One of the things you want to look out for when you visit Cape Town are the markets. It’s the place where authentic Cape fare can be found, supplied by creative entrepreneurs keen to show off their unique, often handmade products. From food to jewellery, from sweet treats to boutique wines, from organic vegetables to all forms of art, there is something for everyone. Often embracing a social cause enabling the unemployed to make a living, the originality of some crafts is astonishing. The three chosen are just a trio of a multiple more that Cape Town has to offer.
From Camps Bay, take a drive along the coast, through Bantry Bay to Hout Bay. Following the signs to the Hout Bay Harbour, but drive past its entrance until you can go no further. Arriving either Friday evening or all day Saturday and Sunday, you will be met by enthusiastic ‘car guards’ who will direct you to a parking spot. It’s hard to miss the entrance to the market. Follow the sound of music and the stream of people eager to enjoy a weekend break at this eclectic spot. Buy dinner at one of the many outlets and pull up a bench to enjoy your meal with the backdrop of live music. There’s plenty to see. Take a walk around the huge tented area. Read some of the stories of the produce displayed. Look out for the T-bag Designs, a most unusual company that uses the unemployed to dry used teabags, empty them, paint them and turn them into incredible art. You’ll never look at a teabag in the same way!
Books, art, crafts and clothes all make an appearance at Bay Harbour – The Market. It’s one not to be missed. Opening times are Fridays, 5pm to 9pm; Saturdays and Sundays 9-30am to 4pm.
The Noordhoek Community Market is the brainchild of Cape Point Vineyards and is held every Thursday evening from 4-30pm until 8-30pm. It’s a great way to end the day – sipping wine on expansive lawns overlooking a picturesque dam beneath Chapman’s Peak. Add the spectacular sight of Noordhoek’s Long Beach and you have what is a majestic setting. While largely a food market, where you can pick up dinner at a wide variety of food stalls, there are a few craft stalls if you need to buy a reminder of the occasion. It’s hugely popular – droves of locals flock here on a weekly basis to appreciate that it’s nearly the weekend! There is plenty of parking and on a beautiful summer evening there is enough space for all.
If you want to get out during a weekday, then head for the city centre and stroll up a little alley between Long Street and Wale Street. You can’t miss the Church Street Antique Market. Trading hours are between 8-30am & 3-30pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 1pm on Saturday. It’s an indoor/outdoor venue, bringing an arty vibe to the inner city. Trees, awnings, blue skies, umbrellas and tables laden with wares are some of the sights to behold. Traders include those selling African curios, vintage clothing, costume jewellery, antiques and collectables. There is definitely something that will grab your attention – there’s so much to see – leather shoes, books, retro glasses, handbags, coins – it’s a lovely way to while away an hour under Cape Town sun. Make sure you have cash as most of the vendors don’t have credit card facilities. When it’s all done, put your feet up in the shade of the trees and enjoy some refreshments at one of the market’s restaurants.