Bar Reviews

Joburg & Cape hot spots that pair fine wines with knockout views

These upmarket watering holes are worth a visit for their incredible views alone, but also offer impressive drinks menus and snacks to match

05 April 2019 - 00:00
By Richard Holmes
The Willaston Bar at The Silo Hotel offers some of the finest views in Cape Town.
Image: Supplied The Willaston Bar at The Silo Hotel offers some of the finest views in Cape Town.


The setting: Named for the first ship to set sail with grain from the harbour’s silos (that was in 1924), The Willaston Bar at The Silo Hotel offers some of the finest views in the city. It’s an upmarket spot – think Italian leather barstools and deep-buttoned booths, with stylish service to match.

To drink: While the barkeepers stir up a fine martini, the wine list is no slouch. If you’re celebrating, the bubbly list runs from vintage Dom Perignon to excellent Le Lude from Franschhoek. There are dozens of still wines on offer, with a great choice by the glass. A small selection of international cellars complements the proudly local offering.

To eat: Executive chef Veronica Canha-Hibbert dishes up a concise menu of upmarket bar snacks, from charcuterie boards to crisp arancini.


The setting: Situated alongside View, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Pre View is a fine place for a pre-dinner cocktail, or after-work drinks. Window tables offer the best views (book ahead), but the striking central bar is an equally good option.

To drink: Pre View is well known for its cocktails, with the signature creation dubbed “Above the clouds”, a blend of Johnnie Walker Gold, Caperitif and kombucha. The wine list offers a good mix of boutique cellars, big-name brands and imported marques. Prices aren’t shy, but then those views don’t come for free!

To eat: A menu of inspired small plates makes it easy to extend drinks into dinner. It’s a globe-trotting offering, from Chinese bao stuffed with glazed pork belly, to home-grown Springbok carpaccio and Mediterranean-inspired grilled octopus.


The setting: High on the flanks of the Vlakkenberg, this boutique cellar offers some of the best views in the Constantia winelands. Take a table on the enclosed terrace and soak up the scenery. 

To drink: Wines are limited to the Constantia Glen cellar, but that’s no hardship. This cool-climate producer is renowned for its Bordeaux-style reds and whites. Tutored wine tastings are available, but you can also order by the glass or bottle.

To eat: The menu has grown steadily over the years, from simple cheese and charcuterie boards to now offering brunch plates, extensive platters and German flammkuchen.

This article was originally published in the Sunday Times Neighbourhood: Property and Lifestyle guide. Visit