Situated just around the corner from 17 on Loader guest house, is the magnifique La Petite Tarte. Today was not a day for coffee shops that advertise "bustling atmospheres" and positive attributes, so I walked into this small French haven of sidewalk coffee culture to be greeted by convivial staff and aromas of buttery pastry. This patisserie appeals to everyone – around me were seated a young couple, some businessmen meeting over coffee and some gossipy grannies hububbing over the vast selection of French teas.
Everything is served on their signature crockery, with polished silver and pristine white napkins. The walls are lined with antique teapots, silver trays of French tartlets and boastfully twinkling bell jars of cheesecakes, cakes, pies, quiches and today's special syrupy lemon cupcakes. Even the water comes in crystal jugs of lemon slices and mint leaves.
On a board, in a gold-brushed frame, the daily specials are scrawled. I was lucky enough to pick a day of gruyere,chicken and caramelized pear quiche. The quiche was remarkable – a light, smooth consistency with delicious flavours of sweet, warm pear and crispy, smokey chicken. Everything served was beautifully presented – and still my palate was pleasantly surprised. This French tea salon also offers a magnificent selection of hot beverages (the only place where I've seen Choccocino served with hazelnut cream) and fresh juices and is fully licensed.
If you're looking for a small, quiet place to enjoy the spring weather, or admire the rain, La Petite Tarte just has something cosily magical about it and from service, to setting to sweets it is a five star. A perfect breakfast, lunch and early evening visit, and from November 14 La Petite Tarte will be open for Summer evenings, to present their ‘amuse bouche’ menu over a glass of chilled wine.
This is one of those places that makes you feel truly empathetic for everyone who does not live in Cape Town. Who needs Paris in the Spring time?