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ALEXANDRA WOWS CAFÉ AUDIENCE (article first published : 1999-10-2)

On September 30, Le Petit Café in Musgrave Centre celebrated its third anniversary which, for any Durban eating house, constitutes something of a record in a town which is notorious for its unpredictable restaurant following.

Le Petit Café’s success probably has as much to do with George Charalambas’s quiet, self-effacing charm as it does with his obvious skills at sussing out and providing the needs of his clientele. Le Petit Café is spacious, airy and comfortable with a good social buzz. George keeps a low profile in the restaurant but very little escapes his notice. The service is friendly and efficient and the food well-priced and highly enjoyable.

To celebrate the venue’s anniversary, George persuaded his mother, opera singer Alexandra Charalambas and her accompanist, well-known pianist Denzil Weale to perform an all-too-short programme of light opera favourites. Requests for an encore produced a charming rendition in Greek of Tine Afto (meaning What is this?) which is probably more widely recognised as the theme song from a movie titled Boy on a Dolphin starring Sophia Loren. The musical interlude followed a wine-tasting of the latest range of wines from Woolworths to celebrate the millennium presented by Sandy Coppin (see Michael Green’s Wine Notes in a week or so). Later in the evening, popular pianist Les Dolley played music for dancing and there were dance demos from the Neville Letard Dance Studios.


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