I wanted to tell you about my ‘staycation’ summer in Cape Town and how awesome it was to be here during the festive season.
Yes, Cape Town gets insanely busy at that time, but we found ways to escape the crowds.
The best way to do this was to go to the city’s ‘secret beaches’. I know there are a few, and we were lucky enough to discover two of them.
The first is relatively well known but still one of Cape Town’s best kept secrets: Beta Beach in Bakoven. If you drive just past Camps Bay you’ll come to this sweet little suburb. Park your car, walk down some steps, and the next thing you’re on this gorgeous little beach with a stunning view of the Atlantic Seaboard. It is almost like a cove, with only a small strip of sand and white calm sea, protected by big boulders. Of course I had to go swim even though our ocean is freezing! That was great. The vibe at the beach is so chilled – everyone does their own thing and it’s a lot less pretentious than other beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard. I would love to take you there when you’re next in CT!
The other secret beach doesn’t even have a name and it is much less well known. We just spotted it off from the road and decided to go check it out. It is also just past Camps Bay. You walk down some relatively steep steps through quite a lot of reeds and plants- it’s a bit scary but worth it! It’s another gorgeous cove and we swam about six times – the sea was so lovely (but still cold!). People just have to discover this one for themselves…
As you know, I love eating healthily, and Cape Town has really outdone itself on this front. A new health food cafe, Nü, opened on Sea Point Main Road in the St John’s centre, and it is a dream for me to eat there! They offer lots of gluten-free, sugar-free organic options and all meals look and taste fantastic. It also really was the ‘place to be’ for all our Gauteng visitors and queues got quite big! I actually went there for brunch on my birthday as their breakfasts are particularly amazing – like a gluten-free, sugar-free protein pancake with nuts, bananas, blueberries and cinnamon, or the Bircher quinoa, which is both delicious and healthy. A little bird told me Nü might open a branch in Joburg – watch this space!
Another awesome food experience that has taken Cape Town by storm is Nuri Sushi Factory. It’s a new take on sushi and is simply amazing. You order your sushi from a counter and it’s a very relaxed vibe – completely different from other fancy sushi places. The menu is ‘sushi with an African twist’ and they have really come up with awesome new ways of making it! Everything comes beautifully presented on a platter, or you can get takeaways. I know they also cater for big functions. This was another ‘place to be’ and I really haven’t tasted or seen better sushi!
The last ‘foodie’ place I will mention is Tasha’s, which opened at the Waterfront. Everything about it is awesome, from the decor to the huge menu to the scrumptious food. There is always a waiting list – so much so that they’ve made a waiting area outside! We went for brunch and I had the most unbelievable egg-white omelette with salmon, cottage cheese and avo. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten!
Another thing we did was meet Sean’s cousins for brunch at Coffeetime. Not many people know about this amazing institution in the City Bowl. It is a restaurant run by Astra Centre, a Jewish community organisation that creates employment opportunities for adults with special needs. So your waiter will be someone who may be mentally or physically disabled, but who is working and gaining independence. You fill out a menu form with your order so there is no confusion, and it is wonderful to interact with these very special waiters. The food is great and the setting is beautiful – it’s a great restaurant! There is also a gift shop filled with products made by people in this sheltered employment environment. It’s a great place to visit, have a birthday or buy a gift, and by doing so you are supporting a good cause at the same time!
On that note, we also visited the Hout Bay Market, which is one of the many fantastic markets that gave sprung up around the city recently. It is in a huge warehouse on the harbour and has a great atmosphere. It has a wide variety of food and products, and supports the local community by encouraging them to trade products there, or by performing music and dancing for visitors. It was a great day out!
I love markets, and my new favourite one is at the Oranjezicht City Farm, which is an ‘urban farm’ project right in my neighborhood. It is a wonderful initiative, farming in the middle of the city and giving people jobs. They host a great market every Saturday and had a Christmas market one beautiful evening, which was a the perfect opportunity to buy gifts, where ‘Father Christmas met Mother Nature!’ I really recommend this market every Saturday morning.
As you know I’m a triplet, so my sister suggested we go up Table Mountain on our birthday, as you get a free ride then! I hadn’t gone up in years but it was still as breathtaking as I remember. It’s a great birthday outing!
My ‘staycation’ showed me that I’m lucky to live in a place that can offer me a great holiday, opportunities to ‘give back’, the most wonderful restaurants and food, and lots of places to explore! It really does deserve to be at the ‘top of the list!’
Tali Feinberg is a born-and-bred Capetonian and Editor of the Cape Jewish Chronicle. She enjoys writing, running, walking, baking, cooking, reading, social media and spending time with her husband and their two adorable Yorkies at their home in Vredehoek, Cape Town. You can follow her on Twitter.