February 03, 2014
10 Great spots to celebrate Valentine’s Day
Natalie Roos’ body was born in Johannesburg… but her soul was always Capetonian. At the age of 14, Natalie started work in the television industry, presenting popular local kids TV show, KTV. Ten years and another TV job later (presenting celebrity gossip show JIP on Afrikaans music channel MK), Natalie made the move down to Cape Town where she started her blog, Tails of a Mermaid (www.tailsofamermaid.com). Her love for the internet and all things communication-driven became a natural progression to a career in Social Media, where she worked in an agency managing the online presence, content and reputation of various brands.
Natalie’s passions include cats, communication and Cape Town.
February is, of course, the month of love and what better place to get romantic than in the Mother City, #lovecapetown? This city is the romantic’s paradise, with some of the world’s most beautiful views, top restaurants and idyllic picnic spots. Still stuck for ideas on how to show your crush, partner of friend that you love them? We might be able to help.
Not sure about spending half of February's paycheck on a romantic dinner with a new love interest? Maybe you’re in a relationship and you’ve both had enough of the traditional romantic Valentine’s dinners and you’re looking forward to a more fun and lighthearted evening… Here’s my list of the Top 5 quirky romantic restaurants and Top 5 picnic spots to celebrate your love/new romance/friendship…
Top 5 Quirky Romantic Restaurants
1. Maria’s at Dunkley Square
If Greek food in a cobblestoned courtyard under the stars sounds like the kind of date that would make your Valentine swoon, book your table at Maria’s (+27 21 461 3333) on Dunkley Square. The food is fantastic, the wine list will leave you spoilt for choice and the soft lighting and relaxed atmosphere are the perfect romantic setting. Nothing quite like sharing plates of tapas to bring you and your date closer.
2. Lefty’s on Harrington Street
If you’re not really the soppy, overly-romantic kind of couple, book your table at Lefty’s (+27 79 277 0010), where a plate of chicken and waffles drenched in syrup over a couple of cold Black Labels in the courtyard will provide just the right atmosphere for some laid-back cozying up. Great for a first date or a fun evening out with your partner. You also won’t break the bank, with everything on the menu at under R60.
3. Burrata at The Old Biscuit Mill
For a more sophisticated date night, step outside of the city city boundaries and into Burrata (+27 21 447 6505) at the Old Biscuit Mill. They do incredible pizzas and pastas in their cozy and tastefully decorated restaurant in Woodstock. The risotto is sure to whet your appetite for romance and the wine list will have you cozying up over a good few bottles.
4. El Burro in Greenpoint
For a Valentine’s dinner with a vibe, try El Burro (+27 21 433 2364) in Greenpoint. Delicious, authentic Mexican food and top quality tequilas are sure to smooth over any awkward first date vibes and if you’re part of a couple this Valentine’s Day, the vibe and mood lighting can only add to your loved-up happiness.
5. Dias Tavern
If a romantic dinner for two is not really on the cards for you this year and you’re planning a dinner with friends instead, book a table at Dias Tavern (+27 21 465 7547) and throw romance out the window altogether. Order a beef or chicken trinchado, a mug of katemba (red wine and Coca-Cola) and enjoy the love you have for your mates.
Top 5 Picnic Spots
Maybe you like the idea of celebrating summer and your love at the same time and to be honest, why wouldn't you? Picnics under the African sun are always laid back and pretty romantic. Here’s a list of the Top 5 picnic options for you to pick(nic) from this Valentine’s Day.
1. Hartenberg Wine Estate – Stellenbosch
All ingredients for Hartenberg's picnics are locally sourced, freshly made and free-range. Picnics include a bottle of wine to share between two people or a bottle of sparking grape juice.
Book a table under the lapa or large cushions and carpets for lounging under the trees.
2. Solms Delta - Franschoek
On collecting your picnic basket from Fyndraai restaurant, there's a ten minute walk to the Solms Delta picnic area. A guide will carry your basket and assist you in selecting the perfect spot, from a large grassy lawn near a beautiful forest, sandy river bank spots and shady spots overlooking the farm dam. Don't forget to pack your swimming gear to cool off in the river shallows.
3. Boschendal - Franschoek
Tables and chairs are set in the shade, under the lofty, fragrant pine trees - perfect for a relaxed summer afternoon. Collect your basket filled with pâtés, French bread, cold meats, salads, and cheese & biscuits, relax and enjoy the warm sun. The wine list offers the full range of Boschendal’s finest wines to enjoy with your picnic..
4. Buitenverwachting - Constantia
The historic Cape Dutch farmstead and winery at Buitenverwachting frame the beautiful gardens studded with ancient trees where guests can indulge in a pre-booked summer picnic. Picnics are served in baskets under the oak trees. Snoek Paté, Vegetarian Quiche, Grilled Boerewors, Ham, Bobotie Bites, Chicken Roll, Beetroot, Feta ,Greenbean Salad & Potato Salad - that's just a taste of what's on the menu. Find out more or book on their website.
5. Holden Manz - Franschoek
Filled with delicious fresh local produce, refreshing drinks and fine wines. Meandering through the vineyards, you reach the Franschhoek river and decide on an idyllic spot under ancient oaks to relax and enjoy the slow flow of the day. Forget about time and relax completely - staff check on your supplies in case you decide to stay a little bit longer with another chilled bottle of rosé. Find out more on their website.