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made in cape town with love

For 24 years the Leone Family has been producing quality baked goods in Cape Town under the flag of their Leo Foods brand, and more recently, their Emporio Leone flagship retail store and Espresso Bar in the V&A Waterfront.
With a focus on artisan quality and innovative, unique products, the Leone Family bakes small batches from scratch using traditional methods and fresh, quality ingredients.

In celebration of Cape Town’s culinary heritage and of their own history of baking in the Mother City, Leo Foods and Emporio Leone are launching their “Made in Cape Town with Love” campaign, which will focus attention on the local origin of their products, while reminding customers of the rich food culture celebrated in Cape Town.

“Made in Cape Town with Love is an ode to Cape Town, the history of Cape Town’s food culture and the history of the Leone Family as a part of this” comments Dylan Leone, third generation Leone family food enthusiast and co-owner of Leo Foods and Emporio Leone.

Watch out for the “Made in Cape Town with Love” logo appearing on Leo Foods packaging and throughout the Emporio Leone store at the V&A Waterfront, and follow Emporio Leone on Facebook and Twitter as they celebrate 24 years of baking in Cape Town.

We love the Emporio Leone Christmas hamper, which would make a wonderful gift, but highly recommend a visit to see the full range of festive fare.

EMPORIO LEONE
021 421 8518
Shop 6104 the Wharf Shopping Cntr, V&A Waterfront
Website

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our favourite things at gabriëlskloof

Excitement is mounting for the very popular annual Our Favourite Things Market.

What started as an idea to have a small selection of favourite local suppliers and amazing producers show off their stuff once a year along with some good food, fantastic wines and live music has become a very special niche market at family-owned Gabriëlskloof.

It’s not just a Christmas Market. It’s a Christmas | Evening | Kuier | Gifts | Foodie” market, with a loyal following that keeps growing market after market. It’s happening on Friday 14 December from 5pm and on Saturday, 15 December from noon.

This year about 38 stallholders will offer a selection of all things beautiful, handmade, homemade, delicious and fresh, including home brewed beer, French macarons, paella, champagne, beautiful vintage home wares, bespoke jewellery and clothing and so much more. You’ll of course be able to pick up some of Gabriëlskloof’s olive oil and olive and lavender products, as well as their wine.

The Gabriëlskloof Olive Oil won a Gold at the SA Olive Oil Awards 2012, while the Gabriëlskloof Magdalena 2010 was named Best BWI White Wine at the 2012 Nedbank Green Wine Awards. The 2013 Platter results are also exceptionally good, and include, inter alia, four and half stars for the Five Arches 2009 and four stars for the Swartrivier Shiraz 2009, Magdalena 2010 and Viognier 2010.

The team at Gabriëlskloof as also declared the recently-released Sauvignon Blanc 2012 their best ever and say that “with an elegant, fruit-driven nose and a fresh but creamy palate, we’re sure that this food friendly, layered wine is a true crowd pleaser.”

Market event page on Facebook

Gabriëlskloof on Facebook | Twitter | Website

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b-moved to lothian vineyards in the elgin valley

Lothian Vineyards is a breathtaking family-owned and managed wine estate in the equally breathtaking Elgin Valley, but before I get to the wine, I must mention the stunning, luxurious Lothian House, which offers accommodation for up to 16 guests. Situated on the banks of the Palmiet River the sumptuous décor, numerous indoor and outdoor entertainment areas and state of the art facilities mean you will never want to leave. In fact, it was shortlisted as a location for a recent James Bond movie!

It’s available for family (or friends) holidays, business conferences and intimate weddings for up to 80 guests. To see how truly magnificent it is, we suggest heading on over to the gallery on the Lothian website. We’ll wait.

Onto the wine. Lothian produces a Riesling, Chardonnay, Dessert Wine and the Pinot Noir. Pinot originates in France, but is made by an ever-increasing number of South African estates. That said, crafting a really good Pinot Noir can be quite challenging and is often referred to as the “heart-break grape” by winemakers. But with Lothian’s 2011 Pinot Noir picking up silver at last year’s Decanter Word Wine Awards, we can safely say it’s one of the notable ones.

Tasting notes
> […] has a bouquet abounding with ripe strawberry, blood-orange, white pepper, nutmeg and floral notes. The Pinot Noir’s medium-bodied palate is a mixture of sour black cherry, ripe strawberry and tobacco spice, with undertones of weathered leather – all of which are tempered with fine oak, mineral and savoury flavours. Carefully cellared, this Cape wine will develop in complexity for well in excess of a decade. When young it will partner perfectly with roast quail, duck and cherry pie, cured meats or fine cheeses.

By now, you probably want to taste and buy some, right?

Wine tasting at Lothian is usually by appointment, but it just so happens that this Saturday, 6 April, is another in the popular series of Elegantly Elgin Open Wine Weekends and the varietal focus is the Pinot Noir. Which means you can pop into Lothian anytime between 10am and 4pm to breathe in some exhilarating country air, have a swim, play some croquet or just relax and taste (and pick up a few bottles of) some really good Pinot Noir.

While you’re in the area you may want to check out a couple of the other 16 participating estates. Details and a map can be found here.

Finally, make sure to diarise Saturday, 4 May, when the Elgin Wine Valley once again throws its doors open to the public with excellent wine, great food, entertainment and fun at the inaugural Elgin Cool Climate & Country Festival. You can find details here.

LOTHIAN VINEYARDS
021 859 9901
Rockview Dam Rd
Elgin

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world design capital 2014

WDC2014 (World Design Capital 2014) is a prestigious status designated biennially by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) to cities dedicated to using design for social, cultural and economic development.

Cape Town is one of only three shortlisted cities – Bilboa and Dublin are the other two – and judges will be visiting later this month. An opportunity for the design community to show its support has been arranged at The Assembly on 25 July.

In the meantime, Cape Town’s bid is receiving worldwide support.

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the idea generation

Changeroom for IDEA GENERATION: fabulous belts made from recycled conveyor so you can save your wardrobe and the earth.

From Los Ramirez in remotest Mexico, genuine JEVER Vaquero boots.

IDEA GENERATION Retro Brazil Armchairs! No words are needed. The picture says it all. (I don’t want this chair. I need it.)

Besides these great products, Dondup is offering discounts of up to 40% on selected clothing until the end of September. Get there.

DONDUP
021 424 4211
167 Longmarket Street, CBD
International Website

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sababa kitchen & deli opens in bree street

When Tal Smith’s sister, Nirit, returned to South Africa from Israel, they decided it was the perfect time to add a open a second Sababa (which has been feeding the appetites of happy Sea Point customers since December 2009) in the city centre.

The deli’s neutral decor is the perfect backdrop to a huge central table configuration laden with homemade quiches, salads, vegetarian dishes and mouth-watering desserts, cakes and pasties (meat-dishes are refrigerated). The extensive menu has something for everyone, whether, like us, you want a little something sweet to serve with coffee or need to stock up your freezer with delicious family meals to save time in the kitchen after a busy day.

The Bree Street location also has a coffee and cake special for R30. The cake (all fresh-baked daily) is usually one of the following: cheesecake; carrot cake; frangipane and apple tart. Bree Street is also where you’ll find a variety of rogolach (the traditiional Israel pastries we indulged in at our meeting).

Last week a “Fallafel Night” was launched in Bree Street. From 6pm to 9pm every Thursday you can enjoy authentic fallafel, Sabich, Baklava, Yoghurt Pannacotta, Fresh Lemonada with Mint, and local beer & wines.

And if you’re out shopping in the vicinity of the Neighbourgoods Marketon Saturdays, stave off hunger pangs with their famous sesame chicken schnitzel in a pita with all the Istraeli salads, dips and sauces to go with it.

Hours are Monday to Friday 7am – 5pm, Saturday 9am – 2pm, with Falafel evenings on Thursday from 6pm – 9pm at the Bree Street location. Sea Point hourse are Monday to Friday 9am – 6pm, Saturday 9am – 2pm.

SABABA
021 424 7480
231 Bree Street
Cape Town

021 433 0570
Piazza St. John
395 Main Road
Sea Point

Website

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baguette sandwiches

When a vintage bicycle, basket filled with the most delicious looking sandwiches, appeared outside Deluxe in Church Street about 18 months ago, we were intrigued. When we finally tasted the sandwiches, and learned that owners Steph, lighting specialist, digital retoucher and man of many talents, and Luciana, a location scout for 11 years, started Baguette sandwiches with a mere R300, we knew there was an interesting story to tell.

While appreciative of Deluxe’s really good coffee, Steph was somewhat less enthused by the lack of food. Over drinks with Carl and Judd, Steph announced that he’d be taking matters into his own hands. Carl and Judd may have thought it a joke, but Steph had other ideas and approached Luciana with his idea.

Lucianna, by her own admission, is no chef, but she does, she says, make good sandwiches, a skill acquired, at least in part, by her preference for ‘real’, natural, free-range food, free of colourants and preservatives.

The best ingredients and a variety of really good bread were sourced, a vintage bicycle – supplied by film industry legend Braam of Propeller Period Props – was renovated and basket added, and Baguette Sandwiches was in business – right outside Deluxe.

It was an idea whose time had come, because Capetonians snapped up the tasty goods in no time; if you kept your eyes on the Baguette Facebook page, you’ll remember many a day when they were sold out in less time than it took to say, “Hmm, I think I’ll pop down and get a Baguette Sa…”

But, as they say, all good things change. In Baguette’s case, though, it was for the better. The same divine sandwiches, delivered to your office? Don’t mind if I do.

Baguette delivers about 800 sandwiches a week to offices and hungry Capetonians in and around Gardens and the CBD; just phone in or SMS your order and they will deliver. It’s as easy as that. Wonderfully fresh, simple sandwiches using the very best ingredients. Real good food.

While you can’t buy from the bicycles on street at the moment, due to the focus on deliveries as well as a bit of red tape, which Steph and Luciana are busy wading through as they are committed to trading within the bounds of the law, you can pick up a sandwich at Bean There in Wale Street. Perfect for those days you forget to order. Contrary to popular perception, even Capetonians get really busy.

Baguette also does functions, conferences, corporate lunches and more,but for all orders over sandwiches you’ll need to give a day’s notice.

You can also find them at certain events and markets. However, Luciana told me that these are chosen carefully. One of the reasons why they opted for bicycles was to keep costs down; less overhead means better prices, particularly given the quality ingredients they use. We suggest following them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on all things sandwich.

Back to those sandwiches two lucky B-guided staff members, Terri and Alex, got to enjoy. Alex writes:

Terri and I shared both, one a Wholewheat with Chicken & Avo, the other a Pretzel with Bacon, Feta & Pepperdew

Both were very delicious. Great amount of toppings and filling; fresh &delicious. My favourite was the Chicken & Avo. However, I would love to taste both again but swap the baguettes – so have the chicken filling on the pretzel and the bacon filling on the wholewheat. I think the bacon and Danish feta would work really well with the wholewheat!

Terri sums it all up:

This may well become a daily treat and may just convert all of the Foundry tenants!

The best way to decide your favourite, of course, is to place that order.

BAGUETTE SANDWICHES
0729615743
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the dog’s bollocks home brew

The Dog’s Bollocks home brew is exactly that: brewed at home by JP Zeelie and Rod McCall, to coincide with The Bitches Tits Secret Sunday Luncheon held last weekend, and, as The YARD’s Megan Eloff says, for a bit of fun marketing. JP and Rod also did the awesome labels. In fact, we think we may have found the only acceptable use of the much-maligned #YOLO.

The bad news is you can’t just stroll into YARD and order one. They’re not for sale. The good news is that it will be on the menu at future Secret Sunday Luncheons, so to try Cape Town’s latest brew, all you need to do is keep an eye out for the next luncheon and make sure to book in time. The best place to do this is via their Facebook page or Twitter.

In the meantime, if you haven’t yet ventured into Roodehek Street for some of the best sandwiches (Bitches Tits from 7am to 4pm) and burgers (Dogs Bollocks from 5pm until sold out) in town, do it. Go for breakfast, too; you’ll be glad you did.

YARD
083 440 7843
6 Roodehek Rd, Gardens

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b-served – hudsons burger joint

In 2009, Café Caprice’s David Raad and chef Ross Collins joined forces to open a stylish burger restaurant in Kloof Street. Cape Town was obviously ready for great burgers, made in house every day, healthier options, sides like the double crunch fries, and by no means least, thick and creamy milkshakes, because three restaurants and nearly four years later, Hudsons is as popular as ever.

The menus have been expanded at the outlets in Somerset Road and Claremont to include, for example, pizzas, but as Cindy Taylor discovered, there is much more to Hudsons than just simply good food.

The last time I was at Hudsons I was pretty bleak to find that the Lagerita, a dangerously delicious match made in heaven of Jack Black and Margerita, had slipped off the menu. But Hudsons being what it is, a proverbial old faithful hound in more ways than one, there was no doubt that I was going to get my Lagerita and all it took was just asking for it…nicely. You see, there’s more to a burger joint than just the burger. In fact there are a number of crucial accompaniments that make or break a place that go beyond the brand of t-sauce they use – the other side-orders, the ones that you get without ordering, like kick-ass music and a cool vibe. But you’ve obviously been there before so you know all that already. If you haven’t, you know what to do.

We don’t guarantee that every personal request can and will be filled, but we do recommend February’s Beer and Burger of the month. “The Mexicana” is a grilled chicken breast topped with nacho tortilla chips, guacamole, tomato salsa, cream cheese and lettuce. It’s just R41 for a single and R55 for a double. The beer, Maisels Weiss, is described as “a filtered Hefeweizen, pale straw colour beer with clean character which is soft on the palate.” It sells for R32 (500ml).

That said, B-guided general manager, Alex, popped into the Claremont outlet last week and announced the Porky Poppers – chili poppers wrapped in bacon, battered and served with blue cheese dip – delicious! Isn’t everything better with bacon?

Another thing we love is that those of us who live low-carb and don’t eat bread need not miss out on the awesome burgers; we simply go “guido” and have the deliciousness wrapped in crisp, fresh lettuce instead. And if you like your bun but can’t do wheat, there are wheat free rolls available. Just another way that Hudsons makes eating out that much better.

P.S. None of the B-guided staff has tried them yet, but we’ve heard the ribs are amazing! Next time…

Hudsons is open every day from noon to 11pm.

HUDSONS BURGER JOINT
021 426 5974
69A Kloof St, Gardens
021 433 1496
Cnr Somerset & Portswood, Green Point
021 674 5152
25 Protea Rd, Claremont

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images: Hudsons Burger Joint

street, Cape Town. To book a table call 021 4265974 or mail info@theburgerjoint.co.za

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daniel ting chong’s fun designer soap range

We love the results of talented designer, artist and illustrator Daniel Ting Chong’s latest collaboration. Wanting to make something fun and quirky, Daniel got together with Johannesburg-based soap maker, Nature’s Skin Food. The results: clean, simple, eye-catching soaps in fresh pastels that smell as good as they look. The yellow paintbrush has a lemon scent, the cleaver a peppermint scent, while the ice Cream is a combination of both.

These are available through local stores – try A store in Kloof Street – or directly from Daniel by emailing hello@danieltingchong.com

See more of Daniel’s work at his website

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The Velvet Cake Co

Satisfy your sweet tooth

Lower Loop Street is home to a divinely quaint place called the Velvet Cake Co. If you love cake and scrumptiously delicious muffins, quiches and all things nice, then this is the destination to satisfy your sweet tooth!

The décor of The Velvet Cake Co. makes one feel like you have stepped off the street straight into wonderland, surrounded by endless wonders that look so delectable, one wants to purchase absolutely everything.

Every single treat in sight is handmade with love, excellence and only the highest quality available, therefore no item is ever exactly the same, but every exquisite item is always superb.

The cakes are endlessly enthralling but the quiches and muffins are equally out of this world. There is a 24hour ordering time that is imperative if you are placing an order for cakes, not on display. The Velvet Cake Co. caters for any event and they have the fairy godmother ability to transform every event, party or gathering into dream come true moments to remember forever.

The Velvet Cake Co. caters for any event and they have the fairy godmother ability to transform every event, party or gathering into dream come true moments to remember forever.

Not only do they do large orders and sell mouthwatering products but they also sell one of the best cups of coffee in town, using only Bean There Coffee beans, the aroma coupled with a slice of salmon & cream cheese quiche is heavenly, to say the least.

Make a point to go and indulge at The Velvet Cake Co. the next time you’re in Loop Street, or visit their website with its wonderful gallery to allure you to come down there and try something awesome.

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Strawberry picking in Cape Town

It’s a summers day trip that will treat the entire family, if not just couples or strawberry lovers alone, and who doesn’t love strawberries. There is a completely different air about picking and eating your own fruit, perhaps it’s the realisation that mother nature provided these beautifully delicious morsels through hard labour and taking it from her bosom just makes it all the more delightful to devour. Cape Town has two of the top strawberry farms, and each of them have their own unique flavour of activities and entertainment. Below is a run down on these incredible places, make sure to go and take a whole day off to experience the phenomenal joy in strawberry picking.

Continue reading “Strawberry picking in Cape Town”

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Cape Town Day Tours

Whether you have come to visit one of the world’s most beautiful cities with its 7th natural wonder of the world set majestically in the heart of all its splendor, for a day or a month, day tours are extremely appealing. They appeal not only to tourists who have a large bucket list to complete, but also to the average Joe who is a born and bred Capetonian and who wants something to do with the family that is not only cost effective, which day tours usually are, but will offer an exciting excursion as well as an array of wonderful sites to see in a single day. Below is a comprehensive list of companies that offer day tours as part of their packages and whose pricing is definitely not steep, and the best value for money as well as excellence.

Continue reading “Cape Town Day Tours”

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#CTLucky7: Fairy tale adventures for real life

Go full werewolf and howl at the moon, make like a troll and explore the city by underground tunnels and explore shipwrecks “under da sea” with these seven fairy tale adventures in Cape Town.

1. Explore an underwater wonder-world

Make like the Little Mermaid and dive through an underwater world of shipwrecks. With a whopping 500 plus wrecks off the Cape Peninsula, there’s lots to feel your way through “under da sea”. Read more here

2. Go full werewolf!

Howl at the full moon from a mountaintop as you join our town’s villagers in their monthly pilgrimage up Lion’s Head. Or get off the beaten track and take another of Cape Town’s ethereal moonlit walks. Read more here

3. Listen to ancient tales 

Thousands of years of history live in the veld at !Khwa ttu, where a San guide will share his stories of spirits and adventure and, if you ask nicely, show you how to use a bow and arrow.

4. Do a Cinderella

Travel up Cape Town designer Stefania Morland’s magic staircase to a world of luxurious silks, beaded dresses and gold-stitched gowns. Then transform yourself into a princess for a night, or longer… Read more here

5. Transport yourself to a different realm

Get lost in the rhythms, harmonies and plays of light as electro beats at Cape Town’s top dance clubs transport you into another realm. Read more here

6. Make like a troll

Make like a troll and explore Cape Town’s hidden underground tunnels. This expert guide will take you through dark, cobbled canals that opened to the streets in the early 1700s. Read more here

7. Learn a magical art

Learn the magical art of meditation and create your own paradise of calm, power and beauty at the Tibetan Buddhist meditation centre in Cape Town. Read more here

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10 incredible dive spots in South Africa: beginner to pro

Forget about lazing on the beach; rather strap on your scuba diving tank to see what South Africa’s gorgeous coastline offers beneath the waves.

Need a place to start? Try Aliwal Shoal off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Regularly rated as one of the top 10 dive sites on the planet, this remarkable spot has something for everyone, from The Pinnacles (at just 15 metres) for the novice to the wreck of The Nebo in a more challenging 30 metres of water.

Speaking of challenging: Protea Banks is one for advanced divers looking for excitement. Plunging down to 40 metres, this site is famous for its sharks: expect to find Zambezi, Tiger, Hammerhead, Dusky, Ragged Tooth and Black Tip sharks hunting on the Banks. If you’re lucky you may spot manta rays and whales cruising past. It’s a deep dive with a strong current, so it’s for experienced adventure divers only.

Sodwana Bay is more forgiving, and home to the southernmost coral reefs in the world. The pristine coral teems with a huge variety of marine life and, if you’re lucky, you could spot turtles, dolphins or even a whale shark.

Sharks of a different sort are the drawcard at Gansbaai, just two hours’ drive from Cape Town. Billed as the Great White Shark capital of the world, the 60 000 seals resident on Dyer Island and Geyser Rock just offshore from Gansbaai draw in these impressive Apex Predators. There are a number of cage-dive operators in Gansbaai, but White Shark Projects is one of the best. In False Bay, closer to Cape Town, Apex Predators offers responsible cage-diving excursions.

If you’re feeling brave, you can leave the cage behind and roll into the warm(ish) False Bay waters in just a wetsuit. Experienced divers should hop on a charter boat and head for the wrecks of Smitswinkel Bay. The five ships scuttled here were sunk in the 1970s to form an artificial reef, and are today covered with marine life.

Not far from “Smits”, A-Frame and Windmill beach are great options for novice divers. Easy shore entries and shallow waters allow you to relax and search for the resident dogfish and pyjama sharks. Close by, the dives with seven-gill cow sharks are also memorable.

If you’re feeling brave Whittle Rock in the middle of False Bay is an outstanding site, but is also popular with great white sharks so a quick descent is essential!

In the summer months you’ll want to dive on the icy Atlantic side of Cape Town, where the prevailing south-easterly wind ensures crystal-clear waters. Add a dash of glamour to a day of diving by suiting up at Justin’s Caves, an underwater playground of jumbled granite. The 12 Apostles Hotel across the road is perfect for an after-dive drink.

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Find your favourite flavour at Spice Route in the Cape winelands

Beer. Chocolate. Even grappa. You’ll find a unique combination of artisanal products – and great wine – at The Spice Route estate in Paarl, a 40-minute drive from Cape Town.

Many estates in the winelands around Cape Town focus on one product: wine. Spice Route, however, goes further to become a one-stop shop for a range of goods from wine to beer, chocolate and more.

The reason it works so well is that great care has been taken in the selection of a range of artisanal producers whose produce perfectly complements the wine.

First and foremost, Spice Route is well worth visiting for the wine alone. The brainchild of Charles Back, owner of neighbouring estate Fairview, Spice Route was one of the first wineries to make use of the older vineyards of the Swartland wine region north of Cape Town. The result is a range of superb wines that will remind wine lovers of the Rhone valley and Languedoc. Their Mourvedre and Grenache are superb, as is the Rhone-style blend, Chakalaka.

Once you’ve sipped and swirled your way through a wine tasting it’s essential to explore the rest of the estate. Bean-to-bar chocolate-maker Pieter de Villiers moved his small facility from Hermanus to Spice Route in early 2012 and today turns out wonderful artisan chocolates. Your best option here is a guided tasting, where you’ll sample their 70% single-origin bars made with beans from Trinidad, Uganda and Madagascar.

Down the hill you’ll find the Wilderer Distillery, where you can taste the delicious range of grappa and fruit spirits from Master Distiller Helmut Wilderer. Alongside the distillery, their casual La Grapparia Restaurant offers wood-fired pizza, flammkuchen and tapas at rustic outdoor tables.

Lastly, don’t miss the Cape Brewing Company run by respected brewmaster Wolfgang Koedel. He brews up a range of excellent beers, including a pilsner, weiss and India Pale Ale. Enjoy a guided tasting in the brewery, or hop next door for  a beer and a bite at the Barley & Biltong brewpub.

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Hit these streets in Cape Town’s city centre for awesome design

Cape Town’s city centre is easily explored by foot – and that’s the best way to seek out the local design talent, whether you’re looking out for art, architecture, jewellery or fashion…

Cape Town’s city centre is a treasure trove of creative expression. The main streets and seach have their own distinct character and, together with the neighbouring suburb of Woodstock, have secured Cape Town’s place – after being named the World Design Capital in 2014 – on the global design map.

“Cape Town’s design scene is vibrant and diverse. We have tackled creativity in a varied way and in doing so are able to offer it on many levels, be it interior design, architecture, interior products, food, art fashion,” says Robert Sherwood of interior design consultancy Robert Sherwood Design.

You heard the man: get out there and spend a day trawling the city centre! Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes…

Bree Street

In the last few years many interior and fashion designers and architects, have opened shops in Bree Street, elevating it to Cape Town’s “Designer Mile”. Robert Sherwood Design, fabric house Skinny La Minx and Avoova – which specialises in interior products made out of indigenous ostrich shells – are but a few. These are set in and amongst architects’ practices such as Inhouse Brand Architects and Van der Merwe Miszewski Architects, accessories designers and fashion boutiques, and a number of gourmet restaurants and well-known art galleries.

Loop, Long and Church Streets

If you head down into Loop and Long Streets make sure you go there via Church Street. Long famed for its outdoor antique market, it’s a narrow street full of art galleries and jewellery design studios, and is also home to designer showroom and shop Chandler House. Further down is the Ceramic Factory, which produces bright and quirky ceramic home accessories in a range of interesting designs.

African Image, a well-known seller of African crafts and products from across the continent is further down Church Street. Nearby, in Loop Street, is Stable, a design emporium featuring innovative local brands such as Dark Horse, Indigi Designs and James Mudge Furniture, amongst many others. Next door is fine art and design gallery Ebony.

Kloof Street

Further up the city grid, heading toward Table Mountain, is Kloof Street – an extension of Long Street and home to a host of established local design shops. Lim, Klooftique and Loft Living all specialise in furniture design and home décor, while newcomers Ashanti Design specialise in vibrant home furnishings from the African sub-continent. The Lifestyle on Kloof centre hosts the popular loved Present Space, a design collective that represents close to a hundred local designers.

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How to get to the top of Table Mountain by foot

There is no easy hike up Cape Town’s iconic mountain, but if you are fit and fairly strong you can take one of several well-trodden paths to the top.

The most heavily used path on Table Mountain is the one up Platteklip Gorge, the deep nick in the flat top of Table Mountain that is visible from downtown Cape Town.

The path, which starts about a kilometre and a half beyond the Lower Cable Station on Tafelberg Road, is so popular that it’s nicknamed Adderley Street (after the main street in Cape Town city centre) by the locals. It’s incredibly steep and direct and there is no shade other than in the narrow section at the top, so don’t underestimate it. However, the route is easy to follow and thus provides a good, safe ascent or descent, particularly in bad weather. Take water and be prepared for some knee jarring on the descent. The route is about two and a half kilometres long and will take about 90 minutes one way (probably a bit quicker if you’re coming down!)

The Skeleton Gorge path, which starts in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, is steep but shady, well-marked and of only moderate difficulty. There are several ladders over some very steep sections, which can become slippery when wet. This was the favourite ascent of Field Marshall Smuts, a keen mountain walker, so the final trail on this route is known as the Smuts Track. The route is approximately four kilometres long and will take about two hours one-way.

There’s no shade on the popular Kasteelspoort trail, but it affords incredible views. To get there, park at the top of Theresa Avenue on the Rontree Estate in Camps Bay, then follow the concrete jeep track up until it divides. The start is not well marked but is fairly obvious: stay on the main track, which goes right, and continue up for about 100 metres until you can see a green signpost on the contour path above you. Leave the jeep track at this point and take the narrow path directly up the mountain to the signpost – you will see the cairn marking the way just after a big rock on the left. The signpost directs you over the contour path and up – a distance of three kilometres, about 90 minutes to the top of the trail.

Note that the Skeleton Gorge and Kasteelspoort trails go to the top of the lower, southern plateau of Table Mountain, often called the “back table”. It will take another 60 to 90 minutes from the top of these trails to get across to the upper cable car station on the ‘front table’.

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My favourite top-notch bars and lounges in the Mother City

Jessica Ross, Deputy Editor of House and Leisure, one of South Africa’s leading design and interiors magazine, has an eye for the finer stylings and ambience of Cape Town’s premium establishments, She points us in the direction of the city’s most sophisticated nightime venues.

The ornate Victorian theme of Tjing Tjing bar is evident from the moment you enter, with plush velvet bar stools, edgy illustrations by local artist Jade Klara, and a deep blue and white palette that reigns. Warmer evenings are best spent on the rooftop space, where one of Tjing Tjing’s top-notch cocktails go down easy with the sun. Evenings here are sophisticated yet relaxed so you’ll be as comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt as you would in a chic cocktail dress (or suit and tie).

De Waterkant is a vibrant hub filled with cool spots that beg a visit when in Cape Town, and Piano Bar is a great spot from which to take in the area’s vibe. It’s got just about everything you’d want from an upmarket night on the town: well-made cocktails, an extensive wine list, live jazz music and swank interiors. Dress sharp to get into swing with the lively ambiance.

Winding down the evening is easy when you’re seated in the chicest lounge in town, and the Mount Nelson hotel’s upmarket cocktail bar, the Planet Bar, is famous for their vodka Martinis, which go down well with one of the delicious bites from the tapas menu. It’s all about elegance at the Planet Bar, but that doesn’t make it austere, so think upmarket style in a laid-back setting.”

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The Greenhouse fine dining restaurant keeps wowing

The Greenhouse has been a staple of Cape Town’s fine dining scene for years, yet never fails to impress diners with food with a fusion of local and Asian influences given a masterful touch by executive chef Peter Tempelhoff.

Combining innovation without losing classical cooking fundamentals. That’s the goal at The Greenhouse fine dining restaurant, says executive chef Peter Tempelhoff, one of just two Relais & Châteaux Grand Chefs in South Africa. As the signature restaurant of The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel in the leafy suburb of Constantia (about 20 minutes drive from Cape Town’s city centre), The Greenhouse restaurant sets the bar high and rarely misses.

This is a Cape Town fine dining restaurant that stretches the boundaries of traditional South African cuisine, exploring local ingredients and African food traditions with a tantalising array of South African produce from the garden, bush and seashore.

A five-course tasting menu is the standard offering, with exciting dishes given equally inspiring titles. You can ‘Release the Kraken’ with octopus and ginger ink, or discover the ‘Flavours of Baklava’ as one of the two dessert courses.

“The focus of the menu is Africa, as always, with a nod to my time spent in Japan,” says Tempelhoff.

That philosophy finds expression in dishes such as ‘4 degrees of cheese’, using the most-awarded indigenous cheese in South Africa, the ‘Huguenot’ from Dalewood Fromage outside Stellenbosch on the outskirts of Cape Town.

Alongside the standard tasting menus you’ll find the signature menus that focus on vegetarian dishes; African cuisines, given a fine dining bent, of course; as well as the ‘Virtues of Dom Pérignon’ menu that pairs each dish with this acclaimed French champagne.

Another highlight on this Cape Town restaurant’s menu is the African Single Origin Coffee tasting. Tempelhoff combines remarkable coffee beans from both Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, and Rwanda to end off the Greenhouse experience in a most memorable way.

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Try these downtown bars for everything from pale ale to craft gin

Cape Town’s city centre is home to some of the best and busiest craft bars and lounges that offer anything from craft beers to speciliaty cocktails, and cater to a host of different tastes and moods.

In Park Road off Kloof Street lies the Casablanca-inspired Ricks Café Americain restaurant and bar. The 100-year-old Victorian building boasts numerous nooks and crannies where you can sip leisurely on a Casablanca cocktail or sprawl on a deck chair and enjoy the daily Happy Hour special.

If you’re looking for something a little livelier, The Dubliner in Long Street is the perfect spot for a night of entertainment. Cape Town’s first authentic Irish pub has Guinness and Kilkenny beer on tap and showcases live music every night of the week, making it a favourite amongst tourists.

Tucked away around the corner off Long Street is Julep. This cosy cocktail bar is a favourite amongst locals, as its location makes it a low-key venue that spins various genres of music until the early hours of the morning.

Further down Long Street is the yellow building that housesof Beerhouse, the bustling hub of all things beer, with 25 different draught beers on tap. For those who prefer their beer in a more laid back setting, Weinhaus & Beer Garden on Bree Street is more fitting, with a craft beer, wine and cocktail menu that can be enjoyed in their cosy cobblestoned courtyard.

Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar further down Bree Street is a must for any gin connoisseur and houses over 80 local and international varieties of quality gin and an extensive menu of gin-inspired cocktails.

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Where to eat on the Camps Bay ‘Strip’

The Camps Bay “Strip” is perhaps the most glamorous corner of Cape Town: palm-lined boulevards straight out of Miami fringed by drop-dead gorgeous beaches. No wonder tourists and locals love to watch the sunset here. But once the light is gone, where to eat? There’s no shortage of restaurants, but it pays to choose carefully. Here are some of my favourites…

You could do worse than booking ahead for a table at Umi. This Japanese “small plates” restaurant is, unlike many other eateries, raised above street level, allowing for an unobstructed view of the beach and Atlantic Ocean. And the food is delicious, with a range of sushi plates and innovative Japanese options.

Next door, Del Mar does the same for modern Mexican cuisine. The décor is as contemporary as the cooking, with a decidedly upmarket take on traditional antojitos (street food). These small plates include everything from tacos to ceviche, while main courses focus on grilled meats and seafood. The grilled tuna in adobo marinade is particularly good. The prices aren’t shy, but then Camps Bay has never been a budget destination… those views don’t come for free!

Vicky Cristina’s is another good choice: inspired broadly by Spanish cuisine, the menu here combines flavours from Latin America and the Basque country into a fusion of fine fare. The highlight is the wide selection of tapas dishes, ranging from mussels in a saffron-infused cream sauce to pork riblets rubbed with coffee, chocolate and citrus. Don’t miss the traditional Catalan coca (flatbread) or the Brazilian-style beef picanha.

Of course, with that entire ocean glinting back at you, chances are you’ll be in the mood for seafood. Here your best bet is The Codfather, a restaurant set a short way back from the beach. A stalwart of the Camps Bay scene, this local favourite does top-notch seafood with a wide range of fresh fish available daily. The day’s catch is displayed up at the seafood counter, with all seafood charged per weight. Your fish or shellfish is then simply grilled, plated and served in rustic skillets. If you fancy an appetizer, there’s an excellent sushi counter.

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You’ll find ‘99 bottles of beer on the wall’ at Beerhouse

Want to taste your way through the best craft breweries in Cape Town and beyond without leaving your bar stool? Head to the Beerhouse on Long Street.

Long Street has earned its reputation as party-central in the heart of Cape Town, but it’s not all dive bars and burger joints. Since 2013, late night party people with a taste for a fine IPA or porter stout can pull up a stool at Beerhouse and taste their way through more than 100 beers from around South Africa and the rest of the world. Continue reading “You’ll find ‘99 bottles of beer on the wall’ at Beerhouse”

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Your home-from-home at Cape Town’s Waterfront

After shopping at Cape Town’s famous V&A Waterfront, come home to Kylemore Apartments and watch the sun go down.

Secure, central and serene – Kylemore truly is something else. This spacious new apartment looks out over the glamorous V&A Waterfront on the Cape Town foreshore. The best part is that it’s only a few minutes’ drive from the very heart of Cape Town!

Venturing inside this canal-front property is like stepping into another world. Everything is clean and white with sparkling metal and wooden finishes. African patterns and artwork add a personal charm. The lounge opens onto a balcony with a six-seater dining table and is perfect for sunset cocktails or a home-cooked gourmet dinner looking out across the private waterways of the marina.

After dinner, kick back and relax in the master bedroom with its ethnic-urban design, large, comfy bed and en-suite marble bathroom. The second bedroom, no less grand than the first, has twin beds and is ideal for children.

Waking up with the warm Cape Town sun coming through the windows, I felt refreshed after a good night’s rest. After breakfast, eaten on the balcony, I went for a workout at the Kylemore complex’s private gym with hot and cold pools.

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Cape Town Helicopters and the Cavalli Gold Experience

The Cavalli Gold experience – something artistic and definitely unbridled with an air of the sweetest perfection known to man. Cape Town Helicopters brings you one of their speciality flights which takes you straight to the Cavalli Wine and Stud Farm, not before flying over the breath taking views of False Bay as well as the majestically incredible Helderberg Mountains. Cavalli Wine and Stud Farm provides an exceptionally unmistakably unique experience in dining, wine tasting and marvelling,as well as an art and equestrine journey that will inspire and flabbergast you at exactly the same time. Continue reading “Cape Town Helicopters and the Cavalli Gold Experience”

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One of the smallest most incredible wine regions in South Africa

There lies in the Mother city one of the smallest wine regions, yet perhaps one of the most magical wine regions in South Africa, the Durbanville Wine Region. It is to this evergreen wonder that Cape Town Helicopters is waiting to fly you too. The actual flight which departs at the Cape Town Helicopter base at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and takes one of the most incredibly scenic trips across Table Bay into the Durbanville Wine Region, will wait for you whilst you enjoy a superb luncheon at one of the three prescribed wine estates or else a wine land of your own choosing, before taking you back across the beautifully awe-inspiring scenery, to safely land at the V & A Waterfront again. The luncheons which are on your own account are prescribed to be enjoyed at one of the following three magnificent estates, but the choice is invariably up to you. Continue reading “One of the smallest most incredible wine regions in South Africa”

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Cape Town Kids

Traveling to any place in the world with children takes a normal holiday and changes it quite considerably. Most destinations in the world do not cater for families with children, and this makes it rather difficult for the adults to be able to see all the sights that there are to see without having a babysitter that one can trust in place. However Cape Town, one of the most beautiful destinations in the world caters extensively for families with children, in fact from child friendly accommodation to wonderful restaurants to dine at, the Mother city has you and your little ones covered. Below is a short comprehensive list on where to stay, what to see, what to do and where to eat. Continue reading “Cape Town Kids”

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The Foodbarn Deli

With an holistic and vibrantly new age approach to food and all things delicious, The Foodbarn Deli is not only a restaurant, a brilliant catering option for any and all events as well as a jam packed deli containing everything your taste buds could ever yearn for, but it is also an existence of beautiful. All the food on offer in the deli is of the best produce as well as the most beautifully presented, the same can and is said for the restaurant and the manner in which all their catering is done at every event that they have catered for. The Foodbarn deli is a food emporium that welcomes every type of taste, no matter how finicky the taste is. Continue reading “The Foodbarn Deli”

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Cape Town Fitness

The world has finally cottoned on to the fitness factor. Everywhere in the world people have become health conscious and a large part of this is exercise. Keeping your fitness regimes up to date is usually a problem when traveling to other countries or even when traveling from city to city, as nothing is the same on the other side. Cape Town however caters for the health fanatic and fitness devotee. There are epic gyms at your disposal as well as morning or evening running groups that you can join, as well as designated areas scattered throughout the mother city where there is outside gym equipment for anyone and everyone to use. Your mind and body can find solace when traveling to one of the most beautiful cities, on earth in that your fitness levels will be well looked after, the list below contains the top two gyms, running groups and other various fitness groups you can join on your voyage in Cape Town. Continue reading “Cape Town Fitness”

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Horse Riding in Cape Town

The horse is an animal with the greatest spirit akin to man, a mans best friend and confidante, time immemorial. Cape Town’s beauty is known throughout the world, and it has on many an occasion been voted one of the most incredibly beautiful cities on earth. Sight seeing through the Mother City on horseback is by far one of the most soul finding and fulfilling experiences that one can have. There are many options when deciding to explore areas of Cape Town on horseback and this would sometimes make it difficult to find the perfect business for your needs, it is for this reason that the two top equestrian companies delivering absolute excellence and service with a smile are listed below.

Cape Town Horse riding

Cape Town Horse riding is most probably the largest of the equestrian travel companies in the Western Cape in terms of the wide variety of packages that they offer. Most of the equestrian companies scattered across the Western Cape concentrate on a specific area or type of package on offer, not Cape Town Horse riding. The areas that they cover are extensive and range from Stellenbosch to Franschoek, they offer wine land trails with package options including tasting and luncheons. The packages beyond the simplistic trails except for their beach trails are the Big Five Safari Trails, Multi Day Trails that are definitely worth looking into and the most amazing packages at great price value for romantic getaways. They are also extremely flexible in making sure that you are satisfied, therefore they will combine or create packages to suit not only the needs of the individual but of large tour groups as well. They have added their latest edition of Birthday party packages for the little ones. The packages include the riding gear, hard hats, guides, awesome party packs and of course the beautiful horses. Service with a smile and equestrian excellence makes them a definite company to check out. www.capetownhorseriding.co.za

Sleepy Hollow

This equestrian company are extremely proud to be the hosts of the SA Riding for the Disabled Association. They offer free therapeutic rising to children with special needs from previously disadvantaged areas including Ocean View, Retreat, Masiphumelele, Grassy Park and Mitchells Plain. Outside of the incredible work that they do for their community, they offer very fairly priced horse riding lessons as well as beach rides along the exquisite Noordhoek beach which seems to stretch on forever with its pristine white sands and cobalt blue sea. There are three trail rides every day accompanied by highly trained guides. Bookings are however essential. Contact them on www.sleepyhollowhorseriding.com

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Fun Facts you didn’t know about Cape Town

Visiting Cape Town as a tourist is one of the most exciting and exhilarating experiences that you will ever have, however the tour companies tell you mostly only what is considered to be the framework of the mother city, however beneath her skirt lining are incredible age old secrets that are really kept that way by the locals. It is a richly diverse city with endless places to visit that offer a lifetime of incredible entertainment and memories to be had, however it is the little secrets that give the mother city her finely tuned exquisite nature.

Continue reading “Fun Facts you didn’t know about Cape Town”

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Cape Town Dog Parks

If you’re a dog lover then you know that the hassle of taking your furry friends for a walk in the city or your home areas is usually one of the biggest nightmares known to man, unless your canine has the personality of a rabbit, it is not a desirable thing to look forward to. Luckily enough the mother city offers fantastic parks where your animal family members may be taken for a walk without the stresses that the cities promise.

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The imperative bucket list of Cape Town

You have just arrived in the exquisite city of Cape Town, found your accommodation, unpacked your bags and you’re ready to hit the town, but where should you go and what should you see? Below is the imperative must visit and must definitely do things in and around the Mother City.

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The Old Biscuit Mill

Nestled in the heart of Woodstock, lies one of the more enthralling artistic hubs of Cape Town. With a wide range of day and night markets, grandly dynamic office space, myriad designer stores, divinely delicious restaurants as well as an epic lineup of festivals, events and captivating productions.

Continue reading “The Old Biscuit Mill”

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Cape Town Best Things to Do

The hub of all things hip and happening, the mother city offers so many marvelously wonderful things to do that its quite impossible to mention everything in one single article, however because in South Africa we have a saying that goes, ‘Local is Lekker’ we have first hand knowledge of the most exhilarating and exciting things on the Cape Town menu and these epic and entrancingly memorable experiences are listed below for your pleasure!

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Cape Town Tours

Entering any city on the world for the first time can be a daunting experience, especially if you are not 100% familiar with the native language or languages if, like South Africa which has a grand total of 11 official languages. Cape Town does not seem like an enormous city at first and when entering the mother city for the first time, you probably know all about the most popular things to do and see such as the great natural 7th wonder of the world which is Table Mountain, as well as the famous wine routes and then perhaps even the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, however what most people don’t know when entering Cape Town is how to navigate to these places as well as navigating and seeing all the other amazing incredible entertainment that this beautiful city has to offer. There are also an abundance of tour groups and guides in Cape Town so it is often hard to navigate which are good and which are a definite rip off. Below is an exclusive guide to the best tours and tour guides that Cape Town has to offer, charged at extremely reasonable prices. Continue reading “Cape Town Tours”

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Best Pubs in Cape Town

The Mother City has an appreciation for those people who love their liquor, whether it be in small or big doses and she accommodates for both very well. The city bowl and its surrounds are scattered with pubs and the locals of Cape Town know the awesome adventure that pub crawling can be. Some individuals appreciate finding their favourite pub that has everything in one place and they don’t really have to lift their buttocks unnecessarily unless when nature calls or home does. The pubs mentioned below are truly some of the most comprehensively ideal spots in Cape Town, if we dare say, the world.

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Long Beach

Long beach is precisely what the name suggests… a very, very long beach. However, Long beach is not only a pristinely white sanded beach of heartfelt serenity but also one of the most epic sites to dive along the coast of the Cape Peninsula. The entire area is beautifully scattered with an intense amount of interesting and beautiful fish that are not common to the area at all, as well as an amazing marine life of colourful vibrancy, there are also several small wrecks that along with the winter visibility which is the best is an awesome adventure to experience.

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Boulders Penguin Colony

Dressed to impress, the formerly known ‘jackass’ penguin, re-christened as the African penguin, is quite the little charm. Although various zoos around the world keep breeding penguins, Boulders Beach in Simons Town is one of the main breeding Colonies in South Africa besides Betty’s Bay.

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Twelve Apostles Hotel

The prestigious Red Carnation Hotel Collection brings you more than an exquisite hotel experience, a heavenly convergence of earth, sea and sky. The Twelve Apostles Hotel has perfected the art of presenting and proving an all round luxurious adventure that will leave you rejuvenated and returning for more.

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Lila Vie Hair Salon

There exists the perfectly quaint, intimately exquisite boutique on lower loop street. The Lila Vie staff work like a little family, a rainbow of soul sisters, friendly, helpful and highly qualified individuals whom, together with the artistic design, create the ideal setting to beautify male and female clients alike. Continue reading “Lila Vie Hair Salon”

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A Picnic in the Sky – The Cape Wheel

Photograph by @Capewheel, Instagram
Photograph by @Capewheel, Instagram

Imagine having a scrumptious picnic in the sky whilst a 360-degree panoramic view of Cape Town from the V&A Waterfront surrounds you. The Cape Wheel at The V&A Waterfront presents this magical experience. The vista from The Cape Wheel includes the breathtaking Cape Town skyline, Paarl mountains, the Cape Town Stadium, Robben Island and the majestic Table Mountain. Continue reading “A Picnic in the Sky – The Cape Wheel”

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The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – V&A Waterfront

Waterfront ShoppingDare to dream of a place where there is a myriad choice of everything you can think of, coupled with a large amount of awesomeness and then stop dreaming because that absolutely phenomenal place is The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Continue reading “The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – V&A Waterfront”

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The Iconic Lions Head

summitStanding on the summit of Lions Head is a thrilling feeling, the entire Cape Town is at your feet, seemingly small, buzzing and beautifully captivating. The vista of Cape Town from the Crown of Lions Head is truly beyond words, beyond photographs, it has to be experienced, you have to make the climb. It takes approximately 45min – 1.5hr to climb to the summit, and it’s not without its minor challenges of chains and ladders but it is definitely well worth it. Always remember to take water when climbing! Many a full moon sees groups of people hiking up Lions Head. The daytime hike and viewing reward is phenomenal but the full moon from the summit of Lions Head is seriously something else. Continue reading “The Iconic Lions Head”

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Mother City Skydiving

Mother City SkydivingSober and willing, you are strapped up and all the paperwork is signed. On the fixed-wing, propeller whirring and its take off. This is where the adrenaline begins to build up and the butterflies furiously flutter. It is only high above the clouds, when Cape Town looks like a beautiful quilt of greens, yellows and blues, that it’s time to turn and face feeling the freedom of flying. With a highly trained professional strapped to your back, you jump. There is no way to describe the feeling of skydiving, it is something that must be experienced. Tandem jumping is the safest way to experience skydiving, whether you are a complete neophyte or it’s your twentieth time. With a highly-trained professional, there is really nothing to worry about other than to feel the wind rushing into your face as the colours below you find form, and the ground gets closer.

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Famous Long Street

Long Street, Cape Town. By day, the myriad bookshops and little corner cafes with their individually pleasing personalities are just as enticing as the night life Long Street has to offer. When the sun is high in the sky, there is the antique arcade with its tiny shops containing its trove of treasures; from books to fill the fantasies of every mind, to pocket watches, Scottish rabbit tail charms, large Indonesian Buddhas and even Victorian style costumes. There are coffee aromas filling the air as you walk down the street, dancing from every cafe inviting you to come and sample its specific perfections. There is eye candy everywhere your eyes look. Not a corner without a paragon, not a door without a tale or two to tell…

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Rigged out for coffee lovers

Cape Town is in itself rigged out for coffee lovers, it’s vast understanding of the coffee culture is as unique and diverse as the people who reside in the bosom of Table Mountain. There are, however, with the technological necessities of our fast paced lifestyle, certain coffee bars; hubs and quaint little shops that simply deliver the entire package imperative for a completely comfortable delicious experience. These perfect ‘coffices’ are listed below:
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Ten best things to do at night in Cape Town

Every city and place on earth changes when the sun sets. The mother city does so with an elegant graceful beauty that gives visitors and locals incredibly exquisite sunsets to red carpet their entrance into the nightlife that she offers up with butterflies in every stomach for the intensely wide variety of entertainment that rises when the day falls. Clubs, pubs, theatres and night excitement in Cape Town is an entire world on its own and has been reviewed as being just as captivating to the soul as the exquisite beauty that the day offers to those who find themselves in the bosom of the mother city.

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Budget Getaways in Cape Town

Travelling abroad can be quite pricey and most tourists are on a budget today, no matter what country they visit. Luckily the Mother City understands that there are those budget travellers and offers exceptionally fantastic places for budget prices. So you still get the thrill of fantastic accommodation in one of the most beautiful cities in Cape Town, but you only pay a quarter of what you would in a 5 star hotel.

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The Castle of Good Hope

South Africa has one of the richest historical sites known to man, Cape Town however is home to the oldest existing colonial building in South Africa, The Castle of Good Hope. A national monument and provincial heritage site that’s rich history makes this a definite bucket list experience.

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The Table Bay Hotel

Part of The Sun International Group, and one of the leading hotels of the world, The Table Bay Hotel is royalty right in the heart of the V&A Waterfront.

Opened by the late President of South Africa, and Father to the Rainbow Nation, Nelson Mandela in 1997, this hotel offers an atmosphere of excellence unparalleled. Continue reading “The Table Bay Hotel”

City Sightseeing Bus Tour in Cape Town

The iconic hop on hop off red bus is a common sight throughout Cape Town! City Sightseeing Bus Tour in Cape Town.

This is because the City Sightseeing Bus is undoubtedly one of the more convenient and enjoyable travel modes for visitors and locals to immerse themselves in the bustling cosmopolitan city centre.

Or spend a day discovering the unique landscapes of Table Mountain, Atlantic and Indian Ocean peninsula, and world-renowned wine farms.

The Blue Mini Peninsula Tour travels throughout Cape Town, and stops at numerous attractions. The assortment of stops along this route are designed to give every traveller an opportunity to experience what is uniquely Cape Town, and according to individual preferences.

For example, hop off at Imizamo Yethu and partake in the township walk; or alternatively, amble through the world-renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Red Line Tour

The Purple Wine Tasting Tour is City Sightseeing Bus designed to provide users with a distinctively Cape Town wine-tasting experience on the slopes of Table Mountain, but a mere15 minutes from the central city.

There are three stops at top wine farms, including the oldest wine farm in South Africa, Groot Constantia. Take a stroll around the farm, partake in wine tasting, or enjoy a lunch on the terrace of City Sightseeing Bus.

There are three stops at top wine farms, including the oldest wine farm in South Africa, Groot Constantia. Take a stroll around the farm, partake in wine tasting, or enjoy a lunch on the terrace of top restaurant, Jonkerhuis.

If you would prefer to catch some sun, visitors can purchase a picnic basket and relax under age-old oak trees.

Blue Line Tour

The Yellow Downtown Tour provides users with a convenient and elevated view of the city centre. The stops are conveniently placed near to museums, historical buildings, and top restaurants, bistros and bars throughout Cape Town CBD.

This is perhaps one of the best ways of exploring the city and of experiencing the energy which is unique to Cape Town.

A new route recently launched offers an alternative wine tour in the award-winning wine regions of Franschoek and Stellenbosch.

Orange Line Tour

Additionally, the tour commences with a stop in Blouberg, giving tourists an opportunity to capture on camera the iconic view of Table Mountain, Lions Head and Devils Peak by City Sightseeing Bus.

This tour includes wine tasting and cellar tours, and provides visitors with the chance to explore the historical French Huguenot town of Franschoek.

Book one of the four tours offered here, and travel to Cape Town’s myriad of top attractions.

Radical plans to save us and the planet from climate change?

Are these the most radical plans to save us and the planet from climate change?

There are those who think that by eating vegan, driving a Tesla and smothering their roof with solar panels is the answer to global warming & climate change may believe they are the solution to saving the planet.

They do do their bit but Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University believes this is little more than a chink in a much bigger iceberg that is struggling to save us all from disaster. The professor, who is somewhat pessimistic but is above all a realist has been studying sea ice for half a century and says “Reducing our emissions is not going to be enough to prevent catastrophic consequences”. His new book “A Farewell to Ice” outlines his opinions, supported by fact and presents a number of radical and in some cases theoretical ways to avert the looming doom.

The professor, who is somewhat pessimistic but is above all a realist has been studying sea ice for half a century and says “Reducing our emissions is not going to be enough to prevent catastrophic consequences”. His new book “A Farewell to Ice” outlines his opinions, supported by fact and presents a number of radical and in some cases theoretical ways to avert the looming doom.

His new book “A Farewell to Ice” outlines his opinions, supported by fact and presents a number of radical and in some cases theoretical ways to avert the looming doom.
In A Farewell to Ice 4 radcial plans to save us and the planet are worth having a looking at. These are:

Salt Spraying Ships

This is like something out of a James Bond movie where a villain tries to take over the world but it is actually theoretically real. A bunch of Edinburgh University Engineers have designed a flotilla of boats equipped with powerful pumps that pump

A bunch of Edinburgh University Engineers have designed a flotilla of boats equipped with powerful pumps that pump sea water hundreds of metres into the sky and then spray salt crystals into the clouds to reflect the sunlight that is melting the Arctic and Antarctic ice. The plan is to send fleets of these boats into areas where there are more persistent or larger volumes of marine cloud cover such as the Californian and Chilean coasts

The plan is to send fleets of these boats into areas where there are more persistent or larger volumes of marine cloud cover such as the Californian and Chilean coasts

Carbon Vacuums

A handheld vacuum cleaner in the sky really does set the mind racing but Peter Wadhams reckons this will dramatically reduce global warming. By vacuuming up all the greenhouse gases that warm up our planet is pretty drastic and requires quite a lot of imagination. “Direct air capture of CO2 is something the whole world should be putting its research money into,” Wadhams says. He also believes there has not been enough effort in building a vacuum for this purpose and that people lack any sense of urgency.

By vacuuming up all the greenhouse gases that warm up our planet is pretty drastic and requires quite a lot of imagination.

“Direct air capture of CO2 is something the whole world should be putting its research money into,” Wadhams says. He also believes there has not been enough effort in building a vacuum for this purpose and that people lack any sense of urgency.

The Supersized Space Mirror

The sun, we all know, is partly to blame for the warming up of our planet and if some of its heat can be reflected back, it would ease the global warming worry. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the possibility of launching a giant mirror into orbit to protect the planet from the sun has more than just been discussed. However, Peter Wadhams is somewhat sceptical purely because not

At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the possibility of launching a giant mirror into orbit to protect the planet from the sun has more than just been discussed. However, Peter Wadhams is somewhat sceptical purely because not practical plan, as yet, has been put forward and the cost would be outrageous.

Sparkle Blasting Balloons

The title alone sounds like something from the Powerpuff Girls but experts and researchers in the US and UK have proposed just this… Sparkle Blasting Balloons.

These balloons are not as innocent as they sound as they are not ordinary balloons. The balloons are part of a bigger offensive plan also using planes and missiles that intends to shoot sulphuric acid or sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere to fill the sky with sparkles thus reflecting it back. This crazy plan, according to Wadham does have some promise.

However, this plan does have a potential flaw in that the ozone layer be depleted.

Fireman’s Arms

Fireman’s Arms welcomes you with the ambiance of an old English pub; the dark, rich polished wooden bars and tables, memorabilia such as fireman’s helmets, an old ladder, a fireman’s pole, and snippets from sport history, make you think back to a time of old.

Established in 1864, firemans-arms is one of the finest and oldest pubs in Cape Town providing fine beers and wines with exquisite food and light meals. The pub has undergone renovations and improvements over the years while keeping the original building and ambiance, it offers high definition viewing and big screen events to it’s patrons while offering exceptional service in a relaxing and traditional setting.

The firemans-arms provide spectacular viewing in full high definition on all 9 46″ flat screen panels as well as 2 big screens for all major sporting events with digital sound to match. Wireless internet access is available in all area’s of the venue, there are smoking and non smoking area’s all of which provide ample viewing area’s of the flat panel displays. Private functions and event can be arranged on request, additional information on events and functions can be found on the site.

If you ever find yourself in need of refreshment, come to Fireman’s Arms, come thirsty. We have a selection of more than 25 beers on tap, great specials and a large variety of beverages which include speciality coffees. Indulge your beer addiction, who knows it might help you pluck up the courage to climb to the top of our fireman’s pole to leave your mark, as you sign the ceiling.

What’s a good pub without some grub? We turn up the heat with blazing, hearty meals that hit the spot. Our homemade pies are in a class of their own. The Fireman’s Pie is strictly for the brave, it doesn’t get hotter than this. Fill the hole in your tummy with starters, foccacia, homemade soups, salads, mains that range from steak, to pies, curry, fish and chips and pizza. Why not try out our thin gluten free pizza base? Get creative with a range of decadent toppings including escargot. Whatever you end up having, leave room for dessert!

Nourishd – Follow the Rhythms of Nature

Living in harmony with Nature is the key by which most of the life charm is revealed. That is why it is so extremely important to understand this simple belief that the natural order of things is a group of repetitive rhythmic processes that affect our health, physical strength and spiritual balance.

The instruments functioning in Nature affects the human being, which is a part of the world… that’s why we try our hardest to supply you with as organic, locally sourced, environmentally friendly produce as possible. We source local and seasonal produce from South African farmers that we trust.

We follow the rhythms of nature to make sure you are healthy, happy and energetic as can be. Our sanctuary offers goodies carefully created for our neighborhood friends, using vegetables and fruits with the highest nutrient content sourced with intention to provide the very best with the utmost love which then effects the flavor.

We promise to fill this community not only with incredible nourishing goodies but also education and encouragement for everyone to become more aware of what they are putting into their beautiful bodies.
“Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit” – BKS Lyengar

What to take on a hike up Lion’s Head?

So you have decided to take a hike up the iconic Lion’s Head? However, realizing that Lion’s Head is not limited to professional hikers alone, those reading this may very well be largely unprepared when thinking of tackling the great Lion’s Head. There are a few very important pointers which should be taken into mind and ticking off your checklist before even attempting the summit.

It definitely depends whether your hike up Lion’s Head will be a daytime voyage or one of the full moon journeys, as well as noting whether you will be alone on your venture up to the peak of Lion’s Head, which is never advised or whether you are in group. For the sake of this article, there will be two checklists, one for the day, and one for the night, because we definitely do not advise ever hiking alone unless you have some serious kung-fu skills and have been hiking for ages we take for granted that it will be two or more hikers taking on the Lion’s Head summit.

Daytime Hikers Checklist:

When the sun is high in the sky and Cape Town boasts her beautiful blue skies, the slopes and peak of the beautiful Lion’s Head sees many group of hikers as well as fitness fanatics jogging up her slopes. Below is an imperative checklist for the average daytime hiker:

  • A Backpack / Rucksack: When hiking, no matter when or where, taking a backpack is important to carry all those extra little goodies which usually leave your hands free to tackle climbing the chains and ropes which are present on your journey up to the peak of Lion’s Head.
  • Water: If you’re not going to take anything else, make sure you take water, especially in the daytime hikes, keeping hydrated is one of the most important things when venturing outdoors.
  • Sunscreen / Sun block: The sun in South Africa can be quite brutal on the skin on a good day, sun block helps to protect you against dreaded things like cancer and burning blisters.
    Sun Glasses
  • Hat: Cape Town is known for her windy nature which comes without warning, it is advisable to take a hat with a neck string so when the wind decides to come up, it wont take your hat with it.
  • Good Hiking shoes
  • Clothing: The peak of any mountain has the potential to be a little chilly even on a warm day, taking a wind breaker, or a warm jacket even if you put it in your rucksack will always come in handy.
    Trail snacks
  • First Aid Kit: Plasters, bandages, gauze and something akin to bactroban is always a good idea for any unplanned nasty cuts that could take place on your hike.
  • Camera: It is breathtakingly beautiful on top of Lion’s Head, keeping those divine memories is never a bad idea. Remember to take spare batteries.

Full Moon Hikers Checklist:

Full moon hiking up and down the beautiful slopes of Lion’s Head, seeing many hikers gathering on the peak to view the incredible vista that is the Mother City, illuminated by the large full moons that Cape Town is famous for. Below is a checklist for those night time hikers or would be hikers, this checklist is imperative if you are planning on taking on the peak of Lion’s Head:

  • Headlamp / Torch
  • A Backpack / Rucksack
  • Water
  • Insect Repellent: It is known that there are mosquitoes present on the slopes of Lion’s Head, insect repellent is definitely a good idea.
  • Good Hiking shoes
  • Clothing: Definitely take a warm jacket or wind breaker on a night time hike. Cape Town nights can get rather chilly.
  • Trail snacks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Camera: You cannot miss taking photographs of the incredible full moon hikes.
  • A blanket: Just in case you would like to have a seat under the large full moon up top the peak of Lion’s Head.

Whether it be day or night time, if you planning on going on a hike, Lion’s Head is definitely the perfect choice, even for the beginner.

1, 2, 3, 4 Beaches… Camps Bay

When entering the Clifton, Camps Bay area, youlle know you have by the energy and hype of all things fantastically plastic and perky, designer labels on every single body you pass, million rand cars give way for their sporty superior pricey tagged models parked along the road for all too see and of course a collection of the most exceptionally attractive women you can find in South Africa, this might also very well be the reason that topless tanning on beaches 1, 2, and 4 is definitely not frowned upon.

There are 4 main beaches before you get the famously beautiful Camps Bay Beach. Starting from Camps Bay moving backward, we find the locally frequented beach, 4th beach. It’s a divine spot for all who dig their toes into its white sands, there are rock pools to swim in and many dare dive off the high boulders into the sea, however this is not advised for people that are not strong swimmers. 4th beach is perfect for picnics in the sun, so bring a beach umbrella for the particularly hot days as well as an ample supply of sun tan lotion, it is also the one beach besides Camps Bay that sees the common sport of volleyball and more often than not, there is a person or group of people practicing the ancient indian art of yoga. Nothing like some spiritual exercise on the exquisite 4th beach.

The Mother city is home to the pink rainbow, it has one of the largest concentrations of gay people in the world, and 3rd beach is a well known area frequented by men, it is the known spot where gay men may be free and let it all hang out, hook up and perhaps find a friend or two. It is not a nudist beach, Sandy Beach is kept apart for that, but 3rd beach does ‘belong’ exclusively to the gay men of Cape Town. It is a beautiful beach but has had its tabboos and cannot really be labeled good or bad if one has not experienced it for themselves. 2nd and 1st beach are rather smaller and quieter, not frequently visited and more isolated. The seas are a little unfit for safe swimming as the currents around the surrounding boulders make it a little more dangerous than the other beaches.

If an excellent upmarket experience is what youre looking for with white beaches and the more than often topless tanner in sight, then the Clifton-Camps Bay area is where your looking stops. Remember that for an overall beautiful unlabeled beach, Camps Bay main beach is definitely the beach that you should choose.

POSibility POS System – TabletPOS

Shouldn’t your point of sale be as innovative as you?

Meet the largest mobile Cloud Based Point of Sale system, crafted specifically for the hospitality industry in South Africa, that runs entirely on iPads, iPods and iPhones.

HARDWARE

Our system runs on Apple hardware which is readily available in many countries worldwide, there is no need to install and buy special hardware.

ORDERS

Your staff can take orders directly at the table using an iPod Touch and our optimized interface. Orders are dispatched in realtime over your local wireless network.

CHECKOUT

We streamline the checkout process at time of payment, no matter if its split payments or multiple payment methods.

WHY PEOPLE CHOOSE US

SIMPLICITY

You dont need to be an engineer. We have not tried to re-invent the way you use POS. We firmly believe your staff should require minimum training when upgrading to iKentoo. We strive for ease of use and speed of use.

TRUE OFFLINE

No server required in your kitchen. Keep your business running even when your internet connection drops or is unstable. iKentoo has a unique server-less protocol for POS to POS communication keeping your tables in sync at all times across devices.

ORDERS & CHECKOUT

Your staff can take orders directly at the table using an iPod Touch, iPad, iPad mini and our optimized interface. Orders are dispatched in realtime over your local wireless network. We also streamline the checkout process at time of payment, no matter if its split payments or multiple payment methods.

REALTIME CLOUD

Anytime and Anywhere. Our secure cloud solution provides continuous backups and realtime data ensuring your business is operational 24/7 and you know how your business is doing at all times.

HARDWARE

Our system runs on Apple hardware which is readily available in many countries worldwide, there is no need to install and buy special hardware.

CLOCKING IN

Keep track of your staff and help them keep track of their working hours with our integrated Clocking In solution.

Learn more at http://tabletpos.co.za/

It’a a party at Woodstock Exchange

Those who’ve been keeping an eye on the transformation of three old industrial buildings into the Woodstock Exchange almost certainly share our excitement.

If you haven’t yet and need a reason to go check it out, keep next Thursday, November 1 free, when a number of creatives are celebrating their official launch with a party. In the spirit of celebration, many of the other outlets will be open too.

What can you expect? Good food, cash bar and live music – along with awesome products, inspiring creatives and fab treats. The evening kicks off at 6:30pm.

DARK HORSE + KINGDOM
Gorgeous products. We love the Martini bags, leather duffel and wrap chairs. Check out all their products on Facebook or their website.

AIR YOGA MEDITATION ATELIER
Owners Neal and Vanessa and their team offer a variety of yoga and meditation, along with a creative project space. AIR has some great opening offers available during October, so you have a week left to take advantage. Find out more on Facebook and at their website

FREKKLE
Owned by Amanda Williamson (Sam & Seb) and Sylvia Benoist (Petit pois), Frekkle is a unique kids’ lifestyle and clothing brand. They also have a kid’s hair salon planned in the coming months. Frekkle’s launch starts a little earlier, specially for little ones. Facebook | Website

{FIELD OFFICE}
What can we say? Divine pies, pastries, sandwiches and Deluxe coffee. This is their second outlet; they also has a shop in Barrack Street. Lots of specials including Commuter Friday. Well worth following on Facebook to keep you updated and your mouth watering. Find them here and online here

LADY BONIN
In December 2010 the charming Jess and her 1975 Jurgens Caravan that was transformed into a ‘bohemian-chic’ mobile tearoom, revolutionised tea drinking in Cape Town.

Her equally charming tea parlour at Woodstock Exchange is the realisation of her vision for a permanent space to share her love for tea with imported and locally sourced fair-trade, ethically produced and organic loose-leaf tea and teatime treats. Facebook | Website

WOLF & MAIDEN
Not their official launch, but they’ll be open. Stunning handcrafted furniture, lighting, accessories, textiles, clothing, jewellery and more. The Beam Me Up, Scotty lamp is a B-guided favourite. See more of their ranges on Facebook.

UPDATE ~ UPDATE ~ UPDATE

HONEST CHOCOLATE
Soon to be opening a new outlet at Woodstock Exchange, Honest Chocolate will be open on the night with chocolate, ice cream and more chocolate. And perhaps even a few other surprises. Indescribably delicious chocolate that’s actually good for you. You know you want some. Facebook | Website

We also recommend:

  • Starling & Hero Bicycle Café, which we wrote about here, but you can find them on Facebook here or on their website, here, where you can also buy your bike accessories online.
  • Urban Africa – Vincent Urbain’s range of leather goods; understated, stylish, timeless footwear, handbags, messenger bags, laptop sleeves, wallets, belts, cardholders, key rings and more. Urban Africa also offers custom made pieces if you’re looking for something truly unique. Facebook
  • Rosetta Roastery – not a retail space, but you can make an appointment see where they roast single-origin and estate coffees and present them in super stylish packaging. Rosetta offers free bi-weekly deliveries in the Cape Town area. Facebook

There’s plenty more to see, so be there.

For more info and to keep up to date with what’s happening at the Exchange, like them on Facebook, here

win unlimited yoga for one month at air yoga meditation atelier

Vanessa was a Mysore-practising, freelance graphic designer in the UK when she traveled to Mysore in India and, within three weeks of arriving, met her husband, Neal. After traveling and teaching yoga around Asia, including running a yoga school in Bali, they decided it was time to return to Europe. The return journey included a stop in Cape Town to visit Vanessa’s mother and it was in Cape Town that Vanessa’s and Neal’s lives took a surprising turn.

Vanessa and Neal had wanted to create an accessible space, free from dogma, where students could feel comfortable regardless of whether they’d been practising yoga for years or complete beginners whose knowledge extended little further than being able to spell “yoga”, but had no immediate plans to do so. That changed when they spotted the perfect space at the Woodstock Exchange, and the life they envisioned back in the UK was replaced with a move to Cape Town.

AIR Yoga Meditation Atelier offers a range of yoga styles, including but not limited to:

MYSORE ASHTANGA
Mysore style is traditional Ashtanga yoga, as taught in Mysore India by the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois. It is a unique class where you will practice a set sequence of postures at your own pace while a teacher gives you individual guidance and adjustments. As you progress through the series you will receive new postures. Suitable for all levels from beginners to advanced.

JIVAMUKTI
Jivamukti means “liberation while living.” This style of yoga emerged in 1984 from one of New York City’s best-known yoga studios. It is a study of how Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga incorporates into spiritual teachings and philosophies, placing special emphasis on how these apply to daily life. Classes can give you a good workout in a supportive and uplifting environment.

YIN YOGA
This class draws on knowledge from Indian Hatha asanas, Chinese medicine and Buddhist practices to work on balancing the mind and body. Holding shapes for long periods of time that stress the connective tissues and redirect energy to vital organs. Encouraging surrender, softening and release. Yin yoga complements a fast and energetic Ashtanga yoga or other Yang styles of practice.

Mysore Ashtanga is relatively unknown in Cape Town and while it does require some commitment – three times a week for the first month is suggested – it is a wonderful way to learn a meditative personal yoga practice.

To give you an idea of why Mysore is so highly rated and seen by many as the best way to learn Ashtanga, pop over to Lilablog to read Frances Prema Harjeet’s beautifully-worded and easy to understand thoughts on this style.

Two aspects Frances mentions resonate strongly with me and I believe goes a long way towards helping newcomers to yoga feel a lot less intimidated:

Poses are taught in a way that is right for that specific body, with its own limitations and strengths. It’s a very individualized process, yet firmly rooted in a tradition and a community.

I like that I can stop and ask for help, without it feeling like I’m disrupting the whole class. I like the personalization of the practice; I love that I feel like I am alone, doing my own thing, while simultaneously feeling supported by the group dynamic.

WIN A MONTH’S UNLIMITED YOGA
AIR Yoga Meditation Atelier is giving three B-guided readers the chance to win one month’s unlimited yoga. This is the perfect opportunity for those who have considered joining a studio or for more experienced students looking for something a little different.

As a bonus, if the winners opt for Mysore in their free month, they will get a 20% discount on the second month’s fees.

To enter, email your contact details to info@b-guided.co.za by 30 August using AIRyoga in the subject line, leave a comment on our Facebook page or Tweet @bguidedSA using #AIRYoga.

In the meantime, pop over to the AIR website to learn more about the various styles, teachers and classes, check them out on Facebook or Twitter or call the studio on 073 584 2978.

join the rhino force

333 Rhinos were killed in South Africa in 2010. Nearly 300 have been slaughtered so far this year. If, as this report at Afrika Expeditionary Force states, 93,4% of Africa’s rhinos are found in South Africa, we have an enormous responsibility to ensure that these magnificent creatures are not hunted to near-extinction.

One of the easiest ways to show support – by raising awareness and contributing financially – is to ‘join’ the Rhino Force. Pop into your local Exclusive Books store and buy a Rhino Force Supporter’s Band for just R30. Black and red beads represent the black and white rhinos; red beads their plight.

For more information on the plight of rhinos, as well as other ways to help, visit:
WWF South Africa
Afrika Expeditionary Force
Endangered Wildlife Trust

Raise awareness. Show support.

Image: Rhino – Nick Farnhill on Flickr
Image: Rhino Force Supporter’s Band – Afrika Expeditionary Force