Hey guys! Hope everyone is doing well, I don’t why I’m being so formal haha. I know my Cape Town post has been a little delayed. And I had posted so many pictures on Instagram already, I didn’t know if this would be overkill. But I have lots more content to share, so here goes!
Sorting out pictures still feels a little surreal. I am not gonna lie, I had nerves saying yes to this, especially because I was going with few of the biggest names in the industry – Riya, Juhi, Shivani, Nikhil & Pryanca. Safe to say, it was an experience of a lifetime, phew! Read on for all the details!
Day 0 – MUMBAI – CAPE TOWN
We had an early morning flight from Mumbai to Nairobi, a long 5 hour layover & then another flight to Cape Town. At the airport, all of the girls were surprised with Vero Moda bags. Our flight was a bit delayed but we eventually took off and man, we all really wanted to just pass out. I had got myself a window seat (always do a web check in guys, always!) and managed to catch some decent sleep. The feeling of being mid-air is magical. I can never not look out the window when a plane takes off, you know? That rush, that feeling in your stomach, I love it. Who can relate?
Anyway, we landed at Nairobi in the morning and had really good breakfast at the airport. And let me tell you – coffee in Cape Town is amazing! The duty-free is actually more expensive, clearly no one shopped. I can vaguely remember Riya paying 1000 or 1500 for a can of RedBull! The hours passed away quickly and we took some airport ootd photos before boarding our plane to Cape Town. Why do I mention such an obvious thing? An extremely ill-mannered man on the plane called us out & insulted us and our profession, blaming us for the flight not taking off because we were outside taking pictures. I am so proud of the way Juhi & Riya handled that situation with utmost dignity. The flight took off half an hour after we had boarded, clearly proving that man wrong. :/ Some people really need to learn that if you don’t have anything good to say, it’s better to keep shut.
We landed at night and the weather was just AWESOME. I can’t describe how pleasant Cape Town is ; 17 degrees, windy and the air is so fresh. Bombay, who? I usually feel cold very fast but that was not the case here. We headed to our hotel which was approximately half an hour’s drive away, but not before going to the wrong hotel by mistake. But nobody’s fault – they had the same name. We were staying at Cape Sun, a glass building from which we could even see the table mountain! What a view!
We grabbed dinner at the hotel itself and ended up ordering some amazing grilled chicken, lots of fries and the chef was nice enough to even cook off menu items for us! What a warm welcome. We were visibly exhausted after the long journey and headed to our rooms. The next day was supposed to be a trip to Cape Point and the Penguin Beach & I couldn’t wait!
Day 1 – CAPE POINT – PENGUINS COLONY – SUN DOWNER AT TINTSWALO ATLANTIC
I had planned my looks back home so it didn’t take me long to get ready and head for breakfast. The buffet at Cape Sun is pretty good and so are the people. We got into our mini bus and drove to the very first location – Cape Point, which is not to be confused with Cape of Good Hope. On our way, we decided to stop at a few Instagrammable places, the first being a white sand beach. The water was TURQUOISE, almost like a filter. Now I don’t know the name of the beach but I think the place was called Misty Cliffs. We actually never went down to the beach, it honestly looked too far down from the road we were driving on. But we got some wonderful pictures as you can see!
Next random pit stop was an Ostrich farm near Cape Point. I had no idea that we would get to see them, forget feeding them! It was completely unplanned but so much fun. They really look cute in person and I wish I had at least one picture but they move too quickly! Sorry guys, but I hope you saw the video of me trying to feed them on my stories! We did stop once more before reaching Cape Point where there was a solitary bench placed right at the edge of the cliff, must visit with your partner for a cute picture or even an unfiltered moment alone in nature. In fact there was a couple sitting there when we reached, and I kinda made them get up 🙁 This was also where I realised that it was going to be super windy as you could probably tell from the pictures.
We finally arrived, and were greeted by monkeys, luckily they were pretty calm around tourists. You can visit Cape Point between 6 am to 6 pm and the ticket costs around 500 rupees (please correct me if I am wrong). We took a cable car to the top where the lighthouse is but you can also hike up there. Fun fact – somewhere in the distance is where the Indian & Atlantic Oceans collide, although you see no visible difference in the water body, just thought I should mention. Blessed is the only word that comes to mind if I have to describe my emotion here.
We were running a bit behind schedule due to our various pit stops and now were a little late for Bouldlers Beach where we were supposed to see penguins. We quickly grabbed some lunch to go and left. We reached and we changed into something more beach appropriate. The place is very well organised to protect the endangered African penguin species. There is pathway to walk into the beach and the penguins are on the other side of the fence. You aren’t allowed to touch them or feed them which is quite fair in my opinion. I even saw some baby pingus. It was good to know that they were quite comfortable around humans and well taken care of. There were also sightings of a local animal called Dassie – they look like a bigger version of a squirrel but can you believe that its closest relative is the African elephant? Do read up on it, it’s pretty interesting.
We headed towards the beach and chilled there for a bit. The name “Boulders Beach” makes perfect sense when you see the huge rocks at the shore. The water was so cold but crystal clear. Ahh what a break from what I see in this city of mine. The entry to the Penguin Colony would cost you around INR 200, it’s a must visit!
We ended our day with an evening at Tintswalo Atlantic which is such a hidden gem! It’s an award-winning boutique hotel/resort so close to the shore, it’s almost touching the waters. Also comes with a heavy price tag as I came to realise upon some research. But if you’re looking for the perfect place to watch the sun go down, this is it. We were there for the evening which consisted of good food, good music, and great company. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the day!
And the party was only going to get better as two more people were joining us that night , Mehak & Sarang!
Day 2 – BOKAAP –LUNCH – GIN TASTING – DINNER
We were going to check out from Cape Sun & check into Southern Sun for the remaining 2 days ,which was the hotel we accidentally went to first when we landed. I have to say, I preferred Cape Sun more for the view & the room. We were down with our luggage and ready to leave for Bo-Kaap which is a very famous area known for the beautiful, colourful houses situated there. There is a rich history behind this place. Originally, this entire land was the housing quarters of slaves bought from various places, including SE Asia & India and they were all painted white to reinforce the fact that the slaves had no rights. After the Apartheid, the slaves reclaimed the houses and painted them extremely bright & colourful to celebrate their freedom. I guess this also explains how South Africa has become a melting pot of culture. You can truly see a lot of Indian influence here as well. We walked a lot and clicked some pictures and left for lunch.
Lunch was at The Yard, which is an Indian – Mediterranean fusion restaurant right opposite the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Arts which was supposed to be our next stop, but got cancelled due to time issues, unfortunately. But you should definitely go there, it’s a pretty famous spot. The ambiance and the food both were amazing and it certainly had a lot of Indian dishes on the menu including samosas, which I distinctly remember!
A few of us changed and chilled around the area for a bit and I luckily managed to get a shot at the giant yellow structure that frames the Table Mountain. There are quite a few giant frames in different parts of Cape Town that show the Table Mountain from various angles.
Next stop was gin tasting at Hope On Hopkins Distillery. I was very happy to note that none of us were actually huge on drinking and I was not going to be left out. Well, except for Nikhil. I can say without a doubt that he truly and fully enjoyed this experience more than any of us! Hope on Hopkins turned out to be so chic looking (not what you usually expect from a distillery) – from the seating area, to the bar, to the distillery which was visible to us from the gallery all the way to the packaging – everything was beautiful. They also had pets there! I really respect the fact that this brand has been created by two very passionate people and I could clearly see that when they were explaining the process behind each of the novelty gins they produce using botanicals.
Everything is organic and our gins were served with fresh fruit combinations that definitely enhanced the flavor. Even though I am not a fan of gin, it did not taste “bad” like most alcohol tastes like to me personally. The artisanal gin tasting is priced at 1,300 rupees per head and open on Saturdays. If you enjoy gin, and want to taste the best of the best, do visit.
We went to our new hotel – Southern Sun, checked in, and I changed for the third time that day to get ready for dinner at The Black Sheep Restaurant on Kloof Street. This is known as one of the best & most exclusive restaurants in Cape Town so I was definitely looking forward to it, also because I had worked up an appetite obviously. The route from out hotel to the restaurant was so scenic in the sense that we could’ve shot really great street style there, but it was too dark by the time we left. I did manage to get a shot or two outside restaurant though. This looked like a hub for the best restaurants & nightlife here in Cape Town, an extremely chic area.
We were seated at a community table and the host (he was lovely and I hate myself for forgetting his name) explained to us that they specialized in using seasonal and fresh produce which meant that their menu changed every day! And if that wasn’t enough, they had prepared a special menu for us. Hats off to the chef and the staff for being so innovative and taking care of us so well. The way they served the meals was different too. It wasn’t one serving per person, rather it was several courses and platters to be shared by the table. We had totally forgotten about pictures by this time and it was a good feeling to just sit down, talk and enjoy a meal together. The food was brilliant and it was the best meal I had in Cape Town throughout my stay, hands down. There was Indian fusion here too, which made me very happy. They served an aachar flavoured mayo dip, something I will definitely recreate at home. This is one restaurant that I would recommend the most. 🙂
We had two more amazing days here so stay tuned for that coming in Part 2 of this story. And ask me all your questions below! Which place do you like the most here? Would you visit Cape Town?