Just down Churchill Road, off busy Windemere (now Lilian Ngoyi), is Durban’s own secret garden. The Antique Café is, quite simply, perfect. The food is divine and reasonably priced but it is the ambience that makes this little establishment noteworthy.  Inside, you are surrounded by everything vintage from signs for Brylcream to Forties movie posters. There is always something different to look at and I notice a new, enchanting detail every time I am there. This time was the movie stills decoupaged onto the floor – a unique, surprisingly detail which adds to the sense of delight you feel as you step through the door. Outside you can sit in the dappled sunlight and listen to the fountain. It is surprisingly cool even in the heat of Durban summer and the sound of trickling water is effective in blocking out the noise of the city and makes this little garden the proverbial oasis of calm.

The food is great and reasonably priced and I can highly recommend the breakfasts. I am a chocoholic and one afternoon, craving my fix, I decided to try the chilli-chocolate hot pot. I was surprised at just how “chilli” it is and, to be honest, I could still feel it burning in my belly hours later. This feeling was, however, quite worth the enhancement of the chocolate the chilli achieves and I now know what the people who order extra hot curries must e thinking. Go on, give it a try!

The café shares the premises with two quaint shops. One sells very good quality antique jewellery and china and it you will be able to browse for hours after finishing your coffee at the café. The other store stocks old fashioned home furnishings, which are also an absolute delight. I have found some unique pieces here, such as beautiful little easels for frames and antique wooden stamping blocks. If you are looking for a gift or somewhere special to have breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, make a stop at Churchill House. 031 – 303 59 59.

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