What is Graeme Smith’s connection to the Portuguese Embassy?

Graeme Smith's connection to the Portuguese Embassy

One of a handful of infamous and favorite pubs in Cape town – more than a pub, more than a restaurant, it’s the Vasco da Gama Taverna. So good many call it ” The Portuguese Embassy! authentic Portuguese food and fun.

The first few pages in the menu of the Vasco da Gama Taverna in Green Point are dedicated to giving a short and grim summary of the long and grim history of the area.

The history winds around the area, telling of who lived where and who did what, but the tale of the dead stands out.


Next door, when they were digging the foundations for the Rockwell Hotel, they found the skeletons of over 2 000 slaves, sailors and servants who had been executed on Gallows Hill, which was a few hundred metres up the road, where, appropriately enough, the traffic department is now housed.

Earlier years it was a men only establishment and a place where blue collar workers and suited men shared a beer.

Vasco’s was threatened with its own execution when developers fancied its site on Alfred Road, prime property in Cape Town.


A local decided they couldn’t let that happen and bought the place. He roped in Graeme Smith, former captain of the Proteas, and a few others, and they have revived the spot, keeping the old bar just as it has been since 1972, and added to it.

The place is a Cape Town icon, the Portuguese food great and the service superb. Colloquially know as “The Portuguese Embassy” , Vasco da Gama forms part of a small group of favourite old drinking holes in De Waterkant, Cape Town. Serving traditional Portuguese Steak, mouthwatering Trinchado, ever so tender Calamari and introducing the freshest beer in town – Castle 1895 Draught Brewery Fresh Tank Beer, unpasteurised and delivered directly from the tank into you glass. An incomparable taste experience.