A café, brasserie and whisky bar offering sophisticated luxury from dawn until after dark.
“We want to bring glamour and theatre back into dining out,” says chef-restaurateur Liam Tomlin as he takes us on a walkabout of his latest dream project on the eve of its grand opening. Named in honour of his beloved chocolate labrador, The Bailey is a three-storey gourmet hub, ticking multiple boxes for a sophisticated, premium-quality experience – whether it be brunch, lunch, dinner or late-night tipples with friends.
Just across from Heritage Square (where Liam opened his first Chefs Warehouse more than a decade ago), a historical building (dating back to 1682) has been beautifully spruced up into a gloriously grand culinary destination; its essence and best features retained – thick walls, high ceilings, stunning flooring and the original floor-to-ceiling wooden windows.
Triple the deliciousness
“We wanted to create a place where like-minded adults can meet, eat and drink in good company. Like The Wolseley in London,” explains Liam, referring to the iconic all-day café-restaurant in the British capital known for its spectacular interiors, classic food and seamless service.
At street level is Café Bailey, a glam patisserie with a champagne and cocktail bar serving delicious pastries and cakes with fragrant teas and coffees, all-day breakfasts, brunches and lunches (a high tea offering will be added later in the year). “The Café has a feminine feel – from the decor (jewel-coloured velvets and marble-topped tables) to the winelist,” explains Liam.
Upstairs, on the middle floor, is the classic European-style Brasserie Bailey, complete with a maître d’ to ensure top-level service and hospitality. “The atmosphere up here is bigger and bolder,” says Liam, explaining that each of the three levels has its own personality – from the food and wine offering to the furniture and playlists. On the menu, guests can expect an assortment of classic plates, such as smoked salmon blinis, lobster rolls, beef-fillet crostini and brioche tartare.
On the rooftop, flowing out onto an open terrace, is The Old Bailey, a wine and whisky bar for aficionados that currently stocks 288 whiskeys! “There’s something for everybody up here,” says Liam. “Whether you want to drop R80 on a cocktail or R2 500. We wanted to create a New York-London-style lounge.” The Old Bailey also offers a private wine and whiskey reserve for regular patrons.
Meeting of minds
The Bailey comes off the back of a phenomenally successful collaboration between Liam and Jan Tomlin and the owners of Tintswalo Lodges, Lisa and Warwick Goosen and Gaye and Ernest Corbett.
Liam’s Chefs Warehouse collection of restaurants needs no introduction, but it was the latest Chefs Warehouse incarnation at Tintswalo Atlantic – voted one of the best new restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler and Best New Restaurant in Africa in the 2021 World Culinary Awards – that sealed the deal on the new concept at The Bailey.
In The Bailey’s state-of-the-art kitchens, a young team of chefs is knocking it out of the park. At the helm is 25-year-old head chef Jacques Grové (who in his short career has notched up an impressive CV including Chefs Warehouse Tintswalo Atlantic and Beau Constantia, Foxcroft and La Colombe). Sous chef Dian Botes also did a stint at Chefs Warehouse Bree Street, while head pastry chef San-Marie Pienaar honed her skills at Singita Lebombo and top Winelands restaurants, Waterkloof and Rust en Vrede. Don’t leave without trying the Milk & Cookies – a seductive take on a Brandy Alexander.
Art of the matter
Art is the cohesive thread snaking its way through all three levels, with an eclectic collection of original works by local artists in various mediums decking the walls. The Paul du Toit private dining room, named after the late artist, is undoubtedly a highlight. Located on the middle floor within the Brasserie, the space is adorned with his sculptures, ceramics and paintings; even the floor is a replica of his studio.
And so Mr Tomlin has upped the ante once again! He’s taken a heritage space that’s dripping in character and decorated it with timeless style. It’s as if this place has always been here… Every great city in the world has a legendary café or restaurant or bar – Cape Town deserves a culinary magnet of this kind, and The Bailey is set to provide all three.
Opening times Café Bailey: Monday – Saturday, 7am – 9pm
Brasserie Bailey: Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 9pm
The Old Bailey: Monday – Friday, 3pm – late; Saturday from 5pm
Contact 021 773 0440, email@example.com
Where to find it 91 Bree Street, Cape Town
Discover all of the Cape’s hidden gems – subscribe to our weekly newsletter.