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False Bay: The Western Cape Coast Most People Miss

Dec 10, 2007
False Bay was given its name by explorers, who initially named it Table Bay. When they sailed around the other side of the mountain they found a bay far more deserving of this name, and they renamed the original bay. False Bay essentially comprises the southern half of Cape Town's suburbs, and is one long stretch of sandy beaches that extends from Gordon's Bay to Simon's Town. Much of the upper end - Gordon's Bay, Strand and the beaches along the Coastal Road - are devoid of any major attractions, but it is the lower end that runs along the railway line that attracts the most visitors every year.

The bottom end of False Bay is squashed between the mountain and the sea, leaving precious little residential space. The mountain is dotted with luxury homes, some of which function as stunning guest houses. Along the railway line is a string of small villages that have grown substantially in the last few years, becoming an alternative tourist haven. These little suburbs begin with St. James, one of the most historic parts of Cape Town. Taking a walk from here to the next suburb, Kalk Bay, is a stunning way to spend an afternoon.

Starting in St. James you can find many curio shops, art galleries and restaurants. There is a wide variety of restaurants from casual cafes to luxury seafood restaurants. As you arrive in Kalk Bay, you are greeted by far more to do than you will ever have time to accomplish in a single day. The main road is lined with cafes, restaurants and curio shops. One could spend an entire afternoon browsing the stunning antique shops along the road.

If you want to stop for a bite to eat, the restaurants in this area have some of the most delicious food to be found in Cape Town. Seafood reigns supreme, and all of the restaurants here sell only locally caught fish and shellfish. Three restaurants stand out, depending on what kind of dining you had in mind. For your every day traditional Kalk Bay fare with a touch of style, try the legendary Brass Bell Restaurant. Enjoy sitting on the deck watching the waves, or dine in style upstairs in their first class restaurant.

If you want to experience False Bay dining at its very finest, The Harbour House Restaurant is the ultimate in fine cuisine and silver service. As you walk up the stairs you are greeted by panoramic sea views, white walls and linen, and a stunning cocktail lounge. Relax with some coffees and a drink before sitting down to a meal of the finest line-fish or seafood along the coast.

If you want to experience something a little different, Cape to Cuba offers authentic Cuban fare in a stunning seaside setting. You can sit inside and enjoy a stunning, unique meal or enjoy one of the 65 different cocktails made by some of Cape Town's finest cocktail barmen in the 'Che Bar'. Stay around after sunset and you will be treated to Latin music and the most festive vibe to be found in the area. Anywhere you go along this stretch of coast, you are bound to have a good meal, and a great time.
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