V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa
We were only in Cape Town for two nights, the first was just after landing at lunchtime. Figuring that time to pass through arrivals would be quite a while and picking up the car would involve a bit of queueing (huge tip - spend that extra half hour and sign up to privilege membership because it saved us over an hour) we wanted to be somewhere quite central where we could literally amble out for a drink without having to think too much about parking or ubers.
While we were recommended so many stunning boutique hotels around the city there were a few considerations -
-the water crisis in the city meant that pretty much all pools were empty so those instagrammable moments in infinity pools was unattainable
-the three of us had been working flatout on the runup to the break and in all honesty we didn't want the hospitality of a small place - we wanted a little solitude
-we're all agreed that great coffee is essential and we're pretty fussy about it so we wanted somewhere foodie
-the sightseeing bus for it's convenience (despite lack of adventurous glamour) was on the todo list.
So, we stayed in a two bedroom family suite at the Breakwater Lodge which is a Protea Hotel by the Marriot. From the hotel you could walk across the road to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront which ticked all the boxes for our requirements.
Hungry we dropped our bags in the room and followed the sound of local bands playing in the square.
The sun was warm but the winds high, storming through the streets from the ocean.
So we headed into the food court as a first port of call...
Inside was fantastic, the stalls filled with great food, kombucha, juices, cape malay dishes, vegan options - it was exactly what was needed. While the restaurants around the V&A are spectacular, I had an unease about it all, almost a guilt as we passed and I judged the demographic of the cliental and the demographic of the staff. Back on the continent that I was born, I didn't want a stuffy environment, or that posturing, or just those expectations from a terrible by gone era. My thoughts and feelings are quite conflicted on my place in the country and every now and then I pick up a sense of guilt within for the actions of my ancestors. It's something I decided to work through and meditate on during our weeks in the country, to move those feelings towards that of compassion and empathy for all to affect the choices I make as a person, as a business leader, as an entrepreneur.
Moving on from deep rooted psychological discomfort, to dried meat. I'm entirely meat and diary free at home and in my cooking, attending events or dinners if no vegan options exist I will choose vegetarian, but oh, South Africa, you and your biltong...
I circled the stand like an addict, like a vulture, and it wasn't pretty...
As a baby I never had dummies so instead when teething, I would chomp on a dried stick of game meat. My relationship with this food is deeply rooted. I gave in to a few bags of different meats, and later that night Andrew can attest to finding me passed out in bed with a dried stick of meat hanging from my mouth. Yes, a true addict.
With great music, great champions of their foods in the market, the atmosphere was wonderful and inviting - so we headed upstairs to a craft beer bar.
And toasted to the start of an excellent break!
After a few pints of different beers, I indulged in a whole pint of delicious Kombucha, I was so content sipping my fermented tea with my bag of dried meat. We grabbed some burgers from the market but after the initial beers simply gobbled them up.
With the afternoon sun dipping lower we wanted to try out Native Coffee, There we had coffees and cakes and soaked in the blustery sunshine.
The view out onto the waterfront was lovely, while the Breakwater lodge was also great value I wondered about the Cape Grace hotel which was a favourite of my mothers. So, we went for wander around the waterfront and harbour, with the good intention of walking off all the beer, meat and cake calories.
The winds gusted in from the sea, straining the leaves and trunks of the trees along the front.
We ambled through the grounds of the Table Bay Hotel gardens, a little oasis so close to the crashing waves of the sea held behind a huge perimeter wall.
Full, content and feeling very tired after travelling, we headed back to the hotel. After meat for the first time in a long time, I sipped sachets of super greens, psyllium husks and probiotics, rikishi mushroom tea, then as mentioned above, passed out with a stick of game. Yeah, glamorous.