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By now I am sure you are already thinking of the adrenalin rush that goes with Kloofing (canyoning): the speed, the water, nature flashing by, and the exhilaration. However, this time I want to talk to you about another kind of…kloofing.
On a recent trip to Cape Town I was adamant to experience and explore the Kloof Street area in Gardens, Cape Town, on the foothills of Table Mountain. Twenty one hours later, it turned out to be a fabulous experience and one that I would like to repeat soon as this area has so much to offer.
Arrival in a rainy and grey Cape Town could dampen the spirits somewhat, but within a few hours the rain stopped, the clouds lifted and the nippy weather improved, a great start to a light lunch at Café Paradiso, clearly a popular lunch spot amongst locals and visitors alike. Café Paradiso has been going for more than 26 years, housed in a store that has been lovingly restored by The Royal Countess Madame Zingara. Many Capetonians and others have been enjoying the interesting cuisine and various locations of Madame Zingara’s array of restaurants and dining options for years.
Café Paradiso is open six days for breakfast, lunch and dinner (09:00-22:00) during weekdays and on Sundays (10:00-15:00). The extensive menu offers interesting breakfast options, health sandwiches, meat and vegetarian antipasti as well as delicious starters, salads, pasta/ risotto and main dishes incorporating chicken, fish and red meat options.
We enjoyed the very tasty lunch table at a very low price of R35 per small plate and R45 per bigger plate. This is obviously a firm favourite judging by the number of people enjoying this option, including us. It started initially as an option during winter months, but due to its popularity, the offer has now been extended into spring. The lunch table offers a wide selection of home style dishes (hot and cold), accompanied by soup, salads, pastas and fresh home baked breads.
Café Paradiso also offers a wide selection of cakes and bakes. The restaurant is licensed and also offers freshly pressed juice for a non-alcoholic treat. Pay them a visit at 110 Kloof Street or dial 0861 623 263 (locally) or +27(0)21 423 8653 (also internationally) for bookings and more information.
After lunch the weather has cleared somewhat and allowed us to stroll down Kloof street to further explore, browse and experience. My companion and I both remarked that one has to remind oneself rather often that you are actually in Cape Town. It is a very cosmopolitan area with a unique buzzing atmosphere. There are lots of pedestrians and a wide variety of shops, eateries and other interesting nooks. This area is popular amongst local, as well as international guests and its central location makes moving in any direction an easy task.
A very interesting shop is the Wellness Warehouse with a variety of departments, including a healthy food market offering an onsite facility, fresh and frozen take out options and a healthy supermarket loaded with very interesting products. Other sections include integrative health, home and lifestyle and beauty care. I noticed that they stock a number of unfamiliar product ranges. They have a few other branches scattered throughout Cape Town. Visit www.wellnesswarehouse.com for more information.
Our accommodation for the evening was located at More Quarters, part of the More Hotels Group, a family business developed over a number of years. More Quarters is adjacent to its sister property Cape Cadogan, together with two luxury homes, Redcliffe House and the Owners Villa.
The Cape Cadogan is a stately double-storied Georgian and Victorian building that dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. It was originally a farmhouse which was ‘Victorianised’ in 1912 and declared a national monument in 1984.
Cape Cadogan, located in Upper Union Street, consists of 12 rooms, each individually decorated with lush furnishings, ensuring that every guest is comfortable and properly pampered. Public areas include breakfast room, lounge with fireplace, library with laptop for guests’ convenience, garden area and pool.
Next to the Cape Cadogan is the Owners Villa, consisting of a spacious lounge area, fully equipped kitchen with own braai and pool area. A large bedroom with bathroom is located upstairs. The lounge area, leading out to the braai and pool, is suitable for small private groups for informal conferences, dinners and cocktail events.
Cape Cadogan and More Quarters are linked by a passage way where one can walk into Kloof street and around to the next street. More Quarters, in Nicol Street, currently has 14 one bedroom apartments and 2 two bedroom apartments. They are expanding with similar property that becomes available in both Nicol and King streets.
Redcliffe House on the hill consists of four en suite rooms, lounge, kitchen and own plunge pool. All the apartments are very spacious with fully equipped kitchens, dining and lounge area. Neither Cape Cadogan nor More Quarters offer lunch or dinner due to the abundance of restaurants in Kloof street. Guests can phone through to reception to assist with dinner bookings or to place take away orders from a variety of restaurants.
We made use of the close proximity of Da Vinci’s on Kloof for a delicious salad and thin base wood burning oven pizza in the comfort of our own apartment. Visit www.davincis.co.za or phone +27(0)21 424 7504 to book your table or place your order. Be warned, they are very popular, thus it is best to plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
After a good night’s rest we were treated to the More Quarters breakfast, served in a beautiful, light and airy room, complete with chandeliers and great views of Table Mountain. The continental spread included a variety of fresh juice and fresh cut fruit, cold cuts, cheese, muesli, pastries and other embellishments, complimented with good coffee and a selection of teas on burners. Hot dishes can be ordered individually. The dining room is available for small private dinners, cocktail functions or special occasions for up to forty guests.
Gardens is an old fashioned stay, work and play suburb; with Kloof Street at its centre, the area is often referred to as the heart of Cape Town. Close by is the Gardens Shopping Centre, the proximity to the Table Mountain Cable Station is excellent and no matter where you are you can enjoy excellent views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill.
Other interesting options to explore include the Mount Nelson Hotel and Spa, Labia movies, Melissa’s gourmet shop, Toni’s Portuguese, Saigon Vietnamese, Café Milano, Asoka Asian, Yindees Thai Restaurants, as well as LIM décor & lifestyle, Nap & Alexandra Höjer Boutiques.
After 21 lovely hours spent in the heart of Kloof Street, I can honestly declare that I’m hooked on Kloofing and will definitely return to experience more.
For further information on the More Group of hotels visit www.morehotels.co.za Photos courtesy of More Hotels.
Contact Carla on firstname.lastname@example.org for your next accommodation or conference booking, also visit www.carlarossouw.com for more reviews on conference venues, accommodation and international destinations.