Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday fun at the V&A

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.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

what to do in Cape Town this December


Did you know? Apples are more efficient than caffeine at waking you up in the morning. Burn off some energy with the whole family at the Jolly Jester Adventure Rumble (Lourensford Wine Estate, Somerset West). All entrants are encouraged to bring picnic baskets and wear fancy dress – there will be prizes for the best-dressed teams – and can choose between the Bush Kids adventure trail, the mountain-bike adventure race and an obstacle course. 021-789-0188, entry R20pp.

6 & 7 December

Did you know? Mozart was five years old when he composed his first work. See other ‘old-school’ music legends The Beach Boys in their endless summer tour as they go surfin’ SA with their good vibrations at GrandWest. Expect all their good-time hits from the 60s and their passionate love songs from the 70s. Also catch the dudes in Durban at the ICC (4th) and the Sun City Superbowl (10th & 11th). Tickets from R220 at Computicket,

7–31 December

Did you know? Birds can learn music while they are
still in the egg. For a uniquely Cape-flavoured show of great, toe-tapping music by homegrown talents, book to see David Kramer’s latest musical production, Breyani (Baxter Theatre). Expect folk songs complemented by banjos, mandolins, accordions guitars, saxophones and more. Tickets from R95.

11 December

Did you know? Marilyn Monroe is said to have once taken a bath in champagne. Summer is a splendid time to indulge in bubbles. Head out to Tulbagh for Summer Elegance at the House of Krone, a celebration of the estate’s 300th birthday and its M├ęthode Cap Classique sparkling wines. There will also be vintage cars, a couture fashion show and foodie treats – think sushi, oysters, olives and nougat. Tickets R120.

17 December

Did you know? The first CD pressed was Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. American music stars Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer (our fave Castle Lite guys) will be rocking the party at GrandWest in Cape Town. They will be joined by German Eurodance group Snap! (think Rhythm is a Dancer…). Or see them at Carnival City in Jozi (15th and 16th) and the ICC Arena in Durbs (19th). All together now: ‘Ice, Ice Baby…’ Tickets from R200 at Computicket.

16–19 December

Did you know? You burn more calories sleeping than watching TV. Switch it off and head out instead to Kirstenbosch for traditional carols by candlelight, accompanied by the Cape Town Concert Brass and Cape Town Male Voice Choir. Tickets R50/adults, R30/kids at Pick n Pay stores or the gate. Also playing the summer sunset concerts this month are Mango Groove (5th), Freshlyground (12th) and Johnny Clegg (31st).

18 December

Did you know? When Madonna was 15 years old she was grounded for the whole summer for sneaking out to see David Bowie in concert. It’s worth sneaking out to the Sonic Summer concert, featuring Jax Panik, Locnville, Die Antwoord and Goldfish at Backsberg Wine Estate. Also catch them in Durban at The Wave House (15th) and at Emmerentia Dam in Jozi (18th). Tickets from R150. www.sonicsummer.coza