Duchess of Wisbeach review

The Duchess of Wisbeach (I might just refer to it as just The Duchess, as seems to be the trend in conversations I’ve had) is around the corner from a new favourite of mine, La Boheme. I quite like that they are close together because I’d be happy to eat at either so am bound to get a table at one if the other is full.

I did struggle to find it, so here’s my special directions: Travel along Seapoint Main Road away from town. Just past the Adelphi Centre, slow down and turn right into Wisbeach Road directly opposite Laughton’s hardware store. It is a few metres down, on the right hand side.

The decor is a little unusual. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the huge cow’s head above the bar, I’m not sure how PC that is. The place is small and cosy, with strangely contradictory decor which seems to work. The columns are raw brick, while the ceiling is fancy, and the walls contain antique looking pictures. The dining room only has a small number of tables and the small kitchen is open and visible. We sat near the kitchen, which made it quite warm but not unbearable.

The menu is focussed with only a few options. We shared a Caesar salad (R58) to start (I don’t often find myself at dinner with a fellow anchovie lover, so it had to take advantage). The salad was good, nice and fresh with plenty of parmesan but I could have done with more of that good quality anchovie (especially at that price).

For main I had the fish stew (R98) which I would never normally order but I was glad I did because it was amazing. It was so full of flavour and packed with lots of lovely fish. My partner had the linefish (R85) which was skate. It’s an unusual fish to eat, and slightly challenging to eat too, but very rewarding as the taste is excellent. The linefish came with potatoes and a creamy caper sauce.

We also ordered the veggie sides which were R35 each, which I feel is a bit steep. But, these are no ordinary veggies. The spinach had parmesan cheese in it which made it delicious. The other bowl contained gem squash with lots of butter (yum) and tender broccoli stems which I love. My only complaint was that they poured balsamic vinegar over the gem squash and broccoli which destroyed the lovely soft flavours.

The wine list was quite disappointing. It’s very short with about 5 reds, 5 whites and a Rosé and a champagne. I found it quite difficult to choose something but ended up having the Elgin Vintners Sauvignon Blanc (R88) which wasn’t too bad.

The service was friendly and attentive but they did not all know what they were doing. We had some strange procedures take place at our table, some involving wine, another involving the salt.

We really enjoyed our experience at the Duchess of Wisbeach, I’d definitely recommend it.

Duchess of Wisbeach
1 Wisbeach Road, Seapoint
Tel: 021 434 1525


  1. Paula October 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    We were not happy with our experience at this restaurant – very very noisey, music too loud, too many people. Won’t be going back there in a hurry.

  2. Steven Masey November 26, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    Overpriced and service very slow. Will also not be going back in a hurry.

  3. Just Enough Words December 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I am having dinner there tonight , not at all encouraged by the reviews I’ve read (not my choice) – will be sure to post a review tomorrow…

    1. Dax December 4, 2009 at 7:21 am

      We’re waiting to see what you thought….

  4. Just Enough Words December 4, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Dinner, 2 Dec 09. Pleasantly surprised by this quirky venue, warm friendly staff and energetic if somewhat “loskop” service. Mussels starter, fresh and light , well flavoured in a subtle spicy-sweet broth. Main course steak and chips. Perfect rare steak , let down by really amateur greasy chips – but rescued by excellent side dishes of fresh vegetables. Skipped dessert (would have ordered bread & butter pudding if it had not been “off the menu”) Venue was packed and roaring – but that’s mostly the noise of happy eaters. Would definitely recommend, take along your posse and own the place for best effect, might overwhelm if you are after a romantic tete-a-tete.

  5. Lee April 23, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Very dissipointing! Wount reccomend it to anyone and wil defnitaly not go back there again. Unfriendly and pushy waitress who argued with us when we asked about the food. When the food eventually arrived the chicken was underkooked and the rest of the food was very bland. Overpriced and overcrowded. What a waste of time and money!

  6. Susan June 17, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Went there this week for a birthday party and would highly recommend. I’m really surprised at the bad reviews. Our service was great, the vibe was awesome – loved the cosy feel – and loved my food. Ate two starters – stuffed baby onions with parma ham and gruyere cheese on rocket – absolutley delicious – and steak tartare. Noone at our table of ten left unhappy and all in all, I would definitely recommend.

  7. Marc December 30, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Went to The Duchess last night. Had a terrible experience. Waited more than an hour for our reserved table as they had overbooked the restaurant. And then the food was ridiculously expensive for this place. R95 for a hamburger. I mean wtf?? I had a Haloumi salad for R65 and I got one big piece of Haloumi and one slither of Avo. It was pathetic. How dare people run a restaurant like this. For the prices they charge, you’d expect a great view, great ambience or great service. They offer neither. I would not recommend this place to anybody. There are much nicer places to eat in CT.

  8. Annika January 6, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Went there last night on behalf of a friend’s recommendation – absolutely loved the vibe, but one must definitely be in the mood for some action. The food was good, but can definitely improve on portion size (7 small calamari tubes for a starter??) and plate presentation.
    But will definitely be back for a fun and easy evening – loved the staff!

  9. JZ January 23, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Such an awesome spot! The vibe is fantastic, definitely a place to go have fun with friends. Food is honest and incredibly tasty. Got a very cool European bistro feel to it, love the black & white tiled floor in the bar. Would definitely recommend their Dirty Martinis 🙂 Will definitely keep going back!