cape towns best kept secret
The Southern Suburbs: Cape Town’s Best Kept Secret
By Joanna Hurlston

When it comes to Cape Town tourism, the winelands and seaside spots generally get the bulk of the praise – but the Mother City has a few more tricks up its sleeve. From the sweeping, lush vineyards of Constantia, to the leafy suburbs of Newlands – Cape Town locals will know that the Southern Suburbs is brimming with delectable scenery, and better yet, incredible places to grab a bite. And with the Mother City gradually emerging from hibernation, there’s nowhere better to spend a sun-kissed afternoon!

Although I hold the Cape Winelands and Atlantic Seaboard equally dear to my heart, the Southern Suburbs comes pretty close. There’s nothing that I adore more than a long, lazy Sunday cruise from the Cape Town CBD, along the gorgeous coast, over Hout Bay, until eventually reaching Constantia. And there’s nothing better than knowing there’s a wine farm or restaurant nestled at the end of the rainbow!

These are a few of my absolute favourite gems to visit in the Southern Suburbs:

southern suburbs - jonkershuis restaurant groot constantia

Groot Constantia

What I adore most about the beautiful Groot Constantia wine-farm is the sheer variety of things to do, see, and (mainly!) taste.

Both Jonkershuis and Simon’s restaurants are absolutely scrumptious, and frankly, I often have difficulty deciding between the two. On top of that, the farm also sports an Iziko Museum, gorgeous art, wine tasting and cellar tours. I would highly recommend for an epic, full day of fun.

southern suburbs - labelle restaurant

La Belle at the Alphen Hotel

The Alphen is a beautifully historic building which is perfectly amplified by its grand, leafy grandeur. I simply adore meeting loved ones for a glass of succulent white under the impressive ancient oak trees. The ambient restaurant is always alive with people tucking into homely breakfasts and decadent pastries. My go-to dish? The mushroom tortellini. The pasta is fresh, light and al dente; the mushroom filling is perfectly flavoured with just the right amount of truffle oil. Ideal for sociable afternoons lounging in the dappled sunlight.

95 at Parks

95 at Parks

The best thing about this restaurant (ironically) is the delectable salad menu. They have amazing creations, like the crispy baby calamari with quinoa, pomegranate, avo, kale, lentils and greens, and a 

Caprese with burrata mozzarella. Yum! A few of my other go-tos are the steamed mussels in tomato and white wine, the home-made pasta with rich, hand-cut ragout, and the perfectly grilled tuna coated in a toasted sesame seed crust. If you have a more carnivorous palate, they also do incredible meat dishes, such as the Fiorentina T-bone, deliciously tender fillet, sirloin, Karoo lamb and slow-cooked beef short rib. An absolute must!

southern suburbs - la colombe restaurant

La Colombe

La Colombe is one of those dining experiences that you may experience only a handful of times in your life. It’s a culinary paradise, embodying the meaning of the delicious words like “self-indulgence” and “spoil.”

In 2016, it featured as one of the top 100 restaurants in the world, solidifying its distinctively exquisite dining reputation. The service is beyond impeccable, the food even more so. This is exactly where to go for an absolutely unforgettable dining experience.

And there you have it! I hope at least some of these claims will sway you into spending a few sunny afternoons in the splendid Southern Suburbs – and I might just see you there!

And if you find yourself looking to stay in the area, browse our splendid villas. From the beautifully appointed Asheville and Glen Eagle to the timeless Mulberry Estate, we undoubtedly have something that will tickle your fancy.

Until next time!

Salut.

Joanna

ash restaurant bree street cape town
Bree Street: Cape Town’s Wine & Dine Capital
By Joanna Hurlston

If you’re a Cape Town local, you’re probably well aware that Bree Street has snatched a reputation as the trendiest and most sought-after strip in the bustling CBD – and it’s easy to see why. There’s always been an unspoken competition to determine the most cosmopolitan street in Cape Town. Initially, Long Street dominated with its epic nightlife, then Kloof Street took over with its ultra-trendy concept stores and restaurants. And now, Bree Street is claiming its place the new kid on the block. The only difference? Bree street has it all and more.

The contrasting blend of rustic colonial buildings amongst the ever-buzzing bars and restaurants make it a beautiful harmony of old-school charming and modern day chic. Throw in a few bespoke upmarket boutiques and hipster-esque hangouts, and it’s the place to see – and be seen. Simply put, the choices of where to wine and dine are staggering. So, without further ado, these are a few of my absolute favourite Bree Street gems.

culture club cheese bree street cape town

Culture Club Cheese

If you’re a huge cheese enthusiast (and let’s be honest, the chances are pretty high), then the Culture Club Cheese will become your new local. Their deli section serves over fifty artisanal cheeses on any given day, accompanied by delectable accompaniments, from salsas, chutneys, jams and charcuterie. On the restaurant side, they’re famed for their incredible lunch dishes and impeccable coffee, and they also do an exceptional breakfast. They serve breakfast dishes such as poached seasonal fruit with free range yogurt, stacked pancakes and also Banting options. For lunch, they serve cheese-based dishes such as pea and mint risotto with Gonedsa Boerenkaas and indulgently unconventional toasties, with mature cheddar, walnuts, caramelised onions and apple sauce. Simply to die for.

Visit their website at https://www.cultureclubcheese.co.za/

ash restaurant bree street cape town

Publik Wine / ASH Restaurant

Publik Wine Bar has always the perfect venue to indulge in South Africa’s finest new wines and bump heads with other wine lovers. It recently joined forces with Ash Heeger of ASH Restaurant, transforming it from ambient evening wine bar to one of the most indulgence and experiential dining experiences in The Mother City. Ash Restaurant’s menu has been crafted on the innovative method of “charcoal cooking.” The eatery is the brainchild of Chef Ash Heeger, who’s worked at La Colombe and The Test Kitchen in Cape Town, The Ledbury and Dinner by Heston in London, and in partnership with Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants. The service is beyond impeccable. Drinks are always topped up quickly and discreetly, table settings are replaced after each course, and the team caters to any request swiftly and professionally. Prepare to feel well looked after.

Visit their website at http://www.ashrestaurant.co.za/

chefs warehouse bree street cape town

Chef’s Warehouse

The Chefs Warehouse recently won an accolade as a nominee for the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards – and with good reason. The food couldn’t be fresher, and they put some serious emphasis on exquisitely impactful flavours and beautiful plating. The ambience is simply contagious, and the clean lines, simple wooden finishes and massive glass windows emit tasteful minimalism in waves. The view is the absolute pinnacle of the venue – so find a seat where you can watch the sky turn magenta during sunset!

Visit their website at http://www.chefswarehouse.co.za/

la parada bree street cape town

La Parada in Bree Street

If you’re looking to wine and dine in the throes of the Bree Street bustle, then look no further. La Parada is always purring with infectious energy and life. They serve authentic tapas and boast an impressive cocktail menu late into the night. The window-side bar is prime seating to perch and watch the comings and goings on Bree. If you’re one for an enjoyable dinner that morphs into drinks, that morph into an inescapable party, then this is your treasure.

Visit their website at http://laparada.co.za/bree-street-cape-town/

honest chocolate bree street cape town

Honest Chocolate/The Secret Gin Bar

This absolute gem is proof that you really can have the best of both worlds – at the same time, if you feel so inclined. Honest Chocolate is an artisanal daytime chocolate cafe that promises to satisfy your sweet tooth in the very best way possible. They serve the most ridiculous moreish sweet treats, such the volcano-ey chocolate “Bunny Chow” with ice-cream, amongst other unexpected delights. Neatly tucked away in the back is a charming, rustic courtyard that will make you feel like you’ve taken an express flight to old-school Prague. The speakeasy Secret Gin Bar boasts a selection of quirkily titled, herb-infused gin cocktails that will (apparently) cure any ailment, with remedies for The Head, The Heart and The Soul. An ideal spot for maximum indulgence.

Visit their website at http://honestchocolate.co.za/

And there you have it! I hope you enjoy these treasures as much I do (frequently, might I add.) Salut!