Cape Town’s Silo District has been developing at an exponential rate, rocketing the number and standard of Cape Town’s more defined luxe offerings.
The Silo Hotel is one of the relatively ‘recent’ upmarket property developments, which has drawn the eyes of vagabonds, business insiders, foodie’s and art-lovers, and design enthusiasts alike.
The previously fully-functioning grain silo – located at South Africa’s most visited destination – has been praised as a pinnacle of luxury, by acclaimed publications like Conde Nast Traveler & Harper Bazaar.
Cape Towns residence have a well-established culture of visiting hotels for breakfast, brunches and cocktails quite frequently, so I decided to figure out how welcoming the stunning & expensive Silo Hotel would be, to individuals dropping by to dine from within one of their four dining offerings.
The Silo Hotel is generally indifferent to walk-ins, honestly.
You can ascertain by the market value of the locale, the refined architectural design of the property, as well as the room prices, that this is a place more acclimated to prior bookings, and ensuring their hotel guests have room to comfortably immerse themselves into their carefully curated spaces.
I wanted to enjoy breakfast with a view.
The Silo Hotel reception briskly informed me of being, understandably, too full to accommodate me at Granary Cafe , before directing me to the 6th floor The Willaston Bar, where I could work & eat, while observing a World Wonder & the bustling Waterfront simultaneously.
The decor within this space, echoes much of the hotels decor motif – an amalgamation of antique & contemporary.
It’s name, The Willaston Bar, pays homage to the first ship, in 1924, to export grain from this silo complex.
Decorated by Liz Biden, the low square-footage is not noticeable thanks to: the structures high ceilings, eclectic and plush jewel-tone furnishings popping against the treated dark wood bar, as well as the 5.5m roof-to-floor high pillowed glass windows opening the space.
I settled in for a day-long stint of blogging, people-watching and fine daytime dining…only to be met with slow service, and a very condensed selection of casual meals and bar snacks.
I believe the Willaston Club Sandwich appears to be the most intriguing thing on the menu. The 6 pintxos choices aren’t even defined to suit this unique African locale.
Listen, I’ve seen far more comprehensive bar dining options in award-winning hotels abroad.
The a la carte breakfast is disappointing in its blandness.
Surprisingly, there is nothing memorable, or wholly filling from the breakfast offering of: Sunny-side up fried eggs, overdone hot links, nearly crispy bacon, caramelized mushrooms, tart tomatoes, warm beans, and a side of toast – save for the straight forward presentation itself.
I felt…underwhelmed by the breakfast, but understanding that I’m likely just paying for the privilege of the hotel view.
The most enjoyable part of The Willaston Bar, is the drink selection.
Around the Mother City, The Silo Hotel is a coveted (and Instagrammable) spot to: indulge in local & international wines constantly being rotated, crafted cocktails which really aren’t weak, and some of the most well-made classic drinks, like an Old Fashioned.
The marker of a superb hotel, can sometimes be whittled down to just how right they get their tea.
I have Earl Grey mainlined into my veins, so I take its preparation, presentation and consumption really seriously.
Earl Grey has a sweet and refreshing disposition (in-part, due to the enhanced flavor that oil from Bergamot orange rinds, provides), with the Ceylon leaf providing structured tenacity in every sip.
The Willaston Bar may not provide the perfect set-up for the Black Tea, but their aromatic cuppa can still leave visitors placated.
The thing the bar get’s very right, is actually the warming of the pot or cup, because Earl Grey is one of the teas which is very sensitive to temperature fluctuations altering its flavor.
The intricate Chinese tea pots retain heat very well, as they are traditionally used within many parts of Asia, as a cultural staple of their daily dining customs.
The Silo Hotel, is considered the pinnacle of 5-star hospitality in Cape Town – Justifiably so. They boast an impressive exterior and interior, which has driven droves of people into its exclusive doors.
The finesse of the little details, is what leaves an impression. I check the cleanliness of a place, including: the corners of rooms, the cutlery against the light, the legs of restaurant seating, the inside of accessible lighting fixtures, window panes, the bar shelves, the waitrons neatness etc.
Presentation plays a huge part in the reception and anticipation of a meal or drink. Therefore, having everything from a full English breakfasts eggs, to beans being carefully placed in their own glazed pot vase, speaks to the detailing which the hotel has diligently taken in all its features.
Should you visit The Silo Hotel, you’ll never worry about a lack of cleanliness, or stunning decor. The drinks will be aplenty, and if you solidify bookings, you’ll be comfortably seated with a group of friends.
Come solo, and you may be moved away from the decadent booth seating facing an exquisite view, for a high solo seat by the bar section, as I was.
I did not feel too welcome here, but I don’t need to feel like I’m at home. I just need to feel like I (or rather, my money) matters enough to value me when I’m present. I pray the aloof disregard some of the staff maintained, was maybe due to my poor-adjacent disposition, and not racially inclined.
The only things found wanting, after a visit to The Silo Hotel‘s Willaston Bar, is the service, and the foods flavor.
If you cant get breakfast right, should I be eager to try the hotels other, more elaborate selections?!
The Willaston Bar | The Silo Hotel
The Silo Hotel, Silo Square, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8801
Tel: (021) 670 0500