Summer lovin’

Summer lovin’

From dancing at sunrise to cocktails at sunset, it’s time to make the most of the warm weather you’ve been waiting for. By Pia Briscoe

Cape Town

Kaskazi Kayaks

Admire the Mother City’s urban sprawl and the looming mass of Table Mountain from a fresh perspective. Kaskazi Kayaks, perched alongside the Shell petrol station where Beach Road turns from Sea Point into Mouille Point, offers two-hour sea-kayaking tours. These leisurely paddles take you parallel to the Promenade, while your sharp-eyed guide points out marine life. See pods of curious dolphins leaping up then gliding effortlessly away through the crystal-clear Atlantic waters beneath your kayak.

Oranjezicht City Farm Market Day

Pop in to the free weekly food market at Granger Bay and pick up plenty of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables grown at the Oranjezicht City Farm to see you through the days ahead. There are also farm-fresh groceries such as free-range eggs, honey and bread; plus breakfast-done-a-million-ways, eat-on-the-spot vegan-friendly baked goods, meals such as soft lamb wraps, and gallons of fresh juice, coffee and craft beer. This is a brilliant opportunity to feast on the best artisanal foods the Mother City has to offer – all in one place. Dogs on short leads are welcome. Open every Saturday, from 9 am to 2 pm.


The Backyard

Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like a plate of flame-grilled meat washed down with an ice-cold beer. Bring your friends and any braai-curious foreigners you may have met to enjoy succulent marinated vleis accompanied by any number of yummy sides (from potato salad ‘the way your mom makes it’ to grilled mielies). Select your own cut of meat (which is weighed and charged for by the kilo), then pull up a seat under the brollies in this Sea Point backyard space. And the best part? No dishes to wash up!
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Stella Café and Bar

Toast the sunset from a seat around the gorgeous swimming pool at Southern Sun The Cullinan’s Stella Café and Bar. The recently revamped venue shines in Paris-inspired gold-and-black detail (all the better for a glamorous after-dark hangout), and serves a menu of exquisite tapas and more substantial meals, as well as an array of the finest wines specially purchased on auction.

Every Friday until 16 December, from 5 to 7 pm, celebrate the good life with #StellaSessions bottomless bubbly at R140 per person.


Secret Sunrise Sessions

Imagine greeting the day’s first rays of sun while dancing on a rooftop in the middle of central Cape Town (and not being there from the night before). Secret Sunrise has found a solution to the drags of urban living and the stresses of modern life. Pull on your craziest exercise gear (read: neon spandex leotard), rock up at a secret location before sunrise, grab a pair of wireless headphones (so you don’t disturb the neighbours) and prepare to kick-start your day in style. The experience starts with a yoga warm-up and finishes with a soothing meditation – what happens in between is pure magic, as you find yourself dancing to crazy beats, a wild grin slapped on your face. There’s no better way to start your day! Now also in Joburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth.



The Knickerbocker Ice Cream Company

This summer, the Knickerbocker’s pop-up ice cream parlour will be bringing joy to many Jozi children (and their parents too). The first of its kind in South Africa, this cute pink-and-white striped van is the retirement dream of Andrew Hollick, who dispenses yummy gelato, sorbet and frozen Bulgarian yoghurt made from only top-quality natural ingredients. But the happiness doesn’t end there, as Hollick’s talents extend to sundaes, milkshakes, smoothies and waffles. Those with food intolerances needn’t miss out either, thanks to the range of dairy- or sugar-free ice creams.


Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and clear your head with a leisurely guided hike in nature. A small inner-city reserve, Melville Koppies is an important heritage site too, with evidence of Later Stone Age to Iron Age activity. The eastern region of the reserve is access controlled, giving you the peace of mind to turn your full attention to your guide as they detail botanical and historical points of interest. Kept clear of invasive plants by a team of dedicated volunteers, the trail weaves between tall grasses and indigenous trees, an ink-blue sky occasionally threatening a cloudburst of summer rain. Don’t forget to bring a hat and plenty of water.


Keeping cool in the Joburg heat has never been this much fun. Tailored to the Italian ritual of aperitivo (enjoying a drink and a snack), this rooftop pool draws in buzzing crowds of Maboneng hipsters unwinding over drinks from the bar and nibbling on shared tasting boards for two, DJs keeping the beat. Make the most of the location, open from 12 noon to 10 pm, by inviting a group of friends and catching up over more substantial tasty options from the lunch or dinner menus.
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Fourways Farmers Market

Every Sunday from 9 am to 4 pm, head to Joburg’s most popular ‘private picnic’. Children and pups (on leads) are more than welcome to join for a blissful day at this summer-savvy venue, with shaded picnic areas, hay bales for seating and gardens in bloom – not forgetting the delicious, seasonal, local food products that have been lovingly created by more than 100 hand-picked vendors. Choose a spread of deli goods, fresh produce and baked treats and enjoy the live music acts while the kids run riot in the play park.

 San Deck

Joburg’s city lights at night will take your breath away. After a hard day at the office, catch the elevator to the outdoor San Deck on the 22nd floor of the swish Sandton Sun hotel and watch as the glow of the sinking sun makes way for twinkling lights. One of the city’s most celebrated outdoor venues, San Deck is a sophisticated space with a relaxed, comfortable ambience and groovy DJs on the weekend. Keep hunger at bay with a choice of light meals, ranging from salads to gourmet bunny chows. San Deck is open all day until late and serves a varied menu of wines and cocktails.



Durban Graffiti Tour

Instead of admiring art hanging on the walls of a stuffy gallery, hit the streets of Durban for a firsthand look at its globally recognised, still-very-much-underground street-art scene. A bus takes you to the various locations, from where you set out and explore each neighbourhood on foot, under the expert guidance of one of the city’s best-known graffiti artists. Each wall tells a different story – some highlighting social challenges; others the city’s diverse cultural influences. At lunchtime, refuel with craft beers and tasty burgers.


Era Ice Cream

When the going gets hot, there’s no better place to bliss out with ice cream than the retro Era Ice Cream parlour in Essenwood. The black-and-white-chequered floor, teal walls and funky objets d’art may momentarily distract you from the extensive menu of treats – but not for long! Prepare yourself for the sugar coma, because there is very little hope of restraint. Flavours range from classics such as choc-mint and strawberry, to the more adventurous such as peanut butter, salted caramel and apple-cinnamon. Beware: you may be tempted to take away a decadent baked treat – all made fresh daily – such as the chocolate tart crammed with gooey caramel and marshmallow, or the spiced carrot cake.
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Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple

As far as architecture goes, Chatsworth’s Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding cuts a unique figure on the skyline. Built entirely by Hare Krishna devotees in the 1980s, its architects were aiming for ‘lotus’ and ended up with something resembling a rocketship. Once inside, however, you’ll be fascinated by the bejewelled spaces, intricate use of gold leaf and abundant mirror-work. Doors are open to people of all faiths and entrance is free to attend any of the ceremonies. Take a tour of this unusual building and do not leave without sampling a meal at Govinda’s Pure Vegetarian Restaurant and Take-Away on the ground floor.


I Heart Market

Of all the places to be in summer, a crowded mall is not one of them. Instead, on the first Saturday of every month, rediscover how lekker local really is when you shop till you drop at I Heart Market. Hosted on the soft green Imbizo Lawns of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, with plenty of shade and space for kids to play, the market is a hive of local talent. With finds ranging from bright tepee playhouses to delicate jewellery and soft leather handbags, you can happily spend hours shopping the stalls. When your feet are tired and you need a pick-me-up, try a red-velvet macaron or some home-made lemonade to boost your energy reserves.

elements café bar

Drive north from Durban along the coast to Umhlanga and bid the setting sun adieu over cocktails at the Beverly Hills hotels’ elements café bar. It is an eclectic, modern space punctuated by statement chandeliers, transparent chairs and a careful mixture of textures in tones of white. Every evening, large sliding doors open to an inviting view as the blazing sun dissolves slowly into the Indian Ocean. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 12 noon to 10 pm, elements serves a superb selection of bubblies, wines and beers, as well as classic and experimental cocktails. Food extends from light meals and salads to more substantial pastas and fresh seafood.


Photography: Brooke Auchincloss, Roger de la Harpe/Africa Imagery, Courtesy Images


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