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.

Small centre, big design ideas: welcome to the Woodstock Foundry

Proving the saying that dynamite comes in small packages, one of the smallest design hubs in Cape Town features some of the biggest names in Cape Town design.

Behind the picturesque façade of a heritage building that is over 100 years old, the Woodstock Foundry is home to a handful of creative studios and retail shops of some of the city’s most talked about design and artistic talent.

When you enter through the parking area you arrive at an unassuming alleyway that leads to a quaint cobbled courtyard lined with a treasure trove of design, jewellery and furniture showrooms and stores. These include well-known local furniture designer John Vogel, jewellery brand Dear Rae and Bronze Age, a design and art studio that specialises in the casting of bespoke bronze pieces.

Up the stairway you’ll find some inspiring studio spaces: Indigi Designs specialises in locally made home décor products; Casamento make creative seating solutions that are eco-conscious and employ handcrafted upholstery techniques; and Smart Art, a digital printing company that will bring your most vivid imagery to life in home and office wallpaper, canvas art or fabric — if you want to do something original with your Cape Town photographs, here’s where to come.

Next to the quaint main building is an annexe that houses the resident coffee shop, Tribe Coffee. And like most of the coffee shops worthy of mention in Cape Town, they roast their own beans and are serious about their craft. Across the hallway is one of Cape Town’s, if not South Africa’s, most loved botanical design and hanging garden specialists, Opus Studio, founded and run by Marissa Pretorius, who hosts regular workshops on botanical design.

The Woodstock Foundry is a hotspot for interesting and unique South African design. The businesses here are a tightly knit community who regularly come together to host events and markets at the venue.

Top 3 places to get your kiting gear in Cape Town

First things first. If you want to fly, you’ll need some wings and in the Cape Town wind they’d better have good feathers. Here are some of the very best and most trusted stockists of the gear you’ll need to harness the elements.

Most kitesurfing shops on the Cape peninsula are single-brand stockists. On one hand, this is good because you’ll get passionate and knowledgeable sellers who will vouch for the products they’re selling. On the other hand, you may want to visit more than one shop to source gear that’s right for your level of competence, and to compare prices.

Here are the top three distributors in Cape Town:

1. Cabrinha Kiteboarding

Eden on the Bay, Bloubergstrand

Cabrinha is the largest global kiteboarding brand, and this shop in Bloubergstrand is the largest one of its kind in South Africa. Cabrinha-sponsored athletes also make sure it’s one of the most visible and respected brands. They have all the top gear and accessories, but also sell pre-owned kites and offer rentals and lessons. It’s the classy showroom that most beginners aspire to, but with an accessible side that makes it easier to approach.

2. North Kiteboarding

Horizon Bay, Bloubergstrand

One of the most established outlets on the coast, North Kiteboarding bills itself as an innovative and inspired kiteboarding brand. The brand strives to keep its fingers on the pulse of global kiting trends by receiving input from its teams in kiting hotspots all over the world, and developing their products in-house. This is where you go if you want a bit of an insider tip on the latest technology. Well stocked, and with great service.

3. Best Kiteboarding Africa

Portico Building, Table View

The friendliest kiteshop in Cape Town! The owners of Best Kiteboarding, Shane Scheckel and Lanral Riddock, have been involved in the scene since anyone can remember. And their enthusiasm is infectious. If your budget’s a bit tight, these are the guys you need to speak to. They are located directly opposite the beach and offer a wide range of brands for all skill levels. They’re your friendly neighbourhood kiting store that will have a beer with you after a session and discuss your technique and tomorrow’s weather.