I have always had a fascination with France and it has always been my dream to head over there one day and do all of the touristy things like take in all the sites, taste exceptional French cuisine and maybe even engrave and forever link a lock to the Love Bridge with that special someone! And, one of the things I have listed on my Bucket List is to dine at a stunning little French café on the streets of Paris (you know, like how you see it played out in movies), but thanks to this special find, I can happily cross that off my list without having to spend a fortune on flights and accommodation. Arbour Café is a hidden gem and is definitely worth a visit if you happen to be in Birdhaven!
This quaint French-styled spot may look small, but looks can be deceiving! From the moment you walk into the little café you will feel as if you have teleported to one of those French cafes right on the streets of Paris! And, if you are looking for the authentic experience by sitting outdoors, their courtyard out in the back is absolutely stunning! The courtyard space is filled with stunning greenery and flora, furnished with steelwork plant frames, elegant chairs and white tables. Everything looks so fresh and inviting that you cannot help but sit back and automatically feel relaxed and at ease. This space is wonderful if you are looking to host a baby shower, a decadent high tea, birthday and even engagement parties. At night with the fairy lights, this space lights up into a romantic and enchanting haven. Also, Arbour Café is kid-friendly, offering kids a kiddies’ table where they can enjoy playing with toys, drawing and scribbling on chalk boards. And, if you have a four-legged companion, they are also welcome! You can also do a little work on the run as they have free WiFi.
Owner, Robyn and her staff are absolutely delightful! Service is so friendly and attentive, and Robyn was more than happy to talk us through her inspiration for the menu and the beginnings of Arbour Café while also showing us around the centre. What I loved most about this spot is the sense of community – everyone knows everyone, from shop owners to regulars at the café. Once we had the grand tour, Robyn sat down with us and gave us a few recommendations from the menu, from the most popular dishes to what she enjoyed the most. All of the food on the menu is simple yet interesting when it comes to the combination of flavours – Crystal and I definitely had a hard time choosing just ONE dish each as everything sounded absolutely amazing! They are popular and busy during breakfast and lunch as they offer a tempting selection of omelettes, galettes and crepes that will leave you feeling spoilt for choice. Arbour Café is also known for their fantastic selection of French ciders. We got to sip on some Sidre Brut which has an interesting flavour to it – sweet and dry, yet gave me tastes of wine and beer at the same time! I have never tasted anything like it before!
Once we have finally sifted through the menu and weighed out what we thought sounded absolutely amazing, Crystal and I placed our orders (after having the poor waiter, Gift, walk to and fro from our table three times). Crystal decided she would try the Creamy Wild Mushroom, Parsley and Gruyere galette (R85) while I opted for the Duck Confit with Spiced Cherry Sauce galette (R85). It was the first time I had ever tried a galette, and all I can say is it was absolutely amazing! The dishes looked stunning and the food was so full of flavour! The portions are generous, and will definitely leave you feeling full and content. Needless to say, we devoured our galettes and we naturally wanted to try what they had to offer on the sweeter side of things. Sticking to my Banting diet while leading the career I do is rather difficult, so when I noticed that they make a Banting Cheesecake, I was immediately interested to try it! They didn’t have any available on the day that we paid them a visit, but I know I will definitely be back just to try that! Instead we opted for the Salted Caramel and Apple Crepes served with ginger ice cream (R60) – and boy, did they NOT disappoint! The crepes were soft and warm, with warm and fresh apples folded inside, and the ginger ice cream complimented the crepe perfectly. And, to end off the afternoon, a spot of tea was served while we took in the beautiful courtyard and watched what the other customers had ordered (just getting ideas for my next visit I guess).
Arbour Café definitely surprised and amazed us with everything from the quaint café and beautiful courtyard, to the interesting selection of crepes and galettes and the interesting list of French ciders available. I will be mentioning this spot the next time family and friends are looking to catch a bite to eat while in Birdhaven! They are open Monday to Saturday and offer a special dinner on Thursday evenings which is couple with a wine tasting to complement your meal, so be sure to make a trip to this stunning French-inspired café!
For more information on Arbour Café, visit them on:
By Kim Brown
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