A very warm welcome to the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter in a combined edition for July/August 2011.

Winter in Cape Town? Or Spring is already in the Air? Winter is really something special in this part of the world.

In South Africa you will experience very warm days one day and then snow chaos in the Western Cape Karoo the next! Last week our kids were wondering how life can go on overseas with real snow in winter!

Well, most of us expats, we have experienced winter weather much differently which is really icy, snow and wet and therefore we are grateful here for the warm sunny days in a season when our homes without central heating get "freezing cold".

So this is the time when we live outdoors and enjoy all the beauty the Cape offers. And the rainy days here never really last more than two days anyway...

This edition shall give you some insights on what you could do and see when in Cape Town this winter, where to get great deals when changing your lifestyle to a more organic one and furthermore I will give you some great events to look out for and what not to miss out on when you want to show your family or visitors from overseas the beauty of the Cape.

So enjoy this newsletter and please send me a line if you have some special info for expats or any suggestions. Thanks:-)

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

1. Hot Tips for Travelers and Expats: Cape Town Organic Living Tips

2. Event of the Month: Wildflowers in Bloom

3. Inside Cape Town: Living in Gardens

4. Typical South African: gatsby and roosterkoek

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

Hot Tips for Expats and Travelers: Cape Town Organic Living Tips

• Where to get fresh food, which is organically grown? You can get a wide variety of organic food in the Cape Town supermarkets and restaurants. However if you venture more on the countryside, organic food is easily to source but special foods like wheat or dairy free food or meals in restaurants are more a challenge.

• What about clothing? Any green local labels which are worth to check out? In the last decade more and more local clothing manufacturers were closing down their factories in Cape Town, but you can find various ventures with organic clothing like Hemporium’s hemp clothing range, Earth Child and Earth Addict Clothing Shops and Woolworths also stocks their own eco line with organic cotton clothing.

• Where to start when investigating organic gardening? Planting inidigenous plants will not only reward you with beautiful local blooms, but also will help save water and worries, especially when going away in summer. You can get a wide variety of indigenous plants at the major gardening centers, but you could also get good information and buy local plant varieties at the Garden Center at Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens.

• What about energy efficient building? Well, Cape Town is more and more getting into green building standards. Local companies notice the trend in green building and using sustainable energy. So the installation of solar water heating systems is now supported by Eskom, who holds the monopole in the electricity supply in South Africa. Better insulation and building materials are coming on the South African market too. But there is still much room to improve.

• What about recycling? In many Cape Town suburbs your recyclable goods, like old paper, plastics, cans or glass bottles will be collected on rubbish removal day. In some areas which are not yet covered in the recycling program, you will find recycling containers at major shopping centers and petrol stations. Some schools are very proactive too and collect at their weekly recycling days. Inquire at a school in your area.

For more info about health food in Cape Town or check out my favourite website on Green Living in Cape Town which is www.urbansprout.co.za

Event of the Month: Wildflowers in Bloom

Have you seen all the colorful daisies and springflowers already popping up on the lawns and at the roadside?

To see huge fields with Cape Wildflowers you should head north from Cape Town, just an hours drive north along the West Coast. Especially the area around Darling is stunning in Spring!

This year the Wildflowers seem to bloom earlier than expected, so make sure to head up north even before the annual wildflower shows and see the beautiful flowers in huge fields along the coast.

More Wildflower Events 2011

More great Events in August 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, a suburb of Cape Town close to the City Center, just bordering the beautiful Company Gardens and some of Cape Town's national museums.

Why Gardens? Gardens is close to the business hub of Cape Town and a lively but still quiet enough suburb of the Mother City with lots of excellent schools in the nearby suburbs. There are also various sporting and shopping facilities nearby.

Where to stay? There is a wide range of housing available in the area, mainly town houses, most of them stunningly renovated and the area is still more affordable than some of the higher lying areas on the foot of Table Mountain. Security is good in the area.

Where to go? Shoppingwise there is Gardens Shopping Center where you will find some great delicatessen stores, like a French patisserie, a German butcher and deli, Swiss appliances, German toys, South African arts and crafts, an excellent health food store and many more.

Typical South African terms

What is a" gatsby"? This traditional South African sandwich is surely one of South Africa's most typical fast foods. When you are in Cape Town you must try a gatsby which is either filled with the most delicious steak and potato chips/French fries or sausage and then the typical Gatsby sauce. Yummy!

What is "roosterkoek"? This term refers in South Africa to a bread cooked or grilled on fire. This bread is usually served when doing a typical South African braai or BBQ.

More South African Slang words here.

Cape Town Insider Tips

What else? Have you tried these…?

Where to go for authentic Cape Seafood meal on the WestCoast? Head out to Blouberg and find the most delicious seafood curry at "Ons Huisie". Parking is safe in the evenings too, but make sure to make a reservation as the locals love this place.

Where to go for a nice stroll in the City? How about a walk in the park soaking up the sun? Cape Town's new Green Point Park is a gem with its well looked after biodiversity garden and the walkways. Great place to take the family for a picnic, relax and enjoy the views!

Where to go for a delicious breakfast with good friends? Try Chocolat Cafe in Durbanville. A cozy little coffee shop with the most delicious breakfasts you can wish for on a cold winters day.

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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