A Taste of Roeland

My very first experience in this street was a dull one. You may seem confused as the title of this review would make one assume that it’s the complete opposite. And it is. Allow me to introduce to you one of the best ‘models’ of Cape Town – Roeland Street.


From it’s luxurious looking palm trees to the infamous statue of Louis Botha, Roeland Street is sure to attract many.

IMG-20170401-WA0003Central Fire Station                                                                                                    

I never properly observed the street whilst walking around because there was never any time. I recently grabbed hold of the opportunity to explore with my phone. As I walked down this street I noticed that it has everything a human being needs to live by. There is a high school, University, hotel, restaurants, petrol station, fire department, gym and even an archive for those who want to get to know there ancestors a little better. It’s like the mini version of Cape Town all in one!

IMG-20170401-WA0000Enjoy decadent cakes at Charly’s bakery, around the corner

The Kimberley Hotel

IMG-20170401-WA0011The Kimberly Hotel on a hot summers day

Built in 1895 the pub was originally opened as it was the starting point for those leaving Cape Town for the diamond town of Kimberley.

They have beer as well as wine and all the usual spirits and shots. There are big screens so you can cheer on the rugby or football while enjoying a cold one. It’s also worth spending a few minutes looking at all the photos and notices from back in the day.

There are backpacker rooms upstairs (from R175 per person), so if you have one too many you could always spend the night. Then have a beer with breakfast to set you right the next day.

Intersting Fact: Though they have not spent the night I alawys hear people speak about the Kimberly Hotel and the poor service they receive. The poor service you have actually been receiving actually comes from Barney’s Bistro. A complete separate entity.

Barney’s Bistro

Barneys Bistro is situated inside the Kimberley Hotel. ‘They serve pub grub, ranging from toasted sandwiches (from R16) to calamari strips with chips (R40) and steak, egg and chips (R60). The burgers (from R30), served with a good portion of chips, are deliciously home-made (no processed pork patties here). If there’s a group of you, opt for their snack baskets (from R35) or share a platter (from R100). I can also recommend their breakfasts that start at under R20.’

Photo by: Rachel Robinson

Western Cape Archives and Records Service

IMG-20170401-WA0014Western Cape Archives and Records Service

Though there is so much goodness there is also a sad bit of history. The Western Cape Archives and Records Service was also once known as ‘Roeland Street Prison – once labelled Cape Town’s own Black Hole – was originally meant to be an example of good taste to the inhabitants of this city. Now, this 111-year old landmark is to be closed down and replaced with a modern institution at Pollsmoor. It is time to reflect that when Colonial Engineer George Pilkington set about building the prison in 1855 his grandiose plans were almost scuppered by two factors which still plague city engineers today – a shortage of cash and labour.’

So much rich history and bright days ahead, Roeland Street is the place to be!


For more interesting news and reviews follow me on:

Twitter :@tamrynchrist

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