Deep South

I stayed in Muizenberg when I first moved to Cape Town, in a beautiful old home typical of the houses in Muizenberg village. It had high ceilings, stained glass windows, Oregon pine floors and drug dealing gun toting bad asses as neighbors. I used to leave my car unlocked in the evening (no off-street parking) in the hope that the criminal elements would use the doors instead of breaking windows to enter my vehicle. I kid you not, in one year, my car was ‘violated’ 9 times.

Muizenberg… It is looking better and better though, Muizenberg that is. Kalk Bay and St James have always been just plain charming. In late February, on a weekday morning, I cannot think of a better way to spend a morning in Cape Town. Maybe park at Surfers Corner in Muizenberg, pick up a coffee at the legendary Empire Cafe (or at any of the many surfer-cool hang outs lining the beach) and then stroll the ocean pathway toward the iconic beach huts and tidal pool at St James. Feeling the sun on your back, ocean breeze, crashing waves, seagull song…

St James and Dalebrook… Take your camera. It really is that iconic. Leave your selfie stick at home. That’s just narcissistic. The swimming is great in the tidal pool at St James. If it’s just too crowded, check out Dalebrook Pool just a little further down the road. Once you are done submerging yourself in seawater and soaking up the sun, and are starting to feel a little hungry,  keep strolling (or take the train from St James Station) to Kalk Bay.

Kalk Bay… There are plenty of great cafe’s and bistro’s in Kalk Bay. Me, I love Olympia Cafe, the vibe and noise and aroma of great coffee. The Brass Bell, has endless views over the bay, and gathers happy beautiful smiling young people when the weather is shiny. If I feel like watching people, I take a street-side stool at “Lekker” and watch life walk past with a harbour backdrop. Satori is a nighttime Italian, candlelit and intimate. There are too many great restaurants and boutiques and galleries to mention, you really just need to explore. Sniff out what floats your boat. There are lots of boats. At the harbour. Some grit too, but that’s really the charm, it’s a real working harbour – honest, gap toothed and sometimes a little stinky. Kalkies Fish and Chips at the harbour is an institution, and The Harbour House defiantly classy and luxurious in it’s location and also very much a landmark.

Simonstown… Are penguins overrated? I don’t know. They are really popular though. And not as docile as they look. Thing is, Boulders Beach (which is famous for it’s Penguins) should actually be famous for it’s boulders, hence the name. It’s a really great beach, north facing, achingly pretty, safe, gentle and just lovely. Those boulders are like giant partitions, they create lovely nooks and crannies, so sometimes it feels like you have the beach to yourself. Nearby Seaforth beach is just as pretty and less “penguined.” Simonstown itself is also very pretty, and worth a look if you have time. Alternatively, Cape Point is just down the road, or Scarborough, Misty Cliffs and Kommetjie might make your trip back to the city seriously scenic if you choose to head over Red Hill Road.