Today we drove 45 minutes from Cape Town out into wine country. The drive took us along small highways winding through local farms – so close to Cape Town, and yet such a different experience than the bustle of the concentrated city. When we got to the hotel our jaws dropped – truly the most stunning and decadent place you can imagine. Our room went above and beyond, with a bathroom the size of the bedroom and views overlooking a pond and mountains.
We went to lunch at a nearby vineyard. The hotel readily drops you off so you can indulge yourself and enjoy a few glasses of wine. From there, we went on a bicycle ride to another local vineyard nearby to do a wine tasting. While sitting in the tasting room, I dared Jeff to add a certain element to a chalk board with a drawing of a face - you can see below how he took to the challenge.
We bicycled back before witnessing the most beautiful sunset we have ever seen. With wine in hand and peacocks, baby geese, and ducks just below our balcony, we watched the sun go down over the mountains. Just incredible – I don’t know how we could ever forget such a moment. That night when we returned from dinner, the hotel had drawn a bubble bath with roses! Seriously, this place is just like a little slice of heaven.
The next morning, the weather was cloudy with a chance of rain. Luckily for us, the rain stayed away. We drove to a few of the vineyards the hotel recommended, and even got to tour a champagne house in the process of labeling their bottles. One of the vineyards had a lovely lavender accent around the windows and on the doors – we fell in love.
In the afternoon, the hotel drove us to a majestic vineyard and hotel/restaurant called Del Aire in the next door town of Stellenbosch. The place was extremely chic and artistic, with a famous chef behind the decadence of the menu. It truly was a five star meal and experience – and it was just lunch!
After we returned to the hotel, we went swimming and drew a bubble bath. I know – such a strenuous Tuesday! Our entire experience at the La Residence hotel and in the Franschenhoek wine valley was just fabulous, and I hope these pictures do it just a little bit of justice! Many good stories to tell when we are back.
In the morning we leave for Kruger National Park – almost safari time!
Today we had breakfast on our balcony at the hotel before heading out in our rental car to drive along the coast down to the Cape of Good Hope. We came across some of the beautiful beaches we had seen from above during our helicopter shoot – Muizenberg and St James were definitely our favorites.
In the afternoon, we went to a beach famous for the indigenous penguins that live nearby. To our surprise, they hang out happily on a very popular beach where many locals like to swim. The contradiction between this special nature phenomenon and humans swimming and eating potato chips was fascinating. We absolutely loved our time here getting to be so close to these adorable penguins.
Along our drive home, there were many signs alerting us to the dangers of baboons. Apparently these animals will attack you for any food you have in your bags – they can even unlock car doors!
For dinner we had a great time enjoying local sushi and sashimi on the waterfront. Such a realizing beautiful day, and tomorrow we leave for the wine country – so excited to explore this new area!
xx – G
We woke up this morning to a gorgeous sunny Saturday with temperatures in the high 80s. It’s always nerve-wrecking waking up the day of a helicopter shoot – you never really know what the weather will be like! Luckily, it was absolutely perfect, with little wind and not a cloud in the sky.
We checked out of our hotel on Camps Bay and moved over the hill to a small hotel called Boutique Manolo. We were blown away by our room, which has the most incredible deck with sweeping views of Table Mountain. Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains in the world. Sitting right in the center of Cape Town, it separates the city into different neighborhoods.
After checking in, we left for the heliport and took off at 1:30pm. We flew first to Muizenberg beach, on the Indian Ocean side of the cape, and then made our way in a circle eventually shooting Camps Bay and Clifton beaches. It’s hard to describe the beauty of Cape Town from above, but it’s got to be one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world. The mountains are so ancient and majestic, and the beaches are so white and clean – it’s just an indescribable kind of beauty.
The shoot was a great success! We were so thrilled when it was over that we decided to take the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain to celebrate the views of this city from a different perspective. The rotating cable car whisks you up to the top of the mountain in just a few minutes and it’s an exciting and easy ride. Since the top of the mountain is flat (hence the name Table Mountain), you can do a few different 30 minute hikes taking in the views from various parts of the city. There is no doubt that this is a must-do tourist activity for anyone visiting – just fabulous!
In the evening we watched the light of the sunset change dramatically on the sides of the mountains from our hotel room. After it was dark, we headed to a restaurant called Bistro Bizerca; we had no idea we were in for such a treat. Situated in a candlelit colonial courtyard, this restaurant has a different menu every night. The atmosphere was very romantic, but also laid back and inviting. We had the most delicious food – ostrich carpaccio, springbok, king lip, and a desert that was so good but we have no idea what was in it! It was all made with such passion – truly a memorable experience.
It was quite a day all around, and I really cannot wait to share the images from the helicopter shoot with you soon.