Friday, February 26, 2010

The Grand Café brings South of France to C.T

I’ve been meaning to write a review about this place since my first visit back in Dec 2009, but hadn’t gotten around to it, and now have been there again last week, I feel its time I write something. The Grand Café & Beach is Cape Town’s first beach café, and has become one of the most popular spots in Cape Town! Located at Granger Bay adjacent to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront . White sand has been shipped in to create a private beach with a beautiful blue sea horizon overlooking Table Bay – send one off on a phenomenal visual odyssey! Parisian Café chairs, red tumblers, beach umbrellas, candelabras & stunning views work together to give an infallible experience of fun & style. It’s honestly impressive what they’ve managed to do with a shed, which is basically what it was. To take a large steel warehouse and turn it into something visually appealing with ambiance and character is an achievement. As you walk in there’s a sort of ‘Grand’ boutique store, but your attention will be captured by the awesome bar that runs the length of the venue, in the middle there’s a 24 seater table, surrounded by smaller tables and a large pizza oven, my favorite part though is found outside on the deck…the view. The Grand Cafe brings the South of France to Cape Town. Very close to Club 55 setting in Nice (French Riviera) – it’s very trendy, in a beautiful setting, some of the food is really top notch, but sadly the service is beyond atrocious, this is a general feeling with everyone who’s been, on my first visit, I had organized a lunch for 12 people, which by the time the lunch happened had grown to 16, they were keen to accommodate us, except when I called an hour before to confirm after booking two weeks in advance for an outside table, I was notified, I had been moved inside because my party was ‘too large’, I politely asked to speak to the manager, by name, as I know him briefly, that seemed to work, as he got on the phone and promised me an outside table right on the sand as I had asked, not that I would have minded sitting inside, as it was a very hot day, and white sand can be blinding, but my whole outfit had been ensemble’d upon the idea that I would be outside in the sand, so I couldn’t have had it any other way. Since their menu is exactly the same as The Grand in Camps Bay with the only addition being the gourmet pizzas, I ordered what is often my favorite, the overtly complicated hit or miss kingklip tagliata, which was as usual – we order half a dozen bottled of Mulderbosch Chardonnay, so everyone was kinda stuck to that, but no one complained it’s a stunning wine, the weather was hot, the sand was white, I mean what else do you want….even the steep prices don’t shock me, this place is full every night how else are they supposed to weed out demand, its basic economics, so I say keep pumping those prices up, perhaps someday they’ll also spruce up their friendly and often good looking waiters’ skills, wow service is shocking…but you forget because the view is so good, you get waves of frustrations, ‘where’s that god damn waiter?’, ‘oh the sea…look its blue’, drink then grin and you’re happy again. The menu has very good dishes and very disappointing dishes, some of the good ones include the steak with pepper sauce, the shrimp tempura & the kingklip line fish, anything else I’ve found either ordinary or not really worth the price. Now more recently I went there with a friend who is regarded as a VIP at The Grand, so we were only passing by for a midnight bottle of wine, but they went all out, putting a small round table on the sand, with two chairs, candelabra, and a giant watering-can style vase with scarlet red roses, with some urban lounge music coming off the surround sound speakers, under the stars, it was almost too good to be true, if evoked fond memories of Nikki Beach in Saint-Tropez. Another blessing is that the place is mostly sheltered from winds so, one can enjoy lazing about well into dawn… while gazing out to sea from this very unique beach, I wondered how many people truly know how really beautiful Cape Town is….this is a venue that needs to be seen, even if at least once.

Reservations are only made by emailing or by texting +27(0)72 586 2052, if you call now, you’ll be given the address and the number and told to do as told (in a nice way of course). - 021 425 0551, website:


  1. WOW, thank you, what a discovery.

  2. Service is indeed bad - but its a nice spot.

  3. Just the once for me, thanks ;)Besides the awful service, I found it to be full of classless folks who were there to be seen...and heard. Dear goodness it was loud! Once; enough.