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Insider Guides

Insider Guide To Cape Town With Roxanne First

London-based fine jewellery designer Roxanne First was born in South Africa, but it was her Italian family’s penchant for collecting and layering unique pieces that sparked her jewellery obsession.

Launching her own brand in 2018, Roxanne’s collections are inspired by the women in her family and the way they wore jewellery with an effortless kind of cool. Her designs, which are made from solid gold, are stackable and layerable, with each carefully-selected piece helping you build your own collection.

Here, Roxanne shares her guide to Cape Town, including where to stay, eat, explore and more.

The best time to visit Cape Town:

Cape Town comes into its own during February and March, the Christmas crowds have returned home and the weather is at its absolute best.

Our first pitstop should be…

Maison J in Camps Bay make an almond croissant to rival any Parisian boulangerie and the coffee is superb. The view isn’t too bad either.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

Camissa House is definitely a home away from home. The team are so welcoming, helpful and warm. The decor, rooms and views are all beautiful.


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For an early morning workout head to…

Start at Camps Bay and follow the coast, continue past Glen beach and Clifton then finish at Seapoint for a well-deserved coffee at Truth Coffee. Or, if you fancy something a little more substantial, I love Kleinsky’s Deli. Don’t forget to stop and admire the view, sometimes I don’t believe it’s real.

Where should we go for breakfast?

See above! Or if you’re in town, Truth Coffee Roasting at 36 Buitenkant Street.

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

I would head to Babylonstoren (about an hour and a half drive) and explore one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms, set at the foot of Simonsberg in the Franschhoek wine valley. Book a table at Babel, their fine dining restaurant; it’s pared back and the food is all farm-to-fork, and delicious. Spend the afternoon wandering around the grounds taking in the wonderful vegetable and fruit gardens and the on-site farm shop, glasshouse and vineyards. It’s a sensory overload in a picture-perfect setting.


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Your favourite restaurant in town?

Between Us is a beautiful restaurant owned and run by the most gorgeous twin sisters, Jess and Jamie. I am completely obsessed and equally impressed with both of them and their wonderful restaurant. The ambiance and food is a ten out of ten. Housed in an original cape building, surrounded by orange trees, it’s simple but exquisitely chic.

And for dinner with friends?

Pay a visit to The Duchess of Wisbeach, it’s hard to describe this restaurant but, perhaps you could think of it as an unapologetically kitsch wonderland. It’s eccentric and wonderful all at the same time; the food is good, the drinks better, and the later you stay the more colourful it becomes. You may even catch a glimpse of The Duchess herself.

The drink to order at the bar…

The Duchess Pink Grapefruit.

The best place for people watching…

The Grand on the beach, it’s a great place to enjoy a sundowner too.

The culture spot to rave about…

Both the Goodman Gallery and Everard Read. Last year, I invested in a piece by Colbert Mashile and I love that everyday I get to appreciate and enjoy it.


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The best place to treat yourself is…

The Oculus, an out-of-this-world optometrist, full of the most weird and wonderful sunglasses and optics.

Where can I go shopping?

So many places. The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, Oranjezicht City Farm Market (open on Saturdays), The Watershed at the Waterfront and Green Market are all cool places to explore. For those (like me) who love a trainer, head to Shelife, on Longmarket Street.

For the best views head to…

Lions Head. On a clear day, you’ll see picture-perfect views of Table Mountain, The Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, Camps Bay, Signal Hill, Robben Island, and the city. Depending on your pace, it can take up to two and a half hours, so I’d advise to head out first thing. If that’s not for you, head to Signal Hill.


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One place only locals know about…

Loading Bay at 30 Hudson Street. Great coffee and cool shopping.

A book to read before we go…

Anything by Wilbur Smith.

Souvenir to take home?

Anything and everything beaded.

In one word, Cape Town is…


A must-try spot for date night?

The Pot Luck Club.


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Your favourite neighbourhood(s)… 

Seapoint which has a number of great coffee shops and boutiques. Closer to town, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town’s version of the candy-coloured houses in Notting Hill.

Great day trips include…

Stellenbosh, Kalk Bay and Boulders Beach.

What’s your South Africa secret?

I will leave that one to Brian Jackman: “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same. But how do you begin to describe its magic to someone who has never felt it?”

Essential items to pack?

My Chloe Hoops and Ciao Beaded Necklace, a pair of denim shorts and anything and everything by Bode. Also, a bucket hat but make it chic and Boston Birkenstocks, ideally in green.

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