With vineyards to go to, mountains to climb and menus to devour, it was going to be important we packed as a lot into every day, as was bodily doable. Which is why Mr Smith and I arrived at One&Only Cape Town in a clapped out Uber, contemporary (learn: scorching and sweaty) from the early morning Desk Mountain scrum.
Ticking off one of many nice Wonders of the World earlier than lunch felt like an ideal thought earlier than checking in, though on arrival we questioned if we must always have bothered.
As a result of proper there earlier than us, in all its magnificent glory, was Desk Mountain. Baggage forgotten about (dutifully whisked away by concierge) we discovered ourselves mouths agape within the foyer. By some means, they’d managed to get all of its greatest sides, framing it with ground to ceiling glass.
Actually the one factor obstructing the magnificent view was the aptly named Vista Bar (headed up by Bryan Pieterson, proprietor of Purl London in Marylebone, a frequent hang-out of ours when again dwelling). Needing a second to take all of it in, we crossed the monochrome carpet – not zebra print because the resort supervisor identified, however the topography of the mountain earlier than us – and fortunately took a pew.
We’re handed a ‘Watcher’ cocktail menu, named after the Xhosa legend behind the rocky formation earlier than us. Mythology dictates that an enormous battle broke out between the gods, and the Watchers – North, East, South and West – have been created to guard the land. I paraphrase however there’s cocktails to drink.
Workers greet us warmly, elevating their hand to their coronary heart with each interplay (one thing we discover ourselves infectiously doing in return). We give our order.
‘No, you’re mistaken’. Is the cheerful reply. Erm, ‘scuse me? ‘No, you’re extra of a Fireplace (a rum-based, pineapple concoction with edible sand), and also you sir, you’re Sea’, our waiter says with a sassy chuckle.
‘Erm, okay then’, we chuckle in return. Moments later our ‘chosen’ cocktails arrive, all theatrical foam and flammable meringue. We will’t say we’re upset, even when it wasn’t what we’d initially had in thoughts. Maybe I ought to get him to forged an eye fixed over my plans for the weekend…
Not desirous to waste one other second, Mr Smith and I are proven across the resort – as with no mini tour, we’d undoubtedly be vulnerable to lacking out. The property is unfold over two islands, related by a personal waterway (the place you’ll be able to paddleboard or leap on a sea taxi over to the principle waterfront, ought to the temper take you).
Excellent for these desirous to go full hermit, you’ll discover an enormous out of doors pool, state-of-the-art spa (full with Espa-trained therapists), an artwork gallery and a wine room the place the in-house sommelier will allow you to create your individual mix. He’ll even maintain your ‘recipe’ on file, must you want an additional case shipped again dwelling whenever you run out. Oh, and Africa’s solely Nobu additionally occurs to be one of many resort’s eating places.
I had not accounted for this when planning our South African itinerary and I can already really feel the Fomo rising. Mr Smith, all the time one for a simple life, appears longingly on the day beds. I have to admit, they do look tempting, and I want to see the hotel’s otter. However onwards we should go, we’ve got a lunch reservation at close by Pot Luck Membership (apparently the Thai inexperienced curry martinis are divine) and we will’t be late.
Again at base, and absolutely acquainted with our roomy room, I relaxation my head for one minute, max, and the stupidly comfortable, big mattress takes maintain. Rattling it! I may have been rustling up a cocktail from the generously stocked mini bar, or luxuriating within the egg-shaped bathtub.
Why is that this resort so adamant at throwing our plans off kilter? I berate myself, reminding Mr Smith that there merely isn’t time to sleep, who appears at me like I’ve misplaced the plot.
Decided to make up for misplaced time, I vow we’ll simply have a fast breakfast earlier than heading out for the day. After which I see the dimensions of the breakfast buffet. It’s absolutely the largest on the continent? There’s South African glowing wine, oysters and a choose ‘n’ combine station, and as well as, we’re supplied a menu with meals cooked to order.
By no means one to show down an area speciality, I order the bhisto and avocado on rye. To not be confused with the gravy, a generously seasoned tomato salsa arrives, accompanied with vibrant beetroot hummus, feta, spinach and a crispy fried egg – heaven. Mr Smith’s peri peri beef omelette was equally divine, albeit blow-your-head-off spicy.
Wanting round, I lastly admit defeat. This more-is-more resort doesn’t deserve for use so sparingly, even when simply exterior its gates there’s an countless listing of locations to discover. A mini resort inside a metropolis, it was about time I leaned into every thing it was making an attempt to supply.
We’ll simply have to rearrange a return journey to mop up the remainder of the must-visit eating places, seashores and retailers I’d had on my radar. Wanting relieved, Mr Smith orders one other bloody mary and fingers me his Amex to e book the flights.
Stacey Smith is the foods and drinks editor at Hearst magazines, sampling, sipping and scribing for Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Esquire, Cosmopolitan and extra. After catching the journey bug early she launched into a round-the-world journey at 18 and appeared in a Bafta-nominated BBC documentary that took her throughout south-east Asia. Stacey’s weblog, Crummbs, ensures her finger is saved firmly on the heart beat of the meals scene – in spite of everything, the possibility to eat one thing extraordinary is so typically the rationale she’ll e book that subsequent flight.