Cape Town is the stunning, southern-most city in the Western Cape of South Africa - a vibrant, colourful city where cultures, cuisines and landscapes unite. The exceptional beauty of Cape Town is surpassed only by its crowning glory … the magnificent Table Mountain National Park.
Magnificent Table Mountain - Image: Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons
The flat-topped mountain that is Table Mountain National Park overlooks the city of Cape Town, alternating magnificent forever views or surreptitiously covered with a white tablecloth of wispy clouds.
There is a local legend about the white tablecloth on Table Mountain - the origins are unknown but it is widely accepted that the Cape Malays were involved in the creation of this tale. The legend involves a retired Dutch pirate with the name of Van Hunks, who had a great love for pipe smoking. One day this pirate was smoking at his favourite spot - on the slopes of what today is known as Devil's Peak - when a stranger joined him and challenged him to a smoking duel.
White tablecloth or smoking duel? Image: cocoparisienne from Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons
After a long day of huffing and puffing (some locals actually believe this contest went on for days and days), a large cloud of smoke had enveloped the two pipe smokers and Table Mountain. The Dutch pirate won the competition against the stranger but realised at the same time that this stranger was, in fact, the devil himself. The devil was totally unimpressed about being beaten by a man and with a bright flash of lightning, both men vanished, leaving behind only their huge cloud of smoke. If ever you are in Cape Town look out for the wisps of cloud that often cover the top of Table Mountain and look like a tablecloth.
We recently enjoyed a whirlwind weekend in the beautiful Mother City of Cape Town
and these are my three choices of must-do locations to visit, especially if you have time constraints when exploring this exceptional region.
1. The Old Biscuit Mill
The Old Biscuit Mill is home to an award-winning market
375 Albert Road
The Old Biscuit Mill
used to be a … biscuit mill. Today the Old Biscuit Mill is a vibrant inviting little village in the heart of Woodstock,
where creative and talented people merge to impress and share their passions.
The Neighbourgoods Market provides a weekly platform for a diversity of talents
The Old Biscuit Mill
is home to the Saturday - come rain or shine - Neighbourgoods Market,
an award-winning market featuring over one hundred specialty traders. This innovative market
creates a weekly platform for local farmers; fine-food purveyors; organic merchants; bakers; distributors; grocers; mongers; butchers; artisan producers; celebrated local chefs and micro enterprises.
The 'old' embraces the 'new' with quirky architecture
The Mill proudly boasts some of Cape Town city's most quirky architecture and is a much-loved 'go-to' location for locals as well as holidaymakers, with a range of workshops; designer stores and restaurants available.
Spectacular artwork with stampeding buffalo
In the late 19th century, a mill-like structure was built on the premises and apparently the base of the windmill still exists somewhere on the grounds, but to date has not been found. The rest of the Mill's history is surrounded by mystery with elusive clues from its rich heritage surfacing every now and then, just to keep Cape Tonians on their toes.
Even TinTin loves Africa!
An absolute must-do for a Saturday morning - go with an empty tummy to ensure you can sample all the local delicacies for breakfast.
2. The Silo District
S Arm Road
V & A Waterfront
The Silo District
is located at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
and is one of Cape Town's newest, trendiest hubs. The Silo District has plenty to offer, from cutting-edge art to gourmet food and world-class shopping. With new additions like the Silo District, Cape Town is rapidly becoming known as one of the funkiest cultural hubs in the world, and worthy of a visit.
The Silo District is one of Cape Town's newest, trendiest hubs
The central showpiece of the Silo District is the Zeitz MOCAA
- Museum of Contemporary Art Africa - Africa's largest art museum, showcasing the stunning art of Africa and its diaspora. The architecture alone makes the museum worth a visit. The building is housed in a historical landmark, namely, the old grain silos, which were built in the 1920's and is made up of curved concrete lines, with light pouring in through the cylindrical structures, giving visitors a very impressive cross-section view of the old industrial site.
Africa's largest art museum
The Zeitz Museum is dedicated to researching, collecting and exhibiting art and houses an impressive collection of work from all over the continent and beyond.
The exhibition space covers 6,000 square meters over nine floors and boasts one hundred gallery spaces. In other words, visitors need at the very minimum, a whole
day to explore this incredible landmark in Cape Town. Plan your visit here,
with ticket prices, opening hours and purchasing your tickets online.
The very contemporary Silo Hotel occupies the six floors above the Zeitz MOCAA
As we only had a couple of days in Cape Town, we unfortunately didn't have time to explore the various art galleries, but just a quick exploratory visit to the outside of this magnificent building to say 'I was here!'
was sufficient to whet my appetite for a return visit.
3. RED Roof at the Radisson Red Hotel
V & A Waterfront
Nestled in the heart of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront,
also in the Silo District, visitors will find the Radisson Red Hotel,
boasting a very impressive roof-top bar, the RED Roof.
Entrance to the RED Roof
Guests can quite easily spend the entire day at the RED Roof hotel bar, soaking up the views over Table Mountain, the waterfront or hanging around long enough to take in a magnificent sunset, and all from the comfort of the seating area.
Spectacular views, no matter which way you look!
Sip daintily on delectable cocktails or health-conscious smoothies, all available from the Drinks Van, cheekily perched on the actual rooftop. A fabulous location for 'where shall we meet?'
or just to chill out and take in the enviable surrounds.
I guarantee your first visit will not be your last!
Cape Town, awesomely impressive beneath the iconic silhouette of Table Mountain is undoubtedly one of the world's most outstanding locations to visit. It's cosmopolitan South Africa at it's best - always welcoming and always ready to show you a good time.
V & A Waterfront - Image: HPBotha from Pixabay CC0 Creative Commons
Whether you stay for a weekend or stay for a while, your visit to Cape Town will surely be enriched by visiting one or all, of these outstanding locations in a city that beats to its own unique rhythms.
All images courtesy of writer, unless otherwise indicated