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Top Dating Ideas in Cape Town

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Top Dating Ideas in Cape Town

A selection of fun, romantic things to do for clueless couples

Last Update 18 October 2018 

Though it’s a well-known fact that Cape Town swoons visitors from around the world, the Mother City, with her splendid natural beauty, also happens to be a prime place to fall in love. With trendy eateries, intimate bars and scenic wine estates on every corner and a plethora of fun, innovative activities at every turn, Cape Town is chock-a-block with great options for a memorable romantic rendezvous, whether it’s a first date or a 50th anniversary.

SOPHISTICATED, ROMANTIC AND VIBEY
A Euro-style eatery you might have expected in Milan or Prague in the heart of Cape Town. An ethos of delicious food, simplicity and sophistication. Serving up a range of grain-fed steaks with Café de Paris butter sauce and trademark crunchy salad and skinny fries, along with signature cocktails and delicious desserts. And there’s always something special happening: From specials on steak at #2FOR1Mondays to service in perfect pairs on #HQDateNight on Tuesdays and dinner and dancing at Friday Feels.With comfy fireside seating in the lounge or sharing a candlelit meal in the courtyard, for romance, you’re going to want to check out HQ restaurant on Heritage Square.

Heritage Square | 100 Shortmarket Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 637

Picnic in Scenic Surrounds
Whether you pack your own hamper of tasty treats or have picnic basket professionals The Picnic Company (they create a variety of gourmet spreads and deliver to the chosen location) do it for you, dining under clear open skies in the Mother City’s breathtaking outdoors is a sure way to win over a prospective lover. And fortunately, there are plenty of stunning natural spots in Cape Town to stretch out that blanket and tuck into a delicious alfresco feast. Fine examples include expansive botanical garden Kirstenbosch, one of the Mother City’s many pristine beaches (the idyllic Clifton Fourth at sunset is a favourite choice) or one of the several viewing sites along Chapman’s Peak Drive, a spectacular stretch of rocky coastline near Hout Bay. Should you decide to go the simpler route and recruit The Picnic Company to prepare your meal for you, consider opting for their Mezze Picnic (think Mediterranean finger foods like dolmades, pitas and nougat bites) or Afternoon Tea Picnic (it includes cucumber and smoked trout sandwiches, freshly baked scones and more), both of which are specifically designed for two. The best picnic spots are all around and will make for a wonderful time with the people you are with! 

 
Unit C18 | Prime Park | Mocke Road | Diep River | +27(0)21 706 8470

An authentic Italian dinner at True Italic
Italians go as far as to claim the very invention of amore – some bragging that when not eating, drinking, singing or watching football, these Europeans are indefinitely making love. In short, when it comes to a romantic date night dinner, there’s no better choice than a genuine Italian eatery. And True Italic on Bree Street, a traditional osteria (rustic restaurant) run by a Bologna local and his sister, is as authentic as it gets. For one, the charming house of pasta makes a home in a 200-year-old building and still uses candlelight to build ambience. More importantly though, all of the food on the nightly changing menu is made with love. You won’t find any bastardised pizzas or imitation pastas (think spaghetti bolognaise) on the blackboard; rather, you can expect antipasta platters piled high with imported meats and cheeses, handmade pasta fresca (fresh pasta), homemade Sicilian sausage, Campari cocktails, short espressos and desserts freshly baked according to long-standing family recipes. Imported Italian wine completes the intimate A-Z Italian experience, and as this space is modeled on the unfussy, laidback restaurants found in historic Italian city centres, you don’t need to worry about dinner being too pretentious.


15 Bree Street | City Centre | +27(0)21 418 7655

Touring the Cape Winelands with Wine Flies
Nothing cures the nerves of first date jitters like a glass of wine or 12. Explore the Western Cape with your sweetheart, using the picturesque region as the backdrop to your love story. It would be impossible not to have your significant other swooning after spending the day amongst the rolling hills, perfectly manicured pastures, budding vines and balmy weather of the Winelands. Boutique touring company Wine Flies curates the wine farms you visit and provide an enthusiastic wine lord who will whisk you from one vinyard to the next in his four-wheeled chariot. So all you and your partner need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Book your seats on one of the following: a scheduled tour that visits five wine estates in and around Stellenbosch; the whale, wine and wors adventure along Hermanus and the Elgin Valley; the journey through the Forgotten Route in Matjiesfontein. If you want something a bit more intimate you can plan a private tour for just you and your special someone. Francois van Binsbergen and the team behind Wine Flies are happy to tailor make a memorable tour for you.


Corner of De Villiers and Constitution Street | Zonnebloem | +27 (0)21 462 8011| info@wineflies.co.za

Movies at the Pink Flamingo Rooftop Cinema
Spruce up the traditional Ster-Kinekor movie date and take in a film together at this charming open-air cinema atop Long Street’s innovative Grand Daddy Hotel. Nestled between vintage Airstream trailers – it’s the world’s only rooftop trailer park –  and boasting views of the twinkling CBD skyline, the alfresco theatre screens cult classics and old favourites (think flicks like Dirty Dancing, Amélie and Pretty Woman) every Monday evening under the starry night’s sky. The ticket price includes a welcome drink, popcorn and a mixed bag of sweets, and in winter, guests are given hot chocolate and warm blankets to cuddle under. Pre-ordered gourmet food baskets – which contain an array of delicious snacks – are also available for those keen to add a little something extra to their sky-high romantic rendezvous. All in all, there are few more magical and unusual city centre spaces to spend some quality time with that special someone.


38 Long Street | City Centre | +27(0)21 424 7247

Oysters and Champagne at African Pride 15 on Orange Hotel, Autograph Collection’s Murano Bar
There are few more sultry matches than oysters and bubbly, and this stylish city centre hotel’s in-house bar claims the sort of opulent surrounds that are perfectly befitting for this luxurious combination. Decked out in royal purples and boasting rich velvet curtains and ornate furnishings, the circular watering hole – it’s named for the 20000 crystal links from Murano that dangle from the ceiling – treats starry-eyed couples to freshly shucked West Coast molluscs (either chilled or tempura fried) alongside an assortment of authentic French Champagnes (Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon and Tribaut). What’s more, sweethearts can book the elevated private pod that rests right above the bar area for a more intimate evening experience. Should duos want to supplement their bubbly date with an elegant dinner, they can take a seat at the chic Savour Restaurant just next door and indulge in a diverse selection of delicious intercontinental cuisine. Do note, Murano Bar only opens at 4pm, and booking is recommended.


Corner of Grey’s Pass and Orange Street | City Centre | +27(0)21 469 8000

Live Jazz
If fine music is a common passion, a fool-proof date idea is to spend an evening soaking up the soulful sounds of live jazz in an intimate Mother City setting. Being a proudly cultural city and base to its very own style of this musical genre, Cape Town claims a large number of spots where it’s possible to catch a sensual performance or two (here's an overview of top live jazz venues in and around the city centre). Regardless of where you pick though, you can rest assured that the cool, complex harmonies of this particular musical variety are bound to lull your partner into a state of bliss.  

Hiking
Though perhaps not a conventional date, heading out on of the Mother City’s many picturesque hikes is one sure-fire way to get to know each other a little better while at the same time connecting with nature. From casual strolls along coastlines to strenuous climbs up mountain sides, Cape Town claims a plethora of pretty hiking trails and routes ideal for anyone, from amateur ramblers to committed adrenaline junkies. For instance, you could consider scrambling up Lion’s Head or Devil’s Peak (they both flaunt majestic views from the top), ambling along the Olifantsbos Shipwreck Trail in the Cape Point Nature Reserve or trekking through the fynbos-rich Spes Bona Forest in the mountains above Kalk Bay. With spectacular scenery and a good mix of challenging and easier stretches, they’re all bound to get the blood pumping and the amorous energy flowing.

Ice Skating
Break the ice with an afternoon or evening spent gliding around one of South Africa’s finest ice rinks, The Ice Station at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World. Though sometimes base to figure skating and ice hockey contests and training sessions, this premier, Olympic-sized rink is open for the public’s enjoyment at certain scheduled times every day, including on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. With the option to rent skates if you don’t have your own, this is a fun, interactive and affordable (a 2.5-hour session costs only R35p/p) date option and a great way to help a new relationship blossom in a relaxed environment. What’s more, as the rink is located at entertainment hotspot GrandWest Casino, couples can pair a lively skating spell with a visit to the movie house or one of the several restaurant or bars at this bustling complex.


1 Vanguard Drive | Goodwood | +27(0)21 535 2260 

Sunset Boat Cruise from the V&A Waterfront
Hands down, one of the most romantic things to do in Cape Town is to take a cruise out on tranquil open waters at dusk and watch the glowing sun dip down into the ocean. Based at the V&A Waterfront, the Waterfront Boat Company runs a range of daily scheduled boat trips all year round, the most popular of which – especially amongst swooning couples – is their Sunset Champagne Cruise. This 1.5-hour trip takes guests out to sea in the early evening on either a large sailboat or a motor vessel that, depending on which is chosen, travel out either across Table Bay or along the Atlantic Seaboard towards the breathtaking Clifton Beach. Before returning to the harbour, the crafts generally come to rest in the shelter of Granger Bay, from where passengers can watch the sunset while sipping on a complimentary glass of sparkling wine (each guest is given two glasses gratis during the cruise). Those with some extra cash can also opt for the more costly Cruise and Dine package, which includes a three-course supper at one of three select V&A Waterfront restaurants on top of the standard sunset sail. Booking is essential.


Shop 5 | Quay 5 | V&A Waterfront | +27(0)21 418 5806

Comedy in Hout Bay
There are few better ways to set first date nerves at ease than with some hearty giggles and guffaws brought on by top-notch stand-up comedy. On the first Wednesday of every month, the Bay Harbour Market in charming fishing village Hout Bay hosts their intimate monthly comedy supper club, bringing a side-splitting line-up of some of the country’s wittiest funnymen – think Rob van Vuuren, Nik Rabinowitz, Siv Ngesi and many more – to the stage. The comedians performing change regularly, but, regardless of who’s in the spotlight, the show, which costs R90 seated and R70 standing, promises a consistently good laugh – material for a truly memorable date. Couples can also combine top Mzansi humour with a tipple or two from the bar and with any of a wide range of delicious dishes – including wood-fired pizzas, Chinese dumplings and spring rolls – sold by the market food stalls.


Bay Harbour Market | 31 Harbour Road | Hout Bay | +27(0)82 570 5997

Sundowners
It may be somewhat cliché and commonplace, but heading out for a dop together (particularly at sunset) is part of a tried-and-tested formula for dating success. And fortunately, Cape Town is jam-packed with a diverse range of city centre, suburban and seaside spots that are ideal for a relaxed couple’s drink. For instance, for oceanfront sundowners, there’s the Grand Café & Beach in Granger Bay (it boasts its own private beach; though, prices are quite high) or for poolside cocktails, there’s the Hilton Hotel’s Signal Hill Terrace, an oasis in the heart of the city. Alternatively, for a more laidback and affordable drink, pop in to Oblivion Wine Bar in Claremont and enjoy a glass of red or white on their rooftop deck or trek out to the colourful Caribbean-inspired Cape to Cuba restaurant and Che bar, which rests right on the waters of Kalk Bay (their mojitos are world renowned). Otherwise, a selection of additional fine drinks venues can be found on our overview of Cape Town sundowner spots.

Hot Air Balloon Ride
Though a particularly pricy date option, a scenic hot air balloon flight over some of the Cape’s most breathtaking landscapes is guaranteed to impress any partner and make for a memorable experience. Paarl-based initiative Wineland Ballooning offers daily one-hour rides from November to April (weather-permitting of course) that take couples  on a magical sky-high journey over the vineyards, farms, wheat fields and orchards of the Berg River Valley. The brightly coloured balloons take off at sunrise – arguably the most majestic and romantic time of the day – and go wherever the wind blows before landing softly on safe ground. Red-cheeked passengers are then transported back to Paarl, where they’ll enjoy an indulgent champagne breakfast at opulent luxury resort the Grande Roche Hotel – an added extra that makes the hefty cost (R2750p/p) even more worth it. All bookings for this enthralling experience must be made beforehand by phone, and couples should bear in mind that the flights only run under safe weather conditions (a plan B therefore might be required)


64 Main Street | Paarl | Cape Winelands | +27(0)21 863 3192

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We’ve curated a list of fun and diverse events for absolutely everyone. Have a look at our February events.

Another great idea for a date night is snuggling up and watching a movie outdoors with The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Stuck for things to do when it storms? Why not check out our Things To Do When It Rains overview. Seasons are changing so have a look at what you can expect with winter on our doorstep!

In celebrating the environment be aware that Cape Town is now in Level 4b Water Restrictions. Have a look what that means and what you need to do to save water this trying season for the Mother City! 

It is winter time which means getting snug in great places - have a look at the winter accomodations around the city this winter season. Check out some of our favourite recipes this winter - with the Mulled Wine recipe to spice up your evenings. 

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Use our events section for an up-to-date overview of what’s happening in the city, suburbs and dorpies. Join our newsletter and add us to your mobile home screen for the ultimate guide to discoveries in Cape Town.

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Cape Town Events Calendar
December 2018
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knife barMai Tais To Margaritas At Discounted ...

Jugs of Jack Black lager included

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Do your Christmas shopping at the all-new Panasonic pop-up store at Panasonic House in ...

Benguela_NomNom1Something New: Invent Your Own Gin at ...

All-new DIY gin bar, PLUS: double your wine every Wednesday

Comedyclub_new11End Hump Day With a Laugh At The ...

Share the experience at Cape Town Comedy Club in the Waterfront’s Pumphouse every ...

Harbour House 5Enjoy Bubbly With The Chef’s Choice ...

Champagne, mussels and some live music is all you need at this seafood restaurant

LaParada20Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials ...

Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials with Happy Hour At La Parada

Santa's Village V&A WaterfrontV&A Waterfront Opens Santa’s Village ...

Flying in from the North Pole, Santa will be in Cape Town to see if kids have been ...

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Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Botane Skin Actives New Images 2Get 20% Off BOTANē Skin Actives ...

Simplified skin health for less in store this holiday season

pinelands_marketGet Festive At Pinelands Craft & Gift ...

Free entry to this market brimming with delicious food and good quality, well-priced ...

High Five SUP 3Stand Up Paddle Surfing Group Lesson ...

Learn to SUP for less thanks to High Five Kitesurf school

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You read that right, kids can go ice skating in summer

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Three days of gin pairings, massages and pool parties on a private guest farm in ...

Galilieo_RupertSaturday Nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Kick back, sip wine and relax with a country movie screening experience

Galileo_LourenGet Comfy at Kirstenbosch Movie Nights ...

Great films, fabulous scenery, delicious food and cosy seats – look forward to a night ...

Langarm The Fugard Theatre 5Award-winning David Kramer Brings ...

Some of South Africa’s most established stage performers take to the stage in this ...

HaskellVineyards 6Save On A Meal and Wine For Two At This ...

Haskell Vineyards offers patrons a delicious meal and glass of wine at a discounted price

glam_barBeauty Special: Gelish or Shellac Nails ...

Book via Whatsapp: Workday-perfect nail treatments with free rinse and discounts on all ...

Cape Town Helicopters WinelandsWinelands Wednesdays: Extra-Special ...

Celebrate with a VIP Stellenbosch and Winelands helicopter ride and lunch experience – ...

OX boat rides 110% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

Whales, dolphins, penguins, cape fur seals and mola mola (sunfish), an awesome boat trip ...

legends_live_in_concertCelebrate The Music Legends All On One ...

A talented 10-piece cast impersonates music legends to perfection

theatre and film costume hire25% Off Hollywood-Calibre Costume ...

Wednesdays only: Gorgeous vintage cocktail dresses to realistic historical costumes for ...

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

Strolla New 1Half-Price Rotisserie Chicken (And Live ...

Here’s your chance to sip Corona on the Sunset Deck in shorts and slops (while the kids ...

house of hLook Who's Serving a R50 Lunch Special ...

Loved by locals, House of H now does delicious new lunch specials – from boerie rolls ...

KewpieAn Inspiring Message of Diversity and ...

The vibrant diversity of District Six comes alive with an exhibition about a famously ...

Park Inn_RGB_ItalianDinnerSpecial5All-You-Can-Eat Italian Dinner Special ...

Made fresh right in front of you, with your choice of sauces and toppings – this is one ...

Coco Safar 1New Dinner Menu Available at Sea ...

Make your dinner worthwhile with this new set menu from Coco Safar

Jack Black Burger Winter SpecialGet Two Burgers for the Price of One ...

Grab your growler and bring a friend for burgers and beer at the Diep River taproom

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

Leopard's Leap Harvest Table 1Savour the Lekker in What's Local at ...

Discover South Africa through its flavours and traditions at a family-table event ...

Cartel House CoffeeSave on Co-Work Desk on Wednesdays And ...

Secure your desk at this excellent co-working space provider in Cape Town on Wednesdays ...

Arcade Cafe 2Celebrate Hump Day With 2-for-1 Burgers ...

What’s better than one burger? Two burgers. Arcade Cafe in Bree Street has exactly what ...

Just Like Papa 1Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

lou lousBottomless Wine With Your Meal on ...

Head to this classy restaurant and tapas bar in the Cape Quarter for a winter wine ...

Le Bonheur 12Get a 20% Discount on Accommodation at ...

Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures offers patrons a 20% discount when they stay at this ...

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

Beluga Images 22-for-1 Whisky Wednesdays at Beluga

Your midweek escape just got a whole lot better with the 2-for-1 Wednesday special at ...

Cherry Picking Ceres Klondyke Farm 3Cherry On Top: Klondyke Kicks Off ...

Pick your cherries and eat them too at this family-friendly cherry farm in Ceres

Canal Walk Ice Slide World 6Cool For The Summer At Canal Walk’s ...

A world of frozen fun this festive season

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

Sotano Lamb Burger SpecialBest Burger Special at Sotano every ...

Tuck into two lamb burgers and fries for the price of one every Wednesday

cloud 9 rooftop bar table mountain 2Happy Hour Special at Cloud 9 Rooftop ...

Celebrate the midweek mark with discounted cocktails, 2-for-1 local craft beers and ...

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