Saturday, December 28, 2019
Initial Thoughts on Cape Town
So the first few days of our trip have been great. Cape Town is a beautiful city and the weather has been perfect! Blue skies, not too hot, not too cold, often with a cool breeze blowing, especially when near the water.
The Old Biscuit Mill – This is an open-air market open until 3p on Saturdays and was a great way to spend our first day. While it’s fairly small (more like a farmer’s market vs. a big flea market) there are shops, restaurants and a food court offering just about any type of cuisine one might want. Our first stop was for coffee. We’d all had very long journeys to get here and needed a jolt. There are shops offering anything from touristy trinkets to higher end leather bags, from clothing to ceramics. After a bit of window shopping, I headed over to the Kambucha bar to get some ginger kambucha. There is a little bit of everything here, so if you’re looking for gifts or something for yourself, you’re likely to find something here.
Riverine Rabbit – This was our first dinner together. We opted for the 5 course chef’s tasting menu with wine pairing. I was excited to see there wasn’t a ton of fish on the tasting menu, which is often the case. But I have to say, it wasn’t amazing. The food wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t outstanding. The service was okay. Everyone was very polite, but they didn’t do the best job at explaining each dish. Now the Traveling Hillbilly doesn’t often have elaborate dinners like this, but I have splurged on a few highly rated restaurants while on vacation and they have been amazing experiences. Maybe my expectations are too high but this did not live up to prior experiences.
Hiking Table Mountain – George picked us up to take us to table mountain at 7:30am. It offered amazing views, but was a truly challenging hike. See prior post for details on this beast of a hike!
Truth Coffee – after our exhaustive hike, we were ready for some food! George told us we must go to Truth Coffee, a coffee house that opened just a little over a year ago and is already rated as the best coffee house in the world! How could we not go? The menu is like an old newspaper and most of it is dedicated to the wide variety of coffee they offer. The food options were limited but we all found something to enjoy. The ambiance and decor of the place were pretty cool. If you’re a coffee fanatic, this is a must place to visit. If you’re not a coffee fanatic, it’s still a pretty interesting place to grab a quick bite.
V&A Waterfront – We were pleasantly surprised by the V&A Waterfront area. We were expecting it to be touristy, which it is, but it was nicer than we expected. Coming from California we are used to touristy wharfs, boardwalks etc. along the water. This was nicer than a lot of similar areas we’ve been to along the coast of California. If you’re looking to dine or shop with a view, you have plenty of options here. Or if you want to take a boat tour, a helicopter tour or sunset cruise, there is no shortage of opportunity for that here. One of the top things we wanted to do here, was have drinks on the rooftop bar of The Silo hotel.
The Silo Hotel – The rooftop bar offers beautiful views of the city, the water and the mountains. We were excited to have a cocktail and some appetizers here while enjoying the sunset. Our initial thoughts on the cocktail menu, were hhmmmm. Similar to a lot of cool bars, the drinks were mainly a unique spin on traditional cocktails, but we weren’t sure the unique was in a good way. Truffle infused gin? Just doesn’t seem appealing. But we decided to try one of their concoctions anyway. I opted for the signature silo, a vodka drink mixed with cucumber, watermelon and orange. While refreshing, it was a too sweet.. It tasted like pink lemonade. When it was time for round 2, we switched to wine. The food was okay, but not great. While my instinct is to say, the place is a little over-rated, if you’re looking for a place to relax with a view, this should be on your list. It is a pretty popular place, so you may want to make reservations in advance to ensure you can get in.
All in all, a great first couple of days. Cape Town is great and I'm looking forward to spending New Year's in the city. But now it's time for the safari leg of our journey. Lions, Zebras, Elephants... here we come!