I really like the V&A Waterfront in winter because it’s less crowded than in summer and it’s the perfect hideaway from the cold wet weather. Luckily, less crowded doesn’t mean less interesting. Whatever your age or interests or budget, there’s bound to be something for you. With over 450 retail outlets selling everything from fashion, homeware and curios, to jewellery, leather goods and audiovisual equipment, the V&A Waterfront is South Africa’s most popular shopping destination, but there’s more to it than shopping and it’s not just for tourists.
Here are some of my favourite V&A Waterfront attractions:
The new Watershed Craft Market – okay, this is shopping but it’s number one on the list because it’s the most wonderful craft market I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we were being teased with architect drawings and media releases prior to the opening but I didn’t expect to see high-end top quality stuff that would be at home in the boutiques of Paris and New York’s finest stores. While you’re shopping, the Play Pad will keep kids of all ages happy with a petting zoo, a gaming area, tractor and push bike park, daily shows, even a teen pad.
Right next door is the Market on the Wharf – a food market to break all diets but also full of healthy food and even banting items, if you must. I personally love the coffee (the baristas are very charming which adds to the pleasure), the cakes and tarts, the oysters, the gourmet samoosas, and the delectable frozen yoghurt.
Oranjezicht City Farm market at Granger Bay near The Lookout. Every Saturday starting from the 6th of June to 31st October 2015, between 09:00 and 14:00. A real farmer’s market with an abundance of fresh produce, breads, cheese, olive oil, spices, honey, and more. All sorts of items catering for vegans, banters, gluten-free and other dietary preferences, it’s a favourite with everyone. Get your coffee or tea fix, have lunch or breakfast – this is a family favourite.
Many restaurants are offering great special winter warming deals. Here are two that stand out for me: Mondial, well-known for their divine tapas and burger bar, have a 6 course set meal until the end of July for only R395 but if you’re not hungry enough for that there are smaller set menus at excellent prices. Den Anker has a special for every day of the week – my favourite is Moules Mondays: 1kg mussels and frites at R100.
Take your pick here for more and to see all the musical events lined up – many of them re free!
It’s not always raining so how about a historic walking tour of the Waterfront – either self guided or with the Chavonnes Battery Museum. Find out how the first settlers lived and worked in the Cape as they established what eventually became the South Africa of today.
Treat yourself to these two luxury treats to beat the winter blues.
A helicopter ride over the city or, even better, all the way down to the Cape of Good Hope. This is one ride you won’t forget in a hurry! We get excellent service from NAC Helicopters.
High Tea at the Table Bay Hotel – many top Cape Town hotels offer ‘high tea’ but the one at the Table Bay Hotel is one of the best around. Go on, you know you want to!
For tourists the hotels in the V&A Waterfront are perfectly centrally located and there are many to choose from. I’m waiting eagerly for the brand-new Silo Hotel to open – they’re promising ultra-luxury! In the meantime, look here for what’s available now – remember, it’s out of season so prices are at their lowest!
If you prefer a self-catering option to a hotel the Waterfront has the ideal apartments for you – fully equipped 1, 2 and 3 bed roomed luxury on the water, within walking distance of shops, activities and restaurants – what more could you want?