Kyle Brown – My Cape Town

As HSBC SVNS 2024 rolls into Cape Town, native and former Blitzbok Kyle Brown gives us a local’s guide to one of the most beautiful locations on the planet.

Kyle Brown is one of South Africa’s most decorated sevens players. A powerful utility forward, he was captain of the Blitzboks who won bronze at the Olympics Games Rio 2016 and, at 36, has made over 300 appearances in the shortened format, scoring more than 100 tries.

Best place to watch a sunset

Sunsets are famous in Cape Town, some of the best in the world, so there are a plethora of incredible spots to visit, where you can watch the sun slipping into the Atlantic Ocean. 

Lion’s Head is popular with tourists, though personally, I’m going to recommend Second Cross on Coetzenburg Mountain, which is nearer to where we live. 

I love being outdoors, and you can take up a hand grinder and your Aeropress to make a cup of coffee and take in the views. It’s just beautiful and a happy place for the family. You can look out across Stellenbosch and to the East Simonsberg. The hike takes about 45 minutes, and is manageable for most fitness levels. It’s nestled high above the Danie Craven Stadium, so rugby’s never too far away.

Best snackbar

Stellenbosch, a short drive from Cape Town, does wine bars because the farms around the area need a presence in town, so they’ve opened stalls with the best Chardonnays or Sauvignon Blancs and plenty of snacks. 

I’m actually really keen on coffee, however, and I have my own brand, 18 Coffee, which I run in partnership with the living legend Cecil Afrika, and Philip Snyman, the current assistant coach of the Blitzboks. 

Eighteen is a combination of our playing shirts, number two, number six and number 10. If I’m in town, it has to be Origin Coffee Roasting. It’s a stone's throw from the players hotel and where I first got passionate about coffee. They are great guys in there and do every coffee imaginable but my go-to is a Cortado – and their flat whites are superb.

Best place for an evening meal

There are so many amazing restaurants in the area. My wife and I are heavily into cooking, so I like to go out for dinner to have something that I can’t cook, so I go for Asian. 

There’s this little place called Genki in Stellenbosch, where I’ve never had a bad meal. It’s always fully-booked and has killer food. We start off with some sushi, or ramen and we’re on our way.

When you’re in Cape Town, you have to have a steak. We Saffas love our meat, so places like Iron Steak and Bar, or Nelson’s Eye will sort you out.

Best place to let your hair down

As a father of three I haven’t done too much clubbing of late, but I do get very good reports about Bree Street. It is very fashionable. 

They have this event called, First Thursdays (of the month). It started out as an art exhibition, where shops would show off their exhibits and then all the pubs, restaurants and bars got involved and literally the whole street turns into a festival for the night. It’s a pretty special place to be. 

For a more sedate night out, on the waterfront, the OCFM (Oranjezicht City Farm Market) is charming. It’s more of a family vibe, the food is incredible and you have stunning views of the bay. What’s not to like?

Best hike

It has to be a hike up Table Mountain. There are a multitude of routes, but I like to start at Kirstenbosch, which is an incredible botanical garden. You then head up the Nursery Ravine and then down Skeleton Gorge, and within 40 minutes, you’re sitting looking down on Cape Town. It’s a decent workout and you should set aside three or four hours to complete it all but the views will induce plenty of envy on your Instagram feed.

One thing you have to do

A long lazy day on the beaches of Camps Bay or Clifton are a must. The views, with the mountain backdrops, are just incredible and the beauty is you can get the golden sand between your toes and just lie around doing nothing. Bliss.

After soaking up some rays, you can grab a snack for lunch, before lying prone looking out into the inky blues of the ocean. It’s one of the most peaceful things you’ll ever do. The water is invigorating, and thankfully, a little bit cold for sharks.