Check Availibility
Arrival
Departure

Swan Cafe Gives the East City Wings

Previously a bit of an ugly duckling, the East City has recently undergone a transformation, with many new and exciting cafes and restaurants choosing to open their doors in the edgier side of Cape Town. Swan Cafe is the most recent of which, the French-style creperie adding a touch of glam and a whole lot of Parisian taste to the historic Buitenkant St.

Their recipe for success is a simple but delicious one: savoury galettes, sweet crepes and excellent coffee, combined with stunning visuals and warm service. It’s understandable then that nabbing a table can prove tricky.

The Ambiance and Decor

Always welcomed  with a hearty ‘Bonjour!’, one is ushered through the open glass doors into the bustling space below. The French flag colours of blue, crisp whites and touches of red are creatively woven throughout the waiters’ uniforms and decor. It will come as no surprise then that the cafe is owned by French born Jessica Rushmere, previously a model and former owner of De Waterkant’s Le Petite Tarte.

The striking wallpaper versions of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Leda and the Swan” and Jean-Léon Gérôme’s “Leda and the Swan” catch the eye first, both paintings given a blue, monochromatic filter, but really it’s the motif of the swan (designed by the acclaimed Heidi Chisholm) that is most charming. It is ever-present: from the necklace around Jessica’s neck, to the cutlery holders, wallpapered bathrooms, and trays and teas for sale. The overall impression is one of elegance and minute attention to detail, elevated by a playful bonhomie that makes itself known in the cluster of birdcage-encased lights, hopscotch of hexagonal tiles on screed flooring and modern bistro chairs, designed by Haldane Martin, the genius behind the decor.

As for the service, it is exceptionally friendly, efficient and presided over by the owners who are ever-present.

The Food

The menu is easy to understand, but no less difficult to choose from. Instead of getting in a flap, opt first for a savoury galette. Made with buckwheat (and gluten-free) flour, these delightful squares come filled with delectable, and largely healthy, combinations like Gypsy ham, cheese and a sunny egg, bacon, mushrooms and roasted baby tomatoes, or (my personal favourite) the smoked salmon, cream cheese and smashed avo. The ‘Swan Specialities’ include slightly more envelope-pushing numbers like The Biquette with goat’s cheese and caramelised apple; or the ‘Out of the Blue’ with blue cheese, red wine poached pears and prosciutto.

But what of the sweet crepes? Well, they’re just as magnificent. The nostalgic cinnamon, sugar and fresh lemon is available for those who like to keep things simple, and of course, there is always nutella and banana – an eternal favourite. But the show-stoppers are where the real flavour combinations take flight. Order the Lili La Gourmande with oozing salted caramel, caramelised apple and flaked almonds, or venture over to the dark side with a combo of dark chocolate ganache, poached pears and candied walnuts. Add whipped cream or artisanal ice-cream for an extra layer of indulgence.

The Drinks

Swan specialises in teas, having created with their own blends with local tea experts, Nigiro. Choose from one of several different options, all very sweetly named with titles like ‘French Kiss’, ‘Christmas in July’ and ‘A Minty Affair’ and served with all the trappings. If you fall in love with with a particular blend, they’re available for purchase (in a swan-adorned tin). For something different, try the Tumeric or Beetroot lattes (almond milk is an option) is simply wrap your hands around an comforting latte or hot chocolate if you’re not full up on the sweet stuff already.

Transported to the South Bank, and wrapped up in Parisian glam, all that’s left to say is ‘Bon Appetit!’

Visit Swan

Swan cafe is open Monday to Friday, 8am–4pm; Saturday 8am–2pm (walk-ins only).

To book, visit their website or call 079 45 44 758.

All images by Micky Hoyle

Blog post by: Tarah Darge

 

 

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date with our hotel’s latest developments as well as our concierge team’s top recommendations regarding the best places to visit in and around Cape Town.
Discover Cape Town

A little more to explore.

In addition to our mobile app, our blog serves as a guide and gateway for the luxury traveller. Through our well-informed concierge team, we provide our readers with up to date information on the finest restaurants and places to explore in and around the Mother City.
Crisp Wines and Canola Field Crop Circles: Gabrielskloof Wine
FeaturedCrisp Wines and Canola Field Crop Circles: Gabrielskloof Wine
While Stellenbosch and Franschhoek steal most of the limelight when it comes to famed wine regions, if you’re craving more of the bucolic idyll, The Overberg is where you should head. Throw in some hearty country fare, fields of bright yellow canola flowers (some with mysterious crop circles but more on that later), and you couldn’t ask for a better day exploring the more rural side of the Western Cape’s wine regions. If you’re making just …
9 Reasons Why You Have To Stay at Cape Grace
Featured9 Reasons Why You Have To Stay at Cape Grace
Cape Grace’s tagline reads, “You have to stay here at least once in your lifetime.” However, there is no shortage of 5-star hotels in Cape Town to be sure. So what makes staying at Cape Grace in particular so very special? From glorious food and wine pairings to stolen moments of serenity in the spa, the welcoming service right down to the smallest of thoughtful touches, here are nine reasons why Cape Grace truly is a ‘home’ unlike …
5 of the Blooming Best Places to See Wildflowers in The Western Cape
Explore and Experience5 of the Blooming Best Places to See Wildflowers in The Western Cape
Spring in Cape Town is heralded by a short but magnificent time in which wildflowers cover our dunes, fields, farms, and wetlands in carpets of vibrant yellow, deep purple, bright pink and pure white. Catch the indigenous Cape Floral action between September and October at one of these hotspots that all make for an idyllic day out in nature. 1. Kirstenbosch and Table Mountain National Park While our most famous botanical garden needs no introduction, it’s a wonder to …
Cape Grace Mobile AppA curated cultural & lifestyle guide to Cape Town in your pocket
Our concierges’ preferred selection of extraordinary wine estates, restaurants, tours, kid’s activities and many other local and authentic experiences that are certainly not to be missed.
More informationDownload for iPhoneDownload for Android
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Stay up-to-date with our hotel’s latest developments as well as our concierge team’s top recommendations regarding the best places to visit in and around Cape Town.
Physical Address
  • West Quay Road
    Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
    Cape Town
    South Africa
  • Directions
    Postal Address
  • PO Box 51387
    Waterfront 8001
    Cape Town
    South Africa
  • Cape Grace Hotel - Leading Hotels of the WorldCape Grace Hotel - VirtuosoCape Grace Hotel - Signature Travel NetworkCape Grace Hotel - American Express Fine Hotels and ResortsCape Grace Hotel - BMWCape Grace Hotel on the Waterfront - Cape Town South Africa
    ©2017 Cape Grace. Proudly crafted by PlusPlusMinus
    ©2018 Cape Grace. Proudly crafted by PlusPlusMinus