05th May, 2017
Hello friends !
How are you doing this afternoon?
After multiple discussions & endless arguments on where we should go on our honeymoon, my husband and I finally nailed down South Africa ! At first I was a little skeptical on his choice for “The Honeymoon” but I would like to start this blog by saying,
“This was by far the most thrilling, most beautiful and the most luxurious trip I have ever been on!! From scenic table mountains to lovely beaches, from gorgeous landscapes to magnificent oceans, from majestic wildlife to exotic restaurants, South Africa is truly a mixture of everything a person can hope for.”
The 15 days we spent in Africa were so magnificent that I would like to describe this in detail and thus for all those who haven’t been to South Africa, the description of each place will be a journey in itself..
I am therefore dividing this blog day wise so that all you guys out there can enjoy every moment of the journey with us.
Day 01 at Cape Town
We took the Emirates flight from Mumbai Airport- after a 9 hours flight (P.S. – Ofcourse Emirates offered goodies and champagne for the “newly married couple” ! ) we finally reached our first destination – CAPE TOWN.
We arrived at the Cape Town international airport on February 20th around 11 am. Post a smooth immigration, we were received by a representative from &beyond travel at the airport. He helped us with our travel vouchers, suggested the local attractions in Cape Town and handed us a step-by-step GPS guide along with the itinerary for our entire stay in South Africa. After collecting our pre-booked car from the Bidvest Rental agency, we proceeded to our hotel – Welgelegen Guest House in the Gardens area of Capetown. The hotel is ideally located, right in the heart of city and very close to all the tourist attractions.
MIRINDA fun facts! As per the locals, Gardens area of Capetown one of the safest area in South Africa – so walking back late at night after a few drinks is completely doable!
Welgelegen Guest House is a boutique luxury hotel with B&B, housing around 10-15 rooms. We love boutique luxury hotels as we love being in a cozy atmosphere which allows having a more personal interaction with the hotel staff and other guests. As per our expectations, it was just what we were looking for. Antique architecture, spacious rooms, lovely staff and extremely friendly guests. Welgelegen was a villa (home of the owner) which was later converted into a hotel. We checked in and to our surprise a lovely bottle of Champagne, Local wine with a few fruits and a warm welcome note was waiting for us to kick start our holidays.
We wanted to travel like locals, visit places where locals used to chill so we consulted the hotel staff on the local attractions and places we should visit in the 4 nights we had in Cape Town.
As far as the tourist attractions were concerned, we wanted to do the Table Mountains, the Cape of Good Hope, Penguins at Boulders Beach, Shark Cage Diving and Stellenbosch wineyards. The hotel management wisely advised us against Shark Cage diving as the month of February wasn’t the best season to view them – plus it takes up an entire day and there is no guarantee of viewing them (also it is very expensive).
We wanted to do the Table Mountains in the afternoon but the wind was against us resulting in the cable cars not being operational.
So we decided to go for a nice lunch at Café Paradiso – a small Italian café located very close to our hotel on the Kloof street. Café Paradiso offers an amazing view of the table mountains (due to the windy weather we could see the clouds flying right over them) with a lovely Italian menu options. We started off with some local wines and for lunch had the penne with rocket, grilled chicken, basil pesto, mushrooms & cream and Grilled veg, peppered goats cheese & tomatoes and they both were outstanding.
All in all , Cafe Paradiso is like a little Paradise in Cape town.
MIRINDA fun facts! – Coming from India, we were little circumspect about our palate not being used to the South African taste, but we loved the food throughout our trip.
We were pleasantly surprised at the cost of meals throughout our trips. A full lunch/dinner with a few drinks and dessert would cost somewhere around 300-500 ZAR per couple (even at the best of restaurants) – and that is quite cheap if you compare it to any decent lunch outing in Mumbai. Especially the alcoholic drinks throughout the trip – we found them to be very cheap (a pint of beer would be somewhere 20-40 ZAR) and at some places they were even cheaper than a bottle of water.
In the evening, we headed to Café Grande at the Waterfront area. It is a bustling café located right on the edge of the Ocean filled with an exciting and energetic crowd. Such popular is this place that even on a Monday evening, we had to wait in queue to get our table. We picked a table right on the edge and enjoyed a panoramic view of the Ocean alongside a few cocktails.
MIRINDA suggests! – Café Grande has a wide spread cocktail menu but try the local Savanna Dry beer with some lemon alongside some garlic aioli French fries. It’s a perfect combo!
After that, we headed off to the Harbor in the Waterfront. The harbor is another very popular area both for locals as well as tourists. It is actually a commercial harbor but also has a huge mix of varied restaurants/cafes and the V&A Waterfront mall. Add to this the locals dancing and singing to the African tunes makes the whole area super lively. We shopped for a bit in the mall and then strolled around the harbor before heading to Blacksheep for dinner.
Blacksheep, is a fine dining place on Kloof Street which was just besides our hotel. Being a blackboard restaurant you can expect new and exciting dishes whenever you visit The Black Sheep. But of course for the locals, this place is known for its steaks – And boy it really lived up to our expectations!!. We ordered a lamb & beef steak with different sauces alongside some local wines. The service, the food, the staff, the wine menus – we loved the place. The highlight of the food though was the dessert. We tried the white chocolate mousse and it was to die for!! It was just the first day of our honeymoon and we were already overeating!!
MIRINDA suggests! – Throughout South Africa, when we ordered meat, we had to specifically instruct the restaurants to cook through the meat – as it is a general norm in South Africa to cook the meat medium rare.
Post dinner, walking back was a big task after a gastronomic treat ! though we walked back safe and sound to our hotel and called it a day.
Day 02… coming up next, Keep following MIRINDAtravels !