The sun was just starting to set when we arrived at the beautiful white pillars of the Belmond, Mount Nelson. Driving up the palm tree lined driveway, Barbie’s dream house to our right in that classic shade of Belmond pink Table Mountain stood looking over us all, a rock giant glinting in the evening sun.
The Belmond know exactly how welcomes should be and a glass of bubbles chilling on ice was waiting for us on arrival. After a quick brief with the lovely receptionist who also informed us we had been upgraded we were lead to our room. I say room, actually we were staying in a house. Honeysuckle Cottage to be precise. A beautiful little pink house with honeysuckle wrapping its way around the porch, views of the rose garden and pool to the front and the grand Table Mountain behind.
Within our cottage, a mini kitchen with living room and dining table leading out onto the porch as soon as you walked through the door. A marble hallway lead to a loo on your left and a black and white marble bathroom to the right with walk-in shower and bath (we used both during the stay).
The piece de resistance however, was the bedroom. A tall bed that required a running jump to get into it stood as a centre piece, in the middle of the room, with huge old wooden wardrobes lining the other side. A touch of a button made the end of the bed open up and an enormous flat screen Television appeared. A door even led from the bedroom into our own private courtyard, should we want to sunbathe in privacy.
As the weather wasn’t warm enough, we couldn’t make use of the private pool for cottage residents, but the local birds had great fun showing us how much they loved it.
Not having long before dinner, we both jumped in hot showers and baths before making our way to Nelson’s Eye. Richard had told us about his favourite restaurant in Cape Town and proudly proclaimed that they serve the best steak in Cape Town, if not, South Africa. It’s apparently so famous and has such a good reputation that the Belmond Mount nelson gave it its own gate along with a key so that guests could go to the restaurant and then be let back in the side without having to walk all the way around to the main entrance.
Nelson’s Eye is in a building that you would probably walk straight past if you didn’t know the treasures hidden inside. It looks similar to a rustic English pub from the outside but as you are let in through the big wooden doors, the smells, sounds and steam from the kitchen hit you all at once.
Genuine heaven for meat lovers, the interior is basic. The meat speaks for itself. Huge cuts take up the entire plate and side dishes are served sharer style in the middle of the table. Even watching the steaks cook is a feast for the eyes.
A favourite among locals, Nelson’s Eye is the perfect restaurant for good food without trying too hard and when two immaculate steaks with wine and masses of sides costs just £25 for two people, it’s easy to see why it’s a favourite. After a delightful chat with the owner, he grabbed the big old rusty key and walked us the short distance back across the road to the gates of the hotel.
We popped in for a nightcap at the Planet Bar, before calling it a night and heading back to our gorgeous Honeysuckle Cottage to climb into the expertly turned down sheets.
The next morning was a bit of a late start for the both of us, but absolute heaven to throw on a fluffy dressing gown and sit on our little terrace with a cup of tea watching the birds dancing in the garden.
Breakfast was served in the Oasis Bistro with views of the main pool area. We naturally started with a glass of prosecco and orange juice followed by everything we could fit on the table.
It was absolute bliss.
With an afternoon tea booked in for 4pm, we decided to pop into the streets of Cape Town to do some shopping and exploring before we had to be back.
Gin has become a huge trend in Cape Town. It’s so big that it’s starting to be known as the gin capital of the world, so we thought we should go and take a look. The streets are lined with colourful little gin bars and secret restaurants. We stopped at one for a couple of cocktails – a liquid lunch (aren’t they the best kind) seeing as we had breakfast so late and afternoon tea booked in for a few hours’ time.
Realising, that time was pressing on, we paid for our drinks and walked back to the Belmond. Along the way, a sunglasses shop caught our eye and we couldn’t help but pop in and grab a few pairs each. I don’t know where you can find Third Eyewear in the UK, but I did tell the guy that he should get them stocked on ASOS – they’re amazing!
Laden with goodies, we headed back to our cottage to prepare ourselves for an afternoon of gluttony.