With its sun-drenched beaches, dreamy turquoise water and an array of ultra-high-end restaurants, Camps Bay is as beautiful as it is cosmopolitan.
At the southern tip of Africa, between Cape Town’s monumental Table Mountain and the dreamy Atlantic Ocean, the exclusive suburb of Camps Bay beckons. Straddled by a palm-fringed sandy beach on the one side, and an ever-buzzing promenade on the other, Camps Bay has the sparkle of St Tropez and the sex appeal of South Beach. Here you’ll find bronzed beach babes in bikinis soaking up the sun, trendy locals zipping by on Vespas, yuppies draped over their convertibles, sun-kissed honeymooners strolling along the promenade and cyclists gliding by on their bikes. Alfresco cafes with stunning views of the powdery aquamarine Atlantic Ocean overflow onto the pavements – the vibe is hot, sexy but oh-so chilled.
At night, Camps Bay’s laidback persona is washed away by the tide and the suburb transforms itself into a dazzlingly cosmopolitan hub, awash with glitz and glamour. Party-seekers and diners flock to its stylish restaurants, swanky cocktail bars and high-end hotel lobbies to get a slice of the action. We’ve rounded up our favourite restaurants in the area; if we’ve left anything out, please let us know in the comments below.
1. Azure Restaurant
Where in the world can you sit on the terrace of a restaurant with the majestic Twelve Apostles as a backdrop, picture-perfect Lion’s Head in the distance, poised above a bright blue sea as you dine? Azure Restaurant at the Twelve Apostles Hotel in Camps Bay is where! And the stylish blue and white interior decor isn’t too shabby either.
Chef Christo Pretorius has devised three tasting menus – his own, Taste of the Sea and Taste of the Earth. We decided to order from the varied à la carte menu, which features flashbacks to popular dishes of yore (Bea Tollman’s rice pudding with a twist) as well as modern picks (baby calamari risotto topped with crispy fried tentacles on a bed of spiced butternut purée, pickled sultanas, Parmesan crumbs and a dashi and roast calamari broth. Delicious!
The bread offerings alone are worth the visit: olive ciabatta, traditional rye, and the most moreish nut and seed loaf ever accompanied by creamy anchovy butter (or plain salted butter, for the uninitiated).
We love everything on the menu! The Azure Steak – a 250g fillet cooked perfectly medium-rare, with pommes frites and a generous topping of Café de Paris butter deserves a special mention. The well-trained staff are solicitous, attentive and well informed.
Contact 021 437 9029, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
For delectable seafood, uninterrupted ocean views, and very friendly service, the latest restaurant from the Kove Collection is the place to be. Modern furnishings – from recessed timber ceilings to slick lighting and gold accents throughout – create a sophisticated vibe. On a perfect wind-free summer’s day, the see-through blinds that span the length of the restaurant are rolled up for guests to soak up the exquisite surrounds. We dined there on a typical blustery evening and, even with the blinds down, we were still able to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The menu offers a variety of seafood from prawns and langoustines to salmon; as well as steak, lamb and chicken. Appetisers include oysters, grilled halloumi, mussels, and more. The crispy prawns, and the baby squid are particularly good! If you’re a seafood lover, go for one of the Bilboa specialities as a main. The chef has lovingly tried and tested these recipes and it’s evident in the gorgeous flavours and pretty presentation. We highly recommend the salmon with quinoa, dukkah, Lebanese pickled cucumber, chili and lemon. Washed down with crisp Boschendal Brut Rosé, it was just perfect!
Take it easy on the outdoor deck, overlooking the coveted Camps Bay strip, under the striped umbrellas, or enjoy a more formal dining experience inside.
Opened November 2017
Contact 021 286 5155, email@example.com
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10.30pm
Location Shop 120, First Floor, The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
3. The Lawns at the Roundhouse
Nestled in the glens of Table Mountain, The Lawns at the Roundhouse boast sweeping views of Camps Bay and the expansive Atlantic – the perfect place for a post-beach picnic, a weekend breakfast, or a light lunch. Though it’s much more casual than its neighbour Salsify, the food is fresh and delicious.
We love the concise but varied sundowners menu. You must have the grilled halloumi served with cranberry gel, rocket, pine nuts and pomegranates to start followed by one of the delicious pizzas.
Contact 021 438 4347, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Round House Road (off Kloof Road), The Glen, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan
4. The Leopard Bar
Charmingly nestled at the foot of Table Mountain lies the Twelve Apostles. Here you’ll find the swanky and sophisticated Leopard Bar which boasts magnificent ocean views from the balcony, best enjoyed with a fine whiskey or cognac to hand – or a Strawberries & Blanc (sauvignon blanc, strawberry juice, soda water, lemon and some fresh mint) prepared by one of the skilled and attentive bar staff).
We love the generously sized flavourful burgers. We shared a Mini Burger Platter (two beef, pork and chicken burgers with chips). But you could also order the Smoked Trout & Egg Salad or the creamy Prawn Stroganoff…
Insider tip Book one of the coveted balcony tables, and arrive early so you can enjoy drinks at the bar to the strains of live vocalists. Grace de la Hunt serenaded us the night we were there.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 7am – 2am
Contact 021 437 9029, email@example.com
Location Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
5. Sunset Café
There’s been a flurry of restaurant openings in Camps Bay recently, and this is one we are really excited about. Owned and operated by the same team that runs Mondiall, the trendy spot serves breakfast, lunch and dinner from 9am until late. Their coffee is also something to get excited about, as they have introduced Black Insomnia (the world’s strongest coffee) to the strip, available as a hot cuppa joe, a cold brew or – for those feeling really brave – as a cocktail. Rock & Roller Coffee is also available for those looking for a normal caffeine kick.
We recommend the smokey free-range chicken wings, done in a sticky Asian BBQ sauce; and, of course, a good old G&T.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 11pm
Contact 021 437 0358, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 69 Victoria Road, Camps Bay
6. The Bungalow
Boasting an uninterrupted panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean, The Bungalow is one of the best spots to grab a drink and mingle. Its buzzy vibe and the young-at-hearts it attracts make it the perfect place for a summer soirée. Bring your shades and toast to the setting sun with a delicious cocktail (the pomegranate mojito is sweet perfection).
We recommend the truffle-infused burrata (Italian cheese); chicken breasts with a lemon and chilli basting; and the indulgent chocolate tart are all divine. But if you’re in the mood for some deep-sea fishing, you can’t go wrong with the seared tuna or the whole baby kingklip.
We love that when the temperature drops (and the winds pick up), the waitstaff are quick to offer warm blankets, pull down the awnings, turn on the heaters and bring out the next hot dish.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 438 2018, email@example.com
Location The Glen Country Club, 3 Victoria Road, Clifton, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan
7. The Raj
If, like me, you have a predilection for Indian cuisine, this sea-facing beauty is absolutely the place to go and get your fix. It’s been around for six years, and I could kick myself for not having discovered it sooner – not least because of its beautiful location, just metres from the sea. Add reasonably priced menu items, great service, and delicious food, and you’re in for a treat. Manager Zane informs me that the butter chicken is their most popular dish, adding that the restaurant sold a whopping 6 000 dishes in 2016 – a figure that is set to skyrocket now that I’ve tasted it.
We love the butter chicken, obviously. Grilled over hot coals, the chicken pieces are then added to the most fragrant and aromatic sauce I’ve tasted in a long time. All dishes are best enjoyed with naan, which I like to refer to as a culinary dishcloth, because I use it to wipe up every drop of sauce off my plate. Off the starter menu, you must try the tandoori prawns and the Punjabi samoosas (potato and pea), which are three-dimensional in shape to maximise flavour and appeal. Expect a full house around dinner time.
Contact 021 438 4555, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Shop 4,The Promenade, Victoria Street, Camps Bay, Cape Town
With its prime location on the sunny Camps Bay strip, this cool sea-facing Mediterranean eatery serves an assortment of fresh and delicious seafood dishes in a stylish modern setting. Friendly attentive staff at the front of house and seasoned chefs in the kitchen coupled with cool beats and a muted interior palette make this a Camps Bay must for a glam night out.
We recommend the generous seafood platter with three dipping sauces; and the beef and reef (fillet steak and tiger prawns) . For a lighter meal, try the scrumptious fried goat’s cheese with sweet chilli sauce (my favourite).
Insider tip For dinner and a “show”, book your front terrace table for 7.30pm (in summertime), and enjoy the spectacular setting sun while you tuck into your meal.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, .30am – 10.30pm,
Contact 021 438 0404, email@example.com
Location Shop 1, The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town
9. The 41
Located at – you guessed it – number 41 on the famed Victoria Road strip, The 41 came on to the Camps Bay scene in October 2016. Formerly Tuscany Beach restaurant, French owner Bravo Gilles Blanc and his partner Nicholas Da Costagave have given the space a complete architectural overhaul. The new trendy eatery now boasts sliding glass doors and tiered dining levels to showcase 180° views of the encroaching seascape. The minimalistic décor is chic yet comfortable, luring beachgoers to pop in for a sundowner while also appealing to discerning diners. In the kitchen, chef Aristotle Ragavelas (who co-owns Ragafellow’s in Hout Bay) puts his extensive international experience to the test. Aiming to cater to the local market, the eclectic menu is an unpretentious fusion of South African flair and European influence, birthing contemporary presentation and robust flavours.
We recommend the potato-and-Parmesan churros with chipotle mayo
Opening times Monday – Friday, 12pm – 10.30pm
Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 10.30pm
Contact 021 437 0558, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location The 41, 41 Victoria Road, Camps Bay
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