Get the lowdown on our favourite spots for enjoying a seaside view and tantalising cocktails.

The only way to tell that winter has approached the east coast is that the light gets dimmer earlier and the humidity levels come down enough to allow Durbanites to focus on drinking cocktails rather than the air. This drier season is an ideal time for locals and tourists alike to sit outdoors and pair late-afternoon drinks with uninterrupted sea views.

The Lighthouse Bar at The Oyster Box Hotel

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Kick off the festivities with a signature Umhlanga Schling cocktail (made with local ingredients such as pineapple and sugar cane) at The Lighthouse Bar at The Oyster Box hotel and enjoy the sight of the candy-striped landmark lighthouse and some of the best Indian Ocean views in the world.

Elements Café Bar

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Next door at the Beverly Hills hotel, the Elements Café Bar opens onto a similar seashore panorama, this time with another architectural landmark in sight – the distinctive whalebone-themed Umhlanga Pier. Late afternoon is a perfect time to sit outside, order a mojito from the extensive cocktail list and try to spot some dolphins.

Panorama Bar and Pool Deck

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As the name suggests, the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani hotel’s Panorama Bar and Pool Deck is where you can expect to enjoy 180° views. Unless it’s a windy day, you can sit outside by the pool and look out over the promenade, the beach and the sea while digging into a bunny chow from the all-day grazing menu. Not all the focus is on alcoholic beverages – this spot also has a juice and ice-cream bar.

Moyo Pier Bar

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And if that’s not close enough to the sea, the Moyo Pier Bar at uShaka has the ocean literally beneath your feet, and, drink in hand, you can watch the sun set below the city skyline.

Words: Shirley Berko
Images: Supplied

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