As a family of three, we include one person with coeliac and another with a serious allergy to wheat and gluten, so we are demanding customers and relatively accustomed, especially living in East Africa, to being extremely restricted as to what we can eat and where we can eat it. Cape Town and the Western Cape province offer levels of service and hospitality that are very much first-world standards with many of the most well-known sights and experiences of Africa.
One of Cape Town’s big draws is delectable cuisine and wine of exceptional quality, and there is no shortage of places in which to enjoy it whilst savoring spectacular views. The best time of year to visit is during the South African summer. Holiday time can get busy while overseas tourists and residents from other parts of the country typically visit the city.
The best place to start is the Victoria and Alfred waterfront, named after the British Queen Victoria and her son Alfred, who was the first British royal to visit in 1860. Set around the commercial docks it has become a world-class destination in its own right with an array of shops and eateries. The Karibu (meaning welcome in several African languages) restaurant, is amongst a row overlooking the water. They have a varied menu with a choice of great cuts of meat or delectable seafood and will provide a good range of gluten-free options including gluten-free bread. For example, my personal favorite, the southern cross house platter combines sizeable prawns, a line-caught fish of the day and calamari with a choice of sides and sauces. The fish is always fresh and the waiters understand to grill the calamari rather than fry to prevent gluten contamination and will advise of any sauces that contain gluten.
A nice way to enjoy the sunset is on a cruise from the docks which will, depending on the tide, take you along the coastline, offering spectacular views of Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was famously imprisoned. Many of the cruises offer dinner, though in high season it is wise to book in advance. As well as remembering your camera, take a light jacket as it can get chilly with the breeze and keep your eye open for a breaching whale or a pod of dolphins who will chase the boat and play in its wake. A Red Sky Goshawk gluten-free beer, locally produced in Cape Town, might be the perfect accompaniment.