Situated 19kms from Rawsonville in the beautiful Breede Valley at the foot of the Waaihoek Mountain, you will find Bosjes. The steep mountain ranges hug the Breede River that winds through the valley.
This is one of those primal natural locations, offset all the more by the spectacular architecture found on the premises. You have two choices when it comes to food, are you here to eat (Kombuis) or are you here to snack (the hidden tea garden)? Both offer up delights, often seasonal, always tasty.
Aside from being a fantasy wonderland of a place visually, you will also be hard pressed to find a more child friendly venue, with play areas being safe and very visible from wherever you choose to relax with your food and wine. Speaking of which, the wine list is entirely local, which gives you an excellent insight into what the Rawsonville area has to offer.
For the more adventurous, there are hiking and birdwatching opportunities on this fully working farm.
As one of nine National Botanical Gardens covering five of South Africa's six different biomes, Kirstenbosch Gardens was founded in 1913 on the ethos of preserving indigenous flora.
We have mentioned the gardens before in the context of events held there, but as an afternoon activity, this place is tranquil, serene and charming. Majestically set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the Kirstenbosch estate covers 528 hectares and supports diverse fynbos flora and a natural forest.
There is a beautiful conservatory which showcases all manner of plants from drier and hotter areas in South Africa, as well as a variety of gardens displaying plants with medicinal or other uses.
The Treetop Path is an amazing treetop walking path that allows you to meander through the foliage, and peer down through the canopy. There is also a wishing well, beautiful hidden spots and amazing sculptures. We recommend you wear sturdy (-ish) shoes, and remember to support the botanical society!
Woodstock in itself is a bit of an urban anathema on the fringe of Cape Town, sort of inner/outer city amalgam of port, CBD and former low cost housing. This area (and De Waterkant) has seen the most extensive residential and small business revival amongst our suburbs immediately adjoining the city proper. Pick out some stout shoes, or hire a bicycle, we are going to look at some of the quirky and quaint things Woodstock has to offer.
With the weather being at its blistering best we wanted to explore some outdoor low-activity outings that bring together views, bands and wines for some laid back entertainment.
The Mother City has so much variety that it was incredibly difficult to hone in on just three for this week. We thought we’d do a bit of a cross-section, a little something for everyone, offering up a kaleidoscope for you to choose from. Key words for this week are; sunscreen, sexy shades and Uber.
Whether you are a collector, an investor, an expert or (like me) just someone who likes beautiful things with history, this is the premier market in the mother city for pretty things, expensive things and bits and pieces of the past.
Twice a month the top antique dealers in Cape Town collect here to showcase their wares including art, coins, medals, glass items, watches, jewellery, clocks, paintings, silver, porcelain. You could sink hours into browsing the amazing variety of items, and also speaking with the incredibly knowledgeable dealers and aficionados.
A holiday is often completed by a keepsake, a little (or large) something to take home, attach the memory of the trip to and treasure forever. This is the type of place you will find that “something” with ease.
Location: Alphen Centre, opposite Constantia Village, Constantia
Times: Second and fourth Sunday every month, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
This week we’ll be antiquing, hiking and wine tasting in Constantia, the leafiest, “old money” area in Cape Town, with stately homesteads and oak lined driveways. A mere 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre, it would be feasible to incorporate all of this week’s activities into one jam-packed day. You can make the drive via the Southern Suburbs or Hout Bay (slightly longer) depending on which side of Table Mountain you want to go around, but we’d recommend the Hout Bay route for the brilliant sea views along the way. Well known for its beautiful wines, food and scenery, Constantia will impress on every level.
Previously we did a post describing the Table Mountain Cable Car experience and seeing as there was some interest to delve a little deeper into the story behind our iconic landmark, we decided to put together a small collection of facts and stories about Table Mountain, and its place in our hearts.
This is a pretty and singular town; it lies at the foot of an enormous wall (the Table Mountain), which reaches into the clouds, and makes a most imposing barrier. Cape Town is a great inn, on the great highway to the east. - Charles Darwin in a letter to his sister, Catherine, 1836
Table Mountain has been named one of the new 7 Wonders of the World and gets its name from its flat looking top (sheared off ages past by glaciers) and the beautiful crown of clouds that seem to hurtle down the side of the mountain, ever disappearing into the dew point, the “Tablecloth”. It commands panoramic views over most of the peninsula, out to Robben Island, across Table and False Bay and is criss-crossed by hiking trails for all abilities.
Legend has it that the tablecloth is actually the smoke from the duel between the retired pirate Van Hunks and the devil himself, doomed to be repeated every year (the devils punishment for Van Hunks, who bested him). Truth be told, this is most likely a literary contrivance that owes more to Kipling and Rossetti than to genuine oral tradition, but this is part of the reason why Duiwepiek (Peak of Doves) eventually changed to Duiwelspiek (Devils Peak).
Another story associated with Table Mountain is that of the African Sun god Tixo who, along with the Earth goddess Djobela, conceived a son, Qamata who created the world. Whilst Qamata was trying to forge dry land, The Great Sea Dragon become enraged and tried to stop him. Enlisting the aid of his mother, they brought into existence 4 giants to fight the Dragon, one for each corner of the globe. As each giant fought and fell, they had one final request, to be made into mountains and remain as guardians of the earth. The largest of these was Umlindi Wemingizimu, who became the watcher of the South, Table Mountain, ever guarding against the wrath of the great Sea Dragon.
Fun Fact: Table Mountain is the only terrestrial feature to give its name to a constellation: Mensa, meaning The Table. The constellation is seen in the Southern Hemisphere, below Orion, around midnight in mid-July. It was named by the French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille during his stay at the Cape in the mid-18th century (source).