This Sunday I’m on my way to the U.K. for 5 weeks with my one year old daughter…and we’re flying alone. Half of you probably think I’m crazy and the other half have probably started drinking in remembrance of me. Thanks.
Usually, my husband would be coming with us as it’s our one time of the year where we can go and see my family but work is keeping him busy, and so the 19 hour flight is left to me to manage on my own.
So, amidst packing, we’re trying to spend as much time together and it got me thinking about having a proper “Date Day” with the Mr. We have, with all the deadlines I need to tackle before I leave, roughly one day (12 hours with Rosie at Playgroup and with Sitters) where the Mr and I can get all cutesy and “touristy” together. As regular Capetonians, I’ve been thinking long and hard over what should be on our list, what activities and places to eat and drink will most fit our relationship, our time limits as well as Rose & Thorns readers.
Cape Town is so perfect for every one – whether you want amazing food, award-winning wine, adrenaline fixes, the wild outdoors or pampering, you will find everything and more in the Mother City. Spoilt for choice, I managed to narrow down our options to include everything we enjoy as a couple, with some tourist hot-spots thrown in too. So, if you’re also keen on going on a date day with your partner in the CBD and surrounds, this might be the list for you. Broken up into sections, you can mix and match to fill your time requirements…or you could space it out over three days.
All good stories start with breakfast and it can be the best meal of the day, which is probably why Hobbits have two. Can you make your choice from the below?
A) People don’t rave about Jarryds in Sea Point for nothing; wholly committed to sourcing and supporting local produce, the food and the service places them at the top of the list – because when you’re on a date, you need everything to be feel-good.
They have a Benedict bar – Mr H is a massive Eggs Benedict enthusiast – and I have a thing for banana bread, which they make better than I do. Wash your breakfast choices down with their exceptional coffee and feel ready to start your day.
B) Another star in the crown of Luke Dale Roberts, the Short Market Club takes average breakfast items and turns them into mouth-watering gastronomical feats. A simple boiled egg and soldiers gets a makeover with pancetta and toasted brioche, whilst the humble scotch egg gets a Cape Malay twist with atchar, mango and spices. Make sure you book a table though!
C) If you have a Saturday, you need to treat yourself to Mink & Trout’s Bottomless Bubbly Brunch, from 11am to 2pm. It’s only R99 per person and the food is not only sublime to the taste, but beautifully presented.
2. Take some air.
Let your food settle and get your camera out by choosing between the following:
A) Channel your inner Tarzan and Jane on the Boomslang walk at Kirstenbosch gardens. This canopy walk, erected among 400 trees in the garden, offers breath-taking views and a few heart palpitations as you can’t help but watch out for the Slang (Snake in Afrikaans).
B) Tap into your happy feet with a visit to the penguins at Boulders Beach. Nothing draws more “ooohs” and “Aaaahs” like cute little penguins.
C) Take in a little history and sightseeing, without having to move your feet, on the Red Bus. It’s one of the coolest and easiest ways to experience Cape Town and you can choose from a range of routes, staying on board for the entire journey or hopping off to get closer to the sights.
After those activities, the hunger pangs might be fired up again so pick a place to eat:
A) I wouldn’t be British is I didn’t advocate High Tea and the Mount Nelson is my top pick, offering a delicious array of sandwiches, savoury nibbles and sweet delights. Their tea selection is expansive, featuring interesting fruit teas, green and black teas and of course, coffee and normal tea. It’s a bottomless eating experience, so one can sit back, relax and listen to the melodic tunes of the Grand Piano that plays to accompany your eating.
B) Breathe in the salty sea air and people watch at The Harbour House restaurant at the Waterfront. Keep a little room for dinner by ordering from their sushi menu or compliment the view by choosing fresh line fish with chips.
C) I’m a huge burger fan and an even bigger fan of companies that are trying to be ethical and environmentally focused. IYO Burgers (Inside & You’re Out) revolve around four principles: delicious foods, local community, environmental impact and ethical accessibility – the former being the reason why my muffin top refuses to budge. Whether you’re a meat freak or a virtuous veggie, get a little sauce on your chin so your partner can happily lick it off.
4. Drink up.
If you still have room after lunch you need to taste what the Cape Town wine/beer/gin scene is really about.
A) Get crafty at The Taproom in Woodstock and get your head (see what I did there) around the latest creations from Devil’s Peak Brewing Company. You’ll always find the bar staff to be friendly and knowledgeable and open to giving tasters.
B) “Champagne is one of the elegant extras in life” said Charles Dickens, and Steenberg Wine Estate will add a little sparkle to your day with their stunning line of MCCs. Whether you want fresh and lively (their Sauvignon Blanc sparkling wine will do the trick) or crave those creamy, brioche notes from a blanc-de-blanc, no date would be complete without a glass, or three, of bubbly.
C) During the mid-eighteenth century, gin was cheap (insanely strong) and so widely consumed that it became a serious plight on British society, those who consumed it the most were women, mothers and it was their ruin…aka “mother’s ruin.” Don’t say I never give you any history. Today, the choice of gin in Cape Town is exceptional, and there is no better place to taste how far it has come than at New Harbour Distililery where you’ll find rich South African flavours and spices.
What date would be complete without a romantic dinner? Which are you going to choose:
A) Leave town and head to the beautifully decorated De Grendel restaurant for interesting and delicious combinations, award-winning wine and a view over Cape Town and of Table Mountain that is magnificent. My favorite wine of theirs is the Pinot Noir, so make sure you order a bottle with your dinner.
B) Treat your loved one to dinner at number 73 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, La Colombe. Eating here is art. It will blow your mind and then some. Expect flavours that you would never have imagined and dishes that you will dream about for days afterwards.
C) For one of the most generous winter tasting menus, you must give La Mouette in Sea Point a try. Opening at 6pm, they are kitted out with 6 fireplaces (perfect for winter) and their current winter special is R295 for 4 courses and a carafe of wine. It’s romantic and cosy and the food is scrumptious.
6. After dark
Welcome in the sunset with one of these activities:
A) If you picked A for your Dinner option, then stay and watch the sun set behind Table Mountain. De Grendel will really spoil you with their view.
B) Get touched at the 12 Apostles spa. If you’ve had an early dinner, you can still catch a treatment here as they are open till 8pm. Unwind in style and get all the stress and worry smoothed away at the hands of their fantastic masseuses.
C) Laugh yourself silly at the longest running comedy show in Cape Town, TheatreSports by ImproGuise. This was one of the first dates I went on with my husband when we were dating and I think I almost wet myself with laughter. What better way to complete your day than with uncontrollable giggles.
Phew, what a day! Helping me make my choices, and giving me ideas, was SA-Venues who have been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999. They are the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German and if you have need the perfect place to call it a night, check out their accommodation page.
I’d love to know your choices, why not leave me a comment with your picks.
This article was sponsored by SA-Venues but all views and choices are my own.