Winter has Cape Town in its grips, which means the possibility of inclement weather. For those go-getters who aren’t inclined to hibernate when the mercury drops, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has put together a list of restaurants, hotels and pubs with fireplaces in the CBD that will delight travellers and locals alike.
Cape Town has a CBD for all seasons, which during wintertime offers many opportunities to relax away from the bustle of the street. Chill at these Central City hotspots.
Café Mojito is a Cuban-style restaurant near the top of Long Street. When you think Havana, Hemingway and the home of Che Guevara, summer sunshine probably comes to mind. But this Central City institution has you covered all year round: legendary cocktails and a fireplace draw the punters to Café Mojito like moths to a flame.
265 Long St | www.facebook.com/Cafe.Mojito.Cpt, 021 422 1095
Galbi brings a slice (or rather, a cut) of Korea to Cape Town. Game, chicken and vegetables are brought to your table, where you barbecue the lot yourself – each table has a small grill. Okay, so there are no traditional fireplaces, but this restaurant is red hot.
210 on Long | www.galbi.co.za, 021 424 3030
A brasserie with one menu item: sirloin, salad and chips – HQ does steak and it does it well. It also has an impressive wine list, which you can sample fireside in the lounge.
HOT TIP: Pop in to neighbouring Signal Hill and Dorrance inner-city wineries for tasting before dinner.
Heritage Square, 100 Shortmarket St | www.hqrestaurant.co.za, 021 424 6373
The Village Idiot
A trendy new gastropub called The Village Idiot has opened just off the Fan Walk, on Loop Street. It has a huge balcony for summer and, more importantly, a fireplace for winter. Book a table before you go – you don’t want to be left out in the cold.
32 Loop St | www.facebook.com/thevillageidiotct, 076 207 4698
The Odyssey Gastropub
This is one of those rare places that combines a comfy pub feel with live music and delicious food. Settle in by the hearth downstairs or feel the warm atmosphere at the bar and dining room upstairs.
199 Bree St | www.theodyssey.co.za, 021 422 4084
Taj Cape Town
Picture this: sinking into a lush leather sofa with a newspaper on your knee, a whiskey in your hand and a fireplace roaring in the corner. The intimate cigar lounge at Taj Cape Town offers just that and has fast become the toast of town.
Wale St | http://tajcapetown.co.za, 021 819 2000
Trees Restaurant at the Townhouse Hotel
Aimed at business people, this stylish East City hotel restaurant boasts a gas-heated fireplace and cosy lounge area that’ll get you firing on all cylinders.
HOT TIP: This is a great base from which to explore the East City, which is so hot right now you could walk its streets in the rain and get a tan.
Townhouse Hotel & Conference Centre, 16 Corporation St | www.townhouse.co.za, 021 465 7050
A retro hangout with its own blend of 100% Arabica beans, Rcaffé was serving great coffee in the CBD before it became the norm. Grab a steaming cuppa (and a slice of cake) alongside its cute fireplace.
138 Long St | www.rcaffe.biz, 021 424 1124
Did you know? Cape Town CBD has a host of metaphorical fireplaces too. Iziko means “hearth” in isiXhosa and is the name of an amalgamation of museums located in and around the Central City. The group was named for the traditional centre of a home where people get together to share oral histories.
For a winter warmer with a difference, take the family to the South African Museum (25 Queen Victoria St | 021 481 3800), the Planetarium (25 Queen Victoria St | 021 481 3900), the South African National Gallery (Government Ave, The Company’s Garden | 021 481 3970), the Michaelis Collection (Old Town House, Greenmarket Square | 021 481 3933), Koopmans-De Wet House (35 Strand St | 021 481 3935), Bertram House Museum (Hiddingh Campus, off Government Ave, The Company’s Garden | 021 481 3972), the Slave Lodge (Cnr Adderley and Wale streets | 021 467 7229) and Iziko at the Castle of Good Hope (Buitenkant St | 021 467 7223).