Cape Town Wineries

May 2nd, 2005, 10:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 15
Cape Town Wineries

We will be in Capetown for four nights this July following 9 nights at Wilderness Safari camps in Botswana. This will be a return trip to the camps in Botswana and a first time to the Cape (literally cannot wait!!)

Wondering if I might pick the big red wine lovers palates- which wineries are the not to miss there? We will be doing a kayak penguin trip while there and an all day cape peninsula and then table mountain tour with a driver. Want advice also on great restaurants and shopping (tanzanite, baskets?, beaded jewelry? etc)
Much thanks-
pinelakemo is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

If you are looking for red wine I would not miss out on the following winefarms:

Rust en Vrede
Continuously have wines in the Win Spectator top 100. Wonderful farm to visit with magnificent old Cape Dutch houses

Ernie Els
The wines on the farm (owned by the golfer) are excellent but ridiculously outpriced however if you want see to what is probably the most spectacular winefarm in the Western Cape then visit this new farm on the block. Its a MUST!

Specialists in Pinotage and when you come to SA you just have to drink our very own Pinotage. Ask the staff on the farm to introduce you to Delilah (Community worker on the farm) so that she can show you how this farm is uplifting its staff. A wonderful surprise awaits you.

When it comes to kayaking with penguins in July all I can say is watch the weather as I dont think your chances of doing this are too good. Your second option would then be to simply go to Foxy Beach at the Boulders and enjoy the experience of seeing all the penguins on the beach.

Quite a number of the restaurants that I am going to mention in this mail are totally unknown to most and I have always frequented these establishments as special eating places for my own visitors to Cape Town.

If you are looking for a fish restaurant my suggestions would be:

Willoughby's in the Waterfront (no pre-booking at this restaurant)

Panama Jacks in the harbour is worth going to but I would not run too quickly to eat at this venue as there are much better in town when it comes to fish.

Baia in the Waterfront. 4210935) Excellent fish restaurant and first clas dining facility however on the expensive side (by local standards).

The big hidden secret fish place in Cape Town is Tangos (7126631) This is a venue that locals seem to have kept to themselves. You will hardly ever see tourists at this local family type fish venue. It is rather far out of the city center (25 minutes away in Kendall Road) but imho this is the very best fish restaurant in Cape Town. When you are in this restaurant you soon realize that fresh fish is being brought through the door minutes after being caught in the local Kalk Bay harbour. Furthermore if you want to find great varieties of local fish Tangos is the place to eat. My favorite fish that I generally eat at this venue is musslecracker. You will have to go hunting all over Cape Town for to find in another local restaurant serving this delicious fish variety.

If you have a lunchtime restaurant opportunity may I suggest that you stop at Kalkies in the Kalk Bay harbour. Now here’s a real typical Cape Town experience to want to savor with fresh fish being served that was caught on the day in the Kalk Bay harbour. Furthermore you wont find tourists at this venue as it seems to be too down market from the outside so what you finds is that all the locals eat there because it is such a treasure. Try and experience this great culinary experience when in our city.

Btw when it comes to eating fish most establishments will serve you local fish in the form of Cob (Kabeljou, Kingklip (Local to Cape Town, Cape salmon, Yellowtail and if you are lucky Musslecracker. When it comes to the shelled variety of fish you will be able
to find crayfish (smaller than American lobster but definitely more substance to the meat and sweeter), prawns (Shrimp in the USA) and maybe giant prawns (prawns in the USA). All in all when it comes to shelled fish I say again be forewarned against being ripped off and DONT think in Dollar terms when ordering, think in Rand terms relative to what you will have already learnt as far a local values are concerned. I am telling you all of the above so as to help you when it comes to eating fish in our city but also because amongst others Panama Jacks have been found horrifically guilty with overcharging and ripping visitors off by some local newspapers in Cape Town

Spicy foods in Cape Town could land you up in many places:

Biesmiellah is a great Cape curry restaurant

Wangthai is a Thai restaurant that serves very spicy foods.

Anotehr great little secret is Zoerinas in Loop Street. This is a little take out selling Cape Malay traditional food. Few know that they have a little restaurant next to the take out where the rootis and samoosas are the best in the Cape as far as I am concerned. Note Zoerinas is closed at night and can only be visited during the day.

The big secret for wonderful spicy food is Bibis (7618635). This is the restaurant I would recommend most of all. Fabulous Indian cooking. Once again this venue is about 25 minutes out of the city centre and is situated in lower Kenilworth This is where our local Hindu community eat and the food is simply out of this world. Fair warning, no alcohol is served or allowed in this establishment.

A restaurant that I love going to and would advise visitors to go to is the Africa cafe. All in all a wonderful culinary experience that is hard to describe but a must to do. Whatever you do if you go to the Africa Cafe then make sure that you do not leave before 21h30 as something special happens in the cafe at this time.

You spoke of shopping. It is my opinion that the shop at the Africa Cafe is the best shop in town for the purchasing of African type articles. They are not cheap but their quality has to be of the highest order in our city. For more shopping move around on the Green Market Square or pay a visit to the Pan African Market in Long Street.

Make no error there are many other wonderful restaurants in Cape Town that are well worth visiting. The above restaurants are NOT the normal run of the mill recommendations that will be made in most "eat out book" recommendations. Willoughbys and Panama Jacks could well come in for mentioning in some of the travel books available or possibly by others writing to this page. The restaurants mentioned in my list are the ones that locals frequent and my advice always remains "when in Cape Town do eat what the Capetonians eat".

Hope the above helps you Enjoy our great city when you visit us .

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 01:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 15
Wow thanks for the generous detailed reply. We were thinking about doing a lunch at one of the vineyards, would any of these work? Or would you recommend another?

The kayaking idea is sounding less appealing per your post. I take it you think it will be unpleasantly cold and miserable?
pinelakemo is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

The winefarms that I have suggested do not have restauarnts where you could have lunch. As a matter of fact I would not suggest you go to a winefarm for lunch as there are much better choices that you can make from places in the towns of Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.

Make no error some winefarms like Delaire, Avontuur and Seidelberg serve a lovely lunch in a wonderful setting however I just feel that visiting restaurants for lunch that are all in vineyard type settings such as Le Petit Ferme in Franschhoek, Cotage Fromage in Simondium or 96 Winery Road just outside Stellenbosch are so much better food wise than the eating on a wine farm.

Just my twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 18
Hi pinelakemo,

In my opinion Vergelegen is the most beautiful winery in the western cape. It is located just outside Somerset West, about 1 hour from Cape Town. There are 3 eating options there, a rather expensive, formal restaurant and a more casual outdoor cafe. You can also order a picnic to have under the trees. The wines have been receiving some terrific reviews lately and there is a very nice tasting room. Nearer to Cape Town you can have a really lovely picnic at Buitenverwachting. Tables and chairs are set out under the oak trees on the lawn, booking is essential. (021) 794-1012. They also have good tasting facilities. Thanks, Selwyn for all the great local restaurant recommendations. I have taken note of them and will definitely be trying some of them out on our trip early next year. Have a great holiday in SA. (impossible not to!)
domesticgodess is offline  

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