Legend has it that women are encouraged to turn the tables and be the ones to propose marriage in a leap year. We looked at our calendar and 2016 has a 29 February … But if you’re a little apprehensive to get down on one knee, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has some suggestions to help you build up to the big moment in the Mother City, starting this Valentine’s weekend in the CBD.

Valentine’s Day tends to be about what the ladies want but if you’re planning a leap year proposal, you may want to surprise him for a change. Here’s some advice to the gals from the guys at the CCID on what your man might like to do in the Cape Town CBD this Valentine’s weekend.


Go for coffee with classic cars

Club 9 restores and sells classic cars, including Porsche 911s, Alfa Romeo Spiders and E-Type Jags. They aren’t cheap, but it may be enough for him to just look while he enjoys a coffee at the on-site Dapper Coffee Co.
Club 9: Matrix Building, cnr Bree and Strand streets 021 422 2994 
Dapper Coffee Co: 021 823 2444 


Get a true-love tattoo

Nothing says “till death do us part” like permanent body art. The Cape Town CBD has a trio of tattoo studios to choose from. Metal Machine is the most established, Wildfire the best known, and Sins of Style specialises in the hand-poked style favoured by the likes of Die Antwoord’s Ninja.
Sins of Style: 35 Buitenkant St 021 461 0854 
Wildfire Tattoos: 192 Long St 021 424 0877 


Indulge in a burger bonanza

It’s the ultimate “guy food”, but women dig it too – all hail the hamburger. Which establishment serves the best in town though? Let him be the “burgermeester” and decide. Admittedly, this may take more than a weekend.
Clarke's Bar & Dining Room: 133 Bree St 021 424 7648 
Easy Tiger: 120 Bree St 021 426 4659 
Inside & You’re Out: 103 Bree St 021 422 1313 
Latitude 33: 165 Bree St 021 424 9857 
Royale Eatery: 273 Long St 021 422 4536 


Enjoy a few drinks with you as designated driver

Pub crawls are not just for bachelor parties, but the CCID does advise that you volunteer to be the designated driver for the night. With that being said, there are “99 bottles” at Beerhouse alone, so you might want to buy him a taster platter to get his bearings – or should that be “beerings”? It includes 12 different 120ml beers – the equivalent of roughly three draughts. You could leave it there, or move on to Tiger’s Milk down the road or The House of Machines, which is also a motorbike workshop.
Beerhouse: 223 Long St 021 424 3370 
The House of Machines: 84 Shortmarket St 021 426 1400 
Tiger’s Milk: 44 Long St 021 422 0700 


Remember if you’re out on the town to keep your wits about you make sure you keep your valuables out of sight at all times. If you are in need of assistance in the CBD, you can approach a CCID public safety officer, recognisable by their green-bibbed uniforms.


Have a cigar surprise

If you want insight into what men do to celebrate, take him to one of the CBD’s cigar lounges. Keep it classy with a whiskey accompaniment.
Taj Cape Town: 1 Wale St 021 819 2000 
The Westin Cape Town: Convention Square, Lower Long St 021 412 9999 
Marimba Restaurant & Cigar Bar: CTICC, Convention Square, Lower Long St 021 418 3366 


Bonus: get a happening haircut

Book your guy in for a styling time at an old-school barber and saloon.
Widow Maker: 309 Long St 021 422 1209


Where does the tradition of women proposing marriage in a leap year come from?

According to the Huffington Post, it is alleged that in Scotland Queen Margaret enacted a law in 1288 allowing women to propose on a leap-year day. And in Ireland, women are advised to propose only on 29 February for good luck.


IOL, adapted from press release