“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf

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Once upon a time, 2009, to be precise, The Duchess of Wisbeach, was born, in a little side street off the main road in Sea Point, Cape Town. It’s owned and run by a team that have had restaurants in Johannesburg for 20 years. It’s everything you would expect from a NYC speak easy or something you might discover in a side street in Paris, with or without Woody Allen’s Picasso, Dali and Hemmingway . It’s nostalgic, discreet, slightly glam and romantic. The intimacy and honesty feel like a by gone era where old fashioned food of the best quality gets served with passion and humor. Porcelain dogs sit on all the tables and intelligent waiters keep a discreet watch over their customers. Service is professional , quick and without pretention.

The background sounds of Cole Porter, Louis Armstrong, Doris Day and the rest of the band stand gang is an ongoing reminder of old fashioned civility, as are classics like Bloody Mary, white peach Bilinis, Avo Ritz, Roast Chicken and proper thrice fried chips which are some of the staples you will find on the seasonal menu. Comfy dog baskets are placed near the kitchen, where the owner’s dogs languidly recline. Well behaved dogs are encouraged to accompany their owners. An old wooden, marbled top bar at the entrance is lined with locals , regulars and equally glam tourists. The Duchess of Wisbeach’s philosophy is to serve honest good quality food in a professional way and to have fun while they do the best job they can.

A rare find in a rushed world.