Whenever you’re in Cape Town, do indulge your inner granny and take her for a high tea experience at the historic Belmond Mount Nelson, Cape Town’s oldest luxury hotel.
The place started out as a private residence, before becoming Africa’s first A-class hotel at the turn of the 19th century. It was briefly used as British headquarters during the South African War too, which provides for a rich archive of Churchill- and other famous soldiers- related anecdotes. The place boasts a secret treasure buried beneath the laundry chimney and a haunted grandfather clock, amongst other fantasy-stirring stuff, and of course has bright pink walls. The colour was added in 1918 to celebrate the end of World War I –note that pink paint was all the rage back then. Many celebrities, including John Lennon, resided here and left their own personal stamp on the hotel’s design and legend.
Back to the high tea: it’s amazing.
You get a golden ticket to an all-you-can-eat buffet of sumptuous cakes, pastries and sandwiches stacked in tiers, both with traditional and local flavors. Tea-wise you can chose between dozens of different, exotic blends (do try the buchu tea) and, of course, champaign –which is surprisingly good mixed with a drop of buchu tea. You get to enjoy all of it in the jungle-themed terrace bar of the hotel, while a live pianist makes you feel like the Belle Epoque princess you are. Afterwards, you can have a rest at the hotel’s pool in the wonderful garden, which has striped pink towels (which will make you happy for no apparent reason) to make the entire experience even more hysterical. Long story short; you’ll like it!