With over 10 years of experience modelling for iconic magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Marie Claire, international influencer and stylist Emma Jane Menteath now manages her own digital content agency and curated fashion blog, My Life in Pink. Stylish globetrotter tells us where to get the best buys and insider eats in her home city of Cape Town.
Where have you just come back from?
I recently travelled to Bodrum, Turkey for a few days. Part work, part play!
What are your travel must-haves?
A good novel to get lost in. I recently finished Sally Rooney’s Normal People and absolute adored it so I am now reading her first novel – Conversations with Friends. Besides a book my travel must-haves include my silk Slip eye-mask, Beauty Chef’s Cleanse Beauty Powder to make sure I get enough green nutrients while I am traveling and lastly my ever so trusty Advanced Night Serum from Estée Lauder.
Favourite hotel/hotels in Cape Town?
Earlier this year I stayed at the Silo Hotel in Cape Town and loved every second of my stay. It’s perfectly located in the the centre of the city right above the Zeitz MOCCA gallery and surrounded by both sea and mountain views, impeccable decor which makes for a very ‘instagramable’ setting and unbelievable service.
When’s the best time to visit Cape Town?
I adore March-May in Cape Town. Most of the tourists have left, the wind has died down and so has the heat. Don’t get me wrong, still expect weather in the 30’s – but the air has the most pleasant atmosphere to it.
What are the best restaurants in Cape Town?
One of my all-time favourites is Chef’s Warehouse, they have a few locations in and just outside the city. World class sharing plates without the price tag. For anyone who’s a bit more adventurous I highly recommend La Tête on Bree Street, they offer a nose to tail dining experience. Make sure you order the freshly baked madeleines for dessert. If you are looking for a dining experience you won’t forget soon The Test Kitchen in Woodstock will offer you just that, just make sure you book a spot weeks in advance.
Favourite bars in Cape Town and why?
For wine lovers look no further than Publik Wine Bar just off Kloof Street. A curated neighbourhood wine bar offering local and sustainable wines. It’s a place to discover lesser-known wines thanks to its ever changing menu.
Just upstairs from Publik is a new local hangout, The Moveable Feast, part restaurant, part bar. The place has a great ambiance and an even better playlist. Check them out on instagram to see what event’s they have planned for the week ahead, be it a calypso event or bring your own records, you guaranteed to have a good time.
Your favourite fashion boutiques?
Concept Store Maision Mara in De Waterkant is pretty much the only place I shop when I am in Cape Town. A beautiful 3 story concept store which includes a floor to ceiling marble bathroom. They offer a selection of womenswear, accessories and cosmetics and are also home to one of my favourite cafes in town to grab a late breakfast or a healthy lunch – Skinny Legs at Maison Mara. Expect to find brands like ProenzaSchouler and JW Anderson along with local favourites like Pichulik and House of Gozdawa.
For the men try Bastille on the corner of Loop and De Waterkant Street which offer a selection of boutique French brands like MaisonKitsune, Cerdan, Veja, Commune de Paris and Bleu de Paname.
What about must-visit art galleries?
One of my favourite galleries in the newly opened Noval Foundation which celebrates 20th and 21st-century visual art from South Africa and beyond. They have an outdoor sculpture garden so make sure you set aside enough time to take a relaxing stroll around the gardens which are surrounded by the mountains.
The Zeitz MOCAA is a must see if you adore architecture and would like to get to know African art a little better. One of my favourite smaller galleries to visit is Smith Studio which is a contemporary art studio situated in Church Street.
What are some must-buys from Cape Town?
Definitely wine. Cape Town produces some of the best wine in the world for a fraction of the price you would pay in Europe. Most of the wine farms offer door to door delivery so you don’t even have to hassle with it at the airport.
Make sure to visit the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront for beautiful handcrafted African goods. Everything from children’s play toys to customised jewellery.
For something more modern The Strangers Club Market in Green Point which is open every Saturday has a range of local designers selling their goods. Expect to find unique ceramics, dainty lingerie and delicate jewels alongside linens and minimal swimwear.
Favourite winery stays nearby?
Whether you plan on spending the night out of town or not Babylonstoren is a must for anyone visiting Cape Town for the first time. A wine farm with the most phenomenal gardens divided into sections that comprise of fruit and vegetables, indigenous plants, bee hives and free range chickens to name a few. The farm is also home to a contemporary hotel and spa complete with a Himalayan salt grotto. It’s the perfect weekend escape and only a 45min drive from Cape Town.
Besides Babylonstoren, Majeka House in Stellenbosch makes for a lovely get-away. Perfect after a day of wine tasting in Stellenbosch. It recently won The Best Design Hotel by Condé Nast Johansens 2017 awards. They serve a mouthwatering breakfast spread that can be enjoyed out on the Moroccan inspired Terrance in the morning sun.
One of my favourite hikes in Cape Town also offers one of my favourite views of the city of Cape Town, Lions Head. It’s a 360 degree hike that takes around 45min to reach the peak and is totally worth the sweat. Pack a backpack with snacks to enjoy once you reach the top.
If hiking isn’t your thing take a drive along the coast to Cape Point via Chapman’s Peak or for something a little closer to town head up to signal hill to watch the sunset/sunrise.
Day trips from Cape Town?
A favourite amongst all tourists is Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town where one gets the chance to get up close and personal with African penguins. Before heading back make sure you get some ‘slap’ chips at The Salty Sea Dog and then take a sunset drive back into town along Chapman’s Peak for a breath-taking coastal view.
Another great day trip from Cape Town is to any of the nearby wine towns such as Stellenbosch, Franschhoek or Constantia for wine tasting. Each vineyard promises a beautiful setting.
There’s a beautiful long stretch of beach out in Noordhoek where you can enjoy an hour-long horse-riding safari, there’s something enchanting about galloping along the water’s edge while watching the sunset. Finish off with dinner at The Food Barn.
Finally, where should couples go for a romantic break?
There’s a rustic little treehouse out in Greyton that I love to stay at whenever I manage to get a booking. Don’t expect anything fancy but rather a quaint little hideaway complete with an outdoor shower and a princess bath. It really does make for the perfect romantic getaway.
Another unique romantic getaway is KolKol Mountain Lodge in Elgin. Nine cabins tucked away along the mountainside in Kogelberg Biosphere reserve. Each cabin comes with its own rustic hot tub that needs to be heated by a log fire. Grab a bottle of champagne and get busy stargazing.
Hidden gems in Cape Town
Planet Bar at The Mount Nelson An indulgent inner-city bar away from the hustle and bustle. Beautiful on a warm summer’s night.
OZCF market in Granger Bay Take a Saturday morning stroll here – it’s a community farmers-style market for independent local farmers and delicious artisanal food producers. Go hungry!
Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts Series If you happen to be visiting Cape Town anytime between December to March, this is a must. Hosted at a world heritage site, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, local and international artists perform every Sunday evening under the trees, with the mountain range serving as their backdrop. Pack a picnic, head there a little early to grab you spot and sip wine while enjoying an evening of talent. ◼
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© This article was first published in Dec-Jan 2019 edition of World Travel Magazine.