Afternoon Tea in refurbished Vista Bar & Lounge is the One&Only in Cape Town!


OO Vista Bar view Whale CottageI have long been a fan of the One&Only Cape Town’s Afternoon Tea, a refreshing spread of savoury and sweet treats in its Vista Bar & Lounge with a wonderful view onto Table Mountain.

I was invited by the hotel’s PR consultant Ian Manley to enjoy the updated Afternoon Tea with him and the hotel Public Relations and Marketing manager Ashleigh Fleming, and to see the decor changes that have been done in the Vista Bar & Lounge. The foundation of the refurbishment is to make it more contemporary, and to bring Cape Town and its beauty into the hotel, to represent ‘We are the Vista’, Ashleigh explained.  Given that the hotel opened five years ago, it was time for a ‘facelift‘, and the sea colours of grey, blue, and green were introduced. The chairsOO Robben Whale Cottage and couches were re-upholstered, the Afternoon Tea buffet table is new, the carpet is new, and a special edition seal sculpture by Donald Greig, named Robben after the island, guards over the Afternoon Tea.

The hotel gift shop is being redone too, and will sell local artisan products, including smaller size Donald Grieg works, and jewellery by Shimansky’s.

OO Buffet 2 Whale CottageThe Afternoon Tea is French classic in style, representing the past, present, and future, said Ashleigh. Cupcakes and cheesecake will always be on the menu.  The Afternoon Tea menu is changed regularly, depending on what is seasonal, and by theme, their Christmas spread starting mid-month.  The items which were on the buffet yesterday were fruit and plain scones with chantilly cream and strawberry confiteur, baked vanilla bean cheesecake, fruit bretonne, caramel and gold leaf éclair, dark chocolate cupcakes, marble tea loaf, banana loaf, macaroons, koeksisters, pancetta with fresh fruit, peanut cookies, O&O cookies, Pavlova, biscotti, milk chocolate soft toffee, Amaretti cookies, Lindt choc chip cookies, Cake of the day, Cannelle, marshmallow, nougat, Black Forest saverin, and whiteOO Vista Bar Fruit Tarts Whale Cottage chocolate and passion fruit elice.  The Savoury section had the most wonderful Malay-style paté with crisp bread, cheese and pastrami buns with mustard, egg and watercress buns, chicken and mushroom mini pies, chicken and mushrooms wontons, vegetable spring rolls, cheese and chili straws, vegetable quiche, vegetable chili bites, and chilled Gazpacho.  The cost of R195 per head is very reasonable.  

OO Pastry CHef Kyle Hickman Whale CottageChef Kyle Hickman talked us through the buffet, holding the fort while Pastry Chef Renê Simatos is on maternity leave.  He has been at the hotel for more than a year, and was previously at Lindt, where René’s husband works.   The Vista Bar & Lounge was well occupied yesterday, with families enjoying the Afternoon Tea too, reflecting the hotel’s positioning to attract the ‘multi-generational family‘.

The hotel has also been honoured with a pop-up Moët Ice Bar, one of a few selected destinations around the world, which will be operational from 13 December to 15 January.   More exciting projects appear to be in the pipeline, which Ashleigh could not yet reveal.

Disclosure:  I received a surprise gift of a cake specially made by Chef Kyle, which I will enjoy as an early birthday cake.

Vista Bar & Lounge, One&Only Cape Town, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. Tel (021) 431-5888.  Monday – Sunday, 14h30 – 17h30.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  Tel (021) 433-2100 Twitter:@WhaleCottage  Facebook:  click here

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