crêperie kitchen, Swan Cafe, interior design by Haldane Martin, photo by Micky Hoyle

Financial Mail: Cape Town’s new Swan Café sports cracking interiors

In the Financial Mail’s online publication, Business Live, Haldane Martin’s interior design for Swan Café.

When next you’re swanning around Cape Town, there is an aptly named new crêperie you might like to try: the Swan Café.

When next you’re swanning around Cape Town, there is an aptly named new crêperie you might like to try: the Swan Café.

As the name suggests, the regal fowl is central to the concept and the décor. The bird has symbolic significance for owner Jessica Rushmere, who used to own La Petite Tarte in De Waterkant.

You can expect avian accents in everything, from romantic monochrome Da Vinci murals to metallic bird cages strung from the ceiling, feather-shaped ceramic tiles and blue-and-pink swan wallpaper in the bathroom.

The aesthetic is a tribute to Jessica’s background — she was born in France. There are curvy silhouettes and a sense of Parisian playfulness that is kept in check by some clever contemporary touches, like a banquette upholstered in pinstriped denim (a sweet reference to the Breton stripe).

The classic French tricolour palette has been updated with modern midtones through the use of grey concrete screed floors and dusty pink timber counter-and tabletops.

All of this design magic is the work of SA designer Haldane Martin. His imagination and attention to detail are evident throughout the space.

There’s bespoke seating that offers a nod to the bistro aesthetic, but with a new feel — the chairs display elements of the classic café chair, but have a more industrial bent; the stools feature minimal metalwork and the tables’ elegant bases are painted primary blue.

Martin has chosen a selection of statement lighting pieces that give the restaurant a high-design feel. There is a combination of copper-and-brass metallic vintage lights throughout, brass pendants above the main counter and egg-shaped feature lights.

Open shelving shows off colour-coded crockery behind the tiled service counter, and forms a design element in itself: there are teas and accessories for sale on display.

The menu is simple; the selection of sweet crêpes, savoury galettes and teas and coffees makes it an ideal stop for an elegant brunch or a quick coffee meeting.

Words: Julia Freemantle
Originally published on businesslive.co.za, 13 September 2018.