Reggie Hennop Concierge

It’s Transport Month, so let us transport you around Cape Town and the Winelands through the eyes of Regardt (Reggie )Hennop, Cape Grace Concierge.

From his former job as guest liaison, checking in guests and making sure their stay at Cape Grace is perfect, he now makes sure they get to see the sights, eat the food and experience everything Cape Town has to offer.

To do this he personally takes the tours and reviews the restaurants and only sends guests to places that really impress him. He has a list of preferred fine dining restaurants, which includes of course Signal at Cape Grace, which he says has the most passionate chefs (like Gert Bocking who just won Best Chef in the Inter Hotel Challenge).

Others that make the grade include La Colombe, Test Kitchen, Round House in Cape Town area and Delaire Graff, Tokara, The Tasting Room and Pierneef a la Motte in the Winelands, all but one of which have been nominated for the Eat Out Guide Top 10 for 2013. The winners will be announced on 10 November 2013 – watch this space for news!

Reggie’s Top 5 Tours in & around Cape Town:

Cape Point via Chapman’s Peak stopping in Hout Bay, Simon’s Town and Boulders Penguin Colony, plus a wander down Kalk Bay’s quirky main street and a visit to the harbour.

Winelands via Stellenbosch to Franschhoek. I recommend a mixture of estates like, Waterford for wine and chocolate pairing, Delaire Graff for dramatic location and even more dramatic artworks and Tokara with equally outstanding views on the hillside opposite. When there are children to please, a lakeside picnic at Spier is fun, with a stop at delightful Butterfly World and Fairview for goats climbing their turret and cheese tasting. In Franschhoek, Solms Delta gives a fascinating introduction to Winelands history in their small interactive museum and more history and art at Pierneef à La Motte with a gallery of previously unseen Pierneef artworks. And don’t forget a bubbly tasting at Graham Beck.

Whale Watching from about July to November is top of the list for locals and overseas visitors and there’s nowhere better than Hermanus on the scenic route via Gordon’s Bay for a good chance of spotting whales. If whales aren’t visible from the Hermanus cliff walk, there are very good chances of seeing them on one of the licenced whale watching boats from the harbour.

The City of Cape Town is best experienced with a combined walk/drive, taking in the Company’s Gardens and the SA Art Gallery, National Museum, Planetarium and Jewish Museum. The city is so small that you can include the Slave Lodge and the very moving District 6 Museum recounting the forced evictions during apartheid. The steep cobbled streets of Bo Kaap Malay Quarter and its brightly coloured houses are best viewed by car and it’s a steep incline to the seaview lookout on Signal Hill and the lower cable station for a cable car up Table Mountain. There’s so much to see in Cape Town, and I haven’t even mentioned a slice of Africa in Greenmarket Square or dining in Gold Restaurant with singing, dancing and a drumming lesson.

The V&A Waterfront has something for everyone; walk straight over the blue bridge from Cape Grace and you are in the Food Market, full of scrumptious offerings. Then there are wellness practitioners and craft in the Blue and Red sheds, the Diamond Museum by the Clocktower and the Robben Island Museum and trip to the island. There’s fantastic shopping, starting with the new Cape Grace Gift Shop – watch this space for an introduction to this new feature of Cape Grace.

When did you last explore your own city? If you haven’t been to all the places mentioned, put them on your bucket list for this summer.  Which one will be top of the list?

Images: Cape Grace Concierge Reggie Hennop taken by Carrie Hampton

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