19 April 2012
Cape Town Walks - Kloof Street
Step outside the Mount Nelson Hotel's gates and onto vibrant Kloof Street. Its delicious mix of arts, crafts, fashion and interior design stores is complemented by friendly local cafes, making this a stroll to really savour.
Start by climbing the gentle slope up towards Lion's Head, or take a shuttle up the hill and saunter down. Either way, don't miss the popular café, Manna, which is where this route starts.
A stalwart of the local food scene, Manna Epicure (no 151) has repeatedly come up trumps as a favourite local breakfast spot. Beautiful flower arrangements, indulgent cakes and happy smiles are also on the menu at Betsie van der Merwe's delightful eatery.
Delicious Light Bites
Down the road, a small gate opens into the surprising haven of Café Paradiso (No 110), long a favourite Cape Town haunt for its leafy, al fresco tables and stunning view of Table Mountain. Expect great food and a relaxed welcome from Madame Zingara and her team.
Cape Town on a Plate
If South Africa is a world in one country, then Melissa's (No 94) is its food in one shop. This clever concept store took local baking, jam-making and cooking skills and re-imagined them into a slick emporium offering the best local delicacies.
Open a South African décor magazine, and beautiful items from LIM (No 86a) are almost certain to appear. Short for "less is more", Pauline Mutlow's shop has been inspiring stylists and decorators for over a decade and continues be a source of must-have design pieces today.
At this point in your walk, the numbers may appear confusing. Due to an old system, the odd numbers (on your right, heading into the city) overtake the even numbers. Pay no attention and simply continue to stroll down Kloof Street.
Arts and Crafts
The Fringe Arts (No 99b) is a wonderfully riotous store of work by local designers, street artists and crafters, carefully selected by owners Thessa Bos and Chantal Louw. The perfect place to pick up an unusual, yet intrinsically South African memento.
Cutting-Edge Contemporary Art
A dynamic art gallery right outside the Mount Nelson Salon 91 (No 91) offers an inspiring glimpse inside South Africa's vibrant contemporary art scene. Exhibitions change regularly.
Backed by a team of highly-skilled artisans, Klooftique (No 87) by Marianna Furman presents affordable contemporary leather and hide furniture that is as gorgeous as it is well made.
Lifestyles on Kloof
This hub of quality stores, conveniently close to the Mount Nelson, includes a top-notch supermarket, excellent book store and fantastic health shop. It also offers indulgent boutiques such as Wine Concepts, stocking the best of the Cape Winelands under one roof; Baroque, a sparkling treasure trove of costume jewellery, and Blue Collar White Collar, which sells much-coveted, one-of-a-kind shirts by local designer Paul van der Spuy.
Stop for a Coffee
Coming out of Lifestyles and continuing down Kloof, you cross Park and Darters Road towards Vida e Caffè (No 34). Stop for a coffee and watch the hip Capetonians come and go.
Next, nip and see what's happening on the local fashion scene by visiting one of the stores (No 45b,c and d) opposite the entrance to City Varsity. Poppa Trunks offers edgy streetwear for men, Plan B brings together skate culture and club cool, while Wardrobe showcases one-off designs by local, up-and-coming female designers.
Fashions then and now
The Lot (No 42), a cool and stylish clothing store, sells vintage finds for men and women alongside pieces by of some of Cape Town's top fashion designers.