Pasta, rosé and a blanket for Valentine’s Night

Valentine’s Day, and we hadn’t booked anywhere so we drove around Knysna, saw Chatters, took a chance, got the last table – and could not have wished for anything more.

We had already been in South Africa for ten days, spending all our time with friends and family. This was our first night à deux, and we could not have wished for anything better than the simple pasta and bottle of rosé at Chatters (which unfortunately came out as ‘paste and rise’ on a text I sent to my cousin).

There are three elements to a meal out: the food and drink, the atmosphere and character, and the service.

Here at Chatters, the food and wine were perfectly acceptable and filled a hole after eating little since breakfast. The atmosphere is welcoming and vibrant, situated as it is on the edge of Grey Street with most tables outside and full of South Africans and tourists of all colours and creeds.

However, it was the service that really stood out. South Africans just seem to know how to make you feel welcome and comfortable without effort or spin. What swung it for us was the restaurant’s solution to the mild (probably relative) chill that descended as the sun set. We were offered the menu, the wine list – and a blanket each, which we gratefully accepted. The little twist which made us feel we were really cared for was that the girls got a pink blanket, the boys a blue one.

It seems such a little thing, but they could have fed us chalk dust and we would have been happy.

Keep it up, Chatters, and we will be back next year.