Located in the chic new Athlone Circle Development in Pietermaritzburg, Elephant & Co is a haven for design enthusiasts and die hard foodies alike! With its striking triangular structure, this steel framed restaurant is as captivating as it is glamorous. Inspired by international architecture, Elephant & Co bears a significant resemblance to the famed Flatiron building in New York City. Mirrored after the sophisticated storefronts on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, this local restaurant boasts large brass lettering which is suspended over the entrance. With such a dramatic exterior, one can only imagine the wonder that lies within.
As you enter, you are immediately enthralled by the grandiosity of it all. From the high volume ceilings and expansive layout, to the vibrant colours and electric atmosphere, this trendy restaurant is an absolute must for those in pursuit of unique dining experiences. The fusion of vintage glamour and modern contemporary design is truly sublime, offering patrons extraordinary views and ample opportunity for “Instagrammable” images.
Floor-to-ceiling lead-paned windows ensure that the restaurant is steeped in an abundance of natural light, further emphasising the colourful imagery and remarkable spatial use. The difference is in the detail, and special touches like frosted glass, handcrafted lanterns add an element of dynamism as the floating lights seem to dance like balloons above the tables each evening.
The walls and ceilings are adorned in a luxurious sapphire blue, providing a spectacular contrast against the black and white herringbone floors. The statement floors are reminiscent of the Art Deco school of design, while the plush velveteen pillars and chairs lend to the romantic glamour of the roaring ‘20s. Gorgeous deep blue napkins and gold-embossed menus add to the decadence, but the focal point of the restaurant is none other than the floor-to-ceiling mural, which is a masterpiece in and of itself. Depicting tropical jungle scenery, the custom designed original oil painting was commissioned by an artist in India before being shipped to Elephant & Co.
With its high ceilings and glass windows, the restaurant has also created the perfect acoustic space for musical and food events, the likes of which have not been experienced in Pietermaritzburg before. What started as an idea of collaborating with well-known South African concert pianist, Christopher Duigan, and Soprano, Bongiwe Madlala, to host an event that celebrates the harmony between good food and music, has turned into a sought after monthly event! With even more events planned, this has created a new cultural space for the Pietermaritzburg community to enjoy. Customers can look forward to “Beer and Burger Night” on Mondays, “Bubbly Bar Ladies’ Night” on Tuesdays, “Wine Menu Tastings” on select Wednesdays, “Date Night” on Thursdays, “Sit, Sip and Dine” on Fridays and “High Tea” every Sunday afternoon.
On that note, the extensive menu offers a wide selection of dishes, incorporating diverse flavour profiles and an array of cultural cuisine in each meal. Owner, Chef Gregg Oosthuizen, uses high quality, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients – all of which can be found within a 100km radius of the restaurant. The artistic, creatively curated menu was designed by Angela Attree from Virtual Reality Developing Creative. Working with well known local designers and photographers to create the eye catching A3 ‘magazine’ style format, the use of botanical diagrams and names form the basis of the menu design. Spend a leisurely afternoon soaking up the sunset and listening to catchy tunes with friends and family – there is a particularly lovely selection of cocktails, craft beers and wines available!
Elephant & Co, with its artistic interiors and charming decor, is truly a work of art. We can definitely see ourselves celebrating the joy of life in this glamorous and inviting restaurant!