The Thistle Restaurant Royal St. Andrews Hotel

Port Alfred
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Fine dining with a twist

The award-winning Thistle Restaurant harks back to an era of fine dining when people dressed for dinner. In fact, our guests like it so much that they do dress up – and expect other diners to enter into the spirit as well. So it is the only restaurant in Port Alfred with a dress code – smart, but no need for coat and tails! It is also one of a handful of Eastern Cape restaurants to be featured in the annual Diners Club Winelist Awards.

Although arriving in a dress suit is the kind of twist that Chef Debby and her food-loving team in the kitchen would appreciate. You will be able to see them in action through a glass wall built specially to infuse a different taste to the experience. Fine dining is never boring at the Royal St. Andrews!


All the dishes are infused with flavours, textures and combinations which are out of the ordinary. Just like the décor of the historic Royal St. Andrews hotel through which you will stroll on your way to the Thistle Restaurant. An eclectic mix of comfortable upholstered chairs, period pieces, modern furniture, subtle lighting and soft background music set the scene as you walk in.

On the tables you will find crystal glasses, linen napkins and silver cutlery – all setting the tone for a fine dining experience. Your meal will start with an amuse-bouche – designed to wake up and excite the taste buds. The menu itself captures the flavours of the Sunshine Coast, with Chef Debby sourcing the freshest and finest ingredients locally wherever possible. Fish is bought off the boat in Port Alfred, lamb and springbok sourced from the Karoo, venison from the surrounding farms and greens and vegetables from organic growers.

Wines to accompany the dishes are selected from the Thistle Restaurant’s own temperature and humidity-controlled wine cellar. It is one of the only restaurants on the Sunshine Coast to have its own wine cellar – which helped it garner the prestigious Diners Club award less than a year after opening


The Thistle’s wine list includes a selection from DeMorgenZon, an estate which plays “harmonious and melodious” music through speakers placed in its vineyards and cellars. Another is Vergelegen, which in 2005 was South Africa's first Biodiversity in Wine Initiative (BWI) Champion.

As for the view, the restaurant looks out over a picturesque central courtyard where wooden walkways are bordered by lush gardens. A perfect end to the meal is chef Debby’s favourite dessert – Chocolate Mousse, Salted Butter Caramel. Making pastry is her “happy place,” and this shows in the tastes, textures and quality of the desserts and complimentary breads baked fresh on the premises.

Reservations are essential, and no under 12s are permitted.




From Grahamstown and East London side
From the R72 turn into Van Riebeek Street. (From town continue straight up Van Riebeek Street). Take first left into Hill Street. Take first right into Atherstone Road. At T-junction turn left into Princess Avenue. Turn right at the first cross street onto St Andrews Road and the hotel will be on the left.

From Port Elizabeth side
Travel on the R72 and when you reach Port Alfred, turn right into Atherstone Road. After 1,1km turn left into Princes Avenue. Turn right at the first cross street onto St Andrews Road and the hotel will be on the left.


-33° 36' 11.29''


26° 53' 13.03''
Royal St. Andrews Hotel
19 St. Andrews Road
Port Alfred


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Food Served
Fine DiningContemporary
Average Price$$
Payment accepted
Trading Hours
Wednesday - Saturday:
19:00 - 23:00

Reservations are essential
Dress code is smart
We regret no under 12's permitted
Secure Parking
Outside Catering
Load Shedding
© 2017 - South African Restaurants - Dining-OUT