Thinking of Travelling? | Cape Town

Thinking of Travelling… Visit Cape Town

Cape Town is a city close to my heart and after spending time there year after year, there are certain things to do that we’ve either discovered and love, or are old favourites that you just can’t miss if you ever get the chance to travel to the beautiful cape.

1. Walking up Lions Head

Stunning panoramic views over Cape Town.

Although taking the cable car up table mountain is an experience in itself, the short hour walk to the top of Lion’s head is filled with 360 degree views over the whole city, along with exciting step ladders and ropes to help with the climb and once at the top, an absolutely stunning view over the whole city, including the beautiful table mountain, standing strong. If you are visiting over a ‘full moon’ then climbing Lions Head on this night is an absolutely must. Hundreds if not thousands of people scramble their way to the top to catch a glimpse of Cape Town under the light of a the full moon. An adventure you have to experience.

Or better still walk up Lions head and paraglide down!

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2. The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Beautiful walks and picnics.

This world-renowned botanical garden is nestled at the eastern foot of Table Mountain. It lives up to it’s reputation as the most beautiful garden in Africa and not many others around the world can match the sheer grandeur of the national reserve against the slopes of the mountain.

Take a picnic and relax to Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset concert surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Cape Town Mountains.

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3. Boulders Beach

Swim with penguins.

This really is a place for all the family, with wooden board-walks built up across the penguins home, you can watch them living their lives, building nests, integrating with mates, you can even see the eggs hatch if you’re there in the right season. Then at Boulder’s Beach, where you can sunbath, rock climb and swim in the sea, the penguins are free to roam around so you might even get the luck chance to swim with the penguins.

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4. The Old Biscuit Mill

Food, shops, restaurants and market.

Located in Woodstock in buzzy downtown Cape Town, The Old Biscuit Mill really is the place to be on any evening of the week as it is filled with both local and Michelin star restaurants, ready to tickle your fancy. Along with this, is the Saturday morning buzz of all the local produce and restaurants arriving to set up their stands and fill the area with mini cafes, hot and cold food stalls, along with biltong making, chocolate tasting, soap trying, vegetable markets, you name it, it’s there on a Saturday morning.

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5. Long Street

For the Nightlife – clubs and bars.

Long Street is the backpacker central of Cape Town, it is buzzy and loud and full of exciting atmosphere. With famous hostels all along the street and crazy pubs and bars on every corner, it is the young soul of Cape Town and the place to be when travelling.

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6. Noordhoek Beach

Windy walks and kite flying.

As you probably know, sometimes in Cape Town the weather can be hit and miss and when the winds come, they come in strong, and when this happens there is no where better to be that Noordhoek beach. The vast stretch of white sand is perfect for long walks but even better for kite

flying. We have huge 3 meter trick kites that lift you off the ground and fill up a whole day with fun-filled activity.

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7. Camps Bay

Evening drinks at sunset.

Camps Bay, along with being an the ideal beach location, with the sun staying shining on the sand until late, is also a great evening destination. Camps Bay high street runs along side the beach with bars and restaurants looking over the vast ocean, absolutely perfect for watching the sunset in the evening with a glass of wine. All the restaurants are always full so the atmosphere is always on point and the seafood couldn’t be fresher.

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8. Food

So many places. So many choices.

Over the many years of visiting Cape Town we have been able to experience a wide range of restaurants.
We would like to share below our all time favourites, Cape Town wouldn’t be the same without them!

Pot Luck Club

The Pot Luck Club, situated on the top floor of the Silo of the Old Biscuit Mill on Albert Road, Woodstock opened February 14th 2013.  It has been dubbed the coolest place to be in Cape Town and its success is based on innovative cuisine, served in a relaxed yet edgy environment in a part of Cape Town that has never attracted an evening dining crowd.
Luke collaborated with renowned Cape Town based architect Greg Scot along with some of the city’s foremost art and design personalities.
Luke Dale-Roberts is a name synonymous with the finest, most creative and innovative food in South Africa. Since coming to Cape Town, Luke has consistently proven his mettle with a string of awards and accolades.

Delaire Graff

A luxury Winelands experience at Delaire Graff Estate, a world-leading destination for wine, art and hospitality in an unrivalled setting. Designed with the discerning global traveller in mind, savour breathtaking, uninterrupted views of the Stellenbosch Valley.

Nestled between majestic mountains and overlooking the vineyards of Stellenbosch, the incredible views provide the perfect backdrop to our outstanding restaurants, state-of-the-art winery, exclusive Lodges, exuberant landscaping, destination Spa and luxury boutiques.

La Colombe

Scot Kirton, executive chef of La Colombe in Constantia, Cape Town, has earned the title S.Pellegrino Chef of the Year.

There’s a playfulness to the menu, especially in terms of presentation. Take their signature dish, the tuna tataki served in a can, which also made an appearance on the menu at the Sunday lunch awards ceremony. It’s clear that a lot of thought, hard work, and more than a touch of fun goes into designing the menu.

Scot explains, “We start by looking at what the season holds, and then we try to think outside the box. Every dish has to be unique and original; this sometimes means that it takes weeks to master.”

Greenhouse

Greenhouse is the flagship restaurant of The Collection by Liz McGrath, and a celebration of local flavours fashioned into an exquisite experience by the genius of the culinary team working here.
Greenhouse is a place where local ingredients and great African fables come together in a tasting menu that takes guests on a unique culinary experience. It’s why we were ranked number four in the 2015 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards’ list of South Africa’s top 10 restaurants, along with the Bsochendal Style Award.
Menus change with every season, and guests are guaranteed fresh, seasonal, local ingredients wherever possible, and often from the Cellars garden. Let the expert sommelier assist you with pairing your meal with the perfect wine for the ultimate dining experience.

9. Robben Island

To get a sense of the real culture.

In order to get a true representation of the history of such a country, you have to explore back to its roots and for South Africa, this Island located in Table Bay, is hugely significant both to the nation and it’s people. Robben Island is where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, and visiting this tiny cell and the rest of the prison island will allow you a true insight into South Africa’s struggles.

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10.  Table Mountain

Everyone has to be a tourist at some point

Its on everyone’s list of ‘things to do in Cape Town’ but it really is an opportunity that you can not miss out on. Take the 360 degree cable car up the side of the mountain to reach the table top. Leisurely walk around and explore the wildlife and take in the views of the surrounding Cape. The best time to go is just before sunset. Take a picnic and watch the sun go from the top of the mountain and Cape Town transform from day to night.

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Follow more travel adventures below:

Thinking of Travelling: Copenhagen

Thinking of Travelling: San Pedro: Chile

Thinking of Travelling: Bruges

 Thinking of Travelling: Paris

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Thinking Of Travelling? | Copenhagen

Thinking of visiting Copenhagen?

 

For a day, weekend or week Copenhagen has it all. Known for its delicious food scene you can find yourself spending your whole day going from restaurant to cafe to bar and back again.

From our trip to this city here are a few of our favourite places to eat:

BREAKFAST / BRUNCH

Mad & Kaffe

Most Copenhageners have Mad & Kaffe on their brunch bucket list. Located in one of Vesterbro’s hotspot locations, you can combine your own tasty breakfast plate by ticking the list of various breakfast possibilities.

The café is known for being an Instagram-darling with an aesthetic and colourful morning plate perfectly shareable – with a friend or on social media. Avocado with chili oil and baked almonds, cinnamon bun with organic chocolate on the top, yoghurt with muesli, macha tea and basil are just some of the small dishes you find on the menu.

Mad & Kaffe also offer lunch and bigger meals. You can order burger, salad or sandwiches. You can also sit outside and enjoy the glimpse of sunshine if the weather is up for it. In 2015 Mad & Kaffe won the price for Copenhagen’s best café.

The Union Kitchen

English “balls” are the focal point at The Union Kitchen – tasty meat balls that is – served in every possible size and with various fillings and in combination with a wide variety of sauces and sides, all with very favourable price tags.

Breakfast platters as well as salads are a big hit, and if you find yourself at the restaurant after a rough night out, try the Bartender’s Hangover Burger with a fried egg and a shot of Fernet Branca on the side.

The restaurant is located in Store Strandstræde, near the raw, yet polished Nyhavn. This old part of Copenhagen suits the décor of the restaurant, which mainly consists of newspaper cut outs from the 1930s, heavy iron chairs, wooden tables and retro lamps.

Granola

Granola offers freshly-brewed coffee, great creamy ice-cream, Summerbird chocolates and fruity milk-shakes from the good old days. Granola is also serving breakfast, brunch and dinner.

The place reeks with nostalgia. There is a priceless old coffee mill in the middle of the room, colourful enamel signs, music from the 50s and 60s, and an old counter from the long gone days of colonial trade.

There are often lots of people hanging out at Granola but that is just some of the charm being at Værnedamsvej.

LUNCH / DINNER

GEIST

An eatery where you can relax, unwind and savor the moment.

Food made with pure ingredients and pure enthusiasm. Served with joy alongside good pours. In surroundings that inspire gleeful seduction and free thought.

Here, the evening and the menu is yours: The card consists of light savory dishes, slightly larger savory dishes and all things sweet – we recommend that you begin by choosing a few dishes, and if you have an appetite and a desire for more, you can simply order as you go. Because Geist is about pleasure. So come. Be part of it, be here, be welcome.

FISKEBAREN

The Fish Bar is all about fish and shellfish. It’s about fresh, healthy, delicious food. About fine wine and a great atmosphere. We want to offer a restaurant experience, that in our opinion is yet to be found in Copenhagen and we strive to give our costumers relaxed, atmospheric and affordable experiences when visiting our restaurant.

The focal point is naturally the best fish and shellfish from the waters around us, but also when it comes to vegetables and other products are we looking for local quality. It is our ambition, as far as possible, to cooperate with retailers and producers who have strong opinions of taste, quality and sustainability.

Visit Fiskebaren Restaurant Here

PALAEGADE

A classic restaurant in the heart of the historic city centre in Copenhagen. We are a team of young, fresh minds, but our hearts beat for classic Danish cooking. We work with great respect for our nature and seasons, and we take pride in the gastronomic traditions of our country. Every day we honor those traditions by showing our guests that our gastronomic heritage is relevant, modern, tasteful and important.

Classic Danish smørrebrød – masterfully done. Beer and akvavit from small and large producers.


For more travel ideas click below:

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Thinking of Travelling? | Cape Town


Thinking Of Travelling? | San Pedro: Chile

SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

On arriving in the small town of San Pedro, it’s difficult to imagine that this bizarre and empty looking place could be one of the most fun, liveliest and action packed towns that you’ll visit in your travels around Chile. Immediately you’ll be struck by the desert surroundings of… well absolutely nothing and the ground and the oddly shaped buildings all seem to blend into one. However if you give San Pedro a chance and step through one of the uniform looking doors, you’ll arrive in an exotic and crazy world. The first door I opened led me into an incredibly atmospheric and hugely crowded open roofed restaurant with a gigantic fire pit right in the middle and live Chilean musicians playing and dancing between tables. The next matching door opened up into the cutest, tiny market with every single kind of souvenir you could think of – from alpaca ponchos to hand made water bottle holders.

With backpacker crammed hostels, delicious food, buzzing bars, tourist information and hourly tours into the desert, San Pedro definitely makes true the saying “never judge a book by it’s cover” and once you arrive in this wonderfully bizarre town, you’ll never want to leave.

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Places to Stay:

Hostal Rural – There was absolutely no doubt that this hostel would be our top choice when visiting San Pedro. With a rustic and rural vibe, 4-6 bed dorms, reading pits, extremely friendly staff and tour discounts, it’s obvious as to why Hostal Rural is always fully booked. In a quiet location only 30 meters from the main and central street and with the words “the world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” printed on their wall, this hostel is perfect for those who wish to explore the Atacama Desert to it’s fullest.

Hostel Mamatierra – If a quiet desert escape was what you were searching for in visiting the Atacama Desert, then this hostel is ideal. Located 6 blocks away from the central area of the town, the hostel has a peaceful and relaxed vibe, with an outdoor area full of hammocks and comfy seats to enjoy the desert sunshine.

Things To Do:

Visit the Salt Flats

This is the main reason that most people visit San Pedro, in order to see and experience the incredible Salt Flats. San Pedro town is the starting point for the world famous Salt Flats tour into Bolivia where, as well as passing hot springs, geysers, desert land, frozen lakes and a cactus island, you spend a day in the incredible Salt Flats and can have your chance to take the world famous salt flat photos. The smaller Atacama Salt Flats are also accessible on a one-day tour, as they are located just south of the town.

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Star Gazing

Voted the number one place in the world to star gaze, the Atacama Desert is filled with different astronomical lookout points with huge telescopes waiting to show you Jupiter and its rings, the southern cross, shooting stars and a ginormously close moon in all its glory.

(Photo below taken by my iPhone!)

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Geysers

‘El Tatio Geysers’ is a geothermal field located 4200 meters above sea level. The journey to visit them is quite long but SO worth it. Leaving at 4am you’ll arrive at the geysers just as the sun rises and the steaming craters, producing huge puffs of smoke, glow orange and red with the morning light. It’s absolutely freezing at that hour of the morning in the middle of the desert, but stand up close to one of the geysers and you’ll be warm in no time.

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Hot Springs

 The volcanic hot springs in the Atacama Desert are a gorgeous 30 degrees Celsius with different waterfalls and pools within them. The hot water comes from the Puritama river and the springs are hidden in a small but beautiful, natural canyon.

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Moon Valley

 The valley of the moon is one of the closer wonders within the Atacama Desert. Located in the Cordillera de la sal, it is famous because its whole surface is uncannily similar to that of the moon. Full of exciting hidden caves, moon like craters and a huge sand dune from which you can appreciate a stunning view of the valley.

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Sand Boarding

The best known place in the world for practicing this sport is ‘Valle de la Muerte’ or death valley, located in the Atacama Desert, but don’t let this name put you off. With the desert full of brilliant sand dunes of different colours and textures, the steep slopes allow those who want to, to strap on a board, reach extreme speeds and enjoy the buzz of sand boarding. You can also practice this sport by starlight as the brilliant night sky, lights up the sand dunes.

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Desert Party

 Every Saturday night in the town of San Pedro there is a huge desert party. With only the locals knowing the different destination each week, you really do need to ask around to secure a friend to take you there (hostel staff will be more than willing to take to you to experience the real San Pedro night life.) With a make shift bar, huge speakers and crowds of people dancing under the stars, this really is once in a lifetime party to remember.

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Explore the desert

If you don’t feel like taking an organized excursion, it is so easy to simply hire a bike in town and ride into the desert to explore it yourself! There are bike trails and paths and you could even strap a sand board to your bike and try out the sport on the local sand dunes, just be sure to take a map and be back before it gets dark!

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Places to Eat:

Restaurant Blanco – With the best food in town, ‘Blanco’ is definitely one to try out. Right on the corner of Caracoles street in the middle of town, it’s sophisticated all white décor and original delicious recipes attract both tourists and locals, filling up the restaurant every night. The staff are friendly and the meals are inspired by the owner’s travels around the globe.

Café Adobe – This is definitely one of the most popular places in San Pedro in the evenings. It offers delicious Chilean and international cuisine dishes on tables set around a huge bonfire, with the walls covered with pottery and paintings from L Mano Arte.

Tierra, Todo NaturalThis is the only all-natural food restaurant in San Pedro de Atacama, specializing in empanadas, pizzas and pastries all prepared using natural wheat flour. Its flavours have transformed Tierra, a long with it’s natural juices and nutritional breakfast, perfect to enjoy on the restaurant’s sunny terrace.

Getting There:

San Pedro is located 1.670 kms north from Santiago de Chile. To get there first you have to reach Calama, the nearest city, which is connected to San Pedro by a highway with breathtaking views.

The fastest way to reach Calama is by plane and then from there you can get a 20 hour bus or hire a car for journey. For those who chose the adventure of driving to San Pedro, you have to take Route 5, the Panamericana Norte. I would recommend splitting the journey in two as it is very long. The first stop at Caldera (870 km) or Bahía Inglesa and then continue the next day directly to Calama (800 km), where you can then stop again before setting off down Route 5.

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Enjoy!

Follow Steph and more of her travel adventures:

Instagram: steph_parrott

 Blog: www.parrottone.com


For more travel ideas click below:

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Thinking of Travelling? | Bruges

If you set out to design a fairy-tale medieval town, it would be hard to improve on central Bruges. Picturesque cobbled lanes and dreamy canals link photogenic market squares lined with soaring towers, historic churches and old whitewashed almshouses. And there’s plenty of it.

Despite all the recent chaos that has been said on the news about Belgium this did not affect our trip to Bruges in any way. In fact it probably made it nicer as the overcrowded streets and queues of tourists were no where to be seen. We had a perfect weekend, beautiful weather and absolutely loved the magical town of Bruges.

So if you’re thinking of travelling here is my advice:

Go at Christmas

Bruges really is a magical city, especially in the heart winter when its cobbled streets are alive with festivities, glowing with Christmas lights on every building, draped over every tree and decorating every street. It reminded me of a skiing village. To add to the atmosphere, an ice rink is built on the Bruges Market Square close to the many food and festive gift stalls, which offer traditional seasonal delights.

Christmas market dates: 22nd November 2015 – 2nd January 2016

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Canal Tour

Taking a Canal Tour is a must. Yep, it’s touristy, but what isn’t in Bruges? Viewing the city from the water gives it a totally different feel than by foot. Cruise down Spiegelrei towards Jan Van Eyckplein and it’s possible to imagine Venetian merchants entering the city centuries ago and meeting under the slender turret of the Poortersloge building up ahead. The tour man knows everything there is to know about the town, providing every little detail and speaking in every language to make the trip memorable and entertaining for everyone.

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Beer Experience

For our beer experience in Bruges we chose to vist ‘De Halve Maan Brewery‘ to taste the local beer and warm up by the open fire.  For centuries the Maes family has been brewing beer on the Walplein in Bruges. The history of the brewery is contained in a unique museum which is said to be very insightful and entertaining… but we skipped this and went straight to the bar instead.

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Hot Chocolate Tea Room

I am not normally a fan of recommendations when it comes to Trip Advisor but I have to say they definitely were not wrong by titling Tea-Room De Proeverie as ‘The Best Hot Chocolate in Bruges!’ – it really was one of the highlights of my trip. You get a mug of steaming hot milk and a pot of melted dark chocolate along with a pot of cream as well as a couple of chocolates to have with it, and just in case that wasn’t enough we ordered salted caramel waffles on the side. YUM.

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Dinner: Night 1

Right in the heart of Bruges Cafedraal is the place for tasty French-Belgian cuisine, with an independent streak and a passion for regional products.

Here you can eat both seasonal and local with dishes that are prepared out of a love for the job. Some of their delicacies. North Sea cod. Small Dover sole. Asparagus. Endives. A home-made steak tartare. Or even a dish which incorporates the local Brugse Zot beer?

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Dinner: Night 2:

At the end of 2001, “petit” Line and “Grand” Tom opened their cosy grill-restaurant named Au Petit Grand in a side street of the Bruges market square. The restaurant has become a well known address in a short period of time. The interior is warm and cosy a perfect little romantic restaurant for two.

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Where to stay:

The weekend away we decided to stay at the Grand Hotel Casselbergh. Centrally located, at just 150 metres from the Burg and the Main Market Square. This unique hotel is a perfect blend of historic and modern luxury. The hotel was ideal: with a big welcoming lounge covered in Christmas decorations, open fires, buffet breakfast and underground parking for my little car what more could we need.

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For more travel ideas click below:

Thinking of Travelling? | Australia

Thinking of Travelling? | Paris

Thinking of Travelling? | Ski Season

Thinking of Travelling? | Cape Town