Best Places to Read a Book in Cape Town
It’s a droopy afternoon and the Cape Town wind is shaking the shutters on my apartment windows with a steady cluck-cluck, cluck-cluck. The weight, the heavy weight, of the week has toppled into my mind like an over fill old suitcase from a top shelf.
I walk to the kitchen, open the fridge and stare at the shelves. They stare back at me; silent. Somebody out there should make talking fridges, I think. The fridges could say “NO!” or “The wine is in the door,” or “Babe, what’s wrong today?” I’d like that.
I close the fridge door and pick up a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. Absently, I stare out the window. The light seeps behind big Table mountain and the city of people nestled at its feet. Are they in their kitchen deciding what to do with Friday evening, I wonder?
They call Cape Town the Mother City. I think she fell pregnant one lazy night at 22, not quite ready, but unable to stop herself, lost in the beauty of a crashing wave and a cold sea shore. She's unpredictable; she's beautiful and she's artistic. She fill of hidden nooks (and also crooks) to stir your dusty imagination.
The Best Places to Read a Book in Cape Town
The couch in our apartment is sturdy and firm and earthy brown. It fits a whole me, with room to spare. Technically, it belongs to my housemate as I haven't reached the couch buying point in my adult journey, but for the purpose of this article it is, "my couch" and perfect for reading a book.
The Foodbarn (Noordhoek Village)
I know, I know; Noordhoek is over the hill and far away, but still…it’s definitely worth the drive. My friend, Louise introduced me to The Foodbarn. Louise likes dogs and hiking and stories (of course). The Foodbarn is a coffee shop by day and a Tapas Bar by night. It makes bread which feeds your soul and this secures it on my best places list.
The Company Gardens
The Company’s Gardens is a park and heritage site in central Cape Town. Here's what you can do: lie in the grass, watch the German tourists take photos, the homeless guys take naps, or the teachers drag kids on a tour and turn them into your own characters. The Company's Gardens is lovely, but be warned its squirrel inhabitants may nibble your toes.
This is my go to reading spot. The waitress is called Grace and she thinks I’m a cra-zy white girl because I sit and look at a book for 2 hours on wobbly wooden chairs. She is right. It always has lots of cactus plants, chocolate croissants and freelance photographers to peak your eyes at, what more could a girl want? Take your Grandma's house in the country, shrink it and clean the shelves; Tamboerswinkel.
Lastly, The Book Lounge
I will confess that I haven’t actually read a book here. Mainly because every time I walk in I find a geriatric reading group has taken over. However, if you hit the right day and the right time and you like to close your eyes and know you are surrounded by words, the Book Lounge is a very good place to read a book. What's even better is that if you didn't bring one, you can pick one up here. Or even if you did, just grab another.
“The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Dr Seuss. I Can Read With My Eyes Shut.
I went nowhere that peanut butter and spoon Friday night. I put on a T-Shirt. I pulled on a pair of socks. I dug myself into the couch in my Cape Town wind shaken cluck-cluck apartment like a worm in an old apple. I opened a book which had been waiting patiently at the side of my bed. I travelled. I travelled far away from the heavy, heavy fallen suitcase week and unanswered questions. I travelled further than I could in my falling apart red car with the broken back window. I travelled to another land altogether. And I liked it.
I asked Miriam on her Best Place to Read a Book in Cape Town and this is what she said:
"Since I was a child I've always had the ability to read no matter where I am, or how busy it is, but naturally I prefer to read alone. At the moment, my safe space is my attic. I curl up in my battered green arm-chair and sip on lukewarm team while losing myself between the pages of a good book".
Say hi to her on her insta feed: @thislovelydarlingbones where she reviews stories and tells tales.