New apartment blocks have seamlessly joined the ranks of older homes to give Strand's beach area a modern facelift, and the recently built retention wall has had a positive effect on prices
Lying at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, between Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay and just 40 minutes’ drive from Cape Town city centre, Strand was established as a holiday and fishing resort in 1714.
Like many areas in the Western Cape, it has a dark apartheid legacy of forced removals, and more recently in the case of Lwandle when shack dwellers were evicted.
Separated from Somerset West by the N2, Strand forms part of the Helderberg basin, and remains a popular holiday destination for visitors, and year-round seaside living for residents.
The main beach is known to be safe for swimming and water sports, including surfing, sailing, power boating, paddle skiing and board sailing.
Many newer apartment blocks have been styled in an ultra-contemporary fashion, seamlessly joining the ranks of the older 1970s-style beachfront homes to give the beachfront a modern facelift, says Doreen Mynhardt, Just Property franchisee for Helderberg.
“With the completion of phase one of the retention wall on Beach Road promenade, there is a renewed energy in demand for beachfront properties which has positively influenced property prices.”
On this stretch the 22-storey Hibernian Towers, for instance, ranges in price from R1.2million for a bachelor apartment up to R3.8m for four bedrooms.
On the commercial side, the CBD offers banks, numerous shopping malls, restaurants, and supermarkets. Strand has its own industrial area, Gants Centre.
There are places such as Rosby’s New and Used Motor Spares, in Mills Street, that sees people visit from across the Peninsula to choose from a large selection of spares for the more popular passenger and bakkie vehicles (021 854 5556).
Resident Natasha Vermaak says: “The new seawall and promenade has offered us an opportunity to ride our bicycles as a family, next to the sea.
“The close-knit community enjoys warm beaches, reasonably priced property, a wide selection of amenities, and is close to wine farms, restaurants, shopping centres, golf courses and nature reserves.
“As a real estate photographer, I have the wonderful opportunity of meeting new people daily and photographing some beautiful beachfront apartment blocks. Living here almost gives a sense of being on permanent holiday.
“I pick up our almost-three-year-old son from crèche around lunchtime and we go the beach. This is when we are at our happiest. We always seem to end our outing with a soft-serve ice-cream.
“I enjoy being active and love the outdoors. The surrounding areas offer fantastic hiking trails which we enjoy as a family.”
Natasha Vermaak’s places of interest and things to do
My son Joshua loves Kidz Corner indoor play centre. While he is letting off steam, I get time to edit my shoots and enjoy the most delicious carrot cake. Staff are always friendly and helpful and they adore the little ones. They also host birthday parties. 0834670736
Lush has it all, with a lovely atmosphere and friendly service. It’s a hair salon where you can also have your nails done, or go for a massage. It also has a little coffee shop called Hello Coffee if you feel like a drink or light lunch. Best of all, while you get yourself pampered, your little one can have fun in the outside play area. 0846457041
On the beach, Water World is the perfect family spot. It has nice grassy areas for relaxing, benches with umbrellas for picnics and a Water World Cafe for eats. 0218544702
4 Eat & drink
Stylish Belgian-inspired restaurant De Brasserie’s food is absolutely delicious. It offers a varied selection of European-influenced starters and salads, fresh seafood dishes and exquisite desserts. The range of dessert wines, teas and gourmet coffees make a perfect end to a fantastic meal. My personal favourite is the Apple Martini, a perfect drink after a busy day to enjoy with beautiful sea views. 0218533833