Newsletter Autumn : 2009

Posted on Tue April 14, 2009 in Newsletters.

Horizons Holiday Cottages, Noordhoek Cape Town, Western Cape

Our self catering accommodation set in the beautiful Noordhoek valley offers an ideal base to explore Cape Town. Our rates are affordable but we offer top quality accommodation.

Cape Town in Winter - our Secret Season : In these recessionary times everyone is shopping around for a good deal. Some people are searching in Google for cheap accommodation that has the same amenities that can be found in Britannia Hotel Newcastle and other modern establishments. We noted the definition of "cheap' as "of poor quality; inferior" Our self catering Western Cape accommodation is certainly not cheap as defined, but it is of good quality, spacious, comfortable but very affordable.

Now we have made it even more so with our winter low season offer ; For every 4 nights booked , we will give you one free night in any of our self catering accommodation units. This offer is valid right until end November, but excludes school holidays.

Living the life in Cape Town : When writing this latest newsletter , in which I hope to share something of the wonder of living in the Western cape, and particularly Cape Town, I thought of the quote by the famous 18 th Century British author Dr Samuel Johnson, who is quoted as saying
When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford”.
Well we are blessed to live in this wonderful City and there is so much to see, do and marvel at in this beautiful Cape Town of ours that it might be said that you can never be tired of life here. I have in this newsletter tried to give visitors some ideas for easy and enjoyable day trips from our conveniently situated, comfortable but affordable accommodation.
The Summer is almost over and Cape Town is quieter, making it much more enjoyable; this is the best time to visit before the start of winter.

Table Mountain Cableway
The Cable way on Table Mountain is introducing a new on line ticketing system, which will be effective from Monday, 17 August.  This is great news for our overseas and Gauteng visitors who have previously been unable to make a reservation, making it difficult for them to plan their holiday outings. The new system will allow visitors to buy tickets online for an additional R10 fee. Find full details on our Blog (insert hyperlink
or see the website:

Getting to Cape Town City and the Waterfront : Horizons Holiday Cottages is conveniently situated at the start of 2 wonderful options for driving to the City. Take the most scenic, but more leisurely option around Chapman’s Peak drive ( see Things do to) or the more efficient but also beautiful drive over the mountain behind our accommodation and pick up the Blue Route highway across the Constantia valley. The Waterfront and City centre is just 35 minute’s drive.

The Cape Town Waterfront: Undoubtedly one of the most successful waterfront developments in the world, outclassing even San Francisco’s famous Fisherman’s wharf. The Waterfront, as it is simply known, is beloved entertainment spot of all Cape Town residents and tourists alike. It hums all year round. There are top class restaurants and budget family eateries to suit all pockets, even those of backpackers, and a fascinating shopping experience. Enjoy a meal on  the waterfront watching the fishing boats go about their business, at Quay 4 Restaurant where prices are amazingly low.
Take the ferry to world heritage site Robben Island, renowned as the place of incarceration of iconic former president Nelson Mandela.

Cape Town Central : Many tourists miss the pleasures of exploring the city. One could spend a day just strolling the streets admiring the vast selection of historic buildings representing the major periods from the 17 th Century Dutch, the many stylish and elegant 18th and 19 th Century buildings as well as abundant Victorians. Then of course, the famous Castle; oldest building in Southern Africa should not be missed. Green market square offers an opportunity to explore a landmark flea market. Long Street nearby is famous as a bohemian  hang out, with many ethnic restaurants and bars, and well worth a stroll along the historic street lined with colourful Victorian Buildings

Drives : Unlike residents of most of our cities,  residents of Cape Town enjoy driving on weekends as there is so much to see and do. Take a circular drive starting with short drive over the mountain from Horizons Holiday Cottages in a southerly direction to bring you to historic Simonstown. Its historic mile of beautifully preserved old buildings could keep you busy for a half day, but pass though and  motor along the coast admiring views across False Bay right across to Gordon’s bay, until you reach Cape Point. See “things to do”. Leaving Cape Point travel the Atlantic coastal route through Kommetjie, pretty little coastal town with its Slangkop Lighthouse; stop at Imhoff’s farm for a meal or tea just before you arrive back at the start of your trip.

Another great alternative is to explore the Southern Peninsula, False  bay attractions. Starting at Horizons motor quickly though Fish Hoek, where there is nothing to keep you except a lovely white beach, and travel to Kalk Bay; bohemian village of galleries, antiques, and notable restaurants ( see “things to do”). From here travel to Muizenberg; famed for its long, wide beach as a surfing and bathing spot.
There is much to tempt one to tarry, and you can find lots of information at the URL

While on a day drive in this direction why not do as we often do when we can get away for a day or a morning and have breakfast at one of the Cafés on the beach? A full English breakfast at our favourite, the Gaslight Café will set you back the equivalent of just $ 3 !! (ZAR 28) What a bargain! No need for formality –the surfers come out of the water to eat in their baggies and bare feet. Going about with bare feet, by the way, is part of the way of life here.

Another less well know scenic drive from Muizenberg will take you around the shores of False Bay R310 on Baden Powell Drive (R 310) into the Cape Wine lands- about 40 minutes from Horizons.

Cape Wine routes  : Dr Samuel Johnson had never know about the experience  of the historical Cape Wine Route, before declaring that London offered everything tat life could want.  Here splendid blue mountains form a dramatic backdrop to lush vineyards and historic Cape Dutch homesteads.
Closest stop on this route is another of our favourite getaways- the lifestyle centre of Spier wine estate, just before Stellenbosch.
There is an option for every pocket here, including several good restaurants. What we enjoy is to purchase a range of delectable eats from the Spier Deli and picnic on the lush green banks of the Spier dam; they even provide paper plates and utensils at the Deli. Visitors can also pre-order a picnic hamper filled with a choice selection of freshly made dishes that they have personally chosen.
Once you have eaten visit their Cheetah Outreach Programme.
Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa, and a truly beautiful old Cape Dutch village often missed by visitors- its like stepping back to a time more genteel. Since the founding of Stellenbosch in 1679, it has become synonymous with high quality award winning table wines. The cellars of the Wine Route are situated along the main roads, namely the R44, the R310, the R304, leading to Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and provide the frame work for all of its surroundings. There are so many options that it is best to pick up a Wine Route map (we provide copies in the accommodation at Horizons Holiday Cottages) and make your own choice

Paarl Wine Route and Fairview : There are many notable award winning wine esates on the Paarl Wine  Route. Popular with us and our friends for a day outing is Fairview Estate situated on the R44. Fairview offers wine tastings of it very expansive range and cheese tastings included in your tasting ticket.  As you arrive at Fairview you will see the famous Goat tower with some of their goats clambering its heights. Owner Charles Back who has a remarkable sense of fun produces a popular red know as “Goats do Roam”  in a Cote du Rhone  style, which got up the noses of the French so much that an unsuccessful legal action over the name was initiated J Take home some of the more than 25 different cheeses produced here, all offered at Factory Shop prices as well as Olive oils, cold cuts and other delicacies.   Capetonians enjoy lunching at the Goatshed; an informal Mediterranean-style eatery offering light meals and lunches, in the relaxed ambience of what was originally one of the old wine cellars on the farm.

Secret Season : Cape Town has been rated as one of the top 10 tourist destinations cities in the world. Like most popular tourist areas, the Cape Town region attracts most of its tourists during "peak" times - between September and March, which is South Africa's glorious summer.
Many tourists don’t realise that  Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate which is temperate for most of the year.  Cape Town is frequently at its best in the traditionally low season from April to October!  Warm and sunny days with clear skies outnumber the wet ones! For International tourists this coincides with the prime safari season in South Africa, giving you the best value for money.
Take advantage of the very affordable, low out of season rates for Horizons Holiday Cottages self catering accommodation during the Secret Season. Enjoy not having to wait for a table in the wonderful restaurants that are to be found in the vicinity in Noordhoek, Kalk Bay and Simonstown. We are a conveniently located, but affordable base for the coming attractions of the winter season.
We hope to see you soon in our beautiful Noordhoek valley; Cape Town’s best kept secret destination.