The historic Company’s Garden in the heart of Cape Town is always worth a visit. A hearty breakfast or light lunch at the now renovated (and very family friendly) Company’s Garden Restaurant is a must, a stroll around the beautifully cultivated gardens a pleasure, and the buying of bags of peanuts from the local vendors to feed the abundant squirrels and pigeons a necessity.
Originally created in the 1650s as a resource from which fresh produce for ships rounding the Cape could be harvested, these days the Company’s Garden enjoys a role of providing a much visited lush and tranquil green space for city dwellers to escape the nearby bustle of the Mother City.
Centrally located, the Company’s Garden is bordered by Parliament and Tuynhuys, the National Library of South Africa, St George’s Cathedral, the Iziko Slave Lodge, Centre for the Book, the South African Jewish Museum, the South African National Gallery, and the Iziko South African Museum – basically a heap of really good tourist options for any visiting history enthusiast.
The garden itself is home to a number of interesting artifacts, plants, war memorials and monuments. For example, the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa (circa 1652) calls the Company’s Garden home, as does a rose garden that was designed and build in 1929. Then there’s also the Dellville Wood Memorial (1932), a small aviary, a towering statue of Cecil John Rhodes (1910), an Artillery Memorial, a Japanese Lantern Monument (1932), and a striking figure of Jan Smuts (1964) to name but a few.
As for my kids – well, they’re just there for the squirrels and pigeons of course!