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ESCAPE TO THE CAPE

If the February doldrums have you feeling the need to flee to the other side of the world, head for South Africa, says food and wine writer Fiona Beckett. The beguiling beauty of Cape Town and the Winelands – and, of course, the fantastic food and wine – are certain to exert a magnetic pull

hungry traveller.

The Cape has more than 180 miles of coastline and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, plus food and wine worth travelling for

There are few things more uplifting for the spirits than fleeing the depths of a UK winter, getting on an overnight flight and landing early the next morning in summery Cape Town.

It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. Every time I visit, I’m struck by the extraordinary quality of the light, which paints the mountains golden pink to dusky purple at different times of day. And because South Africa is just two hours ahead, you won’t feel horribly jetlagged, making a short winter break more than feasible.

Like many Brits before me I feel the irresistible pull that Africa exerts, and crave it when I’m not there. Yes, there are striking social inequalities – you can’t overlook them – but the success of South Africa’s tourism industry has bolstered the economy in a way that many African countries must envy.

A TASTE OF THE CITY

Cape Town was recently named the second-best city in the world to visit by Lonely Planet (the first was Bordeaux, but Cape Town has better weather…) and you could easily spend a whole week in the city and on its surrounding beaches without running out of things to do. Your first port of call may well be the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with its smart restaurants, shops and dazzling new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, but don’t hesitate to explore some of the city’s smaller, hipper neighbourhoods. Top of my list for a Friday night destination would be The Pot Luck Club (thepotluckclub.co.za), which is on the top floor of a converted biscuit mill in the newly gentrified neighbourhood of Woodstock.

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About delicious. Magazine

February’s chill needs warming delicious. cheer: you'll find it in month’s feature-packed issue: American pancakes 3-ways; definitive Sunday roasts (lamb & chicken); cooking with clams; recipes with citrus zing; the best TV chill-out snacks; 3-in-1 beef stew; wholesome baking with Jordan Bourke; Chetna Makan’s feelgood brunch; the power of pulses; lighter comfort food; queen of puddings; DIY English muffins; Som Saa's Thai curry and much, much more… What are you waiting for?