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Laidback Cafe au Lait at the Sixth Avenue Shopping Centre in Walmer has been sporting a new look these past two months. It still occupies its prime spot at the centre of the complex, except that the seating area has been completely redesigned to be much bigger than before. It is also now surrounded by an ingenious wood-look slatted structure that creates a unified space while still allowing patrons to check out passing foot traffic should they wish to people watch. Owner Leanne van der Merwe, who also runs a travel agency in the complex, took over the cafe about two years ago and has been very involved in the revamp.

The new Cafe au Lait

Cafe au Lait in Port Elizabeth, now has a separate enclosed space alongside the central area for those who prefer dining in a more conventional cafe space. Though the new central area seemed popular, we thought ambient noise might be an issue and so we chose the enclosed space (which also has a small, adjoining conference room) in which to lunch.


What’s on the menu

Our orders arrived promptly and we both enjoyed our value-for-money meals: grilled fish with chips and salad for him, and the Chef’s Choice salad with bacon, chickpeas, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes with aioli dressing for me.

Salad review

The salad needed a bit more dressing than it was given and so I asked our waitress, Leanne’s daughter Linzi, for some olive oil. The pale, blended oil she proffered in a small bowl was a far cry from proper cold-pressed olive oil, so this is one product they really should stock up on.

Coffee Tip

We also thought our cappuccinos – the Peacock brand from Cape Town – were overpriced at R24 each, considering that many Bay cafes serve better-quality coffee for less. And the cakes on display would have gone down a treat with our cuppas, only they were whisked away before we could order any, as it was a Sunday and it was obvious the staff wanted to go home. They did look delicious and very fresh, so we’ll be sure to return another time to try them.


Cafe au Lait is open weekdays from 7am to 6pm, Saturdays from 7.30am to 3pm, and Sundays from 9am to 1pm. They will soon offer Sunday lunch.

Experience it for yourself

Cafe au Lait

041 581 2210 / 072 223 7778

Words: Louise Liebenberg
Images: Mike Holmes



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