BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Financial Mail - - LIFE OUTBOX - Ju­lia Free­man­tle

When next you’re swan­ning around Cape Town, there is an aptly named new crêperie you might like to try: the Swan Café.

As the name sug­gests, the re­gal fowl is cen­tral to the con­cept and the dé­cor. The bird has sym­bolic sig­nif­i­cance for owner Jes­sica Rush­mere, who used to own La Petite Tarte in De Waterkant.

You can ex­pect avian ac­cents in ev­ery­thing, from ro­man­tic mono­chrome Da Vinci mu­rals to me­tal­lic bird cages strung from the ceil­ing, feather-shaped ceramic tiles and blue-and-pink swan wall­pa­per in the bath­room.

The aes­thetic is a trib­ute to Jes­sica’s back­ground — she was born in France. There are curvy sil­hou­ettes and a sense of Parisian play­ful­ness that is kept in check by some clever con­tem­po­rary touches, like a ban­quette up­hol­stered in pin­striped denim (a sweet ref­er­ence to the Bre­ton stripe).

The clas­sic French tri­colour pal­ette has been up­dated with mod­ern mid­tones through the use of grey con­crete screed floors and dusty pink tim­ber counter- and table­tops.

All of this de­sign magic is the work of SA de­signer Hal­dane Martin. His imag­i­na­tion and at­ten­tion to de­tail are ev­i­dent through­out the space.

There’s be­spoke seat­ing that of­fers a nod to the bistro aes­thetic, but with a new feel — the chairs dis­play el­e­ments of the clas­sic café chair, but have a more in­dus­trial bent; the stools fea­ture min­i­mal met­al­work and the ta­bles’ el­e­gant bases are painted pri­mary blue.

Martin has cho­sen a se­lec­tion of state­ment light­ing pieces that give the restau­rant a high-de­sign feel. There is a com­bi­na­tion of cop­perand-brass me­tal­lic vin­tage lights through­out, brass pen­dants above the main counter and egg-shaped fea­ture lights.

Open shelv­ing shows off colour­coded crock­ery be­hind the tiled ser­vice counter, and forms a de­sign el­e­ment in it­self: there are teas and ac­ces­sories for sale on dis­play.

The menu is sim­ple; the se­lec­tion of sweet crêpes, savoury galettes and teas and cof­fees makes it an ideal stop for an el­e­gant brunch or a quick cof­fee meet­ing.

New Cape Town spot sports crack­ing in­te­ri­ors

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