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  • Delaille Raubenheimer

The Old Bailey Whiskey Bar Opens at 91 Bree Street, Cape Town

The Old Bailey Whiskey Bar has opened on the top floor of Cape Town’s new three-level dining hot spot, The Bailey, at 91 Bree Street. Evocative of top-end members’ clubs and bars in New York and London, The Old Bailey is open from 3pm until late as the ideal meeting point with friends and colleagues, and the perfect venue for pre-dinner drinks or late-night nightcaps. A light bar menu is available to complement the bar offering, ranging from cheese, olives, oysters and beetroot gravlax, to jamón, steak tartare, caviar and a classic crayfish cocktail.

The Old Bailey features a selection of premium wines, spirits and cocktails. Proprietor/business partner Liam Tomlin tips his hat to his Irish roots to take delight in a specially curated list of more than 320 whiskeys, sourced from more than 14 countries around the world. ‘Whiskey is the Water of Life’, he says, referring to the ancient name of ‘Uisce beatha’, as whiskey was traditionally known to Irish monks in the Early Middle Ages.

Paying homage to the classic features of the historical building, The Old Bailey is designed as a sophisticated space that calls for dressing up a little, inviting guests to relax and socialise within a like-minded community. Chic table service is on offer with whiskey sommelier Cameron Paulse on hand to introduce patrons to boutique whiskeys, including some extremely rare and limited editions that are up to 60 years old.

Whiskey tastings may be booked at The Old Bailey with a minimum of 24-hour notice (maximum 10 guests, or 48 hours’ notice for bigger groups). These educational tasting journeys start with how whiskey is made, how to do proper whiskey analysis and consuming whiskey ultimately to bring out its true value and flavour. Tastings include six fine whiskeys from around the world (Introduction Tasting R550pp), as well as delicious, small bites to showcase food & whiskey pairings made in heaven. The Advanced Tasting (R1550pp) is hand-selected, tailor-made to the taster’s personal preference for a particular style of whiskey and includes rare and limited editions and private/independent bottling to ensure a top-class tasting that is one of a kind.

At The Old Bailey a bespoke Bottle Keep Programme is available to a limited number of members, offering Private Whiskey Lockers to store and display their personal selection of whiskey to enjoy while relaxing as guests at The Bailey. The Old Bailey’s whiskey wall features 68 Private Whiskey Lockers in glass with brass trim, stocked with each member’s personal selection. The annual Bottle Keep Programme offers a range of membership benefits and privileges, including exclusive discounts and preferential bookings for monthly Master Class Tastings. Private Whiskey Lockers also come with individually personalised and engraved crystal tumblers for members.

The Bailey is a collaboration between Liam and Jan Tomlin, and the owners of Tintswalo Lodges (Lisa and Warwick Goosen, and Gaye and Ernest Corbett). On the ground floor, the Cafe, Patisserie and Champagne bar is open all day, while the authentic French-style Brasserie on the second floor serves lunch and dinner. The building (circa 1862) features classic lines, original, textured walls, staircases and high ceilings, with stunning flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows and spectacular bathrooms. Each of the three floors offers elegant and comfortable seating in luxurious, jewelled colour fabrics, positioned next to dramatic marble-topped, long bar counters.


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