Well, maybe a little bit touristy but in my opinion a must visit when you are in the wine region in South Africa. This place simply makes you happy. It is so nicely done and funky that I always take people here when I am going to SA. Basically, it is a very big outdoor restaurant with a big tent and various tree houses where there are tables set up for you to have dinner. There is no menu but an enormous buffet in the big tent. The food is okay, not superb but you don’t go here for the food, you go here for the entertainment and amazing atmosphere. Book a treehouse when you make a reservation because it adds to the experience and feels less touristy then in the big tent. In the tent they have performances that are utterly happy and African… Be prepared to do (or watch) some dancing! +27 21 809 1133 | Website
I stayed in this hotel twice now and would probably stay here again when going to Capetown. I love the fact that the hotel has a very homely, personal atmosphere. The 13 rooms are all different and all incredibly charming. It is small and has a little courtyard with a tiny pool that is more for dipping than swimming but it enables you to at least cool of and have a glass of wine while siting on one of their deck chairs. If you do not necessarily wish to stay right on the coast when in Capetown than I would definitely recommend staying here. If you have access to a car you’ll be at the beach in 10 minutes anyway, so why not? 6 Stephen St, Cape Town 8001 | $$$ | +27 21 426 2373/4 | Website | Map
Wowzers this restaurant is good… I booked a table here well in advance (probably about 9 months or so ) and was given a superb VIP table with the best view for me and my family. It is unbelievable how amazing you can eat in this country for relatively little money.. I would go to this place if you have something to celebrate and want to have a delicate lunch with a spectacular view. The gardens on the estate are beautifully kept (with an impressive art collection/sculptures) and a treat on itself and you can also do wine tasting. Unfortunately for me I could not taste the wine because I was pregnant (actually could taste but could’t drink / swallow haha) but it is apparently really good…The estate also has lodges where you can stay but we (unfortunately) stayed somewhere else. The location is absolutely gorgeous though so I bet the lodges will be as well.
Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch 7602, South Africa | +27 21 885 8160 | $$$$ | Website
Unfortunately this hotel was already full when I tried to book it 10 months before we went to South Africa so we stayed somewhere else but we did have a High Tea here one afternoon and it was so amazing that I want to absolutely mention it as a place not to miss when you are traveling to Plettenberg Bay. The hotel lies close to the beach right underneath the green mountains of Plettenberg. It is fantastically decorated and utterly romantic. Think of rose gardens, country style interiors and delicious food. There is also a separate restaurant on the estate called Katerina and I had a snoop around but it was closed so we were unable to try the food. If I were you I would book Katarina’s for a lunch as it is more bistro style and the homestead restaurant for the evenings which looked superbly romantic. This hotel is too lovely to miss!! The Crags, Plettenberg Bay 6602, South Africa |+27 44 534 8082 | $$$ | Website
I had dinner here with my family on my birthday and was blown away by all of it! The romantic set up in the garden with cozy lighting and candles, the amazing service and last but not least the food. They are listed as one of the worlds top 50 restaurants and the best restaurant of Africa… Well, I can totally see they are!! Being pregnant made me have to go for the (pasteurised) mozzarella and tomato starter which sounds boring and I would usually never select something like it but it was dipped in a cold gazpacho and so amazing that I think it was the best gazpacho, mozzarella tomato salad I have ever tasted! The beef main was also incredibly good and so was everything else!! I made a booking for this restaurant 9 months in advance and I really advice you to do the same when you are planning to go to South Africa. Spaanschemat River Rd, Cape Town 7806, South Africa |+27 21 794 2390 | $$ (depending on converting rate.. We were very lucky!) | Website | Map
This Lodge north east of Port Elizabeth is like a dream come true. I love Africa and have done safari before in Serengeti park Tanzania and were lucky to spot the migration (so I am a little spoiled in terms of Safari) but should you not have time to travel to Kruger park or beyond Port Elizabeth when going to SA, this lodge is a great option because you can still enjoy a safari with chances to see the big five. You have your private small pool on the deck of your room / hut and the staff do all they can to make your stay as memorable as possible. Love the outside shower, the romantic set up of the tables for dinner in the lodge and the fact that each room has a view over the bush so you can spot animals from you bed! Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa | drive is 2,5 hours from Port Elizabeth but you can also book a 4 seat charter flight which is breathtakingly beautiful and will take only half an hour (don’t do this if you are not comfortable on bumpy flights / tiny airplanes / have fear of heights) | +27 46 603 3400 | $$$$$ | Website
To mix things up I will post some places in South Africa where I was late December of last year. I just love this country so much that I think writing about some of their best places would’t hurt. This is one of the most charming places I have ever stayed in. On their website they say that staying in their guesthouse is not like staying in a hotel but more like staying with friends and that is exactly how I experienced it. Augusta de Mist lies between the breathtaking mountains of Swellendam in the Western Cape and the drive to the hotel is already a great pleasure as the surroundings are absolutely beautiful. The hotel is owned by a lovely gay couple Michel and Hank who selected everything with great detail and love. We all had our own romantic garden cottage tastefully decorated with arts, crafts, vintage furniture and attention to detail. Michel was telling us they paint the walls of each room / cottage several times a year. All the cottages were super romantic and to be found in the beautifully kept garden with little pathways and a pool hidden amongst the trees. Hank prepared us a 5 course mouthwatering dinner after which he and Michel joined us for a glass of wine. The food was so perfect we even asked him for some of his recipes. We only stayed one night so I will definitely go back here to enjoy more of Hanks cooking skills, the amazing surroundings and romantic Hotel. The website gives a good impression of the quirkiness of the hotel… 3 Human St, Swellendam, South Africa | +27 28 514 2425 | $$$ | Website
I had an extremely buzzing, fun night out in this absolute gem in Cape Town. The restaurant / bar has a cozy atmosphere with wooden tables and African dressed staff. The restaurant serves sharing dishes that I found really tasty and always adds to the cuddle cuddle mood of the group. It’s just fun to share! It’s probably a restaurant where you want to go to with a group of people (that’s what we did anyway) because it’s quite loud and noisy. They have an African band playing live music on most nights which also adds to the place’s funky atmosphere. Check out their website to get a good impression of the whole ambience….178 Long Street, Cape Town | +27214248634 / +27214261017 | Take a taxi or walk to the city centre | $$ | Website
Okay.. Let’s take a side step here. I really MUST mention this place as it was so incredible and special. This nature retreat / fynbos reserve is to be found in South Africa between Stanford and Cape Agulhas in the Western Cape’s Southern Overberg and owned by a Dutch guy called Maarten.
If you are into the beauty of the South African landscape and love it’s mountains and valleys of ‘nothingness’ go to this beautiful modern architectural designed retreat. It has rural surroundings and total isolation (you feel totally one with nature in this place)
Meals are prepared with local ingredients (no menu) and really good. Breakfast is served when you wake up (no before 10am bullshit) Farm 215, Overberg, South Africa; “hartebeeskloof & koudeberg” baardskeerdersbos – overstrand; +27283880920