Real Business, South Africa, Travel - Tue October 4, 2011

Cape Town: A business-owners guide

Excellent exchange rate. First-class infrastructure. Ample sunshine. Exquisite scenery. No wonder business tourism to Cape Town is booming.

We list the best spots for business owners to…

Have a power breakfast:

  • Tobago’s Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront opens at 6:30am. Stunning sunrise (and sunset) views of the Atlantic at a hotel restaurant famed for its buffets and lunches. Al fresco seating in summer.
  • Tides Restaurant, The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay. In front, the Atlantic; behind, the soaring peak of Lion’s Head mountain. Come here for a groaning, fruity, breakfast buffet; stay for the devilled lamb kidneys.
  • Winchester Mansions, Sea Point. A fulsome weekly breakfast buffet in an elegantly designed courtyard. The Sunday brunch showcases local jazz musicians, and a gratis glass of sparkling wine greets you.

Meet potential clients:

  • The Library, Cape Grace. The cream teas, combining loose-leaf teas and African coffees with homemade cakes, are generous on the stomach and easy on the wallet. The Library is open noon to 6pm – but book in advance.
  • The Lounge, Mount Nelson Hotel, is the place to meet new clients, or seal the deal. A quiet businesslike hum pervades the Lounge during the afternoon, and the afternoon (and morning) teas are, justifiably, world famous.
  • Leopard Bar, The Twelve Apostles is another gem. “Tea by the Sea” at the Twelve Apostles is offered amid both luxury and astounding beauty, in a hotel situated above the Cape’s crashing waves. Talk over tea, or wander to the verandah for a Bombay martini.

Surf the web:

  • Most hotels here, from the über-expensive to simple, homely guest houses, offer free or cheapish wifi. If you’re on the move, try the Cape Town International Convention Centre or one of the many News Cafés in the area.
  • Otherwise, pop into one of the many Mugg & Bean coffee shops dotted around. This South Africa coffee-standard bearer has 23 outlets across the Western Cape, including the V&A Waterfront and the Bayside Mall.

Go for a post-work drink:

  • If you can’t find somewhere fun to drink on Long Street, you aren’t looking hard enough. Start off at Mama Africa for sundowners, along with Mozambican peri-peri prawns. Clip one of a thousand types of cigar at the jazz-soaked Dubliner while you down cocktails.
  • Relax and unwind at the aptly titled Daddy Cool Bar at the Grand Daddy Hotel.
  • The Planet Bar at the Mount Nelson Hotel is a good early-evening kick-off point – or late-night stop.
  • The Ferrymans Tavern at the V&A Waterfront will satisfy any pangs of homesickness, serving up fish and chips and roast chicken, along with its own range of ales brewed on the premises.

Take suppliers for dinner:

  • Sevruga’s open terrace at the V&A Waterfront is a favoured destination – try the Kingklip and langoustine.
  • Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch, a favourite of Nelson Mandela, has won more awards (including South African Restaurant and Chef of the Year 2010) than it’s served hot dinners.
  • La Colombe in the Constantia winelands is, justifiably, one of the world’s best restaurants. Try the pan-fried foie gras, and scallop and langoustine glazed confit pork belly, washed down with a 2008 Raats Chenin Blanc.

Bed down for the night:

  • The Mount Nelson is probably the Cape’s, and South Africa’s, most iconic hotel, situated between the mountains and stunning beaches.
  • The Table Bay Hotel at the V&A Waterfront has the distinct advantage of being a five-star hotel situated amid five-star restaurants.
  • The Cape Grace offers opulence and yet more stunning views of the bay.
  • The Southern Sun Waterfront is a more businesslike (but no less impressive) affair, offering lower prices and convenient access to the CBD and the convention centre.
  • For a more standardised level of luxury, you could opt for global chains, notably the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront or the centrally located Westin Grand.

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