Remarkably enjoyed: Try The Mad Hatter for an amazing dining experience


Anyone who has seen Tim Burton’s adaption of Alice in Wonderland will tell you that the bright colours in the film and the suspense that follows when Alice disappears down the rabbit hole are probably the elements that helped place the film in a league of its own. Similarly, The Mad Hatter restaurant and bar, situated in Walmer, is quite a departure from your usual eatery.

When I recently visited them with my girlfriend over a lunch, they had a marquee tent and a conspicuous, colourful sign “down the rabbit hole” painted on a cement wall opposite the wooden gate. A waiter escorted us to their tea room, whose setting can best be described as being straight out of the film.

We were mesmerised by our surroundings. Instead of the normal white walls or decorative wallpaper, there was a flavourful assortment of bright colours and a mixture of traditional wooden seats, tables and bar stools, coloured chairs, lounge seats and either checked board or playing card motifs on the tables.

As we immersed ourselves in the Mad Hatter’s vibe, we found their menu to offer many refreshment options - from pumpkin ales to decadent coffees, complemented by delicious meal choices. We ordered their chicken schnitzel with chips and a side salad and a prawn curry, with basmati rice and relish sauce.

After a short wait, our friendly waitress arrived with the generous servings that would have made Gordon Ramsay proud. While my prawn curry exploded with flavour, my girlfriend praised the freshness of her salad and chips as well as the crispiness of her chicken.

To end things off, we decided to indulge in the dessert offering of the day, which turned out to be a light coconut ice-cream topped with a caramel sauce all presented on a pancake. This is a treat that I can highly recommend to anyone eating at The Mad Hatter!

Having recently moved to the Bay from Cape Town, I must say The Mad Hatter exceeded all my expectations. Its choice of décor, vibe, service and meals makes it ideal for family or group outings as well as parties.

For bookings, visit The Mad Hatter at 24 Heugh Road in Walmer, Port Elizabeth or call 041 581 0225. Also find them on Facebook.