B&B and Beyond: Cape View Clifton, Cape Town
With ocean-facing terraces and a standout location, this chic guesthouse is the perfect Cape escape
Sunday 05 May 2013
Cape Town's setting is hard to beat, with swathes of golden sand swept by Atlantic breakers and the brooding slab of Table Mountain as a backdrop. The panoramic views from the newly opened, ultra-stylish Cape View Clifton – perched on a cliff overlooking the Twelve Apostles and Clifton's sheltered beaches – are hard to beat, too. It makes the perfect base to explore the Mother City: the bars and restaurants of Camps Bay are around the corner and the V&A Waterfront, with its host of shops and eateries, is a short drive away.
Take a break from sightseeing to lounge on the communal deck, where you can cool off in the small pool. And you don't have to go far to catch the spectacular sunsets – just step out on to your private terrace.
There are four enormous Deluxe Suites and a more modest Junior Suite. While no two are exactly the same, they all have private, ocean-facing terraces. They are decorated in white and neutral tones, with long, sleek sofas and contemporary day beds, designer light fittings, shaggy rugs, flat-screen televisions and large framed prints of African plants. There's also a nod to African crafts in the carefully chosen ornaments, such as buffalo-horn pencil holders and shell-encrusted baskets. Light floods through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The king-sized bed is clad in crisp white linens, while the sparkling white marble bathrooms have big tubs and powerful rain showers and Africology lotions and potions.
Breakfast is served at long communal tables in the bright, white dining room or al fresco on the terrace. Celeste arrives every morning to lay out her just-baked muffins and bread, homemade Bircher muesli and granola. Yoghurt, fresh fruit, cold meats and cheeses are also on offer, as well as a daily special, such as a smoked salmon and dill omelette, or pancakes with all the trimmings.
Soft drinks, a range of tea and Nespresso coffee are available free-of-charge throughout the day, along with a tempting array of snacks, from dried fruit and cookies to South African staples such as rusks and biltong. There's also a well-stocked honesty bar, which includes local wine.
Although still in her twenties, the owner Jess has experience in the property market. Cape View Clifton is her first hospitality project and she was hands-on in its development, sourcing all the furniture, fixtures and fittings.
Jess's attention to detail is impressive, down to providing tubes of sunscreen and citronella spray on the terrace for guests to use. She lives next door and frequently pops in, while the manager, Mitch, keeps everything running like clockwork.
On a clear day, take the cable car up Table Mountain (tablemountain.net) for an unmissable view of the city. If you're feeling energetic, you can hike to the top from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (00 27 21 799 8783; www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch).
Explore the Cape Peninsula – including cliff-hugging Chapman's Peak Drive, one of the world's most scenic roads, the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point, Boulders' penguin colony and quaint Simon's Town – with a knowledgeable guide from Escape to the Cape (00 27 21 462 6104; escapetothecape.co.za; tours from R700 (£50) per person).
On Saturday mornings, Woodstock is the place to be. It is quietly gentrifying and you can shop-til-you-drop there for quirky crafts, homeware, art, clothes and jewellery at creative spaces such as The Old Biscuit Mill (375 Albert Road; the oldbiscuitmill.co.za), The Woodstock Foundry (160 Albert Road), and The Woodstock Exchange (00 27 21 486 5999; woodstockexchange.co.za).
Get there before 10am to beat the crush at the hugely popular Neighbourgoods gourmet food market (neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za).
Join the queues at much-loved Kalky's (00 27 21 788 1726; fish and chips from R45/£3.20) fish shack in Kalk Bay for hake – or try local favourites, kingklip and snoek – and chips.
For something more upmarket, head to The Pot Luck Club (00 27 21 447 0804; thepotluckclub.co.za; larger dishes around R70/£5) for its Asian-influenced, tapas-style menu. Star chef Luke Dale Roberts' latest venture was an extension to his award-winning Test Kitchen (00 27 21 447 2337; thetestkitchen.co.za) until February, when it opened in its own premises in The Old Biscuit Mill.
Cape View Clifton, 232 Kloof Road, Clifton (00 27 21 438 8748; capeviewclifton.co.za). Doubles start at R2,700 (£194), including breakfast.
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