What come closest to feeling as chic as Mademoiselle Chanel? May be dining like her? A café in Cape Town makes sure you do exactly that.
By Maryanne Njeri Maina
If you are still looking for more excuses to fly to Cape Town to this café with a belle époque design, there’re more. It is one of the world’s first botanical cafés. Named Coco Safar after Coco Chanel (Safar is from the Swahili word for safari), it offers a multisensory experience.
Step into this café and you might feel you are about to become a star, boarding a vintage train. The retro chic, cinematic feeling is timeless. Capsule Emporium, Espresso Bar, Couture Patisserie and Luxury Café form a part of this space.
The Capsule Emporium boasts an industrial-style mezzanine library displaying the eye-catching capsule collections, retrievable by ladders and secured by floor-to-ceiling oxidised-steel columns. Saddle-stitched linen panels bring an element of timeless elegance and handmade finesse to the space. Nearly everything was exclusively designed and made in Cape Town including hand-stitched leather seating, solid oak counters and hand-blown light fittings.
Coco Safar houses the world’s first botanical coffee and Rooibos brewery, top coffee roastery in Africa. It has great quality patisserie and chocolate supplies. You can indulge in haute chocolate patisseries beautified with an orange blossom ganache or pop the Chocolate Bonbons in white, milk and dark flavours, hand painted in different colours. Team the dessert with Stellenbosch green Rooibos capsule or Napoli coffee. A must-try is a flavour named Lisbon.
“We have botanical mixology which is where we brew with plant-based materials. The Rooibos tea is brewed for 76 hours or six days (like beer without the alcohol!). Our tonics are infused with Rooibos and we serve it on the tap like beer. You can sit by the bar and watch the brewery doing the brews. It is a rare experience,” says Wilhelm Liebenberg, co-founder of Coco Safar.
Coco Safar has also created the first airtight, compostable (Nespresso compatible) coffee and Rooibos bio-capsules in Africa. These capsules decompose after 160 days and must be left in the ground to decompose. This is a crucial aspect for luxury consumers who are conscious about sustainability and the protection of the environment. To add to the feel, the capsules are named as Manhattan, Napoli, Kaapstad, Havana, Stellenbosch, Saint Tropez. The café plans to add more to the list: Marrakesh, Jakarta, Lisbon. Through the capsules, the visitor is taken on a journey to the place the capsule is named after.
Coco Safar soon plans to open doors in New York in 36 months followed by Los Angeles, Tokyo, Shanghai or Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and London. Luxury is an experience. Everything here is handmade, from the furniture to the coffee and the pastries, we do it here. “Like Coco Chanel, we are elegant,” Wilhelm says.
Artem Centre, 277 Main Road, Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa