OUT and ABOUT
It’s been a while since I’ve hung out at the airport for any length of time — but with two sons flying in a for a wedding an hour apart and the added chaos of a kitchen being repainted, we were glad that Café Espresso is open at the airport. A captive audience does make for captive prices though — with cappuccinos going for US$3 (a hefty mark up on any town café) and mineral water for a startling US$2. A cheeky trick is to buy a 50c bottle of water from the neighbouring kiosk. Next time perhaps.
Café Espresso offers different breakfast options including filled croissants and eggs benedict. Full meals on the menu are variations on steak, chicken and tilapia for around US$16. Snack choices are sandwiches (US$9) served with potato crisps and side salad. We shared a smoked salmon bagel (US$12) which turned out to be plenty for two with a pile of crisps and a side salad. On examining the bill more closely I noticed an item labelled ‘extra’ (US$2) which I assume is the extra handful of crisps we asked for. US$2 almost buys you a jumbo packet in a store!
We came back for more coffee after first son arrived — and with parking (US$4) — the whole outing cost us over US$30! One snack, four coffees, two waters! A friend from Cape Town declared it at least twice as expensive as anything similar down South. In spite of the high prices — endemic to most airports — it is probably the best place to eat in the airport. Food was okay and service pleasant.
A cheaper, sleazier option is The Viewing Canopy Bar on the outside deck — looking rather run down with battered furniture, half dead plants and faded plastic ones pressed crookedly against the balustrade. With bombers selling for only US$1,50 there were a few drinkers on the balcony. Inside the none-to clean bar the entertainment was the televised launch of a political campaign. Someone was ploughing though a huge plate of sadza but all in all it wasn’t very tempting.
It is a pity that it’s not a nicer place to sit because people do enjoy watching planes land and take off. I have never figured the logic of the tatty chains that keep you from the balcony edge. Hardly strong enough to deter you if you really wanted to break through and throw yourself over the railing. Also no idea why one can’t take advantage of the long sunny pier on a winter afternoon. Has it ever been used? The whole place could be so much nicer.
More wedding preparations found me at the kitchen tea at Sorellas in Rolf Valley. A casual café and pizza place it was transformed into a tea party venue for 30, with long table, ribbons and organza. The two young proprietors put on a grand spread for a mad hatter’s kitchen tea, with glorious, brightly decorated cup cakes, dainty sandwiches, savoury cheesy muffins, sticky chocolate brownies and a decadent chocolate cake which when cut revealed a swirled mix of colours.
I hadn’t known of Sorellas but the tea showcased some fine food. They boast a pizza oven and outside serving hatch and keep busy catering to St John’s students with pocket money to spare and gym ladies from the neighbouring gym. Pizzas looked good — with a base of crispy thin crust and tasty herb topping.
Open till 8:30 every weekday they offer pizza, sandwiches, tarts and cakes — tea, coffee and soft drinks. Well worth a drop-in when in the neighbourhood or when picking up a hungry teenager from school.
OUT and ABOUT