South Africa - Exploring the Cape
Another day spent exploring the wonders of South Africa; well through the eyes and products of the numerous trade exhibitors attending World Travel Market in London. Not quite the same thing as being there in the flesh – but a great way to learn about what this beguiling nation has to offer the keen tourist.
The highlight of the day was a catch up with the delightful Gloria Hunniford who was enthusiastic and energetic in her description of her recent visit to Cape Town and the Cape Lands. She explained that as a child she had received letters from a friend, who had moved to South Africa, vividly describing the countryside, the flora and fauna which had germinated the idea of one day visiting this ‘mystical’ place.
This wish was recently granted when she was invited to tour Cape Town and the Wine region, an invitation which she was eager to accept.
The tour took Gloria and her husband to Cape Town initially where a visit to Table Mountain surpassed all the expectations generated by those child-hood letters. She wasn’t prepared for the sheer size of the plateau of Table Mountain nor the huge variety of wild flowers and plants she discovered there. Another surprise was waiting for her when she was whisked away on a coastal tour on the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Her initial apprehension was dispersed by the warm sea air and she soon discovered the use of both arms waving enthusiastically to bemused onlookers. She described with some fondness the setting sun ‘a ball of yellow and gold’ seemingly drawing closer as it sank into the horizon, which she witnessed during her stay at the Camps Bay Retreat – a beautiful boutique property with 11 rooms.
Gloria was equally enthusiastic when she described her culinary experiences in this region of South Africa enjoying a delicious ten-course tasting menu at Le Quartier Francaise which was one of the best meals she had ‘ever’ tasted. The culinary world of South Africa is rediscovering a pre-colonial heritage using a wide range of rediscovered local herbs which are produced to a quality that would fit any top restaurant in the world. With wines to match each course – there is an attention to detail which could bemuse anything less than the most professional of service staff. This message about quality and freshness of food comes through time and time again when discussing South Africa with visitors.
The fine wines produced by the many vineyards in the Cape Wine region are the perfect accompaniment to any meal enjoyed in South Africa. Gloria Hunniford enjoyed visits to a couple of vineyards and enjoyed a luxury picnic with sensational views at the Delaire Graaf estate.
With Gloria’s Celtic roots – she was pleased with the Whisky selection produced by the Cape Grace Hotel – who are keen to introduce ‘Whisky and Cheese’ as an alternative to Port; as sign that no one is prepared to sit on their laurels in South Africa.
Gloria finished our conversation by confirming her desire to return to South Africa sooner rather than later with her grandchildren; to explore the Cape Town region and enjoy a Safari which she didn’t have time for on this trip.
For more information on Gloria's 'My Mission' itinerary click here.