Cape in Joburg

Characteristically Cape: Part 3

Any hikers out there? The Western Cape certainly has an incredible range of mountains and hikes for the outdoor enthusiast.

It's hardly worth mentioning Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain; the back drop to one of the world's most beautiful cities. Other very popular climbing spots in and around the city include Lion's Head, Signal Hill and Devil's Peak. But there are so many more walks and hikes in and around the city that I can't mention in this short post.  For more, here's an extensive online list at Cape Town Magazine. 


I came across an interesting extract from SA-venues, where our BnB suite is listed on. they have great travel information too. My eye honed in on the mention of the "Geweelbergen" or Gables Mountains, one of the original dutch names given to the stretch of mountains between Sea Point and Hout Bay, better known as the Twelve Apostles. Here's an interesting extract:

"The stretch between Bakoven and Oudekraal is dominated by a series of mountains known as the Twelve Apostles, after Jesus' disciples, which is a bit of an anomaly because there are actually seventeen or eighteen buttresses, depending how you count them, not twelve (not that anyone is counting, given the scenery).

When the Cape was under the Dutch (before 1795) this group of mountains was known as Kasteelbergen or Castle Mountains and Gewelbergen (Gable Mountains).

Together they form a scenic stretch of mountain. Although not as high as the Table, they are arguably more impressive, their crags, ravines, gullies and ridges an invitation to explore. Which is why some of the best hiking in Cape Town combs happens here."

More here:

                Looking towards the Twelve Apostles from Lion's Head peak. Image found   here

                Looking towards the Twelve Apostles from Lion's Head peak. Image found here

Whether you're looking to ascend these ancient towers, or content to admire them over a glass of wine, the Cape certainly offers beauty in abundance.


I sometimes joke with visitors to the Gables, that we offer a Cape experience "minus the mountains"! Joburg, though hilly seems very flat against Cape Town's mountaneous backdrop.

Although not able to compete with the height and breadth of Western Cape ranges, not far from Joburg is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world - The Magaliesberg. Situated between the grassland highveld and the bushveld savannah, it boasts amazing bird and plant life, craggy kloofs and rich geological and paleantological sites and rich deposits.


I enjoyed a relaxing weekend out of the city with some friends recently to the family farm 'Kloofwaters'; bought by my grandparents in the 70s. Special place.


Characteristically Cape: Part 2

No one can visit the Western Cape without a visit to one of the many magnificent wine estates! South Africa's wine making history originates from the 17th century with the Dutch and later, French Hugenot settlements, who brought their know-how to the Cape. With a Mediterranean climate (wet winters, dry summers), clay soils, undulating hills and occasional cool sea breezes provided just the right conditions for the first vintners.

Groot Constantia Manor House at sunset.

Groot Constantia Manor House at sunset.

Wine making can be traced back to the 1680s and the then governor, Simon van der Stel who purchased a large 750 hectre estate in the Constantia region of Cape Town. Wine was first exported by van der Stel's son, and grew in recognition in Europe in the 1760s.  Today, Groot Constantia remains our oldest and one of the most recognised estates, set on that original farm.



But a trip out of Cape Town is a must! Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Paarl and Robertson offer a feast for the senses - set amongst mountaneous backdrops, with dozens of estates offering not only world renowned wine but fine dining and events throughout the year. For more information, visit Franschhoek or Stellenbosch Tourism.

We had fun hosting our first Bubbly Masterclass event earlier this month in partnership with Corlien Morris of Wine Menu in Illovo. After Christa Von la Chevallerie took participants through nine different bubblies, there were merry vibes here at The Gables! Look forward to hosting more wine events here.

Characteristically Cape: Part 1

Read the full article here:

Read the full article here:

"Looking for a little Cape country tranquility nestled in the heart of bustling Sandton? Hello Joburgers, we’ve found it in the form of the gorgeous new venue, The Gables in Sandhurst, and you won’t be disappointed.
The Gables has changed the game. Forget sleek metal and the sound of traffic – this venue is taking you back to a 17th century Western Cape homestead. Get your business done in the lap of old-world luxury, where peace and quiet reign."

Thanks to Hello Joburg for the feature a few months back!

They've summed up the experience we like to give our guests rather nicely.

In the next few posts, I'll be honing in on what makes the Cape, Cape (!), and how we provide a pretty authentic experience without having to hop on a plane to The Mother City!

Charles Johnstone photography