The wine flows freely at this thoroughly professional, well-run establishment that rapidly became a hit with a great cross-section of discerning Cape Town society – tourists, journalists, diplomats, advocates, politicos, television stars – keep the place buzzing from 7am until near midnight. The affable co-owner Jean Muller clearly has a passion for l’art de vivre. Wines are reasonably priced and there is a staggering selection by the glass. Named after an iconic historical restaurant in Paris, Caveau is in the beautiful Heritage Square precinct. Rustic, exposed red brick walls, earthy tones, cosy wooden tables, and big Georgian windows, create a comfortable, intimate and relaxing retreat in which to enjoy fine wine and quality fare. Caveau’s menus are on various chalk boards – sushi, tapas, and the main dishes that change daily. The cheese and meat platter is particularly popular. It arrives on a wooden board plated with Parma ham, biltong, prosciutto, camembert, mature cheddar, cocktail gherkins, melon or fig preserve, and a sprinkling of almonds, macadamia and cashew nuts. One is spoilt for choice, but an enduring favourite among their signature main courses is the beef fillet (two medallions of 100g each on a bed of sautéed mushrooms and spinach) with skinny pommes frites and a yellow-rich, béarnaise sauce. Desserts are bite-sized treats priced at R10 to R20 during the day. More substantial desserts feature at dinner time. Their kitchen produces a splendid, cup-sized bread and butter pudding made with croissants instead of bread. If you go for lunch, you’ll find it hard to drag yourself away.