The Table Bay Hotel’s magnificent handcrafted festive décor art installation is a triumph of collaboration with local artists, commissioned to give life to the theme Joy to the World from Africa.

Behind every festive decoration displayed in the luxurious seafront hotel is the story of an artisan, designer or illustrator. Together, many local creatives have brought to life the festive theme of ‘I saw three ships go sailing by to Table Bay in the morning.’

Expanding upon the V&A Waterfront’s Joy from Africa to the World movement, Sun International’s Table Bay hotel worked with local artisans, illustrators and designers to craft memorable decorations which are brightening up the five-star hotel this festive season.

“These beautiful decorations welcome our guests to a wondrous festive season on our friendly coastline, where boats have arrived laden with surprises for more than 300 years. Our festive theme celebrates The Table Bay hotel’s unique location – a beautiful bay that has welcomed hundreds of ships over the centuries,” said Table Bay General Manager Joanne Selby. “We wanted to be meaningful while making traditions a little more contemporary.”

The Embrace Collective, whose mission it is to improve the quality of life for people affected by and living with HIV and Aids, through creating job opportunities through the craft of papier mâché, made festive baubles from recycled paper.

Glorinah Khutso Mabaso’s ‘Bold Roots’ decorations covered in patterns are a modern interpretation of traditional Ndebele paintings usually applied to the exterior walls of homes, while ‘Tribal Vibe’ honours Africa’s beadwork.   “I hope visitors enjoy experiencing our South African cultures while visiting The Table Bay hotel, through my patterns that intentionally spark a balance between the past, present and future of traditional visual storytelling,” Mabaso said.

Beaded reindeers of all colours, patterns and sizes are another décor element which greet guests. “Crafted by the talented women artisans at Monkeybiz, these local creations are our way of supporting an industry that brings traditional handwork into contemporary spaces,” Selby said.

The gigantic hanging papier-mâché whale ship light created by designer Michael Methven is sure to enthral both young and old. Methven and a team of artisans also crafted a wooden cargo ship, ceramic yacht, woven dhow and other imaginative modes of ocean transport.

Through his whimsical illustrations, artist Michael Chandler hopes to capture the imagination of hotel guests this festive season. “I want visitors to have some fun, be irreverent, playful and silly. This is what the holidays are for,” said the Cape Town creative, whose ocean-inspired drawings decorate The Table Bay hotel in a way that reimagines traditional Christmas themes, making this celebration more relevant to a summery Cape festive season. “His nautical baubles, blue-and-white urns in lieu of stockings, and ships laden with gifts are all part of our local celebration, which everyone is invited to come and experience,” Selby said.

For those looking for a memorable venue to celebrate Christmas lunch or New Year’s Eve dinner with family and friends, Table Bay’s new Executive Chef Lindsey Venn and his team have designed buffet menus which will have everyone’s bellies full.

“Lunch includes a cerviche and tartar, oyster and seafood stations, cheese bar, charcuterie, carvery and spit, with an array of delicious desserts such as Eton Mess, Baked Alaska and various gateaux,” Venn said.

Ring in the New Year after a buffet that will set the tone for the year ahead – think shrimp salad with green curry dressing, house smoked mussels with avocado salad, seafood bisque, grilled langoustines, crayfish, roasted duck, Creole-style pork belly and a churro station leading into a dessert assortment and a selection of local and international cheeses.