Lets be frank, who doesn’t enjoy winding down with drink in hand at a refined establishment after a long day at the office? In Cape Town we’re fortunate enough to have an assortment of bars to suit every spirit connoisseur. Whether you enjoy an Irish whisky, a glass of local MCC, a signature cocktail – or even authentic Japanese sake, there is a bar to cater for your needs.
If reclining with a good tipple in a stylish setting is what your heart desires, here’s where to get your fix.
A wine, whisky and cocktail bar where the nouveau riche rub shoulders with execs and retired big-wigs. Bascule boasts a gorgeous setting from its location within the Cape Grace Hotel, where the fine finishes are every bit as classy as the drinks being served. The bartenders are masters of mixology. They have crafted a cocktail menu which keeps the daily after-work crowd coming back to recline. Think ‘Spiced Apple Julep’ – a signature cocktail bringing together a fragranced apple puree, fresh mint and lime, or the ‘Peaty Paloma’ which is a marriage of Reposado tequila, smoked black tea syrup, lime juice, grapefruit juice and sparkling water. If you’re feeling adventurous, look no further than the highly popular ‘Figment of Thyme’ – a Singleton 12 year old, lemon, fig jam, fresh thyme, Campari wash and sugar syrup.
For the seasoned, affluent traveller, Nobu is a name likely mentioned in your circle. The world-wide chain of Japanese-themed eateries not only presents a well-crafted tasting menu of delights from the Far East, but also a splendid drinks menu to compliment it. In this grand setting you can savour a tumbler of exquisite Louis XIII cognac – served neat as the way it should be. You can keep it authentic with a selection of genuine sake such as the Hokusetsu Onigoroshi “Devil Killer” or the Matsuhisa Martini and Hibiki.
Planet Bar at the Mount Nelson
We all know about young money, but establishment honours old money through and through. The Mount Nelson or ‘Nellie’ has traditionally been the oasis in Cape Town where A-list celebs hang out when they’re in town. Planet Bar is where the upper crust recline with a good tipple. Don’t be surprised to see Oprah Winfrey at the ‘Pink Lady’. It’s not flashy, but rather timeless elegance meets old world charm. Refined, but modern enough to offer you a glass of one of the finest glasses of MCC around, likewise, a glass of red from a first-rate Cape winery is best enjoyed around the Planet Bar’s fireplace during winter.
Hank’s Olde Irish
Behind a somewhat inconspicuous door on Bree Street lies a fine bar known as Hank’s Olde Irish. It’s a classy joint; Bree Street-stylish but no eyebrows will be raised if you don a T-shirt. As for the name, it is unclear who Hank is but we can be certain that he enjoyed sipping over mixing his drinks. On the shelves lie an impressive selection of scotch whiskies, the pride of the Irish, where brands like BenRiarch can be savoured, as can a Knappogue 12-year-old, Paddy and many more. Disco funk nights are most fun here, because what’s funkin’ better than hitting the dancefloor armed with a tumbler of Kilbeggan? A little outside area backs onto Heritage Square, where the stone-cobbled floor wouldn’t be out of place in Blarney itself.