The Good Old Days...

In early March I took a trip to Cape Town to see some of those closest to my heart. Amy, Sam and my (lil) sister Simone... the three gals closest to me (sad that they all live so faraway). It has since become an even more important trip to hold dear because it was the last bit of fun and "normal" interaction I had before the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. It was already being spoken about and I had my little hand sanitiser and steered clear of touching things, but also didn't want to appear over the top. I had heard warnings and been told to "be careful". There was only one person wearing a mask at the airport so that somehow made it seem a bit less stressful.

Little did I know that once I got back... life would be thrown into such turmoil. My worst fear at the time was that I didn't want it to impact my work. In the days leading up to the lockdown those fears were realised as I worked with my team to put measures into place and to prepare for the worst. I don't want to get swept up right this minute in writing about my lockdown struggles or those of the people I care about. Instead as we have some of our freedoms returning I want to share some of the incredible local places I visited and perhaps at the time took for granted. As they start to open their doors (and hearts) once more it's a lovely reflection on people and places that can do with our support. It will be a glorious day when I am able to return again... so close, yet so far!

"We have surely always understood the value of supporting local brands and businesses, but if there is some additional insight that we have gained it is that they need us more than ever! It certainly helps that the wares they present and the food that they lovingly make is of such a delightful standard that you feel instantaneously pleased when visiting them."

Here is my list of must-visit spots:

P.S. *I know many of these will not be new or noteworthy to Capetonians, but my list is more for those heading to Cape Town in the (hopefully) near future. I also found that some of my friends who had newly moved there hadn't yet discovered  some of these gems. It was lovely to share them. 

Shopping & Gifts:

This colourfully curated shop is a firm favourite. Amy bought a beautiful kitty bowl  from Soenchie as a gift for Sam. Good choice!

We popped in here as I was looking for a few small gifts for my sister. I found some lovely Palo Santo for her. Amy found a beautiful incense holder which is a smooth white pebble with gold lettering on it.

A treasure trove of local products. I bought the loveliest smelling white sage incense from a brand called Good Vibz.

Tessuti Boutique:
This is a shop my mom discovered on her travels. Their jewellery, decor and Rifle Paper Co. selection is pure perfection (shown in pictures below).

The bubbles were a treat from a Sam to celebrate my sister's 30th birthday which was the main reason for my trip. How delightful is the bottle?

A treasure of a shop hidden inside Waterstone Mall in Somerset West, Sam and I stumbled upon it and absolutely adored what we found. The small ceramics by Julie de Pao were a personal favourite. You'll spot them in the photo below (the colourful triangles).

The Mood Collectives:
An unexpected discovery next to Pajamas and Jam filled with interior design inspiration and art.

The kitty mug just needed to be featured below because it is so damn cute and secondly, Amy makes the best tea I have ever tasted. She uses hazelnut milk from Rude Health. Highly recommended!

Food & Beautiful Settings:

Just a tip, they aren't open on Sundays so get there earlier in the week. Filled with a selection of the finest goods.

The Poké Co:
I could eat there everyday! We visited the Kloof Street branch and I decided to create my own bowl which included rice, tuna and seaweed. The pink decor was particularly perfect (according to me). I also managed to find some Orbs (chickpeas in dark chocolate) there - check out their website here. Pink heaven pictured below.

Unframed Ice Cream:
Named as the best ice-cream in the world, who am I to argue? It was a cold day, but that didn't put Amy and I off. Two scoops after a big lunch was a stretch, but for dessert we all make room. 

Gorgeous George:
We had a girly dinner here and it met all my expectations in terms of the Instagram pictures I had seen. Such a wonderful rooftop setting, it felt reminiscent of New York. 

Kloof Street House:
My sister and I celebrated her 30th birthday there. The decadent interior has an old-world charm to it. The food was also exceptional. It is so unlike anywhere you would visit in Durban.  

Pajamas and Jam Eatery:
This was Sam's recommendation and it truly is a must-visit. It's location is unexpected, but once inside it all makes sense. The details, food and more importantly the cake selection are phenomenal and inspired. Plan a visit, but be sure to make a reservation and don't wait too long until you order your dessert. It sells fast!

Being Outside:

Kirstenbosch Gardens:
Amy and I were perfectly matched to wonder around together. We were quietly inspired by the surrounding greenery. It's best to go with someone who likes to stroll, take in the scenery and generally enjoys peace and quiet.

Beta Beach:
I hope my sister doesn't tell me off for sharing this secret, but once I researched it I saw that you could discover it without me spilling the deets. Of all the places we went this was by far the highlight of my trip. We watched the sunset, I searched for shells and we clinked a few glasses. It gave me a sense of freedom and youth that is so often fleeting and definitely felt as if it was taken from me during lockdown.

I hope a few of these are new to your list and soon your horizons will expand and travelling will be possible. If anything enjoy the little things, silly as that sounds. The company of friends, the sand between your toes and the sweet taste of freedom.