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CAPE TOWN: Our insider’s guide to Higgovale

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With magnificent views of mountain and bay this is a residential precinct favoured by the more affluent buyer, but well worth a visit to the excellent restaurants, hotels, shops and the mountain cableway

Well-protected from the Cape Doctor – the notorious south-easterly wind that can blow at near gale force across the Cape Peninsula in summer – Higgovale has stunning panoramic views of Table Mountain and Table Bay, and is within walking distance of the centre of Cape Town, all of which combine to make it one of the prime residential precincts for the well-heeled.

And wealthy you need to be: in its June report Lightstone – a leading source of property-related statistics and information – says Higgovale is the eighth most expensive suburb in Cape Town, with average freehold property values of R14.95 million.

A 290m² Higgovale property sold for R22.5m in March, setting a new record of R77 586/m² for a City Bowl apartment. Yael Geffen, chief executive of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says Higgovale is one of the smallest and most exclusive suburbs in Cape Town.

“Perched high on the slopes of Table Mountain, it offers residents the convenience of being in the City Bowl while enjoying a tranquil suburban atmosphere. Most of the houses in this leafy suburb are large, luxurious and well appointed and many have multiple storeys as they are built on the mountainside. Apartments are generally also upmarket and exclusive and most are found in well-maintained complexes.”

For many, the peace of the area along with the city, harbour and mountain views, and proximity to the CBD and many of Cape Town’s top tourism destinations, are what makes the suburb so desirable.

Upper Kloof Street has a variety of quaint shops and restaurants including Liquorice and
Lime Gourmet Cafe and The Bombay Bicycle Club. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

“Although residents are only a few minutes’ drive from the CBD, their back gardens are virtually in Table Mountain National Park with its myriad hiking and cycling trails, and many of the winding, leafy streets in the suburb are quaint culde-sacs,” says Geffen.

According to Lightstone, most residents in Higgovale fall within the 36-to-49-year-old and 50-to-64- year-old categories. They make up approximately 70% of the Higgovale’s population, with 27% being 65 and older and 3% being 35 or younger.

Notably, 43% of residents have owned their properties for 11 years or longer and 27% for five years or less, demonstrating the consistent desirability of the suburb. But there has been a recent swing to younger buyers; in the past 12 months 22% of purchases were made by those in the 18-35 age bracket.

And, although the median sale price dipped to R16.5m last year after a record high of R18.9m the year before, it was still considerably higher than in 2015 and 2016 when the market was stronger and the median price hovered around R13.5m.

There are good schools nearby, both private and state, a handful of hospitals, some top hotels such as the historic Mount Nelson, two cathedrals and several mosques, as well as plenty of shopping opportunities.

A view of Bellevue Street, Higgovale, where 43% of residents have owned their properties
for 11 years or longer, with large, luxurious and well-appointed homes. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

The Gardens Centre offers a range of retail for people who don’t want to drive into town or the Waterfront. Several theatres are within a short drive, including Artscape, The Fugard Theatre and Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay.

“Higgovale offers the best of both worlds; all the amenities of the vibrant CBD and V&A Waterfront within five minutes’ drive in one direction, and the world-renowned Clifton and Camps Bay beaches the same distance away over Kloof Nek.”

Things to do when you visit the suburb of Higgovale

A trip up Table Mountain is a must if you live in or visit Higgovale. Picture: Agnieszka-Kowalczyk

1 Outdoors

If you live in Higgovale or are just visiting, then a trip up the mountain via Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is a must. Table Mountain is one of the official New7Wonders of Nature and the only one to be located in an urban area. Closed for scheduled maintenance until August 18, the cableway offers a number of discounted trips: if you’re a South African resident you can travel for free on your birthday or up to a week after it. Season tickets are also available. 021 424 0015

2 Drink

Complementing the stunning views available in Higgovale are those from the Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar in nearby Tamboerskloof. If the vast array of cocktails is not enough to excite you, the 360° views will. 021 424 1133

Boasting an eclectic decor, The Bombay Bicycle Club is a perfect watering hole to catch up with friends after work. 021 423 6805

3 Eat

If you’re looking for something a bit different, the Dog’s Bollocks is an irreverent option. Sporting a range of burgers, pizzas and pub food, it ensures you won’t be disappointed. Leave your sensitivities at home. 021 461 8134

At the other end of the culinary spectrum is high tea at MannaBay boutique hotel. Space is limited so booking is essential. The spread of sweets and savouries is accompanied by a glass of bubbles. 021 461 1094

4 Shop

Well, it’s not exactly shopping but you do need to buy a ticket: Gate69 is an intimate 80-seater Burlesque-style cabaret venue serving up world-class musical theatre featuring talented impersonators. Ticket prices include a mezze dinner. 021 035 1627

With the blade cut into the silhouette of the Table Mountain range a Panorama Knife is a unique kitchen utensil with both aesthetic and practical value. Made in Italy from the finest steel there is a range of utility and bread knives available. 021 422 0128. You’ll find plenty of shops in the Gardens Centre.


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