The Panorama Bar at the Southern Sun Elangeni Maharani Hotel on Durban’s famous Golden Mile overlooks the hotel’s pool and the city’s famed beaches. Picture: Tsogo Sun.
A  guide to Durban’s best curries on the hottest weekend of the year. If you’re in town for Africa’s greatest horse race this is where to go and what to drink.

More than 50 000 international, national and regional visitors will head to Durban for the Vodacom Durban July next Saturday and with R150m said to have been pumped into Durban’s economy when last year’s event was on, you can bet all hands are on deck.

While there’s an endless array of places to visit and food to sample, we sadly could not include them all. If you’re looking for an authentic taste of the city you’re visiting, or have guests you’d like to treat to a memorable experience, these are our suggestions:

Sip on a sea view

What better way to experience Durban’s warm winters than with a cocktail in hand and ocean views of the ocean?

Panorama Bar, Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani
Champagne designed to be enjoyed in summer? Of course! PICTURE: Denver Govender

Overlooking slender palm trees and crashing waves that lap at Durban’s golden shoreline, Panorama is the perfect spot to sip on a cocktail. Try the Whisky jinga with apple juice and honey and the Tall Tanq, a type of G&T. Both are R90. Call 031 362 1300

Lighthouse Bar, The Oyster Box
The Lighthouse Bar at The Oyster Box, above, and Sandbar in Umdloti.

The Lighthouse Bar at The Oyster Box is the perfect place to watch the sunset is on . Sitting on  the terrace that looks on to the beach and the uMhlanga lighthouse in the distance, the red and white colour scheme echoes the lighthouse and is a perfect backdrop. Try their signature uMhlanga Sling (R105) or their non-alcoholic Ginger Rock Shandy (R70). There’s also a gin menu (drinks startfrom R90). Call 031 514 5000.

Moyo Pier at uShaka Marine World
Moyo at uShaka - pic supplied

Set on the end of pier, this actually overhangs the ocean. Moyo is situated in the most ideal spot on South Beach for taking in views and listening to the soothing ocean. They also  have a broad selection of cocktails, but try the like the  African Sunset, made with Spiced Gold rum and peach schnapps muddled with fresh strawberries, mixed berry purée and fresh limes, and served tall, topped with crushed ice and finished with a fresh orange float. Or, if you’d prefer to unwind with a glass of wine, they have a long list of proudly South African wines to try. Prices range from R55 to R95. Call 031 332 0606.

Lucky Shaker, uMhlanga

Recently nominated in the top 10 Best Cocktail Bars for Middle East & Africa for this year’s Tales Of The Cocktail Spirited Awards, Lucky Shaker is the perfect spot to hit onfor a night out. They have an extensive list of cocktails with enticing flavours. Try the Mexican Wave: which is tequila, orange juice, vanilla, cucumber, dry vermouth, lime and pineapple. Prices range from R50 to R95. Call 084 567 2565.

Surf Riders Café
Fancy a fish bowl or piña colada slushy? Or perhaps you’d prefer to try a Spanish-style G&T cocktail with flavourful garnishes of chilli and orange or watermelon and basil? Visit Surf Riders, and sit beachside with panoramic views of Durban’s golden mile whilst grazing on delicious cheesy chips and gourmet burgers. Individual c. Cocktail prices start at R59, but the bigger, shareable fish bowls are, you’ll pay R179. Call 062 747 7037.