Haunt of poets, artists and writers, Kalk Bay is Cape Town’s unpretentious creative zone. Its bohemian mix of craft shops and galleries most of them on the same stretch of road is made all the more alluring by the town’s cobbled streets, historic cottages and brightly colored fishing boats. Here are 10 reasons to visit:
1 Find all things avant-garde at Cape to Cairo , an interiors boutique specializing in unconventional objets d’art. Lose yourself among the driftwood, shabby-chic furniture, fireplace surrounds and chandeliers.
2 Artvark Cutlery combines the rough with the smooth, selling artistic security gates, wall art, ornaments and other pieces made from steel. Some come painted, others galvanized, rusted or left raw. Creations from this shop are very popular and can be found around the world.
3 India Jane stocks all the sophisticated stuff women want but usually can’t find in just one shop. Designer gear and vintage labels, furs and frilly embroidered silks, shimmering fabrics and floral prints all offset with the latest accessories.
4 If you are a serious collector of 17th century sea charts and leather-bound tomes, head to the dimly lit Quagga Trading , a shop packed with rare treasures. Inside, a wall-mounted zebra head watches over glass cabinets stuffed with old books, seashells and the skull of a baboon.
5 For contemporary high-end linens, ceramics and clothing visit Blossom , which has a small collection of handmade items produced from recycled, natural and eco-friendly materials such as hemp, wool and bamboo.
6 The place to go for interesting collectibles, The Whatnot and China Town is crammed with an overwhelming selection of tableware, china and old porcelain from all over the world.
7 Beatnik Bazaar trades in eccentricity ; the shop’s philosophy is to support local designers who craft retro-inspired objects including coffee sets, cushions, jewelry and ceramics.
8 Kalk Bay Gallery , housed in a distinctive orange building, is a favorite of collectors of contemporary South African art.
9 The rambling network of rooms at The Railway House is a fitting showcase for the antique trove contained therein: in the pink room, you can find a fully operational ’60s pinball machine, while the African room offers up a hand-beaten copper bath.
10 For a wholesome South African breakfast, or a large wedge of chocolate cake, take a break at Kalk Bay Expresso , located in an antique railway dining carriage near the platform of Kalk Bay station.
See Time.com/Travel for city guides, stories and advice.
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