Words: Kit Heathcock
The Atlantic Seaboard sparkles with superlatives: it’s the glitziest part of Cape Town, with the best sunset views, has recorded the highest ever house prices and daily rental amounts. It’s Cape Town’s Riviera, loved by celebrities both international and home-grown, the wind-free beaches of Clifton an illustration of all that is glamorous about Cape Town living. But the Atlantic Seaboard is also richly varied, from the V&A Waterfront all the way through Sea Point and Camps Bay to Hout Bay, with plenty of everyday communities keeping the glitz grounded. “I love the buzz that happens in our area, and how it’s constantly changing and evolving,” says Denise Levy of Ginger and Lime in Fresnaye. “It’s great to be so close to the city, to the beaches and to the Waterfront. I enjoy the mix of the people, as it’s truly a cosmopolitan and international crowd. Because of this, great businesses have sprung up around us.”
The Atlantic Seaboard starts with the marina developments at the V&A Waterfront and Silo District, desirable for the secure living, convenience and proximity to the CBD. Next are Mouille Point’s sea-front apartment buildings, some spacious but old-fashioned, others newly renovated, convenient for the city and the promenade. Sea Point is the vibey younger sibling, an ever-changing mix of brand-new developments and old family properties, and home to people of all income brackets with its famous promenade a melting-pot of ages and backgrounds. “There’s a sense of community,” says Emma Wright of living in Sea Point. “Because you likely live in a flat or a cluster of small townhouses, you will know some of your neighbours. People who will feed your kitty when you’re away for the weekend, hold a spare set of keys, help you in an emergency.” Around the curve of Signal Hill in Bantry Bay and Clifton property prices soar, with exclusive villas, bungalows and mansions overlooking the sunset ocean views. Camps Bay with its palm-lined beach conveys an air of glamour, but also has a down-to earth community aspect with family homes and apartment buildings as well as holiday villas. After an unspoilt stretch of wild coastline, little Llandudno is all about escape from the city, a tiny seaside village backed by the mountain. Lastly you reach Hout Bay, a self-sufficient seaside town backed by a rural valley where family homes have gardens and there are smallholdings, paddocks and horse-riding.
Schools reflect the cosmopolitan nature of the area: private schools include Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard, the Cape Town French School, Herzlia Primary, Camps Bay Preparatory School and Hout Bay International School. Camps Bay High School is one of the most popular public schools in the area, with Camps Bay Primary, Sea Point Primary and Llandudno Primary feeding into the high school.
Beach, promenade and mountain hikes are part of everyday life on the Atlantic Seaboard. “I love being able to walk from home either along the beachfront or on the mountain, as the walk around Lion’s Head is incredible,” says Denise. “All my best creativity comes from these special times close to nature. There aren’t many places in the world that you have sea and mountain so close together.”
It’s an easy place to lead an active lifestyle, whether surfing and kayaking or on land. “There are running and cycling groups meeting on certain days,” says Emma. “I’m part of a group who runs to Camps Bay twice a week and we end at Bootleggers for a coffee. There’s a mini sub-culture and strong friendships and partnerships are formed.”
A vibrant cafe culture, shopping from the designer brands of the V&A Waterfront, to small independent boutiques of Regent Road, the foodie heaven of Oranjezicht City Farm market on weekends, strolling in Green Point Urban Park, and salsa dancing on the promenade – there really is something for everyone on the Atlantic Seaboard.
I love the sunsets and the light at dusk that lingers on. The beachfront buzzes with families strolling, dogs and babies being walked, serious athletes in training, lycra clad cyclists, funky kids on skateboards whizzing past the regular seniors out for a stroll. We have them all!
Denise Levy, resident
- Salsify at the Roundhouse: new addition to the Luke Dale-Roberts stable
- The Shop: sustainable bistro fare
- Jason Bakery: artisan breads, pastries and lunches
- La Mouette: creative tasting menus and open-air courtyard
- Sundoo: vibrant Indian eatery
- Upcycles for drop-and-go cycle hire with stations at V&A, Sea Point and Camps Bay
- Hike Signal Hill and Lion’s Head
- Head to the beach for sundowners at Clifton and Camps Bay
- Kayak in the bay with Kaskazi Kayaks and Adventures
- Theatre on the Bay puts on a range of musicals, plays and cabaret
- Swim in the Sea Point Pavilion swimming pools
- Cape Town Stadium for sports and music events
- Artem Galleria: ethical grocery, lifestyle, patisserie and Pick n Pay
- OZCF market: organic produce and ethical foods on weekends
- Mojo Market: fashion, lifestyle and food products
- Bay Harbour Market: crafts, clothing, food at weekends
- V&A Waterfront: serious retail therapy