Tess Guinery’s Cape Town

Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town

Long-time Smack Bang friend, Tess Guinery spent almost half of this year living in South Africa with her sweet little family. We asked her what she’s loving about her travels and what her top Cape Town picks are. Over to you, Tess!

Here’s what the aesthetically inclined must do. Cape Town was named the design capital of the world in 2014 and as a city, it has splashed this mantle across everything visual including its food, shopping, coffee and site seeing! My family and I lived in Cape Town for 5 months and these are all the “off the grid” finds I found amidst our stay. I know this city better then my own.

Tess Guinery’s Cape Town

First up, the obvious tourist thing to do in Cape Town is to take a day trip to the top of Table mountain (yes, you must do this) – BUT I found something way more romantic, Signal hill at sunset. A beautiful trek up the mount via a trusty uber and you are sitting hill side over- looking the most ethereal sunset soaking rays over Cape town. Amazing views of Camps Bay Beach and the city, which both look like specs on a map. We took a picnic rug, wine and way too much antipasto to accompany our adventure. This would defintely have to be one of my most magical “moments” of my entire Cape Town experience. Super kid friendly or romantic just for two!

Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town

Now let’s talk creativity… THE CLAY CAFE. I stumbled over this place looking for a day activity for my little 3 year old, with all intentions for it to be “her day”, well,  it quickly became “our day” and a few days later I went back by myself and then again with some girl friends to make it “my day”.

This place is a creatives ultimate tactile dream. Picture an entire wall of unfired ceramics ready for your taking. You choose what you like, pick some paints, sit, create sip and then leave them to be fired. It is ridiculously affordable and if my suitcase would of allowed I would of made so many more art tokens. This was my favourite free range creative experience. They also do art nights with live music and a meal, BYO wine and you can paint into the late. Check it out here.

Tess Guinery’s Cape Town

Did someone say food? Yes, there are SO many great food places in Cape Town! It was so hard to narrow this list down, but I’ve edited it to my top 7… Here we go!

1. The Loading Bay
I dare say that I tried every coffee recommendation from ALL reliable blog sources available and the Loading Bay was my all time favourite coffee moment. A designers coffee dream with an Aesop store built into the loft raised above it. The service was second to none and very much vibing an aesthetic mix of The Ace in Palm Springs mixed with a dash of Surry Hills. The cinnamon scrolls, they are a whole essay of yum words.

2. Cafe Paradiso
Don’t bother looking through the menu, just order the handmade gnocchi, I promise you will thank me. I found myself here weekly, just for the gnocchi and a side of rouge. If you are travelling with little ones this place is very child friendly. It has a little bakers kitchen where the kids can bake treats whilst you scoff down (in my opinion) the worlds best gnocchi. Gnocchi that I fear I’ll never be able to replicate.

3. The V & A Food Market
Location! Situated on the waterfront, open daily with views of table mountain. I came here daily for the dehydrated sweet cherries that taste just like gummi bears, the flat bread pizza stacks, the exotic teas, creamy coffee, baked goods and a speciality beer bar. Set up like a huge eatery with over 20 store holders making food fresh and straight onto your plate. Live music on Sundays.

4. The Grand Cafe
The entire crew we were travelling with all agreed that Cape Town has really mastered the pizza, and this oasis known as The Grand Cafe has mastered the pizzas amongst pizzas. Fancy a Caribbean beach vibe on the waterfront with iconic sculptures, pizza in hand and a $4 Cosmo? This place is great for a large group or dinner for two. It’s all vibe and pink dusky sunset skies.

5. Willoughby & Co
One word – Crispy Rice! You need to book before you go otherwise you’ll be queuing like the rest. Don’t be fooled by it’s “middle of the mall” location, this eatery is just excellent and the best sushi I have ever had – and I have eaten a load of sushi in my travels. I’m pretty sure Justin Bieber ordered take away from here upon his Cape Town stay, so it must be good!

6. NU Health food
For the worlds greatest smoothie order “The Boss” like the boss you are. Don’t be steered away by the franchise feel, the food here is all local and super healthy on the run. This cafe was our number one go-to due to it’s consistency and large healthy menu options.

7. Babylon Storen
This was definitely a South African highlight, I might even go as far as saying a life highlight. All my favourite things together in the middle of nowhere, fresh air and silence. It made my soul breathe.

Dating back to 1692, Babylonstoren is a historic Dutch farm that boasts one of the best preserved farmyards in the Cape. Beloved for its magnificent garden that is laid out over 3,5 hectares, the garden is divided into 15 sections that comprise fruit, vegetables, berries, bees for pollinating, indigenous plants, fragrant lawns, a prickly pear maze (WOWZA! so amazing!) ducks, chickens and the odd turtle found at your feet! A secluded path runs along the stream where thousands of clivias flower in spring. The garden also boasts a plethora of trees of historical and botanical import. Every aspect of Babylon Storen – including the contemporary Farm Hotel & Spa, the Farm Shop and Bakery – are led by the ever-changing tapestry and botanical diversity of the garden. A South African “MUST SEE”.

Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town
Tess Guinery’s Cape Town

Fancy some shopping? Woodstock – this suburb is all you need to know. Throw on your favourite dress and scout the endless side walks of vintage, markets, eateries and more. Here are a few of my favourite local makers you can find in this mammoth treasure chest of a suburb.

1. Dear Rae Jewelery, Located in The Woodstock Foundry, these guys are the most beautiful makers of fine jewellery on African soil. I got to do some beautiful collaborations and spend some leisurely summer evenings with these makers; the staff culture is like nothing I’ve seen, so much passion, thought and soul behind every piece.

2. The Old Biscuit Mill Food markets of abundance with many local makers show casing their goods

3. Chapel Handbags that look like art and feel like soul



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Comments

  1. I am a designer from South Africa, it’s so cool to see our corner of the world featured on your blog! I am a huge fan of Smack Bang Designs! One of the great things to do in Cape Town is definitely wine tastings at all the beautiful wine farms!

  2. Jess says:

    Thank you for this list of great finds in such a beautiful location. The Clay Cafe looks DIVINE. You have left me with major wanderlust for Cape Town!

  3. I am a huge fan of Tess and her IG post brought me to your incredible blog and website. She has illustrated my beloved Mother City so well, loved this post. I agree with Marike wine farms are a must too…

  4. Inge Webber says:

    As a proud South African, I am delighted to read this entry on your blog today! Thank you for featuring a glimpse of our country & entrepreneurs. Be sure to check out another Cape Town favorite – The Skin Creamery

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