The Belvedere Secret Garden Bar on the rooftop of Fedisa Fashion School in Cape Town. Claire Thomson (

THE second annual pop-up Belvedere Secret Garden Bar on the rooftop of Fedisa Fashion School in the city centre is ready to explore.

From 4pm till late, Thursdays to Saturdays until mid-January, this magical urban oasis offers wonderful views of the mountain and harbour with the superb added advantage of being relatively protected from the gale-force south-easter. 

Local or visitor, you’ll know this wind can scupper plans to be outdoors, which is where we all ultimately want to be, right?

As we parked on the street below and I could hear the music wafting down from above, I had a tiny bit of trepidation. “Aren’t we too old for this?” I asked Tony Shine.

We’ve both logged considerable years in nightclubs and at outdoor parties, and I’m completely comfortable and at peace with leaving that in the past.

To be sure, we were way over the average age demographic and clearly no slaves to current fashions (thank goodness), but it turned out to be a fabulous launch party and we had great fun people-watching. 

There were a great many skinny pants, shoes with no socks, and man-buns. Yes, that’s terribly judgmental, but overall the guests were utterly gorgeous and vibrant.

The venue is prettily decorated with trees, hanging chairs in which to nest (get there early to claim a spot), couches and daybeds for lounging, and water features.

Escape the south-easter in style. Claire Thomson (

DJs spin the tunes, and as the sun sets, special lighting eases you from day into night.

Since it’s a Belvedere party, drinks are made with the premium vodka brand’s flavoured spirits. 

The official word is these have no artificial flavourants, and are made using a maceration process with only natural ingredients. That’s great; all you really need to know is that the cocktails were light and deliciously refreshing.

After two or three I almost got up to dance.

The venue is on the corner of Buitengracht and Church streets (entrance in Church).

To book a table, e-mail: [email protected] and for information, go to