The Danté experience: three storeys of style, top-tier food and ...


The Danté experience: three storeys of style, top-tier food and sea views

Durban’s latest venue has got it all, including a private dining space and rooftop bar

Candice Botha

There was some shock and disappointment when Durban dining institution Ile Maurice closed down last year, and regulars watched with interest as the site was transformed into the recently opened Danté ( — a three-storey venue that boasts a main restaurant and bar, gin garden, cigar bar, oyster and Champagne bar, signature bar for exclusive, private dining and a rooftop bar with exceptional ocean views.

The bold interiors nod to the building’s heritage with tiles, balustrades, basins and a few mosaics retained, which interior designer Alice Kelly has combined with dramatic wallpapers; intricate chandeliers; sumptuously patterned fabrics; a walls gallery, full of artwork; and stylish furniture featuring local design stars such as Ardmore and Victoria Verbaan. “I think every colour under the sun has been used in this project,” Kelly says, “and it all seems to work together like a beautiful piece of tapestry.”

Danté is the brainchild of Durban-born twin brothers Andile and Ayanda Ngidi, and Trent Varejes. Experienced eventers, this venue is a dream come true, Ayanda told us at dinner...

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