of Gordan’s Bay until recently. I took a drive out that side one day for a shoot and let me tell you that the entire Bikini Beach road is my new favourite street! It’s like Long Street for the day time. My favourite store there has to be Bikini Beach Books.
This little store is a book lovers paradise. It really is almost like a fantasy land. There are books as far as the eye can see. The journals, volume and storybooks are stacked high and the smell of used books fills the air. Their books are incredibly adorable and the staff are super friendly. They also have the biggest, most wondrous collection of these beautiful, pearlescent shells and a cute, ginger furball who sleeps on the books.
One of my favourite things about Gordan's Bay is how nice people are...Like, for no reason at all. Which is something you don't see every day as a Capetonian... All in all, Gordan's bay is just a breath of fresh air to anyone looking for an escape from reality for a day.
5. Discover A New Beach
I personally often like to pretend I stay in Bakoven so that I can “use” and I really do use that term loosely, their private beach.
I’ve done many shoots at Beta Beach because of the beautiful yet abstract rock formations and it’s also the perfect place to tan in the Summer. Not to mention the fact that the entire beach is totally Instagram worthy and very aesthetically pleasing! Sitting on top of the rocks while the waves crash against them make my soul happy. Sometimes just a few minutes of just you and the waves can do wonders for your body and mind.
It's supposed to be a private beach so you didn't hear this information from me. Be smart about it. Don't all go at once, okay?
5. Visit Matsidsio at V&A
- Sip a mojito while you watch the seals bark and play at Boot Leggers
- Jam to live local music while you chow on a delicious meal at the Food Market
- Go for a sundowner by sailboat
- Have a giggle at The Comedy Club
- Do a little dance at Shimmy Beach Club
- Then have the most luxurious sleep at the stunning Silo Hotel
WINTER TRAVEL TIP
Because we’re moving into winter, tanning on the rocks at the beach isn't going to be at the top of your list, but it’s also the perfect place for an affordable date that requires nothing more than you and your partner, a jacket and a cup of coffee and a nice stroll down one of Cape Town’s beautiful beaches.
Another romantic winter date idea would be to pack a picnic basket filled with your favourite foods and treats (and a bottle of absolutely any alcohol you'd like because all the stores will be open), park at one of your favourite beaches, turn the radio on and watch the waves together. This is something I grew up doing with my family and it was tons of fun for the whole family!
I challenge you to visit at least one of these places once the dreaded lockdown has been lifted, but until then we reminisce and we dream...
I hope this guide will encourage you to try the things you wouldn't normally do after lockdown, visit new places and most importantly to support local.