Our trip to South Africa in December was epic for many, many reasons. First off we flew out to shoot our first SA wedding (of many we hope!) in Johannesburg. We then got to catch up with some amazing people up and down the country. To top off a perfect visit we enjoyed an adventure filled week in Cape Town, one of our favourite places. Our base while in Cape Town was the charming seaside village of St James, situated on the False Bay side of Table Mountain. St James finds itself nestled snugly between mountain and sea. The vibrant and very idiosyncratic Kalk Bay on the one side and Muizenburg with its surfers and laid back lifestyle on the other. With these cheeky neighbours within walking distance and enjoying the most stunning views over the bay St James‘ idyllic location is at once obvious and yet it remains a hidden gem. Even though we had lived in Cape Town for years and during this time Kalk Bay was a popular haunt, St James was an undiscovered surprise during this visit back to the Mother City.
Tucked away on a sloping and cobbled St James street with a panoramic sea view, our apartment was in the most ideal location. We found ourselves not only right opposite the railway station where we could catch a train into the city but also a stone’s throw from the salt water pools super convenient for 5 am dips! For breakfast we could saunter over to Kalk Bay every morning. Our biggest challenge was to try and evenly distribute our appetites between the numerous cafes and boulangeries serving perfect lattes, buttery pastries and an array of delicious menu choices. Our best breakfasts after some serious sampling were the LCHP Eggs Benedict (inspired by Tim Noakes) at The Annex, served with carrot and courgette rostis instead of toast. Top coffee goes to the Truth brew served at Ours Cafe. After fueling up we would stroll back to St James, browsing the eclectic collections of boutiques as we went. By the time we reached the flat the decision for which beguiling part of Cape Town to explore for the day would be made. Late afternoon we would return to St James in time for sunset and the evening’s shenanigans, opting to sample the culinary delights conveniently within stumbling distance. The rustically mismatched and candlelit Olympia Cafe famous with locals and visitors alike, with its soulful live music and truly inspired food, stole both our hearts and our taste buds.
This was a profoundly beautiful break with the food, people, weather, wine and landscape all making it so remarkable. We relished returning to this much loved city. What made the return visit so extraordinary were the many new experiences we enjoyed, conquering the intoxicating snares of nostalgia with the exhilaration of untried adventures. Now it is time to plan our next trip – this time to mix business and play a bit more seriously – dates to be released soon! Enjoy seeing St James through the pics below taken with both our iPhones and our bigger cameras.