About our building

Building works outside1998                  Building works more 1998                 Building works 1998


Savoy Cabbage is located on the Hout Street side of Heritage Square. In 1996 these buildings were due for demolition to make way for yet another car park. The Cape Town Heritage Trust and some concerned investors came to the rescue of these severely derelict historic buildings. It was these that Caroline Bagley first saw in June 1997 when she was looking for parking in a wet, forlorn and very shabby Hout Street when she returned from her 30 year period in the UK.

Its beautiful but neglected Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian buildings were lovingly and painstakingly restored to their former glory. Savoy Cabbage is housed in two separate building that have now been opened up to form one space. During the renovation the Archaeology Department of the University of Cape Town investigated and recorded the fabric exposed during the building programme. The section that forms the entrance to our building (101 Hout Street) was thought to have been constructed in 1902. However as plaster was removed it was revealed that the fabric of the 18th Century house (1771) had been reused in the Victorian structure.

The long brick room that we call the Buitengracht Room has seen many renovations and the study indicates the use of recycled bricks from other buildings in the area. It goes on to date the bricks from three different centuries. In some minor renovations we added some 21st century bricks and thus we can claim four centuries of brickwork. Spot the closed in arches, the lintels from a closed up doorway and where a fireplace once stood.

The Dark scrape marks on the right hand wall show the wear of the original rope operated lift. It is the counterweight from this lift that is used as our reception desk.

We are often asked what these buildings were used for. A wine merchant, a silversmith, and a green grocer were here in its earliest days. A boot stores and a plumbers warehouse followed. In its current life the buildings that house Savoy Cabbage Restaurant bring visual and special delight to the thousands of diners who pass through its doors every year. Take a look at the virtual tour to see the full effect of this beautiful space.