Beat the Sunday blues with wine, tapas and live music
Bread Café in Woodstock’s Bromwell Boutique Mall
Have your cake and eat it, too, at Cape Town’s finest patisserie, artisanal bakery, coffee spot and restaurant
Man cannot live on bread alone, but when that bread is a slice of oven fresh ciabatta, topped with pork belly and crowned with a crackling almond hazelnut brittle, one’s inclined to question that particular proverb. Bread Café is the toast of trendy Woodstock, enticing window-shoppers in with the aroma of artisanal loaves baking and the scent of expertly brewed coffee.
Occupying the lower story of the Bromwell Boutique Mall, one of Cape Town’s most striking buildings, the café maintains elements of old world grandeur and glamour with its lofty ceilings and laid-back, luxurious furnishings. Whether you are cosying up to the fireplace in the Cape winter, or savouring a signature cocktail on the airy terrace in summer, Bread Café is comfort incarnate.
Classic and contemporary, Bread’s interior is accented with dynamic local artwork- the chandeliers dripping in wooden beads are the perfect expression of the hotspot’s take on modern home-grown chic. The urban escape is not only a haven for good conversation and gastronomic indulgence, but also a picture-perfect venue for events, from launches to lunches. The stylish spot has set the scene for birthdays, charity fundraisers and even a few fashion shows.
For gourmets on the go, the patisserie and bakery also serve as a deli, offering excellent coffees and freshly baked loaves, cakes and confections for takeaway. Visitors who are after more than a quick cuppa are invited to take high tea, a regal and decadent affair well worth the R180 price-tag. The tranquil Parisian salon, with its sumptuous upholstery and tiered trays decked with delicate pastries, cakes and scones, suggests a very different history to the true tale of The Bromwell Hotel. Once a jewel in jostling 1920’s Cape Town, the hotel fell into disrepute and disrepair as the twentieth century waned. The Bromwell, crumbling and crime-ridden, was finally condemned in the late 90’s. But salvation swooped in in the form of MadWorld, the creative force behind Bread. Rescuing The Bromwell from the bulldozers, they lovingly restored the old dame her back to her glory days, maintaining her heritage charm and original fittings.
This salvaged gem shines once again on vibrant Albert Road as The Bromwell Boutique Mall, with a striking red exterior and a proud lion roaring above the grand entrance. Patrons who come for the patisserie’s feather-light almond croissants and decadent banoffie pies, might also find themselves leaving with a sampling of South Africa’s most exciting emerging design talent. No visit to Bread is complete without a peek up the stately wooden staircase to Cape Town’s answer to Liberty of London- the thoughtfully curated Bromwell Boutique Mall. There’s nothing half-baked about this concept store gallery: former hotel rooms have become showcases for unique art, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle design pieces. You’ll find celebrated names like David Tlale and couturier Jacques La Grange hanging from The Bromwell’s exclusive racks, but the venue is also passionate about providing a platform for up and coming talent. The offerings are immaculately tailored, and electrifying in their originality- there’s a sense that any of these small-batch labels might be the next big thing brewing.
For all its tasteful editorial ambience, The Bromwell offers an impressive variety: plus sized little black dresses by Erre; high-drama agate jewellery from Rawjoy and high end but affordable gifts for men in the form of afropop pocket squares, tasteful tiepins and luxe leathers. This former den of sin is now a personalised shopping paradise and a launchpad for Mzanzi’s most inspired design.
The boutique’s commitment to the beautiful, bijou and bespoke is echoed in the eatery downstairs. Bread boasts a seasonal menu, prepared by visionary perfectionist chef Lewis Gordon with the finest locally sourced produce. The dishes are fresh, inventive takes on hearty favourites- the breakfast menu alone is a gourmet goldmine. And all are reasonably priced: Bread Benedict, perfect poached eggs topped with smoked trout and a halo of Hollandaise, will set you back only R75.
Our readers are invited to enjoy a smooth start to their weekend with live jazz out on the terrace on Fridays. With a special tapas selection to dip into and 30% off of the classiest cocktails in town, Bread café really is the best thing since…well, since sliced bread.
Tip: Customers are tended to by Service Ambassadors- too well turned out to be called waiters- who are friendly, knowledgeable and always ready with a menu recommendation or pairing.
The Bill: Prices are reasonable- sweet treats all come in for no more than R50, breakfast options range from R10 – R75, gourmet sandwiches range from R55 to R90, while starters and mains are priced between R40 and R135.
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday day: 8am – 5pm; Friday and Saturday Evenings- Open until 9pm
Want to grab a cuppa elsewhere in The Mother City? Have a look at our round-up of the Best Coffee Shops in Cape Town. Or, if you are looking to have a late breakfast, have a squiz at our selection of the Top Brunch Spots in Cape Town.
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