Postcards from a Christmassy CAPE TOWN, with Love and Seasons’ Greetings X

PS. It’s Starting to Feel a Lot like an AFRICAN CHRISTMAS

Image Credit Lisa Drogemoller on Facebook, Cape Town – The Most Beautiful City In The World
Fiery skies and flowers, a sunset view towards majestic Table Mountain

Ditch the Mistletoe, Shun the Tinsel, Steer Clear of the Turkey! Instead bring on Sea, Sunsets, Lazy Barbeques on the Beach, Soothing Music from Balmy Roof Gardens and Slow Artisanal Crafts. This is Christmas, Cape Town-style.

Image Credit Good Things Guy on Facebook
Cheery hand-crafted bold African shapes

Thought Christmas is destined to only be a red, green and white affair with snowflakes, carrot-nosed scarf-bedecked snowmen, tinsel, spikey evergreen Christmas trees, glitzy baubles, cozy fireplaces, woolly socks, mince pies and traditional turkey? Think again! With Xmas falling in the heat of mid-summer in the Southern hemisphere, customs, Christmas decorations and the approach to food & drink couldn’t be more different. Some Southern regions may still give a nod to traditional Northern customs, but more and more those in sunny climes are embarking on a journey that’s putting a very different spin on the season.
Enjoy our impressions of a Christmas in Cape Town!

Image Credit Good Things Guy on Facebook
The giant Chrismas tree at the V&A Waterfront with its African

Take Cape Town’s world-famous V&A Waterfront. They’ve over the past few years launched a forward-looking initiative called Joy from Africa to the World – and in the process ditched plastic tinsel and baubles destined to end up in landfills, for an approach that’s infinitely more sustainable, inclusive and one that provides opportunities for artists throughout the country to showcase their skills. Above all, this is an initiative that celebrates the story of an African heritage and culture, of hope, inspiration and community involvement. Creativity is given a platform, traditions are honoured and the environment is protected by using locally sourced, sustainable materials and processes. This project has grown to create over 150 jobs and supports many small local design and craft businesses, most of which are women-owned. The V&A Waterfront collaborates with many good causes including the Cape Town Society for the Blind and New Crossroads Can. A win-win scenario if ever there was one! This is a visual spectacle of décor installations like nowhere else in the world, giving visitors the warmest and most authentic African Christmas welcome.

Image Credit Cécile Paul
Wherever you look there’s a flavour of an African-inspired Christmas. Gigantic flower installations decorate parts of the city

Image Credit Cécile Paul
Gigantic flower installations decorate walkways and canals with Table Mountain in the background

image Credit Good Things Guy on Facebook
Hand-made crafty decorations at the V&A

Image Credit Inside Guide on Facebook
Handmade, sustainable and fabulous!

Image Credit Cécile Paul
Hand-woven basketry decorations by artists in the community – at V&A Waterfront

Image Credit V&A Waterfront
A stunningly colourful Ashanti creation in the making – at Ashanti

Image Credit Cécile Paul
Hand-woven basketry decorations by artists in the community – at V&A Waterfront

Image Credit Good Things Guy on Facebook
Macrame crafts African-style

Image Image Credit Cécile Paul
Hand-crafted giant hot air balloon decoration – at V&A Waterfront

Image Credit Good Things Guy on Facebook

Image Credit Good Things Guy on Facebook

In parallel with the V&A Waterfront the City of Cape Town has also embraced the Christmas season with full festive gusto. Numerous Christmas markets have been laid on across the shopping districts where locals are selling stunning hand-made produce: exquisite jewellery, clothing & accessories, pottery & ceramics … and of course the delectable artisanal food, wine and flowers that Cape Town is so famous for. The wine estates, botanical gardens and other venues are alive with music festivals over the summer and the beaches are abuzz with gorgeous sun-worshippers, surfers, kite-surfers and dog-walkers exercising, eating and drinking. The city of Cape Town launched the switching on of its Christmas lights with a night of music in the city square, with close to 70 000 people enjoying the balmy night and stunning festivities.

Image Credit Cape Town Etc
The Cape Town Christmas lights are being switched on to the backdrop of a mini music festival

Image Credit Cape Town Etc
The Cape Town Christmas lights are being switched on to the backdrop of a mini music festival

Image Credit Cécile Paul
A plethora of Christmas flowers at The Oranjezicht Farmers Market

Image Credit Cécile Paul
An explosion of colourful flowers at The Oranjezicht Farmers Market

Image Credit Cécile Paul
The Oranjezicht Farmers Market – beautiful fresh organic produce!

Image Credit Cécile Paul
A plethora of Christmassy flowers at The Oranjezicht Farmers Market – at Design Afrika

On Christmas day most people will be planning a family meal and/or day out to one of the umpteen spectacular beaches. Some families will go camping together to one of the many exquisite campsites in the mountains or on the beaches.

Image Credit Cape Town Etc
Open-air cinemas will be packed over the Christmas season with people enjoying the balmy evenings

If spending Christmas day at home, food offerings are likely to include something that can be cooked outdoors – no surprises that a barbeque or a picnic-style hamper will be on the menu for many! Very possibly accompanied by potato salad and ‘braaibroodjies’ (a traditional cheese, tomato and apricot jam or chutney toastie grilled on the barbeque, Traditional custard and jelly Trifle and ice cream may just finish off many of the nation’s meals!

That being said, each of the hundreds of wine estates, the thousands of restaurants, beach bars, sky bars and other venues will also be populated with families and friends having a Christmas meal (or restaurant-packed picnic hamper) prepared for them.

Image Credit Petra Preschke on Facebook, Cape Town – The Most Beautiful City In The World
The boardwalk at the famous Camps Bay Beach is buzzing with Christmas revelers over the Christmas period

Image Credit Ashanti on Instagram
A cabin in the woods overlooking the Atlantic Ocean made all the more Christmassy festive with cheery Ashanti soft furnishings – at Ashanti

As for Christmas gifts – the stores in the Southern Hemisphere are most certainly not as adamant to tempt people into spending on gifts for Christmas as those further north! The likelihood is that families will gift something small to one another – or donate to those less fortunate, and the preference would be to exchange a locally hand-made item, a gift of food (hot sauce is a favourite!) or a good bottle of wine.

We’ve also thrown in a few Christmas goodie-temptation ideas, just in case you’re still undecided.

Image Credit Skinny Laminx on Instagram
Fabulous printed textiles – at Skinny Laminx



Image Credit Shelley Taylor Designs on Instagram
Beautiful enough to hang on the tree and just admire! Festive-looking handmade earrings – at Shelley Taylor

Image Credit Pichulik on Instagram
Dihya Earrings inspired by Magrebi Architecture. A combination of rope and brass in perfect symphony.
@alixrosephoto @humairah.ismael

Image Credit Cole Jewellery on Instagram
Can’t think of a more personalized gem than Sharon Cole’s signature silver piece with its red threaded finishes! At Cole Jewellery

Image Credit Kirsten Goss on Instagram
These jewels from Kirsten Goss’ Halcyon range are simply divine! At Kirsten Goss.

Image Credit Mungo on Instagram
Give the ultimate piece of heirloom textiles this Christmas: the Scout Towel, woven with pure organic cotton

Image Credit Isobel Sippel on Instagram
Exquisitely-printed linen textile throws – the perfect decoration for your Christmas bed – at Isobel Sippel

Image Credit Beachcult on Instagram
Sporting an exotic one-piece and bikini ensemble is perfect for a Southern Hemisphere Christmas soiree. At Beachcult

Image Credit Rich Mnisi on Instagram, Photography – Michael Oliver Love with Hero Creative Management
@michaeloliverlove, Beauty – Teri Tomsett @teritomsettmodels – Fiifi Sarpong with BossModels @fiifiannansarpong, Production @herocreativemangement
The Pink Viper print swimsuit will brighten up your festive season no end! At Rich Mnisi

Image Credit Thebe Magugu on Instagram
Stretchy red Strelizia-print leggings – exercise has never looked this elegant or Christmassy. At Thebe Magugu

Image Credit Takkleberry
Lacy jewel-like lingerie in Christmas shades made locally – at Takkleberry

Image Credit Cape Island
Local fragrance artisans Cape Island wow with their candles, room diffusers and hand creams with evocative names like African Storm and Clifton Beach. Choices, choices, choices! At Cape Island.

Image Credit Cape Island


Wishing you a Merry Festive Season!



ASHANTI @ashantidesign
BEACHCULT @beachcultct
CAPE ISLAND @cape_island_
CAPE TOWN ETC @capetownetc
CITY OF CAPE TOWN @cityofcapetown
COLE JEWELLERY @colejewellery
DESIGN AFRIKA @design.afrika
GOOD THINGS GUY @goodthingsguy
INSIDE GUIDE @insideguide
ISOBEL SIPPEL @isobelsippel
JOY FROM AFRICA TO THE WORLD #joyfromafricatotheworld
MUNGO @mungodesign
PICHULIK @pichulikafrica
KIRSTEN GOSS @kirsten___goss
ORANJEZICHT CITY FARM #oranjezichtcityfarm
RICH MNISI @rich_mnisi
SHE BY SHELLEY TAYLOR @shelleytaylordesigns
SKINNY LAMINX @skinnylaminx
TAKKLEBERRY @takkleberry
V & A WATERFRONT @vandawaterfront

Cecile Paul

Author at Pynck

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