Wednesday

Travel South Africa. Lindy Meiring talks about Cape Town

Cape Town, the metropolis at the foot of the famous and beautiful Table Mountain is one of the prettiest towns on earth. The cultural mix and laid back lifestyle make the town a hot spot for literally everybody who loves travelling. The Mother City, that is great coffee, fabulous local design and shopping, trendy bars, world-class restaurants, a gruesome recent history, traditional and modern wineries and last but not least, a breathtakingly beautiful scenery. This ideal combination is a recipe for success and attracts tourists from all over the world.

Sun lovers flock to Camps Bay and Clifton. Kite surfers make their way to Sunset Beach or Big Bay. The urge for shopping can perfectly be cured at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, Cavendish Square or on everybody's darlings Bree and Kloof Street. History fans go on a boat tour to Robben Island and everybody should visit District Six museum (at least once) to learn what happened in Cape Town and South Africa during apartheid.

You can visit Cape Town over and over, the excitement and wonder you feel will surely never cease. As with every popular vacation spot, it is obviously busy during the summer from November till February and especially so around Christmas (hey, everybody loves it as much as you do), but you can still find places where you will be blissfully alone.

One of the lucky people who call Cape Town home is Lindy Meiring, she loves road trips and the ocean but is also a dedicated hotelier and the General Manager at Africa's greenest hotel, Hotel Verde. In her job, Lindy, who moved to Cape Town after she lived for many years in Bloemfontein, is the one who sets policies, operations, creates and maintains budgets, and looks after employees and the hotel's performance. Here Lindy tells us what she loves in Cape Town.


The Touristin: Three words that characterize Cape Town?

Lindy Meiring: Vibrant. Eclectic. Scenic.

The Touristin: How do you get around Cape Town?

Lindy Meiring: Normally by motor vehicle when travelling to work (carpooling most days with my hubby) and when exploring Cape Town areas, but Uber is also a great means of getting around town especially when visiting areas or events with limited parking or during peak season when the roads are busy.

The Touristin: What is the best kept secret about Cape Town?

Lindy Meiring: The hidden tunnel mines under Table Mountain. Most locals and tourists are unaware of the fascinating network of tunnels in the abandoned tin mines based in Vredehoek. The tin mine is well tucked away on the lower reaches of Devil’s Peak. Finding the tunnels involved intrepid explorers from the Mother City squeezing themselves through hidden entrances. They have since taken it upon themselves to show the world what really lies beneath the mountain.

The Touristin: What is your favourite borough/suburb/area in Cape Town and why?

Lindy Meiring: Camps Bay - An incredible view of the Twelve Apostles Mountains and a beach with fine white sand, great for tanning and visiting the natural rock pool swimming pool. The main street in Camps Bay offers a range of restaurants and cafes mostly overlooking the promenade, a great spot for a sundowner or a delicious meal. I also love Bloubergstrand shopping centres and restaurants that are situated near the beach, so that I can get a breath of fresh sea air while running my errands or relaxing.

The Touristin: The best place for a cocktail or coffee in Cape Town?

Lindy Meiring: I enjoy a Mugg and Bean Latte every now and then as a spoil on my way to work.

Hotel Verde is the best spot for a nice cocktail or coffee and of course a delicious meal before your flight. The hotel also offers a great freshen up service, ensuring you are fresh before or after a flight, free Wi-Fi, indoor gym equipment, a eco pool and a beautiful outdoor wetlands area with an outdoor gym and Eco trail.

The Touristin: What is one restaurant we must try out while in Cape Town?

Lindy Meiring: Nuovu Restaurant at Hotel Verde, it is one of the 2017 Ten foodie restaurants in Cape Town and described as earning praise for service, ambiance and a superb restaurant that uses the freshest produce sourced no further away than 150 kilometres. The restaurant features an A la Carte menu and ingredients are locally produced, responsibly sourced and seasonal.

Visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy a carefully prepared meal created with passion by a team lead by the resident Head Chef Adrian Schreuder. Special meals include delicious vegan, vegetarian or gluten free options and if you looking for meal with a difference, be sure to try their weekly Earth Hour dinner.

The Touristin: Where would we meet you on weekends?

Lindy Meiring: Bloubergstrand outdoor centres for shopping and anything from basic groceries to gifts. If I do go to a mall in Cape Town for a variety of shopping and entertainment (I’m a movie buff) I would say Canal Walk Mall is my favourite. Stellenbosch and surrounding areas situated in the Cape Winelands region. Stopping at farm stalls to buy fresh and local produce, visiting wine farms and shopping in local stores. Hout Bay enjoying the beach, harbour, coffee spots and seafood restaurants followed by a drive over Chapman’s Peak and enjoying a breath-taking picnic.

The Touristin: Do you have a favourite museum/gallery we all have to visit when in Cape Town?

Lindy Meiring: South African National Museum is a well spent two to four hours, with rich history, culture, nature and interactive displays. The Planetarium show that is offered is a treat and great entertainment.

The best gallery to me is once again, visiting local markets and seeing the portrayal of a variety of creative works. It is usually people that do not have their own gallery that show off talents here and usually it is quite unique.

The Touristin: What are some of your favourite places to shop for A) groceries and B) clothes in Cape Town?

Lindy Meiring: A) Woolworths – Large varieties of food and easy to serve options for when friends and family visit. I love going to markets on weekends near the winelands for fresh produce and homemade goodies. Sometimes also Checkers – Local and international produce at great prices.

B) I like to shop for work or dress down clothing at Woolworth as well, but I am usually on the lookout for unique and different wherever I find it. Kalk Bay Main Road boutiques – Clothing boutiques scattered along Kalk Bay Main Road offer a variety of brands from smart to casual wear and accessories.

The Touristin: What souvenir shall we bring back from Cape Town?

Lindy Meiring: For tourists, I would say anything wooden or beaded in an African theme, which is quite popular. I would suggest visiting different markets across Cape Town; one can usually pick up beautiful and unique handmade items made locally and of course, a good bottle of wine is always a good investment. I always look out for and advise to support handmade or locally made products that also benefit Social Investment organizations. Read Creative South Africa. Beautiful things you would want to buy on vacation in Cape Town for inspiration.

The Touristin: I wish you all the best Lindy, keep up the good work.

Would you like to see more eyewitness guides from other places in South Africa?

Radio host Gabriel Sithole talks about Durban

This is where you can meet Lindy Meiring on Twitter. Please say hi. 

From Berlin with love

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.