Beleza on Upper Kloof

Beleza interior Love the retro interior. And the outside-y section is great, too.

This morning’s coffee arrangement with my mom was a little bit different because it was preceded by a meeting at Elisabeth’s school where one of the moms has initiated a project whereby available parents have been asked to provide assisted reading to some kids who come from homes where their caregivers don’t/can’t read and are at risk of falling through the cracks of an education system which isn’t really equipped to provide this type of individual attention. And while I like to think of myself as terribly committed to this country, the shameful truth is that I do zip diddly in terms of offering my time/skills/money to any of the many worthwhile causes around while there are so many people who do so much. It’s a very nice idea, this. It’s just 15 minutes per child per week, directly after drop off and, as was explained, this brief time spent alone with an adult is often the only time these kids will get in the week.

Having grown up in a home where I was read to constantly it’s hard to imagine a childhood without books and words. But that’s the reality for a lot of South African children. And it will cost me nothing and is the absolute least I can do given the amazingness of every part of my life in this country, and it’s horrible that I’ve never done anything like this before, and that I’m only doing it because it’s really easy and I know that it will turn out to be at least as rewarding for me – who has no clue, really, about how some people in this country live. So, we will each have a child allocated to us, and once a week we’ll bring books from home or choose them from the school library and read together and learn the words and talk about the stories. And I should do much, much more than this, but it’s something and it’s a start.

On the way to coffee afterwards, my mom – who is awesome with kids, and has offered her time, too – was already planning little treats to bring along for after their session and that’s a nice idea, too. To give your reading buddy a little sticker or a sucker because – and I know this from my own kids – these small tokens celebrating their achievements mean the absolute world to them. By the time the meeting was over we were both hungry, and I remembered seeing a sign at the bottom of Upper Kloof advertising cheapie breakfasts, so that’s where we headed. Turns out the place we’ve been driving past (across from Rafiki’s at the big set of traffic lights) is called Beleza (http://belezarestaurant.co.za), and it’s awesome and I can’t believe I’ve never been there.

Beleza is a café/restaurant/vintage clothes store, and the interior is stylish and retro and one of those Cape Town spots that you walk into and think, sheesh, this city is cool. Since today is such a magnificent day we decided to sit outside and watch the world go by. After a perfectly tasty bacon and eggs breakfast (for R19, if you please) and very good coffee (they won an award in 2011 for best coffee in town, fyi) we browsed around inside, and while I’m not really a big vintage clothing kind of person, they have some nice stuff – sunglasses, accessories and a pair of funky 60s-style sandals I might have bought were they in my size. It’s one of the few vintage stores I’ve been into where I thought, Oh, I’ll be back. And it’s just quite a delightful concept – gathering your girlfriends for a few drinks and bite to eat, and picking up a cute frock or throw or bracelet while you’re at it. And I’m sure it’s fab in the evening, too. So, I’m excited about next Tuesday where I strongly suspect that, while I might be helping a child to read, the one who will be doing the real learning will be me.

The vintage clothing store. They often have sales - check their website for the next one.
The vintage clothing store. They often have sales – check their website for the next one.
As my friend, Stef, says, there is no reason not to be fabulous.
As my friend, Stef, says, there is no reason not to be fabulous.
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11 thoughts on “Beleza on Upper Kloof

  1. Susan you have touched a raw spot with me. As a ‘hobby’ astrologer, I have Neptune coming up almost exact to my Midheaven in my chart, meaning the business area. having been in business most of my life, Neptune is asking me to ‘help’ those in need and while it is also known to create confusion, you can imagine what a lovely time I am having. So not sure whether I should jum to the left or right or offer to help a child read or…… confusion kindly continue…:)

    My oldest son lives on Kloof Street and I haven’t yet seen the Beleza restaurant. My other son took me for breakfast at Vuvo Tilo (hope I have the spell correct) and its the latest one on Kloof and seems very popular. Very good coffee too.

    Great to have the time with your mom. I used to have offices close to my late mom and I would buy her and myself a take-away lunch daily and have it with her. She so enjoyed that. Now I take my dad for lunch every Tuesday. As parents we sooooo appreciate the time with our grown ‘kids’.

  2. You will find this so rewarding….I did something similar when my kids were in elementary school here, I visited with a child who had needs and ended up doing it for about 3 years until she moved up to middle school…seeing her face light up when she saw me just made my heart melt and we used to have lunch together and walk around school and I’d visit her classroom and see her work really made a huge difference to her. At the end of her last year at her graduation her dad came up to me and thanked me for everything I had done for her…it was so appreciated! Good Luck!.

  3. Just loving the love in these posts man Susan! It’s all happening! Keep it up, and enjoy the time you spend with their kids too, because they will be enjoying your company (and very pretty face)

  4. Would it be appropriate to give the child a book to keep regularly? The benefits of them actually building a small collection of their own at home… and imagine all the siblings and extended family who would benefit from them too. More expensive but far more valuable than giving stickers or sweets.

  5. I ordered the special on “West Coast Mussels” at Beleza which turned out to be imported, frozen New Zealand green lip mussels. When challenged on making False claims, the management claimed they had been delivered the wrong product by their supplier and that they normally stocked the South African product. But still a big fail in my book as the green lip of the much cheaper New Zealand import is obvious to any seafood buyer or chef worth his/ her salt.

  6. Hi Susan
    Thanks for the nice comments above.

    ps Peter we did rectify the mistake, apologized to you on the night in question.
    phoned you the next day to apologize yet again for the supplier mix up after speaking to our supplier (unfortunately it seems it didn’t appease you)

    Patrao

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