A very warm welcome to the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter

in a combined edition for March/April 2011.

The summer slowly comes to an end, the leaves started already to change their color and the wine harvest is in full action.

City Life in Cape Town will be calming down again at the end of this month in Cape Town as most of the schools will go on autumn holidays and there are plenty of public holidays ahead of us in April. So many of you will plan at least a long weekend away in the coming days and I wish you will discover more of the goodies the Cape does offer.

So this edition shall give you some insights on what autumn looks and feels like in Cape Town, what events to look out for and how to keep your family happy when the days get a little more wet and cold.

So relax and enjoy this newsletter and please send me a line if you have some great suggestions. Thanks:-)

This is what you will find in this issue of the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter:

1. Hot Tips for Travelers and Expats: Cape Town in Autumn

2. Event of the Month: Cirque du Soleil

3. Inside Cape Town: Living in Gardens

4. Typical South African: melktert and vlei

5. Cape Town Insider Tips: Know where to go…?

Hot Tips for Expats and Travelers: Cape Town in Autumn

Cape Town in Autumn shows you a rich canvas of warm earthen colours with a wide range of browns and yellows, with deep blue skies and some grey in between. In South Africa the colour palette tends to stick to the warmer orange colours anyway and so the autumn give the landscape an even more golden tinge. And the few grey days you are likely to forget soon;)

There are lots of activities to do or join in during autumn, so be sure to know what the Capetonians are up to in March and April.

• In Autumn it feels like the locals start to be more active again. Construction works and roadworks delay traffic everywhere, thankfully the summer heat is over and you can start to breathe. The days get shorter again, with the sun setting already at 7pm., so remember that the first colder nights will come soon too.

• The autumn days are still warm so you still can wear your T-shirts and shorts during the days, but be prepared to have some warm jumpers or fleecy jackets for the colder evenings or the occasional windy and rainy days. And remember, winter school uniform will be compulsory in many schools from Term 2, so be sure to kit your kids out now too.

• The schools in South Africa will all have a week or two of school holidays during March and April. As Easter is very late this year, Easter Monday or Family Day as it is called here is on April 25 and there is also Freedom Day on April 27, thus the whole of Cape Town will pretty much shut down the last week of April.

• Experience some of the great South African vibe during the long weekends in March and April, when the Cape Town Festival and various other festivities will take place. In the city center go to Mandela Rhodes place or the Company Gardens and join in the excitement.

• Drive out to the lovely Cape Winelands and take part in one of the harvest festivities at one of the fabulous Cape Wineries.

Great Harvest Festivals around the Cape

Event of the Month: "Saltimbanco"

The much awaited and much celebrated show "Saltimbanco" of Cirque du Soleil is coming to Cape Town from this week.

A fascinating show of exciting acrobatics and dance will be presented by an international cast of brilliant entertainers and acrobats. The awe-inspiring acrobatic acts of the Cirque du Soleil which is presenting its spectacular shows all over the world for the last 19 years, is now for the first time shown in Cape Town.

Saltimbanco will be shown at the Grand Arena at the fabulous Cape Town Grand West Casino complex. The Cape Town Casino is located in Goodwood which is easy accessible from the N7 via the N2 or the N1. Plenty of safe Parking is available at the Casino grounds.

Tickets are still available from computicket.

What is on in Cape Town in March and April 2011?

More great Events in March 2011

More great Events in April 2011

Living in Gardens

In this section you will find every month insiders’ tips and advice about one of the many suburbs of Cape Town. So you know where to stay and where to go. This month I chose to bring you some more info about living in Gardens, an inner-city suburb of Cape Town, just South East of the CBD at the foot of Table Mountain and Lions Head.

Why Gardens? The suburb is located at the bottom of the Table Mountain Range next to the Business Center of Cape Town. The suburbs lies between the Company Gardens and links the leafy and higher lying suburbs of Oranjezicht and Higgovale to the CBD. Kloof Street in Gardens is a lively place with lots of boutique shopping and restaurants and little galleries. There is good shopping at the Gardens Centre Shopping Mall and medical facilities as well the Medi-Clinic are also located in the area. Several international and highly acclaimed private schools are located in or around Gardens.

Where to stay? There is a wide range of housing available in the area, mainly modern in flats in the various apartment complexes but you will also find beautifully renovated Victorian town houses. Security is getting upgraded more in the area as there are occasionally vagrants seen in the streets. There is plenty of holiday accommodation in guest houses and self-catering apartments available. And if you want to go for the extra special, then stay in the pink lady which is the famous Mount Nelson Hotel which is located conveniently at the Southern end of Company's Gardens.

Where to go? Beside Kloof Street and Gardens Centre for some good local designer or international delicatessen shopping, there are many other attractions in the area. Visit the National Museums and enjoy a relaxing afternoon on a bench in the shade near the aviary or the rose garden in the Company's Gardens or chill in one of the lovely coffee shops or restaurants in the area. And definitely go for high tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel when in the area. Chocoholics and those with a sweet tooth will feel like in paradise.

Typical South African terms

What is "melktert"? This traditional South African pastry or dessert is actually a "milk tart" or "milk pudding". This pie has traditionally a thin crust and has got a strong milk flavour and is sprinkled with cinnamon. Light but really yummy!

What is a "vlei"? This term usually refers in South Africa to a small shallow seasonal lake. The word originates from the Afrikaans word for "pond" or "marsh". Many of the vlei around Cape Town are home to a wide variety of birds and therefore great for bird watching.

More South African Slang words here.

Cape Town Insider Tips

What else? Have you tried these…?

Where to go for a healthy and yummy breakfast or lunch, when you are in the CBD? Go to Birds Cafe in 127 Bree Street and be spoilt with delicious hand-baked and organic cakes, meals and little treats in this cosy designer cafe.

Where to get great menswear like in New York? Try new Unknown Union in Kloof Street which opened recently and is the brainchild of the renowned team of New York's famous label BBlessing.

Where to enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the Cape Winelands? Head out to Hillcrest Wine Estate on the Durbanville Wine Route, where you have great views over the winelands down to the Atlantic Ocean on a clear day. They sell delicious home-grown olives and home-made olive oil too.

What’s coming in the Next Newsletter?

As ExpatCapeTown wants to bring you the most up to date stories and insights, please be patient and let me surprise you with more great news about the Mother City.

Just be assured, there will be lots of more great tips and advice, so be sure to subscribe my newsletter and take a look at my website which is ever expanding.

Please come back with more great tips from your site, all kinds of comments very welcome! Contact me here.


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