A holiday immersed in Cape Town’s creative energy is the perfect recharge for the soul. A year round celebration of exciting talent, the city is abuzz with galleries, public and street art as well as art, décor and design events. The opening of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA), currently scheduled for September 2017, will once again put the Mother City on the map as Africa’s leading destination for art and design lovers.
Travellers wishing to immerse in the creative ambience of the city should look no further for a base than the 5-star Cape Grace (www.capegrace.com), adjacent to the soon-to-be Zeitz MOCAA. Backed by the unmissable silhouette of Table Mountain and infused with local charm and character, Cape Grace treats art-conscious travellers to an authentic Cape Town experience that encapsulates the city’s heritage and cultural diversity.
When the hotel was refashioned, well-respected Cape Town interior designer, Kathi Weixelbaumer, firmly committed to the hotel’s vision for local handcrafted hospitality to achieve a landmark level of individual hotel design. By using hand-painted fabrics, custom-made metal, glass and leather pieces, each of the 120 rooms and suites is unique, with small touches creating a different experience in every offering.
Further coordinated by Weixelbaumer Design, one of the many small businesses involving local people in the change of look and feel at Cape Grace is Cape Town based African Sketchbook Fine Art Fabrics. Artists employed from surrounding townships do everything in the fabric painting process from mixing colour pigments according to tried and tested recipes to painting once-off designs. Using tools and templates, such as stencils and screens, every section of fabric is painted by hand. Hence, each finished product is an original work of art and carries the signature of its creator – a highlight for art aficionados.
The hotel is also home to one of the most important and comprehensive private collections of antique furniture and artefacts from the Cape, giving guests a chance to muse on local history from the moment they arrive. The collection consists of more than 300 pieces of original antique furniture and artefacts that were made or used locally. What makes this experience particularly interesting is the fact that each piece has been crafted with its own unique story. The details of each are captured in a book that is available within each guest room.
In addition, Cape Grace also includes a complimentary luxury chauffeur transfer service within a 10 km radius, enabling guests to enjoy some of the local surroundings. View further recommendations below:
Iziko SA National Gallery | Company’s Gardens
Art lovers won’t soon forget their first encounter with Jane Alexander’s The Butcher Boys, just one of the striking pieces that count among the Iziko South African National Gallery’s permanent contemporary South African art collection. The gallery, set in the historic and beautiful Company’s Gardens, is also home to an exceptional collection of South African, African, British, French, Dutch and Flemish art.
First Thursdays | CBD Galleries
First Thursdays, a global movement, allows art aficionados the chance to explore numerous galleries in the central city of Cape Town till late, on the first Thursday of every month. The streets come alive as the art scene spills onto the sidewalks of the city.
Don’t dismay, if you miss First Thursdays you can still have a rich art exhibition holiday by visiting the up-and-coming art gallery district in Woodstock – Cape Town’s trendy and fast-gentrifying neighborhood. The Old Biscuit Mill is one of Woodstock’s most popular offerings, a former cookie factory where several shops purvey locally produced art, décor, and crafts. The Goodman and Michael Stevenson galleries are a must-experience as they have represented some of South Africa’s biggest names on the art scene – William Kentridge, Candice Breitz, and Pieter Hugo among them – as well as international stars. Today, six major galleries are sprinkled within walking distance among design studios and artisanal eateries, making Woodstock one of the country’s top creative spots.
Watershed | V&A Waterfront
Located a mere 5 minute walk from Cape Grace, beside the Two Oceans Aquarium, this beautiful space is home to more than 150 local craftsmen and artisans who represent over 365 brands. It’s your one-stop shop for all kinds of beautiful South African works, from design and craft, home and decor, fashion and accessories and jewellery. Keep an eye out for Art in the Forest, with its beautiful South African ceramics; Master Wires and Bead Craft, expert artisans in traditional wire art; and Siyakatala, showcasing beautiful local pieces. This creative space also offers world-class exhibitions, such as the Incredible Illusions 3D display which is due to end in July 2017.