Awesome Saturday activity in Cape Town – play board games

 

Now that the weather in Cape Town is slowly and sporadically (as Cape Tow weather does) turning cooler and the rainy days are jumping on us at least once a week, I find myself in the mood to play board games. Now don’t think that this necessarily implies Scrabble and Monopoly, although those are sure classics, because there’s a whole world of  new and fascinating board games out there to discover.

Take Ticket to Ride, my favourite at the moment. It’s great for anyone remotely interested in travel. The Europe game, for example, let’s the person who’ve visited the most European countries play first. Your object is to build train tracks between different European cities according to the tickets that you draw at the start of the game. The cities are written in their native language and it’s great to get the feel of travel while playing a board game. Everything about the game is beautiful, from the tickets’ design to the map on which you play.

Although board games are traditionally played in living rooms, I joined in a public game day, held at Fanaticus Hobbies and Games in Durbanville. The vibe is relaxed, there’s bottomless (free) coffee and tea, snacks for sale, comfy couches and huge tables where you can just come in and play your games. If you don’t have any or you’re keen to try some of the new stuff out there, just show up and play one of the many demo games. There’s more than enough clued up folks around who’ll be happy to explain the rules or let you join in one of their games.

Also, conveniently, International TableTop Day is happening on 30 March. On this day, anyone, anywhere in the world is encouraged to play some board games, anywhere they want to. It could be an official event registered on the website or a just a few friends getting together to fight some zombies. Read more about it on the Getaway Magazine Blog.

This winter is going to be  a winter of board games and red wine, thank you very much.

ticket to ride

ticket to ride 

Fanaticus Hobbies and Games

Highstreet Shopping Village, Durbanville

www.fanaticus.co.za

Facebook page

Salon 91 on Kloof – always a treat

When I lived in Kloof Street, my front door was exactly opposite Salon 91, a small contemporary art gallery. They change their exhibition once in about two weeks and the artists always create a really impressive window display that passers-by can admire. You can imagine how great it was to be surprised by a different first-thing-in-the-morning-sight just when I least expected it.

Most of the time I didn’t even notice someone changing the display, I’d just open my door a new surprise one morning. But I did manage to see them change the newest one. One later afternoon, there were two chilled-out artists painting some stuff…

SavedPicture-20132784734.jpg

..and later, there was this.

SavedPicture-201326211922.jpg

Another beautifully transformed window to make Kloof Street just that much more visually appealing.

The current exhibition is called Aurora and it features only female illustrators. According to Salon 91’s website, it ‘promises to enchant viewers’. So get yourself over there before the next piece of awesome hits their gallery and its windows.

 

Salon 91

91 Kloof Street
021 424 6930

Tue-Fri 10:00 – 18:00
Sat-Sun 10:00 – 14:00
Mondays & Public Holidays by appointment

www.salon91.co.za
@SalonNinetyOne
Facebook.com/Salon91-Contemporary-Art-Collection

Cape Town’s markets in photos: Earth Fair Market St George’s Mall

Time for part two in the mini series of photo blogs of Cape Town’s markets. This time, the Earth Fair Food Market at St Georges Mall. It’s definitely one of my favourite markets, what with the great venue and the incredible food. I love wandering along in between the tall buildings on the cobbled stones with the trees overhead and the endless possibilities of food to choose from.

The Earth Fair Market takes place every Thursday from 11h00 to 15h00 in St George’s Mall. Visit their website for the times and place of their Tokai and Noordhoek markets.

Read: Cape Town’s markets in photos – City Bowl Market on Hope Street

St georges mall cape town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town 

St George's Mall Cape Town

Originally published on Getaway Magazine’s blog

Cape Town markets in photos: City Bowl Market on Hope Street

Weekly food markets in Cape Town are becoming more and more popular. So much so that it’s hard to keep track of the day of the week and the market in question. But to be honest, this is a trend that I really don’t mind seeing escalate. In fact, some of my best lunches and Saturday breakfasts have been at markets. So in order for you to take a peak inside some of these markets (and get inspired for your next lunch mission in town) I’m putting together a little series of photo blogs on the different food markets around Cape Town’s city bowl starting with the mid-week ones. The ones that are perfect for a sunny lunch break or a quick pitstop after work to stock up on deliciousness.

The City Bowl Market on Hope Street started as a weekend market on Saturday mornings. But recently it’s become such a popular stop for buuying fresh fruits and vegetables and delicious ready-made dinners that they extended it to Thursdays as well. It starts at 16h30, making a quick stop here after work easy. But you’ll soon realise that the atmosphere is so wonderful that you’ll end up staying for a beer, a cocktail, a brownie or some dinner. Tuck into everything from seafood paella and dim sum to curries and cupcakes. Taste a few pesto’s and preserves as you make your way from the one stall to the next.

The City Bowl Market takes place every Thursday from 16h30 to 20h30 as well as Saturdays from 09hh0 to 14h00. Visit their website here.

Scroll down for more must-visit mid-week markets around Cape Town

City Bowl Market on Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

City Bowl Market Hope Street

Originally published on Getaway Magazine’s blog

Uncle Shifty’s & Cafe Mozart: Madame Zingara in Church Street

Church Street is one of those very special streets in Cape Town’s CBD, it’s closed to traffic and full of antiques. It also has quite the variety of tiny shops and quirky restaurants. Yet, for some reason, I keep on neglecting this vibrant little street. When I finally went back, I found Cafe Mozart and Uncle Shifty’s, two more items on Madame Zingara’s menu. Yes, she owns these two as well.

Cafe Mozart fits the Madame’s protocol perfectly, with a lively environment and many interesting objects scattered all around. And it has seating for every mood (and weather circumstances). Outside the tables fill up most of the fairly narrow Church Street, making space for quite a lot of people to experience the street side cafe atmosphere tucked away under a row of trees and white umbrellas – cobblestones in tact. It’s a pleasant change being able to sit outside having lunch in the sun with no cars coming by and only pedestrians walking about with their shopping bags and cameras.

Inside Cafe Mozart is a completely different story. A set of rather steep wooden stairs take you up to lounge type area, with dark wooden tables and chairs and much less natural light. It almost feesl like you went to visit your French grandparents that you haven’t seen in years. Old paintings line the dark green wall and leather chairs accompany a large coffee table with a range of classic books and games. In the far, dark corner there’s an old typewriter tucked away under some fake flowers. The antique stores definitely came in handy when the guys were furnishing this part of the restaurant. This is a perfect place if you’re not too keen on the noisy street vibe. It’s intimate and has endless interesting things to explore and admire.

As you walk into the restaurant, the lunch buffet is the first thing you see. It’s R35 for a small plate and R45 for a large. These you then stack as high as you possibly can with the extensive spread of dishes on offer. Everything from grilled aubergine, tomato baked chicken, salads, breads, tzatziki and potato bake. And I’m pretty sure you’ll never get the same spread two days in a row. I definitely recommend the buffet, it’s cheap and you can have a look at your options before ordering. The rest of the menu does look very tantalising too though, with lovely salads, sandwiches and cakes. Let me just mention that the tea comes in a pot that is certainly an antique. It looks like a little fairy tale house. Literally. The most unique teapot I’ve ever seen.

Heading out of Cafe Mozart and turning right will lead you to Uncle Shifty’s. On the website, it seems that this is the emporium of a strange and adventurous uncle’s travels all around the world, a collection of all the things he brought back. It sure is an eccentric uncle though, especially considering the skeleton lazing around in the bay window.

Uncle Shifty’s is a lot like This Is Not A Post Office, the official Madame Zingara party shop, only the uncle’s collection is much smaller. Still you’ll find a range of interesting objects and trinkets and a fantastic range of hats and masks. I’m particularly fond of these animals hats. You get a panda, a penguin, a cow, a bunny and a few other furry friends. A definite festival accessory.

So now the Madame has four restaurants, two party shops and one launderette. This, of course, apart from the actual Theatre of Dreams and Nine Lives event organisation. She sure is going places and I’m curious to see what the next collectable will be. Check out the website.

Previous Madame Zingara blog posts:

Madama Zingara’s City Takeover: Now with a Party Shop

The Sidewalk Cafe: More from Madame Zingara

Yourstruly: Coffee, Art, Sandwich

One day during my student internship at New Media Publishing I was scrambling up Long Street, rushing my legs off to get to the UCT campus in Orange Street in order to catch the bus in time for my afternoon class. Naturally, I skipped lunch that day to finish every kind of intern duty before leaving early. It’s safe to say that my stomach wasn’t happy with me. I stumbled into the closest place that looked to have a decent sandwich. What I got, was a brilliantly fresh one with basil, tomato and mozzarella. (Yes, I still remember it perfectly even though all this happened in March.) Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

This was my first encounter with Yourstruly and I was determined to go back there and actually spend some time taking in the surroundings. At 175 Long, right in the centre of the buzz, it’s the perfect street side stop. There is no other place like it, yet it fits in perfectly with its surroundings. There’s the service counter with its black canopy, the high counter with bar stools that lets you watch the staff prepare coffees and food and there’s the pot plants and scattered table and chairs. This is only the side walk part.

One rather unmissable feature is the glass outside. It has big, white-lettered sentences that continue inside on the entire side wall. They’re bold and probably makes for one of the coolest walls in Cape Town.

On the inside, the front part of Yourstruly is quick lunch-time stop, with the glass case showing off fresh ingredients, the baskets of bread choices against the wall and the black board with the options and favourites. A coffee machine rounds it off. There’s also the bar counter seating coming out from the wall with the high stools for quick sit down.

But walking through this part, you get to the chill area. This part is a place to relax and admire some local art with comfy couches and a long, dark wood table. There’s also the dark book case reaching to the roof with some international magazines on sale. The art changes all the time and everything is for sale. At the moment there’s work from Rico Swanepoel, Raoul Goetze and Manuela Grey, three local tattoo artists. The pieces made from used skateboards are pretty epic, especially the lazar engraved sugarskulls.

What more is there to want? There’s coffee, there’s food and there’s art. There’s a great sunny vibe and a choice between making a pitstop and sitting back for a read. Their website is down at the moment, but check back soon for the link. In the meantime, head on down to 175 Long and see for yourself.

Cape Town World Design Capital: We won!

If it wasn’t already clear that Cape Town is the most amazing city to live in, then it became clear this morning when we were announced World Design Capital. And I am more proud than ever to be a Cape Tonian.

Just before 7am local time, the announcement was made in Taipei and Particia de Lille was there to receive the award. “The World Design Capital 2014 title will result in a year-long programme of design-focused events that will see design used for social, economic and cultural transformation. Cape Town’s bid was based on creating an inclusive city by using design thinking in its urban development plans.” This is from the official news report and you can read the full article here.

A very, very proud day for Cape Town. We deserved this. Cape Town wins. Nuf said.

Haas Coffee & Haas Collective

These two shouldn’t, and can’t, be separated. They go together too well. Coffee, cake and deliciousness on the one side and art, design and craft on the other. And together with the surroundings, this is a place worth visiting at least once, but more than once to fully take it in. Situated at number 67 Rose Street, the main road of interest in the colourful Bo-Kaap, Haas Collective started it all in 2010 with Haas Coffee and Haas Communications joining earlier this year.

Haas Coffee reaped instant fame for selling the Kopi Luwak coffee beans. These have a rather interesting and special origin in Indonesia. They are very rare and very expensive and if you’re a true coffee enthusiast, these might well tickle your fancy. If you’re just in the mood for a good cuppa though, they have these too, served in unique porcelain cups and mugs with tiny, black and white designs. Haas Coffee also sells a wide range of rare and exotic coffee blends and beans, if you feel like treating yourself or buying that friend of yours who drinks six cups a day something they haven’t tried. A recently released blend is even dedicated to the kitsch art of Vladimir Tretchikoff and is aptly named, Tretchikoffie.

Where food is concerned, both the sweet tooth and the hungry stomach can be satisfied here with pastries, cakes and cupcakes exhibited all over the counter. The menu itself is small since they decided not to list the coffee’s. But if you’re a coffee drinker you probably don’t need the menu in anyway. On the lunch menu you’ll find a short list of dishes that suit the sunny atmosphere perfectly. That is, if the sun is shining, which it should start doing on a more regular basis around this time.

The interior certainly boosts the quirky atmosphere. Inside, a chic, two seater couch with high back, wooden frame and eccentric design is contrasted against plain wooden stools to create a very unique look. The majority of the tables and chairs are outside though, dotted all along the sidewalk, and contributing the building’s distinct appearance. Choose between chairs or a comfy looking corner couch built into the outside wall. Unlike most of the buildings in the area that are painted bright, cheerful colours, the Haas corner shop is a dark charcoal-brown. And with the bright white sign high above the street, it certainly is difficult to miss.

Haas Collective is a sensory overload of interesting objects and art works. It’s quite a challenge to just browse through the items in a few minutes, especially id you’re artistically minded. Some of these pieces are once off designs and some you’ll recognise from the shelves of The Fringe Arts or stalls at the Neighbourgoods Market. There is not nearly enough space here to even start mentioning individual artists, but do know that the top of the creative Cape Town community’s work are exhibited here. On the website you can view a breakdown of the artists exhibited, but the best way is just to go over there and explore for yourself.

One aspect of Haas Coffee that I am particularly fond of, is their takeaway cup labels. These are even special enough to be displayed on the website. Haas Coffee is open weekdays from 7am to 5pm and weekends and public holidays from 8am to 3pm. Check out their Twitter account for updates on regular weekend community markets held here. Haas is much more than the world’s most expensive coffee. Go have a trusty flat white or cappuccino, or just hang out in this inviting little shop.

Dinkel Bakery: Sweet, kind, yummy

Kloofnek Road is well known as the way to the Mountain, the way to the Beach or the way to Houtbay. It is less known as a street worthy of exploring. The top section especially is rather jam packed with quaint little places well worth the climb. That is, if (like me) you brave the hill on foot. Taking is a car is probably the smart way to do it.

Whichever way to find it, Dinkel Bakery is a pretty sweet reward. It’s at the bottom of a double-storey building, built in the times when shop keepers lived above their shops in simple rooms. Things have changed for Dinkel, and you will now find Timeless Toys on the top level. An interesting find in itself. Next door, however, is Monoko, where the owner actually lives above her vintage clothing store.Being German, Dinkel offers traditional German delicacies, but also enough other well known treats to satisfy any bakery lover. They’re also well supplied with everything needed to create that typical bakery feel: The mural of fresh bread, the glassed in display of available eats, a blackboard above serving as drinks menu and even a kind German lady making your coffee and creating your sandwich. It’s simple, you pick out your bread from the baskets and your toppings from the blackboard. Fresh, hearty and delicious.

Where cake is concerned, there’s the traditional German Apple Cake (not pie), Plumcake and Poppyseed Cake, but there’s also chocolate, carrot and cheese. And for pretzel fans, there’s quite the variety of those too. The portions are nice and chunky.

But, of course, there’s more to it than just food. The interior is pretty and mismatched, the tables have flowers on and the book case has a collection of South African and German books, free for browsing. It’s cosy and comfy. There’s also a display of different German kitchen accessories that are for sale. These are bright and fun and should make a dull kitchen a bit more lively. The courtyard outside is perfect for sunny afternoons. It’s not big, but it sure is a good place to have a giant cup of tea and a sandwich.

There really isn’t much more to say about Dinkel. It’s everything you’d want a cosy bakery to be. They do have ‘specialities’, as they call it, though on Fridays. You can get a coffee and a slice of cake for R25, for example. Check out their website for more info. On here you can also view individual prices for breads and pretzels, just in case you wanted to check before you head off. Dinkel Bakery is at 91 Kloofnek Road.

Monoko: Vintage shopping made fun

In the olden days, shopkeepers used to stay in rooms above their shops, trotting down in mornings to manage them and crawling back up after closing time. Those days aren’t over though and Jessica Visser is a fine example of this. 89 Kloof Street is not only her home, but the location for Monoko clothing, too. And when you step inside you genuinely get that dusty traditional feel, with the wooden floors, long narrow windows and rickety stairs leading up to the rooms.

But it’s the content of the shop that probably refines its character the best. As it says on the website, “new age fun, with a vintage feel”. Both the items for sale and the ones that aren’t contribute to this mood. The clothes are mostly vintage – some new and some second hand. You’ll find dresses from Babette, for instance, but also a collection of jumpers, pants and shirts that carry the style and feel from back in the day. As with many vintage shops, you will have to take your time to browse through the clothes as no two items are the same. The search is fortunately made fun with good tunes all round.

Then there’s also an interesting range of shoes, from classic vintage slip-ons to more modern styled leather tie-ups. Ray Flector sunglasses are hooked all over, some actually hanging on an old bird cage. Whether you want to rock the round leopard print frames or the classic aviators, you’ll find something to suit your style. Check it out in the mirror, but also take a look at the pretty framed pictures dotting the rest of the wall.

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish the accessories that are on sale from the decor items that aren’t. They’re all scattered around a display in the middle made out of old wooden crates. But this is a clothing and accessory shop, so the multi coloured cupcake candles and porcelain cats should be left alone while the many different jewellery items should be picked up and inspected. You’ll find items ranging from recycled tire jewellery to colourful bird shaped earrings. Old suitcases also stand around bearing a variety of handbags.

The interior of the shop really ads to the experience and it’s clear that some effort has gone into making this space enjoyable. And the other rather festive side of Monoko is the occasional Mojito Friday where new items are packed out and old items go on sale. Last Friday, Bacardi even sponsored the booze, making for a happy shopping cum socialising experience. Mail Jessica at monoko89@gmail.com or ask to be put on the mailing list when you visit the shop to get invites to these events. You can also find her Facebook page.

Do go prepared though; there aren’t any debit/credit card facilities so bring cash or draw at the corner cafe one block down. And when you’re done shopping and not yet ready to walk down the steep Kloofnek hill, have some coffee and cake, pastries or pretzels at Dinkel Bakery right next door.

Monoko is located at 89 Kloofnek Road and here is the website.