Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, dining and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Cape Town.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Cape Town look for these species: southern ground hornbill, black crowned night heron, cape sugarbird and the African black oystereater.
The Cape Bird Club (capebirdclub.org.za) has loads of information for you.
If you’re looking for a birding tour we recommend Cape Town Pelagics (capetownpelagics.com) because they donate their profits to seabird research and conservation.
You can find your Birding Pals at (birdingpal.org/Southafrica.htm)
Grape Experience – Check out this site for nearby wine experiences (capetown.travel/content/page/top-five-cape-town-wine-routes).
Transportation: What you need to know is here (http://goafrica.about.com/od/capetownatravelguide/ss/capetownguide_8.htm)
Business Information: Cape Town is open for your Business! Check out (http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/business/Pages/default.aspx)
US Embassy: (http://southafrica.usembassy.gov/consulate_capetown.html) – 2 Reddam Ave, 27 21 702 7300
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Day One: Start your Cape Town experience with a visit to the South African National Gallery – Daily: 10-5, Government Avenue, Company’s Garden, 21 481 3970
South Africa’s premier art museum houses outstanding collections of South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art.
The collections of African Art in the Permanent Collection of the South African National Gallery mirror the histories of independence, division and democracy that have shaped the character of this country over the last century and a half.
The Modern Painting and Sculpture Collection contains excellent examples of many leading South African artists of the early and mid-20th Century, such as Gerard Sekoto, Alexis Preller, Irma Stern and Jacobus Hendrik Pierneef, all of whose artworks are very much in demand today.
The historical art collections of Iziko Museums serve as a basis for thematic exhibitions that explore broader themes in South African art.
They have also served as the basis of interactive works made by a number of contemporary South African artists.
While the contemporary collection is continuously growing, it also has houses works which for some years have been favorites with its visitors.
These include Jane Alexander’s well-known sculpture The Butcher Boys (1985/6), William Kentridge’s series of five Soho Eckstein short animated films (1989-1996), and one of Jackson Hlungwani’s variations of Christ Playing Football, a large wooden sculpture smaller variations of which are included in other major collections in South Africa.
Lunch is at Societi Bistro – L & D: M-Sa, 50 Orange Street, Gardens, 021 42 42 100.
Start with the bone marrow with parsley and capers on charred ciabatta or the garlic snails with garlic, lemon, parsley, butter and pan bread.
Then go for the ostrich and oat burger with hand cut chips and horseradish slaw or the free-range Ham Hock with buttered mash, apple & red cabbage.
Wash it down with the Anthonij Rupert Optima.
You probably can’t wait to visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden - Sep-Mar (Summer) M-Su: 8-7, Apr-Aug (Winter) M-Su: 8-6, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, 21 799 8783
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
It was the first botanical garden in the world to be devoted to a country’s indigenous flora. It displays a wide variety of the unique plant life of the Cape Flora, also known as fynbos.
More than just a garden, Kirstenbosch is part of a nature reserve. it is the first botanical garden in the world to be included within a natural World Heritage Site.
Dinner is at The Savoy Cabbage – L: M-F, D: M-Sa, 101 Hout Street, Cape Town Central 8000, 0214242626
Start with the olive, caramelized onion and feta tart or the chicken liver parfait with port-soaked figs and currant toast.
A glass of the Ross Gower Pinot Brut 2008 would go well with either.
Move on to the pan-fried veal sweetbreads on wilted greens with a carrot and orange sauce or the paprika-smoked mushroom stroganoff with roasted coconut basmati rice on a garlic and herb crepe.
The Pax Verbatim Syrah 2008 would do well here. For dessert try the chocolate and orange Marquise with coffee sauce.
Day Two: For breakfast this morning our cousin suggests Clarke’s – B,L,D: Daily, 133 Bree Street, City Centre, 021 424 7648
Try the French toast with ricotta, the homemade granola or spicy huevos rancheros.
One of the delights of this area is its wineries and today you should visit the Groot Constantia – Daily: 9-5:30, Private Bag X1Constantia, 27 21 794-5128
Founded in 1685 Groot Constantia is a fully operational farm, one of South Africa’s most visited tourist attractions, where a wide range of quality estate wines are created and sold (seven days a week).
If you aren’t familiar with South African wines this is a great place to discover how good they are.
Lunch is at The Test Kitchen – L & D: Tu-Sa, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, 21 447 2337
Lots of wonderful choices at The Test Kitchen, we recommend the fricassee of langoustine and smoked quail with corn and miso veloute or the pan fried fish and calamari with a marjoram and cherry tomato ragout and polenta gnocchi with a light saffron cream.
A good wine choice is the ’12 Constantia Uitsig Chardonnay. Dessert is a must – it is the caramelized banana pancake with passion fruit ice, a litchi and mango cannoli and lemon grass infused tapioca.
A dessert wine match for this is the ’07 Vondeling Straw Wine.
To learn more about your world you need to see the South African Museum – Daily: 10-5, 25 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, 21 481 3800
The South African Museum houses more than one and a half million specimens of scientific importance. The collections now range from fossils almost 700-million years old to insects and fish caught last week.
There are also stone tools made by people 120,000 years ago, traditional clothes from the last century, and T-shirts printed yesterday.
Here you will attain a better understanding of the earth and its biological and cultural diversity, past and present.
For your next adventure take a ride on the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway – First car up at 8 AM, Closed for maintenance in August, The Lower Cable Station is situated approximately fifteen-minutes drive from the city centre on Tafelberg Road, 21 424 8181
The five-minute ascent to the top of Table Mountain offers a 360° view of Cape Town, the ocean and the neighboring peaks. The Cableway operates in the Table Mountain National Park, an important part of the Cape Floristic Region and the single richest floristic area in the world.
Populations of Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis), commonly known as Osteospermum, are plentiful on the mountain. You may also see porcupines, mongooses, girdled lizards, agamas (the most common lizards in Africa), snakes and butterflies.
Several indigenous bird species can be seen, including redwinged starlings, Cape Verreaux’s eagles, rock kestrels and sunbirds.
Dinner comes with more great views at The Roundhouse – L: W-Su, D: Tu-Sa, Round House Rd, Cape Town 8040, 27 21 438 4347
Start with the beetroot carpaccio with horseradish creme fraiche, toasted seed loaf, pickled aubergine and shimeji mushrooms.
Your next course is the salmon trout with aubergine, miso, salmon trout roe vinaigrette and herbs followed by the venison loin with packham pear, fermented berries and wormwood.
The finale is a selection of three South African cheeses, preserves and toasted sourdough.
Enjoy your feast with a 2007 Peter Barlow W.O. Simonsberg-Stellenbosch, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Day Three: Our cousins really like Dear Me for breakfast – B,L,D: Daily, 165 Long Market, 021 422 4920
Choices include: Yoga muesli with oats, almonds, cranberries, pear, vanilla and honey or walnut bread French toast with cinnamon and raisins.
They also have eggs benedict with smoked trout and eggs Florentine.
It’s important for you to visit the Robben Island Museum - Ferries depart at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm, weather permitting, from Nelson Mandela Gateway, at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
The standard tour to Robben Island is 3.5 hours long, including the two half-hour ferry rides, 27 21 413 4220
African leaders, Muslim leaders from the East Indies, Dutch and British soldiers and civilians, women, and anti-apartheid activists, including South Africa’s first democratic President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and the founding leader of the Pan Africanist Congress, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, were all imprisoned on the Island.
Since 1997 it has been a museum and a heritage site. The museum is a dynamic institution which acts as a focal point of South African heritage.
It runs educational programs for schools, youths and adults, facilitates tourism development, conducts ongoing research related to the Island and fulfils an archiving function.
Our cousin highly recommends a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium – Daily: 9:30-6, Dock Road, 27 21 418 3823
At the Two Oceans Aquarium you will get to know about the 88 species on display including African penguins, ragged tooth sharks, turtles, frogs and 83 more sea-loving creatures.
You’ll also learn about differences between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and you might want to check out the special Penguin Encounter.
For today’s grand dining we suggest Aubergine – L: W-F, D: M-Sa, 39 Barnet Street, Cape Town Central, 021 465 4909
Start with the tofu fried in three seeds and soya sauce with miso gelée and seaweed-vegetable maki or the guinea fowl paupiette with gelée, saltimbocca of breast and foie gras.
Enjoy this with a glass of Aubergine Riesling 2009.
For your main course have the seafood paella with flavors of saffron and fennel or the steamed salmon trout and oysters with an octopus curry.
Pair this with either the Paul Cluver Gewürztraminer 2012 or the Migliarina Chardonnay 2012. For dessert don’t pass on the chocolate souffle with a caramelized banana-coconut fritter and cardamom crème anglaise.
For your finale, either rent a car or borrow a car to have some fun and see some great scenery with a drive on Chapman’s Peak Drive – it winds it way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast on the south-western tip of South Africa. Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world.
Chapman’s Peak Drive is affectionately known as “Chappies” and is a must for anyone who is passionate about the majestic Cape Town scenery, with sheer drops to the sea below and towering mountains rising above you.
The twists and curves in the road seem endless and it is a photographers dream. It is a paradise for motorists, sightseers, picnickers, runners, hikers and bikers.
The drive offers stunning 180° views with many areas along the route where you can stop and take in the exquisite scenery or sit down for a relaxing picnic.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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