In my pursuit of this “blogging lifestyle”, one thing that’s important to me is finding good spaces to relax, have a glass of wine, and write. One such place is Square Cafe & Wine Bar at the Century City Hotel.
A few months back I was looking for somewhere to do afterwork drinks. And in our group chat, a friend of mine who lives in Century City suggested Square Cafe as an option; he had never been but wanted to go. Another friend seconded, and I was like, “Great!”.
We arrive, and the cafe sits on the sunny-afternoon corner of the Century City Square plaza outside the hotel. And it is beautiful! You’re greeted with an elegantly designed grey- and wood-themed ensemble of tables, chairs, couches and decor on the front terrace. The walls of the cafe are glass with their logo embossed. In grey. It’s spectacularly pretty!
Inside there is a gorgeous dining area for those looking to have a quite dinner date, a lounge area for those casual drinks and finger foods with friends, and a well stocked wine and coffee bar. Blessings!
To talk about the wine a little bit…
They have a cellar that boasts some truly delicious wines from around the Cape. While stocking wines from the traditional farms in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and the Constantia region, they make a particular effort to feature wines from surrounding areas like Darling, Kalitzdorp and Citrusdal. Some of the wines they feature include Tokra, Darling Cellars, Zevenwagcht, Warwick, Buitenverwachting, Groot Constantia (fave), Steenberg (also fave), Le Motte (super fave) and many, many more. They rotate their wine on a monthly basis so it’s always nice to pop in have a look at what’s new.
They have an in-house sommelier, who is more than happy to assist with finding the right wine for you. Outside the wine cellar is an iPad fixed to the wall. It pretty much functions as a digital wine list, which you are able to browse by farm, region, year, blend, etc. Which is really cool! So if you’re in the mood for a Bordeaux from the Stellenbosch region, you can easily peruse the wines that match your palate with what they have in stock in their wine cellar. This is the future of menus!
They also have wine and gin tastings daily. I haven’t done a gin tasting yet but it’s definitely on my list.
(Side note: I used to hate gin, like HATE gin. It always tasted like dry in my mouth. DRRRRRRYYY. But I’ve been giving some gin cocktails a try over the last while and they’re pretty yummy, so I’ve changed my mind about that)
Part of doing these reviews, for me, is the pleasure and ability to go to the place on my own, sit down, have something to eat or drink (definitely drink), and actually write about that place as I’m physically sitting there. I like that, spaces that allow me to be in my own space while being in theirs. I spend on average 3-4 hours here, on my own; I get so much writing done. I’ve been such a regular over the last few months (the staff and management already know me, LOL). And the place is never packed. It’s the kind of cafe/restaurant you’ll go to with your bestie(s) or partner(s) for proper quality time. And I think that’s the best way to describe Square Cafe, it’s quality.
It’s very clear that the restaurant has been well thought through in almost every aspect of its design. From the furniture to the decor, the drinks and the food, the waitrons and the bar tenders; they all work together to create an experience, one which I thoroughly appreciate and enjoy.
And it’ll make for amazing photos on your Instagram. Like this place is beautiful, and urban. It’s “beautiful urban”. And there’s great lighting, you’ll take your best nice-time selfies here, promise.
Their food menu is boutique, but really tasty. As a vegetarian, going out with friends can be a little annoying sometimes because you’re always having to check the menu beforehand. Because everything has meat. EVERYTHING! Over the last few months, they’ve upgraded their menu to include more platters and vegetarian options. Just as a quick, simple, go-to, “I’m hungry”, “gimme food” now vibe, their Parmesan Hand-cut Chips with dipping sauces are freakin’ delicious. Like golden deliciously crispy on the outside and steaming soft creamy potato goodness on the inside. I’ve been here 9 times over over the last 3 months, and my standard order is wine (a delicious red) and the Chip Bowl. It’s reliable, and damn tasty! The cheese board is also super lekker! They GIIIIIIIIIVE you cheese. And cheese and wine is life.
If your vegetarian, I highly recommend the Harissa Roasted Root Vegetables with Lentils. Onions, mushrooms, zucchinis are roasted in a beautiful spicy sauce, served on a bed of black lentils, with a creamy coriander and mint yoghurt. It’s freakin’ amazing! Meat eaters, try this; I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Each item on the food menu has a recommended wine/beer/drink to pair it with. So your palate is always happy and never confused. Not that you have to sick to their recommendations, but, to me, it does show thought and consideration in the design of their menu and in your experience as a diner.
The coffee is also pretty amazing. They use beans from Vida-e-Cafe so that speaks for itself. You can also do takeaway as an option.
It’s amazing how quickly this restaurant is evolving. They only opened in February of 2016 and have gone through some of the most extraordinary changes over the last year and a half. The food menu is adapting to the needs and taste of their customers, the wines are constantly being rotated to give clients a broader experience of new, classic and boutique wines, and they are doing incredibly exciting conceptual things with the restaurant and what it has to offer.
For the summer, they are introducing their Strawberry Menu, which includes desserts, cocktails and wines inspired by berries and the summer season. How dope is that! I’m definitely coming back to indulge in some Pink Gin drinks! (scroll down for the Strawberry menu)
I guess I really enjoy finding these spots where I can just be myself, live my life, not worry if some man is going to be inappropriate with me, or if I’m going to be victim to yet another incident of transphobia. So I’m sharing my joy of finally finding these places where I can just be happy without too many worries.
Square Cafe & Wine Bar is at the Century City Hotel and Conference Centre. You can check out their website for details and events at squarecafe.co.za/events and find them at their socials on Facebook and Instagram.