How to Dress for Dinner in S. African Restaurants

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Apr 6th, 2006, 11:54 AM
  #1
kfg
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How to Dress for Dinner in S. African Restaurants

My husband and I are going to Capetown, Franshoek, Victoria Falls and Botswana in early June and are very excited about our trip. We are all set for the Botswana portion of the trip in terms of clothing, but need guidance as to how to dress for dinner in the other places. We will be going out to some nice restaurants in Capetown and staying at the Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe. Does my husband need a jacket and tie? Do I need to bring a dressy outfit? We're from NYC and would dress formally at high end restaurants here but don't know what is appropriate for South Africa.

Thanks in advance.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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I stayed at the Victoria Falls Hotel at the end of a Botswana safari in 2001, and men were required (at least then) to wear jacket and tie for dinner. I had brought neither, but they were both provided by the hotel.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Hello,

Cape Town (and all of South Africa, really) is quite casual by North American and European standards. I ate in many of the best restaurants in Cape Town, and you definitely don't need to dress up. The most you would do is to wear a jacket (definitely no tie). Casually elegant is the way to go -- think Napa Valley or Marin County.

Cheers,
Julian
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Apr 6th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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BTW the VFH has dropped the jacket and tie requirement.

Cheers,
Julian
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Apr 6th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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kfg
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Thank you so much for the quick responses. We are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary by taking this trip and are so looking forward to it!
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Apr 6th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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What a great anniversary trip!

There are a few threads here with great restaurant recommendations, particularly for Franschhoek. My number one recommendation there would be The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais -- the food is some of the best I've ever had, and I've eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world.

Cheers,
Julian
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Apr 6th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Thanks, Julian. That's why I gave the date of my stay -- I thought with the downturn in visitors, the dresscode may have been liberalized.

Michael
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Apr 6th, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Julian, you seem to be a "foodie" -- have you been to The Fat Duck in Bray? I ate there last November -- FIVE HOUR lunch at The Fat Duck. I came across principally to see Bob Dylan each night, so I didn't have time for dinner, but lunch was....interesting (truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, not for the price, but because the stuff was so strange that, while I'm glad I dined there once, I have no interest to return).
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Apr 6th, 2006, 01:13 PM
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Hi Michael,

I am a foodie, but I have not yet been to The Fat Duck. A friend of mine knows one of the chefs, so I plan to go with him sometime in the next month or two. The food does sound really interesting there, though I'll have to wait until I've tried it to render a verdict.

Have you tried Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons? Now that is a restaurant I could dine at nightly if my wallet could handle it.

Cheers,
Julian
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Apr 6th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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Julian, Can you give me a rough idea of the cost for dinner for two @ The Tasting Room? Thanks.
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Apr 6th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Found it! On their website, they list pricing as 4 courses - R280, and 6 courses - R350 (excluding wine).
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Apr 6th, 2006, 02:41 PM
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Hello,

There is also an 8-course Menu Gourmand, which runs about R700 with wine. LQF has a great wine cellar.

Cheers,
Julian
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Apr 6th, 2006, 02:50 PM
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kfg,

I think that I have eaten at most of the top restaurants in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and on the Garden Route over the past 30 years. During this period I dont ever recall wearing a tie or a jacket to these establishments. As a matter of fact I dont own a tie and I have grown out of my jacket due to all this wonderful eating.

South Africa is a very laid back country. You will never need to dress smartly. It should be a case of wearing casual trousers, button up shirts, lace up shoes, jeans, t-shirts, track shoes with the main function being anything that you feel comfortable in. Overall one of the great features of visiting SA in that there is no formality whatsoever.

Enjoy our country and its great food when you visit us.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
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