Clay Cafe is well known for being one of the most creative dining spots in the Mother City, showered in praise across the internet and from the lips of those who have been there. But, as it is with many places in Cape Town, one must ask if it is actually worth the hype.
At a first glance, a place where you can enjoy delicious food, and sip on a myriad of drink choices all whilst painting and turning into a messy wizard of creation might sound like something fantastical, but then, of course, the sceptic’s questions sneak in. How expensive is it all? What kind of food can I get, what can I actually paint, and what if I’m a terrible painter?
After a trip to Clay Cafe In the City recently, here’s the lowdown on the experience:
You’ll be greeted by the menu pretty early on in the Clay Cafe experience, after wandering through a wonderland of clay creations waiting to be designed by you. The menu is for the most part, incredibly healthy. There are tapas options for the peckish soul from ‘posh prawns’ to cauliflower roasted steak, pasta divine for those ready to get stuck into a good meal ( try the spinach and roasted butternut pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan, it’s heavenly) as well as open Gyro’s sandwiches and pizza you can vegan-ify.
As for the drinks, whether you’re a coffee person or a wine connoisseur, looking for a hearty draught or cocktail, Clay Cafe accommodates all your happy hour needs.
The painting experience:
Let’s get to the painting. At Clay Cafe, everything can happen at once so that you get a full experience, so pick your edible food then sink your teeth into clay creations. You’ll get to choose from far more than just a mug or plate. Create a design on a bunny, a mini-bus or even a skull! Once you choose your crop of the clay, you’ll head back up to pick your painting supplies.
The options are truly satisfying. You can take as many paints and brushes as you need, as well as stencils, stickers, pencils and other creative must-haves. There isn’t any additional cost per item at all, so you really have full reign to tune into your inner artist.
The best part about the experience, especially if you’re a first-timer, is that it’s supposed to be a little messy. Pro-tip: Don’t wear something you wouldn’t want to get paint on, no matter how much of a careful artist you may be. The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and will give you advice and assistance no matter how many times you ask if the paint is watered down enough.
If you aren’t a pro, then you’re probably going to have even more fun finding out what you can actually do when armed with a paintbrush and some colour.
It all sounds wonderful, but how much will your wallet like it? In all honestly, Clay Cafe is pretty reasonable when taking into account Cape Town prices. The studio fee that gives you all access to supplies is just R40, then it’s your meal, drinks and clay product that’ll fit the bill. However, what’s awesome about it all is that it’s cheaper than buying a done-up clay creation elsewhere, with the added bonus of an experience you’ll never forget and be reminded of every time you use the item. And, it’s all yours – one of a kind or the best personalised gift.
So, is it worth the hype? If you love creating, good food, and a truly unique experience that unlocks your inner artist, then yes and yes again.