If you want to beat the heat and still have some summer fun, Cape Town’s inner-city area offers some excellent things to do, all within a couple of kilometres of each other, so if you’re walking from one to the next, you won’t end up as a huge puddle on the floor.
Go see a movie at the Labia Theatre
The Labia has long been a haunt of cinephiles, but it has more recently grown in popularity thanks to a major refurbishment. It is the oldest independent art-repertory cinema in the country and still carries that old-world charm. It features four screens showing mostly independent, foreign, art and historical films, a chocolate bar, a cosy coffee bar and a fully licensed bar.
Added bonus: It’s one of the few cinemas where you can take in an alcoholic beverage - they’re famous for their spiked slush-puppies.
Take a stroll through the South African National Gallery
This gallery is a hidden gem that many people don’t think to visit even though it’s right in the Company’s Garden - on Government Avenue. Their collection changes regularly and is spiced up by various mediums - from paintings and photography to sculpture and beadwork, and textiles to architecture.
Added bonus: Tickets for adults are only R30 and there are special rates for children, pensioners and families.
Treat yourselves to lunch and cocktails at 15 on Orange Hotel, Autograph Collection
15 on Orange has recently revamped its public areas, turning the upmarket hotel into a cool and welcoming urban oasis. Opt for cocktails under the umbrellas on the pool deck overlooking Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, or stay indoors with the aircon and enjoy the spectacular views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill from the A La Carte Restaurant or the Atrium Bar. The menus are pretty impressive too, featuring 15 on Orange’s take on Bistronomy - the art of combining French fine dining quality food with casual decor and relaxed dining experience.
Added bonus: 95 indoor plants give the hotel a conservatory style feel and a wonderful botanical fragrance.
Feed the squirrels at the Company’s Garden
Grab an ice cream and a bag of nuts and relax under the trees while you feed some of Cape Town’s cutest little critters in the Company’s Garden, which also houses the National Gallery so you can stroll from one to the next if you’re feeling energetic. If you’re not, you can chill anywhere you find a shady spot or stop in at the Company’s Garden Restaurant for something cool and soothing.
Added bonus: It’s free to visit, and in addition to the squirrels there are Egyptian geese, herons, rodents, pigeons and an aviary to visit and admire.
Take a plunge in the Long Street Baths
If you’re keen to cool down with a swim without the sand and sun, Long Street Baths offer just the thing. Hidden behind a beautiful old historic building, which dates back to 1908, the baths are open from 7 am to 4 pm. You have a choice of a 25m adult pool as well as a kiddies pool, and, if you’re in need of some more intense relaxation, there are Turkish baths as well.
Added bonus: Entrance to the pools is R23 for adults and R12 for children. The Turkish baths are R64 an hour or R120 for four hours. Go forth, and bathe…