Cape Town, in the shadow of Table Mountain, is a wonderful place to visit, not only for its scenic attractions, which are many, but also for its tasty delights.
Here are some of my favourite food-and-wine things to do in the city and on the Cape Peninsula:
1. Visit the Neighbour Goods Market on Saturdays for funky, delicious food - from bread, cheese and olives to honey, wine and baked goods. Find it in the Old Biscuit Mill on Albert Road, Woodstock.
2. Enjoy beautifully fresh fish in a romantic setting at Harbour House or Live Bait restaurants at Kalk Bay harbour. Arrive before sunset to make the most of the glorious views of the boats bobbing in the harbour and the waves crashing against the rocks.
3. If restaurants are too expensive, get takeaway fish-n-chips from Kalky’s in Kalk Bay harbour and enjoy them on the pier while you watch the fishing boats come and go. Or buy some in a packet from Fish Hoek Fisheries in Main Road, Fish Hoek (opposite the BP filling station), and go to the beach to scoff them.
4. Indulge yourself – if not your pocket – with an elegant high tea in the conservatory or lounge at Cape Town’s grande dame, the Mount Nelson Hotel on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. Affectionately known as the Nellie, this is where the rich and famous have come for more than a century, from Winston Churchill and the British royal family to Hollywood celebs like Leonardo Di Caprio. For a set fee, you can pig out in style on everything from dainty smoked salmon sandwiches to miniature savoury quiches, éclairs or decadent chocolate cake.
5. Bring your own picnic to enjoy on the lawns at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens during the summer concert series. Almost anything goes, from the Cape Town Philharmonic to Cliff Richard, The Parlotones to Johnny Clegg. Get there early to wander around the gardens first.
6. Go sniffing and spitting – or even better, swallowing – at one of the historic Constantia Valley's wine farms or along the Durbanville Wine Route.
7. Fab place I've just discovered for tea and cake, or lunch, is La Petite Tarte, Shop 11, Dixon Street, Old Cape Quarter. Delicious quiches and cakes in French-style tables-on-the-pavement setting.
8. Visit farmy Noordhoek for epicurean delights thanks to chef Franck Dangeroux of the Food Barn, who really loves what he does. The Deli & Tapas is great for breakfast or lunch, or grabbing something to take with you, while the restaurant on different premises in the same centre offers saucy wonders to delight your sophisticated palate without being pretentious.
9. Drop in at the V&A Waterfront for a vibey window-shopping experience followed by a laid-back meal with the choice of sea or mountain view. With more than 80 restaurants, it doesn’t matter whether you want linen-napkin fancy or paper-napkin casual, there’s something for everyone. Stroll around in the sunshine and feast your senses before you make your choice.
10. Visit the Chapman's Peak Hotel in Hout Bay for the best combo of delicious calamari (served in a pan) and a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean from the balcony. If you don’t have the budget for a meal, it’s worth having a drink here just to enjoy the sunset.