Swan Cafe

P A R I S I A N    C R E P E R I E   I N T E R I O R

Swan Café, Cape Town’s first Parisian crêperie was designed by South African design icon Haldane Martin for Swan’s enigmatic and equally stylish owner, Jessica Rushmere. The elegant & welcoming interior features custom furniture designs that delights the senses with a modern and joyous spin on old parisian charm – a noteworthy instagram hotspot in the Mothercity.

Swan Café has been featured in multiple online food blogs, design platforms as well as print magazines & coffee table books. Read more articles in the links listed below.

I M A G E S   S W A N   C A F E   I N T E R I O R:

Photographs: Mickey Hoyle

O R I G I N A L   P R E S S   R E L E A S E:
Swan Cafe interior by Haldane Martin

Opened in May 2018

East City, Cape Town, South Africa


Swan Café is Cape Town’s first traditional French creperie designed by iconic South African designer Haldane Martin. Elegant, feminine and atmospheric, this popular new café evokes the charm of Paris in the city’s burgeoning creative district – the East City Precinct

The blue swan logo at the core of the graphic identity (created by graphic designer Heidi Chisolm) is central to Haldane’s interior design concept. The gorgeous creperie embodies its’ namesake – a graceful, majestic creature with mythological significance, these attributes inform the brand identity and interior design throughout – the swan emblem, feminine oval shapes and alluring charm.

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Leda and the Swan” in monochromatic dark blue forms an iconic centrepiece (recently labelled one of Cape Town’s most instagram-worthy hot spots). The trending Wallpaper features a Renaissance painting telling the controversial Greek myth of Zeus disguising himself as a swan to seduce his love, Leda. On the back wall, Jean-Léon Gérôme’s Romantic version shows the curvaceous nude bathing in the lake with the swan and their half-mortal, half-divine offspring, reiterating the mythology and symbolism associated with love, music and poetry.

Much like it’s owner, the delightful Jessica Rushmere, The space conveys typical Parisian attitude: cheeky, stylish and oozing French flair. Blue, red and white of the French flag is artfully interpreted into dominant dark blue, grey, pinkish timber finishes and dashes of red accents. The colour palette even extends to the waiters’ uniforms, crockery and the merchandise on display.

Haldane Martin’s bespoke chairs and red stools for Swan café resemble champagne corks – a rather contemporary steel and wood take on a bistro chair typology.

Furniture, lighting and finishes pick up the brand’s signature colours. Furnishings pay homage to traditional French cafés, with marble bistro tables and bespoke chairs, original ceramic tiles, and vintage lighting along with bird cage lights and “Swan egg” light bulbs.

On the floors, custom-created blue and white hexagon tiles with the swan logo decorate the entrance set into simple concrete screed flooring.

Linear seating layouts draw people into the space, with a generous lounge area at the back formed by comfortable sofas upholstered in denim and pinstripes. Light pinkish toned timbers are used in the table tops and shelving.

Blue feather-like ceramic tiles detail the main bar and back bar wall. The romantic blue tiled open-plan kitchen celebrates traditional crêpe-making on view at the front of the café. A rounded chalkboard for quotes or menu specials is flanked by a wire and plywood adjustable shelving system on each side displaying the beautiful crockery.

The final result is sophisticated and inviting from the interior design to the menu and ambience. Swan Café is a must-visit destination in Cape Town’s rapidly burgeoning creative district, a favourite for locals to get tea, coffee or a quick, delicious bite.

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