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Friday, 26 August 2016

Duck and Waffle Reviewed - Stellar Cooking in the London Skies

Words and Photography by Caroline Ghera and Luiz Hara

Name: Duck and Waffle

Where: 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY, www.duckandwaffle.com

Cost: The average food spend per person is around £45 not including drinks. The All-day menu at Duck and Waffle is divided into snacks priced £3 - £5, freshly baked breads £6 - £7, and small sharing dishes £10 - £14; Large plates are priced £14 - £18 and large sharing dishes for 2/3 diners are priced from £35 to £40.

On the beverage front, Duck and Waffle offers a range of cocktails at £14 while the wines are available by the 125ml glass from £7 - £13.50, a small selection of 400ml carafes from £20 - £43.50 and bottles come priced £33 - £79 with many finer and sparkling wines rising considerably above that mark.

About: Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower on Bishopsgate, Duck and Waffle is the highest restaurant in the London skyline, offering the most spectacular views of the city in a buzzy but easy-going setting.

The menu, developed by the group executive chef Dan Doherty and executive chef Tom Cenci, combines traditional British cuisine and flavours from around the world with their own modern, unique interpretation.

The restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, taking you from breakfast through to brunch, lunch and dinner with different menus for different times of the day though an All Day menu is also available.

Duck and Waffle attracts a variety of diners, from city-types to foodies and visiting tourists, who come for the creative, gutsy cooking and the amazing London views.

What We Ate: We started our meal with two signature D&W snacks – the first was a very posh version of ‘devils on horseback’ a British classic (£3.50) - juicy medjool dates filled with sausage, wrapped around crispy bacon rashers and served on grain mustard sauce. These were utterly delicious – sweet and savoury, juicy and but meaty, these dates are a must for any meal or bar visit to Duck and Waffle.

Our second snack was the equally appetizing barbecue-spiced crispy pig ears (£5) - cut in thin strips, they were super crunchy and savoury, served in a brown paper bag closed with the Duck and Waffle seal. The pig ears were so very moreish and I've been craving to have them again.

Next we moved on to one of the freshly baked breads, our choice was the charred baby aubergines with sumac yogurt and fresh coriander on flat bread (£6). The bread was crispy on the outside with a pillow-y centre while the sweet, soft aubergines were well complemented by the spicy yoghurt and herbs.

The highlight of our dinner however was the delectable foie gras crème brulee served with a small brioche topped with weightless crispy pork crackling and chopped chives (£13). The crème brulee was luscious, silky and rich with the distinctive flavour of foie gras and a crunchy top caramel layer, while the brioche was light, buttery and fluffy (as all good brioche should be). The crackling added texture and flavour to this winning dish.

A hot mini cast-iron pan of baked haddock covered in rich lobster cream and parmesan crumble (£12) was our next dish. The flaky haddock and creamy lobster sauce were utterly delicious with the generous Parmesan crumble adding extra umaminess and texture. Another faultless and indulgent dish.

We  proceeded with a cooling salad of grilled octopus, with raw fennel, lemon, red chilli and a refreshing green herb sauce (£13). The octopus was succulent and well paired with the zingy dressing.

We  also could not resist the corn on the cob with jerk mayo and toasted coconut (£8). Nicely presented on corn husks, the sweet corn was soft while the jerk mayo and coconut flakes adding texture and flavour.

Finally, our meal came to an end with a sharing plate (2-3 persons) of roasted whole seabass (£36), with potato and samphire ragout, radicchio leaves, oyster emulsion and pickled seaweed. The seabass was large and rather meaty, accompanied by the heavenly potato and samphire ragout which was rich with butter and herbs. The silky oyster emulsion, radicchio and tangy seaweed added extra interest and textures and the whole dish was another triumph, one of the best plates of fish I have ever tasted.

What We Drank: Richard Woods, Duck and Waffle's head of spirit and cocktail development, has created a summer cocktail list entitled Urban Foraging versus Urban Decay. As the name suggests the cocktails use ingredients foraged in the city or discarded in our daily lives. 

We started our evening with an Urban Foraged Woodland Negroni (£14), a concoction of "damp gin", Campari, sweet vermouth and formica rufa (red wood ant!) infusion slowly dripped through layers of "nature". The tumbler with the familiar flavours of gin, Campari and vermouth was served on a bowl filled with a patch of grass, perhaps referring to the layers of "nature" among the ingredients. Apparently, formica rufa has a flavour reminiscent of lemon and lime with a touch of lemongrass but the overall end result had the intriguing scent and taste of musky garden foliage.

Our second cocktail was a less adventurous Meadow Spritz (£14) from the Urban Decay list. We found this to be a refreshing mix of Bombay Sapphire "Spring" gin, aspargus ends, cut grass cordial, preserved elderflower, verbena and citrus with an iced orange peel garnish. The lightly carbonated drink with elderflower and citrus tones had a slight hint of grass and asparagus but was perfectly cooling and refreshing.

To accompany our meal with ordered a bottle of 2012 Dog Point Chardonnay, Marlborough, New Zealand (£67). A bright yellow colour with golden hues and an intense nose of citrus fruit melded with brioche, minerals and gunflint, this rich chardonnay had a fine balance between sweetness, acidity and minerality with a long  finish. An excellent Chardonnay and it went really well along with our meal.

Likes: We enjoyed the wonderful views and excellent service but most of all, the food served by Duck and Waflle was outstanding. We loved the dates wrapped in bacon, the crispy pigs ears, the foie gras crème brulee, the haddock with lobster sauce, the whole baked seabass with the heavenly potato and samphire ragout…

Dislikes: None.

Verdict: I cannot believe this is my first visit to Duck and Waffle – I have always disregarded it as a place for tourists or flashy City types, but how wrong was I! In addition to the spectacular London views, the cooking is highly creative, gutsy and faultlessly delivered. These guys really know what they are doing and I cannot wait to return. Very highly recommended.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Frog's Tasting Menu Reviewed

Words and Photography by Caroline Ghera and Luiz Hara

Name: The Frog Restaurant

Where: 2 Ely's Yard, Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street, London E1 6QR, http://www.thefrogrestaurant.com/

Cost: The Tasting Menu offers a selection of four snacks, three small dishes, one pre-dessert and one dessert, and is priced at £45 per person. The A La Carte menu is divided into snacks priced £4 and a selection of dishes under the headings Garden, Sea and Land costing £7 - £18; desserts are priced £7 - £10.

The Frog's drinks menu has a good choice of crafts beers from £3.50 to £12; cocktails are £6.50 - £13.50 while the wines are both available by the 125ml glass from £4.50 to £13 and bottles from £21 to £72.00. If you are having the tasting menu, it is possible to choose between a beer pairing at £25 and a wine pairing at £35 per person.

About: The Frog is the first restaurant by Adam Handling, a Scottish chef who captured the public's imagination when he became one of the finalists of Masterchef The Professionals in 2013. Since then, Handling worked as Executive Chef at the Adam Handling at Caxton in the St Ermin's Hotel in Westminster, and went on to be awarded Chef of the Year 2014 by the British Culinary Association.

At the beginning of 2016, he decided to set out on his own and created The Frog, where his love for fresh produce and elaborate techniques is free to leap forward. Located in hip Spitalfields, at first you might mistake the entrance into Ely's Yard for an unused industrial backyard but will soon be faced by a large marquee framing the restaurant's outdoor bar.

The main restaurant is reached through an entirely glazed wall, revealing a high-ceilinged white space with polished concrete floors where the industrial open kitchen is visible. A long bar with a thick oak worktop and shelves occupies the wall to the right while the dining room is furnished with a mixture of galvanized steel and reclaimed furniture.

What We Ate and Drank: The Tasting Menu (£45pp) caught our eye as an opportunity to try 10 dishes also available on the a la carte menu. Our dinner started with a crispy chorizo croquette with a deliciously soft centre, served on caramelised onion puree topped with yet another layer of puree, a slice of Manchego cheese, a sprinkling of smoked paprika and a micro nasturtium leaf. I enjoyed the contrast of textures and flavours of this delectable morsel which quickly disappeared from the plate.

As  a vegetarian alternative to the croquette, we were brought a salt-baked celeriac slice cooked al dente and filled with cream cheese, then covered with shaved truffle and salty egg yolk flakes.

Our second snack was a stunning plate named "Beetroot, beetroot and more beetroot". Two translucent sugar cannoli were filled with beetroot pannacotta, beetroot gel with a hint of yuzu and covered in vibrant beetroot powder and micro red amaranth leaves. This was a wonderful dish where the crunchy sugar casing paired beautifully with its beetroot cream and yuzu gel fillings, while the powdered beetroot added chromatic drama.

The third snack to reach our table was a light and crunchy beer cracker topped with beef tartare, with aromatic chilli and egg yolk flakes. So fresh, spicy and salty, this was another moreish snack.

The non-red meat option was a beautifully pearlized tapioca and squid ink cracker topped with little pieces of salt cod tartare, baby cucumber slices, parsley cream, caviar and micro herbs.

Our last snack arrived in the form of thick slices of freshly baked spelt sourdough served inside a hessian pouch and accompanied by two quenelles of churned butter, one plain salted and the other flavoured with rich roast chicken gravy. We adored the warm lace-textured bread and the intense flavour of the roast chicken butter, which I believe is one of the most flavourful bread and butter combinations being served in London at the moment. A must.

Our wine pairing for the above snacks was a glass of Prosecco Glera, Italy (£4.50). Fresh and dry, with hints of citrus fruit and grass, this prosecco was a little too high in acidity for my liking but light and versatile enough to accompany the wildly different flavours of the snacks.

We then moved on to our first small plate from the "Sea" section of the main menu - an attractive composition of curled thin apple ribbons, white crab meat, daikon, grapefruit, samphire, dill & gin granita, avocado cream, micro sorrel and nasturtium leaves. Beautifully presented and with some great textures, it was however bland in flavour, and despite all the lovely ingredients, it did not come together as a whole dish in my opinion. An example of when less would definitely be more.

Our next dish was a perfectly cooked hake loin with crispy skin, served with limestone mashed potatoes, baked radishes, tarragon leaves and a delicious sauce of beurre blanc and tarragon oil. Well presented on a stunning piece of ceramic pottery, the smooth mashed potato was accompanied by a generous drizzle of tarragon beurre blanc sauce, while radishes added colour and crunch.

The hake was paired with a glass of Paper Road, Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (£28.80 per bottle). A youthful wine with hints of gooseberry, grapefruit, lime and cut grass, this had an intensely refreshing finish.

Our final small plate came from the "Land" section of the main menu - pieces of caramelised beef bavette with a juicy pink centre were served with delicious crispy potatoes, micro onions, onion puree, green herb cream and micro nasturtium leaves.

We  requested the mac & cheese from the "Garden" section of the a la carte menu as a non-meat option. Handling's version of this comforting dish displayed macaroni standing on their end in a circle at the centre of the plate which were then generously covered in a super light cheese sauce of Gruyere, Montgomery Cheddar and Parmesan, aerated with CO2 and sprinkled with shaved truffles. This was delicious and one of the best versions of macaroni cheese I have ever tasted.

The beef bavette and mac & cheese were paired with a glass of Primonero Livelli, Negroamaro, Italy, 2013 (£34.50 per bottle). Fine and intense with a rich ruby colour, this had aromas of plums, leather and spices, and on the finish had soft tannins and fruit.

A cheese course can be added to the tasting menu for a supplement of £4 and consists of fried doughnuts filled with cheese and topped with shaved truffle. The rich combination of crispy sweet batter and a creamy, salty cheese centre was absolutely delicious, and a highlight of our dinner.

I was looking forward to my pre-dessert as a refreshing palate cleanser. Sadly, a dish of red cherry sorbet with crumbled almonds, pecan nuts, and what seemed to be granola (?) and chocolate proved to be sweet, filling and confusingly reminiscent of a breakfast bowl. I could not believe I was eating granola after 8 savoury courses.

For dessert proper we ordered a nitro tiramisu which was a rich chocolate ganache on a crunchy biscuit topped with chocolate soil, nitro-mascarpone cream and amaretto crumbs. The billowing nitrogen created quite a spectacle, but I found the chocolate mousse and biscuit were again for my palate too sweet and rich, and the dish did not match up to the finesse of the savoury courses.

Our second dessert was a yuzu bavarois with a raspberry coulis centre served with a quenelle of milk ice cream, crumbled toasted meringue and chunks of aero white chocolate. As with the other desserts, this was also out of synch with the rest of the meal - the yuzu had an unfortunate, overpowering and artificial flavour, and the dessert as a whole was excessively sweet.

Accompanying our dessert we had a glass of Kombucha Bellini (supplement £5) made with Prosecco, 20-day yeast-fermented silver leaf tea and roobois tea. 

Likes: We loved the beetroot, the wonderful bread with intense chicken-flavoured butter, the weightless indulgence of the mac & cheese as well as the luscious hake with tarragon sauce. Both food and drink menus are reasonably priced.

Dislikes: The desserts were a bit of a let down. The wine pairing at £35 per person only provided 3 glasses of wine throughout the meal, which arrived in a random order. At £70 per couple I feel it might be better ordering your own bottle.  

Verdict: There is real culinary flair on display in The Frog – the beetroot, mac n cheese and sourdough bread were some of the best things I have eaten lately, and I can’t wait to have them again. Recommended. 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Coppa Club - Crispy Fried Truffled Gnocchi to Die For!

Name: Coppa Club

Where: 9-10 Market Place, London,W1W 8AQ, www.coppaclub.co.uk

Cost: Nibbles cost £2.95, small plates are priced from £4.95 to £9.95, mains are £10.95 to £18.95, with pizze at £7.45 to £9.45, and pasta dishes from £9.95 to £13.45. Filtered water, both still and sparkling, is refreshingly free.  Cocktails are priced at a reasonable £6.25. The house white is a Pinot Bianco/Garganega blend from Veneto, while the red is a Sicilian Syrah, both priced at £16.35.

About: Market Place, tucked away just a couple of blocks northeast of Oxford Circus, is home to a number of restaurant groups including the lovely Honest Burger (I bow down before their rosemary salted chips), as well as Italian (Carluccio), French (Cote) and Mexican (Tortilla) options.  On the Friday summer’s evening we were there, the area was packed with people enjoying an after work drink or meal, as well as shoppers and tourists settling down with their bags after day of bargain hunting.

Coppa Club is an bar and eatery with a great value cocktail list and a compact menu of bistro-style dishes with an Italian-inspired flavour, with an emphasis on pizza, pasta, small plates, steak and fries. Outside, there is a covered terrace with heaters and lighting for year-round use.

The bar and open plan kitchen are prominent in the ground floor restaurant, while the basement has a cosy cocktail bar.

What We Ate: We kicked off with a platter of fried truffled gnocchi (£2.95). These were a revelation – a crisp exterior with a velvety centre, deliciously perfumed with truffle and scattered with soft Parmesan cheese.

The crab bruschetta (£6.95) combined toasted bread with fresh crab, yoghurt, mint, chilli and lemon. With a fragrant scattering of lemon zest, this was simple but satisfying.

The fillet steak crudo on toasted sourdough (£6.95) combined chopped raw beef with tuna mayonnaise, lemon and paprika. Vitello tonato is a classic Italian dish with the unusual combination of beef and tuna, and this variation on the theme was delectable.

The crispy fried squid (£5.95) was also delicious, accompanied by a little bowl of spicy sriracha (Thai hot chilli sauce) mayonnaise, lemon and paprika.

For mains, we had the Coppa Club hot pizza (£9.45). With a good thin crust base  layered with spicy salami, nduja (Calabrian pork spread), chilli, tomato and mozzarella, this was a well made pizza.

To accompany it, we ordered also a house salad (£3.45) with lettuce, avocado and toasted seeds which was only let down by the 'jarred' taste of the dressing.

Better was the 8oz British ribeye steak (£18.95), served with grilled field mushrooms and watercress, and side orders of truffle cream (£2.50) and skinny fries (£2.95). Steak and chips is about as simple as it gets in restaurants, but Coppa Club’s version was just right for me – marbled, richly flavoured and served medium rare, served with crisp and salty chips.

For dessert, we had the rhubarb panna cotta (£5.45) - served with a scattering of orange zest, toasted oats and nuts, this had a good combination of textures and flavours, although the rhubarb was a little tough.

We also shared the mini butterscotch pot (£2.95) with salted caramel sauce and whipped crème fraiche was, for me, misconceived and oddly cheesy.

What We Drank: We started with a couple of cocktails (£6.25 each) – classic Negroni and Aperol Spritz, both well made and refreshing. 

With our main course, we had Salice Salentino Riserva, from Francesco Candido, Puglia (£29.15 per bottle or £9.95 per 250ml glass). One of my very favourite Italian red wines, this Riserva was very well made, with a complex nose of black cherries, mushroom and cedar, a lovely weight of fruit on the palate, and a long, satisfying finish. 

Likes: Friendly staff, central location in a quiet little enclave by Oxford Circus, great value cocktails and a tempting wine list. For me, the best dishes were the truffle gnocchi, the fillet steak crudo with tuna, and the steak and chips. It’s also open for breakfast and lunch.

Dislikes: A few of the dishes, for me, didn’t quite work – principally the salad and the butterscotch pot. 

Verdict: Coppa Club Oxford Street is a great place for meeting, drinking and relaxing in the heart of the West End, with probably the best value cocktails in the area. Open seven days a week, it’s a place I hope to revisit soon for a few Negronis and more fried truffled gnocchi! Recommended. 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

48 Hours in Cape Town: Where to Eat, Sleep and Play

One of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town has so much going for it – long sandy beaches, fantastic food and locally produced wine, and the most exquisite natural setting I have seen.

But far from being the chocolate box pretty place that might be expected, it’s also a working city with an infrastructure to match. Like San Francisco in California or London in the UK, it seems that everyone in South Africa wants to live in Cape Town, making it one of the most coveted and expensive places in the country.

For the Brits, Cape Town is still one of the most affordable holiday destinations – the £ (despite the recent Brexit battering) is still strong compared to the Rand, so do not expect to pay an arm and a leg for top notch food, wine and some accommodation whilst there.

One of the best meals I had during the recent #Stellenblog 2016 tour was in Cape Town at a restaurant called the Chefs Warehouse Kitchen headed by Irish chef Liam Tomlin, but more on that later.

My lovely blogger friend Sam Linsell of Drizzle & Dip fame with friends John & Pammie at Chefs Warehouse & Canteen

Cape Town is a mere 45 minutes drive from Stellenbosch where we spent most of our time during the tour (see my earlier review here and here including my 3 top dining recommendations in Stellenbosch). So it is a good place to start or end a holiday in South Africa’s Western Cape.

Where to Stay

President Hotel

The President Hotel is a four-star hotel in the heart of the Bantry Bay area of Cape Town, a couple of blocks away from the seashore. It is a reasonably large hotel, a popular destination for holidaymakers and time-share owners, and offers everything from single or double rooms and suites to fully equipped self-catering flats.

My room was one of these flats, with two double bedrooms, a small kitchen, dining and living room areas. It had more than enough space for me as a single traveller, and was modern in its furnishing, affording great views over the sea, the swimming pool and surrounding areas.

Breakfast is taken overlooking the pool, where a generous buffet with many different dishes is available. There is a full selection of fresh fruits, juices and pastries, as well as cooked options, and good coffees and teas. It is well worth making time to enjoy the extensive breakfast buffet at the hotel.

The pool dominates the centre of the hotel, and is the focal point for breakfast and late afternoon drinks. The President Hotel is also one of the official stops for the Hop-on-Hope-off bus route, which has a circular route around Cape Town’s most popular spots, see What To Do section below.

 Where to Eat

Chefs Warehouse & Canteen

In the heart of Cape Town, the Chefs Warehouse & Canteen is a casual eatery headed by Irish chef Liam Tomlin. It is a relaxed canteen-style restaurant that does not take bookings, and is popular for its tapas-style menu. Chefs Warehouse & Canteen is one of the most coveted tables in Cape Town right now, so make sure to arrive early (around 6pm!) to get a table for the evening.

I ordered the popular tapas for 2 menu – eight dishes for 540 Rand (currently £28 for two). Dishes change every day, so I’ll give you a brief description of what I ate but you will probably get something different if you visit.

The food was immaculately presented, fresh, zingy and well seasoned. The chefs clearly know what they are doing, and I enjoyed every dish on the menu. My only regret is that the portions were not bigger, so delicious were they! 

Cured beetroot salmon with horseradish cream came with micro-herbs.

Crisp fried squid with Sririracha (Asian chilli sauce) and guacamole – this was soft but with crispy outer layer and had just the right amount of heat for me.

Tuna and yellowtail with miso and sake was beautifully presented with micro-herbs and sliced baby radishes.

Roast onion risotto was served in gorgeous individual copper pans, scattered with chives and fried garlic, this was creamy and delicious and one of the highlights of the evening.

The sautée mushrooms with soft polenta and Parmesan cream was suffused with deliciously rich, earthy flavours from the funghi.

The confit rabbit, rabbit loin and Puy lentils.

The entrecote was a tiny portion, served rare with green vegetables, and I really enjoyed it.

The crayfish linguini with crayfish bisque was deliciously concentrated, and lifted by the addition of chives and basil.

I had a great dinner at Chefs Warehouse & Canteen, and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Cape Town. 

Tiger’s Milk

In the beach-side suburb of Cape Town known as Muizenberg, Tiger’s Milk is a popular dining spot famous for their burgers, pizza and steaks. Despite the name (tiger’s milk being the dressing for ceviche) there is no Peruvian connection to this restaurant.

I had a great burger there – the Rockstar – with medium rare beef, guacamole and cheese (£5).  The patty was juicy and beautifully cooked, served with proper hand-cut chips, although I would have preferred pieces of avocado to the creamy guacamole, which made the burger a little too wet and challenging to eat.

What to Do

Helicopter Ride with Cape Town Helicopters 

One of the most incredible experiences I had in Cape Town was a 25-minute helicopter ride around Table Top mountain with Cape Town helicopters.

Taking off from the V&A Waterfront, this was a breathtaking flight to see the city of Cape Town from the sea with Table Top Mountain in the background. We then soared above the mountain to see the view of the city and Atlantic Ocean from behind the mountain, as well as False Bay, Fish Hoek and Muizenberg.

Having flown over the Nazca Lines in Peru on a tiny little plane (reviewed here), I was worried about getting travel sick. But the helicopter ride was amazingly smooth and the 25 minutes literally flew by. The staff at Cape Town Helicopters were super-friendly, paying great attention to health and safety, which made me feel confident in flying with them.

I would thoroughly recommend using Cape Town Helicopters while in town. There are various trips available ranging from 12 to 60 minutes, at a variety of prices.  The one I took was the Two Oceans (£100 per person for a 25 minute ride), which also included a free City Sightseeing bus ticket (the hop-on, hop-off one) for the day, worth £10.

Cable Car up Table Mountain

Another experience not to be missed is going up Table Mountain by cable car. The ticket will cost as little as 240 Rand (£12), and the panoramic views of Cape Town from the top are breathtaking.

But there is so much more to Table Mountain than just the views – you can plan a full day of activities, free guided tours, hiking, learning about the unique vegetation and fauna.

Table Mountain is also a great place to watch the sunset, and for the more adventurous, abseiling is also possible.

I spent a few hours on top of the mountain, and it was difficult to tear myself away from the view to take the cable car down again – I could have stayed for hours.

Gary Surf School

Located on the beach front at Surfer’s Corner, Muizenberg, Cape Town, Gary’s Surf School is a favourite for surfing enthusiasts wanting to learn the tricks of the trade.

Gorgeous Art Deco buildings in Muizenberg
A two hour class here costs 450 Rand (£24), and the school guarantees to get even complete beginners surfing within these two hours. I was very sceptical about this claim, but was surprised to see how having mastered a few techniques, it was not an insurmountable task.

The first half hour of the class is spent on the beach learning about the techniques (I never thought there would be so many needed to keep you afloat on a surf board!), but most importantly health and safety. The remaining 90 minutes were spent in the sea, and a lot of it involved falling off the board, trying but failing to catch the surf.

For me, the best part of the class was heading back to the school for a hearty breakfast of eggs Benedict over mushrooms and chunky bread!

Antique shops in the quaint town of Kalk Bay

One of the most popular destinations along Cape Town’s False Bay, Kalk Bay’s Main Road is packed with antique shops, coffee shops, galleries, second-hand bookshops and restaurants.

Essentially a fishing village, Kalk Bay is still a lively working harbour as well as a fun place to visit, and makes for a great day trip from Cape Town.

I found this a pretty, arty little fishing village, and spent a few happy hours exploring the galleries, antique and book shops there. I would recommend a day trip there to anyone in Cape Town.

Hop-on, hop-off bus

Taxis in Cape Town have no meters, so haggling is required, and as a visitor you will find that prices fluctuate tremendously. I was surprised to find that the taxi ride from my hotel to the Cable Mountain cable car cost more than twice the cost of a whole day ticket on the hop-on, hop-off bus (£10.50), which links those two locations. There is a stop right outside the President Hotel.

I always smile when I see tourists in London on these buses, but I have to say if you have only a couple of days in a city, it’s a really great way to get around and I was very glad of it in Cape Town.

As well as offering two different routes, from my point of view the bus is great value, offers the option of stopping anywhere you like, and also has an informative commentary.  There are spectacular views from the open-topped, London-style double decker bus.

The 2-day ticket (£16 per person) comes with a canal cruise, a wine tour, a night tour and a walking tour included in the price, which strikes me as amazing value. If you have not already purchased it, a one-day ticket comes free with Cape Town Helicopters.

The Stellenblog campaign was created and sponsored by the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, Stellenbosch 360 and Destinate in partnership with iambassador. The London Foodie has however full editorial control over all content published.

Travel Essentials

I flew with South African Airways from London Heathrow taking a connecting flight from Johannersburg to Cape Town. With two daily overnight flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg, South African Airways offers flights to the largest route network within Southern Africa. To learn more, visit their website on flysaa.com or call 0844 375 9680.

President Hotel
4 Alexander Road, Bantry Bay, Cape Town
Room rates are in the region of £100 to £150 per night, depending on the season. 

Chefs Warehouse & Canteen
92 Bree Street
Cape Town 8001

Tiger’s Milk – Muizenberg
Corner of Beach and Sidmouth Roads

Cape Town Helicopters 
220 East Pier, 
Breakwater Edge, 
V&A Helipad, 
V&A Waterfront

Table Top Mountain 
Going up the mountain by cable car

Gary Surf School
34 Beach Rd
Facebook : Garys-Surf-School 

Cape Town Sightseeing Bus Tour
Daily ticket £10.50

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