Grant Davison’s places of interest in the CBD
Societi Bistro for unpretentious and understated meals (021 424 2100); La Tête (Giles Edward’s approach to using produce should be standard for all restaurants, 021 418 1299); The Shortmarket Club for its great service and fine dining (021 447 2874). For the best breakfasts, brunches and snacks on the go, try New York Bagels on Harrington Street (021 820 4359) and Clarke’s bar and dining room for lazy brunches on a Sunday morning (021 424 7648); Hokey Pokey for when you’re feeling like something healthy and a little exotic (021 422 4382); and Now food truck in Longmarket Street, which caters for those of us who are rushing between meetings.
Though Outrage of Modesty (OoM) definitely set the bar (excuse the pun) for innovation and sophistication, the competition has quickly caught up. OoM is a favourite for great after-work drinks or first dates (021 422 2902).
The Gin Bar behind Honest Chocolate on Wale Street – if you’re lucky James will be on duty and you can persuade him to make you his signature cocktail, The Sakman (060 606 6014).
At Twankey Bar in The Taj Cape Town hotel, AJ Snetler is the epitome of professionalism and knowledge when it comes to making cocktails (021 819 2000); Orphanage Cocktail Emporium (the original Bree Street bastion for imbibing cocktails and losing a few hours of the evening, 021 244 1995), and newly opened Tiger’s Milk in Kloof Street for beers with your boets before the braai and rugby game later (021 286 2209) are also recommended.
3 Overlooked or hidden gems
Olive Branch Deli. Lifestyle Centre in Kloof Street. Designed as an apothecary with floor-to-ceiling shelves filled with every olive oil, spice and artisan food product, fridges with everything from Boschendal’s Werf Butchery meat to Prince Albert’s Gay’s Guernsey Dairy products and a wide range of baked delights delivered daily. 073 847 5499.
The Labia Theatre. Opened in 1949, this grand old dame is perfect for midweek movie treats or weekend gatherings with friends watching old, arty or even the latest movies without having to leave the city, with the added benefit of being able to drink your wine or bubbles in the theatre. 021 424 5927.
Clarke’s Books in Long Street is every bibliophile’s idea of heaven with its rambling layout across two floors that cater to every reader and topic under the sun. 021 423 5739.
4 Out and about
Things you have to try at least once while in Cape Town CBD include a City Sightseeing red bus tour of the CBD, learning about the amazing city in which we live (086 173 3287); the Iziko South African National Gallery’s At Face Value exhibition which runs until December (021 481 3800); and a picnic in the Company’s Garden – The Avenue connects everything mentioned above so you can truly make a day (and a night) of it.