My final week I moved to Bo Kaap that has it’s own flavour and feel. It’s known for it’s brightly coloured houses situated at the foot of Signal Hill.
Many of the residents are descendants of slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia and other African country that were imported to the Cape of Good Hope by the Dutch during the 16th and 17th centuries. The slaves were known as Cape Malays, and Bo Kaap is known as The Cape Malay Quarter. It’s the home of the Cape’s Muslim community and have several mosques here.
First I stayed with fashion designer Olivia with her own brand Lalesso and her husband Wesley, a confirmed surfer, production manager for photo shoots and film production, and now co-owner of the new barista company Frothing. They have a lovely house in Bo Kaap and I spent a coupe of days in their home, with them and their Rhodesian Ridgeback Chesa. Olivia is from Kenya and Wes is from Cape Town.
Here is Wes with his barista truck stationed at the corner of Buitensingle and Bree Streets. If you are around here try them out. Great coffee!
Just around the corner from them on Bree Street was Sababa, which became my favourite lunch spot when I stayed here. They served food with a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influence, and you could pick and choose from a big buffet of really tasty food.
One day Wes took me to one of his favourite beaches, Llandodno. It is a beautiful beach and since it was an exceptionally hot day, +38 degrees, I thought this is the day. This is the day I’m actually going to swim in the sea! Equipped with bikini and a towel I accompanied him there.
The beach is stunning! Beautiful! Waves pounding on to the beach. Brave surfers in the sea. We walked the length of the beach to the opposite side. Wonderful. Then I put my feet cautiously in the sea. PAIN! It hurt an hour after I had skipped out like I was burned! So cold! No not cold, icy! Glacial! I can’t get my head around it. So close and so far away at the same time.
Still enjoyed the company and good talks. And a beautiful beach is still a beautiful beach. My awe for the surfers here rose a couple of hundred percent…
The other side of Llandodno is wild and beautiful!
Then I moved to Francesca and Fabricio, who live in a lovely house. They are a very sympathetic Italian couple with a great love for South Africa. Their colourful terraced house is on one of the many steep, cobbled Bo Kaap streets. They rent out several rooms in their home and enjoy having like a little community in their home. Maybe it reminds them of their origin in Italy, where living in large families is not uncommon?
The first night there we all went out for dinner together at a nice Ethiopian restaurant on Long Street.
I shared a wonderful day with Francesca and we had many interesting talks. She took me to several amazing places, both in Bo Kaap and in town. We had a wonderful time!
The houses in Bo Kaap with it’s unique architecture and vivid colours it makes my heart sing. The story is that the residents of Bo Kaap began painting their houses, that were earlier plain white, in bright colours in preparation for the celebration of Eid. The result is lovely isn’t it. More places like this please!!
Here are some of the other places I visited in and around Bo Kaap
Los Muertos on Dorp Street. Love this combo! Coffee shop and motorcycle building!
Batavia on Rose Street. A sweet cafe. Had a nice lunch here.
Studio Dylan Thomas. Had a nice talk with independent curator, gallery owner and interior designer Dylan Thomaz on Buitengracht Street. He weaves together his passions, art and interior design, into one whole.
Haas on Buitenkant street. Haas is a creative hub, where advertising and design collaborates with each other over a cup of coffee. The coffee shop is the third leg in this collective. Liked it a lot!
Truth claims they have the best coffee in the world. Not a bad statement. Though I wouldn’t know as I had a nice glass of white here. Cool place nevertheless. I had the Truth experience. On Buitenkant street.
Greenmarket in town is a pretty square filled with market stalls selling all sorts of handcraft.
Tjing Tjing Torii, a cool restaurant with an equally cool roof bar on Longmarket Street.
Before I leave Bo Kaap I want to give a big thank you to Oliva & Wesley and to Francesca & Fabrizio for great company and for sharing your amazing part of Cape Town with me!!
Copyright and photo: Anita Martinez Beijer