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Starlings swoops into the Mother City’s newest lifestyle hotel

The Southern Suburbs’ much-loved breakfast destination, Starlings Cafe, has set its sights on the Cape Town CBD and will soon open a city-centric hotspot within LABOTESSA (, a new luxury hotel like none other.

Opening in August 2019, LABOTESSA is a unique hospitality offering boasting just seven distinctively appointed luxury suites with one of the largest penthouses in the city centre at their apex. It is the only hotel on historic Church Square in Cape Town, within reach of the monumental Groote Kerk and the Slave Lodge set beneath the unmistakable mountainscape of Lion’s Head. 

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LABOTESSA itself occupies a landmark building: a 17th century townhouse that has been lovingly restored. It is at this auspicious destination – at 5 Church Square – that the new branch of Starlings Café will make its nest.

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The first Starlings Café in Claremont occupies a Victorian cottage on Belvedere Road and is famed for beautiful breakfasts and bountiful bakes that are served against a backdrop of charming, nostalgia-driven décor with a contemporary bent. Fine, seasonal ingredients are key and ethically sourced products, such as free-range meat and eggs, feature. 

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Jams are homemade by Margaret; the cheese is naturally matured Montagu cheddar made from unpasteurised full cream milk from grass-fed cattle; rocket and spinach are grown locally; and the grass-fed beef and pasture-reared pork are sourced from Ryan Boon Speciality Meats in Paarl. All bread comes from the Woodstock Bakery and the coffee hails from Origin.

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Starlings at LABOTESSA will be managed by Claremont proprietor Trish Kratz, who opened her popular café in 2008. She will continue her winning formula of elevating classic breakfasts through quality and upholding the Starlings mantra:

“We don’t advertise. We don’t have a sign on our wall. We aren’t chefs. We are a Local that welcomes everyone who comes through our door, offering a respite from the day-to-day. We care,” says Kratz.

“Everything is homemade and made from scratch,” she states. “All our offerings are simple and based on childhood memories.”

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Starlings at LABOTESSA will be located on the ground floor of the hotel, with easy access at street level for members of the public. In summer, tables will spread out onto Church Square as part of a small courtyard garden out front. The restaurant welcomes all patrons and is by no means exclusive to hotel guests. 

Says LABOTESSA co-owner Johan du Plessis: “We could not be more thrilled to have this beloved culinary hotspot for locals form part of LABOTESSA. There’s little better than great coffee coupled with simple, honest fare and a smile.”

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Starlings at LABOTESSA will be spreading smiles from August 2019 and will be open from 07h00 to 16h00 daily. For more information on LABOTESSA, please visit

For queries about the hotel, please email or call +27 (21) 010 6600.


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