Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy some gorgeous cafes and eating places I've discovered in and around Cape Town
Dec 21, 2011
Tibet Tea House, Simonstown
The Tibet Tea House and Sophea Gallery is a tranquil space in a large deep pink house just outside Simonstown. Entering the gate and walking along the pathway beneath fluttering prayer flags, I'm aware of myself exhaling, especially as I gaze at the magnificent Hottentot Holland mountains brooding somnolently far across the False Bay. The Sophea Gallery is a wonderland of gorgeous artefacts brought back from the foot-hills of the Himalaya: silver, turqouise and amber jewellery, silks, incense, icons and precious singing bowls.Gorgeous goodies challenge my virtous attempts at Buddhist ideals of non grasping and attachment.
Ah, but there's no harm in just looking. Pictures and tankas adorn the walls and I peep through a doorway into a tawny saffron walled sanctuary where regular meditations and sound journeys take place, and spot Bella, the resident Buddha look alike cat, snoozing on an oversized squishy white daybed. I find a table in the small tea house and peruse the menu of Tibetan offerings. You can choose from a selection of vegetarian dishes with authentic names or just settle for tea or coffee and one of the cakes on display. My alltime favourite is chai tea, served in a tea pot with tiny brown lacquer cups, accompanied by a crunchy kind of biscuit cum cake made of rice crispies and honey, that i can never get enough of, fingering every last crumb from the plate.
The serene space has me sighing into the moment with an awareness of the simple lifting of the cup, the sipping of the tea, the tasting of something far away and mysterious. Monks chant softly from the cd player, voices at other tables are muted, and the interlude is a brief mental pause in the midst of another overthought day. On my way out I spin the prayer wheels as i walk down the steps, sending silent wishes on high that this tranquil feeling will last just a little while longer. Visit their website