Tag Archives: v&a waterfront

Shopping at the Lindt Chocolate Studio in Cape Town (2019-01-09) Photo Gallery | Shopping 12 FEB 2019

Did you know that the Lindt chocolate classes hosted in Cape Town and Johannesburg were a first for Lindt worldwide? It is something that Chantelle has always been keen to do at some point in time, and now that we’ve actually stumbled upon the Lindt Chocolate Studio in the reinvigorated Silo District of the V&A Waterfront, I reckon that the ‘maybe’ has now moved much more firmly into the realm of ‘definitely’.

We were in fact wandering about that area thanks to our first ever visit to the gorgeous Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) gallery, and of course once we spied the gleaming gold logo of Lindt, Chantelle was reeled in and immediately bought a handful of exotic flavours for us to try and compare.

Secretly, this made me super happy.

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A Lion Cake at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (2018-06-02) Events | Photo Gallery 01 FEB 2019

Last year the animal welfare organisation Four Paws teamed up with South African Wildlife Project’s Elda Thomas and big name baker Dot Klerck to ignite the launch for their latest SA lions canned hunting awareness campaign #RiseUpAndRoar. The result? A giant lion cake which popped up in the V&A Waterfront for a couple of days in June.

Naturally, as the baker behind the best cakes in the Helderberg, Chantelle had to make a trip to see this baked marvel.

As for the girls and myself, we just wanted an excuse to go and sight-see at the Waterfront! :)

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Admittedly, it was a pretty cool cake.

Related Link: Four Paws | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town

Scratch Patch Gemstone Delight in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town (2018-05-05) Family Attractions | Photo Gallery 05 OCT 2018

Honestly, taking your kids to go semi-precious stone hunting at the Scratch Patch is pretty much a Cape Town institution now. The original Scratch Patch in Simon’s Town was started in 1970, but of course it was the opening of the V&A Waterfront branch back in the late 90’s that really saw the experience take off as a fun little distraction for parents with small kids.

Anyway back in May this year, the girls and I got to head out to Pinelands for a friend’s birthday party at the hugely fun be.UP Park in Pinelands, a huge indoor trampoline and clamber activities haven that is guaranteed to put a grin on pretty much any kid’s face. (It was a first time visit for us, so the girls were HUGELY excited).

Successful party concluded (with remarkably few injuries to boot), I next decided that a long overdue visit to the V&A Waterfront was in order, more specifically a stroll over to the Scratch Patch – only fair considering that the last time we had treated the girls with a visit there was three whole years ago!

We don’t visit the Waterfront all that often, meaning that I almost always actually enjoy a trip there, primarily because there is always something to see and grab a nice photo of. Of course, this then means that I like to wander about, inflicting a massive amount of frustration upon two small girls impatiently champing at the bit to find out what the surprise for the day is going to be.

Pleasingly (they literally had NO clue as to our final destination), as we finally snaked our way over to the big unpolished stones serving as an advertising marker at the foot of the Scratch Patch building, they twigged where they were and literally ran around in circles yelling with excitement. Mission success I reckon.

From there it was through the door and straight into admiring the jewelry on display (they are girls after all), grabbing a container, and gleefully scratching about for brightly coloured stones until their cups literally runneth over – with daddy put on strict quality control duties of course.

Sadly, Emily is still a little too young for putt putt (mini golf) so we skipped out on a round of Cave Golf for this particular visit, but I reckon that it will be on like a scone the next time we pay a visit to this tiny little kid friendly wonderland.

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Oh, and in case you didn’t know about it, in addition to the classic Simon’s Town and V&A Waterfront locations, these days Scratch Patch/Mineral World also has an outpost at the tourist friendly Cape Town Ostrich Farm. All the more reason to head out ostrich feather hunting again I guess…

Related Link: Mineral World Scratch Patch | V&A Waterfront | Cape Town

Girls at Play on the Mouille Point Adventure Playground in Cape Town (2017-11-18) Kid Activities | Photo Gallery 05 JUN 2018

The whole Sea Point, Mouille Point, Green Point stretch of Cape Town is always fantastic for family outings, with walks along the promenade, wave dodging through the railings, play on the various jungle gyms along the way, putt putt, a mini maze, the Blue Train Park, the Mouille Point Adventure Playground, and the Green Point Urban Park all on the cards for the little ones.

Talking about the Mouille Point Adventure Playground, I only just discovered how beautifully this kids playground has been upgraded during an outing with my girls to the Blue Train Park back in November last year. Open to all, it is the perfect mixing spot for all the kids of Cape Town to run around and play with one another.

So, while the Blue Train Park and its little blue train was definitely a hit, the fun ship themed jungle gym, inviting green sea monster and giant wooden jungle gym of the next door Mouille Point playground turned out to easily be the biggest highlight for my two munchkins on the day!

Seeing as we were in the area on a Saturday morning, we next dropped in by the bustling Oranjezicht City Farm Market, but given how busy they were (locals tell me the trick is to arrive super early), the girls and I instead shuffled off to a place of their choosing for lunch – and given that they are 7 and 4, naturally we ended up at Santa Ana Spur in the V&A Waterfront.

Sigh, at least the beer is nice and cold.

Not that I minded all that much I suppose – people watching at the Waterfront almost never gets old…  (Also, we did end up visiting Lagoon Beach in Milnerton for ice cream afterwards. So I can’t really complain.)

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In summary, a lovely little playground that is perfect for rewarding the kids with some play time after first forcing them to walk along the promenade with you.

Related Link: Mouille Point | Cape Town

A Gourmet Burger and Oscar the Seal at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (2017-05-11) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 27 APR 2018

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway gives you a free cable car ride for you birthday, and my work gives us the day off on our birthday, meaning that I’m forever trying to go up Table Mountain on my birthday. Sometimes I get this right, but most of the time, thanks to my birthday falling in the middle of bad weather May, the route is closed and I need to come up with something else.

That is precisely what happened last year, and after spending some time walking around Signal Hill, Camps Bay and Sea Point, I headed towards the V&A Waterfront, a place that we visit surprisingly little come to think of it.

As any Cape Town tourist will tell you, the Waterfront does offer a lot of fun things to photograph, and on this particular day I found myself for some or other reason focusing on the hard to miss, gleaming bronze seal statue standing proudly in front of the magnificent Sun International Table Bay Hotel.

Standing adjacent to Jetty 2 and in front of the hotel’s main entrance, “Oscar”, the 2.7 meter high bronze seal statue sculpted and delivered (1997) by South African sculptor Danie De Jager, was commissioned by the hotel group in memory of Oscar the Cape Fur seal (and his fisherman friend – whom Oscar had inherited his name from), the beloved furry figure that called the Table Bay jetty home and whom the opening team had “adopted” during the construction phase of the hotel itself.

For many years Oscar the Seal delighted both Waterfront tourists and locals alike, before sadly dying due to injuries sustained in a boating accident around 2003. However, seeking out a place to bask in the sun, Oscar’s pups continue his legacy of visiting the Table Bay jetty on a daily basis, basically becoming much sought after photographic fodder in the process!

Anyway, Cape Fur seals aside, after a nice photographic stroll around the quieter than what I’m used to area, I decided to stop for a bite to eat, treating myself to one of the delicious gourmet hamburger creations that Gibson’s has become so famous for.

Craft beer in hand, I eagerly tucked into my food, fed the seagulls, watched people zip about, and took in all the sights. Not the worst way to spend lunch hour by one’s self I guess!

(In case you are all wondering where Chantelle was on the day, well she was back home busy frantically baking a cake in front of the camera, appearing as one of the challengers on Via’s – an Afrikaans channel on DSTV – Bak of Brou television show. Apparently this was quite the stressful event!)

One of the reasons I suppose that we don’t as a family visit the V&A Waterfront very often is because it is always so jam packed with people all the time, meaning that I found myself rather enjoying this rare mid-week visit for a change!

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Lunch done, photos taken, next up for my birthday walkabout – a visit to the Springbok Experience rugby museum!

Related Link: V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | Gibson’s

The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum in Cape Town (2017-05-11) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 APR 2018

As a treat to myself for my birthday, I paid a solo visit to the Springbok Experience Rugby Museum down in the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town last year May. It was my first time visiting the rugby museum, and honestly, if you are a long time South African rugby fan then this place will blow you socks off.

First things first – this is a museum experience unlike any other that I’ve experienced before.

The concept is that of an interactive, audio-visual driven experience, with the museum building being split into essentially 3 major sections – the Springbok memorabilia/rugby shop, the skill games section (perfect for you and your kids to have some rugby themed fun), and the the main and most important bit – the actual self-guided museum walk, which forces you along a path that talks, lights up and seeks to inform you with every step of the way.

You start at the very beginning, learning about how the game reached our shores, how it grew into a club level activity, and from there how it progressed from amateur to professional, from local to world class along the way.

Pleasingly, the museum does not shy away from difficult topics like the black smudge of Apartheid and race relations in general, and in fact, forces you as  visitor to understand exactly just how ridiculous and hurtful this dark mark on our shared history really was.

Visually the museum is stunning, running its bold yellow and green motif throughout the displays, with important figures and moments highlighted with stunning monochromatic mannequin displays.

Trophies, uniforms, pamphlets and photos, the museum has a treasure trove of South African rugby memorabilia that stretches throughout South Africa’s rugby playing history on display.

Larger than life inspirational quotes aside, just about every information panel you encounter comes with either a voice over effect, button to press, screen to watch, or tactile experience to digest – meaning that if you really want to, you can easily make a walk through this museum last longer than what your wife would spend in a well-stocked Woolworths store on one of its 50% off everything sale days.

(Technically, my wife doesn’t do this, but from what I understand you could be sitting on a bench that entire day if she has her good credit card in hand).

The experience itself ends off with a video screening in a small, darkened amphitheater, the result of which is you exiting through the final door beaming with pride at being a South African rugby fan. (Or at least that is exactly how I felt after making my way through the experience).

Hats off to SARU and the team that set this experience up then – if you are a Springboks fan, and have yet to visit this remarkable ode to SA rugby, then this should definitely be on your list of things to do in Cape Town!

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P.S. Handy Tip: That amphitheater is super dark, so beware the step up to the viewing bench. Otherwise you’ll repeat the swift tuck and roll maneuver that I performed once the final film credit had rolled…

Related Link: The Springbok Experience Rugby Museum | Cape Town

Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town (2015-08-29) Photo Gallery 18 SEP 2015

A couple of weekends ago, Chantelle and I decided to treat the girls to an outing to the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (a treat because its a pretty expensive family outing thanks to the high priced tickets).

IMG_20150829_140642 entrance at the waterfront two oceans aquarium

For a change, the weather was good and following the girls and my stop at a few markets in the morning, we returned home to scoop up an awaiting Chantelle and hit the N2 to Cape Town!

IMG_20150829_145223 penguin area at the waterfront two oceans aquarium

Little has obviously changed at the Two Oceans Aquarium over the years, so there isn’t really anything new for us as adults to take in (in fact, a couple of the exhibits are actually closed to the public at the moment, making those pricey tickets a tad more painful in the process), but for Jess it proved to be a surefire hit – her being finally old enough (our last visit was two years ago when she was three) to really enjoy the various exhibits.

She would excitedly listen to everything we told her (which mostly we read off the information boards above the displays), and then rattle it off to the nearest person that she could, skipping around from display to display!

(Amazingly, Finding Nemo still holds strong for the kids, as she very firmly proclaimed that her favourite fishes were without a doubt the clown fishes.)

IMG_20150829_141907 jessica and the clown fish at the waterfront two oceans aquarium

As always then, the Aquarium was a solid outing, with both girls seemingly enjoying the experience.

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Following our walkabout looking at all the fishes, we opted to tuck into some fishies and stopped for a late lunch at the adjacent Shoreline Cafe. Again, the restaurant experience proved nothing to really write home about, but the girls did particularly enjoy running round in the awesome kids play area.

IMG_20150829_163258 jessica lotter covered in ice cream at the waterfront in cape town

With lunch done and the girls particularly sticky from the ice cream all over their faces, we took a stroll back towards the parking garage to catch The Scratch Patch before it closed, pausing to admire the small navy vessel moored next to the aquarium and chuckle at the big seal taking a break on the very clever seal decks that Waterfront now plays host to.

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Luckily, we made the gemstone world with about a half an hour to go before closing time, enough time for the girls to excitedly scratch around and collect a host of colourful and beautiful gemstones that then needless to say, lay scattered across every walking surface in my house for the next couple of weeks! :)

IMG_20150829_170545 jessica lotter at the scratch patch in the waterfront in cape town

IMG_20150829_170607 emily lotter at the scratch patch in the waterfront in cape town

(These little stones are a mission back at one’s own house I tell you!)

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Related Link: Two Oceans Aquarium | Scratch Patch

Waterfront Scratch Patch Easter Fun (2015-04-05) Photo Gallery 16 APR 2015

Although we didn’t go away for this Easter Weekend (plus, Chantelle worked on the two public holidays), the girls and I certainly did get up to a lot of fun activities, one of which was a family outing to the V&A Waterfront in order to go gemstone mining at the legendary Scratch Patch!

Both Chantelle and I remember going there at least once as a child, and so it was with great excitement that we took Jessica and Emily there, confident that Jess would love digging around in all the colourful stones!

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect, but after you enter the small Mineral World shop (accessed through the parking garage, no entrance fee), pick your container size that you want to take in with you (a good selection of sizes, ranging from cheap to pricey), you enter a tiny wonderland that is the perfect little place for kids to start hunting in.

IMG_20150405_131842 emily lotter at scratch patch in waterfront

Shaped like a little cavern with natural light streaming in above you, both girls immediately got stuck into the task of hunting out the best, most colourful gemstones, and before long both mommy and daddy were sitting sprawled on the floor, picking out the shiniest of the lot with them!

Although we didn’t get to it (because Jess and Emily are still to young), there is even an artificial cave mini-golf experience tacked on – which looks like it could be a good treat for the kids as well.

Anyway, after much time was spent scratching around like chickens, we emerged, Jessica triumphantly clutching her bag full of beautiful gemstones!

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Of course, you can’t just go to the V&A Waterfront and not stroll around the Waterfront, so that is exactly what we did. It’s the first time we’ve walked through the new Watershed shopping area and I have to say, I was suitably impressed. So fresh and modern, definitely the upgrade that particular area needed!

For lunch we swung into the Shoreline Cafe in the Two Oceans Aquarium, where some delicious fish and chips were had whilst Jessica ran wild in the kid’s play area, while dessert for the day was of course the ever so expensive but always delicious ice cream from Haagen-Dasz (Chantelle insisted!).

With one last play at the slides around the amphitheater done and dusted, it was time to pack up and head back home to Gordon’s Bay, satisfied with an awesome day out!

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Related Link: http://www.scratchpatch.co.za/

HMS Iron Duke (F234) Military Navy Craft 20 JAN 2015

HMS Iron Duke is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, and the third ship to bear the name. Iron Duke was launched on 2 March 1991 by Lady King in the presence of the Duke and Duchess of Wellington. Her affiliated town is Kingston upon Hull, and she is named after Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington (the “Iron Duke”). She was the fifth Duke-class Type 23 frigate to be launched for the Royal Navy, at a cost of £140 million.

HMS Iron Duke Seaboat Boards Drugs Vessel

The motto of Iron Duke is Virtutis Fortuna Comes (latin: “Fortune is the companion of valour”) – inherited from the 33rd (The Duke of Wellington’s) Regiment of Foot.

Iron Duke carries a number of weapons and sensors which make her a multi-purpose combat vessel. Like all T23s, her original design role was anti-submarine warfare, but she can be employed in a variety of roles. She carries a Lynx Helicopter which can be used in an anti-submarine and anti-surface role as well as for humanitarian and search and rescue purposes.

Iron Duke has intercepted several large consignments of illegal drugs being sent from the Caribbean to Europe, in many cases with the aid of embarked United States Coast Guard personnel. She was also involved in action off Libya in 2011 on her way back from a patrol in the Persian Gulf.

More recently, Iron Duke has been the First of Class fit for the Royal Navy’s new Type 997 Artisan 3D, successfully firing her missile system, using the new radar combined with the updated ‘SWMLU’ Seawolf missile targeting system, in the English Channel.

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Back in August 2014, the Iron Duke received a 21 gun salute as she approached Robben Island to dock at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, and of course we couldn’t exactly miss the chance to head out and go and see her in her full glory.

We were joined on the day by Evan, Natasha and little Evalynne (though by “joined”, it is more fair to say that they beat us to it), and in the end everyone had quite a nice time out, soaking up the sun and vibe that usually comes from a visit out to the Waterfront.

It must be said though, I don’t think that Jessica and Evalynne were quite as impressed with the great grey hunk of metal and missiles as what their daddies were – so, so many guns, plus a helicopter, not to mention torpedoes! Seriously, what more could a guy ask for?

(Chantelle on the other hand was quite impressed with all the lads manning the walkabout. Something or other about big guns, uniforms, and what not…)

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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Iron_Duke_(F234)