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Living in Luxury Doesn’t Need to Break the Bank


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Ah, Champagne! It conjures up images of golden bubbles, high-class company and that oh-just-so-happy feeling. The only problem is that it’s associated with all things expensive and – as a result – we tend to stay away from it. If we’re looking for a good time, a glass of cheap Sauvignon Blanc is more likely what my friends and I reach for at this age. As young professionals, we don’t think we can afford to indulge and still have it in the budget to go out and pay for good views, good music and good food on top of it. Well I don’t think we’re right. I think we would be surprised at the experience we could get while still sticking to our budgets.

The aim of this blog post is to document the best places in Cape Town to get a good glass of bubbles – a good price which encompasses a great experience. While doing my research (and not getting totally hammered during it), I visited some of what are regarded as the most ‘expensive’ or ‘best’ restaurants in Cape Town – where we wouldn’t usually set foot for fear of breaking the bank. I wanted to prove that for students and young professionals – like me and my friends – if you’re looking for a stellar place to enjoy a taste of the good life and lap up some luxury, it really doesn’t have to cost you an arm & a leg. You can spend the least and actually get the most.

THE TWELVE APOSTLES:

As my first experiment, this location has totally set the standard for the rest. This is by far a fantastic deal and experience I recommend to anyone! With just a R40 glass of champagne, you can enjoy the epic views that their ‘Leopard Lounge’ has to offer, along with a tray of complimentary eats of nuts, olives and roasted treats. What’s more is that if you’re there any evening from Monday to Saturday you can catch live music serenading you in the background of the 5-star graded luxury hotel. You can come with friends or feel perfectly comfortable coming alone; for instance on a sunday if you want to sit and plan your week. You will definitely find the inspiration you need! Overlooking incredible views of the ocean, The Leopard Lounge is a relaxed, cigar-type lounge with giant bronze statues of leopards and animal print couches and carpets. The live music would be a musician in the corner – pianist, violinist, singer – and if you arrive from 6pm you can also catch a gorgeous sunset.

THE ONE & ONLY HOTEL:

Compared to The Twelve Apostles, this is not a great deal. It’s still good, as you get a small bowl of olives with your glass of champagne. But you’re paying R10 extra for their cheapest glass of bubbles – Graham Beck Brut – and for R55 you don’t really have a great atmosphere. I went on a Tuesday early evening and you overlook the man-made river built into the hotel. It is beautiful but inside was quite dead and there’s only so many times you can look at the chandelier. It’s still nice but for this one, I recommend that you come with someone.

THE RADISSON BLU:

Situated along the waterfront, I can personally vouch for the vibe you get with your R45 glass of  Methode Cap Classique Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut! Overlooking the gorgeous sea, with a buzz of people all around you on any given night (I’ve checked), you can sip on champagne with your friends as pre-drinks before a dinner somewhere or a night out. You’re guaranteed to meet new people as you order at the bar inside, given the intimate atmosphere in there, which is cool to do while you overlook the ocean and the lights of the Cape Town harbour. There is plentiful seating but you don’t get nibbles with your champagne. (bummer) The music in the background makes up for it though, along with the great views and classy crowd!

LA PERLA:

The cheapest glass of Graham Beck Brut is R45 and for that you’ll get a great view of the sunset and background music to get you in the mood. Located along Beach Road, Seapoint, the sunset is really beautiful from here and it’s a place you would want to come with a group of friends. No nibbles given with the champagne, but speedy service and a cool spot to lap up some luxury in my opinion!

THE GRAND BEACH CAFE:

One of the best deals by far, this has an ocean view that tops all the rest! As I sat with my R45 glass of Pongracz Brut, I enjoyed a cool sea breeze coupled with those fans which spray water – which helped ease the intense Cape Town heat. With upbeat music in the background and a very nice ambience picking up from noon everyday, you can’t help but feel like you’re in Greece or somewhere else along the Mediterranean. Sights of white yachts fade in and out of view and for R45 you get epic views, music, speedy service, a great party ambience… and a killer backdrop for photographs! 😉 I enjoyed my glass on the deck under shade and then soon made my way over to a giant white couch coupled with purple velvet pillows and a bamboo-style roof. One can’t help getting swept away as you dip your toes in the sand while watching helicopters and seagulls fly overhead. Catch a tan too, while you’re at it. A perfect place for a drink, The Grand Beach Cafe along Granger Bay at the Waterfront wouldn’t be the first venue that my friends and I think of when going out for a nice time… but it should be! It certainly offers more than most places with your glass of luxury.

THE MOUNT NELSON PLANET BAR:

Sipping on my glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut, the Mount Nelson’s Planet Bar was out of world – literally. With an astrological theme, planets and stars make up a large portion of the interior design of this spot. For a R45 glass, it is admittedly quiet during the day. After 6pm it picks up and you’ll find a livelier crowd around you to get you in the mood.

No nibbles with your drink and no music, regrettably. But beautiful decor and a pretty view outside during the day; overlooking lush gardens and quaint terrace.

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