A glittering ultramarine-and-white backdrop sets the scene for a first glimpse of the gorgeous guy on the beach at Granger Bay – the guy in question being The Grand Café and Beach, which sprawls languidly on the sand overlooking Table Bay. The latest addition to the collection of successful properties of the same name (see ‘Even More Grand’, page 75), it’s been dubbed the baby brother or beach boy of the group.
Set right on the edge of the water, with Green Point Stadium peeping over the roof, Cape Town’s top summer hot spot feels as if it should be the subject of a bossa nova song – it’s exotic, romantic, relaxed and sophisticated all at once. The eclectic combination of plush and extravagant soft furnishings and decor pieces, teamed with the casual location and rough exterior of the building, bears the stylish mark of owner Sue Main.
The restaurant and bar is housed in what used to be an industrial warehouse. Corrugated-iron sheeting forms the shell and roof of the building, with exposed beams and ceiling fans on show, and grey screed floors stretching across the cavernous interior. The raw environment has been transformed with the addition of Indian rugs and an enormous, elaborate antique chandelier hanging over a 24-seater dining table made by local designer Gregor Jenkin.
A 15-metre-long bar counter, designed by Sue, runs the length of the room, behind which bottles are displayed on shelves that originally stood in a Parisian apothecary. At one end, a wood-fired pizza oven is perpetually on the go, as chef Seelan Sundoo prepares the oblong-shaped pizzas that feed two to six people, and behind this is the open, busy kitchen. The opposite end of the space opens onto a large deck leading down to the beach, where there are couches or Indian day beds to flop onto. Cocktail in hand, it’s a fabulous place to sit while the sun is high – or after dark, with candlelight setting a romantic mood.
The Grand Café and Beach, Beach Road, Granger Bay, Cape Town, 021-425-0551, thegrand.co.za
This article was originally published in the February 2010 issue of House and Leisure.