Hidden away in the quaint Birdhaven Shopping Centre, you’ll find Arbour Café & Courtyard – a French-inspired café and crêperie that’s all Provençal cosiness both inside and out with fresh flower arrangements, dangling fairy lights and swoon-worthy cake displays. Although it’s best-known for its gluten-free buckwheat galettes and flaky, buttery croissants, the café also offers patrons a perfectly balanced menu of salads, sandwiches and main meals.
It’s a beautiful summer afternoon, so we choose to sit outside and bask in the sunshine. Bathed in white tablecloths and home to a bubbling fountain, the inviting courtyard offers a quiet oasis in the middle of the busy suburb of Illovo. After perusing the wine list, which boasts carefully selected wines, bubbles, cocktails and French ciders, we choose a bottle of Vondeling Rosé – a vibrant and refreshing sip with red berry flavours, floral undertones and hints of candied citrus.
For mains, we try two different dishes. The citrus and black sesame seared salmon is a firm favourite on a summer’s day. Lightly seared and served with creamed avocado, the dish is a glorious symphony of textures and flavours. For those who prefer meaty fare, the perfectly prepared rib eye steak can’t be missed. The moreish creamy herbed wild mushroom sauce that it’s topped with will make you want to lick your plate clean! We end our meal lingering over warm, gooey chocolate brownies served with a generous scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. A chocolate lover’s dream! Wrenrose Court, 64 St Andrew Street, Illovo, Johannesburg. Details: 011 788 4111