If it was good enough for the Romans, it’ll be good enough for you
Top Romantic Things To Do in Cape Town
Ditch the kitsch and take advantage of a whole bouquet of romantic gift and date ideas perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other heartfelt special occasion
Last Update January 18, 2017
Adore it or abhor it, you can’t escape the universal day of love. And while Valentine’s Day (14 February, for those who tend to forget) has become an age-old tradition defined by shop-bought red roses, heart-smattered teddy bears and boxes upon boxes of gooey chocolates, your personal Cupid-themed celebration doesn’t have to be quite so cliché. So, if you’re looking to spend Valentine’s Day in Cape Town (or any other amorous special occasion, for that matter), think outside the heart-shaped box and woo him or her with a truly inspired romantic escapade.
Keep it classy with an intimate dinner in the Winelands, charm your loved one old school-style in a horse-drawn carriage or get adventurous with some horseback riding on the beach. Alternatively, give tradition a twist and pick your own roses or enrol in a decadent chocolate workshop.
TOP ROMANTIC THINGS TO DO IN CAPE TOWN
African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa
Treat yourself and a loved one to a delicious gourmet experience at the African Pride Crystal Towers Restaurant in Century City. The Towers reflects attention to detail, whimsical design and upmarket elegance that it prides itself on. You are guaranteed a creative flair to every dish on the specially-crafted five-course Valentine's Day menu. The restaurant is a fabulous wine-and-dine establishment that beams with sophistication, perfect for that special evening this Valentine's Day. There is no better way to enjoy the evening than with the friendly staff, phenomenal service and the divinely indulgent combinations of flavours and bubbly - no day of love would be complete without a glass of champagne. What's more, the usual a la carte menu offerings will be available too.
Century Boulevard | Century City | Cape Town
See the beautiful Cape from Above
It’s not every day that you get to see Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula from a scenic bird’s-eye view, and what better way to experience this premium scene than with a loved one by your side? So why not opt for an hour-long helicopter ride with NAC helicopter tours. The 60-minute aerial tour begins at its V&A Waterfront base and then flies high up - treating you to incredible views of one of the New7Wonders of Nature, the flat, water-locked form of Robben Island and the oval anatomy of the Cape Town stadium! The journey also includes gorgeous views of suburbs Sea Point & Camps Bay as well as celebrated marine route Chapman’s Peak Drive. For an even more matchless experience, why not jet off to your desired location via helicopter? Recommended destinations include Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Hermanus and Gansbaai.
V&A Waterfront | East Pier Road | Cape Town | +27(0)21 425 3868
La Mer Restaurant and Grill
Celebrate the day of love with a specially curated menu at La Mer Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Le Vendome. The best thing about valentine's day, except the love that floats around, is the food… let’s be honest. The best dishes are made with love, so why not fill your belly with lovely food. The Valentine's Day Menu for R675 will include a lavish variety of dishes. Starting with the Amuse Bouche which is a cured smoked salmon with creme fraiche and slow roasted potatoes. The cold starter is a beautifully seasoned plate of beef carpaccio followed by the hot starter which is a pan fried gnocchi dish with wild mushrooms, truffle and parsley dressing. You’ll be treated to a palette cleanser, a fresh fruit sorbet, before the mains begin. This is where the fun begins, a delicious fillet of beef served with smoked potatoes and a potato puree - divine! Enjoy a cheese platter or dessert platter to end off your evening of sensual food. Don’t forget to get yourself some bubbly to accompany your yummy meal.
14 London Road | Sea Point | +27(0)21 826 5100
Breakfast at Festa Restaurant on Kleinevalleij Estate
Valentines Day is your excuse to go all out and utilise the gracious 24 hours in the day to pamper your loved one... Why not start off at Festa – a charming restaurant that’s located at the picturesque Kleinevalleij Estate in Wellington. Their breakfast menu includes a delicious variety of choices; you can try the ‘Festa Salmon Breakfast’ that includes a baked croissant, scrambled egg, smoked salmon and balsamic tomato relish. Or opt for a pizza or steak off the regular menu to start off your day – all the while soaking in the lush Wellington hills that etch off into the distance. The rustic décor with its low-hanging chandeliers, as well as the wide patio that houses comfortable sofas, create the perfect setting for a romantic breakfast with your sweetheart.
R301 (towards Bainskloof) | Wellington | +27(0)21 873 0075
Buy beautiful Diamond or Tanzanite Jewellery
How about surprising your companion with a dazzling jewellery piece? For the diamond-loving type, Linde Collection, located on Shortmarket Street in the CBD, offers contemporary and unique local diamond necklaces, rings and earrings that can fit beautifully into any occasion – so much so that the company can make custom pieces to fit personal design preferences and specifications. If you’ve been thinking of making things more official with your beau, you’ll be happy to know that Linde specialises in engagement rings! For something a little more unique and an alluring blue in colour – a tanzanite encrusted ring or necklace might just do the trick! Shimansky, along with its diamond ring offerings, also boasts a blue-violet tanzanite ring and earring collection. The gorgeous gem is incredibly rare and is speculated to only have 30 years of supply remaining in the mine and is only found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania – making it quite a unique gift.
Linde Collection| 65A Shortmarket street | City Centre | +27(0)21 422 0041
Shimansky | Shop 6259 (Level 1) | V&A Waterfront | +27(0)21 425 9888
Horse-drawn Carriage Rides for Two
Here’s something for all the hopelessly romantic Jane Austen readers out there! Why not whisk your nearest and dearest through the city streets on a horse-drawn buggy with the Cape Town Carriage Company (CTCCO)? The stylish chauffeured ride will take you past all the major historic sites in the CBD: St George’s Cathedral, Church Square, the South African National Gallery and the Grand Parade, to name but a few (the trip also includes a stopover at the Company’s Garden). The trip is between an hour and an hour and a half in length, and a bottle of sparkling grape juice is provided (patrons are also allowed to bring along their own refreshments). CTCCO runs Monday through Sunday and rides are available all day at your request.
Castle of Good Hope | Lower Buitenkant Street | Cape Town | +27(0)82 575 5669
Wine Tasting and Cellar Tour at Bosman Family Vineyards
Take a trip to Wellington and impress your amour with a private cellar tour and tasting at Bosman Family Vineyards, an eighth generation winery with a past as rich and romantic as the age-old tale of Saint Valentinus and his abiding love. Sip and swirl your way through the winery’s award-winning reds and whites as your tour guide stirs in snippets of the farm’s rich heritage and history (the cellar is over 250 years old), and make the day even more meaningful by learning about Bosman’s extensive ethical fair trade mantra. Do note: tours and tastings are by appointment only.
Lelienfontein | Bovlei Road | Wellington | +27(0)21 873 3170
Sunset Cable Car Trip up Table Mountain
Take your love to dizzying heights and watch from atop Table Mountain as the sun sets and the city becomes awash in hues of pink and orange. Affording spectacular 360-degree views over Cape Town and the surrounding Atlantic Ocean, this iconic landmark is the ideal location from which to sweep that special (or soon-to-be special) someone in your life off their feet while twilight comes to rest. During summer, the sunset cable car trip up Table Mountain is half price after 6pm (until 28 February 2014), so you can break into new heights in your flourishing relationship without breaking the bank. The last cable car goes up at 8:30pm, and it comes down at 9:30pm (during the month of February; times vary during other months of the year).
Lower Cable Station | Tafelberg Road | Cape Town | +27(0)21 424 0015
Lindt Chocolate Studio
For some there is no love greater than the love of chocolate; treat your sweet-toothed darling to a personally selected gourmet goodie bag from the Lindt Chocolate Studio, the first of its kind in South Africa. Pick and mix elegant chocolate creations, from mouth-watering pralines to creamy truffles, or, alternatively, stock up on chocolate-creating kitchen supplies perfect for conjuring up a devilishly decadent fondue at home. For those dating true chocoholics, enquire about the Lindt Chocolate Studio Courses and enrol yourself and your partner to learn and taste your way through a variety of chocolate-making classes.
Cape Quarter | 72 Waterkant Street | +27(0)21 831 0360
Pick Your Own Roses at Chart Farm
Forget shop-bought roses, why not go for the real deal and pick your own this Valentine’s Day? Surprise your partner with a bouquet of hand-selected stems carefully chosen to include her favourite colours, varieties or aromas. Choose from a wide selection – there are over 6000 plants – of breathtaking buds at Chart Farm in Wynberg and pay less for the beautiful blooms than you would if you purchased a less lively bunch from stock-standard retailers. For a paired activity, invite your partner along and wander the scented paths of the rose garden together. Round off your picking trip with homemade cake and a cup of coffee on the charming venue’s terrace as you marvel at the mountainous views unravelling beyond.
Klaassens Road | Wynberg Park | Wynberg | +27 (0)21 761 0434
Note: roses are only available for picking between November and June.
Horse Riding on Noordhoek Beach
Take your cue from a classic movie and ride off into the sunset together on horseback along the idyllic Noordhoek Beach. This picture-perfect stretch of sea and sand – it hugs the portion of coastline just around the bend from Chapman’s Peak – is the quintessential setting to celebrate a special occasion with your star-crossed lover. A handful of horse riding companies operate in and around the area, but one seasoned service provider is Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding, a company that offers expertly guided tours for experienced riders and saddle newbies alike. Trails take two hours to traverse, and rides depart at 9am, 1pm and 5pm (4pm in winter) daily; bookings are essential.
Sleepy Hollow Lane | Noordhoek | +27 (0)21 789 2341
Hire a Harley from Cape Bike Travel
For placid types and adrenaline junkies alike, there’s nothing that can quite beat cruising along Chapman’s Peak Drive or off-roading through the towering Cederberg mountains on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Hiring one of these hogs with a loved one for a day could provide you with the perfect excuse for a close encounter with your sweetheart (think Marlon Brando and Mary Murphy in The Wild One and not Kimye in Bound 2). Mother City company Cape Bike Travel has a range of these bad boys for rent, and if you haven’t got around to getting your motorbike license, don’t fret; chauffeured rides are also available. Prices vary depending on the model, and all bikes come equipped with a helmet, 24-hour roadside assistance and fully comprehensive insurance. Plus, delivery and pick-ups can be arranged for an additional fee, which means that you and your lover can just drive one leg of the journey if you so wish. Jackets, a GPS and panniers are available at an extra cost.
125 Buitengracht Street | City Centre | +27 (0) 84 606 4449
Watch a Movie under the Stars
Why not cosy up with your sweetheart beneath the stars at one of the Mother City’s open-air theatres? These scenic outdoor cinemas seem to be cropping up all over the city, and we’ve picked some of the finest of them here. Firstly, there’s The Galileo Open Air Cinema, which has branches at the Hillcrest Quarry, Kirstenbosch, V&A Waterfront and the Cape Winelands that screen cult classics, romcoms, sci-fi movies and dramas every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening respectively during the summer months. Take note that considering that the setting is outdoors, the event is weather dependent. Doors open at 6pm and the flick starts after sunset. Otherwise, there’s also the Pink Flamingo Cinema, a vibey rooftop movie house at The Grand Daddy Hotel that shows classics under the African sky. Depending on your mood – and budget – there are a number of different ticket options available, and the various price categories include extras like popcorn, sweets, picnic baskets and even a sleepover in one of the hotel’s famed rooftop trailers. The show starts at 8pm.
The Galileo Open Air Cinema | +27 (0) 86 122 5598
Pink Flamingo: The Grand Daddy Hotel | 38 Long Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 7247
Buy a Yummy Table Mountain Shaped Chocolate
The chance to surprise your loved one with a sweet and edible version of the beloved Table Mountain is now a very delicious reality that could make for a unique V-day gift. The indulgent treat comes in milk (43% cocoa) and dark chocolate (72% cocoa). Creator Jan de Jager puts it like this: “the chocolate bar is beautiful to look at, it’s soft to touch, you smell its cocoa aroma as soon as it is unwrapped and then you can hear the snapping sound when biting into it. Finally, your taste buds enjoy the smooth silky taste as the chocolate melts in your mouth.” Sounds delicious, right?
Romance need not be limited to Valentine’s Day. Keep the flame burning and check out our dating ideas overview.
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