If you’re planning a trip to Cape Town soon but haven’t the slightest clue what to do or where to stay then boy have I got a treat for you today! I’m a born bred Capetonian, but recently I got the chance to spend a whirlwind weekend being a tourist in my hometown. Seeing my beloved city through the eyes of a traveler was the most incredible experience and now I get to share my fabulous 2-night, 3-day Cape Town itinerary with you all! So, if you’ve only got a weekend to spare in Cape Town then keep reading to find more about the best places to visit during your stay. There’s something for everyone in this itinerary – from fabulous places for foodies to eat to heli-flips, wine tasting, cultural experiences and even sporting highlights!

When planning any trip, local or abroad the first thing you need to do is figure out where you are going to lay your head at night. If you’re looking to splash out then, the unique five-star Queen Victoria boutique hotel is a must-try. I got the chance to stay here for the weekend and if I was visiting as an out of towner then I would make this my hotel of choice every time I popped to Cape Town for a visit. Located in the V&A Waterfront precinct this stunning hotel offers guests an intimate atmosphere with luxury trimmings. The thing I loved most about this hotel was the awe-inspiring design everywhere from the hotel suites to the lobby, bar and restaurant. The rooms at this hotel are just too beautiful for words – they’re just the right amount of romantic and luxurious for anyone to want to call it home.

Queen Victoria Boutique Hotel.

Queen Victoria Boutique Hotel.

Day 1: Big sports, big wheel, big excitement!

We arrived at the Queen Victoria Hotel around lunch time on Friday afternoon, and soon after settling into my room it was time to pop down to the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum, located just a quick stroll from the hotel in the V&A Waterfront. With sports memorabilia up the wazoo, this unique museum is every rugby lover’s dream experience! Plus, with all sorts of interactive games and exhibitions inside, the museum is a great place to visit even if you don’t have a keen interest in rugby. We went as a group of girls and we had such fun trying to pass the Bok’s fitness test and learning to kick a rugby ball like a pro. Entrance to the museum is just R65 for adults and R40 for kids – click here for more information.

Queen Victoria Hotel

The Queen Victoria Hotel is absolutely stunning.

Day 1: Big sports, big wheel, big excitement!

We arrived at the Queen Victoria Hotel around lunch time on Friday afternoon, and soon after settling into my room it was time to pop down to the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum, located just a quick stroll from the hotel in the V&A Waterfront. With sports memorabilia up the wazoo, this unique museum is every rugby lover’s dream experience! Plus, with all sorts of interactive games and exhibitions inside, the museum is a great place to visit even if you don’t have a keen interest in rugby. We went as a group of girls and we had such fun trying to pass the Bok’s fitness test and learning to kick a rugby ball like a pro. Entrance to the museum is just R65 for adults and R40 for kids – click here for more information.

From there it was on to the Dockhouse Boutique Hotel and Spa (also just a stone’s throw away from our hotel) for sundowners by the pool. If you’re looking for the perfect place to unwind into the weekend then this is the spot for you. We got the chance to sample some of their oh-so-yummy cocktails and canapes and spent the evening gazing out at the stunning Cape Wheel below. The Dockhouse is part of the same hotel group as The Queen Victoria and is also a great option for accommodation if you’re looking for something even more intimate and exclusive. With just 6 rooms and personalised yet unobtrusive butler-style service you can’t go wrong with this ultra-chic hotel. Guests from the Queen Victoria Hotel are also welcome to use the pool and bar facilities at The Dockhouse, hence why were there crashing the residents’ afternoon pool party.

Newmark Press Trip

We were spoilt with heli-flips, big wheel rides, and drinks pool-side.

We finished off the evening’s activities with a visit the Cape Wheel located just outside the V&A Waterfront’s shopping precinct. The giant observation wheel offers a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view of Cape Town from the V&A Waterfront and is the perfect way to soak in loads of sights and sounds all at once. The wheel has 30 enclosed cabins which do 4 rotations over about 15 minutes – giving you plenty of time to take it all in. One trip is priced at Adult R100 for adults (16 and up) and R50 for kids (4-15 years). After an afternoon of adventure, I was amazed at just how much there was to do at the Waterfront alone! We hadn’t left the Waterfront since we had arrived and yet we’d managed to fit in so much. Sticking within the Waterfront for the first afternoon was a great way to ease into the trip while still filling our itinerary with fun and fabulous activities.

Crayfish special at OYO.

The amazing Crayfish special at OYO.

We finished off the night with dinner at the gorgeous Oyo Restaurant at the Victoria and Alfred Hotel in the V&A Waterfront. For our first dinner we splashed out on the amazing OYO Crayfish special – 2 whole fresh crayfish, served with a tasty trio of lemon, garlic and peri peri sauces, a fresh garden salad and your choice of rice or chips, plus a glass of Waterkloof wine for just R265 per person! The dish was completely indulgent and cooked to perfection. Of course, the beautiful setting of the restaurant also helped to make the evening super memorable – OYO is located on the water’s edge and offers spectacular sunset views of Table Mountain, making it the perfect romantic spot for two! The crayfish special started on 1 October 2015 and runs throughout the summer season.

Day 2: Heli-flips and wine tasting

Day 2 started with a delicious breakfast at Dash Restaurant at The Queen Victoria Hotel. The breakfast spread was to die for and I couldn’t get enough of the freshly baked pastries, fresh fruit, cheeses and meats on offer. The breakfast also includes a selection of hot eats off the menu. I opted for scrambled eggs with mushrooms and tomatoes – a real winner after the massive dinner at OYO the night before!

After breakfast, we took a quick drive down to the heli-pad at Cape Town Helicopters located within the Waterfront precinct where we hopped on board a new quieter and more environmentally-friendly EC 120 helicopter for a 15-minute heli-flip over the Mother City. The Hopper (R990 per person) allows you to get a birds-eye-view of Table Mountain, Cape Town Stadium, Green Point Park, Lion’s Head and the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Seaboard. This was truly a highlight of the trip for me and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to soak up as much of Cape Town as they can. Seeing the beautiful Mother City from way up high was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and a must-try for locals and visitors alike.

Waterkloof Wine Estate.

A taste of Waterkloof Wine Estate.

That afternoon we ventured out of the Waterfront to enjoy lunch and wine tasting at Waterkloof Wine Estate on Sir Lowry’s Pass, Somerset West. The spot was a fair drive from where we were staying (about 45 minutes) but was well worth the drive! Waterkloof’s tasting room and restaurant is set high up on the hill and offers breathtaking views, outstanding food and delicious wines to visitors wanting to be taken to new heights (literally). Our lunch, prepared by French chef Gregory Czarnecki, was out of this world but the highlight for me was definitely the Norweigan Salmon Gravlax served with dill oil and beetroot cremeux, paired with the Waterkloof Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2014. If you decide to go for lunch then I recommend the 6-course Degustation wine pairing menu at R900 per person (or R700 per person without wine). The lunch menu we sampled featured some key elements of this menu and trust me, it was a foodie experience of note. If you’re not interested in lunch then do yourself a favour and visit anyway – even if it’s just to sit on the wrap-around balcony to sip on a selection of Waterkloof’s beautiful wines.

Our tummies full and handbags a little heavier from all the bottles of wine we’d bought, we headed back to Cape Town. Some of the ladies in our group managed to fit in a sunset cruise at The Waterfront before dinner that evening (cough, some of us took a much-needed nap) and then it was back to our hotel to dine at Dash Restaurant for dinner. This time around we enjoyed a three-course culinary pairing menu with choices like Tempura Prawns (with pickled soft vegetables and sesame emulsion) and Double Glazed Gorgonzola Souffle (with biltong shavings and hazelnuts) for starters; Baby Chicken (with butternut and corn) and Pan Fried loin of Venison (with parsley mash and carrot puree ) for mains; and Hot Chocolate Fondant for dessert.

Dash restaurant

To from left: oysters, Eggs Benedict and cheese at OYO | Bottom from left: Vegetable Terrine, Chocolate Fodant and Ceasar Salad at Dash.

I chose to go with the Ceasar Salad (with anchovy toast and quail eggs) for starters, Vegetable Terrine (with smoked red pepper coulis, artichokes and hummus) for mains and the Coconut Pannacotta for dessert. The winner of the night for me was definitely the Vegetable Terrine – I’m a meat lover most nights but this dish was a Moroccan-inspired feast of note. Special mention must also go to the truly unique Ceasar Salad which was the perfect start to my meal – if you love Ceasar Salad then you need to give this one a try!

Day 3: oysters, champers and bus trips

Our third. and final day started off just like every morning should …. with oysters and champagne! We popped down to OYO for breakfast this time around and I lost my myself in their incredible breakfast buffet. Packed full with everything from oysters and a Bloody Mary station to fresh fruit, mueslis, cheeses, pastries, salads and so much more, you could spend hours stuffing your face at OYO. I decided to go all out and indulge in the English breakfast option at R230 – which includes, fresh fruit juice,  tea and coffee, champagne, a hot breakfast option from the menu as well as the buffet. I stuffed my plate full of cheese, oysters and other delights and then went on to order Eggs Benedict for my main event. I absolutely love Eggs Benedict and I found OYO’s to be truly outstanding. This breakfast a special highlight for me and I can honestly say that I will be going back for more very, very soon. Once, again the view from OYO is also an undeniable perk of dining here and it doesn’t get any better than enjoying a relaxing breakfast while looking out over the harbour.

Sotano Green Point

Lunch at Sotano Green Point was a real treat!

After breakfast, it was time to catch the City Sightseeing Cape Town red bus from just outside the Aquarium for a half-day tour of Cape Town. We hopped on the Red City Tour which takes you to various spots within the Cape Town city centre and Atlantic Seaboard area including Long Street, the Cableway on Table Mountain, Camps Bay Beach Road and more. The City Sightseeing bus is a great way to fit in loads of sightseeing in one afternoon and is super affordable at R170 per person. We hoped off the bus at the Green Point Lighthouse on Beach Road and popped over the road for lunch at Sotano Restaurant at the La Splendida Hotel.

Located just opposite the Sea Point/ Green Point Promenade, Sotano is a great place to enjoy sundowners or a lazy lunch with friends. The popular restaurant is known for its tapas menu, great burgers and delicious sushi. Plus, with a wide selection of wines, craft beers and cocktails on the menu, there’s no excuse to not to cheers to a great weekend! Because I have no shame I once again pigged out over lunch and shared an order of Squid Tentacles (paprika floured, deep fried with lemon aioli – R55), Chorizo, Pork Belly & Chickpea Casserole (with homemade bread – R48), Seafood Tortellini (mixed seafood, garlic and herbs, prawn bisque and pea foam – R54), and Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish grilled garlic prawns with toasted baguette – R59) with a buddy. We were both amazed at the portion sizes of their tapas options and struggled to eat our way through it all. The tapas menu offers great value for those looking for a simple sip and a nibble at lunch time.  I also managed to throw (and share) a delicious portion of Churros (served with chocolate dipping sauce – R45) for dessert!

Lunch brought us to the end of our trip and we caught a taxi back to our hotel to check out and head back to reality. Of course, another option is to just hop back on the Red Bus and head back to the Waterfront as the next stop is back at the Aquarium.

For more information on Newmark Hotels and things to do in Cape Town visit the Newmark Hotel’s website. Newmark has four hotels in Cape Town, all located in the Waterfront and Atlantic Seaboard precinct and their website offers all sorts of fabulous ideas for things to do while you stay with them.