In addition to beachside eateries and arty suburban coffee shops, Durban and its surrounds also offer café-style dining with exotic leafy backdrops. Thanks to the area’s balmy climate, nurseries are flush with delicious monsters, fruit trees and succulents, and make for ideal spots for a relaxing daytime meal. For your next lunch with mom or teatime treat with friends, here are five great cafés with plant nurseries in sunny KwaZulu-Natal.
Located at Spades Design Centre in Durban North is this hidden gem that’s perfect for a peaceful lunch. Café owner Deidre Defresnes (Dee for short) is a genius with toasted sandwiches and flat breads, which are favourites for regulars. Try one with roasted cinnamon butternut, bacon and tomato relish, or avo, bacon and lemon mayo. Dee also makes her own mayos, pestos and relishes, which are available to buy. For those with a sweet tooth, there’s a selection of home-baked cakes and muffins. It’s a good spot for a quick bite, with a stunning garden and nursery to inspire your home landscaping. Pro tip: From June they will be hosting monthly dinners with set menus.
The offering at this happy café is an abundance of wholesome and beautiful food. Nestled in the heart of the popular Litchi Orchard, this sister-run venue offers a unique breakfast menu and an ever-changing harvest table for lunch. Breakfast dishes include creamy scrambled eggs with zesty guacamole or chorizo on pecan-crusted French toast. For lunch, dish up items like pork sausages with sticky onion marmalade or mushroom-and-thyme phyllo cigars from the abundant harvest table. Head to the on-site Driefontein Garden Centre for all your planting needs. Pro tip: Make sure you’re there in litchi season to stock up your fruit stash.
This leafy nursery and gift shop boasts a cute little café that serves wholesome, scrumptious food. Tuck into a healthy and flavoursome salad of steamed prawns, smoked salmon and orange for a taste of the sea. Speciality dishes include grilled chicken breast with butternut and sweet potato, and open sandwiches on health bread or rye.
This tranquil tea garden is dotted with trees and flourishing flowers for those with a green thumb. There’s a variety of light lunches and teatime treats on offer at this popular place for birthday parties and meetings. Try one of their crêpes or enjoy hearty dishes like bobotie, Thai green curry and paella. It’s also a great place to take the little ones, with plenty room to play.
This Maritzburg eatery run by passionate foodies is situated in Blackwood’s Home of Gardening, making it a perfect spot for gardening enthusiasts. The food offering boasts a wide variety of sweet and savoury meals and pastries made with farm-fresh, local, seasonal and organic ingredients. The deck and veranda along the Dorpspruit River offer a tranquil setting for families and friends to enjoy a relaxing meal of eggs Benedict for breakfast or wood-fired pizza and hearty open sandwiches for lunch. Their coffee also deserves a special mention: their special signature blend of beans is from Uganda and Ethiopia.