Tucked away behind a hedge, at number 94, on busy and bustling Belvedere road, lies the cosiest little café – Starlings. This hidden gem is not easily stumbled upon so having inside knowledge is key to its existence. Known only by locals, Starlings really is Claremont’s best kept secret. All that being said, one would think that it wouldn’t be so busy – but it is always crammed with lovely food loving, tea drinking people. Tables are scattered throughout this beautifully restored Victorian cottage, and in warmer months patrons spill out onto a beautiful courtyard outside.
The first time I was fortunate enough to dine at Starlings Café was for my darling friend Cesca’s 21st birthday brunch. I walked in late (this getting lost thing is becoming a habit) to find a bunch of mostly unfamiliar faces gathered around a large table, with a few other people I know all there to celebrate the 21 years of Ces’s life. A life might I add, filled with many inappropriate comments and embarrassing moments, yet we love her still. I ordered poached eggs with basil pesto and parmesan cheese, served with homemade whole-wheat toast – absolutely scrumptious! This place won my heart over the instant I walked through the door and I couldn’t wait for an excuse to come back again!
So naturally that’s exactly what I did. This past weekend, finally on holiday and able to venture beyond my work desk, I sought out human interaction in the form of my friends – Tayla and Cesca. Seeing as they are geniuses (Genii?) and study at UCT medical campus, I rarely see them, and thus regular catch-up sessions are a must! We met at Starlings for “tea” but, once you look at the menu it never is just tea. Although the menu is small – it really isn’t easy to choose what to have, it all just sounds so good! So for breakfast I had French toasted brioche with bacon (like 6 rashers – heavenly!), mushrooms and cheese (I added these). I would have shared a picture with you but I wolfed it down so quickly it was just too yummy to wait! I had tea, for many reasons: 1. I love tea. 2. They serve it in awesome teapots. 3. It’s made with loose leaves.
After breakfast we just had to have cake because else what would I blog about? Oh and also because I walked past a table of delicious treats on the way in and I just had to try the chocolate chiffon cake. Luckily my friends eat as much as I do and they joined me on this little pig out. Tay went halvies with me and Ces ordered apple and almond slice. We polished off those heavenly treats and then just about rolled ourselves out the door!
I definitely think Starlings Café is a real gem and is deservedly popular for its delicious meals, whatever time of day. You never feel rushed and after a couple of hours you start to feel like part of the furniture.
For more details on Starlings Café:
Call: 021 671 6875
Life is like a cup of tea, it’s all in how you make it.