Cape Town has a rep for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world so while here I needed to put in some quality time at them. I went to Camps Bay a number of times during my stay due to ease of getting to and places right there to eat. Clifton 4(Clifton is made up of 4 beaches separated by huge boulders catering to different crowds) I only hit once. Of note, to get to the Clifton beaches you have quite a few steps to get down and they are even more fun back up.
Myciti Bus ran right from my hotel to Camps Bay and stops at the Clifton beaches as well. Camps Bay is rather large, lined with plenty of restaurants, some shopping, a park, tidal pool and W/C (bathrooms) for Men and Women. Lounge Chairs with pads are available for rent at reasonable prices. However, they took them back at 6pm…the sun set at 8pm. I really should have purchased a beach chair for the week.
Camps Bay has some very good restaurants. I went to Paranga (a recommendation from a Capetonian local blogger) a beautiful space with a crowd to match and very good service. I started with their Rolls Royce roll (Crawfish with Ikuro caviar) and for my entree their Sushi salad which I enjoyed while trying to chat up two Angolan girls who spoke Portuguese(one of the few cases I met people who didn’t speak English).
I hit Mezepoli for delicious Med style Tapas where I started with a CBC Amber Weiss to drink with my Tirosalata(Feta with hot peppers) scooped up with Pita, and the Squid heads in Peri-Peri aioli sauce. With my grilled Baby Octopus in lemon and olive oil and the Artichoke and Mozz I had a vino I never heard of before Haute Cabriere’s Chardonnay Pinot Noir (yes you read that right a blend of Red and White grapes).
Del Mar located upstairs in the shopping complex across from the beach had some very good Modern Mexican cuisine. I went Tapas style again and ordered a Darling Brew to enjoy with Ceviche w/coconut milk, lime and chile, the Salmon Tostado poached in tequila w/guacamole and gaujillio peppers, Tacos de Pescado and the Pancita de Puerto (pork belly) with Chipotle and jalapeño glaze that was incredible.
Sophie and Peter, Swiss friends I met on my Vineyard tour raved about Clifton 4’s stunningly beautiful beach, the crowd and some restaurant/lounge(that I never found). While Clifton 4 gets its reputation for having the best looking of Cape Town on its beaches I found its beauty lied in the amazing boulders formations along the waters edge and its cliffs. It’s more of a family beach then I expected. I found more privileged than beautiful and of note the only place I went that was almost exclusively Caucasian. Camps Bay on the other hand was very mixed…at least on the beach, the restaurants not quite as much.
While you can rent loungers at Clifton 4 and have the luxury of having the ice cream/soda guys walking by constantly, if you don’t live here or have friends that do there is nowhere to get anything to eat. While I loved Clifton 4’s boulders and scenery I preferred Camps Bay for its great beach, mountains, restaurants and diversity on the beach.