The coolest kid on the block, the ultimate fashion icon, the model-without-knowing-its-beauty, the struggling artist… Cape Town has become one of my favourite places and I am constantly trying to feed the hunger I have for everything it has to offer (note: not just referring to food).
Prior to Friday the 13th, we ventured into Cape Town to watch a show at the Fugard Theatre and to do some quality adventure-timing (forever looking for photogenic murals and new coffee shop spots).
As can be expected of any sane person, we headed for Charly’s Bakery as soon as we arrived. However, we were distracted by the miracle that is Albertus Street, an exact and dreamy replica of what could probably be some street in a friendly urban neighbourhood in New York. We started planning our future in a loft apartment overlooking the city and took enough pictures to fill the memory of every device I own.
Just a disclaimer: countless coffee shops will be mentioned in this post. Calories may be ingested through reading.
Anyway, next up we accidently (not kidding) came across Truth Coffee, about which I have been dreaming for months. It was everything we imagined – coffee, croissants, décor, waiters dressed cooler than us… 10/10. And the best part (or possibly the worst): thanks to Instagram stories, we found out that Ben Brown and his friends visited Truth THE DAY JUST AFTER, very likely sitting at the exact same table we did. I also feel it necessary to mention that one of their coffees had the same latte art I had, so naturally, we must be connected in some spiritual caffeinated way.
The show we were going to see at the Fugard is called District Six – Kanala and tells the story of District 6 and how it came to be demolished. So, we found it very well fit to visit the District 6-museum while we were in the area. It was truly such an eye-opening experience – the stories are so pure and the tragedy so real – something I have often overlooked simply because I felt too far removed from it to even try to understand any of it. Without a doubt, it is something everyone should do at least once. History books cannot tell you what this museum can.
… And then we found paradise, which, should you be interested, is located on 71 Roeland Street, corner of Buitenkant and Roeland Street, Cape Town, 8001 (take note, please). The Book Lounge is by far one of the best places I have been to in my entire life. Ever. (I hope I’m not overselling this.) A two-story bookshop with windows so big, they let in light from the heavens themselves, couches that welcome you in their soft, warm arms, and a coffee station where you can order an entire pot of tea. And, of course, my favourite: a discount shelf for books that have suffered from wine damage. Wine damage? More like wine blessings, if you ask me. But I am not complaining about all the R10-books that have now become part of my life.
Coffee shop alert. Carla has been fan-girling about Honest Chocolate Café for many months now, and insisted to introduce us. Located in Wale Street, this adorable, almost Italian-style café has two stories: a tiny restaurant on the ground floor and a gin bar on the second. Honestly, such a good place (pun very much intended).
After an attempted golden hour drive through Bo-Kaap’s (very, very steep) streets, we headed to the Company’s Garden, where we met not one but three very talented and brilliant cats and came across human-sized bird nests, in which we made ourselves comfortable enough to lose track of time until we were asked to leave because the garden’s gates were being locked for the day. Lame.
Against our will, we left, but vowed to soon reunite with our beloved nests. (If you see it, you will understand.) The next day, we took a stroll through Long Street. We ended up at a pop up market on the Greenmarket Square, where we stocked up on picnic-supplies before we returned to the gardens. Best. Meal. Ever. Someone posted a picture of it on Instagram and my mouth started watering when I saw it – for a minute I was genuinely jealous of whoever was getting to eat that, before I realised that it was our food. (Genius.)
After taking a well-deserved nap and nearly getting eaten alive by birds and squirrels and rats bigger than dogs, we went to the South African National Gallery, situated on the same grounds as the garden. We did some exploring and properly got into the whole art-gallery-spirit.
To pass some time, we (shockingly) tried to find a new coffee shop, but because it was already past five, there wasn’t many options. We ended up at Motherland Coffee Company in the Mandela Rhodes Place. I 100% approve of the Central Perk/Friends-couch and the friendly baristas (and I forgive them for not being Gunther).
And then finally – what brought us to the city in the first place. Kanala. Oh man. Oh man. I don’t trust myself to say something about this performance that will do it justice. No words. Go watch it. Go. Do it. It has inspired me to start a choir/band/orchestra and to audition for Broadway and to, mainly because I am not capable of doing any of the above mentioned, move someplace close enough where I will be able to hear the show’s music every night. Every. Damn. Night.
Such a tragic heart-breaking piece of history told in such a heart-warming manner – you will reminisce about memories that aren’t even yours.
Needless to say that these few days have left me broke (but aesthetically so healed). I am still trying to figure out all of Cape Town’s secrets and adjusting to make it feel like a (future) home. But what I do know for sure, is that I will never be able to get used to it. There will always be something new to discover and to rave on about. Cape Town – you are the real MVP.