Eyewitness Cape Town. Content writer Lauren Morling

Capetonian Lauren Morling tells us about life in one of the most beautiful cities on earth. Ask her anything you like about South Africa and you can be sure to get an informative answer. Lauren loves Cape Town, the sun and the sea and as a content writer for Travelground she covers everything from family travel, Easter vacations, water sports, markets, backpacking, stays at boutique hotels … you know what I mean, right?

THE TOURISTIN: Three words that characterize Cape Town?

Lauren Morling: Mountains. Beaches. Vibey. (this is hard because Cape Town can be described in an endless supply of words!)

THE TOURISTIN: How do you get around Cape Town?

Lauren Morling: I usually drive
my own car to get to work or visit friends - and take an Uber if I’m going out for drinks. Public transport isn’t as great as it is in Europe so I try to avoid it as much as possible. I’m also lucky enough to live in a great complex in Rondebosch within walking distance of the shops, several restaurants, a pharmacy, and the gym.

THE TOURISTIN: What is the best kept secret about Cape Town?

Lauren Morling: Cape Town has plenty of fantastic markets where you can get organic produce, homemade arts and crafts, traditional foods, and even second-hand clothing without having to step a foot inside a mall or supermarket. I love the Neighbourgoods Market in Observatory for healthy and homemade food, Milnerton Market for second hand “white elephant” home decor, and the night market at The Range in Tokai for craft beer and a good vibe!

THE TOURISTIN: What is your favourite borough/suburb/area in Cape Town and why?

Lauren Morling: I love Harfield Village. It’s a pretty little suburb with tree-lined streets, semi-detached Victorian and Edwardian houses, and quirky coffee shops hidden down almost every side street. My favourite is Twigs with Beans! The relaxed atmosphere by day turns into a vibrant hotspot at night. Banana Jam offers daily half-price cocktails between 5 - 6pm and Oblivion Wine Bar turns into a popular nightclub when darkness descends so you’re always likely to bump into some friendly faces.

THE TOURISTIN: The best place for a hot chocolate or café in Cape Town?

Lauren Morling: Cafeen coffee shop is my favourite. It’s hidden down a little side road in Harfield Village and has stunning mountain views from the outdoor terrace, quirky décor and furniture (that’s also for sale) and a resident cat or two keeping your seat warm. The Hangover Breakfast is the perfect way to end an all-nighter - and you can’t beat free Wi-Fi!

THE TOURISTIN: What is one restaurant we must try out while in Cape Town?

Lauren Morling: Pancho’s in Observatory is my absolute fail-safe. They serve extremely affordable Mexican food and are very generous with their portion sizes. The chilli poppers are divine and the frozen margaritas come in a choice of strawberry, mango, or lemon flavour (or a combination of all three!) Pancho’s is very popular, so you have to book a table in advance.

THE TOURISTIN: Where would we meet you on weekends?

Lauren Morling: Oblivion Wine Bar is my weekend hangout on either Friday to Saturday night (or both!) They have a dance floor (complete with stripper pole) and are usually filled with an over 25 crowd, so you can escape the freshly legal 18-year-olds who take over Claremont. If not at Oblivion, you’ll find me at home recovering in bed with a good book!

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

Lauren Morling: The Heart of Cape Town Museum is definitely worth a visit. It has an exhibit on the world’s first successful heart transplant led by Christiaan Barnard in 1953 - which pretty much put South Africa on the map.

THE TOURISTIN: What are some of your favourite places to shop for A) groceries and B) clothes?

Lauren Morling: I usually shop for my main groceries at Pick n Pay as they have some great specials, but I try to buy "local" as much as possible. The best places for organic fruit and veg are the food local markets like the Neighbourgoods Market or Oranjezicht City Farm Organic Market - it’s great to be able to support the local farmers!

Lauren Morling: For clothes, I usually go to Canal Walk Shopping Mall in the northern suburbs as it has more than 400 stores, so you can always find something at an affordable price. I'm also a part of a second-hand clothing group on Facebook where Capetonians can post pictures of their old clothes at very cheap rates. You know what they say about one man's trash...

THE TOURISTIN: What souvenir shall we bring back from Cape Town?

Lauren Morling: Definitely beaded artwork. You can usually find anything from beaded animal statues and key rings to bowls and baobab trees on the side of the road or in the parking area of a local shopping centre. They’re beautiful and once you see how much work has gone into it, you’ll be surprised at how affordable they are! I like the idea of getting something you have actually seen on your holiday (such as a rhino if you’ve been on safari or a painting of Table Mountain, made out of recycled tin cans). You can even get anything custom made for you by one of the traders if you ask nicely! Just make sure you have a few days to allow for it.

THE TOURISTIN: Thank you so much Lauren. All the best to you.

If you would like to read more from Lauren please follow her on twitter. More reasons to visit Cape Town. Meet more eyewitnesses from South Africa, USA and Europe here.