The magic of Bree Street continues to elude me. I ventured up from Long Street one evening and have never left.
A special mention must go to some of my favourite spots in and around Bree Street – as the saying goes, all roads lead to Rome.
The place where I drank my first Old Fashioned mixed by the incredible Nick Koumbarakis. There were a lot of firsts at THoM, with many faces that have crept into my heart. I’ve spent daylight hours browsing Paul’s collections and sipping on flat whites made to perfection by Big B. At night, the lights dim and the workshop comes alive. Not matter how many delicious cocktails you drink, the sign “don’t be a dick” keeps you on your toes.
I can still see the cinnamon sparks flying on a Tiki Tuesday, and hear the notes of Andy Lund’s version of a certain James Bond theme song (which was better than the original by the way).
A special mention to Alex Duru, who always has a watchful eye on the lookout for trouble makers – thank you for your friendship, THoM wouldn’t be THoM without you.
The brain child of Luke “the Wookie” Whearty and Aki Nishikura, Outrage of Modesty has made me feel as though I’m living an episode of Chef’s Table. It’s been a while since I’ve made a turn by this new addition to Bree Street, but my palette won’t forget the times it was lured down the rabbit hole tasting banana wine (certain guests were indeed outraged) or shown the best of both worlds with the “Hot and Cold”.
A place where I’ve sipped on glasses of wine that fill me with thoughts of the vine and an ever growing appreciation for the artistry of the craft. It’s also been a spot where I’ve had interesting, life changing conversations with special people cough Belinda Taylor. I miss the wooden benches, the melted candlesticks in wine bottles and a certain Dane working behind the bar, but am slowly being won over by Ash’s mouth watering dishes. On the plus side you can also go buy Frankie Fenner meat cuts at 9pm at night – my favourite 100% free range butchery in town.
Is it the skate park beneath the restaurant or the well priced menu and cheerful atmosphere that keeps me going back to Clarke’s? The cheese burger is a rite of passage if you’re going for the first time.
For many, Clarke’s is a weekly ritual – and it’s not hard to see why.
The keys hanging above the ceiling make you want to look for locked doors and see where they may take you. It’s a place of dark corners, an air of the forbidden with delicious drinks that fill you with daring. I am not a frequent guest at Orphanage, but can appreciate why someone would be and will certainly go back when I find myself at the beginning of Bree.
Burger bars are popping up like flies in Cape Town. If you’re looking for the best burger of the lot, it’s on Bree Street at Inside & You’re Out (IYO). My favourite burger on their menu is also conveniently the cheapest, the Quick Dip (a smoked cheddar beef patty, topped with crispy onions and the IYO house dip on the side). Their secret remains a mystery. Whatever it is, they are THE BEST BURGER BAR in the CBD. It’s my truth, and other burgers can’t quite compare.
Aptly named for it’s eye-watering gin selection, this bar is nestled away next to Orphanage and has done much to convince me that gin isn’t just a summer spirit. There have been moments where I’ve doubted my love affair with gin, wooed away by my increasing preference for whisky-based cocktails. But Caitlin Hill, the face and force behind Mother’s Ruin, does a good job of steering me back to my first love. In her words, “it’s always gin-o-clock somewhere”. If you’re visiting Cape Town and are interested in a sensory exploration of our diverse botanicals, going to Mother’s Ruin and sampling some of our local gins is a good place to start. For everyone else, no reason needed.
Home to the doughsant and a realm of other tasty goodness, Jason Bakery is a place I don’t spend enough time at. What is a doughsant you say? Well my young padawan, I’m glad you asked. A doughsant is the “love child of a croissant and a doughnut” – a direct quote from Belinda Taylor. If it sounds a treat, the taste is just … just go on a Saturday morning. You’re welcome.
Then there are up and comers like Hank’s that are still in their infancy. I love the venue but think there is not enough patron appreciation for the whisky upon which the bar is premised.
Two other random but valid reasons I love Bree Street:
The name resembles a delicious French cheese and it has it’s own dedicated website with the tagline “Cape Town’s hippest street”.
Sweet dreams are made of Bree… who am I to disagree?
To the people and places in and around Bree Street that have made a lasting impression on me, this is my “La Vie En Rose” dedication to you.
*Disclaimer, I borrowed a few of the pictures from various Instagram feeds where I wasn’t able to take snaps myself on the night / and to backtrack to yonder memories. Please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Thank you to Boring Cape Town Chick for your friendship and for accompanying me on my picture taking escapade.