Cake is just one of those things that universally makes the world a happier place. In light of National Cake Day on 26 November, we sat down with our Executive Pastry Chef, Paula Johnson to learn about her journey in the patisserie industry:
How did you become a pastry chef?
“I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything else! As a young girl, I would spend hours looking at cake pictures in my mom’s recipe books and ended up completing my Chef’s Diploma in England, after which I worked my way up the ranks.”
What is your favourite thing about your job?
“I love the satisfaction of sending out plates of beautifully crafted desserts and seeing the guest’s “ooh and aah” reactions. I also have an incredibly special place in my heart for all the trainees that come under my tutelage.”
What is your best creation?
“I’ve made some good wedding cakes, however, I think my best creation is my Christmas gingerbread house. It’s not as easy as it looks, trust me! My first attempt was a dog’s breakfast, but every year it gets better.”
What inspires you?
“Flavours and good quality ingredients inspire me. There’s nothing worse than eating a piece of cake that looks amazing but tastes poor!”
Do you have any advice for aspiring pastry chefs?
“Be a purist. There is no room for short-cuts in pastry… Do things the right way from beginning to end and this attention to detail will be evident in the final product.”
Paula’s advice to Pepperclub’s guests this National Cake Day? Life is short! Eat the cake….
A visit to Bo Kaap – one of the Mother City’s most famous inner-city locations – offers an exciting blend of food, art, scenery, culture and history.
Set on the slopes of Signal Hill, this vibrant area is best-known for its colourful cottages, rich Cape Malay heritage and its traditional mosques. Whether you are based nearby, or simply passing through the city, we recommend taking some time to explore this local gem.
From traditional English Breakfast and Earl Grey blends, to healthy green teas and wonderfully adventurous fruit infusions, the tea culture in the Mother City has exploded in recent years – offering a variety of great options for tea lovers to enjoy a perfect cuppa. Whether you are looking for daytime date ideas, somewhere to celebrate a special occasion, or even just a curated list of places to enjoy your favourite beverage, we have rounded up our favourite tea spots in and around the city bowl.
Lady Bonin’s Tea Bar
213 Long Street, City Centre / +27 (0)83 628 2504
The very first of its kind in Cape Town, Lady Bonin’s is open Monday to Friday from 08h00 to 16h30, and Saturday from 09h30 to 14h30. At this cosy spot, you’ll find an extensive selection of tea blends – including a variety of black, green, herbal and speciality teas – to take home or enjoy in the small café. Look out for their trademark blends such as the Rooibos Choc Chili Chai, Earl Grey Blue Flower, Turkish Apple, Moroccan Mint and other delicious offerings.
Rhodes Memorial Restaurant and Tea Garden
Rhodes Memorial Street, Newlands / +27 (0)21 687 0000
Situated within the Rhodes Memorial monument grounds, boasting breath-taking views of the Groote Schuur estate section of Table Mountain National Park, as well as the Cape Metropole below, this restaurant offers a lovely place to enjoy afternoon tea. With a great menu of teas that include black, Rooibos, green and herbal, along with sweet treats such as scones, chocolate brownies, milk tart, baked cheesecake and milkshakes, Rhodes Memorial restaurant and Tea Garden is a popular choice among locals, especially for Sunday afternoon tea.
Heritage House, 20 Dreyer Street, Claremont / +27 (0)21 671 2850
If you’re in the mood to venture 20 minutes or so out of the city, O’ways Teacafe in the southern suburbs is an idyllic place to enjoy a good cup of tea. The café is close to Cavendish Square shopping centre and their tea menu is extensive, boasting a range of red, black, white, green and herbal teas. Look out for unique options such as the Green sencha tea, flavoured with Japanese cherry, China white tea, Taiwan Oolong tea, Kenya black tea, fruit infusion with apple, hibiscus and cranberries, China red tea, orange and spice infused Rooibos and many other delightful teas. You can also find delicious coffee here.
Kirstenbosch Tea Room
Gate 2, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Rhodes Drive, Newlands / +27 (0)21 797 4883
Open every day of the week, from 08h30 until 17h00, the Kirstenbosch Tea Room is the ideal place to enjoy a leisurely tea amidst the beautiful setting of the renowned National Botanical Gardens. If being outdoors in nature tickles your fancy, then taking in this beautifully tranquil spot with a great cup of tea and a sweet treat (or breakfast!) is a perfect solution. The tea room is situated near Gate 2 within the gardens, which means that an entry fee is required upon entering the property, so you may as well make a day of it.
Pierneef à La Motte
Main Road, Franschhoek / +27 (0)21 876 8800
If you’re taking a day to explore more of the Cape, beyond the City borders and into the Cape Winelands, make sure that the small town of Franschhoek is on your agenda. Not only is the drive truly remarkable, with its exceptional scenery, this town is well known for its variety of exquisite dining spots, such as Pierneef à La Motte. This restaurant is open from 09h00, Tuesday to Sunday, closing at 17h00, and reopening for dinner from 19h00 to 23h00 from Thursday to Saturday. Pierneef à La Motte is the perfect spot for afternoon tea, with a picturesque setting, decadent menu full of offerings such as trout-filled pancakes, milk tart flavoured chocolate truffle, macaroons and an assortment of cakes.
Looking for additional assistance booking afternoon tea in Cape Town during your visit to the Mother City? Book your stay at Pepperclub Hotel & Spa to experience the very finest level of excellence. With a host of facilities, along with world-class service, guest concierge and plenty more, we offer the ideal place for a well-deserved break. Contact us to make your booking today!
Wondering where to find the best places to enjoy a good beer in Cape Town? Whether you consider yourself a craft beer aficionado, or simply enjoy a cold brew on a hot day, Cape Town’s beer scene has exploded with new life in recent months. As the ‘beer revolution’ continues to grow, craft beers and microbreweries are on the rise.
Here are a few places to sample some of Cape Town’s local brews:
223 Long Street, CBD / +27 (0)21 424 3370
Beerhouse is an absolute must on any beer-lovers itinerary when visiting this City. Open from 11h00 until late, Beerhouse is one of the most popular choices for craft beer enthusiasts, and for good reason as it boasts 25 on-tap beer choices and a selection of no fewer than 99 local and international bottled beers. The atmosphere is relaxed and also has an excellent food menu. Beers to try here include Boston Loaded Canon, Duvel Tripel Hop, Triggerfish Brewing Titan, Honingklip Indian Pale Ale, Darling Bone Crusher, Carolus Gouden Ambrio, Birkenhead Pride Old English Bitter, Delirium Tremens and many, many others.
The Taproom – Devil’s Peak Brewing Company
150 Cecil Rd, Salt River / +27 (0)21 200 5818
Image via citybymouth.com
The Taproom is the on-site restaurant and bar for Devil’s Peak Brewing Company, a microbrewery located in Salt River, just outside of the city bowl and is open from 11h00 until 02h00, Monday to Saturday. There are regular specials held throughout the week, ranging from daytime happy hours from 16h00 until 18h00 on Monday to Friday, with a 20% discount on all beer on tap, to weekday specials on food and beer. Beers to sample here include Devil’s Peak Lager, Devil’s Peak Pale Ale, King’s Blockhouse IPA and First Light to name just a few.
Weinhaus + Biergarten
110 Bree Street, CBD / +27 (0)21 422 2770
Image via globalgallop.com
Formerly known as &Union, Weinhaus + Biergarten is a trendy inner city bar and restaurant that has an excellent selection of craft beers on tap, as well as a wide range of high quality imported German beer. Relaxed indoor and outdoor spaces, with regular live music sessions by local bands, makes this spot a popular hangout for locals and tourists alike throughout the year. The beer to try here is Steph Weiss – a delicious brew that will appeal to even the most stringent tastes.
Mitchell’s Waterfront Brewery
Corner of East Pier & Dock Road, Waterfront / +27 (0)21 419 5074
Open from 11h00 until late, Mitchell’s is a microbrewery that produces six beers and three ales. The V&A Waterfront bar and restaurant is centrally located, with a year-round atmosphere that makes it ideal whatever the weather. The food is delicious, and the beers are equally tasty. Look out for beers such as Foster’s Lager, Bosuns Bitter, Ninety Shilling Ale and Raven Stout, to name just a few.
SAB Newlands Brewery
3 Main Road, Newlands
Visiting Cape Town’s original brewery is a treat to both locals and visitors alike. The SAB Newlands Brewery is situated just a short drive out of the city, next to the famous Newlands Rugby Stadium. A tour of the brewery is available and is a fascinating experience to both the cultured and novice beer-drinker. A tasting is included in the tour and there is the opportunity to taste a number of SAB brands, including their new craft beer range, brewed at their new microbrewery on site. Typical South African beers to try here include the Castle Milk Stout, Black Label, Castle Lager, Castle Lite, and the new Flying Fish.
Looking for more ideas on where to sample some of Cape Town’s local beers during your holiday? The Pepperclub Hotel & Spa concierge team will assist in making bookings throughout your stay. Contact us for more assistance, or book your stay today to enjoy our world-class guest service and legendary accommodation
Having recently enjoyed a renaissance world-wide, artisanal gin is the latest trend to hit the craft scene in Cape Town. This white spirit, which is flavoured by juniper berries, is a perfect fit with South African flora as it serves as a blank canvas for local distillers to infuse their own handcrafted blend of traditional South African flavours from indigenous fynbos and other botanicals.
Giving the city’s craft beer trend a run for its money, Cape Town’s gin scene is fast emerging, with a small but notable selection of premium gin distilleries found in and around the city. Here are some of Cape Town’s top local gin distilleries to visit:
Woodstock Gin Company
399 Albert Road, Woodstock | +27 21 821 8208
As the name implies, this small scale distillery is based in Woodstock and was founded by Simon Von Witt. With a passion for gin-making and a belief that creating the perfect gin is far more than simply infusing alcohol with juniper, Simon has developed a fynbos gin that fuses Rooibos, buchu herbs and honey bush – a combination of endemic Cape botanicals that make this gin truly unique. Tasting can be enjoyed at the distillery, but bookings are essential so be sure to call ahead to arrange a tasting session or tour
Laurenskirk Estate, Old Riversdale Road (R305), Stillbaai | +27 (0)28 754 2442
For a rewarding day trip, a visit to Inverroche Distillery is highly-recommended. Ingredients are harvested by hand from the Cape’s coastal dunes and mountainous regions, with a focus on sustainable harvesting that has little impact on the surrounding environments. The distillery produces three uniquely South African gins starting with the Classic Gin which boasts citrus flavours along with Angelica root and Cassia bark to add depth, and lastly a hint of coriander seeds and cardamom pods. Gin Verdant, their more subtly favoured product, features ingredients from all over the globe from exotic African flavours, to spices from the Middle East and the European juniper. Lastly, the Gin Amber is a complex gin balanced by coastal botanicals that produce its amber colour. Visitors can choose from a distillery tour and tasting, or a simple 15 minute sampling experience. Bookings are essential.
New Harbour Distillery
Unit 009, Masons Press, 7 Ravenscraig Road, Woodstock | +27 (0)82 550 3421
Also based in Woodstock, the New Harbour Distillery uses both modern and traditional distilling techniques to create a selection of spirits that include gin and vodka. Their specialties include Spekboom gin which is created from the leaf of the Spekboom tree and is very high in vitamin C. while their Rooibos gin provides a one-of-a-kind flavour using botanicals unique to the Cape Peninsula. Along with their distillery tour, you can also try your hand at a gin making class or book a gin tasting. Bookings are essential for all activities.
Versailles Farm, Regent Street, Wellington | +27 (0)21 864 1777
Jorgensen’s Gin uses spicy juniper berries that is harvested in Paarl from South Africa’s only juniper plantation. Exotic additions to the gin include angelica root, orris root, calamus root, coriander, liquorice root, bitter apricot kernels and African wild ginger, which all add plenty of depth, while top notes from delicate touches of naartjie and Cape lemon peels, buchu, Grains of Paradise, rose geranium and perfumed Ohandua from Kaokoveld, further enhance the gin’s flavour profile. Tastings and tours are available on request and bookings are essential.
Hope on Hopkins
Image courtesy of Crush Magazine
7 Hopkins Street, Salt River | +27 (0)21 447 1950
A boutique distillery based in Salt River, Hope on Hopkins is the Mother City’s first gin distillery and offers plenty of character. Named after the owners’ grandmothers, Maude and Mildred are the first two stills to be licensed by the City of Cape Town and are used to create a unique gin range that uses botanicals for added taste and aroma. Hope on Hopkins offers a special tour and tasting experience where Mimo, the distillery cat, will be waiting to greet you.
At Pepperclub Hotel & Spa, we aim to provide our guests with the best possible experience during their stay. If you would like assistance to arrange a Cape Town gin tour or tasting during your stay at Pepperclub, contact our concierge and we will help you plan the ultimate gin experience.
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