When Costas asks Shirley Valentine in the film of the same name, ‘So I put table by edge of sea and make dream come true?’ he must have had inkling that somewhere in Africa existed a place where dreams really could come true.
One of the most enduring of all Cape Town’s landmarks is The Brass Bell at Kalk Bay. Found in a part of the world that could be Cornwall but isn’t, the False Bay shore in this part of its existence is packed with character, an escape right on our doorstep to another place, another time.
Shopping is great, with delightful off-beat shops to explore, maybe find a bargain piece of crystal, maybe a ring for that special person.
After all that excitement, repair to the cluster that is The Brass Bell where you will find various kinds of eating experiences, none of which can be called haute by any means, but where you will find delicious dishes in generous portions, with views to die for. Venues range from The Grill Room, where the menu is more upmarket, to the famous Water’s Edge Terrace and areas right on the beach overlooking the tidal pool. My favourite is The Pavilion with views across to Simon’s Town. The trains winding along behind you, and the whales cavorting when they are there, are worth the price of admission, which will not break the bank.
Of course seafood is pre-eminent, with West Coast mussels drenched in garlic and white wine a favourite. The burgers are legendary as are the fish cakes and devilled livers Mozambican style. Fabulous pizzas are devoured in their hundreds by aficionados.
All the rage right now are winter seafood, chicken or meat curries served with all the trimmings and great naan bread. Finish up with rich as can be crème brûlée or Cape brandy pudding with crème anglaise. Yum! The service from a long- serving friendly crew goes far in making the experience marvellous.
Words and Pictures: Greg Landman
As the wine writer for Country Life magazine for the last 15 years, Greg has met and interviewed more than 150 of the country’s top wine makers. His articles offer unique insights into where to eat, what to drink, and where to go all over the Western Cape. With his dining companion Beryl Ormsby Browne, he has also reviewed more than 60 country restaurants for the magazine and has been a reviewer for the prestigious Eat Out Guide for 12 years. His passion for everything the winelands has to offer has led him into the world of wine tours. To find out more, visit his website Magic Grape Tours.