Ho ho how to celebrate Christmas in July
12 Great ways to ring in ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ during Cape Town’s winter
Do you cherish the Christmas season? Then why not celebrate it twice a year!
Christmas in July is the Southern Hemisphere’s mid-year chance to observe all of the wintry Yuletide traditions that come with the merry December holiday.
Cape Town has taken the occasion to heart, with many of the its restaurants, wine farms and even surrounding towns hosting festive occasions jam-packed with everything from tinsel to eggnog. And to help you make the most of the upcoming 25th of July, we’ve scoured the city for Christmas-y events as well as given you some top tips on how to deck the halls at home. Tra la la laa!
1. Christmas Inspired Menu at Kloof Street House
Kloof Street House is really helping you have a merry little Christmas in July. From Sunday, 24 July until Sunday, 31 July 2016, this whimsical eatery is changing things up and bringing you a Christmas-inspired menu. For starters, think roasted beetroot and chevre gratin or spiced confit duck terrine in an orange puree with hazelnut and cranberry. Then, tuck into a hearty main course of slow roasted pork belly with pancetta cabbage, accompanied by glazed baby carrots and mustard cream. If that option doesn’t tickle your fancy, choose between roasted kingklip with creamed celeriac and buttered kale or an apricot and pine nut lamb shoulder. Dessert is rose yoghurt, pistachio brittle and hibiscus ice cream. Diners can also expect additional Christmas-inspired elements on Sunday, 24 July and Monday 25 July 2016, which serves as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at Kloof Street House!
2. Winter Wonderland Festival of Lights in Gordons Bay
The seaside town of Gordon’s Bay, located just 50 minutes outside of the Mother City, hosts its magical annual winter festival once again this year, from Friday, 24 June to Monday, 18 July 2016. The charming fair calls on local establishments to dress in fairy lights and offer up delicious eats and family-friendly activities designed to get even the Scroogiest of Scrooges in a festive mood. While the magical Fairy Forest dazzles kids, parents can indulge in a food fair or take a romantic walk along the twinkling harbour bridge. Guests can also expect wine tastings, fine fare, three different markets, a beer tent (which will also be serving glühwein) and plenty of activities for the little ones for the duration of the festival. While there’s no charge involved in attending the merry affair, certain activities do carry a price. Be sure to check out this merry winter festival in Gordons Bay this July!
3. ‘Songs from the Heart’ Concert at Nederberg Wine Estate
On Sunday, 31 July 2016, head to Nederberg Manor House, located at Nederberg Wine Estate in Paarl. Here, you can enjoy a classical concert while sipping on glasses of award-winning wine. This particular concert boasts an air of sophistication and elegance and will see to soprano singer Louise Howlett and mezzo soprano Jolene McCleland singing songs about love and life. As the wine keeps your warm, your ears will be in for a treat with some all-time-favourite classics on the agenda for the night. Well-known pianist Stefan Lombard and clarinetist Visser Liebenberg will bring the concert together for an evening of magical music. The concert starts at 5pm and tickets cost R250p/p.
4. Snow World Snow Park at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World
July is the season to be jolly with this spectacular snow park acting as an early present from Santa Claus! Up until Sunday, 31 July 2016, kids will have all their dreams of experiencing a white Christmas come true. While parents cool off at the Ice Bar and Lounge, kids can let loose on one of three solid ice slides, including an insane ‘radical rollercoaster’ and mini slide for the little ones. Kids aged six years and older can also experience the Snow Box, an indoor snow slope for snowboarding and snow tubing! When the energy runs low, families can gather at the Deck Café Area for a quick bite before heading over to the Animals of the Ice Age Exhibition. There are four different pass options into the Snow World, ranging from R50p/p to R140p/p. For more information, visit www.snowshow.za or check out or gather more information about this fun filled day at GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World’s Snow World Snow Park!
5. Dinner and Jazz at Marianne Wine Estate
Up until Friday, 15 July 2016 Stellenbosch-based Marianne Wine Estate is hosting a charming dinner accompanied by live Jazz music at the on-site restaurant, Floreal Brasserie. This intimate evening boasts a hearty, tasty meal which begins with starters of garlic-marinated prawns or grilled goat’s cheese rolled in dried Kalamata olives. Guests can tuck into a main course of Springbok lasagna or homemade gnocchi served with wild mushrooms and sip on a glass on Marianne Estate’s classic wines for the perfect balance. All this, topped with sweet Jazz melodies makes this the perfect way to celebrate Christmas in July! Jazz music will play from 7:30pm until 9:30pm and entrance is free. Guests can expect to pay between R65 and R130 for a starter and between R95 and R160 for mains. This dinner and Jazz duo is simply irresistible!
6. Tevin Campbell Concert at the Grand West Casino and Entertainment World
On Friday, 22 July 2016, American 90’s R&B singer Tevin Campbell will grace the GrandWest Grand Arena for one night only in a show that promises to be a joyous and merry occasion! This blast from the past will surely have you recalling countless memories and iconic songs such as ‘Can We Talk’ and leave you swooning (yet again) at the sound of his voice. Ticket prices start at R295p/p and can be purchased via www.Computicket.com for Tevin Campbell’s concert at GrandWest Grand Arena.
7. ‘My Fair Lady’Musical at Artscape Opera House
In the spirit of all things singsong and festive, head to Artscape Opera House for the ‘My Fair Lady’ Musical from Saturday, 16 July until Sunday, 7 August 2016. Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play, ‘Pygmalion’, this witty classic tells of a professor who makes a bet with his colleague that he can transform Eliza Doolittle and make her worthy of aristocracy at an embassy ball. This musical is filled with little life messages tucked beneath laughs and catchy classic songs, such as ‘With a Little Bit of Luck’. Tickets for this enchanted musical evening are available at www.Computicket.com and range from R150p/p to R325p/p. This magical musical will help you celebrate an early Christmas in style with ‘My Fair Lady’ at the Artscape Opera House.
8. Christmas in July at Benguela on Main
Indulge with style and elegance at Benguela on Main’s Christmas in July celebration. On Saturday, 30 July 2016, the flawless fine dining restaurant, Benguela on Main, is bringing you culinary artistry at the hands of Executive Chef Jean Delport. Expect beetroot mousse starters followed by seared scallop, smoked breast of goose or saddle of Fallow deer. The decadent meal is to be paired with one of Benguela’s world-class wines and guests will be treated to little Christmas surprises throughout the evening. This one-night-only dining experience is not to be missed! The cost for Christmas in July at Benguela on Main is R540p/p. Bookings are essential. Contact +27 (0) 87 357 0637 to make a reservation. This equisite meal at Benguela on Main is not to be missed!
9. Christmas in July Gourmet Lunch at Lakeside Lodge and Spa
On Sunday, 24 July 2016 you’re invited to come and experience a gourmet meal with a twist! The five star boutique hotel Lakeside Lodge and Spa is pulling out all stops to give you the perfect Christmas in July. Diners will be treated to an exquisite three-course set menu, kicking off with vanilla puree and pea salad as appetisers. For the main meal, expect bursts of flavour with maple glazed duck breast, confit potatoes, pickled onions and cauliflower. Sticking with the theme of Christmas, dessert is gingerbread with chocolate tiramisu and coffee ice-cream. In addition to this indulgent meal, your ears will be treated to classic Christmas carols, courtesy of a local choir. This gourmet meal costs R380 per person and is offered from 12pm until 2:30pm. A log fire will blaze throughout the day to keep you warm and toasty at Lakeside Lodge and Spa.
TIPS FOR HOSTING YOUR OWN XMAS IN JULY PARTY
10. Decorate Your Home
For those intending on going the whole hog in July, there’s always the possibility of dusting off the fake tree from last year (if you have one) and stringing it with twinkly lights and tinsel. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are plenty of other solutions. Christmas stockings can be hung up by the fireplace or over a bedpost, and alternatively, knitting a Xmas stocking or embellishing an existing one with ribbons is a great way to get the family fired up for your Christmas party. You could also string up ornaments from the ceiling or place them strategically around the home. And if all else fails, simply hang up some fairy lights – they instantly make any space more cosy and festive.
11. Secret Santa
A much as you may deny it, part of the Christmas thrill is definitely unwrapping your way through a mound of gifts. Okay, so maybe a heap isn’t in keeping with the mini Christmas – but that’s where Secret Santa comes in. The game calls on the host to place the names of prospective guests in a hat, and then each guest draws a name (alternatively one person can take the responsibility of assigning names). Party attendees must purchase gifts for the person whose name they’ve drawn without letting on who they’re purchasing for. It’s best to set a price limit to avoid any awkward gift-giving. Then it’s simply a matter of receiving and trying to guess who gifted which present!
12. Sip on Something Festive
Why not whip up a batch of something tasty? For the traditional at heart, we suggest opting for the classic Yuletide drink eggnog. Alternatively, whip up a pot of glühwein – this hot, spicy drink is sure to keep your guests in good spirits.
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