Africa Food Travel

Cape Town – Peninsula Tour and The Boat House

This is part seven of my travel series to South Africa. For the complete series, please see below:

Traveling to South Africa – South African Airways and Federal Air
Singita Ebony – The Lodge
Singita Ebony – Day to Night
Singita Sweni – The Lodge
Singita Sweni – Day to Night
Cape Grace
Cape Town – The Peninsula Tour and The Boat House
Cape Town – City and Winelands Tour
Cape Town – V&A Waterfront, Test Kitchen, Fork and Table Mountain
24 Hours in Istanbul

On our first full day in Cape Town, we woke up, had breakfast, and then headed down to the Cape Grace lobby to meet our private tour guide for the next two days – the lovely Pam from Cape Fusion Tours. I highly recommend getting a private guide if you’re only in Cape Town for a few days and want to see the sights. Pam was an incredible source of knowledge about both historical and modern day South Africa, and created several amazing itineraries for us. We enjoyed every minute we had with her.

On our first morning, we did a classic tour of the peninsula region. Cape Town’s peninsula is gorgeous – lots of beautiful suburbs, greenery, and of course views of the ocean.

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Fish Hoek – a popular retirement and vacation area.

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We passed by Fish Hoek on our first stop – to see the penguin colonies at Boulders Beach! We were both very excited for this.

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Coming from a major tourist area like San Francisco and having visited many others, we expected that there would be a huge line, lots of people, maybe a big parking lot for us to see the penguin colonies. Instead, Pam simply pulled over and found parking on a side street, and we walked a few minutes down to the beach. Just one reason why I would encourage everybody to visit Cape Town (and not in high season if you can avoid it) – you can still get up and close to many of the most popular sights!

A few feet from where we parked, we saw a little penguin who had made his way out to the street.

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We also passed by some more of my favorite birds milling around – guinea fowl!

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Then, we got to the entrance and started walking on the boardwalk down towards the beach. There were many penguins along the sides of the pathway, just hanging out. In the photo below, you’ll see the edges of some plastic jugs. Pam explained that these were habitats created as a nesting option for the penguins.

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You could get up close and personal to the penguins, though there were many signs warning you not to touch. Penguins bite!

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And soon, we had walked over to the colonies! You can’t physically walk onto the beach at Boulders. Instead, there were a few platforms on the walkway where we could get very close, and watch the penguins.

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The penguins were so cute and I probably could have stood there and watched them for hours. Unfortunately, we were on a schedule and Pam had to gently nudge us out of our penguin trance after some time! On the way out, we passed by some posters with information on different penguin breeds.

Mr. Feather made me stand for this photo next to a life size cut out of the Emperor penguin, found in Antarctica. Obviously you can see who would win in a fist fight (not me).

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I wore my AGL flats in black on both of our tour days, so comfortable even after a full day of walking – even more so than my Nike trainers!

After Boulders Beach and the penguins, we hopped back into Pam’s car and headed up the path to Cape Point. You see that little lighthouse in the top right corner of the photo below? That is the peak of Cape Point.

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Along the way we passed by incredible lush scenery while Pam described all the various types of plants that thrived in the area.

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Also, the occasional baboon!

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And ostriches, just hanging out by the side of the road.

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Cape Point itself had a gorgeous path that lead up to an elevated area and a lighthouse. A warning sign along the path up.

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The view from the top was stunning.

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Passing by another vantage point on the way down. So, so beautiful. What views!

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Cape Point is a peak situated within the Cape of Good Hope. After we had made our way back from the peak, Pam drove us around to the iconic main gate of the Cape of Good Hope.

It was a lovely area by the beach and on a sunny day I could definitely imagine sitting on the rocks and enjoying a few hours. The Cape of Good Hope is supposed to be the most southern tip of Africa but apparently the sign is wrong – that distinction belongs instead to Cape Agulhas.

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After our treks out to Boulders Beach, up Cape Point and around the Cape of Good Hope, we had worked up quite an appetite. We were very excited because our next stop was a very special lunch. We hopped in the car and headed over to Scarborough, which is quite near the Cape of Good Hope.

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After a short drive, we arrived at our destination – the personal home of Chef Bruce Robertson! Bruce has an amazing resume (Marcus Weiring, Gordon Ramsay) and personally also ran and opened one of the top restaurants in South Africa. He now runs his own table d’hôte restaurant out of his home, where he has a small seating on certain days for lunch and/or dinner.

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Bruce’s home was gorgeous – with beautiful wood floors and lots of details.

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Bruce pouring us a welcome glass of champagne…

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…before hustling back to the kitchen to finish some dishes in progress.

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The second floor deck – a gorgeous place to sip a drink and enjoy the view, especially on a warmer day.

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Bruce’s dog, Sushi!

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When he was reading to start serving lunch, Bruce requested that we come back in and to sit at a large table. I thought the natural wood with glass overlay he had on his table was beautiful, I’d love something similar.

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Lovely Pam!

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Fresh bread from Bruce’s oven, warm and toasty.

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A delicious light amuse bouche. Of course I can’t remember all the components but there was tuna biltong, pickles, and of course I can’t remember the rest.

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Bruce plating his first course for us…

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…a delicious seafood chowder soup! Yum yum. Each of Bruce’s dishes was made from locally sourced ingredients (I think something like 80% from within a 5 mile radius, 100% within a 20 mile radius or so). The fish was so fresh and tender.

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Plating the main course.

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A delicious local white fish…fresh from that morning, topped with crispy chips.

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After the main course…a light cheese course with local cheeses.

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After the cheese course, we were STUFFED. Usually by this point I would have made a good effort to have a little bit of space saved, because my favorite course is always dessert. I didn’t think I could possibly eat another bite though, until we started watching Bruce plate. The dessert looked so good!

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And of course, it was. This was probably one of our favorite dessert dishes ever – all different kinds of chocolate, milk custard, toffee, and more. Simply amazing.

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After dessert, we rolled around with our stuffed stomachs for a bit at the table, chatting with Bruce and Pam, and then headed back to our hotel. On our way back, we were treated to another area of similar gorgeous scenery.

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This scene reminded me of LA – even look at the street sign, Beach Road!

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And with that, we were back at our hotel in time for a late afternoon nap. This was our first fantastic full day in Cape Town – next time, I’ll be covering our second day, including more sights and lots and lots of food. Thank you for reading along!

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  • Mel
    October 28, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Such a fantastic experience! I love the idea of eating with a local chef — I must keep this in mind for our next vacation.

    • Katherine
      October 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

      It was awesome! I’d highly recommend it.

  • Sonya
    October 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

    The penguins are so darling! You are right about the lack of crowds, Cape Town is wonderful.

  • Olyvia
    October 28, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Definitely continue your travel posts! I probably will never ever have a chance to travel to such places. I love your descriptions and pictures. Makes me feel like I’m vacation with you! 🙂

    • Katherine
      October 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Aww thank you Olyvia – I hope you get to go 🙂

  • Lorraine
    October 28, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Great photos! Looks like an amazing trip..

  • laura i
    October 28, 2013 at 10:41 am

    it is my dream to see penguins! such awesome photos!

    • Katherine
      October 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm

      You should go! I loved them, one of my favorite sights EVER.

  • Pamela
    October 28, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    oh wow!! Love your blog!! Your pictures are absolutely amazing!!! You captured Bruce so well! His dishes look like they are ready to jump off the page and be eaten by me! I popped the link to the blog on his facebook page so that he could see it to!

    • Katherine
      October 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      Pammy thank you so much! Loved our days with you, hope to see you again in beautiful Cape Town 🙂

  • CAROL COOMBES
    October 28, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Loved reading your blog – such a wonderful experience with Pam! The experience at Bruce looks ever so good – have lived in Cape Town for ages – a must-do meal for the future!

    • Katherine
      October 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Thank you so much Carol! I would really highly recommend lunch at Bruce’s, I would go back in an instant!

  • Adele
    October 28, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Aaaah how cute are those penguins!!!!!
    Wow! Bruces food is reason enough to go to the Cape!!
    Happy Tuesday Katherine xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

  • Ammu
    October 29, 2013 at 4:26 am

    So amazing! I love your travel posts 🙂

  • Trang
    October 29, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Kat – You found a great gem. All that time I lived in South Africa and I did not even know about Chef Robertson’s home! I must must MUST try. How to convince the hubs to return to Africa….

    On a different note, I have the same shawl and I LOVE it. Goes with so many things; parkas; cocktail dresses, jeans.

    • Katherine
      October 29, 2013 at 9:24 am

      Hi Trang, you have to go! It was amazing. When we go back to Cape Town we will make another booking at his house!

  • Sarah
    October 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Oh those lovely penguins!

  • June
    October 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing!

    What I love about your travel posts (actually ALL your posts) is that you insert photos so the reader doesn’t need to imagine anything!

    Love your blog!

    • Katherine
      October 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Thank you so much June!

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