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The JCTA weekend in the city closes with an up close look at Maboneng

When I saw that day 3 (sadly our last day on Sunday!) of our weekend would be at the Maboneng Precinct, I really wasn’t too excited as I really have spent a lot of time there on my own. But boy I really was in for a surprise as we got an insiders guided tour of the precinct.

PS in you missed my previous posts on this weekend, be sure to check them out here to get the full story:

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Entrance to the colourful Easy Hotel

First things first. We filled up with yummy a la carte breakfast at Easy Hotel Braamfontein (previously Hotel Lamunu) another of the 5 hotels where media from our group was staying at, just a short walk from The Bannister Hotel where I stayed. I wish I had taken a picture of the perfect eggs benedict (with a side of avo at my request) that they served up before I gobbled the whole lot down.

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We started off with a documentary about Maboneng at Open, a shared collaborative workspace & I was surprised to see myself in the clip (ok my stint was only about 2 seconds long from when I was there for the Night Market).

The Maboneng Precinct, on the east side of the CBD is a shining example of city rejuvenation. It’s a hub where you can eat, live & play & just generally revel in the best that the inner city has to offer. I hadn’t realised it until I wrote this post, but I’ve already done half a dozen+ posts touching on Maboneng, so be sure to check them out here as I can’t possibly do this oasis in the city justice in just this post. So yes, I’m a fan and the thing that I’m most surprised (& impressed) by is just how fast Maboneng has been growing and the diversity of the people who frequent the area.

Living at Maboneng can mean anything from a studio apartment for R3000 right up to a penthouse for R2 million. And, might I add I have been to view the latter a few months ago, its spectacular! This mixed income urban environment’s residents are around 60% black & 40% white & is made up of students, families, artists & various creatives. Walking the streets you can feel just how much they love calling this place home.

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 Market on Main bustling as always (source)

We trawled round Market on Main for an hour and everything looked so good I almost wished I hadn’t already eaten. Of course I made some space in my tummy for a drink & we parked off under the olive trees in the courtyard to soak up some sun. It’s not just food, expect design & fashion too. It’s a great day out for the whole family & still one of my favourite ways to spend a Sunday. If you still haven’t been, that seriously unforgivable, you need to see what you’re missing. Market on Main is open every Sunday morning until 3pm & on the 1st Thursday evening of every month for the night market.

There are 15 restaurants in the area, so you don’t have to wait for Market on Main every week, there’s plenty to eat on any given day. I had the hibiscus tea at House of Baobab almost by accident one day and now I’m happy to visit Maboneng just for a glass of the stuff. Really, it’s that good.

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How cute are these kids getting a music lesson on the side-walk?

It’s a little dated, but this clip gives an overview of Maboneng (I couldn’t get the darn thing to embed!). There’s so much more than just food. When it opened, I took up a yoga lesson at Cocoon and one of their massages is high up on my to-do list too. Ladies there are some pretty awesome shopping choices like Black Coffee & Loin Cloth & Ashes to name a few. Have a different night out and take in a movie at The Bioscope or keep it old school with some theatre (you can even bring some friends and make your own movie!). Whatever you do make sure you round off a day at Maboneng at The Living Room,  a rooftop bar with quite the view…

There’s always loads happening at Maboneng, so the best way to keep in touch with them is to sign up to their newsletter or their calendar.

My favourite way to experience Maboneng and surrounds remains on one of their walking tours (some are free!) or hire a bicycle and pedal your way through the streets…

There’s something very special about Maboneng that I can’t quite put my finger on. There’s a sense of community that you just don’t find in the suburbs. People are friendly, care-free & you don’t feel weird striking up a conversation with a stranger. Mostly there’s an incredible sense of pride, hope & energy that anything is possible.

I heart Jozi & I definitely heart Maboneng!

W

 

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