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May 13, 2009

Winter warmers in Cape Town

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A winter’s morning before the sun burns off the mist. Photo courtesy mallix

While our foreign visitors to Cape Town are still marvelling at the warm, sunny days we are experiencing, Capetonians might already be feeling a nip in the air.

Cape Town’s weather is moderate and fair all year round, with an average winter temperature of 18.5°C (65°F), but it’s nice to know that the fun doesn’t have to stop on cold days.

Winter is whale-watching season in the Western Cape. Humpback and southern right whales are seasonal visitors to our coasts, and watching them can be both a peaceful and an exciting experience. Wrap the kids up warmly and head down to the coast with a flask of hot coffee for some quality family time.

Alternatively, enjoy a late lunch at the Harbour House restaurant in Kalk Bay. This gorgeous restaurant overlooks the Kalk Bay harbour and offers some of the best views of the ocean, as well as delicious seafood.

Winter is as good an excuse as any to indulge in some retail therapy. Whether it’s a designer trench coat or some practical woollen socks, a trip to the Waterfront mall or Cavendish Square should answer all your needs.

And when the rain does come down, there are many cosy spots to shelter in. Escape to another world in your local bookshop, library or museum, or give your creative side a treat at any number of art galleries.

Hearty food and red wine are also things enjoyed best when it’s cooler. The Forester’s Arms, a popular pub in Newlands, has a roaring fire for patrons to warm up near, as well as a great pizza menu.

If it’s sweet comfort food you’re after, you could do little better than The Sweetest Thing, an award-winning patisserie in Simon’s Town, or the Olympia Café and Deli in Kalk Bay, with its own attached bakery.

When you’re warm and well fed, don’t forget the less fortunate, for whom winter can be particularly harsh. Instead of throwing away your old things, pack them up and donate them to a charity that can distribute them to the homeless. Cape Town Child Welfare is always in need of donations.

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