Last week I attended a high tea at the Westcliff Hotel, one of my favourite spots in the city. The Westcliff, one of the esteemed Orient Express properties, is perched high over Jan Smuts in Westcliff and boasts magnificent views of the tree-lined suburbs we know as The Parks. If you’re really lucky, you might spot an animal or two lounging around at the Johannesburg Zoo a few km’s away.
I used the opportunity to arrive a little early and attempt breakfast at La Belle Terrasse with my Yasutaka Tsutsui novel and dslr in hand without a booking. It was a little sly, but the staff and venue did not disappoint. I was treated with the most care by the friendliest staff even though I was not a guest of the hotel for that evening and had arrived without a booking. The skies were clear and there was a slight chill in the air,but I settled down, took out my book and decided to have the continental breakfast. The service was incredible, but unobtrusive. I started taking pictures of my coffee and the waiter walking by immediately offered to take one of me, even though I had my huge dslr with me, he handled the situation with ease.
The breakfast was obviously incredible, the continental menu is as traditional as they come, but the fruit and pastry selections are quite good. I also lusted after the salmon and cheeses that were available. A huge part of the experience for me is just taking in the absolute splendor of the Westcliff itself.
The Westcliff is a luxury hotel and the prices do express that, but it is a beautiful location for romantic high tea or a sunset meal, the view is incredible. I’ve always dreamt of a date there, all kitted up and looking amazing. I haven’t stayed at the Westcliff, but if the restaurants and service are anything to go by, it won’t be disappointing.
P.S When you get out of the shuttle, the driver holds out his hand to help stabilize you when getting out of vehicle (and anyone who has ever worn stilettos would find this helpful). It’s really just the added-extras that make this hotel so special.