Nothing beats a morning or sunset stroll through the quiet streets of Constantia, straight into the top entrance gate of the historical Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, just 50 meters from Skydance. Set against the slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch preserves five out of the six biomes found in South Africa over 528 hectares. There are a few fun ways to explore this vast garden, including free guided walking tours, shuttle tours, or via the mountain bike transit route which passes through the garden from Constantia Nek on its way to Newlands Forest. You could snake your way through the trees on the steel and timber bridge known to the locals as ‘The Boomslang’. The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway takes you from the forest floor, up above the canopy to offer you endless views over the garden, Table Mountain and surroundings.
Within minutes you can reach all the iconic indulgences and adventures for which the Cape is renowned: mountains, fine wines, beautiful beaches and moreish cuisine which is sometimes gourmet, sometimes not, but always delicious.
Set in the heart of Constantia, Skydance guests can easily enjoy all of the wine tasting experiences in the Valley. By guided vehicle and bike tours, or on your own. All the wine estates are close enough to do a few in a day. However, the real fun is in selecting bespoke activities to savour over a couple of hours.
Let us book an intimate picnic for you at Buitenverwachting – an old wine farm founded by the Cape’s first governor, Simon van der Stel. You’ll enjoy this experience from the second you drive out of Skydance Villa. The route is brought to life by the majestic Constantiaberg Mountains, sprawling vineyards, and green meadows where horses and cows are corralled, right up to the sight of the traditional thatched-roof wine cellar. There, you can select a delicious platter, get comfy on the lawns and sample some of the estate’s fine vintages.
For a more contemporary atmosphere, Bistro Sixteen82 at Steenberg Farm serves fresh, innovative, seasonal tapas with delicious wines from the Steenberg Winery. Surrounded by modern art fixtures, charming water fountains and the staggering Stone Mountains – the scene at Bistro Sixteen82 is fun, vibey and hearty.
This cosy setting at the Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia will leave you dazzled by food that has that “wow!” sensation. The presentation itself is a treat to your eyes until you taste the perfect balance of flavours. The restaurant prides itself in variation as the menu relies on seasonal produce and changes accordingly. The open plan kitchen which faces the dining floor allows for some exciting scenes of food preparation for those who enjoy this experience. All of this is paired beautifully with a chic setting overlooking spectacular panoramic views described by some as the best views in Cape Town, in the company of friendly staff. Every element of The Chefs Warehouse makes for a fine dining experience on the Beau Constantia Wine Estate.
Reservations can be made online. For general enquiries, contact +27 (0)21 794 8632 ext.1 between 09.00 and 17.00, Monday to Saturday.
Visiting the penguin colony at Boulders Beach and kayaking through the False-Bay currents are both remarkable bucket-list items! Our concierge can secure both of these experience in one fine swoop with a sea kayak with the penguins. Starting in Simons Town in stable double kayaks, this unique tour takes you past the Naval Harbour, paddling closely next to South Africa’s largest naval vessel, and out to Boulders Beach to see a colony of African penguins uniquely situated in a Cape Town suburb. Depending on the season and tide, you may have the delight of spotting Cape Fur Seals and whales. This trip can be done and enjoyed by anyone aged 10 and older.
Driving back to Skydance through the Cape Peninsula is a right royal treat for the eyes! Pastoral coastal villages with fresh fish markets, quirky interest stores, and seafood restaurants perched on the water’s edge. Stop in Kalk Bay to feed the seals, try your hand at fishing off the pier and enjoy the freshest seafood where the locals get it, or at the upmarket Harbour House Restaurant.
Meander along to Noordhoek with its quaint, country-feel village and an 8km stretch of pristine white-sand beach. Noordhoek Beach is one of the best-protected beaches on the Atlantic Cape Coast. Flanked by National park-protected wetlands, with one end defined by Chapman’s Peak, and Kommetjie lighthouse planted on the other side; Noordhoek Beach is the epitome setting for an equine stroll. Horse riding is common in Noordhoek, even through the village which is rural with charming bars and restaurants that serve hearty South African cuisine. Noordhoek is a charismatic place to have supper before retreating to a fire-lit room at Skydance.
You can see Hout Bay from the upstairs bedrooms and pyjama lounge at Skydance. It marks the start of the Atlantic Seaboard, and is a thriving coastal village with a working harbour, a beautiful beach, equestrian farms and the best craft market in town. Friday nights are a great time to visit the Hout Bay Harbour market where you can sample dishes from all over the African continent or pop into one of the restaurants on the Wharf to taste the best lobster in Cape Town. If you want a stunning variety of African crafts to choose from, the Hout Bay Craft Market is your best bet. It’s open every Sunday.