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.

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.
FeaturedMeet the Marine Big 5
The Big 5: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant, and Buffalo. They are a large part of the reason why visitors flock to Africa, and they dominate the land. But did you know that we have also have the Marine Big 5? Africa’s oceans have been termed the Serengeti of the Seas, so prolific is the sea life that flourishes along our beautiful coastline. More than that, they can be enjoyed right here, in Cape Town. So who or what is …
Explore and ExperienceChristmas has come to Cape Grace
On the 10th of December, at the stroke of midnight, our elves transformed Cape Grace into a festive wonderland. Working tirelessly throughout the night, they alighted every surface with Christmasy touches, completing the makeover before our guests awoke at 6 am to the surprise. Beginning at the entrance, they bedecked the line of flower pots with dazzling red bows. They tiptoed up and down the halls, where they hung glittering white wreaths, and placed delightful figurines in corners. Here and …
FeaturedFestive Season Celebrations at the V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront is Cape Town’s most visited destination. Situated in the heart of Cape Town’s vibrant working harbour, and just a 2-min walk away from Cape Grace, the range of activities, dining experiences, and shopping mean that there are truly a myriad of attractions for any visitor. Now, with the festive season in full swing, there is even more to enjoy at this bustling hub of history, culture, food and fun.   Outdoor Exploring Battery Park …
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
    ©2018 Cape Grace. Proudly crafted byPlusPlusMinus
    ©2018 Cape Grace. Proudly crafted by PlusPlusMinus