WHAT’S HOT RIGHT NOW IN CAPE TOWN: EXPLORING THE MOTHER CITY
While the We Are Africa tribe can look forward to a jam-packed schedule during their time in Cape Town, shreds of free time (like this Wednesday evening) or any extra days after the event offer a unique opportunity to discover just why South Africa’s ‘Mother City’ is one of the hottest destinations on the planet right now.
If it’s your first time in the city you may want to tick off the big sights – but remember to leave some time to visit a few of these lesser-known, so-hot-right-now shops, eats and drinks.
SHOP AT: INNER-CITY DESIGN BOUTIQUES
As the creative hub of South Africa, and arguably the continent, it’s little wonder that Cape Town abounds with design boutiques filled with take-me-home now collectables. MeMeMe on Long Street should be your first stop for clothing and fashion, hosting ranges from a selection of South African designers. A few blocks up you’ll find the colourful fabrics and striking designs of Heather Moore at Skinny laMinx, while down the road at Stable there’s a world-class range of striking homeware and décor from local industrial designers.
SUNDOWNERS AT: THE WILLASTON BAR, THE SILO HOTEL
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The most talked-about new hotel in the Mother City has finally thrown open its doors to the public. While you may struggle to secure a room at The Silo Hotel, the winner of this year’s DESIGN AFRICA Innovation Award, The Willaston Bar offers world-class cocktails with panoramic views of the city. Settle into one of the deep-buttoned velvet banquettes and order up their signature cocktail of Snow Leopard Vodka, Fennel, Grape Juice and Apple.
Local secret? Although the 11th-floor Silo Rooftop is officially only for resident guests, visitors can book a table in advance for unique access to arguably the finest views in the city. Sadly, the unforgettable rim-flow pool is out-of-bounds unless you’re actually staying the night.
EAT AT: LA TÊTE, BREE STREET
Over the past few years Bree Street has become the foodie destination in the city centre, home to everything from tapas joints to artisan bakers and specialist gin bars. Right now though, the buzz is about a low-key eatery down its unlovely bottom end.
Giles Edwards is one of the most unassuming chefs you may meet in Cape Town, yet earned his stripes as Head Chef at London’s acclaimed St. John restaurant, cooking up a storm under the eagle eye of mentor Fergus Henderson. He has now brought that same sustainable ethos to his hometown, and is dishing up remarkable nose-to-tail cuisine at La Tête. Expect everything from crispy pig’s tails to caramelised ox heart on the menu; but if you’re not feeling adventurous you’ll still find inventive takes on everything from fresh local fish to vegetarian dishes.
The bad news? Since CNN named it one of the best new restaurants in the world for 2017, bookings are like hen’s teeth. Even if those aren’t yet on the menu.
OR TRY: THALI, PARK ROAD
Another excellent choice for dinner is the latest offering from chef Liam Tomlin, Thali, who has set the bar for ‘small plate’ tapas-style dining in Cape Town at his Chefs Warehouse & Canteen. Here he recreates the contemporary tapas experience with an Indian bent, and an extremely simple menu: tapas for two at R650. End of discussion.
That’s no hardship though, as the variety of courses meander from tandoori chicken to black dhal to golden curries spiked with turmeric, ginger and saffron. For dessert, expect the likes of cardamom-infused gulab jamun doughnuts. The menu changes regularly, but expect top-notch small plate dining from one of the city’s most respected chefs.
NIGHTCAP HERE: OUTRAGE OF MODESTY
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John Lee Hooker's cover of the song 'One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer' inspired Greg Seider to get all of those elements into one glass. With a little elbow grease, the John Lee Hooker was incarnated and has found a happy home at OoM. • Scotch Mist, Kentucky Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Asian Cinnamon Agave, Orange + Sarsaparilla Bitters and a Splash of IPA Beer. • Hit the link in bio for bookings – Open from 6pm.
Mixologist Luke Whearty made his name with Operation Dagger in Singapore, and has since exported his groundbreaking cocktail culture to this dark and brooding space in Cape Town’s Shortmarket Street. In the past 18 months Outrage has built a firm local following thanks to its array of seasonal hyper-local cocktail creations. With only 24 seats in the house, reservations are recommended.