We love tourists and their euros, make no mistake. But with The Season about to start, it’s nice to know that there are some things that will always remain ‘our little secret’.
We all love a secret. We love knowing what someone else doesn’t know – it gives a kind of elevation, a sense of excitement and daring.
Thankfully, there are still many secrets in Cape Town that are reserved for those who know, and for those who want to know.
And to remind you of why you love Cape Town so much, and what makes her so special, we’ve put together a little list of well-loved hidden treasures along our coastline that will make you smile as you reminisce, or at least pique your interest to discover for yourself.
This bay is a safe haven for many a parent; secluded and protected, the bay offers silky-smooth sea sand, lapping waves and pretty shells to collect. Walking to the island at low tide is almost a rite of passage for locals, and of course Ons Huisie is a hop, skip and a jump away from here. The main attraction of Small Bay (for parents anyway) has to be the massive jungle gym on the grass next to the beach. Picnics, birthday parties and playdates, friendly smiles and ice cream are the order of the day in this happy place. And Blue Peter afterwards for sundowners of course.
How to get there: Coming from Blouberg, travel on Beach Road towards Melkbos, turn left at the Small Bay / Klein Baai.
On the Way to Melkbos.
This great little farm shop and restaurant is a family favourite for Sunday morning breakfasts and afternoon tea. Their shop stocks gorgeous fresh fare; preserves, pickles, homemade soups and other delicious treats while chickens peck at the floor and cluck at your feet. Their hot fresh scones, thick cream and homemade jam make the drive worth it.
Plus, there’s a delightful farm animal petting-zoo, with a jungle gym for the kiddies. They also have a jumping castle on weekends. So no matter how you look at it, you’re coming home tired, full and happy.
How to get there: On the R27 to Melkbos, you’ll spot the Farmstall sign on the right.
This little secret is almost too good to keep.
For absolutely amazing fish and chips at old-world prices, this place is locally owned and locally supported. Surfers and bodyboarders in the area will fight you for a spot at the front of the queue. Their take-aways are ideal for that sunset moment, when you’re barefoot on the sand, watching your kids pick up shells on an endless beach.
How to get there: Travel on Beach Road out of Blouberg and into Melkbos. At the first set of robots turn left, after the first stop street, look right and you’ll see Melkbos Fisheries.
Eden on the Bay
This little Mediterranean gem is like a secret garden to those in the know.
If you haven’t been to the Isle of Crete, then Eden on the Bay is the next best thing, with its white buildings and bluer-than-blue sea and sky. It’s right on the beach and has a fabulous grassed common area where families picnic, throw Frisbees, ride ponies – it’s like that movie in the ’50s where life is fun and free and you wish you lived there. Which you can, because it’s a residential mall.
Restaurants laze in the sun and little shops offer shade and interesting goodies that make you feel zesty and spontaneous. The vibe in summer is ridiculous; it’s an outdoor mall, so sun, sand and sea are par for the course here. You can’t stay away, even if you tried.
How to get there: Travel on Otto du Plessis towards Melkbos from Blouberg; turn left at Big Bay Boulevard, the mall is on the right.
If you feel like making a day of it (and a night or two) take a three-hour drive via the R27 from Melkbos to Doringbaai – home to a small fishing community and to Fryer’s Cove – arguably the world’s only vineyard this close to the Atlantic Ocean.
So, when the tourists come, and they will come (thank goodness) and you’re enjoying a sundowner while watching the beautifully tanned tourists, it’s good to know that some things will always be our little secret.