For all those lucky guys travelling to Capetown this year, this guide the guide below will prove very helpful.
The most liberal of the cities during apartheid, its mixture of cultures today gives it a vibrancy that is a breath of fresh air to a tired European.
What do you miss most when you're away?
The brightness of colours – sea, sky, people. And now it has embarked on a political journey that is exciting and a touch dangerous. It reminds me a little of Berlin in the Sixties and Seventies – exotic and on the edge.
Where would you meet friends for a drink?
Slip back in time to the bar in the Mount Nelson Hotel (021 423 1000). Such is the atmosphere that, after two excellent dry martinis, you will undoubtedly see there in the corner the ghost of the young Winston chatting to the wraith of Cecil Rhodes, while Jan Smuts looks on disapprovingly.
Favourite place for lunch?
Take a sandwich or a small parcel of biltong, plus a cold bottle of Villiera Estate Chenin Blanc (voted Superquaffer of the Year 2010 at a recent tasting), and get as high as you can up Table Mountain, and then walk and picnic. Breathtaking.
And for dinner?
I'd head back to Camps Bay to Blue's Restaurant, Victoria Road (027 2143 82040). Sit on the narrow balcony or book a table near the huge windows and look down on the smart kids as they minx along the promenade, or gaze out to sea where it is so clear you can surely catch a glimpse of Rio. Try the mussels or the gourmet beef burger.
Where would you send a first-time visitor?
Sorry, you can't escape it. Take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain.
What would you tell them to avoid?
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront: it's overcrowded, has expensive restaurants and is strangely lacking in atmosphere.
Public transport or taxi?
The train system for the suburbs is cheap and easy to follow. But, given the comparatively beneficial exchange rate, the taxis are not expensive and the drivers cheerful and eager to help.
Handbag or moneybelt?
The accepted wisdom is moneybelt, although I've never worn one. Daylight hours are usually OK but things can be dangerous in the empty streets at night. Don't walk around then.
What should I take home?
A copy of Getaway, a monthly South African travel magazine. It will show you what you've missed on your visit and make you want to return.
How about some souvenirs
Craft stalls and shops abound, not all of them terribly good, but if you want to see the real, and slightly unusual, thing, head to Newlands in the suburbs and visit the Montebello Design Centre. It has several artisan studios, a forge, two jewellery makers and a pottery. Leather sandals are an essential purchase for me.
Personally I spent 3 nights in Cape Town when on a trip to South Africa. It is really beautiful.
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