We all love coffee – the rich aroma of roasted coffee beans being ground, the sound of the grinder crushing the beans into a powder that you can drink, and ah the taste of the final product – freshly brewed coffee. It is like finding gold when you find a place where you can sit down and really enjoy a good coffee. You want to capture this place on film or take a selfie of you drinking great coffee.
In Cape Town, and surrounds, we have so many great coffee-drinking venues and I have decided to chat about the ones which also act as great accommodation venues so that you can mix the two successfully. Go and stay in an awesome Cape hotel somewhere beautiful and toast your holiday several times a day with a delicious, freshly ground cuppa.
I love a milky cappuccino with patterns drawn on the top – leaves, hearts, teardrops, flowers. These baristas sure are good hey. I also love a strong filter coffee in a mini plunge pot with hot milk added last – yum. You often get a tiny biscuit with your coffee and that helps to take the edge off the caffeine kick if that is what you are after. Mega coffees are big news now – huge bowl-like cappuccinos with two helpings of coffee inside, plus gallons of milk – yikes! If you like tiny coffees then you order an expresso, not so? So let us review 10 of the best coffee drinking venues in Cape Town and surrounds…
If you have never seen the famous Twelve Apostles Hotel sitting below the mountain of the same name on your way to Camps Bay, then you have no idea how picturesque and stately this Cape Town accommodation really is – how regal, so to speak. The last time I drove past the five star venue I saw wedding preparations underway and went into a reverie about who the bride could be, maybe someone rich and famous? For me, a cup of coffee will do! So head to the hotel’s Leopard Room Lounge and Bar to relax over a cuppa while live music plays in the background and elegant people mosey on around you doing what they know best – mingling. This is what is known as a “Designer Hotel” doll so remember to dress when you pop in!
If you feel the need to sip your coffee closer to the ocean, to the Cape Town harbour and to a bit of commercialism, then you should really plan your coffee break for the Radisson Blu Hotel at the V&A Waterfront in the Mother City. You will feel very welcome in this hotel where the staff offer warm smiles and the coffee is the perfect temperature. If you book in for the night, you get to drink as many coffees as you please – and you gain immediate access to the Radisson Blu fitness centre, clear swimming pool, business facilities and world-class dining.
Alphen Boutique Hotel which radiates its 400 odd years of winemaking and colonial history. For an elegant cuppa coffee, you will have to select a seat in one of the many eateries: the down-to-earth La Belle Bistro and Bakery offers you early coffee and snacks, maybe after your walk around the estate? Later, you can head for the famous 5 Rooms Restaurant and Bar Lounge for something traditional that oozes Cape heart and soul, followed by a refreshing cup of freshly brewed coffee beans.Sit back to take in the sounds of the live band if that is what blows your hair back. I think I would prefer the Rose Garden for my coffee sipping venue… a venue outside where you can have a late one, stars above and a DJ spinning discs for something more energetic. Remember you are in the heart of Constantia, land of milk and honey, so your coffee should be of the highest quality! As you drink in the aroma of your beans, think back to the days when the grapes were planted and Cecil John Rhodes was a household name…Even Mark Twain visited these gardens all those years ago!
Also in Constantia, nine enormous elegant suites have been designed with royalty in mind – they look out over the False Bay coastline from splendidly cared for gardens and a sparkling blue swimming pool. Why not book one of the Pool Suites at the Last Word Constantia Boutique Hotel where you can order a freshly brewed cappuccino and make plans for your day. Sipping the full cream froth off the top of your delicious brew is like licking the icing off the cake, only better! This famous name hotel nestles in a plush suburb and it is a short scenic drive to Cape Town. You can enjoy all three meals here with coffee of course or book meals in town or somewhere different every night of your stay.
But dining out is so easy if you are already in Constantia – go straight to Constantia Uitsig for nouvelle cuisine and wholesome South African cooking. The confusing choice of three top-class restaurants can throw you but be sure to check their coffee sections on the menu first. Then decide which one is for you. Constantia Uitsig Restaurant is a five-star eatery where the chef pairs the estate’s wines with your food – you are indulging in unforgettable tastes and aromas and you take your time about it. In the end, sip a strong, black espresso.
Local residents flock to La Colombe for great food and vibes, finding time to eat and laugh and soak up their homegrown views. Here, a cappuccino will make the perfect end to your alfresco meal. The River Café is more casual, for wine tastings and simple fare – meet new friends as you taste great wines with delicious snacks and decide on an Americano for dessert.
Cape Point – a destination so beautiful it deserves a toast made with coffee. There is nothing like the sound of two coffee mugs clanking together! For coffee with the whales, try your beans at the Whale View Manor just outside Simonstown, just past the penguins, en route to the point. It is true that you can watch the whales in season from your private suite and the sun rises out of the sea.
The best way to have your coffee here is to combine it with a massage or specific healing therapy. You can sit in the beautiful gardens outside and gaze at the lovely scenery around you. This luxury venue is known for its small weddings, cocktail functions and intimate conference facilities. Step out the front door, across the road to a delightful little beach with a bit of sand, some rocks and lovely swims, just below the Simonstown golf course. You can walk around the corner to see the African Penguins which are actually quite tame!
From Whale View Manor you can gaze right across False Bay to Stellenbosch and the Helderberg Mountain. Somewhere in the heart of this attractive Cape style village can be found another small hotel, close to the famous vineyards and university. The River Manor Boutique Hotel and Spa in Stellenbosch has amazing views across the valley towards the Simonsberg mountains, so you can enjoy breakfast while watching the shadows lift every morning. You can sip your coffee under huge old Oak trees which grow all around this mini-hotel and stroll along the green belt of the Eerste River. If you want to eat out, simply stroll the three kilometres into town and find something traditional, complimented with superb Stellenbosch wines.
Now here is a place where tea time is a decadent throwback to the English past – when tea was a huge spread of everything from cake, cupcakes and sweet biscuits to ham and sausage rolls and tiny triangle sandwiches and carrot sticks. Today, luckily we associate “tea” with a good cuppa coffee as well! Visitors love to pop in all afternoon to the Belmond Mount Nelson High Tea and are served the same tiny tantalizing sandwiches filled with rare roast beef and rocket, smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise or cucumber! Or decadent dark chocolate cake, lemon meringue, traditional milk tart and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and preserves. And sipping tiny teacups of coffee really washes these tastes down well.
It is time to head around the mountain to a place loved by celebs, the bold and the beautiful – Camps Bay of course! Set under the spectacular Twelve Apostles peaks, this beautiful Cape destination simply begs you to stop for a coffee. The sea is freezing cold, the Atlantic Ocean not made for swimming in that is for sure. But maybe, just maybe, after a very satisfying double espresso at one of the many cafes lining the main street of Camps Bay, you will feel encouraged to swim in the cold waves? I suggest that you try the Camps Bay Retreat for something quieter, out of the crowds and heat of the main street – this five-start boutique hotel nestles within a private nature reserve on the slopes of the mountain where you can take time to learn about the endangered fynbos vegetation.
Another promenade that most Capetonians love and use a lot is the seafront walkway at Sea Point where you can run, walk, exercise on the grassy patches and take you, kids, to the enormous play park. Have coffee with international visitors at the Peninsula All-Suite Hotel in Sea Point which is largely used for conferences and functions such as wedding receptions and birthday celebrations.
If you stay in the suites, you have your own kitchen and tea and coffee making facilities! But is it not more fun being served a quality coffee by professional writers who know just how to pattern your froth and place your coffee before you? Baristas in Cape Town know their stuff and the Faces Cocktail Bar and Lounge is a great place to enjoy your beans with tasty snacks.
The choice of coffee venues in Cape Town is mind-boggling, to say the least. I have only touched on a few but you could drive around for a month, drinking two or three coffees a day at different venues and you still would not get to them all! It is true then that it is like finding gold when you do find a really good coffee drinking venue – because we all love coffee and that rich aroma of roasted coffee beans