Long beaches, great surf, an array of water sports and that picture-postcard view of Table Mountain make an ideal backdrop to a relaxed family lifestyle
On just about any windy afternoon, along the beachfront from Dolphin Beach to Bloubergstrand, the sky is filled with swooping bird-like flocks of colour as the kitesurfers take to the waves. The whole length of the Western Seaboard is known for its fantastic surf, so it’s no surprise that water sports enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies are drawn to live here. But that’s not the whole story of Cape Town’s West Coast suburbs.
These suburbs stretch from Milnerton through Table View to Bloubergstrand and Big Bay. It’s a place where families settle, where there are plenty of schools and facilities within easy reach and where the beach and ocean are a recreation ground for everybody.
“Table View has got quite a holiday feel, being so close to the sea,” says Tarryn Badenhorst who has lived here for 20 years.
It’s away from the city, but there’s the convenience of shops close by and the beach down the road. There’s a really relaxed vibe.
The long strands from Sunset Beach up to Blouberg are all about action rather than leisurely sunbathing or bucket-and-spade play. When the wind blows they are exposed to its full force, which is what makes the area so great for adrenaline sports. But the more sheltered Kleinbaai at Bloubergstrand is where families take small children for safe beach time, where the rocky outcrops are perfect for rock pool adventures.
“It’s a very outdoor lifestyle, close to the ocean, close to work, with beautiful views,” says Anton Fourie of Atlantic Surf Co. “I can walk from home to my shop and then be out surfing or kitesurfing in no time, it’s a good lifestyle.”
There’s another playground, for fans of flat-water action. Rietvlei is the place to go for windsurfing, canoeing and even water-skiing at the Milnerton Aquatic Club. The Table View Nature Reserve, including the Rietvlei wetlands and lagoon is a haven for wildlife, with flamingos, pelicans and many other waterbirds, and there are paths and boardwalks around the edge for nature lovers and bird-watchers.
Milnerton is the oldest of the suburbs and the closest to the Cape Town CBD. It attracts families who love the proximity to the beach and the spacious, open feel, and who find it more affordable than the Southern Suburbs. However, there are plenty of areas – such as the prestigious Sunset Links Golf Estate on the Milnerton golf course – that can rival anywhere in Cape Town in exclusivity and price. Its long-established public schools, Milnerton Primary, Seamount Primary and Milnerton High School, have an excellent reputation and are another draw card as well as being a focus of the community for many.
“The schools are close by, so many kids walk to school,” says Lara Kawalsky, who has lived in Milnerton for 20 years. “You see the same parents walking their kids and dogs to school every day, so it is very social, and people get to know each other that way.”
A feature of Table View is the large number of churches encompassing all denominations and faiths, with very active youth groups and community programmes. Here there’s also a wide choice of schools, from the public schools, Table View and Blouberg Ridge primary schools and Table View High, to the smart new private schools in the adjacent suburbs: Elkanah House, CBC St Johns and Parklands College.
The vibe throughout the area is down-to-earth and this is reflected in the cafés and restaurants. If you’d prefer fine-dining establishments, rather head to town or to the winelands; but if you want sundowners with a fabulous view of Table Mountain, a casual family café, a lively post-surfing eatery or the perfect brunch spot, there’s plenty of choice.
Shopping is easy too: Bayside in Table View is the largest mall, with all the major stores and a cinema, while Paddocks (part of the redevelopment of the old racecourse) serves Milnerton. There are several smaller neighbourhood centres too.
The large commercial and light-industrial districts of Montague Gardens and Paarden Eiland are in easy reach, as is Canal Walk – all it connected by the MyCiTi bus network that branches out in all directions from its hub in Table View.
If everyday beach time, ocean spray, open horizons, spectacular sunsets and that iconic view of Table Mountain are what inspire you, then the Western Seaboard has got what it takes.
Eat like a local
Maestros on the Beach, for fabulous sunset views and good food
Wang Thai, for the best Thai in town
Petits Fours, for great breakfasts, cakes, and lunches with a view
The Italian Club, for authentic Italian food and atmosphere
Melissa’s, for chic breakfasts and lunches
Catch 22, for seafood, a lively vibe and great view
News Café, for all-day breakfasts
More things to do in the Western Seaboard
Browse the Milnerton Flea Market for collectibles and bargains.
Join a full-moon beach walk or beach run.
Go motor racing at Killarney Gardens.
Watch ships going in and out of Cape Town harbour from the beach.
Take in a theatrical production at Milnerton Playhouse.
Play golf at the scenic Milnerton Golf Club.
Property prices on the Western Seaboard
• A typical property for sale in Milnerton, Table View and Blouberg is a three-bedroom house at an average asking price of R1,825m
• 6% of properties for sale are in a complex, at an average asking price of R1,86m
• 30% of properties for sale are flats, at an average asking price of R1,57m
• Average monthly rental for a three-bedroom houses: R17,500
Demand for Western Seaboard Property
Properties for sale in Milnerton, Table View and Blouberg comprise 10% of total sales listings in the Cape Town region.
They receive: • 9% of the interest
• 8% of the total rental listings.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times