As South African seaside living goes, it doesn’t get much better than the suburbs of Clifton, Bakoven and Llandudno. Here’s some of South Africa’s Holy Property
No less than four idyllic (in many instances, wind free) beaches, some of the most expensive and expansive mansions in Cape Town and a little reality TV series called Clifton Shores that was filmed here in 2011.
Make that a double
While there aren’t any shops, cafés or restaurants in Clifton itself, the closest are in Bantry Bay with Voila! a favourite for coffee, deli goods and light meals, and the swanky Asian restaurant and sushi bar Koi at the Ambassador Hotel just across the road.
Aside from no available parking anywhere during the holiday season, the narrow winding roads and pavements have to be navigated with great caution to accommodate trucks, taxis, cyclists, limos, tourist buses, beach-goers and Vespas, not to mention preened pooches and their owners.
The newly launched My Citi Bus routes (108 and 109) pass through Clifton, so now there’s no need to complain about parking – just leave your car at home.
Fitness fundis from all over the city flock to the 300-odd Biskop Stairs between Clifton 1st and 2nd beaches. You won’t notice the muscle burn because of the panoramic views distracting you.
‘Clifton is an extremely special place to live. Every day when I look out at the Atlantic I see and experience something new and different. Whether it’s summer or winter, there are always people out running, walking, cycling and just enjoying the beauty of this wonderful city that we live in.’
-Margarita Putter, Clifton resident.
Its secluded beach, where the water is calm and kids play amongst the rocks. It’s popular with locals wanting to avoid the crowds at Clifton and Camps Bay.
Many of the homes are just a stone’s throw away from the beach and rocks and there is a strong sense of community. In summer many residents take their dinner down to the beach and picnic there while watching the sunset.
A bite here, a sip there
The local favourite is Baked Bistro – a daytime eatery on Victoria Road that bakes and sells fresh bread daily. On most weekends, the nearby parking lot at Oudekraal hosts the Cape Town Food Trucks where people en route to Hout Bay or back into the city stop for gourmet street food.
Walking vs. driving
For residents, everything they need is about 500m away in Camps Bay. But for visitors, be sure to call on your parking fairies during the summer months as the place is a maze of yellow lines.
Best kept secret
The suburb itself is a secret to those not from Cape Town. For those that are, the National Sea and Rescue Institute (NSRI) often do their training on the beach – much to the delight of the neighbourhood kids (and ladies!)
‘We all know each other and there’s a great sense of community here. At Christmas, for example, we decorate a tree near the beach and the kids love it.’
-Annette Fialkov, artist and designer.
One of the most picturesque long, white-sandy beaches in the peninsula, not to mention the same calibre of real estate as its Atlantic Seaboard neighbours. It’s also a favourite surf and watersport spot.
What’s in a name
In 1903 this seaside neighbourhood was named after the North Wales resort of the same name – apparently they look very similar.
Local hang outs
With Hout Bay a two minute drive away, most locals do their shopping and eating there, with popular restaurants like Spiro’s, La Cucina and Chappies Hotel for sundowners, not forgetting the Bay Harbour Market. However, there is a very well utilized sports club with squash and tennis courts and the lifesaving club near the beach is used for a lot of social gatherings.
Best kept secret
From a security perspective, you don’t want to mess with these friendly neighbours, as there is a very active Facebook page where the locals post concerns and updates and ADT has a strong presence.
‘For me as an artist and for my boyfriend as a photographer, Llandudno is the ideal location to be continuously inspired. The best way to sum it up would be: when I come home, I feel like I’m on holiday.’
-Donna Solovei, artist.
Words: Genevieve Putter