I Love St James Because …
St James IS BEST KNOWN FOR its’ colourful traditional Victorian bathing boxes or beach huts.
GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT the beach in front of the Beach Huts – they are fun, colourful and iconic so make superb holiday pictures.
THE BEST land whale PICTURES CAN BE TAKEN from Villa St James but take a whale watching boat trip for up close and personal shots of these giants of the sea.
OTHER HAPPY SNAPS can be taken along the Muizenberg – St James walkway (undulating path right on the coastline) with rock pools rich with fascinating sea creatures or from the mountains above St James for spectacular landscape photographs of False Bay.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO go to the beach or swim in the tidal pool.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO do a “winter hike” in the mountains above Boyes Drive and come back for a hot shower and steaming mug of coffee.
I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS September to October, BECAUSE I am a whale snob and it is peak whale watching season – you can see Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales from the patio at Villa St James without moving from the house. (Dolphins are common too!) .
FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST Live Bait for sushi or the Brass Bell for pub grub.
MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS Harbour House in Kalk Bay for a treat and superb views, TRY THE Mozambique Prawns or fresh line fish. My favourite restaurant for authenticity is Kalkies – fish and chips at the harbour!.
MY FAVOURITE surfing SPOT IS Dangers Beach (but Muizenberg Surfer’s Corner is best for beginners).
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN TRY Polana in Kalk Bay on a Friday night – live music and dancing.
IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, GO TO Kalk Bay Harbour when the fishing boats come in or surfers corner in Muizenberg in the mornings to meet the local surfers.
St James’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS that it is one of the calmest, most sheltered places in Cape Town when the South-Easter blows!
MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS to buy fresh fish from Kalk Bay harbour when the boats come in and have a fish braai at Villa St James.
FOR SOME LIVE MUSIC, I LIKE TO GO TO go to the Brass Bell or Polana.
FOR SOME CULTURE, I LIKE TO GO TO Kalk Bay Modern Art Gallery.
TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO get a massage or facial at the Majestic Spa or play tennis at one of the most spectacular settings for a tennis match!
MY FAVOURITE WALK IS strolling along the pathway that links St James with Surfer’s Corner in Muizenberg – you sometimes even get splashed by the waves if you aren’t paying attention.
MY FAVOURITE HIKE IS Kalk Bay Caves (there are 6 main caves but about 100 in total!) Great hiking through forest and adventuring through well ventilated caves for some adventure, and finally spectacular views over False Bay.
MY FAVOURITE DRIVE IS the route from St James along the False Bay Coastline to Cape Point Nature Reserve – past quaint villages, spectacular bays & coves, awesome views, fresh air and space!
MY FAVOURITE clothing SHOP IS Big Blue in Kalk Bay Main road – they have original hand printed shirts and skirts, so you find locally made and original items!
MY FAVOURITE whale watching spot WATCHING SPOT IS from Villa St James! (but anywhere on the coastline is good too).
IF YOU’RE HERE IN October, JOIN IN THE FUN AT Muizenberg Kite Festival.
MY FAVOURITE GALLERY IS the Kalk Bay Modern. CHECK OUT THE contemporary San Bushman art exhibition.
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS Casa Labia. It was built in 1929 to reflect 18th century Venice and was home to Count Labia and the Italian legion. Nowadays it has a cafe and cultural centre and an art gallery. Casa Labia is actually part of the “Millionaire’s Mile” – which includes many grand buildings many constructed from stone that are testament to the wealthy colonial past and history of the area.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS catching the train to Simon’s Town and return on the water taxi to Kalk Bay or take them to the rock pools and learn about limpets and sea urchins at low tide.
BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS super tubing at Muizenberg or Putt-putt mini golf.
THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE ARE Orcas (not common but they do appear) .
MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS Villa St James – never get tired of being with a group of friends in the villa- hosting a big dinner party or having a family braai.
WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, WE we support Empowerment Through Education (E-T-E) Trust – which aims to sponsor the complete education of selected children from the area from Grade 1 through tertiary education as well as local fundraising initiatives to support local conservation efforts e.g. Simon’s Town Penguin Festival.
St James is intimately linked to the vibrant fishing village of Kalk Bay to the south and surfing mecca Muizenberg to the north- being walking distance apart and completely interwined – the 3 make for a fabulous getaway that offers everything except the Big 5! (game – not marine –we have the Big 5 Marine).
I Love St James BECAUSE it is a small village that feels far enough away from Cape Town city centre to truly escape and wind down yet close enough to have all the benefits of tapping into city living if wanted.
Villa St James
Hovering over False Bay with a 360-degree view of mountain and sea, is the enchanting and luxurious Villa St James, a restored historical National Monument ideal for a lavish seaside holiday, wedding or corporate function in the coastal town of St James. St James, situated 35 minutes from Cape Town center, was the first resort to be developed by the British in the early 1900’s. Today St James is celebrated for its balmy climate, warmer Cape waters, whale watching and accessibility along the railway line which extends along the scenic coastal route to Simon’s Town.
Have you visited St James? Why not tell us what you thought by submitting a review. See: St James Reviews
St James Links:
Olympia Cafe: +27 (0)21 788-6396
Knead Muizenberg: +27 (0)21 788-2909
Live Bait: +27 (0)21 788-5755
Brass Bell: +27 (0)21 788-5455
Harbour House: +27 (0)21 788-4133
Polana: +27 (0)21 788-4133
Kalk Bay Modern Art Gallery: +27 (0)21 788-6571
Majestic Spa: +27 (0)21 788-3625
Casa Labia: +27 (0)21 788-6062