The Milner is a luxurious place to ride out Cape's chilly season
And come again when the weather is balmy
Anyone who thinks that winter is not a good time for a little getaway to Cape Town is mistaken. Apart from some very atmospheric weather, giving rise to misty walks along the beach wrapped up in layers of jackets and scarves, followed by delicious coffee or hot chocolate at one of the many dedicated cafes in the city like Coco Safar in Sea Point, with its world-first custom lever espresso machine, and 100% compostable coffee capsules roasted in a coffee lab on site, there are plenty of things to do.
It's the start of the whale season when pods of predominantly Southern Right and Humpback whales migrate north from the Antarctic, stopping in False Bay and Gansbaai.Catch a glimpse of them from Mouille Point, while strolling down the prominade. Or head to the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival for some of the best documentaries from around the world. This year’s festival features 32 South African films, more than 70 shorts and features and 19 world premieres of acclaimed documentaries.In early July The Woodstock Winter Beer Festival takes place at The Palms, celebrating all things beer and the best food to accompany it. Live music will get you in the mood for tasting lots of different flavours available on Cape Town's well-developed craft beer scene.For easy access to all that Cape Town has to offer during the cold and cosy season, as well as during the warm and vibrant time of the year, The Cape Milner is a convenient and comfortable place to to lay your head.Voted as one of the country’s best boutique hotels by local magazine, House and Leisure, it is both secluded from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town's many tourists by its position in the trendy suburb of Tamboerskloof in the shadow of Table Mountain, and close to the excitement that Cape Town has to offer in bucket loads.
The lovely pool deck is about the best place to revel in the views of the mountain and enjoy a cocktail, even if there's no chance you're going to swim. But if the weather's not playing ball, the aptly named Glass Lounge is a great alternative. It's a cocktail and tapas lounge to the left of the hotel's courtyard (facing away from the mountain) that is decorated in a way that pays tribute to the 1920s speakeasy Prohibition era, with lavish velvets and smooth surfaces.The cleverly designed ceiling, from which the restaurant takes its name, allows views of Table Mountain, even while you're warmly ensconced indoors enjoying the delicious food and glamorous cocktails. Try the new winter menu made with fresh and seasonal ingredients, like the crumbed Camembert starter served with cranberries or French loaf and Cumberland sauce. If you prefer something cosy, the coconut and sweetcorn soup will warm you up, and if you would like to keep a little extra space for mains and dessert, the delicious smoked chicken salad will add a little flair to your dining experience.For mains, choose from the wild mushroom ragout with cranberry dumplings; the confit duck leg with red cabbage, roasted garlic and rosemary potatoes; or the lamb Rogan Josh with roasted winter vegetables and basmati rice.
The assortment of desserts on offer will be the perfect final accompaniment to a lazy lunch or evening out. Between the salted caramel tiramisu with cherry glaze and mango sorbet, the baked apple stuffed with dried fruit, and the traditional malva pudding and vanilla custard, it's hard to choose, so try them all.
It's a real treat to stumble into your room after a delicious meal in a beautiful restaurant, and not have to navigate your journey home, especially if the room is luxurious and large, and the view of Table Mountain is an added extra. The bathroom is huge, with an extra-large bath – that frustratingly is unavailable to use because of the drought, but it's a good enough reason to look forward to coming back after the rains. A glass wall separates the bedroom and bathroom, making it seem even roomier, encouraging you to spread out and relax.I heard from a friend that lives in the area and, who is, like most Capetonians, “poolless”, that the pool facilities are open to the public as long as you use the bar. It's a reflection of the hospitable attitude of the staff and management. With such great hospitality, The Cape Milner is a perfect urban escape for either a winter or summer staycation and, if you're not staying over, the restaurant and bar are a good reasons to visit.Winter menu – lunch or dinner
o Two courses: R230pp
o Three courses: R280pp
o Includes a glass of Leopard’s Leap Merlot or Chenin Blanc
The hotel also has a wonderful winter rates special on offer. Stay for three nights and only pay for two when booking a standard room at The Cape Milner. Valid until the end of September 2018.
Andrea Nagel was a guest of the Cape Milner hotel.