Africa and Middle East bars to visit in 2020

21st November, 2019 by James Lawrence

Not to be missed: The Art of Duplicity – Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town has witnessed a rash of bar openings in recent years, although few destinations can hold a candle to The Art of Duplicity. Housed in a renovated 1894 Victorian warehouse, The Art of Duplicity exudes Prohibition glamour.

Burlap coffee sacks stacked to the double‐ volume ceiling are dimly lit. The antique apothecary, ceiling‐high bar is the focal point of the space, showcasing rare and exquisite spirits.

The brainchild of entrepreneur David Donde, the bar opened in October 2018 with the aim of bringing world‐ class craft mixology to Cape Town. Leading bartender Brent Perremore designed the extravagant cocktail menu, with an emphasis on locally sourced botanicals and in‐house concoctions.

There’s plenty of raw talent at The Art of Duplicity, but no bad attitude, which is probably why it went on to win Best New Cocktail Bar at the South Africa Bar Awards 2019.

Gracious, attentive service and wonderful acoustics set the stage for live jazz, with international legends such as Lee Thomson and the Muneeb Herman quartet featuring regularly. Any downsides? The owner likes to keep the location a trade secret. “Half the romance is the joy of finding us for the first time,” enthuses Donde. He’s absolutely right.

The Art of Duplicity has been has been named our overall Africa and Middle East bar to watch in 2020.

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