Cape Town – It’s still nice!

Here’s my usual round-up after a trip. This time I travelled to Cape Town, only for a short week and a lot of work. Nevertheless I managed to steal some time for myself and explored the city a bit. It had been a long while (some 15 years) since my last visit to Cape Town; I knew/remembered what to expect and was anxious to see what has changed since then.

But let’s do this as it happened…. first I had to travel to the Mother City. My plan was to do that with the Lufthansa in their premium economy class (I just refuse to fly economy on such long haul flights; those days are over. Since my still favorite Swiss airline does not feature premium eco I had to get used to other airlines….). But, a German union decided to strike the airline once again, so my plane wasn’t flying. I still don’t get how stupid people can be; it might be worth thinking something like that through `til the end; airline is on strike – customers are not happy – customers avoid airline – airline suffers and has to lay off staff. Not that difficult, is it? Now that took me somewhat off-topic, now back to the more fun topic again.

My flight was transferred over to BA and I flew to Cape Town via London. While BA does have a premium eco class the plane was, uuuhm, old (a really old B-747) and it felt its age. Fortunately I slept most of the night and only woke up shortly before arrival in Cape Town. The difference between a some 20 – 30 years old plane and a modern one became even more tangible when I flew back. Lufthansa staff was not on strike anymore and I had the pleasure (I mean it, really) of flying back in a top modern A340. The flight was still long, but comfortable. And hey, they even had in-flight WiFi!

And while we’re talking travel…. – use UBER while you’re in Cape Town. So much nicer, not more expensive than taxi.

Next up: accommodation. For the first couple of nights I slept at a friend’s place, but for the last three nights I stayed at the Grand Daddy hotel in Long street, Cape Town. The hotel is a solid 4 star with a couple of specialities. Well, actually one. It’s on the roof top and this is how it looks:

Airstream trailer on top of Grand Daddy hotel in Cape Town

Of course it’s not any ol’ trailers, these are Airstreams. On the inside the trailer is on the smaller side, but still nice and of course, special. Each trailer is themed differently, the theme of my one was “Gold Rush” (feel the bling bling?).

Gold Rush Trailer inside Grand Daddy Hotel Cape Town

One word of warning though: the roof top features a bar too and it’s right in the middle of the trailer park. Of course there’s a DJ playing on weekends, and he sure got the place bumpin (including the trailers…) – fortunately the sound only lasted until 8 pm, after that it was astonishingly calm and quiet.

Food and stuff (you saw it coming, didn’t you?). Of course seafood never gets better than so close to the sea, but meat lovers also get their share. So, in the order of appearance; these are the places I’d recommend you to go to: Steenberg (both the Bistro 1862 and the high end restaurant Catharinas. Very nice indeed. This time stuff translates into wine – needless to say that South African wines are just delicious.

Simply the best restaurant I ate in during my trip was at the Jordan winery. We stopped at their restaurant for lunch on wine tasting tour we did on Sunday and hell, I hardly ate so deliciously before. It was only after lunch that our tour guide (Stephen, also highly recommended) told us that we just had lunch at one of South Africa’s top restaurants. Not surprising that it couldn’t get any better after that, is it?

But, there were at least two comparable places . One night I had lobster at the Pigalle restaurant. It looked like this and tasted as good as it looked:

Lobster at Pigalle restaurant in Cape Town

I followed a restaurant recommendation on Bree street, Chefs Warehouse and I let this pic speak for itself (I’m quite sure you’re able to figure out what I ate):

Table at Chefs Warehouse in Cape Town

Bree street is nice to find small, innovative good food places anyway, just stroll up and keep your eyes open.

The tour through the oh-so-near (really, 30 mins from the city) wine area on Sunday was lovely. Stephen took us to small wineries all off the beaten track; think Vergelegen, Morgenster (where we also tasted olive oil), Jordan and Muratie. I told him during our ride to the first winery that DeMorgenzon is my current favorite and he just adjusted the itinerary and also took us there – brilliant!

Mirror at the DeMorgenzon winery in South Africa

Oh, and there’s a place you shouldn’t go to for food, seriously; just don’t! The waterfront is nice for shopping, especially the watershed. But just don’t eat there, take an UBER, ride it for a couple of minutes and go to a decent restaurant (like Pigalle…. ). I’m quite sure you’ll even pay less.

And here’s one last recommendation for y’all. I documented my activities on social media quite intensely. The lovely folks at the Paper Jet travel agency in Durban noticed (good social media monitoring!) and contacted me in a very nice way. Rest assured that I now know who I’ll ask for an offer next time I head to South Africa; with a bit more time. I will make sure that there’s enough time for a decent safari trip!

I loved this scene on Shortmarket street:

Street scene at Shortmarket Capetown

Street scene at Shortmarket Capetown