Life Grand Café opens at the V&A Waterfront


On 1 December 2016, the Life Grand Café opened its doors in the 1906 heritage building which previously housed the Hildebrand and Alba Lounge at the V&A Waterfront.
Set on the water’s edge with views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head, the building has undergone a transforming restoration under the eye of LIFE Interiors Architecture Strategic Design’s award-winning interior architect and owner of LIFE Grand Café, Maira Koutsoudakis.

Life Grand Café opens at the V&A Waterfront

“We wanted to respectfully honour the heritage of the building while creating bespoke, cosy spaces reminiscent of state rooms in Victorian times. There will always be the uniquely LIFE open spaces but we had to take cognizance of Cape Town’s varying weather patterns, while finding the best way to provide waterside comfort and elegance on those perfect summer days.

The decor

This is the group’s eighth heritage site redesign and the third in the Life Grand Group property portfolio. Focused on the sensitive restoration of listed heritage building, Koutsoudakis and her team have transformed 1,000m2 into a journey of interior delight. The experience starts at the entrance Courtyard with its festooned lights hanging from six mature trees; then the elegant Reception and Wine Cellar that leads to the Conservatory. This light, bright space opens out to the sprawling views of the ocean, and is home to four signature theatre bars and Coffee and Cocktail Bars, hives of human and culinary activity. Leading off the Conservatory is the Outdoor Terrace with its wrap-around views enjoyed from billowing banquette seating and convivial, communal dining under the aged olive trees. ­

Life Grand Café opens at the V&A Waterfront

The Pier Promenade is a casual 50-seater ocean-side dining experience, with its outdoor dining and cocktail bars, artisan ice cream stall and lounge seating scenarios, with subtle music accompanying the sea gulls’ cries, bringing the feeling of holiday to the pier.

The cuisine

These different spaces at Life Grand Café offer fast- and slow-paced dining experiences. From vegetable tagines to ceviche and new style sushi as well as Afrikaner Beef and delectable ribs. The restaurant caters for both the indulgent and the health-conscious.

Celebrating Christmas and the New Year

Life Grand Café sets the scene for delectable, lazy lunches and intimate dinners suitable for families, friends and couples. Chef Jeanel Pieterse, previously of the Rothchild’s Waddeston Manor in the UK, is equally at home serving intimate parties and large scale events. She has created a festive food experience for The Life Grand Café, starting with a Christmas table feast which includes three different main course choices and a dessert table featuring cake pops dipped in gold and chocolate, as well as mini fig tortes served with pecan nuts.

The New Year will be toasted to with a midnight feast featuring seafood options like West Coast rock lobster, prawns and oysters.

When the clock strikes twelve, attendees may enjoy a V&A firework display over the harbour with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne.

To make a reservation at R1,200 per person, find out about future events or book your private function contact the manager Stelio at or call 082 954 6659.

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