From June 11 to July 11, football fans from around the world will descend on South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The 20-hour flight for Americans means it’s worth staving off jet lag for another week or two and sticking around to explore the country. Of the nine cities where games will be played, Cape Town is by far the most desirable place to spend the extra time, and its in close proximity to one of the most stunning wine regions in the world. We’ve compiled a list of top insider tips for what not to miss in Cape Town. Here it is:
Saturday at The Old Biscuit Mill Neighbourgoods Market
An old Victorian Mill has become ground zero for the artisanal food movement in Cape Town. An artists’ collective started the wildly popular open-air market held each Saturday. The Biscuit “Mull,” as it’s pronounced by locals, is filled with beautiful stalls selling local cheese, biltong (the popular South African jerky), organic chocolates, and other prepared foods, but the real scene is under the large tent where vendors prepare fresh grilled pizzas, hash brown eggs Benedicts, bloody Mary’s, Cape Malay curry dishes, crepes and more, all prepared to order and eaten at jam-packed picnic tables. The Mill has served as an incubator for several local, artisanal-food businesses, too, such as Knead and &Union (see below), which both now have shops in town.
The Grand Daddy Hotel Sky Bar
The glamorous Grand Daddy Hotel (right) on downtown Cape Town’s hopping Long Street has a little secret: Seven Airstream trailers sit perched on it’s roof in a playful “penthouse trailer park.” Guests can rent a themed Airstream rather than a room and stay under the stars with the comforts of restaurants and concierge a few floors away. For the not-so-adventurous, take a look at the “trailer park” by grabbing a drink at the hotel’s tented rooftop bar adjacent to the trailers. And even though it’s winter, the sky bar comes equipped with heaters so visitors won’t catch a chill while chilling.