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Posted on: Friday, 8 January 2010

I Love Plumstead because …

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Maynardville Park

Maynardville Park

Hi, I’m Wanda from Plumstead in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

Plumstead IS BEST KNOWN FOR Plumstead Fisheries on the Main Road, which, despite its location 15 kilometres away from the seaside, serves the most incredible fish and chips!

GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN on Victoria Road. At least one of your descendents is probably buried in this old graveyard and it includes 145 Commonwealth war graves from the First World War and 97 from the Second. And if not, there are some incredible head stones, including the Cross of Sacrifice that will serve as willing backdrops.

The cemetery is also the final leg of the Mystery Ghost tour that starts at the Ferryman’s Tavern at the V&A Waterfront and takes in the German Lutheran Church, Good Hope Seminary where poison murderess Daisy de Melcker is buried, Percy’s Tavern, the Poltergeist of Fenton Road and the ghosts of Groote Schuur Hospital …
OTHER HAPP(IER) SNAPS AT Maynardville Park in Chelsea Village (actually the entire village, just on the other side of Wynberg, is picturesque).

St James Beach

St James Beach

WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO head down to St James‘ beach first thing in the morning. Otherwise I take my son to the local Plumstead park between Lympleigh and Basil Roads. Everyone walks their dogs here or brings their children out to play.

WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO meet up with a couple of my neighbours and swop stories over a roaring fire and a glass of wine. Plumstead is fast ‘catching on’ and many of the older houses in the neighbourhood are being restored and modernised by younger couples and professionals.

I THINK THE BEST TIME TO VISIT is Autumn and Spring. Everyone thinks that summer in Cape Town is the best season, but actually autumn and spring are gorgeous. It’s not as hot, the wind blows less and the beaches once again belong to Capetonians!

MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS Martins Bakery. Whilst not strictly in Plumstead, it is just up from Steurhof station on Main Road in Diep River. It makes incredible sandwiches, coffee and croissants at reasonable prices. And is open early for breakfast!

FOR LUNCH I SUGGEST Parks Café in Constantia Road, just up from Plumstead. It’s very conveniently placed and in winter has a fireplace for cosy moments.

Olympia Cafe

Olympia Cafe

MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS Olympia Café in Kalk Bay. Plumstead is not overrun with restaurants worth writing about, but it is ideally placed to get to and from other local restaurants in the southern suburbs, and Olympia Café and Theresa’s in Kalk Bay are excellent for superb food.

IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, GO TO the Spar at the Prosper village in Churchhill Road, opposite Plumstead High School. This part of Plumstead qualifies as the ‘village’ or heart of Plumstead, other than the constant hum on Main Road, and is open until 9pm – perfect for emergency items! (and to study the rather eclectic residents of Plumstead). The other spot is the Plumstead Organic Market, on a Saturday morning early, in Timour Hall Road.

MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS to sit in my vegetable garden and drink in the stars whilst putting the world to rights. Hardly a noteworthy outing, but then Plumstead is real suburban living and my garden is beautiful!

FOR SOME CULTURE I LIKE TO attend a eurythmy class at McGregor House at the Centre for Creative Education in Victoria Road, or go to the Masque Theatre just up the road in Muizenberg.

Rondevlei Nature Reserve

Rondevlei Nature Reserve

TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL I LIKE TO head down to Rondevlei Nature Reserve in Grassy Park. It’s wonderfully quiet and not terribly popular during the week, particularly early morning when the bird hides serve as a wonderful space in which to think and reflect.

MY FAVOURITE PEOPLE WATCHING SPOT IS the Earth Fair Market at Builders Warehouse in Tokai. Also a great place to pick up local organic and earthfriendly food!

MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS the Novalis Ubuntu Institute on Rosemead Avenue. You’ll notice it because of its unusual dome shape and the wind turbine on the roof. It is available for hire and incorporates a live art/music/cinema venue, conference rooms, bookshop and café bar.

BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS Rondevlei Nature Reserve.

WHEN MONEY IS NO OBJECT I LIKE TO treat myself to high tea at the Mount Nelson or take a weekend retreat at Temenos in McGregor.

THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I HEAR IS the muezzin call to prayer. Whilst the muslim is called to prayer five times a day, I enjoy its calming quality in the early morning and just after sunset, usually because the wind dies down then, and the prayer resounds through Plumstead from the mosques in neighbouring suburbs.

MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS McGregor, only a two-hour drive from Cape Town.

WHEN I WANT TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY I shop at the local fruit & veg shop,  buy my shoes from the local shoemaker on the corner of Castletown Road and Park Road across from the train station (sandals and shoes here are fantastic, and the neighbourhood’s greatest kept secret!), and contribute to the local library.

I Love PLUMSTEAD BECAUSE of its peace and quiet, unpretentious residents and quick access to just about anywhere.

Desirable Digits:

Plumstead Fisheries +27 (0)21 762-6743
Ferryman’s Tavern+27 (0)21 419-7748
Martins Bakery+27 (0)21 712-8885
Park’s Cafe +27 (0)21 797-8202
Olympia Cafe +27 (0)21 788-6396
Theresa’s +27 (0)21 788-8051
Plumstead Organic Market +27 (0)82 569-9894
Centre for Creative Education+27 (0)21 797-6802
Masque Theatre +27 (0)21 788-1898
Mount Nelson Hotel +27 21 483-1948
Earth Fair Market +27 (0)84 220-3856

Useful Links:
Plumstead Attractions
Plumstead Accommodation
Accommodation Cape Town
Accommodation Cape Town Hotels
Holiday Accommodation South Africa

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