If you are a smoker, be grateful that you don’t live in Belmont, California. This Silicon Valley town probably has America’s strictest anti-smoking law, effectively outlawing lighting up in all apartment buildings. From this month, residents who live in a flat in Belmont, California, are not allowed to smoke inside their own homes.
Compare that to here in South Africa where we have strict laws which rarely are enforced. Many restaurants give smokers the balcony area, rather than go to the expense of having a partitioned-off inside area.
Which should be fine, except, perhaps, if you are sitting inside next to a window at VovoTelo and there is a table of smokers right outside.
Which is why I loved the visit we had to Mariana’s Bistro, a charming little restaurant near Hermanus, over the summer holidays.There only are a half dozen or so tables and guests flock from near and far to eat Mariana Esterhuizen’s delicious food and be entertained by her husband Peter’s quirky waitering skills.
Their balcony has “no smoking” signs so you can dine al fresco without the whiff of tobacco overpowering your dish of the day.
Where do the smokers go? Like naughty schoolchildren going for a puff behind the bicycle shed, they are sent to the bottom of the garden.
Actually, it’s not that bad: the Esterhuizens have thoughtfully provided a table and chairs and they even have an undercover area for chilly or wet days.
How about it Port Elizabeth restaurateurs ... something you might consider?