Eating Out in GardensPerseverance Tavern
Where? 83 Buitenkant Street, Gardens, Cape Town, South Africa
When? Monday to Saturday from 12h00 to 22h00.
How? Call +27 (0)21 461-2440
The oldest pub in the country, Perseverance has stood on Buitenkant Street, in Gardens, opposite the Iziko Rust en Vreugd since it was built in 1808.
Known as Persies to locals, the heritage-listed building oozes colonial charm and serves as much as an historical attraction as it does a watering hole. Back in the day it provided a cheap place to stay for those coming off the ships at Cape Town's Castle.
It has some appealing anecdotal history too: until the 1990s the oldest vine in the country is said to have grown in its garden; the forerunner of SAB, Ohlsson's Breweries, owned the pub until 1952; the bar counter is crafted from really old wine casks; and in 1985 the pub won the first Pub of the Year award, pipping another 170 pubs to the post.
It is also rumoured to have been Cecil John Rhodes' local.
They apparently still serve up a mean eisbein with mash, butternut, beans, sauerkraut and gravy. It is a sports pub, which means LCD screens in amongst the worn wooden finishes, Guinness on tap, and lots of man talk.
There is a fire roaring in the grate come winter, although the rooms are fairly draughty, given the age of the place, but you can bank on pub food until 10 pm at night, and a good bangers and mash to go with your beer.