I’ve always been a winter person. Who needs sunshine and short skirts when you can snuggle up to a fire and sip red wine with a group of laid back friends and a mellow soundtrack (this one is a goodie). In general though, winter imagery and winter ideas are inward-facing and home-bound; a series of subtle signals to hibernate.
Thing is it’s simply crazy to miss out on the winter that Cape Town offers those who love to get out and about. From outdoor adventure, inspirational events and creative gatherings to restaurant specials and accommodation promotions, this New York Times No 1 Destination for 2014 is an extraordinary winter adventure.
Last week we popped on our galoshes and twirled our umbrellas with our client Cape Town Tourism as we took the media to see some of the little winter gems that are right beneath our noses in the centre of the city.
We started at Kamili Coffee www.kamilicoffee.co.za a cool spot that used to be a sleazy corner of the notorious Purple Turtle. Totally face-lifted, this little cradle of caffeine is now all sandblasted brick and heritage windows. Join the regulars that are flocking to @kamilicoffee and note that you can buy to sit or go – as well as bagging some beans, ground or whole. They also do a lovely little range of gluten and sugar-free treats, so pop in and get addicted
Cnr Long & Shortmarket Streets
083 444 5375
Energised by caffeine and chatter, we headed up the block to Prins & Prins Jewellers in Hugenot House; a building that dates back to the 18th Century – it used to be the home of Dutch traders and was on the outskirts of town at the time it was built.
After an introduction to the building and the proud history of Prins & Prins by our host Stefan – follow him on @CTdiamondguy, we descended into the belly of this Cape Dutch homestead to find a Christmas workshop of little jewellery elves at work. Visitors are welcome to come and take a look too – and there’s more. Just beyond the workshop is a little museum to jewels. We pondered how the discovery of gems and the socio-political fortunes of intertwined and then Stefan wowed us with the biggest rock I have ever seen.
Prins & Prins is in possession of a 10ct diamond, worth around R 5 million – and it is a thing of beauty! I had an Elizabeth Taylor moment in that basement, elevating myself to an imaginary life of diamonds, yachts and celebrity auctions, but it was time to go. Make sure you see the gems at Prins & Prins for yourself – and bring your significant other along too.
Prins & Prins
66 Loop Street
021 442 1090
It was time to take tea! And where better than Cape Town’s best-kept-secret Luvey ‘n Rose - also housed in Hugenot House. Each time I go there, I like to imagine its my own home . Only, everything in this house is for sale. And we are not talking bric-a-brac and random framed prints. I spotted some Conrad Botes, a Francois van Reenen and a wee Walter Batiss if you don’t mind. This is all in among the mid-century lamps and chairs, aged Persians and beautiful occasional tables (I’m not spoiling your surprise with a pic).
If my descriptions had you thinking sessions of chess and cigars – then yup, you can, when they have their limited edition evening salon events. That morning however, we sipped on extraordinary tea blends from TWG teas (Luvey ‘n Roses’ house teas) and nibbled on little pastry somethings from Jason’s Bakery. The rain beat down outside and we talked about the many reasons why Cape Town is fantastic in winter, we could have been there all day.
Follow @Luvey_n_Rose to find out when the next shindig is. Or call to chat (you’ll love the French accent) on 081 013 4527
If you are considering a Cape Town holiday – and you are more hot chocolate and art than little dresses and beach volleyball – then think winter.
Investigate your options with Cape Town Tourism on www.capetown.travel
With thanks to Cape Town Tourism for a fantastic morning and to Leani Janse van Vuuren for the images not credited.