en 10 reasons

Cape Town
in
full bloom

en 10 reasons
en 10 reasons
en 10 reasons
Known for its vitality and creativity, and its position at the cutting edge of contemporary Africa, the Mother City is also addicted to outdoor living, drawing its energy from the powerful presence of nature.

1.

Land of milk and honey

No doubt because it was founded in 1652 as a way station providing fresh produce to the ships of the Dutch East India Company, the Mother City easily conjures up memories of farmland and detours to the countryside. Perched on the eastern slope of Table Mountain, a former farm and brewery houses artists’ studios in the stables, a cottage deli, high-end boutiques, an art gallery and a prodigious nursery garden. And you can even leave with a sketchbook by William Kentridge, a sculpture in eucalyptus wood, some attractively creased ceramics, and your taste buds sated by the organic delights served at the tables beneath the camphor trees.

Montebello Design Centre

31 Newlands Avenue. Tél. +27 (0)21 685 6445.

www.montebello.co.za

2.

Beach barbecue

The flavor of a city often lies in its contradictions and the clamor of its streets. The range of Cape Town restaurants veers between newly minted vegetarian to outright carnivorous. The latter is epitomized by the braai, a South African glorification of the barbecue. This national tradition that brings together every social class around a grill even has its own reality TV show. It’s serious business on the beaches among the granite boulders, with coolers, lounge chairs and tents deployed around stone fireplaces. The ocean adds a salty tang to the chicken wings. Be sure to bring along some kindling—there’s always a braai master on hand to help you cook to perfection.

Oudekraal beach

Tout au sud après Camps Bay, une braai area populaire et bien aménagée en bord de plage.

3.

Botanical quaffs

A stone’s throw from vibrant Long Street is the haunt of hipster alchemists, with vials of emerald, pale-green and garnet potions; jars of crumpled flowers; and a herbarium. The delivery of the day—fluffy armfuls of wild sage—sits on the counter. In the glasses, cocktails (with or without alcohol) are distilled like magical plant oils by Peter and Kenan. These two had a burgeoning dream of slipping “raw and aromatic extracts of South African nature” in among a few ice cubes. For several weeks, they traveled around the country meeting botanists, horticulturists and healers, before the opening of this bar of creatively paired crops last January.

The Botanical Bar

160 Longmarket Street. Tél. +27 (0)76 124 4639.

www.thebotanicalbar.co.za

4.

Fynbos: Africa’s heath

Don’t be fooled by this seemingly humble, slightly scruffy shrubland: this landscape is a goldmine of biodiversity, a truly exceptional biome. The interlocking puzzle of vegetation in the fynbos (“fine bush” in Afrikaans) thrives along a thin coastal belt along the Cape. Wild heather, reed-like restios, the solitary flowers of proteas: Capetonians are proud of their hinterland, a protected UNESCO site, and adapt it to line their lawns (the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden has recreated magnificent flowerbeds). But this floral kingdom, in all its arid bounty, is best appreciated from the trails just outside the city, which crisscross the peninsula and wend their way down to the beaches.

5.

Infinite green

It claims to be “the most beautiful garden in Africa,” and—short of having explored all of the continent’s byways—we’d have to agree (and even add “and in the world”). The Kirstenbosch, created in 1913 on the slopes of Table Mountain, is a magnificent 528-hectare botanical wonder. It is half-landscaped, half-wild, with a profusion of flowers wherever you turn: carefully planned blooms, tangles of vines, interwoven pink and yellow buds, lace-like greenery. Come early and, from the tree canopy walkway that snakes through the forest, savor the morning air as the night melts into the mountains.

Kirstenbosch national botanical garden

Rhodes Drive. Tél. +27 (0)21 799 8783.

www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch

6.

All in the setting sun

It’s time to give in to the lure of nightfall. And a pretext for doing so is not that hard to find: sunsets here are an institution, where excitement mounts for a daily festival featuring picnic tablecloths and families atop the mountains. The taxi’s radio was broadcasting an in-depth debate about the best place to watch from: the summit of Lion’s Head, the Clifton Beaches, the end of Tafelberg Road? We followed the line of people climbing to the Signal Hill viewpoint. The atmosphere on the slopes was high-spirited, voluble and festive. A few meters further on, a stony path, then silence. The city below, the ocean due west. And in the distance, a perfect halo on the horizon.

7.

The gardener-poet

His first poem was called “Trees”; the one he recites in the shade of a lemon tree “doesn’t have a title—it has only just flowered.” Xolisa Bangani is a gardener-poet, one of those people who are like birds balanced between two worlds: it takes the serendipity of a voyage to encounter them. In the Khayelitsha township, a long strip of small homes in the east of the city, he has transformed the sandy soil into a plot filled with citrus plants, carrots, beets, strawberries and indigenous shrubs. From his patch by the Isikhokelo school, he’s determined “to show children—and their parents—that spinach does not grow in cans on shelves.” He can claim a number of small victories: a dozen or so vegetable gardens have sprouted in front of nearby homes since he created his own in 2013. Xolisa’s dreamworld? Smiling, he picks up a handful of tilled, fertile soil and shapes it into a planet, a small sphere dotted with seeds.

Ikhaya Garden

Visites à réserver en ligne sur

www.airbnb.fr/experiences/99592

8.

Locavore market

Surfing the locally sourced food trend, this farm that sits amid the homes of downtown Oranjezicht is successfully following the path of seed to plate. Every Saturday, it sends carrots and a rainbow of squash to the eponymous market overlooking the ocean, bringing together a panoply of farmers and regional cooks. There’s an array of spicy potpies, competing offers of chocolate coconut muffins, a raft of multiple types of cuisine and an indulgence of fragrant mushroom skewers. Bring a big basket: with such eye-popping splendor, you’ll certainly bite off more than you can chew.

Oranjezicht City Farm market

Tous les samedis sur V&A Waterfront, 9h-14h. Tél. +27 (0)83 628 3426.

www.ozcf.co.za

9.

Make mine MOCAA

Forty-two concrete cylinders standing upright like a mysterious organ, just a few meters from the ships in dry dock. Way up at the top, the faceted glass panels reflect the clouds. Opened last year in a former grain silo, the Zeitz MOCAA (named for its founder, philanthropist Jochen Zeitz) opted for a monumentality that matches its ambition—to create the leading museum of contemporary African art. Processions of costumes by Beninese photographer Leonce Raphael Agbodjélou, deconstructed worlds by Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui, ironically innocent works by Congolese painter Chéri Samba—fill the 6,500 m2 of tubes and spirals in the exhibition space designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick to house the lavish artistic riches of a continent.

Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art africa (MOCAA)

V&A Waterfront. Tél. +27 (0)87 350 4777.

www.zeitzmocaa.museum

10

Taking root

Cape Town is packed with restaurants. From fusion to lunch counter, from a seaside spread to everyday greasy spoon. The Greenhouse, however, on the affluent hillsides of Constantia, is in a league of its own. Think of the food by Relais & Châteaux chefs Peter Tempelhoff and Ashley Moss (photo) as a repertoire of roots: sometimes earthy, grounded in raw and cooked preparations; sometimes a tight balancing act, playing with tradition. The idombolo, a traditional Xhosa steam bread, is a brioche nest for stewed lamb; appetizers appear on a twisted mopane root; pap, a porridge made from local corn, is transformed into a delicate polenta; and the desserts seem to have fallen from the branches of a fynbos bonsai. Delectable illuminations, blossoming between the roses and the orchards.

Greenhouse 93

Brommersvlei Road, Constantia. Tél. +27 (0)21 795 6226. Réservation fortement conseillée.

www.greenhouserestaurant.co.za.

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Stop the clocks, kick off your sandals: at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, which opened in 1899, luxury is laid-back, as it often is at venerable establishments where hospitality is an integral aspect of every experience. A white colonnade, long palm tree-lined avenue and pink facades reflect the serenity of this oasis-like palace. Cottages with floral gardens and suites overlook centuries-old oaks, the swimming pool and grassy lawns for families or private sunbathing, a lush veranda and a grand lounge (Churchill’s writing desk is still on display). Every afternoon, the lobby is bustling with people who come for high tea, complete with fresh scones, sweet and savory petits fours and a piano recital.

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

76 Orange Street, Le Cap. Tél. +27 (0)21 483 1000.

www.belmond.com

Drink in moderation. Alcohol abuse is harmful to your health © Heatherwick Studio

Carnet d’adresses

Montebello Design Centre

31 Newlands Avenue. Tél. +27 (0)21 685 6445.

www.montebello.co.za

Oudekraal beach

Tout au sud après Camps Bay, une braai area populaire et bien aménagée en bord de plage.

The Botanical Bar

160 Longmarket Street. Tél. +27 (0)76 124 4639.

www.thebotanicalbar.co.za

Kirstenbosch national botanical garden

Rhodes Drive. Tél. +27 (0)21 799 8783.

www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch

Ikhaya Garden

Visites à réserver en ligne sur

www.airbnb.fr/experiences/99592

Oranjezicht City Farm market

Tous les samedis sur V&A Waterfront, 9h-14h. Tél. +27 (0)83 628 3426.

www.ozcf.co.za

Zeitz Museum Of Contemporary Art africa (MOCAA)

V&A Waterfront. Tél. +27 (0)87 350 4777.

www.zeitzmocaa.museum

Greenhouse 93

Brommersvlei Road, Constantia. Tél. +27 (0)21 795 6226. Réservation fortement conseillée.

www.greenhouserestaurant.co.za.

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

76 Orange Street, Le Cap. Tél. +27 (0)21 483 1000.

www.belmond.com

Restaurants

The Pot Luck Club

Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ restaurant is located at the top of the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, offering a view of the docks. The tapas are beautifully orchestrated in five flavors (salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami). 373-375 Albert Road, Woodstock. Tél. +27 (0)21 447 0804.

www.thepotluckclub.co.za

Biesmiellah

A family-run establishment in the Bo- Kaap district, perfect for discovering Cape Malay cuisine, a fusion of Cape Town and Malaysian cuisine (be sure to try the bobotie, a spicy meat specialty). À l’angle de Wale & Pentz Streets. Tél. +27 (0)21 423 0850.

www.biesmiellah.co.za

Wild Sprout

This locavore restaurant with its wooden tabletops is one of the most recent organic additions to the city center. Even the broccoli salads taste moreish. 179 Loop Street. Tél. +27 (0)21 007 3355.

www.wild-sprout.co.za

Shopping

Imiso Ceramics

The ceramics of Zizipho Poswa and Andile Dyalvane are like art objects.373-375 Albert Road. Tél. +27 (0)21 447 2627.

www.imisoceramics.co.za

Merchants on Long

This concept store for discerning shoppers brings together the leading South African designers.34 Long Street. Tél. +27 (0)21 422 2828.

www.merchantsonlong.com

Grandt Mason

Colorful shoes, 100% vegan, and made in the studio-boutiques of the Woodstock Exchange shopping center. 66 Albert Road. Tél. +27 (72)258 0002.

www.grandtmason.com

Promenades

Company’s Gardens

The city gradually encroached upon this garden, planted in the 17thsup> century, yet there’s still a greenhouse, a coffee shop beneath the fruit trees and the serenity of fertile places. 15 Queen Victoria Street.

Silvermine Nature Reserve

If, on your way back from the Cape of Good Hope, you’re looking to find landscapes that remind you of that far-flung region of the world (but minus the tourists), head for the wild trails in the heart of the Table Mountain National Park. Tél. +27 (0)21 712 7471.

www.tmnp.co.za

Winelands

In addition to white-fronted estates and garnet-colored wine, the wine route one hour outside Cape Town will naturally take you past immaculate rows of vines, overlooked by majestic mountains.

Overview
Overview
Address Book

Going There

www.airfrance.com

Flight frequency

JOON has 3 weekly flights to Cape Town from Paris-CDG.

KLM has 7 weekly flights to Cape Town from Amsterdam.

Arrival airport

Cape Town International Airport.
À 20 km de la ville.

AIR FRANCE KLM office

À l’aéroport.

Bookings

— Depuis la France : Tél. 3654.
— Depuis l’étranger :
Tél. +33 (0)892 70 26 54.

Car rental

Hertz, à l’aéroport.
Tél. +27 (0)21 935 3000.
www.airfrancecarrental.com

Further reading

Le Cap
Gallimard, coll. Cartoville.
Afrique du Sud, Lesotho et Swaziland
Lonely Planet.
Afrique du Sud
Gallimard, coll. Bibliothèque du voyageur.
Cape Town and the Garden Route
Lonely Planet (en anglais).

© Antoine Corbineau / Talkie Walkie. Map for illustration, purpose only.