Chelsea Café reopens after a few changes

Chelsea Cafes new home., above, and what is on offer, below.

Chelsea Café and Buckwheat Bakery, known for its gluten-free and other foodie-conscious offerings, has a new home just down the road from its original location, and it has been well supported for many years by regulars from as far as Stellenbosch and surrounds.

Formerly situated in a boutique Bright Street centre, Chelsea Café and Buckwheat Bakery has taken up premises with Gallery 91 just down the road, on the corner of Andries Pretorius and Audas streets in Somerset West.

The owners have set up a German Facebook page for its many German customers. It is the Winelands collection point for Wild Organics, the Cape Town-based online organics shop.

“A change in the ownership of the centre led to some confusion,” says long-time owner, Fran van Tiddens.

“Having completed our move, we’d like to welcome back our many friends who have come to love the quality and unique offering of Chelsea Café and Buckwheat Bakery.”

While some staff opted to stay at the former venue, Chelsea Café remains under the care of Fran and manager, Ann de Koker, one of the original owners. Victoria Ntshingila, one of the founding staff members is the head chef and baker.

The new venue incorporates the same menu and upmarket feel in a setting that includes a private garden. Its new home alongside Gallery 91, has also been to great advantage for customers.

Gallery 91 is an extension of Frames and Things, which was founded by Terry Taljaard in 1986.

The business has evolved into a gallery-inspired retail space with products from some of South Africa’s top lifestyle brands such as Carrol Boyes – Functional Art; Wonki Ware; Charlotte Rhys; and, Mungo textiles.

Terry’s daughter, fashion designer Meg Taljaard, has recently joined the gallery team – adding a fresh fashion dynamic to the space.

An art-focused shopping experience, Gallery 91 also offers professional in-house picture framing and consultation.

“Having Chelsea Café as a neighbour is a wonderful addition to this space,” says Terry. “It has really made this corner of Somerset West the place to be.”

Chelsea Café and Buckwheat Bakery pursues an eco-sensitive philosophy of farm-to-table. “Our key ingredients, such as eggs, cheese and bread, are sourced from the producers directly while most of our sauces – mayonnaise, hollandaise and Mornay – are made from scratch,” says Fran.

“We don’t like colourants or overly preserved foods; we understand the importance of gluten and allergy declarations, which is why we’re well supported by people with clinical-diagnosed dietary requirements.”

In addition to a menu that includes meals like Cape Malay curry and even curried tripe, there’s the in-house made kimchi and chai tea, as well as banting and low-carb options too.

Many items are seasonal, ensuring a low carbon footprint. The retail shelf stocks Manos bread and home-bakes, while orders can be placed for cakes and quiches.

Community involvement is another of the pillars on which the business is built. Most recently, a Nordic fashion pop-up was held with benefits going to a local charity.

For more information, call 021 852 6757.