Some buildings stand out because they’re tall, some buildings stand out because, well, they’re amazing! The Silo Hotel is definitely part of the latter, though to be fair, this converted grain Silo was the tallest building in Sub Saharan Africa when it was built some 90 years ago. Today after a facelift from Hetherwick Studio Architects of London the Silo Hotel and its iconic pillowed windows has changed the Cape Town skyline forever as the shiny new jewel in the Royal Portfolios crown.
I visited the Silo to meet a friend of mine – who goes by the name of Mr Fabiani – for a lunch at the new Granary cafe for some general mano a mano fashion talk. You know, as you do. You can read all about our little chit chat on his blog over here.
I arrived early (surprisingly so) and decided to take in the views at the Willaston Bar high up on the 6th floor while I waited. Not being shy to drink alone, I ordered the Iceplant Negroni – a house speciality made with Aperol in place of Campari and flavored with cinamon and fig. Being a stickler for the classics I was skeptical at first so kept a beady eye on the barmen as he prepared it. His technique was flawless, and the resulting drink incredible, it may possibly be the best Negroni in the city.
The Willaston bar –named after the first ship to export grain from the original silo complex back in 1924 – is the perfect mix of classic and contemporary. With it’s plush velvet turquoise and tan buttoned booths and it’s 5.5m high pillowed windows you can get caught somwhere between an era long gone and future yet to come. Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous and makes little to no sense, but stand up there with a drink in your hand for a while and you’ll know exactly what I’m speaking about.
When Mr Fabiani arrived, I picked up my drink and we moved on to the Granary Café for some lunch. Offering the same magnificent views through it’s massive pillowed windows, the Granary Café’s takes on a little more of an African contemporary vibe with it’s beaded place settings and handmade tableware.
The menu is small and very classic in its offering of Shrimp cocktail, Steak frites and Bouillabaise. Personally, I love a small menu, it makes it easier to order, besides I’m a firm believer in doing a couple things really well rather than a lot of thing kinda okay. I spotted the Pork Belly and made up my mind immediately while Mr Fabiani went for a classic Steak Frites. We made quick work of our rustic bread basket with chilli butter and possibly even quicker work of our mains.
To avoid “frites’ envy (it’s a real thing) when the steak arrived, I decided to order up a portion of sweet potato fries with my pork belly. A genius decision if I do say so myself, they were incredible! Both meals were well portioned and perfectly prepared, the steak was cooked to order (you can always tell) and the pork hit that sweet spot between crispy crackling and moist meat. I mean, what more can you ask for.
Being a business lunch and both of us trying very hard to maintain our manliness we decided to take desert back at the Willaston bar, a proverbial ‘one for the road’ before heading off for the day.
With the Negroni out the way we decided on the Old Fashioned or ‘Perfect Old Fashioned’ as it appears on the menu to finish our conversation and take in the rest of the views. Ironically, while everything else on the day had been perfect the Old Fashioned was a little heavy handed on the honey and perhaps a little too sweet for my taste – I personally find maple syrup pairs better with bourbon. Perfect or not there wasn’t a drop left in our glasses when we said our goodbyes.
The Granary Café is perhaps the ultimate place to go for that business ‘lunch’, especially when you’re trying to impress, the space and the staff do all the work for you . They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days of the week with a traditional roast served on a Sunday – I’ll definitely be coming back for that thank you very much! If it’s your significant other you’re trying to impress I’de suggest the afternoon tea served with all the trimmings, then possibly finish off with a glass of bubbly at the Silo rooftop. You can thank me later.
Reservations can be made on +27 (0) 21 670 0500 or by mailing email@example.com
Feel like you wanna dress the part on your visit, well you can shop my Fabiani look here:
Coat available here
Polo neck knitwear available here
Pants available here
Socks by Happy Socks available here
Shoes available here
Okay. Stay Fancy.