Nothing can beat the charm of the South African Padstal. Those quintessential little shops that we all know so well from family road trips, filled with baked treats, household treasures and the familiarity of home.
Unfortunately, living in a big bad city such as Cape Town leaves very little room for old-world gems such as these. This was the case, however, until the clever team behind Tamboers Winkel came to town.
Nestled in the bustling restaurant hub of Kloof Street, Tamboers Winkel has fast become one of the Mother City’s most prized possessions. It has beautifully combined the gorgeous, small town charm of the Afrikaans shoppie with the elegance and sophistication of modern day design. A true aesthetic stroke of genius, if you ask me.
Arriving at this quaint café really does feel as though you are going for tea at Ouma’s home. A beautiful communal wooden table takes pride of place in the centre of the room while stacked wooden crates and clean pine shelving showcase quirky household goodies and delicious wines for sale, along the walls. This wooden sophistication coupled with the thoughtful details, such as the old tin cups housing cutlery, creates a space that is stylish without being ostentatious; and different without the pretentious need to be hipster.
And as for the coffee, it was delicious. There is no better way to while away an afternoon of sidestepping lectures than over a yummy cappuccino while watching a sunshiny day in Cape Town unfold. From the window benches at the front of the restaurant, I tucked in to my midday treat and I half forgot that I was in a public restaurant and not in my Granny’s cosy kitchen. The best part of all was realising, post delicious coffee, that I in fact was not at home and, hence, did not have to wash up. Every students dream!
Tamboers Winkel has only been open a year and it has become somewhat of an institution during this short time. Regular customers aren’t shy to tax in on the rotisserie chickens which you can take home to dinner parties and impress your friends with. On Wednesday evenings they have wine tasting events and Thursday is Beer and Burger night. The menu is wholesome and fresh- think green bean salads, cauliflower and vanilla soup and old school favourites like chicken pie and roasted veggies. The restaurant is always a great go to for solo missions, cheeky gossip sessions with friends, nervous first dates or even midday business meetings. It is cosy, it is welcoming and it is so very charming that, whatever the occasion, the familiar atmosphere is guaranteed to make the event a success.
This little winkel seems a little out of place in the heart of the city and better suited to a farmhouse somewhere in Greyton. I’m glad to have found it though; because this kind of yesteryear space recycled in to a 21st century mould does wonders for my soul. It is a wonderful reminder of a lifestyle where good food takes time, conversations are better in person than over cell phones and where a drinking cup of coffee in sunshine can redeem an awful week in to something glorious.