Sunday, March 28, 2010

'Let's meet at La Perla'

It seems as if La Perla has been around forever.  It has become a way of life for many of us.  Our children know La Perla and grew up enjoying the Italian food and became hopelessly precocious little foodies.  They knew the waiters by name and the waiters treated them like honoured guests.   There are now new generations of young gourmands being spoilt rotten.

Forty years ago, Emiliano Sandri, an Italian immigrant, opened La Perla, one of the first coffee bars in Cape Town.   It was situated at the bottom of Waterkant Street and we all flocked there.  We knew little of the coffee bar culture and were captivated by the concept.  We could sit for hours with a cup of excellent espresso and feel so liberated and continental.   The beautiful people streamed in and out and people watching became a fashionable pastime.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Grand times at the Grand Café & Rooms

It was early evening and Eugene and I were visiting the first born of the Grand sisters, The Grand Café & Rooms at 27 Main Road, Plettenberg Bay.

We entered the Café through huge double doors and the same feeling of otherworldliness that we experience at Grand, Camps Bay and Grand, Granger Bay overtook us.  We were encountering another era, another time and place.  Lights are dim and the lamps are lit.  But it is far from gloomy.  It is warm, welcoming and bewitching.

Plettenberg Bay was enjoying a balmy evening and we were shown to a table on the terrace.  This meant passing through the interior of the restaurant and past the fantastical things that are everywhere.   The terrace is cool and sheltered with a view of sea and white sands and pale blue mountains in the distance.