Africa's undisputed gourmet capital, Cape Town rolls out a feast for every sense. We've gathered together our favourite favourites in this video, from the city's cafe culture of artisan coffee roasters to the decadence of pure chocolate, from the signature cocktails of a legendary sunset spot to a pedigreed high tea, all paired with an authentic Cape Malay cooking experience and the heavenly gardens and inspired menus of a Cape Winelands treasure.
Africa is a vast destination, home to untamed wilderness, idyllic islands and modern cities. You’ll find this same rich variety in the cuisine served here. Cast an eye over our guide to the Top 10 Restaurants in Africa, and you’ll find everything from internationally awarded gourmet restaurants to aromatic fusion food inspired by Africa’s rich cultural heritage… and that’s not counting the mouthwatering local ingredients served in spectacular wilderness settings at our top lodges.
Come dine with our African Safari Experts as they savour the spicy scents and flavours of a Cape Malay curry and try their hands at rolling a perfectly buttery roti (a traditional round flatbread) under the watchful guidence of an authentic Cape Malay cook. But before you roll up your sleeves and inspire your inner domestic goddess, we recommend a short stroll down Cape Town’s memory lane to dip into a slice of South Africa's history that produced its multi-cultural melting pot heritage.
It may seem strange that South Africa's oldest and most venerable wine-producing valley is paradoxically also the one with the lowest profile. While the Cape's rolling Winelands, which are made up of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, vie for attention - and thus get a lot of the acclaim - Constantia treads a quieter path, secure in the knowledge that two of its estates date back to 1685, making them the oldest in the country. For nearly 330 years, Groot (Great) and Klein (Small) Constantia have been harnessing the unique terroir and cool, crisp climate that lies between the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain range to create magnificent wines, including one of the most hailed of all time: the legendary Vin de Constance.
Summer in Cape Town sees up to 14-hours of daylight, with the sun setting at about 8pm at the height of the season when temperatures regularly hit the 30s Celsius (90s Fahrenheit). And what a sunset it usually is: the sky streaked with candy floss-pink clouds and the sun slipping beneath the horizon as it bathes all in a soft, golden light.
Africa’s allure lies in its wide, open spaces and game-packed reserves. Many travel to this wild continent to get as far as possible from cities and buildings, people and noise. They come to seek out herds of elephant roaming free under a vast, blue sky; to feel their hearts beat faster as they watch a lion stalk its prey and to let life’s everyday niggles slot back into perspective in ink-black nights lit by the stars of the Milky Way.
Africa is a vast continent with a very diverse cultural heritage. Add the tropical Indian Ocean isles along its eastern coastline and you have a foodie treasure trove of flavours and culinary traditions. The continent’s contemporary chefs are turning this fusion heritage into an art form on a par with the iconic cuisine of London, Paris, Sydney and New York.
Being from Cape Town I like to think that I live in the land of eternal sunshine – most Capetonians do. This isn’t too far from the truth as unlike London’s weeks of drizzly grey, Cape Town winters are peppered with glorious sunshine. And I’m not talking about a feeble, washed-out winter sun but rich, golden days with warm colours, pleasant temperatures and no wind. Perfect hiking weather!
The full bodied pinotage swirled in my glass, its luscious plum colour staining the edges. Aromas of raspberries and black cherries floated through the air and I offered up my glass for a refill. Wine tasting at Spier means three things: generous helpings, numerous samplings and expert advice.