Bake Off judge Tjaart Walraven on Cape Town The MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

Tjaart Walraven: My Love for Cape Town’s Vibrant Lifestyle

Hey there! I’m Tjaart Walraven, a chef and TV presenter, and I’m here to share my thoughts on Cape Town, the place I proudly call home. So, grab a seat and let’s dive right in!

Picture this: I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. However, my roots took hold on a farm, nestled two hours southeast of the bustling city. But, as they say, life takes us on unexpected journeys, and at the ripe age of 19, I bid farewell to Zimbabwe, embarking on a new adventure.

Now, let me tell you what truly captivates me about Cape Town – the lifestyle! It’s a melting pot of cultures, striking a perfect balance between the vibrant colors of Africa and a sprinkle of cosmopolitan flair. It’s like an exquisite dish, crafted with passion and a touch of something special.

When visitors come to my town, I always make sure to show them the best of what we have to offer. One of the first stops on our itinerary is the Constantia Wine Route, where we can explore some amazing wineries and restaurants. Starting off at Steenberg and Bistro Sixteen82 is always a great choice.

But there’s more to our town than just wine. If you’re looking for something other than wine, Peddlars & Co is a must-visit. It’s not only known for its great wines, but also for its delicious food. It’s the perfect place to stop and take a break.

Another highlight of our town is the peninsula drive. No matter what the weather is like, it’s always an incredible experience. The scenery is even more dramatic when it’s overcast. So, whether it’s sunny or gloomy, a drive along the peninsula is always a fantastic choice.

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And if you’re feeling adventurous and have some extra money to spend, I highly recommend taking a helicopter flip. It’s an opportunity to see our beautiful town from a whole new perspective – from the sky! The views are absolutely breathtaking and it’s an experience you won’t forget.

I’m all about eating to match my mood. When I go out to eat, I always choose something that I’m in the mood for. But if I end up at a new place or somewhere I’m not sure about, I play it safe and go for something that’s hard to mess up. I’d rather enjoy my meal than have a bad experience. I know that chefs at restaurants don’t intend to cook a bad meal, but they have their good and bad days, just like anyone else!

Some of my favorite restaurants are Bistro Sixteen82, Bistro 13, and Bread and Wine at Môreson in Franschhoek.

You can always find me at the annual Uncorked Festival in Franschhoek!

One of my favorite places to go for a weekend getaway is Plett. Lairds Lodge is an amazing spot that offers a perfect mix of luxury and relaxation. If I’m looking for something closer to home, Robertson has some really cool and unique places where you can let loose and have a down-to-earth experience.

There’s something on my bucket list that I’ve always wanted to do – take a combat mission in a Huey Helicopter and fly over the beautiful Cape Peninsula.

I don’t drink coffee, but I do enjoy a good gin. There are a few spots that I highly recommend: Peddlars & Co has a fantastic selection of craft gins, The Gin Bar in the city is a hidden gem that you have to check out, and Tjing Tjing rooftop bar is also a great spot. But if you’re looking for the perfect location and a stunning view, you can’t beat a refreshing G&T at The Cape Grace on the mariner pier.

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I’m lucky because my back door opens right onto the forest and Table Mountain. So, I have a lot of opportunities for mountain biking. I can’t wait for the Tokai route to Silvermine to open again. The area is also great for walking and running.

I think the Banting diet is a little extreme. I love my bread and baked goods too much to give them up completely. Everything in moderation, right?

When it comes to drinks, my favorite is gin. Everyone knows that! I also enjoy wine and have recently started to appreciate whiskey.

I’ve been busy with a new restaurant concept called Vibe. It just launched recently.

On Sundays, I always go to the winelands for lunch with my friends. It’s a tradition!

Some people say that money makes money, but I believe that hard work is what really pays off in the end.

Tjaart is one of the judges on The Great South African Bake Off, which you can watch on Tuesday, 18 October at 8pm on BBC Lifestyle (channel 174).

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