On our Front Stoep

You might call it a veranda or a porch – and not to be confused with the American stoop, but we call it a stoep and South Africans love gathering here weather permits – which is almost always. In the mornings the stoep is the first spot of contemplation while enjoying the maiden cup of coffee for the day.  As the sun climbs the stoep becomes the main gathering point of acquaintances, business partners, family, friends, and fellow travellers. Lunch on the stoep just offers so much more human sightseeing variety, and no South African with genuine Rainbow Nation blood running in their veins will argue against the merits of stoep-sitting to the close of the day. 

Cape Town Free Walking Tours has been operating from Motherland Coffee Company for many years until the dreaded pandemic threw its disastrous spanner in the works, and we had to move. But now we’re back. It’s like returning home after a three-year mountain trek. We have our stoep back. And it’s not just about sitting on the stoep gawping at people. On our front stoep, there’s loads of riveting action. 

There is no need to spoil the surprises that await on our tours – let’s just say for 90-minutes, we take you from our Motherland stoep to all the places you need to see on a history of Cape Town tour, Apartheid to Freedom sights and the Bo Kaap. And none of those tours exceed 3km. Add to that those in-between occurrences that make our stoep so convenient and special, and you’ll understand why we’re ecstatic to be back at Motherland.

The coffee shop is inside the Mandela Rhodes Building where the non-profit Mandela Rhodes Foundation has its Cape Town headquarters. If Madiba inspiration is what your soul craves, just pop out into the lobby, and be motivated by huge Mandela photos and timeless quotes. From Motherland’s front door, you walk onto St George’s Mall. This is not a shopping mall, but a promenade with stalls selling art, memorabilia, attire, bags – everything in every colour possible under the African sun. And yes, bottled water, 20c loose sweets, and “los draws” – single cigarettes from a surprise packet. The mall also bustles with people – from beggars to billionaires, buskers to backpackers, and businesspeople. 

Across the road from our stoep is St George’s Cathedral, the oldest Anglican church in South Africa, the entrance to the Company’s Garden, the gateway to most of the inner-city museums as well as a shortcut to parliament. Somewhere between religion, politics, artifacts, and local dancing African girls under the Arch for an Arch, you’re bound to find something to keep you entertained and informed. Around the corner from Motherland are world-class restaurants, the famous bars on Long Street, shops, sidewalk seats, busses… And our stoep is about 3.5km from the Waterfront, 7.5km from Table Mountain, 4km from Lion’s Head, 4.5km from Sea Point Promenade, 6km from Camps Bay…

Don’t forget Motherland’s coffee – they use just the best African blends and offer lunch and breakfast. The point is, welcome back home to us. We’re back on our stoep, soaking up the city atmosphere and getting inspired by everything around us. Drop in – you’ll see what the hype is about.