Monthly Archives: January 2011

Jack Mantis, Magic Carpet Ride, Loyiso and the J&B Met

Jack Mantis Band at the J&B Met

While relaxing in style at the J&B Met we were treated to music by local star performers - the Jack Mantis Band, Magic Carpet Ride, and Loyiso.

I've heard Magic Carpet Ride's music previously, and I'm sure every South African has heard Loyiso by now, and while both were great entertainment it was the two members of the Jack Mantis Band that blew us away. Their music was a chilled and laid-back mixture of blues, reggae and rock - and the perfect accompaniment to an already outstanding event.

Visit their website and take a moment to listen to a few of their tracks, or watch this YouTube music video - a love song featuring Jack's (strikingly beautiful) girlfriend whom, by chance, Kerry-Anne found herself chatting with while watching the show.

If you haven't yet seen our other photo albums from the J&B Met click here for horses, and here for people, and finally here for photos of Loyiso, Magic Carpet Ride and the Jack Mantis Band.

Celebrities and beautiful people of the 2011 J&B Met

Miss South Africa - Bokang Montjane

While most visitors to the J&B Met found themselves on the outside of the racing track, we got to hob-nob with celebrities, socialites, and wealthy business people in the J&B Hospitality Marquee on the inside of the track. As you perhaps can tell, we're not socialites, celebrities, or wealthy business people so it took a while for us to become accustomed to being waited on hand-and-foot. But, once we settled into it, it came as naturally as scooping water from a fresh mountain stream.

What I found surprising, and awesome, about our time with the prominent people in society was that they were far less pretentious than I'd imagined they would be. Folk were friendly, everyone had huge amounts of fun, and we didn't once feel out of place. In fact, we felt quite comfortable sliding into celebrity life - even if only for a single day. :)

One thing that I haven't mentioned is that while it's obvious that the lady in the photo is Bokang Montjane, Miss South Africa, I have to be honest and say that I have no clue who most of the other celebrities and well-known people that I may or may not have photographed are. So, this is where I'd love some help from you! If you have a little while, please visit our photo album and leave a comment below photos if you recognise the person in the pic.

Racing at the 2011 J&B Met

The 2011 J&B Met

Even though J&B have been sponsoring the J&B Met for only 34 years, as mentioned in a previous post the event's history goes back to the 1800s, when the Cape was still under British rule. Each year sees dozens of horse racing events taking place at tracks like Kenilworth, Royal Ascot and Durbanville, but this, the J&B Met, is the premier of all races - the crème de la crème!

Despite being aware of horse racing for many years, I've never really known how betting takes place, and I've never really understood the different types of betting. Included with our ticket for the day was a small betting voucher and a guide that explained the three most popular bet types:

  1. Win : I guess this one is obvious; you place an amount of money (at least R6) on a particular horse to win the race.
  2. Place : You place money on a bet that a particular horse will finish in the first three places (or four if there are more than 7 horses in the race).
  3. Swinger: Your fate rests on two horses both ending in the first three places.

Unfortunately for us, we didn't win any money this time around. But after the main race at 16h30 there seemed to be several very happy faces in our vicinity, which I took to mean that a lucky (or clever) few actually did win some money. :)

Click here to see an album with a few more photos of the horses and the track. And check back during the week - we'll be posting another album or two with photos of the celebrities, the food, and the stylish outfits we spotted in the J&B hospitality marquee.

Getting a tattoo at Southern Ink Exposure 2011

Getting tattooed at Southern Ink Exposure

I went along to check out the Cape Town International Tattoo Convention, aka Southern Ink Exposure 2011, at the Waterfront's BMW Pavilion. I was slightly apprehensive because for me the world of tattoo artists and their canvases is an alternative one and I wasn't sure how not to stand out like a sore thumb, a tattooless outsider.

Apart from this, I'd once asked a tattoo artist if I could take a photo or three in his shop, and he looked at me as though I'd crawled up from under a rock, and expressed his displeasure at the idea in a manner that left me feeling like I'd overstepped some unseen boundary.

I guess it was for this reason that I took some time to observe the various artists before whipping out my camera and shooting away. I'm happy to report that these artists (and most of their clients) seemed quite happy for me to record their work. They seemed more pleased with the idea of photos than I'd anticipated, and for the most part were actually really friendly and sometimes unexpectedly chatty.

Click here to see an album of a few photos taken at SIX 2011.

The J&B Met’s Most Elegant Couple competition

Dressed for the Met

The J&B Met is an annual horse racing event that's been a Cape Town tradition since the 1800s. For as long as I can remember the Met has been about flamboyant outfits and stylish dress - it's an extravaganza of note! Each year, a number of couples are invited to participate in the Most Elegant Couple competition, which takes place at the racecourse on the day. To give you an idea of what participants are competing for (apart from fame and glory, of course), this year's prizes include Seekers travel vouchers, Police sunglasses, L'Oreal product hampers, Gucci watches, and a trip to the Kruger Park. Not too bad, I'd say.

In the run-up to this year's event, Expresso, a television breakfast show, held their own best-dressed competition, where the prize was an automatic spot in the finals of the J&B Met's Most Elegant Couple competition.

So I found myself at the SABC television studios in Sea Point at the ungodly hour of 5am, taking photos of the competition entrants - and I can definitely say that I started to feel somewhat under-dressed as the studio area filled up with couples in their race-day finery.

Click here to see an album of some of the contestants, and visit us again in a couple of days to see photos from the J&B Met itself.

Sea Point Promenade

Sea Point Promenade

Although I'm really happy to live where we do - out in a quiet neighbourhood in the northern suburbs - one of the things that makes me a little jealous of people living in the Green Point/Sea Point area is the Sea Point promenade, pictured here.

As Paul mentioned in a previous post about the promenade, the path runs for about 3km along the beach and seafront, stretching from Mouille Point to Sea Point. On pretty much any summer's evening (and most winter's evenings too) you'll find the promenade filled with joggers and walkers. Where we live, if we want to take a walk in the evening after supper, we either have to drive somewhere a little more interesting (bit pointless, really) or make the most of the neighbourhood scenery - which consists mostly of houses, houses, and yet more houses.

If I lived anywhere in the vicinity of Sea Point, I think I'd be out on the promenade most days, either diligently exercising, or else lazily reading a book. Where's your favourite spot for taking walks? Is it close to your house, or do you have to drive to get there?

A view of Table Mountain

A view of Table Mountain
Because of strange sounds emanating from the ship, I watched it a little longer than normal to discover what was happening aboard. I could hear banging, clanging and grinding of metal. With my telephoto lens I observed little people clambering all over her deck. I even saw sparks fly - presumably from the grinders and possibly from welding machines!

The people on board appeared to be repairing the ship and the noise was possibly a result of them grinding away rust and replacing broken bits with new sheets of metal.

I thought at first that this was an awesome workshop. From this location workmen on the ship have a perfect view of Table Mountain and close-up view of the beautiful Blouberg beaches. However, considering this a little longer led me to decide that it must be a terrible place to work! It may be great when the weather's good, but surely it's awful to be stuck aboard this "prison island" when the weather is poor and the seas are rough? Nowhere to escape, nowhere to run, not many places to hide!

Great as it may have been this day, I'm a little surprised to come to the conclusion that I think, on average, I'd still prefer my air conditioned office!

Pedestrians are walking

Pedestrians are walking
Turning left at this interchange leads to the Waterfront, and continuing straight over these traffic lights lead to the N1 highway (heading out to the northern suburbs) as well as Eastern Boulevard and the southern suburbs.

This particular interchange always use to be a difficult crossing for pedestrians - but that was before the city received a makeover in preparation for the football World Cup in 2010. The pedestrian bridge (which you're able to see a part of on the right side of the photo) as well as the well-marked pedestrian crossing make it far easier that it use to be to cross the Buitengraght double carriageway.

If you visit the Google Map for this location - you'll notice that the satellite image doesn't show the bridge. If you then switch to StreetView you'll discover that depending on where you're positioned the bridge appears and disappears (showing that the various StreetView photos were taken some time apart).

If you read this article (and click on the links to StreetView) months or years after January 2011 you may not see the difference in StreetView - Google may have sent the little StreetView buggy around to update it's records. Sorry about that! :)

Sinn’s summer special

Sinn's summer special

We're not often invited to review the restaurants that we write about, so when we were asked to visit Sinn's in Wembley Square (map) to try out their summer specials, it was a no-brainer.

Owner and chef Thomas Sinn was on leave for the day, but left instructions for his chefs to prepare taster-size portions of 5 of the 6 dishes on his Summer Lunch Specials list, some of which I've included in the photo above. Each of these Summer Lunch Special meals costs just R50. Based on the size of the dishes and the quality of the food, it's a definite bargain!

Below we've ranked the five dishes in order of our preference. Even though we've ranked them, allow me to say that every dish was pretty impressive, and each would have been perfectly satisfying on its own.

The first on our list, and top-right in the photo, was the Zorbian Chicken - a very mild chicken curry served with basmati rice, poppadums, and sweet-and-sour aubergine. This one won first place because of the variety of tastes and the unusual (and yummy!) sweet-and-sour aubergine.

Paprika Chicken was next on our list, and was in fact a strong contender for first place. The dish consists of chicken in a rich and creamy paprika sauce, served with spaetzle. The chicken in this dish was tender, the spaetzle was a good accompaniment, and the paprika sauce was out of this world - so much so that we both highly recommend this dish.

The Oriental Seared Sirloin is, in our opinion, the next logical choice if you'd prefer not to have chicken or a cream-based sauce. The (perfectly) grilled pieces of marinated sirloin were carefully laid over a salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and sprouts. I'm not exactly sure what the dressing contained (it was sweet, with perhaps a hint of chilli), but what I can say is that I found myself scooping every last drop from the bowl. The dish was pretty darn good and if I were in the mood for red meat, I'd definitely have this one again.

I can't recall that I've ever had Croque Madame. For someone who enjoys toasted sandwiches, this was a real treat. The sandwich (bottom left in the photo) contains cheese and ham, and is topped with a fried egg. The dish also includes a variety of simple salads and a portion of chips. The sandwich itself was very good - I enjoyed it plenty - and the salads offered a nice range of flavours. Although Kerry-Anne enjoyed the chips, I can't say that they were the best I've ever had.

The final dish on our list was the Roast Vegetable and Tomato with Chilli Penne. This is the vegetarian option, which I guess is part of the reason it ended up in last place on our list. The pasta dish tasted nice: the vegetables were yummy, the penne was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was good. As I mentioned, we only had a small portion each, but after some thought I decided that a full portion could have become monotonous to eat (I usually have this problem with pasta dishes, though, so perhaps that's just a matter of personal taste).

After such a massive quantity of food (which I'm mildly embarrassed about finishing), it was a real treat when Dylan, our waiter, brought around a lovely apricot sorbet (bottom right) to conclude our lunch. Kerry-Anne loves sorbet, but I'm not usually partial to it. This one was pretty good, though, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

In conclusion, all the dishes were very good, and any one of them is truly a bargain at R50. All the staff seem to enjoy working at Sinn's (which creates a great atmosphere) and our waiter specifically was attentive, friendly and knowledgeable about the food and its ingredients.

The view from Salt Restaurant

The view from Salt Restaurant
In my previous article I posted a photo that I took down towards the ground from the window at Salt Restaurant. This photo shows the view when looking out from the window, towards the left.

This was our first visit to Salt and, besides for the gorgeous view, we found the service and the food outstanding. As a starter we ordered Ballottine of Trout - which turned out to be a magnificent choice. For our main course we both enjoyed a (very rare, very tender, and very sizable) sirloin steak, with a huge and perfectly prepared cappuccino crème brûlée to complete the meal. (We're pretty fussy when it comes to crème brûlée, so the words "perfectly prepared" shouldn't be taken lightly).

All in all, while Salt is a little on the expensive side, we really enjoyed ourselves. The food tasted great and for a fine-dining restaurant, the portions were very large. The only thing that I'm able to criticize them on is the coffee - it was far too strong (for my liking).

Well done Salt!

Salt Restaurant at the Ambassador Hotel

Salt Restaurant at the Ambassador Hotel
I took this photo from our table alongside the large windows that show off Table Bay and the great Atlantic Ocean. Salt, the Ambassador Hotel's restaurant, is perched directly above the hotel - which (as you can see) is positioned practically against the water's edge. Imagine staying here for a few nights - wouldn't it be just utterly sublime?

In my next post I'll tell you a little more about the awesome meal that we enjoyed, but for now, visit their website to see the beautiful photo taken of the view from inside the restaurant. It's truly a spectacularly romantic spot for evening dining.

Eden on the Bay

Eden on the Bay
In a previous post I showed you a photo of the lawn outside of the Eden on the Bay shopping mall at Big Bay. This is a photo taken inside the mall. It's quite different to the dodgy-looking Big Bay that you may recall from a few years back, don't you think?

Big Bay beach

Big Bay beach
Ordinarily one would have a perfect view of Table Mountain from the beaches of Big Bay. This photo shows how much sand and dust the wind regularly lifts into the air, reducing visibility somewhat.

The water on this coastline is generally pretty cold, however (in my experience) not quite as cold as the waters of Clifton, Camps Bay and Llandudno. Big Bay and Blouberg Beach are extremely popular with kite-fliers and kite-surfers, but fortunately these guys tend to keep well clear of the more populated parts of the beach.

When I was youn my parents use to bring my brother, sister and I to this area to swim. Although the riptide can be quite strong, the area has a number of fairly well-protected pools surrounded by annoyingly-jagged rocks (which I remember navigating slowly without shoes).

Fun at the beach

Fun at the beach
The Big Bay area always use to be a little bit rugged. Besides for the unspectacular grassy area and life-saving club building, all that this area use to have a small shop where one could buy ice cream, cooldrinks and crisps.

Development on Eden on the Bay (map) started a couple of years ago and today the area looks completely different to how it did before. This grassy area stretches out between the long sandy beach and the shopping area called Eden on the Bay. Today you'll find several lovely restaurants looking out over this lawn, as well as a few shops and fast-food outlets in the small mall.

However lovely Eden on the Bay is, Big Bay is still a terrible place on windy days. However, on days with only a slight breeze (or no wind at all) it's an awesome place to visit.

Sunset road

Sunset road
I took this photo from a friend's balcony in Green Point - facing in the direction of Sea Point. Isn't the sky just beautiful?

Perhaps it doesn't look that way from this angle, but the roads in this area are so narrow that everyone parks on the curb in order to prevent this two-way road becoming fit for only a single lane. The little green Mini Cooper that you see parked on the curb is Kerry-Anne's. You'll notice that we decided to follow suit when parking. This was not only out of courtesy to other drivers, but also to prevent her little car from being scratched by other (under-cautious) drivers.

Cape Town Stadium at night

Cape Town Stadium at night
Isn't she pretty? A few years before the stadium was built many people living in this area complained bitterly, wrote petitions and threatened legal action - all to prevent the stadium from being built. They said it would be a blight on the landscape, that it would damage the environment.

To the contrary - Cape Town Stadium turned out to be a remarkable feature sporting a large greenbelt with beautiful lakes.

I took this photo on the night of a double-header between four South African football teams. The teams and the fans are so lucky have the privilege of a world-class stadium.


Imagine sitting in a field, holding a dandelion up to the warm African sun, and blowing to scatter dozens of seeds; like hopes, dreams, and wishes that you may have.

We have so many of these spring up in our gardens that our first instinct is to rip them out without a second thought. It's strange though how differently we respond to them in fields. In fields they're beautiful. We pick them and admire their delicate construction. They make us feel nostalgic. We blow on them to see the seeds take to the air in the most relaxing manner. We marvel at these perfectly-crafted seed-distributing machines.

Isn't our love/hate relationship to these plants so very strange?

Pretty fluffy white weeds

Pretty fluffy white weeds
Wouldn't it be great if we loved weeds as much as we loved our garden plants? I'm sure we'd have the most water-wise gardens in the world - it seems that weeds grow where nothing else will; even in the absence of water! Perhaps it's just time that we learn to love weeds. :)

These particular weeds are extremely prolific in our area. I googled for a while to learn their name - but alas, couldn't find anything that looked similar except, of course, for the Hairy Fleabane, which is also fluffy and white, but also quite different.

Do you perhaps know this weed's name?

Our gutters are dry

A dry gutter
While our Gauteng province has been suffering under seemingly-endless rain, our Western Cape gardens and gutters remain bone dry. In fact, my grass is all but green and my plants have started seeing mirages, or rather hallucinations, of huge lakes of cool water.

In all seriousness, it has been pretty dry in Cape Town (this is our summer, after all) while our friends in Johannesburg, and the northern provinces, are having uncharacteristically large amounts of rain. In fact, I heard a report on the radio this morning that mines have started filling up and overflowing, spilling acidic water into rivers... which I'm sure you can imagine isn't the best thing for the river's ecosystem.

On the plus side, a friend of mine reported that his garden (in Johannesburg) is beautifully green and that he's pretty much having to cut his grass every week! That's such a stark contrast to my pathetic desert-like lawn. :-(

No entry, crew only

No entry, crew only
I'm always tempted to go inside when I see signs like this. "No entry, staff only!", "Private, staff only!", "Only staff beyond this point!", "Keep out! Employees only!".

I often wonder to myself why signs like this one (especially in shops and restaurants) seem so aggressive. They have signs to welcome us and make us feel as though we, their clients, are super-important to them. In their marketing messages they even call us "valued clients". However, in their store or restaurant their signs are devised to be aggressive and intolerant. What's with that?

How about "No need to peek, there's nothing but very busy elves behind this door. Ring this buzzer or call 0800 555 1234 if you need a human's help."? Doesn't that sound a little more friendly, and a little more useful?

Fire at sea

Warning sign

I don't recall ever hearing a news report about a ship sinking off our coast due to fire. The most recent incident of a fire at sea, that I'm able to recall, was last year when Cape Town's Fire and Rescue services boarded a cargo ship near Britannia Bay (map) to help extinguish a fire that had erupted in the ship's engine room. It took many hours of work under difficult conditions, but fortunately the ship and all it's crew were saved and towed back to Table Bay Harbour.

Imagine how scary it must be to have your ship catch alight while at sea. One would think that with all the water around it would be easy to extinguish a fire - but with the right flammable materials and without the necessary equipment - it's sometimes impossible to stop a fire before it causes the ship to sink.

I imagine that this door would lead to the engine room, and that opening it during a fire would supply oxygen to the flames, causing them to burn more furiously.

Flowering tea

Flowering tea
I've only recently become aware of flowering tea - first when Nicola (from Wots for Lunch?) commented on having it at Myatt Café at the V&A Waterfront, and then when Kerry-Anne mentioned that Vista Bar at the One & Only hotel serves a few different flowering teas.

At first I though that the tea was some kind of dried flower - presumably from a tea plant. However on closer inspection I noticed that it appeared to be a bundle if tea leaves wound tightly together by cotton thread. From the photo you're able to see that my tea actually had little red flowers hidden inside, that appeared as the dried bundle expanded and "bloomed" in the hot water.

My review of the tea is that it's very pretty to watch, but lacks the taste of traditional Earl Grey, Rooibos, or Ceylon tea. In addition to my ambivalent feeling about it's taste, the tea is frightfully expensive compared to traditional teas. Personally, I still prefer South African Rooibos over all these - but that said, I'm glad to have tried it - once. :)

Jan Cats restaurant at the Stellenbosch Hotel

Jan Cats restaurant in Stellenbosch
Jan Cats is the bistro and bar at the old Stellenbosch Hotel, on the corner of Dorp Street and Andringa Road in Stellenbosch (map).

The restaurant was fairly quiet - I suspect because most of the the university students are away on holiday. They had a fairly large selection of meals to choose from and a number of special offers, including 40% off chicken and beef burgers. The food wasn't anything extraordinary, but perfectly acceptable (although, we'd recommend chicken over the beef patties). The day had been pretty warm, so what was great about the restaurant was that we were able to sit outside on the cool patio amidst huge oak trees, enjoying the peaceful evening atmosphere.

If it's a warm evening, and you're in the mood for pub/bistro-type food, and if there's place out on the patio - I'd recommend visiting Jan Cats. If you can't sit on the patio - I'd probably select another restaurant in Andringa Road.

A French salon & spa

A French salon & spa
Kerry-Anne paid for me to visit Reyjeane Salon and Spa to experience what she'd and a friend been treated to in December. Naturally my visit was just for a hair cut and massage and not the cut, massage, manicure, pedicure, and all the girly-girl things that go along with these!

The visit to Reyjeane's was quite different to the salon that I normally visit. The atmosphere was cool and light, the decor was typically (and beautifully) French, and they had some great French background music playing at just the right volume to be audible, but not intrusive.

My brief review is that the visit was a professional, unsnooty (is that a word?) and relaxing experience. I can't comment on the hair cut without sounding vain but I can say that the head, neck and back massage was perfectly awesome (although, after 45 minutes of lying face-down I think left the salon with a towel pattern embossed on my forehead :) ).

Visit Reyjeane's page on Facebook - you'll notice a few great Valentine's day specials. :)

How to exit an underground parking garage

Underground parking garage exit
On hot days I really appreciate the layers of thick concrete under which we're able to park. Unfortunately, facilities such as in this parking garage is extremely limited in Cape Town - so most folk park in the direct sun, and return to cars that appear to almost glow with heat inside.

While I greatly appreciate underground parking, the thing that I find almost unbearable is the rush to get out from undercover parking after an event. When going to see shows at the CTICC and Waterfront it's almost mandatory to park in such an undercover parking lot. While the exits manage regular traffic perfectly adequately, if everyone leaves the venue at once it can easily take between 1 and 2 hours to get through the boom gates.

Perhaps it's obvious to you, but the experience that I've had has taught me to:

  1. preempt where traffic exiting the garage will be congested
  2. park as close to the garage exit as possible, even if it entails walking a few hundred meters more
  3. reverse into the parking bay so that you can make a quick and easy exit
  4. consider finding a coffee shop and relax while everyone else fights to leave :)

Visiting the One & Only

One & Only at the Waterfront
In my previous post I mentioned that we'd visited the One & Only at the Waterfront for high tea. This was the first time that we'd visited the hotel during the day, so the view from the huge (huge) glass window at Vista Bar was quite different, and more beautiful that I thought it would be.

I thought (for some silly reason) that the hotel was a single building, perhaps with a pool and water feature at the back. What I hadn't realised is that the One & Only is built in the shape of a circle around a perfectly-inviting communal swimming pool area (a place where many of the guests appeared to be relaxing) and a beautiful canal, lined with well-kept green vegetation (like the agapanthus that I wrote about previously).

The photo above is of the view from Vista Bar, and specifically of the large metal brackets that keep the huge windows in place. Visit our One & Only album to see a few more photos, including a few taken outside along the canal.

High Tea at the One & Only

High Tea at the One & Only
While many Capetonians made their way to the beaches or shopping malls to escape the intense heat we’ve been experiencing, Kerry-Anne and I made our way to the tranquil and cool One & Only for High Tea. We spent about two-and-a-half air-conditioned hours sitting in comfy chairs drinking unusual teas and eating the most delectable sweets and savories from the buffet table. The whole experience was truly delightful.

What made the visit to the One & Only a little more special was that we spoke for a while with the hotel’s executive chef, Roberto de Carvalho (who joined the One & Only in December and was formerly executive chef at the 12 Apostles). From what I’ve heard, and from what Kerry-Anne has experienced, executive chefs often tend to be aloof, slightly eccentric, and engrossed in their own culinary fame. Roberto, on the other hand, appeared not to fit into that box at all – he seems to be a genuinely nice guy with a passion for awesome food.

We spoke for a few minutes about the cakes, his yummy macarons, and his new position at the One & Only, and then continued to relax while munching away and being bathed in the 5-star service that you’d expect from an O&O hotel. It was a great afternoon that comes highly recommended.

Read this article about Roberto's move to the One & Only, and perhaps this Q&A session with Muzi Mohale.

Cape Town’s little heat wave

Lying on the beach
I think somehow things got confused and all the heat destined Europe got misplaced and routed to Cape Town. It's swelteringly hot down here with temperatures to remain high until the end of the week - cooling over the weekend.

I checked my car's external thermometer and it's reading was 38°C in Cape Town, with the temperature increasing as one travels more inland towards Stellenbosch and Paarl. If it were possible to package and ship heat, we'd be making a small fortune.

You may be wondering why the beach isn't as packed with bodies as one would expect on such a warm day. There wasn't much opportunity for me to get to the beach - so I grabbed this photo from my December archive. I can however pretty much guarantee you that Clifton is *far* more crowded than this on days like today!

A village-like hotel at Spier

Spier Hotel
I wrote two articles, including a brief review, about our stay at the Spier estate last week (one, two). Today I'd like to share this night-time photo of the hotel complex - doesn't it look extremely Grecian to you?

Each block of the hotel comprises four apartments, with some (like ours) overlooking lovely little swimming pools. The air on this particular night was warm and there wasn't any wind to speak of - it really was a relaxing atmosphere.

The Spier estate has a few restaurants at which you could dine, as well as a deli that sells the makings of a great picnic that you could enjoy on their lawns. Beware though that the deli is frightfully expensive and the estate prohibits private picnics (although, I've never seen this enforced).

Reader tip: The lawn in front of the deli is most often pretty noisy because of all the families with kids. If you're facing the lawn, walk about 200 or 300 meters to the right (in the direction of Moyo and 8 Restaurant). The first lawn the you encounter is a little quieter, but if you head on past the amphitheater (close to the hotel) you'll find peacefully quiet lawns.

Collier Jetty, grain elevators, and fishing boats

Fishing boats at the V&A Waterfront
In January 2009 I posted a night photo of these fishing boats moored at Collier Jetty.

The water that you see in the bottom half of this photo is that of the Victoria Basin - the basin that stretches out alongside the V&A Waterfront shopping mall. The Collier Jetty, on the far end of the basin, is (as you can see) currently used as a spot to moor colourful fishing boats.

According to an industrial heritage white paper that I found, Cape Town harbour's elevator complex (the metal structure extending the length of the jetty) had been used by the Farmer's Co-operative since 1987 to load grain for export. I'm not sure whether or not it's till in use by the FC since the article mentions that due to the increased length and draught of ships they were no longer able to use it (for exports).

Don't you just love how the fishing boats are painted in similar fashion to the colourful houses of Bo-Kaap?

Photo of the year 2010 – a City Daily Photo theme day

A boy and his vuvuzela

Even though we habitually miss it, each month the City Daily Photo members have a theme day on which they publish photos representing a particular theme.

As is traditional on 1 January, today's theme is "Photo of the year 2010"; most CDP bloggers take this annual opportunity to post what they or their readers believe to be their best or most beautiful photo of the preceding year. We've decided to interpret the theme a little differently and post not the best photo of the year, but rather a photo that we feel portrays the greatest highlight of our city's 2010 calendar: the Football World Cup that was held in South Africa during June and July.

Visit our June and July archives to see more daily photos taken around the time of the World Cup.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants of the City Daily Photo Theme Day.