There are some Capetonians who won’t admit to liking the Waterfront, but deep down, they secretly do. I love the Waterfront. Yes, it’s touristy. Yes, it gets busy during peak season. But somehow, it never loses its appeal to me. As a sometimes Capetonian, I often stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, which, despite the fact that I’m always here for work, always makes me feel like I’m on holiday. There really is no better way to start your day than to the sound of the waves breaking on the dolosse and seagulls sweeping the shores.
Oranjezicht City Farm Market, Haul Road, Granger Bay Blvd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, ozcf.co.za
The OCFM started in the Cape Town suburb of Oranjezicht at the foothills of Table Mountain – and indeed the city farm still neighbours the historic Homestead Park – but the market has since relocated to the outskirts of the V&A Waterfront complex in Granger Bay, only a stone’s throw away from the Radisson Blu.
This vibrant market offers a wide array of locally farmed produce and artisanal products, and is open every Saturday and Sunday, when a mishmash of born-and-bred Cape Town locals, new Capetonians and sustainability-minded trendsetters rub shoulders (Covid-compliantly, of course) with hipsters and tourists.
Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, 19 Dock Road, Cape Town
Known to locals simply as the V&A, this nautically themed complex is Africa’s most visited shopping destination – and a true Cape Town institution. Its open design means it seldom feels overcrowded, although the array of outside eateries and other attractions – like the aquarium, Watershed market, and Silo District – could have something to do with it. You can also catch the ferry to Robben Island from here or book a helicopter flight to catch a glimpse of the Mother City from the air.
You will find many of the top designer brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Montblanc inside the mall, although there are plenty of stalls, pop-ups and markets from which to shop anything from locally produced, artisanal brands to more affordable international labels.
Tobago’s Restaurant, Beach Road, Granger Bay Blvd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Think cocktail-paired dishes of fresh seafood, hearty meat dishes and lekker, local flavours like biltong-spiced fillet, and you’ll have some idea of what you’re in for at Tobago’s, which also has one of the best views in Cape Town.
Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Beach Road, Granger Bay Blvd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
This salt-spray suffused, seaside hotel has its own private marina and an on-demand shuttle service to and from the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town’s most exciting shopping and dining destination. Choose from an array of rooms – many of which have an ocean-facing view – to suit your needs, whether you’re a family or simply travelling here on business. But I have to say that my favourite part about the Radisson at the Waterfront is the lovely, super-efficient team, who have always made me feel so welcome.