Venues

La Belle Cafe & Bakery (Alphen Boutique Hotel)

La Belle Cafe & Bakery (Alphen Boutique Hotel)
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  • Phone Number 0217956336
  • Location Alphen Boutique Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia, Cape Town
  • email labelle@alphen.co.za
  • Website URL www.alphen.co.za
  • Opening Hours

    Breakfast: Monday to Sunday 7am to 11.30am

    Lunch: Monday to Sunday 12noon to 6pm

    Dinner: Monday to Sunday 6pm (kitchen closes between 9pm and 10pm)

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Cost
R100 avg main meal
Ambience
Classic elegance
Food
Bakery fare, Bistro fare, Burgers, French, Modern
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

John Maytham

Food
The heart of this popular bakery and bistro chain, La Belle is always buzzing with patrons tucking into hearty breakfasts and excellent pastries. Lunchtime sees fellow patrons tucking in with obvious satisfaction to the delicious-looking salads, soups and sandwiches on the menu. Some dishes are sublimes, others less so.

The mushroom tortellini is an excellent option: the pasta fresh and light and cooked al dente; the mushroom filling savoury and intensely-flavoured; the beurre noisette and truffle oil adding just the right background extras. On the other end of the scale is the salmon and kingklip fishcake dish, which was disappointing. The fishcakes were too dry and bland and there were too many ingredients in the broth in which they drowned. Too much sweetcorn and Asian greens and not enough of the ginger and chilli that might have given the dish some lift.

Drinks
It’s a usual suspect wine list with a steep mark-up. It would be nice to see more wines from the Constantia valley available by the glass.

Service
The service is first class: personable and highly efficient. Their reaction to dealing with any problems is unsurpassed. The reaction to my expressed disappointment about the fish cake dish was perfect. I was asked, first by a very efficient waiter, and then very cordially by a manager, what the problem was. No excuses, just an apology and no charge for the dish, even though I’d eaten more than half of it. That made me want to go back again, and perhaps order less ambitiously.

Ambience
The Alphen is a historic building and the epitome of leafy graciousness. The patio under the centuries-old oaks outside La Belle is a perfect place to meet friends for conversation and light bistro fare.

And...
Don't leave without a macaron, part of a very tempting array of pastries on display inside the restaurant.

(September 2016)

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  • Ambience
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  • Food
  • Greg Landman

    Food
    Generous portions of delicious favourites without any tricky edges keep the patrons here very happy. Try the garlic mussels with white wine, cream and crusty bread, or the sautéed chicken livers with bacon, mushrooms, red wine and garlic toast for filling starters. Go on to meatballs and tagliatelle with parmesan and a rustic chunky tomato sauce, or the deconstructed roast chicken pie with mushrooms and leeks, served with creamy mash. The crispy skin Norwegian salmon (tell them how you want it done) with new potatoes, cauliflower purée and olive tapenade to set off the richness of the fish, is perfectly done. Go back to before you had ever heard of Banting with a deliciously rich banana and peanut butter milkshake, or go for broke with a slice of one of their superb cakes – remember this is a bakery after all.

    Drinks
    A wide choice of many local gems, some with a hefty mark up, some by the glass, including their own Kove Collection. Try one of the fun cocktails, just the thing for summer.

    Service
    Smooth and friendly.

    Ambience
    Sitting outside, soaking up the famous Alphen ambience on the terrace is prize number one, while you watch the Maseratis drive up to their fancy sister restaurant, 5 Rooms. The ancient trees around the quadrangle remind one of leisurely times gone by. Inside is delightfully cosy when the wind is pumping or during the chilly winter afternoons.

    And …
    If you don’t take home some of their delicious home baked goodies you will be sorry. Try the macarons.

  • A stunning location for summer brunch. Sit under the oaks and enjoy freshly baked treats, pies, sandwiches and speciality tea.
  • Food
    Everything is delightfully fresh, from salads to sandwiches, breads and truly exceptional baked goodies. Try the delicious braised lamb pie with sweet potato, fish cakes with wasabi mayo, irresistible meatballs and tagliatelle, beer-battered hake, or a spectacular smoked salmon sandwich. Finish with a banana and peanut butter milkshake, or one of their excellent range of specialty teas.

    Wine
    A good list is available by the glass or bottle with many of the best from the Constantia Valley, some with large mark-ups.

    Service
    Friendly and smooth.

    Ambience
    The emphasis is on good, clean and fresh – a clever combination of the best of France and the Cape. Sitting outside under the big umbrellas on a lazy afternoon is numero uno in this neck of the woods.

    And...
    They have macaroons – big ones – just like in Paris. Don’t leave without something from their deli. (GL, October 2012)

User reviews

  • So disappointed! This used to be one of my favourite "pop in on Sunday or anyday" for a delicious meal - a go-to place; casual, but delicious and a beautiful setting. Yesterday was my birthday and I had booked for lunch with family and friends - there seems to be new ownership...slightly changed menu...but it translated into the food and ruined the day for me. Tuna was off so we had to change the order, but only when the rest of the table's food was arriving. The battered fish was raw, the hamburger patties were rare (not medium), the seasoning was extinct, the quinoa salad was unappetising with limited dressing, the baby potatoes that were due to accompany the fishcakes were no where to be seen and we had to ask for them. I approached the management about all of this, who were lacklustre to say the least and not terribly concerned. The male manager didn't even whisper "I'm sorry about all of this". The token birthday cupcake was not nice and no-one wanted to eat it. Whilst they omitted some dishes off the bill in a show of apology, they left the tuna on! I'm very sad to say goodbye for ever to this little spot.
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  • No doubt the setting is lovely and the service from our waitress Harriet was beyond reproach, the food however disappointed and both the Chef and manager on duty reacted badly to criticism. My "grilled asparagus" starter had three skinny asparagus, on top of a mountain of rocket and a big slice of dry ciabatta with no dressing or taste. When requesting to see the manager, I was told he was in a meeting and not available until 3pm, only to see him walk past a few minutes later. The chef sent back the snooty reply that this was after all a starter portion. I won't be going back.
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  • Wonderful place to enjoy a relaxed breakfast or lunch with friends. The service is always on top form and the food is simply perfect. But make sure you make a booking!

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  • Really nice to have such a classy place on our doorstep. Lovely vibe and child-friendly. Of course the food is divine too!

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  • Had a spicy chicken salad - the lettuce was sandy, tomatoes not fresh, no dressing, no spice on the chicken. Pathetic for R80.

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  • Second trip to La Belle. Excellent chicken dish. Food enjoyed by all.

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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dog-friendly
  • Fireplace
  • Functions
  • Hotel
  • Licensed
  • Parking
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Wheelchair
  • WiFi

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