Sundowners in Cape Town
There’s something magical about summer sunsets: the vibrant colours, the warm glow, and that unshakeable sense that – for a moment – all is right with the world. They ought to be celebrated properly, and these Cape Town spots make it easy to do just that!
Situated at the foot of Lion’s Head on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, The Bungalow does a good job of living up to its name. We’re not talking about an itty bitty cottage here; we’re talking relaxed summer home of a ridiculously wealthy friend. The blue-and-white theme and stained timber gives it a fresh nautical feel, but the chandeliers, gilded mirrors and white table linen are by no means out of place.
Think sushi, crayfish or oysters served with sweet melon, chilli and vodka salsa, paired with a chilled class of chardonnay or a flute of your favourite champagne. If that wealthy friend is buying, there’s a bottle of Armand de Brignac Brut Rose on the menu, but otherwise we’d recommend the watermelon mojito.
Shimmy Beach Club
Forget understated elegance, Shimmy Beach Club is all about the bling. Located at the V&A Waterfront, this restaurant-cum-bar-cum-lounge-cum-pool-deck is a compound of cool where the rich and beautiful vie for their place in the sun. Spend the afternoon lazing on the private beach, and sip on an exotic cocktail as the sun goes down. The beach club plays host to local and international DJs, and even has its own whisky room, so you’ll probably want to hang around well into the night.
The nearby Cape Grace offers an entirely different sunset experience. The hotel’s Bascule Bar, which is situated on the edge of the V&A Waterfront’s international yacht marina, offers up spectacular views of Table Mountain. Primarily about whisky – there are over 500 whiskies to choose from – the bar also serves wine and cocktails. Not surprisingly (given that you’re looking out over yachts), this spot, with its warm wood interior and stylish furnishings, is glamourous in an understated sort of way.
Grand Café & Beach
Think of the Grand as the precursor to Shimmy – what it lacks in sparkle, it makes up for in ingenuity. Set in a restored warehouse on a private beach in Granger Bay, the Grand offers up a beach area, two beach bars, and a deck for alfresco dining. With Table Bay in front of you and Signal Hill in the background, it’s easy to forget that you are just a few minutes from the CBD. Try the Frozen Mexican Milkshake or the Grand Pink Gin.
Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar
Head into the city and the sunsets are no less spectacular. Situated at the top of a restored heritage building in Longmarket Street, Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar is all kinds of sexy. The interior – with its dark wood, red leather, gleaming copper, and quirky nods to Japanese culture – complements the new indie and electronica music nicely. Gaze out over the cityscape whilst sipping on a Ginger Ninja and nibbling on some drool-worthy tapas.
Rick’s Café Americain
If the name sounds familiar, you’re probably a fan of that old movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Decorated in a style that hints at the movie Casablanca, the restaurant has a cocktail bar that spills out onto a sunny deck with views of Table Mountain. With a drinks menu that spans five pages and a selection of over 60 beers and 30 tequilas, you might have some difficulty settling on just one drink. Luckily, with a daily cocktail special that runs from 3pm to 7pm, you won’t have to. Go on, have that Two Oceans Orgasm or A Bloody Good Time.
Café Caprice has been making it onto lists such as these since it opened in 1999, and for good reason. Long the haunt of models, actors and celebrities, Café Caprice is pretty much perfectly placed. If you get bored of watching the glorious sunset, dabble in a little celeb-spotting instead. Try the signature Granadilla Lolly cocktail – Absolut Citron Vodka muddled with granadilla, lemon, pineapple, and crushed ice – and, if you’ve worked up an appetite, the triple-decker Caprice Club Sandwich.
Sky Bar at the Grand Daddy Hotel
It’s hard to imagine that you’ll find a great spot to watch the sun go down in Long Street, but the Grand Daddy Hotel manages to pull it off. The hotel has a vintage airstream trailer park on its rooftop and along with it a stylish bar. The bar, which is only open when the weather is sunny, offers up beer, wine, and cocktails. You’ll want to try the signature Trailer Park Happiness, which is made with premium gin, Cruz vodka, raspberry and lemon juice, and topped with lemonade. If you’re feeling peckish – and who isn’t at the end of the day? – you can order tapas from the restaurant downstairs, Thirty Ate.
Lord Charles Somerset was onto something when he made the Roundhouse his hunting lodge – the sweeping views of Camps Bay are simply terrific. While the Roundhouse itself is pretty swanky, the terraces – known as The Rumbullion – are the ideal place to kick back and relax. During the summer season, from 4pm to sunset you can enjoy pizzas and drinks on the lawns.
The Leopard Bar
If it’s romance you’re after, The Leopard Bar at the Twelve Apostles Hotel offers up the kind of sunsets that’ll make anyone go gooey on the inside. With the Table Mountain National Park and the Twelve Apostles mountain range behind you and the Atlantic Ocean stretching out in front of you, you’ll feel like you belong on the set of an epic movie. If you don’t fancy any of the cocktails on the menu – the Vanilla Chocatini looks delish – the bartenders can whip up something from your favourite ingredients. In addition to a craft beer menu, the bar also has a cigar menu for those special occasions.