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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

The Winchester: Cape Town’s grande dame

You might see Mrs Wainford, the owner, chatting to guests in the courtyard wrapped by a 70-year old bougainvillea …

By Michael Liffmann
General Manager at The Winchester

Built in the 1920s, The Winchester was one of the first buildings in the Sea Point suburb. We’re in a prime location overlooking the Atlantic Seaboard with the ocean right in front of us. While somewhere like the V&A Waterfront is more commercially driven, this residential area is known to be tranquil and charming. There’s a beautiful promenade where every day, people go running, cycle and walk their dogs. You can even watch the paragliders descend from Signal Hill while you’re having breakfast. It’s a bit like an airstrip with a landing every few seconds.

You don’t have to pack your Louboutins. We’re that cargo pants and no collar shirt vibe – no pretence at all. We have the most incredible courtyard with monochrome tiling wrapped by a 70-year-old bougainvillea creeping up three storeys with incredible flowers. You might see Mrs Wainford here, the owner, who’s in her late 70s chatting to guests. Essentially the hotel’s still family-run.

Although The Winchester’s a heritage Cape Dutch building, she’s recently undergone a full makeover. No two rooms are the same featuring beautiful headboards, smart televisions and Mrs Wainford’s personal collection of furniture from crocodile leather desks to modern local art. If you want that romantic feeling of waking up and sipping your morning coffee as you look out onto the ocean, I’d suggest the two Luxury Balcony Suites located on each gable.

When it comes to dining, Shoreditch is more of a destination eatery than a hotel restaurant. We cook everything on a braai barbeque including my favourite dish, a classic Caesar salad with chicken grilled on the open flame or we do these amazing, seared salmon sashimi tacos. Definitely have a cocktail at Harvey’s bar and relax by the pool but it’s all about getting out and about in Cape Town. There’s just so much to do and the best bit about it is that you have everything on your doorstep.

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Alfred & Michael Liffmann

Having grown up in Cape Town, Michael initially aspired to be a chef but was awarded a tie within 3 weeks of entering the hospitality industry. Since then, he has gained over 25 years of management experience working for brands such as the Red Carnation Hotels, Cape Grace Hotel and The Westin Cape Town. Family comes first for Michael whether it’s his family of three at home or the staff with whom he works closely. When he’s not manning The Winchester, you can find him across the road kayaking along the Atlantic coast.
Michael Liffmann, GM at The Winchester

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

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