Staycation Nation \‘stā-‘kā-shən\ (n): a vacation spent at or close to home instead of travelling to a pleasure destination. Domestic tourism is a great pastime particularly over a long weekend like the one we just enjoyed. Here are my 5 experiences that guaranteed a great staycation in Cape Town this Freedom Day weekend.

1. Oriental markets

We are all familiar with the popular neighbourhood markets like the infamous Old Biscuit Mill. But why not try out something a bit more novel like the Mosque Market at Jumu’a Mosque at the corner of Grey’s Pass and Orange Street, Gardens? We received a warm welcome from the Director, Yasser Booley, who shared some of his enthusiasm for creating epistemic spaces for true encounter. He went on to note that there are many more plans for opening up dialogue between faith and culture, not least of which is a coffee shop in the courtyard. That is definitely something I am awaiting in anticipation.

Mosque Market

2. Cocktails & dinner dates

Staycations don’t have to only focus on extraordinary activities – sometimes the simple things need a little more attention. Choose spaces where you felt special to help relive the magic. That’s exactly what we found at African Pride 15-on-Orange Hotel: delicious food and even more delectable cocktails.


3. Tour de brasserie

Craft beer is all the rave for those with hipster tendencies and this spot has all the character one needs in one locale. Devil’s Peak Brewing Company has an amazing space called The Taproom that is not only a bar and restaurant but also an ideal space to book out for special celebrations right in the heart of Salt River.

The Taproom1

The Taproom2

I would suggest you try out their rather filling frittata on their breakfast menu as we did on Saturday morning. Join their free tour of the brewery starting at 11am (mind you that’s also the time from which you can order alcoholic drinks) giving you an insight into how their bouquets are created. You’ve got to try their King’s Blackhouse IPA that won them the Beer 1st Prize in the SAB 2014 National Craft Brewer Championship.  With JC, the winemaker turned brewer, on board you can expect some interesting hybrids.

The Taproom3

4. Book yourself into a hotel

Of course staycations can happen right in the comfort of your own home, but we try to book ourselves into a hotel when we get the chance, just to make the experience all the more special. What really helps is that we belong to the Protea Hotel’s Prokard Rewards Programme that gives us many amazing discounts and benefits, not least of which are free hotel stay coupons. This weekend we stayed at PH Breakwater (Waterfront) and PH President (Bantry Bay). While there we made sure we soaked up the autumn sun poolside and enjoyed a sunset walk along the promenade.

PH President

5. Just a little bit of luck

Every so often the Fates conspire to elevate an already impressive experience to new heights. Unbeknownst to us, PH President where we stayed on Sunday night was the official host hotel for the delegates of the Mr Gay World 2015 pageant while in Cape Town.

Mr Gay World 2015
Craig is holding the beaded elephant would be auctioned off for charity

We were #blessed to see all the delegates in their splendor and to catch a photo op with Mr Gay South Africa, Craig Maggs, and Mr Gay Ireland, Marcos Vinicius Barboza. You just never know – so keep it fluid and cherish every moment.

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