Summer crowds making you lose it? Find yourself again on Scarborough Beach.


It’s time to visit the village that Cape Town forgot. Just 15 minutes from Fish Hoek and surrounded by nature reserve and sea, Scarborough offers pristine pastures and relief from the multitudes this summer. Its savage mountainous beauty has long been the refuge of arty types and the odd intellectual, and while it’s more recently seen an influx of wifi-enabled execs, many residents still sport home-knit beanies, hey bru. Repent your suburban ways and give the delights of Scarbs a go.

Here’s our selection of highlights…

One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets, Scarborough Beach has it all (except warm water, of course). Take your pick of swimming, surfing or bodyboarding, check out the glinting rock pools or track down a fishing rod and see what the sea bestows upon you (get your fishing permit at Kommetjie Post office). Less energetic types can simply picnic. Skateboarding enthusiasts will find plenty of kindred spirits on the roads around the beach. Beware the rip in certain conditions: ask a local if you’re not sure.

Tempted by the thought of stunning coastline views and fynbos that make your heart sing? Chase some friends or rellies out of their lethargy and take a memorable hike from the back of Scarborough up to Klein Plaas dam and down again. The whole thing shouldn’t take you longer than three hours, even if you’ve been slacking a little on the hot bod front, and many should finish it in two. Go for it – you’ll never regret it.

Directions: First buy a R20 permit at Foragers, inside the Hub Café on Main Road. Next, find the trail sign where Hilltop and Mountain Rise Roads intersect, and head off right behind a row of houses. When you get to a pile of stones on the right, find the path that turns left up the mountain. After 20 minutes there’s a jeep track. Cross it and keep going till you get to the dam.

Sorry, did you say you were stressed? Some downtime at The Hub Café may help you hold things lightly again. Aptly named, this casual foodie spot connects the village of Scarborough with its friendly vibe, mini sea views, comfy wooden crates (strange but true) and at least one bandana-clad staffer wandering around.

And of course there’s the food. And it’s joyous. A small menu using ingredients as organic as practically possible ensures offerings sophisticated in their simplicity. Here are scrambled eggs (perfectly cooked, flavoured with ‘Moroccan-spiced’ baby tomatoes and topped with a multitude of options), top-notch bread, Fair Trade coffee roasted on site, flourless chocolate cake, an appealing lunch menu and proper ice-cream you may struggle to resist.

If you stay in Scarbs till late, gourmet burgers, pizzas and a sociable sitting-room atmosphere will be your reward on certain evenings (call to check which). Don’t come here to discuss anything sensitive: half the fun is tuning into the rhythm of village conversations, and the village will probably return the favour. Book if you don’t want to cry with frustration.

The Hub Café: relaxed vibe and foodie joy

Tastebuds going wild at the thought of a crazy-fresh chorizo bread stick? Tempted by a lemon muffin? Or simply nursing a soft spot for preservative-free artisanal bread? If the answer to any of these is yes, a visit to Scarborough’s Cape Point Bakery is right up your alley. Located within the Village Hub on the Main Road, this back-to-basics business was birthed 2 years ago by Dutchman and jazz musician Hein Van de Geyn, who describes his bread as ‘European with strong German basics.’ Swing by after you’ve run around on the beach a bit or hiked in the hills and you’ll feel doubly deserving.

Thislife Online suggests: buy a 100% rye loaf to toast at home. It’s so delicious you won’t believe it’s good for you!
Give Banting a break with a chorizo bread stick at Hein’s artisanal bakery.


Cape Point Bakery: 32 Beach Road, Scarborough, 021 780 1339. Open 8am to 6pm daily
The Hub Café: Main Road, Scarborough, 071 342 5210. Open Wednesday to Sunday in season. Safest to call to establish opening hours which may change a little, boet.
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