09:00 – Get a caffeine hit
Head to the Woodstock Exchange at 66 Albert Road on the fringe of the CBD and kickstart your day with the java enthusiast’s choice: an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe at Rosetta Coffee. Browse boutiques and galleries for a taste of cutting-edge design, marvel at Pedersen + Lennard’s furniture solutions, or simply fall in love with artisanal leatherwear at Urban Africa’s Atlier.
11:00 – Hike the ‘Pipe’
Put on your walking shoes and answer the call of Table Mountain. The Pipe Track on the Camps Bay side offers awesome views of the Twelve Apostles mountain range and is relatively flat, so you’ll save some heartbeats for the rest of the day.
13:00 – Life’s a beach
Depending which of the four seasons in one day you get, you might opt for an afternoon of lizard-like behaviour. Clifton’s 4th Beach is the classic (locals ‘own’ 1st), but seasoned lotion-lovers will want to head for the more intimate Glen Beach off Camps Bay that’s also a great surf and sundowner spot.
If the weather isn’t quite beach ready, visit the ever humbling District Six Museum, followed by a walk up Buitenkant Street for a steampunk espresso at Truth roastery, once voted the best coffee shop in the world. Then it’s time to browse rare and beautiful books at the excellent and well-stocked Book Lounge.
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15:30 – Back to nature
Amble home via the historic Company’s Garden, buy some nuts and hang out with the world’s friendliest squirrels; or visit the SA National Gallery that closes at 17:00. But don’t forget to leave time for the famous high tea offering back at the Mount Nelson Hotel.
19:00 – Hit Bree Street
The epicentre of inner city revival is Heritage Square on Bree Street, an entertainment artery with rollicking bars at one end and Liam Tomlin’s unbeatable Chef’s Warehouse at the other. You can’t book at the latter, but there’s a cool ‘waiting bar’ downstairs where you can order a pre-dinner snack from the daily changing ‘tapas for two’ menu. Your next stop should be Publik wine bar, home to Frankie Fenner Meats and the charcoal-fuelled Ash restaurant. See what interesting discoveries wine-merchant David Cope has on offer by the glass, and buy some biltong for the next day.
20:30 – In the club
The inner-city love child of Luke ‘Test Kitchen’ Dale-Roberts and his wife Sandalene is The Shortmarket Club, where Pot Luck’s head chef/manager duo, Westley Randles and Simon Widdison, get to do their own thing. It’s a fitting stage for ridiculously fine fare, such as six-week old rib-eye on the bone, seared on a Rooikrans-fired grill.
23:00 – Cap the night
Finish off the night next door at House of Machines. Order the best Old Fashioned in town before following the beautiful people to the tiny bar behind the Honest Chocolate Shop on 64 Wales Street – or go back up Bree to Mother’s Ruin, just to prove the city’s credentials as a global gin capital.