With the festive season fast approaching, plans for that extra special end of year work party that will cap off an industrious, but exhausting 2013 are being weighed up all across the Cape. To make things easier for the all-important party planning committees on whose shoulders rest the important business of ensuring the requisite end of year buzz, we have compiled a host of venues that should ensure that 2013 ends on a high.
All of these venues are still open for bookings, so act quickly if you want a party to remember.
Outdoorsy and outside the city
• Haute Cabrière Wine Estate in Franschhoek
Swap the water cooler for a bottle of Pierre Jourdan MCC and raise your glasses to the end of a successful working year within the whimsical atmosphere of this Franschhoek wine farm. Haute Cabrière offers private weekly wine tasting and history tours tailored for medium-sized groups of up to 60 people. Drink in the estate’s surrounds as you simultaneously drink in its famed wines and Methode Cap Classiques, followed by a lesson in sabrage (the method of opening a champagne bottle with a sabre). Cap off the day with a sumptuous meal at the large Haute Cabrière Cellar Restaurant (which seats up to 100 people) and let the worries of work melt away into the farm’s sweeping vistas.
* Situated on Pass Road, Franschhoek. For more information and for bookings, call 021 876 8500, or send an email to email@example.com.
• Beyerskloof Wine Farm in Stellenbosch
The family-run farm, which rests in the heart of the Cape Winelands and overlooks Stellenbosch’s Simonsberg mountain, is proud to be the region’s prime producer of the proudly South African varietal Pinotage. Ideal for medium sized parties (between 25 to 60 people), the tasting room experience invites office workers to lighten the mood by sipping and swirling this ravishing red before heading to the estate’s playfully-decorated Red Leaf Restaurant. Dine on the expansive alfresco terrace (it can hold up to 50 people) and tuck into their famous Pinotage burger as the good wine flows.
* Situated on the R304, Koelenhof, Stellenbosch. Call 021 865 2135, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In search of an end of year function venue with a small, unique menu to keep orders simple? Headquarters Restaurant (HQ) is a single concept eatery that should should answer your prayers. The stylish city centre diner offers only one meal choice: a locally-sourced, melt-in-your-mouth, 250g sirloin steak served with homemade fries and a fresh salad (there is also a vegetarian option). The brasserie-style steakhouse, with its long rows of seating, provides a trendy yet intimate space for large groups of diners. A neat office party idea might also be to enjoy Friday night Latin, lounge and disco music at this venue.
* Situated on Heritage Square, 100 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town. For more information, and for bookings, call 021 424 6373, or send an email to email@example.com.
• Dish Restaurant at Inn on the Square Hotel
Dish Restaurant boasts an expansive alfresco terrace that melds with the cobblestones of Greenmarket Square and is an ideal end of year party venue for medium to large sized crowds (inside can seat 96 people and the outside terrace can seat 60 people). Keep orders simple and palates pleased with their range of set menu options that flaunt three-course meals rich with both local and international flavours. Alternatively, for a small group, gather your colleagues and take part in the ultimate South African bonding experience at the eatery’s weekly Friday braai.
* Situated in Greenmarket Square, City Centre. Call 021 423 2050, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Mezepoli Restaurant
This swanky Camps Bay meze and wine bar features lounge-style seating interspersed with more formal tables and chairs provides a casual yet upmarket space for intimate dining. Cradle a cooling cocktail in hand and get to know your colleagues over shared platters of Mediterranean tapas-style eats. Tasty choices like Calamari with Feta, Keftethes (Greek meatballs) and Dolmades, coupled with the sight of the sun sinking into the Atlantic Ocean, will inspire collective sighs of pleasure.
* Situated on The Promenade, Victoria Road. Call 021 438 1915, or send an email to email@example.com.
• High Tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel
After experiencing a decadent high tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel you’re unlikely to sip instant coffee contently from a chipped ‘I Love My Boss’ mug ever again. For your end of year function, relish this time-honoured ritual and top the finest serving ware with mounds of the most delectable delights, including rows of dainty finger sandwiches, tasty quiches and slices of the most divine cakes. Wash these mouth-watering morsels down with an endless selection of fragrant, freshly-brewed teas. If your company isn’t big enough to tackle the tempting full afternoon tea (priced at R185p/p), opt for the less expensive, more restricted morning tea where individual tiered stands of goods are on offer (priced at R135p/p).
* Situated on 76 Orange Street, Gardens. Call 021 483 1000, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Year end function activities
• Wine and Dine at the Two Oceans Aquarium
If you’re looking for a unique venue to make your year-end shindig one that guests won’t likely forget, consider tucking into lunch, breakfast or dinner and clinking cocktails surrounded by the magical creatures of the Two Oceans Aquarium. The aquatic entertainment world boasts a number of different themed function venues suitable for both small (10 guests) and large(500 guests) events. The folks at Two Oceans offer a variety of party packages, which can include catering, evening tours, bar staff and even recommendations for trusted entertainers, so all you have to worry about is what your budget will allow.
* Situated on Dock Road, V&A Waterfront. Call 21 814 4547, or send an email to email@example.com.
• Party Boat Cruises
Pack your precious cargo into a sturdy cooler box and raise the anchor to set out on a corporate sunset sail (or booze cruise if you prefer a more apt term). If you don’t have a dinghy, dory or dazzling yacht of your own, various companies in Cape Town (such as the Waterfront Boat Company and the Jolly Roger Pirate Boat) have watercrafts for you to hire or hop on, with options that range from small, luxurious yachts for more intimate parties to an authentic, fully-kitted-out pirate ship (it can carry up to 75 passengers) for a spot of themed fun. Most of the cruises set off regularly from the V&A Waterfront.
* Call the Waterfront Boat Company on 021 418 5806; or the Jolly Roger Pirate Boat on 021 421 0909, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And of course, the icon
• Table Mountain
One of the New 7 Wonders of the World offers function venues aplenty. These include The Summit Lounge in the Upper Cable Station building, the open-air Twelve Apostles Terrace situated below the Table Mountain Café and The Sacred Circle Viewing Deck that is a five minute walk away from the Upper Cable Station.
Table Mountain offers a Corporate Sundowners package whereby they can host your group at R125 per person. The price includes an exclusive venue, Fynbos Mojito welcome cocktail, a Table Mountain Platter menu and waiters to serve your party. Each platter menu serves a minimum of 10 people. The package price excludes your Cableway return ticket, though.
For something a touch more rarefied, why not try the DV Artisan Chocolate & Spice Route Wine Tasting. Cost is R260 p/p and includes a 750ml gift bottle from the Spice Route wine range. Price excludes Cableway ticket. Maximum group size is 16 people.
For bookings, send an email to email@example.com.