Monday, August 29, 2011

Tour South Africa: Durban

After the wet and windy weekend, let's head to one of my most favourites places - Durban. My grandparents lived there for many years, so every second Christmas during my childhood we'd head down to the sea and surf, and have a wonderful time. It's where I learned to love the sea.

To recap, this is part of a series I'm hosting on South of the Sahara for anyone interested in where to visit, what to do, and what to eat in South Africa (see Cape Town's first post here). And do click on the images to see them better.

My thanks to Nicola Ashe for introducing us to her city, this is a treasure trove of info!

"Thanks so much for asking me to post about Durban. I’ve lived here my whole life, except for a 3 year stint in the UK, so it’s definitely home and I love it.
Durban is on the east coast of South Africa and much to the envy of our bigger South African cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg, we pretty much have summer all year round. Blue skies, gorgeous beaches, sizzling temperatures in summer and we’re all surprised if it drops below 20°C in winter! This weather affords us the opportunity to be outdoors most of the time, so if you’re ever in this part of the world, make sure you hit our beaches, even if you’re not a sun baby {I’m not!}

Hotspot One: A Durban beachfront adventure
Hire a vintage bicycle and pedal our beautiful promenade, from the spectacular Moses Mabhida Stadium, all the way to the Moyo Pier at Vetchies. Streetscene Tours can arrange a picnic on the stadium lawns or pop past Café Jiran for delicious cappuccinos and muffins. Or do the cruise at sunset and hit Moyo at the end of the pier for insanely delicious mango daiquiri sundowners!

Hotspot Two: Morningside, Berea & Glenwood

These Durban suburbs are jam packed with great restaurants and stores - Florida & Davenport Roads are very popular, as you can walk from place to place and pick and choose where to eat & drink. Given the opportunity, I’d start at the top of Florida Road, walk down to Mo Noodles which is next door to the Spar and have a starter lentil/feta & calamari combo – my favourite meal in the whole of Durban hands down! Then head further down to Spiga, an Italian restaurant run by the Santoniccolo family and polish off a pizza or pasta with lashings of balsamic, chilli & garlic. Finish off with a frozen yogurt from Yogaberry and then roll home ☺.

If you’re just keen on dinner and drinks followed by a bit of a party, hit Czar for sushi & tapas and cool music – especially on Friday nights.

Shop at Cecile & Boyd’s for gorgeous home décor, or pop in at The Space for local clothing designers Colleen Eitzen, Amanda Laird Cherry and Leigh Schubert, as well as beautiful home décor accessories, sourced by Neil Roake. You can also browse through the African Art Centre and Contemporary Life further down Florida Road. Once you’re at the bottom of Florida, you have to head to The Freedom Café for coffee and cake. This restaurant is adjacent to The Concierge Bungalows – an oasis of tranquillity in the heart of Morningside with beautifully appointed guest rooms all furnished and decorated by Neil Roake & Egg Designs.

Two other highly recommended restaurants in this area are Market on Marriott Road and 9th Ave Bistro in Avondale Centre. You should also head to Windermere Road and visit home décor store Karrin Hatfield, which stocks Pierre Cronje & Clinton Friedman, as well as gorgeous goose down cushions.
More home décor is available at Couch + Interiors further up Windermere Road – you can quench your thirst there too at Couch Café {shopping is thirsty business!}

On the Berea is a new spot called Unity which is owned by the Café 1999 owners and it’s already becoming a Durban favourite – serving craft beers & a delicious menu ranging from snacky starters & platters to burgers, curries and bangers & mash. My Glenwood store favourites are Mooi, where Genevieve Motley has a pop-up shop, Wow, Finder’s Keeper’s, Earthmother Organic, The NSA Gallery and iKhaya and I never pass up an opportunity to pop in to The Corner Café for coffee and either breakfast or lunch.

Hotspot Three: Durban’s Markets
We have quite a few markets in Durban, both food and craft markets which take place at various times of the month. Local crafters, foodies, creatives, clever-people, tree-huggers, coffee-addicts, macaroon-guzzlers, craft beer-sluggers and clothes designers all unite at these markets and showcase some incredible Durban talent – go hungry and with a full wallet!

1st Saturday of the month: I Heart Market at the DLI Hall Greyville
Find Cupcake Couture, Miss Molly Fashions, Daniela’s, I Love Bokkie, Freshly Found, iKhaya, Hey Cherry, Olivia Villet, Mint, Lulu Yesteryear, Whimsy, Genevieve Motley, The Thrift Collection, Mooi and much more!

Last Saturday of the month: The Foodmarket at the Hellenic Hall Durban North
1st & 3rd Saturday of the month: The Litchi Orchard Market in Salt Rock
1st Thursday evening of the month: The Wholefoods Night Market on the Point at The Quays
Every Saturday: Essenwood Market
on Essenwood Road in Berea Park
Every Saturday: Shongweni Farmer’s Market in Assagay

Hope to see you in Durban soon!
Xox ashe"

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