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Insider guide: What to do in Cape Town this May

The latest restaurants and design stores to visit – and the need-to-know art houses to book – in Cape Town this month

What to do, who to see and where to stay – in a city that’s never short on newness, the Art House Collection team has curated the best things to experience in Cape Town this May.


Located in Cape Town's historic centre, Studio on Castle Street is an apartment space with an eclectic collection of local art and design.
Photograph: Supplied
Studio on Castle Street

A stay at Studio on Castle Street is a master class in clever curation and contemporary design – par for the course when the home belongs to one of the country’s leading magazine editors. Expect sweeping city views (courtesy of its enviable heritage-building location in the heart of Cape Town’s historic quarter) and a light-bright interior filled with an eclectic collection of furniture, South African art and wall-to-wall shelves of coffee-table books – it’s the perfect urban escape for design-savvy couple or small group.

Book your stay at Studio on Castle Street.

An airy beach bungalow right on the sand, Heaven on Fourth is an effortlessly charming bohemian bolthole.
Photograph: Supplied
Heaven on Fourth

Catch the last days of summertime sunshine at this whitewashed beach bungalow right on Clifton’s iconic Fourth Beach. There’s no shortage of wow-factor moments here – from the vaulted barn-style ceilings and fully-kitted pink granite kitchen to the postcard-ready beach views and colourful collection of design finds – and its close proximity to the surf and hiking trails make it ideal for family and friend groups looking to make the most of Cape Town’s natural beauty.

Book your stay at Heaven on Fourth.

The interiors of Villa Rose draw on the owners’ French-Swiss heritage, with layers of natural textures and a palette of soft, blush tones.
Photograph: Supplied
Villa Rose

Hidden in the heart of Cape Town, Villa Rose is a charming turn-of-the-century cottage with a wonderfully private garden complete with a pizza oven, outdoor kitchen, plunge pool and even an outdoor shower under the strelitzia palms. It’s also just off of Kloof Street – Cape Town’s buzzing stretch of restaurants, bars and clubs – giving guests the opportunity to truly ‘live like a local’.

Book your stay at Villa Rose


Milan-born colour consultant Tiziana Giardini created the interior scheme at Club Kloof.
Photograph: supplied
Club Kloof

A contender for Cape Town’s most Instagrammed interior, this Italian-ish restaurant and bar on the eponymous Kloof Street (by the same people who brought you Our Local) is something out of Architectural Digest, awash in Aperol tones with booth seating and crisp white table cloths. Located in a fully restored heritage building on Kloof street (the space was destroyed in a fire two years ago), the restaurant is spread over three areas: linger on the front stoep for morning coffee and pastries with a busy street view, grab dinner and drinks in the main dining room, or get stuck in at a small marble table at the hidden bar in the back courtyard. Dishes are meant for sharing – think wood-fired pizzettes with asparagus, lemon ricotta and mint, zucchini-cannelloni stuffed with feta, paprika prawns with lemon – and the cocktail program features fresh takes on all the classics. 

Rising interiors star Walter Train designed the interiors at Emazulwini.
Photograph: Paris Brummer

The V&A’s Makers Landing introduces a concept-driven pop-up dining room that invites rising culinary stars to take up residency in a fully-fledged restaurant – and first up is Emazulwini’s Mmabatho Molefe. The award-winning Zulu-inspired restaurant celebrates Nguni cuisine with a menu – titled ‘A Letter from Home’ – that pays tribute to the owner-chef Mmabatho’s roots (and her mother’s cooking) and features offal and indigenous ingredients as well as a vegetarian offering and classic South African dishes.


A selection of locally produced ceramics and basketry from AAFRICAA.
Photograph: Supplied

Situated in the V&A Waterfront’s newly renovated Alfred Mall, the 480-square-metre AAFRICAA (pronounced ‘Africa’) is a concept-driven purveyor of curated contemporary African design, offering a dynamic retail platform for some of the continent’s leading brands and designers. With an emphasis on crafted and artisanal luxury, AAFRICAA is a place where great in-house collections, ever-evolving exhibitions, and new collaborations will continually be explored in celebration of the creative energy of the continent. 

Custom furniture and accessories by Anatomy Design.
Photograph: Supplied
Anatomy Design

The first Cape Town showroom and retail space of interiors brand Anatomy Design brings founders Andrea Kleinloog and Megan Hesse’s locally crafted design to the historic De Waterkant district. Narrative and provenance are the cornerstones of the duo’s practice, with unique pieces and unusual finds (regular fixtures on the pages of interior design magazines) topping the must-have list of stylish homemakers.

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