Wish You were Here: Cape Town at Christmas

Christmas is all about roaring fires, mulled wine and snow falling on the streets - or so we think in the northern hemisphere. But what happens when you shake things up a bit and have Christmas in summer, Cape style? Come join us for a tour of Cape Town.


“Christmas is always merrier in sunny Cape Town given the countless opportunities for picnics on pristine beaches, cocktails beneath clear skies and gourmet cuisine at restaurants, eateries and wine estates with breath-taking views.”

Now there a few differences between celebrating Christmas in Africa in comparison to the western world in general as the holiday is not nearly as commercial as it is in Europe and the Americas. The emphasis is admiteddly more on the religious connotations of Christmas, spending time with family and friends, and yup you guessed it, consuming a whole lot of food (if possible). So not too different, right?


Spend Christmas in Cape Town and you’re bound to experience the festive atmosphere. Many main streets, like Adderley Street in the Cape Town City Center, are illuminated beautifully at night with Christmas lights and decorations and even some house owners decorate their homes with fairy lights for the season and starting with Christmas Eve, many local music bands roam the streets in the city centre entertaining visitors and locals with popular Christmas carols. Looking for something a bit more Cape, go to one of the amazing outdoors Carols by Candlelight Concerts where you can listen to splendid orchestras or choirs while overlooking stunning beaches, lush wine lands or even simply enjoying the serenity of a church. So regardless of the oh-so-not-chilly weather Christmas in Cape Town is well and truly the best of both worlds (summer and festivities).


The V&A Waterfront is probably the go to point as one of the main attractions in Cape Town, especially during Christmas - decorated beautifully and offering free concerts at the amphitheatre, you’re bound to be entertained. There is also the huge Ferris Wheel which is great to go on at day or night to have a stunning view over the harbour and the Table Mountain. Of course it’s not going to be open Christmas day but you can always get a second Christmas kind of meal in after the day because the Waterfront is definitely a must go to place for food and especially for the ambience and view.


Now as I mentioned before Christmas in the south is as big on food as everywhere else; from your traditional Christmas dinner to your ever typical South African ‘braai’ (barbecue) to a picnic outdoors, you’re spoilt for choice - and here’s the best part: you can spend Christmas on the beach! I know what you’re thinking – crazy. Christmas Day is celebrated by many Capetonians with friends and family so should you be invited to a Christmas party, you can dress casually and lightly as the temperatures usually are high at this time of the year. You may even be asked to bring your swimwear as you’ll either be hitting the beach or your host’s pool in the garden (I know swimming instead of skiing – crazy!). So find a nice spot where you can enjoy your Christmas with a little picnic and relax in the sunshine and listen to the waves...


Looking for something a bit more traditional and luxurious (no slaving in the kitchen) then try Christmas Lunch at the Crystal Towers Restaurant which boasts a wide variety of food from traditional to foods with a South African twist. To start with, there’s a choice of nibbles like marinated mussel vinaigrette, beef carpaccio wth rocket and a whole selection of sushi. The mains are certainly more traditional, with a carvery boasting whole roast turkey with all the trimmings and more and of course there will be a wide variety of sides, summery stir fries and one last thing that completes any Christmas menu – dessert!


Once you’re done with all that tanning, ‘braai-ing’, picnicking and swimming, check yourself into one of Cape Town’s swanky hotels African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa with gorgeous plush rooms that boast amazing views of the harbour, and features that create a clam and intimate atmosphere – something carried out throughout the hotel.


The hotel’s intimate ambience and five star amenities epitomise a lavish lifestyle that lets guests live the Crystal Life. From the rooftop pool’s underwater music, the in-room ascending flat screen TVs and the distinctive boardroom wall decor to the South African themed bar lounges, the delight is in the detail. African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel & Spa is bound to make your Christmas that much more special #wishyouwerehere



By Mpona Lebajoa

Wish You were Here: Cape Town at Christmas