Celebrities, locals and tourists hang out where some of the best restaurants and beaches in the country are big drawcards, and properties are snapped up by foreign buyers. With all this, tranquillity exists for residents
Swanky, holiday resort-style suburb Camps Bay can expect a huge influx of visitors during summer as locals, tourists and international celebrities flock to its shores to hang out, sunbathe and be fabulous.
The famous beach – along with neighbouring Clifton’s 4th Beach – are two of the most photographed and Instagrammed spots in the country. Victoria Road, which runs along the beachfront, is crammed with restaurants where sundowner cocktails are de rigueur, and a wide variety of global cuisines is available day and night.
“The suburb attracts visitors and buyers from across the country and boasts the highest number of foreign buyers – from countries such as the UK, Germany and so on – on the Atlantic seaboard,” says Ian Slot, managing director for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard.
Considering the particularly scenic location, stretching from high up against the mountain slopes between Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles, with many properties enjoying stunning mountain and seaboard views, this comes as little surprise. Long-time resident Pola Jocum says they are spoilt for choice with the beachfront restaurants and trendy promenade boutiques – “where you hear every language spoken and a cosmopolitan atmosphere reigns”.
Yet, immediately above and behind the busy beachfront is a tranquil residential area, she says. Slot says: “Next to Camps Bay, you find the small suburb of Bakoven, which offers fabulous coastal property and two private beaches. Between Camps Bay and Bakoven lies the exquisite little Bali Bay with its own beautiful waterfront properties and secluded beach.”
For all its glitz and glamour, Camps Bay offers the day-to-day nitty gritty residents want and need, like access to top schools and tertiary education institutions. For shopping, the V&A Waterfront is a short drive, as are the CBD, Sea Point and Green Point.
A noteworthy initiative by Seeff is the Straatwerk project, which will see three people in branded bibs working Saturday and Sunday mornings, cleaning rubbish from Victoria Road and the beach. “We will fund and run this initiative for three months, and we will be working with the ratepayers and businesses,” says Slot.
Considerable development over the last few years has turned many of the old houses and flats in the suburb to top-class luxury villas and apartments (including penthouses), which are highly sought-after, he says.
“Luxury properties range from around R4 million to R44m for a luxury seafront penthouse. “The suburb is in high demand for residential and holiday rentals – residential rentals range from R11 000 a month for apartments, but can go up to R100 000 a month.”
Developments being completed in Camps Bay include the Azure with four units near the beach priced between R21m and R36m, plus VAT. “Despite the busy beachfront, Camps Bay still retains its village atmosphere with its local library, Theatre On The Bay, churches and synagogue and easy access to every sport,” says Jocum.
Pola Jocum’s favourite places and things to do
Take your pick from a wide variety of restaurants along Victoria Road. An addition is Tiger’s Milk (where Grand Café used to be), for a great vibe and casual eating. It’s what they call “dude food” (021 286 2106). Not in Camps Bay itself, but slightly higher up in the Glen, is one of Luke Dale Roberts’s new restaurants, Salsify (former Roundhouse), in partnership with chef Ryan Cole, who is doing amazing things in the kitchen. Cole says Salsify will be offering fine dining without the snobbery. “We want to really push boundaries of flavour and technique, but we’re not trying to be a Test Kitchen. We will develop our own signature and style as we go,” says Cole. 021 010 6444
Theatre On The Bay is the home of Pieter Toerien Productions with an intimate stage for world-class entertainment – drama, comedy, dance, musicals and cabarets. Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap opens next week and runs until January 19. 021 438 3301.
Again, like restaurants, there are just as many places to sit and have a drink with a breathtaking view. However, if you go a little bit beyond Camps Bay itself, the 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa does a lovely (local) gin flight in its Leopard Bar, as well as all the wines, beers and cocktails in which you can shake a swizzle stick. Plus, the panorama from the hotel balcony is amazing. 021 437 9029.
Paragliding off Lion’s Head is a very popular sport – perhaps not so much during the summer months, when there is often either too much or too little wind. However, on perfect days, the sky will be filled with colourful sails as the gliders drift on the thermals before coming in to land near Maiden’s Cove.