Worlds best places for cocktail hour

  • Date: Sunday, 07 December 2008

To share this happy tradition with the world, I asked about 50 people I've met over the years, well-travelled folk, to suggest spots. Ideas poured in. For some people, a sundowner was best enjoyed at a beach bar while watching the sun sink into the sea. For others, it was about working up a thirst, trekking as far away from civilisation as possible. For everyone, sundowners recalled a special holiday moment, a warm, contented feeling echoed by the rosy colour of the sky. The result? Great places to say cheers.

Leopard Bar & Lounge, Cape Town

The west-facing Cape Town suburb of Camps Bay is one of the world's top spots for sunsets over the sea. Bars on the main boulevard are uber-trendy and often crowded but at the Twelve Apostles Hotel's Leopard Bar a white balcony, white awnings and blue-and-white striped cushions make for a calm, classy setting, evocative of summer holidays. The bar stocks 72 varieties of martini (love their Vanilla Chocatini), as well as cognacs and ports. Tea by the Sea is another afternoon delight: a tiered stand of sweet sensations, including cream scones, cucumber sandwiches and mini chocolate gateaux. Wow factor Majestic. It's the sunset equivalent of "surf and turf", with the Atlantic crashing below and the Twelve Apostles mountains standing sentinel above. Accessibility About 15 minutes' drive from the city centre, the hotel is on Victoria Road, between Camps Bay and Llandudno. The Leopard Bar isn't limited to guests; all sundowner-seekers are welcome.

Worlds best places for cocktail hour