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CAPE TOWN: Our insider’s guide to Gardens

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Trees, squirrels and birds abound in this suburb at the foot of Table Mountain. It has a proven track record of positive growth for investors, and one- and two-bedroom apartments are snapped up

This week we’re taking a look at my own ‘hood – Gardens – where I’ve lived for 11 years. Map boundaries in the city bowl are odd, to say the least, and technically my apartment block falls just outside the border of Gardens, in Oranjezicht.

The former is easier to write on forms and explain for deliveries, so Gardens it is. We’re at the foot of Table Mountain (we experience the full force of the notorious summer south-easter when everything rattles and shakes) with the CBD spread out before us. 

Everything we need is close by, from restaurants and coffee shops, to a park, cinema and shopping centre, as well as schools and medical facilities. There are two MyCiTi bus routes, and more stops and routes come into effect on October 27, including a new route serving Zonnebloem and District Six.

The area is diverse and appeals to a wide range of buyers. You can find anything from a modern studio to a Victorian semi-detached house. – Tara Goldberg, Gardens Area Specialist Broker for Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate Picture: Supplied

Town, however, is an easy walk. Strangely enough, the Company’s Garden isn’t within those aforementioned Gardens borders. This part of the city bowl is unique with its mix of houses and apartments (Vredehoek is mainly flats, and Tamboerskloof leans towards houses), which give it quite a suburban feel. The road in which I live has only one apartment building.

The rest of the block is free-standing and semi-detached houses so there are lots of trees, squirrels, dogs and birds. The hadedas roost in the tree outside my kitchen window and always loudly announce their arrival – which can be any time of the day or night.

Most people find them annoying, but I think they are rather charming in their outrageous, atypical – and frankly ridiculous – bird behaviour.

“Gardens is a highly sought-after suburb favoured by young professionals and city lovers,” says Tara Goldberg, Gardens area specialist broker for Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate.

“The neighbourhood provides easy access to vibey Kloof Street, which offers an ample selection of cafes, restaurants and shops. “The area is diverse and appeals to a wide range of buyers. You can find anything from a modern studio to a Victorian semi-detached house.”

Young couples and professionals who have rented in the area for a number of years want to invest in an area with a proven track record of positive growth and are snapping up one- and two-bedroom apartments, says Goldberg.

Gardens has been the writer’s neighbourhood for 11 years and she gives a good taste of all on offer from cafes and bars to theatre and nature. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

“Gardens appeals to investment buyers looking to let for the short term because of its ideal location and high demand. We have also worked with clients who wanted to upgrade their apartments or smaller homes for a larger family home.”

According to Goldberg, property prices in Gardens vary depending on a number of conditions. “Prospective home buyers can expect to pay anything from R1.7 million for a studio or one-bedroom apartment, with about R2.7m to above R3m being the median price for two-bedroom apartments.

“Prices are also dependent on the finishes of the property as well as added extras such as parking availability,” she says.

Bianca Coleman’s favourite places and things to do

The mix of houses and apartment blocks make for a city bowl neighbourhood with a suburban feel, characterised by people walking their dogs, lots of trees populated by squirrels, and the raucous sounds of hadedas, guinea fowl and Egyptian geese. – Bianca Coleman Picture: Supplied


There is plenty to choose from, especially in Kloof Street and on Dunkley Square, with a huge selection of food types, and dress-up or dress-down styles. My favourite is Societi Bistro. Whether it’s a quick drink or business meeting in The Snug bar, a casual lunch outside with a view of Table Mountain, or a celebratory dinner inside the old converted house (which has a story all of its own; some residents will recall the woman who lived there, her colourful outfits, and her old car parked outside) with its bare brick walls and original fireplaces, Societi is a place for all seasons and all reasons. 0214242100


Coffee shops and bars, and then there is afternoon high tea at the Belmond Mount Nelson. For me, this remains the best in Cape Town. The spread of savoury and sweet treats is impressively immense and a range of teas is offered. 0214831000


The Labia is a charming gem. It is an independent cinema steeped in history. Here you get your popcorn in a brown paper bag and you can add vodka to your Slush Puppie. The movie line-up includes new commercial releases as well as all the best art films. Tickets, which are torn off a paper roll, are way less expensive than those in mall chain movie houses. 0214245927

The Labia Theatre is an independent movie house located at 68 Orange Street. Latest film releases and old classics can be enjoyed at prices below the mainstream box office. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)


De Waal Park, situated on the border of Gardens and Oranjezicht, is famous for its many varieties of trees (around 120 species) and the bandstand, which was built in 1903/04. During the summer months there are free live music performances in the park. It’s a popular place for dogs and their humans.


The lovely little City Bowl Market On Hope takes place every Thursday inside a hall from 4.30pm until 8.30pm. The space, at 14 Hope Street in Gardens, is set out with stalls all the way around the perimeter, with tables and chairs in the ­middle where you can sit while you listen to live music. Street food, local produce, ­gourmet goods, crafts and clothing. 0836766104

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