Set in a historic building in the heart of Cape Town’s Bree Street, the much-anticipated new hot spot from Chef Liam Tomlin is a collaboration between himself and Jan Tomlin, and the owners of Tintswalo Lodges (Lisa and Warwick Goosen, and Gaye and Ernest Corbett).

Designed in the classic tradition, the concept of The Bailey was inspired by some of the grand all-day cafés and restaurants of Europe, and is split over three levels – the all-day café on the ground floor, brasserie restaurant on the second and a whisky bar on the third. We chatted with Liam about the restaurant.


What has the response been from diners so far?

Considering it’s Winter in Cape Town the response has been amazing and the different spaces are doing exactly as I had visualised. I am delighted to see so many people returning and using all of the different spaces for dining and social experiences.

Why do think that now is the perfect time for The Bailey?

Opening in Winter gave us the opportunity to iron out all the little teething problems with the building, service and food. To tweak and polish and be ready for what I expect will be a bumper season for all of us.

How are people responding to the service style?

I knew it would work because it always worked pre celebrity chef days. Our guests are loving it, especially the older generation. I have had beautiful comments from older people dining with us, saying how dining in the brasserie reminds them of dining out 50 years ago. That is the biggest compliment to me.


Why did you decide to focus on French-style cuisine at the Brasserie?

I was trained in classical French cuisine and really love the whole technique and history behind French cooking. I also felt that there was a gap in the market in Cape Town for a good French restaurant.

Can you tell us about your partnership with Tintswalo and why it is so fruitful?

Our partnership works so well because we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and allow each other to get with what we do best . We also have a lot of experience doing it.

You’ve woven many elements that are meaningful to you into The Bailey – can you tell us about this experience and how it feels to see The Bailey become reality?

The Bailey is very special, the project took a year from start to finish. It always an amazing to see an idea in the back of your head become a reality


Do you have any personal menu favourites at the café and brasserie?

I actually love everything on the menu… .as long as it doesn’t have egg in it! It is one of those menus you find it very difficult to decide what to choose.


Do you have a favourite spot in The Bailey?

I do have my favourite spot on each level – the placement of the art dictated my favourite seats.