29 June 2010

The WAGs are coming home! But where did they stay in SA?

When England got knocked out the World Cup on Sunday (sorry to remind everyone) we assumed the WAG’s, especially the likes of Christine Bleakley who’d only just flown over for the Greece game, would switch from supporter into sunbather mode. It took them 11 hours to fly there after all!

So we were surprised to see a fleet of suitcase-laden WAG’s, boarding a homebound flight from Jo’berg yesterday, rather then extending their holiday. We know money’s no object for these ladies of leisure, but jetting halfway around the world (flight class) for 90minutes of football? Seems like a terrible waste to us. Especially for Carly Cole who travelled with a three-month old baby.

We appreciate many have kids and walk-in-wardrobes to get home to and that, being winter in South Africa, bikini photo-op’s are few and far between. But, as I found when I was sent to South Africa as Grazia’s world cup roaming reporter, away from the vuvuzelas (you think they were annoying on telly?!) there are some WAG friendly boltholes in stadiums-reach.  

Sun City near Rustenberg, where Toni Terry, Carly Cole and Chantelle Tagoe stayed, is a veritable WAG Vegas – all leopard print and glitz - and a wonderland for the footballer’s wives of Baden-Baden times.

However, for the more austere WAGs of 2010, who FIFA warned to leave their jewellery behind because of South Africa’s high crime rate, The One & Only resort in Cape Town is the only place to stay. Mariah Carey, Clint Eastwood, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman and Thandie Newton attended the opening earlier this year.

I spotted the French WAG’s in the One & Only’s lobby, before they took a day-trip to Table Mountain (www.oneandonlyresorts.com). But blink and you’d miss them: dressed in baggy hoodies with ponytails poking through caps, they looked more like a pack of students off to visit Alton Towers… For the WAG’s of 2010 it’s all about scrubbing down well and blending in. When David Beckham stayed at the hotel earlier this year, he was apparently spotted eating – not in the resorts on-site Nobu - but in the Nandos around the corner!  

But even in a WAGcession, a girls gotta have her little luxuries. Which is why the hotel’s ESPA spa was booked out during the tournament. And the Neo boutique, in the lobby, was stocked full of Matthew Williamson, Stella McCartney, YSL and Balenciaga.

Victoria Beckham, who in the end didn’t fly out for the tournament, was rumoured to have rented an apartment in Camps Bay – just in case we reached the finals! So (in the interest of research) I followed in her footsteps, booking a Cape Portfolio apartment (www.capeportfolios.com). Good tip VB is all I can say! Looking out over a picture-perfect bay, this strip of coast, 20minutes drive from Cape Town’s stadium is a sanctuary away from the football hooligans…

All I can say is Colleen and co, you missed out. And where do I sign up for Brazil?

We flew from London Heathrow to Johannesburg with Virgin Atlantic.


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