Who knows lots about Capetown and the winelands?

(25 Posts)
puffling Mon 17-Nov-08 11:26:45

Might go there with little dd in february despite my terrible fear of flying. Any recommendations on where to stay food, beaches, wineries etc. gratefully appreciated.

stillstanding Mon 17-Nov-08 14:09:01

Wonderful place to go, puffling - and such a good time to go.

Cape Town is a great place with children as has lovely beaches (eg Clifton, Camps Bay although those are on the Atlantic coast so the sea is a bit nippy) and there is so much else to do to (penguin spotting in Boulders Bay, Cape Point, Table Mountain etc).

Winelands also good - I would go to Stellenbosch, Franschoek area. Loads of wineries in those areas. Boschendal is a popular one.

Where to stay really depends on your budget. The pound goes relatively far but it is a tourist hot spot and overseas rates do apply.

Hope you have a lovely holiday!

puffling Mon 17-Nov-08 15:09:39

Thanks Stillstanding. How did your children manage the long flight?

snigger Mon 17-Nov-08 15:13:48

Watching with interest - SIL & BIL went back a few years ago and went to Meerlust & Kanonkop - fantastic wines, and we're planning a trip 2010.

You'll just have to grit your teeth for the flight smile!

stillstanding Mon 17-Nov-08 16:21:27

DS was 6 months at the time so a bit easier. On the way out (when I was with DH) he passed out before the plane took off and woke up at breakfast but on the way back (when I was on my own naturally!) he cried most of the way. Grim indeed but you just have to remember that it is only one night of your life and it will end eventually.

How old is your DD? Next time I plan (on GP's instructions) to dose him up on piriton. For an older child I would take lots of activities (books, colouring pens etc).

Blinglovin Mon 17-Nov-08 16:26:16

Yay! I love people who go to South Africa, especially Cape Town.

it's an amazingly child friendly city and country so you should have a fantastic time.

Starting with basics - how old is dd? Does she sleep through the night? It's an overnight flight so depending on her age and sleepability (made up word) it can be relatively painless. Note that there are usually early and late flights eg departing 7 pm and then again at 9pm so its' worth thinking about your dd's patterns when booking flights.

For accommodation, it definitely depends on what you want. Here is an excellent website for self catering, b&b and boutiquey hotels: www.capestay.co.za/

You will most likely need to hire a car, unless you choose to stay in the centre of town and visit local attractions, keep that in mind. There are taxi's available, but it can get expensive if you're staying a little further out and want to be jaunting all over the place. I wouldn't recommend public transport for a tourist.

I can come up with a zillion more ideas, but let me know a sense of what you'd like to do, dd's age and whether you're doing it cheaply, mid range or the full bang shoot!

[we'll be getting married in feb in cape town! So we'll be around the same time!]

HolidaysQueen Mon 17-Nov-08 16:27:39

We're going with our DS (will be 10mo) in Jan/Feb. Going to Franschoek (wine) and Hermanus (beach) then a week in a villa in Cape Town, staying in Camps Bay. Cape Town sounds excellent for babies/young children.

How old is your DD? A SA friend is heading back for Christmas with her bf 8 month old and has been warned by friends that breastfeeding does not seem to be very well accepted in restaurants etc.

We love boutiquey style hotels and there are some great hotels in SA but a lot are not that child friendly so DH has had to spend a lot of time searching them out. However some of the villas are amazing with pools and beautiful views, so you might want to consider self catering.

I'm a bit worried about the flight but trying to remind myself that it is just a few hours out of a 17 day holiday!

Twirl Mon 17-Nov-08 17:52:04

I stayed here in Cape Town www.villa-rosa.com and would highly recommend. I also stayed here for the beachwww.monkeyvalleyresort.com and it was out-of-this world!
Visited Stellenbosch and Franschoek but can't remember the names of the accom, i'll have a think!
Definitely go, it is a wonderful place!

bythepowerofgreyskull Mon 17-Nov-08 17:56:20

we had our honeymoon in SA - 4 nights in capetown here in capetown - fabulous location

and here in Paarl - winelands area..

fantastic most wonderful holiday ever

Blinglovin Mon 17-Nov-08 17:59:30

Twirl. sad - I wanted to get married at Moneyvalley and couldn't because the size was wrong. Am jealous of you!

Blinglovin Mon 17-Nov-08 18:00:18

Greyskull - I love your style! Two of the best hotels in Cape Town!

We have always had wonderful holidays on Cape Town, although up until now have been child free
Can't wait to go back and take the children.
We stayed here,, lovely self catering accomodation really handy for the centre of town, but safe as well and really really gorgeous
Go see the penguins, V+A waterfront, Robben island, cape point,Table Mountain, it's so gorgeous all of it am a little envy

Twirl Mon 17-Nov-08 18:46:03

Blinglovin, what a shame for you sad. I imagine a wedding there would be beautiful.

we stayed here
a few years ago admittedly. it was lovely.

so envy

puffling Tue 18-Nov-08 19:53:52

Stillstanding and Blingloving-DD is 2.8 yrs. She sleeps thru the night so I'd hope she'd be ok on a night flight. How far do seats go back on a longhaul flight, would she be comfortable enough?
We'd like to go for up to 3 weeks and see the wine area, Cape Town and beaches. Not sure if we'd base ourselves in one place equidistant from everything, or perhaps stay by the beach and in a wine area like Franschoek.
We aren't looking for pure luxury but are aware that we may be able to afford something better than we would elsewhere.

Thanks everyone for accomodation tips, they all look lovely and tempting.

SmileyMylee Wed 19-Nov-08 01:06:05

Very timely thread, I'm going to Cape Town on Saturday. Can't wait!!!

Blinglovin Wed 19-Nov-08 10:21:13

DP and I stayed here last year and it waas astonishingly good value www.capestay.co.za/blueyonder/ Perfect with kids as it's right on a lovely (relatively) warm beach, convenient little town etc. Little bit of a drive into the city or winelands, but you could easily base yourself here for at least a week before then heading off to somewhere in the winelands perhaps.

Try contacting these people www.2waytravel.com. they do community stuff, but they can also recommend family tours and organise a few weeks to specifications and it's all personalised. They're very good.

Blinglovin Wed 19-Nov-08 10:22:34

I should clarify, when I say "a little bit of a drive into town" - that's by cape town standards. Ie, it will take you about 30 minutes into the centre of town and perhaps just over an hour to the winelands. People in cape town have weird ideas about timing.

Fish Hoek (the accommodation I am recommending) is also close to various other attractions. I'll come on later and give you a short list! grin

Blinglovin Wed 19-Nov-08 11:22:19

Your LO will love Boulders Beach – it’s a beach with a penguin colony and little kids absolutely love seeing all the penguins hanging out. It’s on the way to Simonstown. here

I think with a small child, staying on the False Bay side – Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay etc while you’re doing Cape Town proper, is a better bet as you’ll find that it’s a bit more child friendly, better child beaches, more laid back etc.

Whatever you do though, definitely take some time to explore Kalk bay – a lovely fishing “village” around there. There are some great restaurants that vary from cheap and cheerful to very posh and flash. There are also some lovely little markets and craft stores which are great for browsing. The Brass Bell is a Cape Town institution – huge pub/restaurant over different floors and decks. If it’s lunch time and the weather is nice definitely sit outside on one of the decks. The Brass Bell. Just across the harbour from the Brass Bell is Kalkies – a fish and chips place that is very cheap and cheerful but everything is totally fresh – caught by the manager and/or his team that day! Brunch around there is excellent at Olympia café Olympia.

Towards the City, definitely try to go up table mountain – you can walk it but with a LO you probably want to take the cable car which goes basically from the City to the top of the mountain. Cable Car.

I also highly recommend Kirstenbosch – Kirstenbosch – there’s a lovely restaurant and shop and it’s very beautiful. Children love it because there are these gorgeous green slopes to roll down, little streams to throw pebbles into…the list goes on grin. They also have concerts on Sunday nights which are fantastic and totally worth doing. Concerts You can take or buy a picnic to have as well.

In the City, take time to wonder around the main city and explore greenmarket square – a very touristy, but nonetheless fantastic African Market.

Obviously, there’s the V&A Waterfront – basically just shops and restaurants. But in the summer there are always things happening at the open air theatre or just generally around so you can easily pass a day or two there just chilling out.

I would also recommend a trip to Hout Bay. It also have a lovely beach although it’s quite windy. Another cape town institution for food there is called Mariners Wharf www.marinerswharf.com/ and if you are a prawn lover, these are the best prawns you’ll ever eat. And they’ll only cost you a tenner! grin. There’s also a great market in Hout Bay on Sundays which is good value and very interesting. www.uncoverthecape.co.za/shopping/markets/hout-bay-market/. You should also find all kinds of interesting art shops around there if you’re interested at all. Hout Bay is on the Atlantic side and it’s worth just driving from the city to there – it’s a gorgeous drive. Camps Bay is the most popular, and richest! grin beach area in cape town with lots of boutique hotels etc if you'd like to stay there for a while. It tends to be expensive, even by UK standards, so might be worth sticking to day visits. But a visit to the beach there and a walk along the beach would be worthwhile.

For history, it might be worth looking into a walking tour of the city/de waterkant de Waterkant. Also a visit to the old Castle is quite interesting Castle. A trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned is an interesting day out as well – boats go regularly from the waterfront and you don’t need to prebook normally.

Is this enough? Sorry – I tend to get a little overexcited as I love Cape Town and wish that everyone could go there! grin

On the winelands, I’m afraid I’m not nearly as in the know as I am on cape town. You can do organized wine tours which are probably worthwhile (and prevents you driving! grin) and of course, if you’re staying in the area it’s easier to wander around. They’re far enough away that I would suggest spending at least 4 days out there, actually staying somewhere.

We stayed part of the time at a lovely estate called Spier. Look up the Inn at Spier. Pretty child-friendly if I remember correctly and Moro was completely amazing - way better than it sounded as I thought it would be all naff touristy stuff but it wasn't.

After that we stayed in Camps Bay but that was pre-kids and the hotel there wasn't child friendly really so can't help. It is beautiful though and I'm sure you could find some lovely self catering accommodation there.

puffling Wed 19-Nov-08 21:14:48

Thanks for taking the time to give me all this info Blinglovin. Later on, I'll check out everything you've recommended.

Chipmunks, I've heard about the Spier winery. Did you see the leopards?

nowwearefour Wed 19-Nov-08 21:19:09

we booked on monday to go to camps bay for 10 days at the beginning of january. cant wait. will print this thread out and use the recommendations- thanks! another great website for accom is fleewinter.com

Blinglovin Thu 20-Nov-08 10:27:18

Phew. I was a little worried you'd think I was some weird cape town obsessive.

Well, I am. But in a good way! grin

Yes we did the leopard encounter thing - it was really good and definitely worth doing although slightly scary!

But the thing I remember most is Moro as I mentioned. It's just fabulous!

KT12 Sun 23-Nov-08 20:53:20

Hi, just got back from Cape Town with 23 month old DD. My parents live in Hermanus, which is a great place to visit, so I go once or twice a year since DD was 12 weeks old. You have been given loads of info, so all I would reiterate definitely hire a car, public transport to wine farms and beaches are not reliable or non-existant. Also have You can hire a car seat, but I got my parents to buy a second hand one for about £20.00. Have you considered a self catering place to stay - loads of good options. We have stayed at one in Noordhoek which we found on http://www.chicretreats.com/luxury-and-boutique-hotels-in/Africa/SouthAfrica/CapeTown/Region866.aspx

Definitely take your little one to Boulders beach, but check the tide table, if it high tide, there is very little beach. Also consider a trip up the west coast to Langebaan. We stayed at Friday Island - right on the beach - a b&b on the beach with it's own restaurant. Try the Strandloper Restaurant - a rustic boma on the beach serving a 12 course meal of mainly fish for about £12.00 - really worth it if you like fresh fish.

Lastly, February is the hottest month, so go armed with lots of good sun block, light cotton clothing and invest in a beach umbrella once out there. Hope this helps.

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