My Neighbourhood: Cape Town

portrait of woman laughing and smiling at camera

Cape Town member Carolina Ramirez Herrera combines her work as a marketing and PR consultant with a parallel existence as a globe-trotting travel and lifestyle writer. Raised in Miami, she shares her insider’s guide to the vibrant South African city she now calls home

By Carolina Ramirez Herrera   Wednesday 1 January, 2020

As someone who grew up in a city as flat as Miami, I’m still in awe of waking up in Cape Town’s Clifton, with the beach and mountains just outside my window. Rubbing shoulders with both Camps Bay and Sea Point, Clifton is bit like Malibu’s edgier younger sister. Aside from the epic sunsets from my balcony, I love the fact that I can walk down to the beach in 20 minutes flat. 
Cape Town is one of the most magical cities I’ve ever lived in. The people are laid-back, time moves slowly and outdoor life is always a top priority – from early-morning hikes to late-afternoon braiis [open-fire barbecues]. There’s a reason so many people flock to Cape Town for work or a holiday and then just… never leave. 
Here’s how I spend my weekends in the Mother City.  
mountain along coast
Sunrise hike: Lion’s Head
‘Hiking is a big part of Capetonian culture and Lion’s Head [a small mountain in the centre of the city] is one of my favourite places to do it. You can hike to the summit in about 90 minutes – it peaks at 669m – and the 360° views from the top are well worth the trek.’

Breakfast bagel: Kleinsky’s Delicatessen 
92 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8060;
‘When I need my bagel and schmear fix, this Sea Point deli nails it every time. Be sure to order the ice-cold nitro brew coffee, too.’

Food shop: Oranjezicht City Farm Market 
Sidmouth Avenue, Oranjezicht, Cape Town, 8001;
‘Every weekend I stock up on groceries and local goodies at this non-profit, community-style farmer’s market. But it’s not just about the produce; they also have everything from freshly shucked oysters to banh mi.’
coffee bar with mugs and espresso machine
Coffee stop: Molten Toffee 
45b Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, +27 21 422 2885
‘I’m a sucker for all things Wes Anderson and this downtown spot is very swoonworthy. They’ve perfected my regular order of iced coffee with a splash of almond milk and cinnamon.' 
Lunchtime drive: Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia 
1043 Constantia Main Rd, Constantia, Cape Town, 7806;
‘Whenever anyone’s visiting, this is the restaurant I take them to. It’s essentially a glass box on a hill with panoramic views of Constantia Valley and its vineyards – and you’re guaranteed a memorable multi-course meal every time.’ 
The vineyard: Mullineux & Leeu Estates  
Leeu Estates, Dassenberg Road, Franschhoek;
‘One of the best things about Cape Town is that you can get to its winelands within an hour. My must-visit is the Mullineux & Leeu Estates in Franschhoek, where I stock up on cases of their Chenin Blanc.’ 

bagel sandwich
restaurant with seats facing window
Culture fix: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa 
V&A Waterfront, Silo District, S Arm Rd, Waterfront;
‘One of the few reasons to set foot in the Waterfront, the Zeitz not only has the largest collection of contemporary African art in the world, it’s also housed in an old silo; the architecture is spectacular.’

Dining out: FYN 
5th Floor, Speakers Corner, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town, 8000;
‘Whenever I feel like some big-city vibes, I’ll book a table at FYN. The chef Peter [Tempelhoff] cooks Asian-inspired dishes with locally sourced ingredients like springbok from the Karoo [the semi-desert region to the north of Cape Town]. There’s a brilliant wine menu, too.’
sunny vineyard with estate
Late-night drinks: The Power & The Glory 
13d Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, 8001; +27 21 422 2108
‘On nights when I don’t want to go out out, I’ll park myself at this Cheers-like neighbourhood hangout. There’s always a vibe spilling out onto the pavement.’

Dancing queen:  The Athletic Club & Social 
35 Buitengracht, CBD, Cape Town, 8001;
I love, love, love to dance. Located in the basement of a three-storey Victorian building, this is an underground whisky bar where DJ Tommy Gun makes your disco funk dreams come true. 

Images from top: Carolina Ramirez Herrera (courtesy of Carolina Ramirez Herrera); Lion's Head (Alamy); Molten Toffee (Vegan Guide Cape Town); a bagel at Kleinsky's Deli (Kristen Hapi Yogi); Chef's Warehouse at Beau Constantia (Chef's Warehouse); Mullineux & Leeu Estates (

Mullineux & Leeu Estates)

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