Thinking of booking a South African holiday? You'll want to read this first...
We've packed our bags, what’s the plan?
To get some South African winter sun. First stop – Cape Town.
Great! Where are we staying?
If the 5* 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa is good enough for the A-listers, then it’s good enough for us. Those champagne picnics and in-house spas are amazing. You can even see the sun set in the ocean, so it’s straight to the balcony for sundowners #instagoals.
I’ve snapped the sunset, are there any other Insta-opps?
Yes! Head to the Kraal for pre-dinner drinks in a rustic outdoor setting on the slopes of Table Mountain - the views are stunning. Once you’ve indulged in three courses at their Azure restaurant (we recommend the springbok), head back to stargaze.
We want more of Cape Town, where’s next?
Uber trendy Cape Grace hotel on the V&A Waterfront. We stayed in a Table Mountain luxury room – fresh flowers, traditional redbush iced tea on arrival and a ‘pinch me’ sort of view of Table Mountain and the stunning marina.
So why leave the room?
One of the worlds’ new seven wonders of nature, of course! Work off dinner on one of the 150 walking routes or take the cable car to the top for breathtaking views and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world, with your head really in the clouds. Bucket list = tick.
What if we get lost?
Cape Grace offers guided tours of the city so ask your driver to take you through the suburb Bo-Kaap, the colourful houses are part of the Ramadan festival celebrations. Warning: serious photo opportunities. Luckily the hotel is a short walk from The V&A Watershed indoor market – you can get a serving bowl for your mum and some cool artwork for your boyfriend from the best local designers, all under one roof.
I’m hungry, now where to eat?
All the cool kids hang out at the Pot Luck Club at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock (the area is all East London, street art and hipsters), it’s the hottest place to be in Cape Town, so where else would the concierge book your lunch? Be sure to order EVERYTHING, our favourites were the fish sliders, chickpea fries (they melt in your mouth, yes really!) and you definitely WILL find space for the tonka bean churros with malted chocolate sauce. Oh and wash down with a strawberry and lychee martini, served in the cutest vintage glass.
Don’t leave before you’ve visited the chocolate factory, Cocofair, on the ground floor, you’ll get to see the bean to bar handcrafting process in action and they will happily let you taste all the different flavours on offer, win! Back at the hotel treat yourself to dinner at the Signal restaurant, where their award-winning sommelier will pair delicious South-African wines to each of your six courses (he won a blind tasting competition above 349 other competitors, so it’s worth it). We’re still dreaming of the braised duck with minted pea puree and shimeji mushrooms…
Is the city all there is to South Africa?
Not quite... now we go to Fancourt estate in George…
How are we getting there?
The famous Garden Route drive or a one-hour private plane (we chose the latter, obvs).
Private plane, sounds very A list…
It is. Hollywood film stars and boybands have requested our Execujet pilot, Gerald, to fly them and we TOTALLY get it. He met us in the executive lounge, let us take more photos than the paps and we can’t forget him letting us sit next to him mid-flight.
What’s special about Fancourt?
The estate is three times the size of Monaco so you won’t be short of a beautiful green view. Take in the idyllic surroundings on a golf buggy tour or book a bubbles & balls golf lesson on one of the best courses in South Africa, it’s a lot of fun.
And what about the rooms?
The luxe suites are worth leaving the city for. When you arrive chill out with welcome bubbly and the most delicious flapjack you’ve ever tasted on your private patio.
What are the must dos?
Not that we ever want to go home, but don’t leave South Africa without a game drive experience. Our ranger drove us round 8,500 acres of land at Botlierskop private reserve, where they have over 26 species – we got close to elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes, zebras and a lot more...
It’s impossible not to have over-indulged by this point, so you’ll welcome a healthy lunch at Monet’s restaurant and deli back at Fancourt. Sushi platter and super-clean smoothie with a picturesque mountain backdrop? Yes please. Spend the afternoon at the award-winning spa. If it's open in time (and with enough funding), visit the seabird and penguin rehabilitation centre in Mossel Bay.
Amazing, how do we book?
All hotels are part of the Leading Hotels of the World group – a collection of over 400 hotels in over 80 countries. LHW are a luxury collection, committed to providing remarkable travel experiences. Hotels include former castles, palaces and monasteries, safari camps and private islands. For more information and to book go to lhw.com.