Paris may have an international reputation as the City of Love, but that’s more than likely only because it had an historical head start on Cape Town. True, the men in South Africa’s Mother City aren’t likely to treat their intended conquests to moonlit violin serenades, but what we do have is some fine places to go and things to see and do if it’s a romantic party for deux you’re after.
It might seem a bit of an obvious choice, but Table Mountain leads a double life as a tourist attraction/postcard seller and a lovers’ getaway in the middle of the city …
Romantic Guide to Cape Town
What could be more romantic than hopping on a cable car to the seemingly isolated top with a bottle of wine, a couple of glasses and a blanket, and watching the sun set rather spectacularly over the Atlantic? And the nice people at the Cableway make it even easier for you by running a discounted rate after 6pm in the summer months, ostensibly for this very purpose. Just don’t forget the bottle opener.
If heights or gorgeous sunsets aren’t your thing, you could always keep both feet firmly on the ground at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. The gardens, nestled into the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain and stretching over 528 hectares, are the perfect spot for a lazy, romantic picnic. Pack a basket, complete with strawberries and sparkling wine, and enjoy the sweeping views while surrounded by mostly indigenous flora.
For the slightly more adventurous couple, few things say hero and heroine of a romantic novel more than galloping on horseback along the water’s edge, and Cape Town’s Noordhoek Beach seems to have been perfectly designed by nature for a romantic trot. Local stables offer beach trails for beginners, including sunset rides, so you’ll be cantering along the miles of white sand, wind in your hair, before you can say Mills and Boon.
And if it’s on the water you want to be, rather than beside it, you can’t go wrong with a romantic cruise around the Cape’s coastline. The Waterfront Boat Company offers a daily Sunset Champagne Cruise (including complimentary glass of sparkling wine) with various routes, including Milnerton Lighthouse and Clifton Beach. They require only two paying customers to depart (have couple, will cruise) so don’t be surprised to find yourself on a very cosy, private jaunt.
Peckish? Cape Town’s cruising restaurant, The Sea Horse, offers lunch, cocktail and dinner cruises, departing from the V&A Waterfront. Or, hey big spender, why not charter a cruise? Baron Charters offer fully catered, stewardess-serviced yachts for charter.
Of course, one needn’t pull out all the stops to be romantic in the Mother City. Every day of the week there are any number of world-class, low-lit restaurants, cocktail lounges and live gigs ready to accommodate a starry-eyed pair.