Hello, from Cape Town. I am finally here! And what an amazing few days I have already had. For those lucky enough to have visited this wonderful city, you’ll know what I’m on about. To those who haven’t yet had the pleasure, add this place to your bucket list. Glorious weather aside, the people, food, scenery and lifestyle are addictive.
If you’ve ever lived in London, you will appreciate how cheap everything is in South Africa, relatively speaking of course. I am writing this from Taqueria, the Mexican joint near my flat in Tamboerskloof. On my plate are the most exquisite pile of fish tacos, priced at 35rand, which is around £2. It’s no wonder everyone here lives such active, outdoorsy lifestyles because, quite aside from the inviting landscape, the food is so delicious and cheap. You literally have to keep on the move constantly to keep the pounds at bay.
As well as meeting as many new faces as possible, I’ve been hunting for a new flat to live in from October. I hadn’t realised quite how much I had lucked out finding this stunning apartment through a friend of a friend of a friend, with an indescribably beautiful view (see above) to enjoy from bed each morning. The apartment is in a central part of Cape Town called Tamboerksloof, which is nestled at the foot of Lion’s Head, the stunning mountain which dominates the city skyline. For company, I have two fish, Elliot and Fishcake, as well as a multitude of pot plants. My parting gift to my London flat was to kill a cactus, so the relief when I see those little gold flashes still darting around their tank every morning is palpable.
Knowing barely anyone, I have been taken under the wing of a number of incredibly welcoming friends of friends. On Saturday I was invited to a Braai (a South African BBQ) in Green Point and then celebrated my birthday with a fantastic group of new friends in La Parada Camps Bay on Sunday. Needless to say, I remember little after the tequila shots. But I was duly delivered back to my flat, swaying like timber in the wind (funnily enough I used to be nicknamed Timber for that very reason), and woke the next morning with a hangover to suggest it had been an excellent birthday.
Yesterday, I went to visit a new friend and jewellery designer, Abi James, in Bo-Kaap, formerly known as the Malay Quarter. The area is influenced by Malaysian, African, Indian and Sri Lankan culture, largely a result of the descendants of the slaves who were brought over by Dutch imperialists in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a colourful assault on the senses, with it’s brightly “painted ladies” providing plenty of photo opportunities.
Abi, the designer behind Soul Design, creates the most gorgeous jewellery from sustainably and ethically sourced materials all over Africa. She has met all of her local artisans in person and keeps in touch with many of them via WhatsApp on a daily basis. Her long chains allow you to stack brass and cow bone pendants, camel teeth, beads, tassels and more to form wonderfully unique pieces of Africa-inspired jewellery. We will feature these on HøFSisters in the coming months. Just one of the many entrepreneurs and brilliant creative minds I have already met since moving to Cape Town less than a week ago.
My friends and family 8000 miles away are never far from my mind, especially Zoe who is having an operation on her re-ruptured Achilles tendon today. She stunned me with her incredibly positive mental state and resolve on FaceTime this morning; I fear I would not be so impressive if the tables were turned. Aside from this, the people and thrills of Cape Town have helped to stave off a homesickness too severe. This week I am going to an art exhibition opening, a bar opening, working from my new office space in the Woodstock Exchange, checking out some flats, going for a facial in the Environ Skin Care Institute (1/3 of the price of the London equivalent), hiking up Lion’s Head and meeting a tonne of new faces. I can’t even remember what it feels like to be bored!