The up and coming Greenpoint has most decidedly up and come with the recent opening of the Cape Quarter extension. Already a trendy social hub – situated as it is in the upwardly mobile De Waterkant area – the small-scale lifestyle centre received a serious upgrade in terms of positioning and space, complete with a bevy of new restaurants and stores to tempt travellers and locals.
The revamp sees the Cape Quarter extended into a huge, open-roofed, four-storey structure spanning an entire block on bustling Somerset Road, which connects Greenpoint to the Cape Town CBD. In keeping with the historic feel of this area, the new extension retains the facades of the original building, thus preserving the Cape heritage of the site.
Architectural talking points include an atrium and an 800 square metre, open-air piazza hiding inside. And with ample underground parking, there’s no excuse not to drop by for a peek. To shop here is to leave behind the mundane world of average retail and step into a veritable treasure trove of purveyance.
If you’re a visitor looking for something to take back home, the art and curio stores should be your first port of call, with options such as Heartworks (a bounty of colourful hand-made items, from key rings to cutlery) and the eclectic Baraka (you’ll find everything from bespoke furniture to African jewellery here), not to mention a number of galleries dealing in contemporary art, photography and ceramic pieces, among others.
Nobody does interior design and décor like the Cape Quarter, a fact evinced by the number of furniture and interiors stores. To mention them all would take the fun out of popping around every corner to find yet another gem of a place offering anything from high-quality cookware to esoteric stationery to Victorian free-standing baths to light installations to heavy timber furniture. You’ll want to set aside some time to peruse at your leisure.
When it comes to clothing, shoes, jewellery and accessories, you’re spoilt for choice again. The Cape Quarter is the place to pick up a pair of Italian shoes, some Marc Jacobs eyewear and, well, a whole new wardrobe should the inclination take you. And if after all that retail therapy you still need a little pampering, a spa, hair salon and skincare clinic should do the trick.
And just when you thought the envelope had been pushed, Cape Quarter gives it another shove with specialist retailers such as Art Jamming (‘paintertainment’ – buy a canvas, then unleash your creativity), Play (fun toys for tots), SoundLab (for all things audio) and the scrumptious Daniela’s (the final word in confectionary).
Of course, in Cape Town it’s never only about the shopping. This is a city of gourmands, which means any restaurant that wants to stay in business had better pull out all the stops – definitely the case at the Cape Quarter. Added to the already perennial favourites Andiamo, Lazari and La Petite Tart are the new and exciting Vanilla, Cru Café and Voila!, a New York-style hotspot, unpretentious wine bar and great breakfast spot respectively.