Monthly Archives: December 2013

Settling in for new year’s eve

Sleeping kitty cat
I rarely post photos of our cats, but since I don't actually have a legitimate "Cape Town" NYE photo, I figured I'd post this one showing how Elizabeth was planning on spending new year's eve, and, well, new year's day as well. I think we acquired a defective model - this one, she's fairly lazy.

Peeking goat

Peeking goat
Peeking goat may sound like a lovely (or rather, not-so-lovely) dish, but in reality it has no similarity whatsoever to Peking Duck. This little critter is housed at Fairview Cheese and Wine Farm (map), outside Stellenbosch. I won't rehash my review here, but you can read it here, in a previous post about the wine and cheese farm.

Eeuwww… oysters.

Eeuwww... oysters.
As the title suggests, I really don't enjoy oysters. The slimy, slithery, popping, ocean taste. Eeuwww. Kerry-Anne, on the other hand, can't get enough of them.

Each year, in around July, the little town of Knysna (high up along the Western Cape's east coast) has a huge oyster festival that runs for about 10 days. Between 60,000 and 70,000 people navigate their way to the area to participate in sports events, drink wine, eat oysters, attend live music acts, and drink wine (did I mention that already?).

So, if you are a fan of the oyster, and if you love a big ol' party, then consider visiting Knysna in July - you're sure to enjoy it! Only, book accommodation now already... it's not a particularly big town. ;)

Open gardens, closed gates

Open gardens, closed gates
Many estates and wine farms open their exquisitely manicured gardens to the public (for a small fee) in late spring - normally during the months of October and November.

It's sad (though understandable I guess) that the gardens aren't open all year round. Wouldn't it be awesome to buy rights to quietly while away hours reading (or coding, in my case) under large oak trees on expansive green lawns bordered by colorful flowers?

I suppose that's quite idealistic, but a nice idea still - don't you think?

Summer beach days

Summer beach days
Today is, in fact, my birthday - and as those who know me may suspect, we started the day off overlooking Camps Bay beach from Cafe Caprice, where we had breakfast.

While sitting at Caprice I commented to a friend that the bank of mist hovering over the ocean, just off the beach front, reminded me of San Francisco. I remember setting out on a warm and sunny day to take a trip from Santa Cruz up to Half Moon Bay (both towns are a few miles south of San Francisco on the North American west coast).

The weather along that entire coast line was exactly the same as the weather that we had at Camps Bay today - it was hot and sunny 100 meters away from the coast line, but misty with a cold sea breeze on the beach itself.

Fairview Wine and Cheese farm

Fairview Wine and Cheese farm
This, is Fariview's restaurant. Doesn't it look lovely?

Kerry-Anne and I had lunch here with my mom, dad, and sister - so here's my brief review: The service was good, the setting and decor (inside and out) was lovely, the cheese platter that we shared was awesome (fantastic, in fact). The chicken pie that I had wasn't very good (it seemed to have been reheated in the microwave) and Kerry-Anne's melon-and-feta prawn special was... awful, in our opinion (the tastes were, well, dissonant). My mother said the quiche was great - and I have to admit, it looked pretty good.

So - my recommendation is: Given that they make their own cheeses, and the cheese really is splendid, eat lots of it. Also, as long as you're not driving, drink lots of their wine - it's pretty darn fantastic. :)

There’s something fishy about this art

There's something fishy about this art
You would probably have seen this piece of art if you've ever visited the Green Point Urban Park. It's pretty cool, don't you think?

This large pond forms part of the park's biodiversity garden - which itself is host do dozens of indigenous plant species. Right alongside the garden area are benches and large open grassy areas where you're welcome to lay open your blanked and unpack your picnic basket. The trees are unfortunately not yet large enough to provide lots of shade, so I'd probably advise an early morning or evening picnic - outside of core sunburn hours. :)

The park is right next to the Green Point stadium, very close to the Green Point lighthouse. Entrance is free and the gates are open every day from 07h00 until 19h00.

SUP Three Anchor Bay?

 SUP Three Anchor Bay?
Take a close look at the photo. You see them, right?

Stand Up Paddling, or SUP for short, has become really popular in Cape Town. We often have calm, flat seas in summer- the kind of conditions perfect for standing on a board and paddling about.

Imagine the tranquility of standing out in the quiet ocean, too far from shore to be disturbed by the crowds, watching the sun set and the coastline turn dark while the ocean water laps at your board.

I live a little too far from the ocean to take up ocean sports, but I think I'll make it a mission to vacation at the coast and hire a paddle board. Soon. :)

Camps Bay beach silhouettes

Camps Bay beach silhouettes
One of my favourite things to do on hot a summer evening is to sit at Camps Bay beach and take photos of people silhouetted against the setting sun. It's a beautiful time of day - and these views, the tranquility they bring, is something that we should take time to appreciate more often.

A million tiny flowers

A million tiny flowers
I don't know what we call this - but it is kinda pretty, don't you think? Imagine if the little flowers bloomed in different colours making this head look like a tiny bunch of mixed flowers? Someone, somewhere in China, is probably to be working on this right now. ;)

Please, get on the path. Now.

Please, get on the path. Now.
What makes you think that the folk from the Green Point Urban Park have been experiencing problems with kids running though their flora? I wonder, are parents these days really more relaxed about discipline than their own parents were, or has my mind just blocked out all the naughty things my siblings and I did?

La Perla in Sea Point

La Perla in Sea Point
After hearing great reviews, Kerry-Anne and I visited La Perla on Sea Point's Beach Road for the first time. It was, sadly, pretty disappointing. The service was good, but the food wasn't up to scratch. The Lasagne I had was mediocre at best and Kerry-Anne's chicken dish was, well, also just mediocre.

La Perla is locally fairly well acclaimed - and assuming that our dishes were the norm, I can only imagine that folk like the restaurant for it's location and atmosphere. It's probably one of the nicest venues on Sea Point beach road, and the atmosphere is an interesting mixture of hip and young with classically stylish, and although La Perla appeared snooty from the outside (can a restaurant appear snooty?), the staff were surprisingly warm and welcoming.

Definitely visit La Perla for afternoon drinks, but I'd probably choose an alternative restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Lazy afternoon beach days

Lazy afternoon beach days
Like seriously, don't even think about spending the afternoon on our beaches without an umbrella, or some other shade-making device. This is African sun baby.

Many years ago, before people were aware of the danger of sun exposure, my dad used to spend many hours in the sun, sans sunblock - of course. He's in his 70s now and has to regularly visit his dermatologist regularly to have patches of skin cancer removed. Given the lesson I've learned from him, and all the attention the media has given to the relationship between sun exposure and skin cancer, I'm super cautious with the sun and find it surprising that so many people don't take it seriously.

Sure, my dad won't die from skin cancer, but it has to be darn annoying to have to get those patches treated every few months. Rather cover up, use sun block, don't tan too much, and save yourself a tremendous amount of discomfort later in life.

*This photo was taken on the blue flag Camps Bay beach.

Walking the Woodstock sidewalks

Walking the Woodstock sidewalks
The Cape Town suburb of Woodstock is one of the oldest suburbs in Cape Town. Years back, before the sea was forced back to where it is now, Woodstock used to be a seaside suburb... in fact, my dad remembers swimming at Woodstock beach!

Many Capetonians don't know this, but for some reason (unlike the well-known District Six area) Woodstock escaped the apartheid era's segregation laws. Somehow it remained an area where Caucasian, African, Coloured and Asians could live side-by-side.

Naturally, given the apartheid times and industrialisation the area became run down and dilapidated. Crime increased, and the Woodstock became an undesirable area. In the late 1990s the government started an urban renewal program to uplift the area. Now, 15 years on, while the streets and many buildings are still terribly run down, many businesses have opened in the area, young people have started buying and renovating homes, and much of Cape Town's middle- and upper-class have started frequenting places like The Old Biscuit Mill and The Woodstock Foundry.

While I certainly wouldn't suggest you wander at times when the streets are quiet, take some time to walk the Woodstock streets on a Saturday morning - there are plenty of interesting and unusual things to see.

2014 FHM calendar launch party

2014 FHM calendar launch
Each year I get invited to go along to the FHM calendar launch party, and for some reason each year I manage to miss the event.

I really wasn't feeling up to it after a long day at the office, but given that I love taking photos of people, I knew that I'd probably enjoy the evening I hence convinced myself to go out and be part of the fun and admire the beautiful woman that comprise the 2014 calendar.

I arrived at The Office (where the event was being held), and was presented with a drink (and interesting flavoured beer, though, I can't remember the brand) and ushered upstairs where the party was erupting.

I spent the next two hours taking photos of the models (who, as you can suspect, really love having their pictures taken) and mingling among the excitable guests, most of whom were packed like a shoal of sardines on the outside balcony.

I'll post a few more pictures and give you my impression of the models and the event in one or two follow-up posts.

EDIT: Here are links to more photos from launch party. Enjoy. :)
Photos 1 - Photos 2 - Photos 3

The breakfast assembly line

The breakfast assembly line
These guys were assembling a strange pancake-bacon-type breakfast. They had one of the longest queues at the Neighbourgoods Market's breakfast section, so I assume it must have been pretty good. :) Check that post about the market out over here.

Woodstock’s Neighbourgoods Market

Woodstock's Neighbourgoods Market
I hadn't visited the Neighbourgoods Market at the old biscuit mill in Woodstock for years - and my, what a surprise. Saturday mornings have the place bustling with thousands of people, mostly crowding around the food stalls (well, I say thousands, but that's unrealistic, of course.)

Even though their Facebook page lists the market as opening at 09h00, it was already well-occupied by early shoppers at 08h45. So, if you're averse to crowds, try getting there at 08h30. Two hours later, you'll be glad you did. ;)  

Love indigenous

Love indigenous
As I've mentioned before, the Green Point Park is filled with indigenous plants. I imagine the vegetation in this scene looks quite different to that back home where you live, not so?

If you're not familiar with Cape Town, then perhaps you wouldn't recognise that green hill as being Signal Hill - although if you've ever visited here I can't imagine you'd mistake the one in the background for anything other than Lion's Head. Kinda pretty, don't you think?