For a while there I thought this post was never going to make it out! It's scary how accustomed we are to having access to the whole world at our fingertips - and how out of touch we feel when that connection is no longer there. So the short story is that my wireless internet connection decided to take the weekend off... and, err.. never came back. My IT-whizz hubby has managed to make an interim plan so I am kind-of sort-of back again, enough so for me to tell you about my recent visit to the City Bowl Market.
Cape Town's youthful energy is reflected in this market, located in the city centre. The market takes place twice weekly at 14 Hope Street - a large red and white building which you can't miss as you drive up the road! Originally opened in September 1927, the Zionist Hall as it was more popularly known was a venue for social and charity events for the surrounding, largely Jewish neighbourhood and the citizens of the city. A centre for everything from concerts to Bat Mitzvahs to blood transfusion clinics. 50 years later, with the younger generation moving to other areas and the community dwindling, the hall was sold.
The first thing I noticed as I walked into the market was the colourful bunting draped across the hall. The traders were positioned around the sides of the hall, and in the middle were large pink tables (made out of doors) where visitors could relax and enjoy their food. On the stage up front, three women were playing the marimbas, adding to the festive atmosphere. And that really sums it up - the vibe is relaxed and fun!
And onto the traders... at first glance the City Bowl Market may not seem huge, but there is so much to see! Fresh spices, gluten-free muesli, artisan lollies and craft beers are just some of the offerings. If you have a sweet tooth you will not be disappointed! I took home the most delicious brownies from La Petite Moo Brownies in salted caramel and bar-one flavours. And I spotted some fantastic, blingy cupcakes at Take The Cake including a Lindt ball cupcake - yes, hello! For the more health conscious, you can follow your nose and the aroma of fresh ginger to the juice stand, or choose from a huge selection of gourmet salads at SaladLover.
I tasted some limoncello at Kaapse Limoncello (great for Christmas gifts, hint hint) and also got chatting to the lady selling fresh potted herbs (Village Herbs) in the hope of getting some insight as to why I can never get my coriander going. Brunch consisted of olive bread and halloumi bread from Cyprus Foods for me and a nutella crepe for hubby, enjoyed at one of the pink tables. I also tasted some spicy ready-to-drink chai at Groovy Chai. I was hoping to get a closer look at the craft beers but by the time I had worked my way to that side of the hall I couldn't get anywhere near them for the sea of lads hanging around them! I'll take that as a sign that they must be good.
City Bowl Market is the perfect place to meet up with old friends or make a few new ones! There is plenty of space at the large tables for everyone to gather around and have a good old catch up while enjoying the artisan products on offer.
The City Bowl Market at 14 Hope Street is open on Thursdays 4.30 - 8.30pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm. For more information you can click here to visit their website. My thanks to Ute Kuhlmann, Market Manager for supplying the historical background of the building.