ike a favourite aunt, The Grand Café & Rooms in Plettenberg Bay feels like it’s been around forever, even though it’s not yet five years old. The mismatched furniture, overstuffed cushions, gilt-edged mirrors, silver candelabra, extra-high beds dressed in starched white linen, lashings of velvet and signature red roses throughout all contribute to its lived-in charm. And now there’s even more to enjoy with the addition of a street-facing stoep for the café, with tables offering the perfect spot to people-watch – a key occupation in Plett’s high season.
The Salon spa has extended to double its size. Inside, the dining area has been reconfigured to maximise floor space and include a separate Cognac Lounge – the designated space for cigars and post-prandial drinks. A small eighth bedroom has been created on the main poolside, and the old breakfast hall has become The Bathhouse, a fabulous suite with its own swimming pool outside in the walled-off courtyard and a romantic bathroom with two big baths standing side by side. The old attractions remain, including the simple bistro menu and trademark cocktails. Both are similar to The Grand Café & Rooms’ stablemates, The Grand Café in Camps Bay and the just-opened The Grand Café & Beach in Granger Bay, both in Cape Town.
Opt for fish cakes and salad or good old fish and chips with tartare sauce. The Durban lamb curry is also a popular dish. Wash it down with a bottle of house wine or stick to the cocktails such as the popular grand dowager daiquiri or the Long Island iced tea. Dine outside around the refectory-style tables or grab a pew on the beach side and enjoy the fabulous view of the bay. This is a place created for relaxing, whether it’s over a leisurely meal, lying on a sun lounger or curled up on a deep couch, book in hand. Once you pass through the huge wooden entrance doors, each day seems to run into the next, marked only by your decreasing stress levels.
The Grand Café & Rooms, thegrand.co.za
This article was originally published in the February 2010 issue of House and Leisure.