Cape Town is a magical city. One of the things that I love most about being here is that there is always something to do and always something new to see. I recently went, for the first time, to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. This is one of the most beautiful places in Cape Town, not only because of the vegetation but because of the landscape and the fact that the background view of the garden is the side part of Table Mountain. Some of the top trails of the botanical gardens are actually the beginning of trails that reach the top of Table Mountain. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is huge, but that’s what makes it so great because you get a variety of scenery. Because it is big don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes, you’ll be walking a lot. They have a restaurant at the entrance called Moyo which I’ve heard is really good, but unfortunately my boyfriend and I went on a late Sunday afternoon after lunch time, so they had already closed. But even if you don’t go to the restaurant, the gardens are very worth it.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens website: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch
One of the two things that I love to do the most, in terms of exercising, is yoga (the other one being hiking). I consider yoga to be a big part of my life because I really enjoy doing it and I don’t feel the same when it is not part of my weekly routine. When I came here a year ago to do an internship, I came for 2 months. Because yoga is so important to me I had to find the perfect place to practice, and in fact I found it, it’s called Yogalife. I consider myself to be beginner-intermediate level and I think this place is suitable for anyone at any level.
What I really liked about Yogalife is the variety of classes they offer. Most of the classes are heated but they offer: Vinyasa, Bikram, Yoga Sculpt and Power Yoga. My favorite class to take is Power Yoga because it has the Vinyasa flow to it and it’s challenging. The teachers are great, not all of them but most of them; I love the American teachers I guess because I’m used to the American style of teaching yoga. Regarding cost, I think it is a very reasonable amount, especially if you buy them in packages. The practice rooms, the center itself and the locker-rooms are all very clean and hygienic. One of the recommendations I would give anyone going is to arrive about 10 minutes before the class starts because sometimes in high-peak hours (like at 6 after everyone gets out of work or during the morning on weekends) it gets really full, especially with Power Yoga, and you might not be able to get in the class or you might not get a good place. I hope that if you do go you have as great of experience as I’ve had so far.
Yogalife website: http://www.theyogalife.co.za
Image source: website
I know that Marcel’s Frozen Yoghurt is actually a franchise so why would I be writing about it on my blog? Well I love frozen yogurt. I love that it is a healthier version of your typical ice cream (I mean probiotics!) but it is just as refreshing. I went to university in the US and one of the things I loved the most was Pinkberry’s frozen yogurt, I thought that I would never find anything like it here in Cape Town, but then I found Marcel’s which tastes even better! I think that knowing a nice and trustworthy place to have frozen yogurt in other countries is very important (well at least for me because I love it).
I am very picky with frozen yogurts, I need the perfect taste to actually enjoy it and I can say that Marcel’s tastes delightful. It doesn’t taste like Pinkberry or Red Mango or any of those, it actually tastes much better, more natural! I was very impressed by its deliciousness; the only thing that I didn’t like as much were the toppings, they don’t compare to the ones that Pinkberry offers but I think I’ve gotten past that minor detail.
One of the things that make this franchise so amazing besides the taste of the frozen yogurt itself is that, first of all it is South African and second of all they actually started selling frozen yogurt back in 1989 before the big hype about it hit the world, so I find them so authentic yet delicious. Really if you are ever in a mall or in a place and you see Marcel’s stop by even if it is just to try it! I personally love their litchi flavor.
I ordered this last time I was there: half natural with chocolate sprinkles and half litchi with no toppings
To find the closest Marcel’s Frozen Yoghurt, their website is: http://www.marcels.co.za
Rihanna performed in Cape Town tonight and it was absolutely amazing! She is a great performer and stunning (to say the least). I sometimes hate concerts because of the hassle of going into the venue and the people but they are so well organized it’s impressive. So if you have any event at the Green Point Stadium don’t be scared about the chaos, they are so well organized (even better than any event I ever went to in the USA). A good thing about Green Point is that there are a lot of bars around the area so it’s perfect to go for drinks pre or post event.
If you ask any Capetonian, or anyone who knows Cape Town really well, what is the most well-known bakery in town I think that 80% will say it’s Charly’s Bakery. This is one of the most famous bakeries in Cape Town. They even have their own show, Charly’s Angels, on the South African food network channel. I think it is a very fun bakery, they do very fun designs and cakes in general. The tastes of the pastries is good (not the most amazing I’ve had, but they are good), my only complaint would be that they put too much frosting on cupcakes. If I would have to compare it to a bakery in America, I would say it reminds me of Magnolia Bakery, its more about the name than it is about the actual taste. I still recommend it because its a very fun bakery! But a word of advice… On Saturdays the line can get very long so go when you’re not in a hurry.
Charly’s Bakery website: http://www.charlysbakery.co.za
Hemelhuijs is one of the coolest restaurants I’ve been to in Cape Town. The restaurant is in the border of the CBD and DeWaterkant. What makes it so great is their whole concept of modern with a “clean” finish, and also their amazing attention to detail (to the decor, the staff and the food) which makes this a true one-of-a-kind experience. The idea of “it’s all in the details” describes them perfectly… even their salt is even infused with carbon! What I loved about the restaurant is how fresh the food is and how they are bringing in the idea of wholesome foods into their menu but with a very modern twist to it. I have to admit that the menu is a bit weird because I think they have one menu for all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) so the menu has a bit of all three meals; but don’t let this scare you, the taste and quality of the food are amazing! Hemelhuijs is known for their eggs, especially their poached eggs. Most of their dishes contain egg in some way (poached, scrambled, etc). I don’t eat egg so I ate toast and it was so good, the bread was so so fresh. I also had a delicious fresh juice with apple, pineapple and coconut water. It was a great meal! It is an expensive restaurant (especially when you compare it to normal breakfast prices) so just take that into consideration when looking for a place to eat.
Hemelhuijs website: http://www.hemelhuijs.co.za/restaurant.htm
Pineapple, apple and coconut
Carbon infused salt! Does taste good
Pure Good is a nice small healthy restaurant that was opened by MasterChef South Africa finalist, Shannon Smuts. What I liked most about this place is the location. Pure Good is located by the bottom part of Gardens (the area) where you really can’t find a lot of good restaurants; most good restaurants in Gardens are on Kloof St. so it is nice to see that someone is doing something new here. When I went I had a juice, a smoothie (with coconut ice) and a sandwich to go and they were good. I think that if you are ever in this area and are looking for a good healthy meal, then pop by.
Pure Good website: https://www.facebook.com/puregoodSA