Can you believe 2010 is almost over?
As much as this time of year is a festive and fabulous, it also involves a lot of stress… gift buying, loads of parties (which means loads of outfits and shoes to buy), trying to meet deadlines at work while everyone is going on leave and, of course, the money worries on top of that.
So, over a cheeky Thursday night bottle of vino (which, due to the stress, was very necessary), my friends and I were discussing how fast the year has flown by… and of course one of the main topics of conversation was ‘the event that may not be named’…
[Okay, realistically I’m sure FIFA won’t be reading this, so I’ll safely call it THE WORLD CUP].
Did you know that during the World Cup, more than 3-million football fans and shopaholics visited the V&A Waterfront.
If you were in the area (like I was) you would have remembered packed-to-the-brim pubs and masses of dressed up vuvu-blowing fans blocking the walkways as you were trying to do your 8pm PnP run.
Who am I kidding... I was drinking with them in the pubs most of the time anyway…
It was such an incredible vibe!
And after the games were over Cape Town, particularly Green Point, went back to its annual winter hibernation mode. It was a sad time. Suddenly there was this feeling of – ‘I don’t know what to wear on Fridays anymore’ or ‘What excuse do I have now to walk into a pub by myself and drink tequila with tourists on a Tuesday night’.
The truth is that the influx of tourist had a real positive effect on our local market and saw a lot of fabulous new brands opening their shops at the V&A (lucky for me as it’s my local shopping haunt).New stores include places such as: Poetry, Forever New, Bench, Penguin and Hurley (The first of it’s kind in South Africa – see images).
They also opened the first Nespresso retail store and a flagship Sony offering plus foodie venues such as the Grand Beach and Buena Vista. (You gotta try them out this summer!)
There are already a fabulous list of luxury hotels at the V&A, and two more developments are on their way: The Queen Victoria – a five-star luxury boutique hotel due to open in March 2011 and the three-star Holiday Inn Express to be built on the roof of the Breakwater parking garage (scheduled to open early 2012). So whether you are going budget or splashing out, you’ll definitely find a bed during a visit to the Mother City…
Another awesome reason to visit the V&A this month is the super cool temporary outdoor ice rink that opened up last week. The 200sqm instant ice rink is encapsulated by a 25-metre-long, five-metre-high inflatable cube-like structure, offering a proper ice-skating experience to visitors – what better way to stay cool this summer? And – According to the manufacturers – this particular design is 40% more energy-efficient than similar rinks elsewhere in the world. Open from 10am – 10pm daily.
If you have been hiding under a rock and haven’t yet noticed the large spinning ‘Wheel of Excellence’ – you may be wondering where this apparent ‘wheel’ has disappeared… It’s found a new home on Market square and will remain there until Feb next year.
For some Christmas festive fun, go check out the 15m Christmas tree and the biggest Christmas cracker in Cape Town… fight the temptation to see what’s inside and just admire it’s beauty.
Our very own Santa is by now settled on a comfy cushion somewhere, so go find him and take pics while checking out some of the live music and entertainment this holiday.
Did you know?Cape Town Routes Unlimited’s latest Tourism reference panel survey this week also indicated that 79% of visitors to Cape Town will prefer the V&A Waterfront as their favourite tourist destination this summer.