Today I was rather Down in the Dumps, until my fabulous friend The Yummy Mummy, who is more fabulous than a unicorn, griffin and phoenix rolled into one, invited me for a stroll down Long Street.
It’s been a long time since I last loitered in Long Street, but many of the old lunch spots are still there: Ravelas Fisheries, Bob’s Bar (now The Home of the R12 Shooter, such is inflation), Mountain View and Masala Dosa.
Being fun, fearless and, above all, frugal females, we stopped at most of the shops along the way and absolutely definitely did not spend any money on cute little jersey jackets or awesome afro keyrings.
Our saunter past the antique stalls on Church Street was brought to an abrupt halt by this sign:
We were peckish, the waiter was friendly, the buffet, which we went inside to inspect, looked pretty darned fine:
We took our seats at a table outside, which came equipped with soft fleecy blankies for our behinds and a handbag chair. (Restaurants, take note: you should always have an extra chair at every table for ladies’ handbags.)
The friendly waiter came and told us three things, after which I accused him of trying to blow our minds:
1. Our R35 lunch buffet came with a free glass of Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc.
2. Far from being considered rude to pile your plate high, the most bulging plate would win a free tequila.
3. If we wouldn’t mind sitting a moment, he’d bring us some soup to start.
Susan and I started giggling in a way that was probably alarming in women of our relatively dignified age.
The soup came (hearty), the wine came (more than drinkable), we piled our plates high with beef curry, salads, the most delicious thin-sliced grilled brinjal, roast sweet potatoes, cauliflower cheese pasta, olives, feta, etc etc.
The Yummy Mummy won the free tequila, according to the waiter, but she ordered another glass of wine instead. Our waiter actually asked us (he asked us!) if we’d like chilled mint-infused water to drink too. After that we drank latte and shared a piece of warm homemade shortbread (not included in buffet).
And then The Gangsta Muffins arrived and started playing Summertime…
It’s midwinter in Cape Town and if life had worked out the way I’d planned, I’d be in Thailand right now. But thanks to a fabulous friend, a wonderful waiter and a funny old musician who uses his own head as a drum, I’ve remembered that this is, after all, The Best City In The World – and I’ve just had the best lunch in it.