If you're looking to escape the colder months in favour of some winter sun, Cape Town is a must-visit. Offering stunning beaches, spectacular mountains, delectable cuisine and a host of luxury villas to rent in an array of stunning neighbourhoods, you're sure to fall in love with this South African city - especially once you read Susie and Jamie Marquis' top tips for a truly memorable getaway!
After spending the festive period in Cape Town, The Luxury Travel Book team are missing the blue skies, sunshine, and the more relaxed pace of life which comes with Southern Hemisphere living. Travelling before Christmas – just after restrictions had been lifted for travel to the South African city – the welcome for visitors arriving at the airport was very friendly, as it was in every restaurant and winery we visited.
The standard of cuisine in Cape Town certainly lives up to its reputation for creative, delicious and beautifully presented dishes, and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from – from casual dining to top gourmet experiences. The Cape Town restaurants featured in this article have all been personally tried and tested by our director, Jamie, who is currently a resident in the city. The rest of us were lucky enough to join him to experience many of these during our stay!
Cape Town City Centre
Recommended restaurants: The Pot Luck Club
Situated in The Old Biscuit Mill complex, we loved this top-floor restaurant for its atmosphere, food, excellent service and the amazing views. Suitable both for couples and larger groups, the menu here comprises creative and delicious sharing plates. We particularly enjoyed the fish sliders and peri-peri chicken, which are apparently stalwarts on the creative and ever-changing menu.
Recommended Local Activity: The OZCF Market
Conveniently located at the waterfront, the Oranjezicht City Farm market comprises shops and stalls offering everything from wine and innovative cuisine to clothing and homeware. There’s also a great selection of plants. The full market is open all day on Saturdays and Sundays, with a more limited offering on Wednesday nights., the Oranjezicht City Farm market comprises shops and stalls offering everything from wine and innovative cuisine to clothing and homeware. There’s also a great selection of plants. The full market is open all day on Saturdays and Sundays, with a more limited offering on Wednesday nights.
Recommended Villa: The One Above Penthouse(4 bedrooms; 8 guests)
This beautiful penthouse apartment on the V&A Waterfront is conveniently located near some of the best shopping, art, culture and restaurants. The One Above also benefits from uninterrupted views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Cape Town Harbour.
Recommended Restaurant: Codfather
With a terrace that benefits from both ocean and mountain views, the cheekily named Codfather restaurant offers a great selection of dishes, including tapas, sushi and dim sum, and is particularly known for its fresh fish. Book a table here to enjoy delicious fresh shellfish, prawns, oysters, crayfish, and a variety of line-caught fish.
Recommended Villa: Victoria Road (3 bedrooms; 6 guests)
This beautiful and spacious Camps Bay villa benefits from a long terrace with swimming pool and sensational ocean views, particularly at sunset. Most of the rooms open up to the furnished pool deck – perfect for soaking up the sun, reading a book by day, and enjoying a drink or dinner in the evening.
Recommended Restaurant: The Bungalow
Situated in the heart of Clifton, a chic neighbourhood located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, The Bungalow benefits from beautiful sunset views of the sea and the Twelve Apostles Mountain range. Seafood is top of the menu here, both for starters and main course, with a separate sushi menu available, too. Not a fish fan? You’ll be pleased to hear that this stunning eatery is also known for its steaks.
Recommended Villa: Clifton Second Beach(3 bedrooms; 6 guests)
This villa is built on the rocks with direct access to popular Second Beach. The accommodation is set across two floors, with the living area and downstairs second bedroom opening out onto the pool terrace, which also benefits from wonderful sunset views. Upstairs is another terrace with outdoor dining area and gas braai.
Recommended Restaurant: La Perla
Located on the Sea Point beach front, the elegant dining area at La Perla has hosted world-famous celebrities over the years. Mediterranean cuisine can be enjoyed here on the sea front, as well as at the equally popular pool deck and bar.
Recommended Villa: Villa Fresnaye(4 bedrooms; 8 guests)
Set in a beautiful position with panoramic sea views, this architect-designed villa is spread across four levels, each accessed by stairs or a lift. Special features here include an atrium with indoor/outdoor water feature, and an under-pool bar with unique underwater views through its glass panels. The interiors are incredible luxurious, with a fully equipped gym, steam room, indoor cinema with surround-sound, and a wine tasting cellar.
Recommended Restaurants: Tintswalo Atlantic
At the foot of the Chapman’s Peak Drive mountain, Tintswalo Atlantic restaurant is in a perfect position to enjoy splendid Atlantic Ocean views. Part of a boutique hotel, the menu here is based on marine produce, and served as four tapas-style courses. Quality is everything, with ingredients sourced from a selection of small, sustainable local suppliers.
Recommended Villa: Llandudno Views(5 bedrooms; 10 guests)
Located just an 18 km scenic drive from the city centre, Llandudno sits in a peaceful cove offering one of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Town. This luxury villa to rent occupies a wonderful location, boasting views over Llandudno beach. As well as being sunset-facing, it’s also just a short walk to the beautiful, white sandy beach below. The perfect villa for those looking to enjoy long evenings with family and friends, there are two dining tables, both inside and outside, as well as a barbecue, pizza oven and fully equipped bar.
Cape Winelands - Stellenbosch
Recommended Restaurant: The Table Restaurant at De Meye
Situated on a wine producing estate, in a beautiful lawned garden with outdoor dining tables under the shade of large trees, De Meye is absolutely idyllic. Using homegrown produce from its kitchen garden, the restaurant offers an exceptional three-course sharing-style menu. On Fridays and Saturdays, a lunchtime gourmet picnic basket can also be prepared for guests. In winter, dining takes place inside the historic farm building with its charming whitewashed walls and wood burning stove.
Recommended Local Activity: Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden
Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden is situated a 12-minute drive south of the pretty town of Stellenbosch, which boasts Dutch colonial houses and streets shaded with trees. The garden sits at the base of the Stellenbosch mountains, which are also used as a backdrop for over 60 magnificent bronze sculptures. The garden has been arranged deliberately to enhance the idea of wildness – both with its stark mountain backdrop, and the local wild fynbos vegetation covering the ground.
Recommended Villa: Villa Stellenbosch(6 bedrooms; 12 guests)
Dating back over 200 years, this beautiful homestead and its gardens sit nestled amongst Oldenburg’s spectacular vineyards and surrounded by the picturesque mountains. In addition to the stunning interior décor, pool and gym, the estate produces both red and white wines, which can be purchased at special prices.
Cape Winelands - Franschhoek
Recommended Restaurant: Babylonstoren
One of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, which dates back to 1692, Babylonstoren is situated in the Franschhoek wine valley and offers a great selection of food and wine experiences, ranging from its fruit and vegetable garden to its wonderful Babel Restaurant. For those who enjoy walks, the large garden here has over 3 kms of paths, and there’s also a daily guided garden tour. At the rear of the garden, amidst oak trees, the Greenhouse offers guests refreshments and picnic-style food. It can also be booked for a group for dinner. Wine tasting can be arranged in a special room with floor to ceiling windows, offering beautiful views. Other experiences include a Spice House filled with aromatic herbs, and a bakery with fresh bread. Picnics can also be arranged for visitors.
Villa Franschhoek (6 bedrooms; 12 guests)
Situated in the beautiful, historic town of Franschhoek, this lovely traditional villa is surrounded by a large and beautifully designed mature garden, with many places for relaxing outdoors. The main terrace outside the villa leads to a large lawn with a swimming pool, while a covered terrace with fireplace is perfect for dining outdoors.
Cape Winelands - Constantia
Recommended Restaurant: La Colombe
This charming restaurant offers a fusion of contemporary and Asian dishes and is one of the most impressive and imaginative meals I’ve ever had! No wonder it’s regularly named the best restaurant in Africa and has won a clutch of awards. Be sure to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Recommended Local Activity: Groot Constantia
South Africa’s first wine farm dates back to 1685 and is situated on the Cape Peninsula, with its vineyards nestled in a valley on the eastern side of Table Mountain. It remains one of South Africa’s most popular tourist attractions, with a museum and wine cellar tour which offers a unique cultural and historic experience. There is also a restaurant on the estate, Jonkershuis Restaurant, which is next to the historic Homestead and surrounded by ancient oak trees.
Recommended Villa: The Owner’s Villa
Situated 10 kms from Stellenbosch, on a renowned wine estate that comprises 20 hectares of vineyards planted with Bordeaux reds and Chardonnay grapes, this sensational villa benefits from wonderful views across the Stellenbosch Valley, to the impressive mountain range. The outstanding fully serviced villa, owned by Laurence Graff, features original artworks by some of Africa’s most celebrated artists, as well as home theatre facilities, a complimentary mini bar, private gym, and a wine cellar. In the garden, you’ll find a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, and guests benefit from views of the glorious sunsets over the Estate’s vineyards and mountains, throughout the villa itself.
Have we whet your appetite for exploring the wonders of South Africa? There's never been a better time to book a trip. We offer an exceptional array of luxury villas and apartments to rent in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands, all you need to do is choose your favourite: