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Around the Clock at the Cape Quarter Piazza
Your 10am – night-time guide to the Mother City’s most fascinating shopping and lifestyle centre
Cape Town is a city of many flavours – it’s got a touch of the cosmopolitan (a credit to the influx of internationals), it has bursts of bohemia and whimsy thanks to the arts and culture folk, and of course, it’s daubed with generous helpings of luxury and style courtesy of the countless hedonists who call it home. The Cape Quarter Piazza is like the mixing bowl where all of this comes together, and the result is a one-stop destination for lifestyle and leisure quite unlike any other.
Situated in the colourful, cool, pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood of De Waterkant, the cobblestoned centre gives you the feeling that you’ve somehow travelled to a quintessentially South African corner of Europe, where the romance of alfresco dining and shopping in quaint, charming spaces combines with the familiarity of distinctly local art, crafts, cuisine and people.
And while Capetonians might think that they have no reason to visit the old Piazza, since the new Cape Quarter Square (the complex just across the way) can fulfil their more practical needs, this little village shouldn’t be overlooked as a place to explore and enjoy, especially since there is plenty to rediscover – much has changed since the area first opened in 2002.
A refreshing alternative to sterile malls or the often congested V&A Waterfront, the Cape Quarter Piazza is the type of place that can keep visitors enchanted for an entire day. So with that in mind, we’ve laid out a ‘round the clock guide to help you maximise your time in the classic space.
But wait, we can hear the doubters worrying about parking and the bajillion rand fees that come with the territory. Well, not many people know this, but the Cape Quarter complex has five levels of undercover parking, and it won’t cost an arm and a leg to leave your car for a while (and the first 40 minutes are free!). So, with that sorted, the only thing left to do is go forth and conquer the day!
Have breakfast at La Petite Tarte
If The Cape Quarter Piazza is Europe, then La Petite Tarte is France. The 36-seater Parisian-style sidewalk café is the perfect place to start the day’s expedition mainly because it serves a perk-you-up selection of coffees and Mariage Frères gourmet French teas, but also because the outside seating area makes for a great people-watching and/or sun-soaking spot. Plus, the eatery serves a très magnifique breakfast – think fluffy scrambled eggs and golden croissants – and owners Len Straw and Johan de Villiers are regularly on hand to spread their charm and cheer. Those who have a sweet tooth might want to return later for the famous cakes and tarts.
+27 (0) 21 425 9077 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Browse and buy at Baraka
Treat yourself or someone you know to one of the eclectic gifts – think everything from arts and crafts to jewellery and décor – at the mesmerising Baraka. The colourful little corner shop stocks an interesting collection of handmade pieces, like leather notebooks and photo albums, quirky non-curio African goods, vintage posters and hats, handbags and scarves. Not to mention, the boutique even has CapeTownMag’s Molo lighters. A lot of the items are made from recycled goods and sourced from independent craftsmen and women from South Africa and the rest of the continent, making Baraka not just the perfect store to find a one-of-a kind gift, but also a great place to just appreciate local creations.
+27 (0) 21 425 8883
Build your own pizza at Bella Mangia
Bella Mangia serves authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas that are sure to please even the fussiest of eaters. Hungry visitors can either choose one of the laidback joint’s Legend pizzas or rather create their own masterpiece, starting with the crispy, thin base and then adding their choice of interesting toppings, like pineapple and prosciutto or smoked oysters and truffle oil. Moms and dads can bring their own wine (just pick up a bottle at the Spar Tops! across the road) for no corkage fee, and on hot days, the entire clan can enjoy gelato or semifreddo in this little forgotten corner of Naples.
+27 (0) 81 851 0999 | email@example.com
Stroll the Piazza and admire the artwork in the galleries and shops
What sets the Cape Quarter Piazza apart from the run-of-the-mill shopping centre is the relaxed atmosphere and the opportunity guests get to just take in beautiful sights and sounds. Our recommendation? Take a lazy, leisurely afternoon stroll through the galleries and interesting shops for a different kind of retail therapy experience. Chances are you may fall in love with one or two of the striking and fascinating items along the way.
- The Lisa King Gallery: This fine art gallery showcases a range of pieces in different mediums and styles from over 45 local artists. Expect to see big, bold striking paintings alongside mini pop-art style portraits of Nelson Mandela. The Lisa King Gallery also stocks a range of shoes (one style available in various fabrics and colours), and little ones get a free doll with the purchase of a pair.
+27 (0) 21 421 3738 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Martin Osner Fine Art Photography: Multi-award winning photographer Martin Osner’s little studio in the Piazza features his own work alongside pieces by five other local artists who also create with mixed media (although a camera is always involved). Osner also teaches photography – basic, intermediate, advanced landscape and Photoshop lessons – so those inspired to take their own photos can pick up some expert tips.
+27 (0) 21 790 6494 |email@example.com
- Obelisk: Get a glimpse into the past with the intriguing pieces at Obelisk, which is packed with unique antiques the owner brought from France as well as old English furniture and mementos from retired locals. It’s the kind of store that you can get lost in for hours, just marvelling at the collection of engravings, clocks, mirrors and crystal, copper and porcelain keepsakes filled with memories.
+27 (0) 83 718 1984 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Africa Nova: Ancient African history meets contemporary art at this high-end, upmarket retail gallery. Africa Nova stocks a range of ceramics, jewellery, tribal collections and crafts handmade by artists from across the continent, offering unique, interesting pieces to both discerning collectors and first-time buyers.
+27 (0) 21 425 5123 | email@example.com
Have an early dinner at Andiamo
The newly renovated Andiamo restaurant may look different on the outside, but at its heart, it’s still the same laidback Italian institution that regulars to the Piazza know and love. The pizza and pasta are as delicious as ever; though, if you’ve worked up an appetite during the day, the grills and seafood are sure to hit the spot just as hard. The family-friendly eatery regularly has special deals (especially for its loyal base of returning customers), and it’s just the perfect spot to spend a starry summer evening, when there is often entertainment in the centre courtyard, or a cosy winter night (think gooey, warm desserts). Plus, if you happen to be there on Thursday night, you’ll get serenaded by Steve Walsh, a beautiful blues player.
+27 (0) 21 421 3678/8 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that you’ve explored the magnificent Piazza, get a breakdown of what makes its younger sister, the Cape Quarter Square, a superb shopping centre.
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