OUR CLIENT PROTEA HOTELS BY MARRIOTT DISCUSSES CAPE TOWN’S NEW TRENDY SPOT, SEA POINT

When you head off to Cape Town on holiday, you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of many of the things you’ll do in the Mother City. You’ll amble through the V&A Waterfront, hit up some wine farms, tread through the trendy City Centre, popping into boutique stores and tasting the latest foodie treats along the way, while gazing at The Mountain at every turn.

But there’s a new entrant in Cape Town’s trendy mix: Sea Point.  The area along the Atlantic seaboard is a blend of the best of Cape Town’s old and new – the charming and the uber-cool.

While the classic feel of old Cape Town remains, the area has seen an influx of trendy restaurants, shops, and bars in recent years. Sea Point is now, the perfect place to appeal to both your grandfather and your teenage daughter – A hipster’s dream come true.

The suburb’s local haunts remain intact, keeping the old charm of the area. But the new batch of trendy shops and restaurants are bringing people from all over, to this characterful suburb.

Protea Hotel by Marriott’s Avukile Mabombo both lives and works in Sea Point. Below are some of his tips to get you hooked on Sea Point.

Take the classic tour.

 Before exercising your taste buds, work up an appetite! Walk along the promenade and watch the waves crash against the wall. When you see an Olympic sized pool, you’re at the famous Sea Point Pavilion. On the other end of the promenade, take a stroll through the maze, play a round of putt-putt and enjoy an ice-cream (even in winter, it must be done). Or simply sit on one of the benches and take in the endless horizon.

Eat your heart out.

Never mind the all-you-can-eat sushi or Asian buffets (though you’ll find many excellent options for these), Sea Point is home to the mother city’s latest batch of trendy restaurants – as well as some classics that never get old. For belly-busting burgers go to Craft Burger Bar, a cosy local spot where you can build your own perfect burger or choose from a list of carefully-crafted creations.  If you’d like to dance off your dinner try The Duchess of Wisbeach which has “everything you would expect from a NYC speak easy or something you might discover in a side street in Paris”. Or if you just fancy straight up rotisserie chicken, concept restaurant The Chicken Shop offers a “boutique takeaway experience” with fresh, real food.

Meander through the market.

The rise in Sea Point’s popularity is perhaps most evident in the opening of the city’s trendiest new market experience. The Mojo Market launched at the end of April, and the city’s foodies and fashionistas are instagramming their way through what’s on offer.

Located beneath the Mojo Hotel on Regent Road, the large seven-day-a-week food and lifestyle market has a wide variety of food and retail stalls, bars (though it’s currently “BYO alcohol”), a fresh food section, and a stage for live entertainment.

Traders include IYO Burgers, Raclette Grilled Cheese, Deluxe Coffee, Baskin Robbins, Cape Point Bakery, Hokey Poke, and Ilse Malan Jewellery, to name just a few. The market is open Monday to Sunday from 10am to 9pm.

Indulge your sweet tooth.

Restaurants and cafés that are entirely dedicated to desserts and sweet treats is a global trend, and Sea Point is no different. My Sugar Chocolate and Coffee Bar, for example, make “artisan chocolate, with a pinch of imagination”. But it’s not just about the chocolate, it’s more about the experience. You’ll want to sit down, enjoy the incredible smell of all the delicious chocolates and confectionary on offer and sip on a cup of their own original blend coffee – created to perfectly match their chocolate creations. Don’t leave without trying one of their gourmet doughnuts though.

You can find Crumbs & Cream by following the queue down Regent Road on most days. Happiness, as they say, is the main ingredient in their ice-cream and cookie sandwiches. The “fun-loving” brand was truly a recipe for success since they launched in Sea Point last year, having launched pop-up food carts in both Cavendish Square and the V&A Waterfront. You can pick any two cookies, shmoosh your favourite flavour of ice-cream in-between and, just to get extra messy, garnish with extra sauces and sprinkles. You can also order ready-made ice-cream sandwiches for events or home kits for dinner parties.

This article was first published by IOL on 5 August 2017.