Cape Town is a fascinating place. Often (fairly) derided by folks from up north as a den of inefficiency, its ability to function in spite of its seemingly indifferent population is astounding. Its 2pm ‘rush hour’ traffic is legendary, and somehow a vast segment of the city’s inhabitants seem to be able to function quite happily without any discernible form of employment.
Restaurants and cafés pump at all hours of the day or night, and the Sea Point promenade remains permanently awash with joggers and exercise enthusiasts, seemingly impervious to the shackles of traditional ‘work’.
Sure most of them blog. Everyone in Cape Town blogs. But in my experience, this is a less than lucrative form of existence, forcing many of us to live in reconstructed garages, clinging desperately to the foot of Table Mountain in the hopes of one day living the glamorous life.
And glamour abounds in the fair Cape. We have our pick of the country’s finest restaurants, wine farms and leisure attractions, the majority of which are conveniently located right on our doorstep. Yet for those of us salaried folk, a visit to one of these establishments could mean imminent financial ruin, with prices more suitable for trust fund brats and those who have had the good fortune to flirt their way into ageing millionaires’ wills.
So, what to do?! Fortunately there is a way around this conundrum. It just involves waking up slightly earlier, and requires a fairly strong penchant for egg-related dishes. Those three magical hours between 9am and midday – before the yummy mummies have donned their stilettos and the rich kids have recovered from their caramel vodka-induced hangovers – provide rich bounty for the city’s plebs.
Breakfast is Cape Town’s great equaliser, and affords its more financially encumbered citizens with an opportunity to live the good life, if only for a limited period. A couple of my favourite breakfast spots to get my glam on are:
There’s something to be said about a place that offers its patrons free honey brioche. Not bread, but honey frikken brioche. Usually this would be reason alone for a repeat visit, but there’s so much more on offer at this glorious little spot on Steenberg Estate.
Tradition appears to dictate that all meals, irrespective of the time of day, should be washed down with a glistening flute of the estate’s delicious MCC Brut Chardonnay – a clear nod to the fact that not many of these breakfast-goers have a job to get back to. Consider me sold!
The breakfast menu is small but oh so delicious, with staples like Eggs Benedict given the 5 star treatment, substituting bacon (clearly passé these days) for a nice steaming chunk of crispy pork belly. Hey if it’s good enough for the rich and famous, it’s good enough for me!
Breakfast is pretty reasonably priced – R50 – R60 on average – so you’ll be able to get yourself a healthy helping of high-class living without making too much of a dent in your finances.
For more information visit www.steenberg-vineyards.co.za
Ok so R190 for breakfast possibly wouldn’t traditionally be regarded as cheap. But when you compare this price to the R25,000 a night room rate at this incredible hotel, which hugs the Atlantic at the foot of Chapman’s Peak, you’ll start to understand the relative value of the offering.
Tintswalo is the kind of place you need to know about (I came across it very much through good fortune), as from the road it looks like a sort of ramshackle backpacking establishment. But once you’ve been collected in your 4×4 golf cart, and been shimmied down the steep cliff to the hotel itself, you’ll soon start to see the appeal of the place.
Simply put, there isn’t a better view in Cape Town. And that’s saying something. Sipping your morning coffee on the gorgeous deck, the waves of the chilly sea breaking at your feet, is truly a breath-taking experience. And then there’s the food. Sweet holy lord the food. Put it this way, you’d be well advised to come hungry. Homemade muesli, delicious yoghurt, pastries, croissants, salmon, breads, flapjacks and omelettes all form part of the lavish three course feast, which has the capacity to render even the most hardcore stomachs replete. (I could have done a second croissant though, I’m not going to lie).
If you space out the meal strategically, you’ll probably be good to go for another 24 hours. Looking at it as three gourmet meals rolled into one, the price tag begins to seem altogether more reasonable.
So there you have it my fellow working class Capetonians! The VIP lifestyle is ours for the taking. Just make sure to set your alarm.
To learn more about Tintswalo Atlantic, head to www.tintswalo.com/atlantic