With Joburg on my mind, I decided to look up Maira Koutsoudakis, who has constantly inspired me throughout her career. She recently transformed a Joburg landmark restaurant, Stephanie's, into a warm and sparkling experience called Life Grande Cafe'.
Glitz and glam is not really my thing, but this place is warm and inviting! I'd love to put on my heels and head over there! Not surprising, as this is what Maira says about the place, “The older I get, the more I believe in character, in the multilayered. I wanted to create a place of paradoxes. The decor, the food, the retail offerings and the design elements are all about contradiction and juxtaposition. It’s about combining earthy with a strong glam factor; industrial elements with luxury.”
Although there's marble and designer chairs, there is also comfort food and a wood-burning oven. There are bullets in the floor but rustic wood on the wall. The floor is marble, with inlays of thin brass stripes, about which Maira says, "I’m a Jozi girl, I want the warmth and glitter of gold.”
You can read more at Visi (where I got the images and info) or see the exquisitely designed menu here.