Markets - Cape Town

ERF 81 Food Market - Tamboerskloof.

On the edge of the bustling City of Cape Town and set in the affluent neighbourhood of Tamboerskloof. Erf81 Food Market is a contradiction in its location. Rural against modern, rustic living in the heart of a city. A local market where the animals roam free and the people form a Cosmopolitan cocktail. It is relaxing and fresh.

Contradiction of location

Rich in history, ERF 81, also known as Tamboerskloof Farm, is a retired military magazine that once supplied the Lion Artillery Battery from which the famous Noon gun is fired every day - a historic time signal fired from a pair of black powder Dutch Naval guns situated on Signal Hill, just above ERF 81

Old Architecture

As I parked my Blue Bullet (my little Renault Clio) and began the walk into the farm, I felt a lovely sense of peace. It felt like an invisible veil was cloaking the boundary line and those that crossed over were involuntarily relieved of all the pressures and stresses of city life.

Climbing the slight incline, I was greeted by tasteful art on the wall of a derelict house, advertising and directing me to the market. Continuing the walk up, greeted by geese, chickens and a gorgeous ginger and white kitten, I was in countryside heaven.

The higher I went, the more I wished I had a proper camera, there is so much history on this ground and my measly phone camera had no chance of capturing the unadulterated essence and richness that lay before me. I love old architecture and tried to capture the raw history of the old buildings, the greying stones, rusted fencing and the rich feeling of the past.

The raw history of old buildings

The winding road continues on up and I was lucky enough to meet Skattebol (direct translation from Afrikaans is "Sweetheart") the foal on the farm. He had no interest in me and continued to munch on the lush grass patch he had found ironically in the midst of a drought.

Upon reaching the top, I came across the small market that welcomed me with a couch that dared me to sit and watch the busy city below. That's not me on the couch in the photograph however.

Welcome to ERF 81 Market.

From books, natural body care products, freshly squeezed juice, fruit and vegetables from the farm's organic garden, to coffee brewed just for you and food that makes your taste buds tingle. And let's not forget the ice cream stall. The live band playing African-inspired beats certainly added to the buzz I was having, although, I rather think it was the SpanspekBlaze I was enjoying that was helping to illuminate my mind. A spanspek is a sweet, rough-skinned melon.

Fresh Fruit ready to be squeezed into juice

Handbag / Wallet stall

I just wanted an ice cream cone this size too

Fresh fruit & Vegetables for sale

African-inspired beats

A stroll around lead me to a pile of random shoes that was so befitting of the location. This certainly is a photographers paradise - the angles, the props, buildings and people, just felt so right.

Random pile of misfit shoes

I wondered how this pile of shoes had developed, every shoe on it was different and was lacking a partner. It was like a pile of one sad love story after another. Or maybe someone had taken a shoe fetish to another level?

Alas, it was time for me to leave and I decided to take a different route down the hill, simple clay steps that would be a hell of a ride on a wet winters day. Luckily for me, I had decided to leave the high heels at home today!

I was met by sheep and dwarf goats on the way out and this was simply the best farewell and all that was needed. I'll be back ERF81!

The Secret Garden Market - Constantia.

Ssssshhh...... It's the Secret Garden Market

"Fairies, princes, goblins and toads..... human beings are the ones now traveling this road..."
Wandering through the lush suburbs of Cape Town, on my way to find The Secret Garden Market. A gorgeous Autumn Saturday, a slight breeze, but the sun is warming.

My mind is flooded with thoughts of what The Secret Garden market holds in its magical bubble.

We really do not always appreciate where we live. Driving through the south of Cape Town really is unique. The uniqueness ends when I find traffic.... and a lot of traffic too. It seems The Secret Garden market is a secret the whole town knows about.

The entrance is simple, no fanfare, just a small sign handwritten on a yellow piece of cardboard directing the masses to the "not so" secret market.

But the entrance is worthy of being captured through the lens. A simple white pillared gate opening up to the stone covered pathway surrounded by rich green vegetation.

Around the bend I am greeted by a beautiful old style thatched roofed house with the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and pizza wafting through, welcoming you in more ways than one.

I needed the toilet, located just there, great timing! Wandering off the pathway here - do you find yourself needing the toilet when you arrive at a new destination? Maybe it is the old animal instinct in us that craves marking our territory or maybe I have a problem...

Back to the world of magic and secrets....

I have walked through a bubble into another world. The organizers have thought through the design of the market carefully - they have placed the food trucks at the start of the journey - good move! Pizza, tacos, a pink cocktail, beer on tap - what better way to start.

The path narrows before opening onto the front lawn dominated by a center piece of landscaping visually advertising the dire drought our beautiful mother city is experiencing. It is a simple circle with intersecting pathways and water wise plants.

Rather fun to watch whether people will stand out from the crowd and venture onto this "sacred" piece of land. There is no sign requesting you not to walk on or through it, yet those that come near it, make a concerted effort not to. It really is quite fascinating.

I just had to take the step out (and leap of faith) and walk through it - it's alright, I never turned into a pumpkin.

The colour and diversity on show was breathtaking - hand made cushions, jewelery, sexist socks, herbal infusions, did I mention food?

Flowing out from the front lawn, and across a hedge of lavender, the space triples in size. A Bedouin tent sets the scene for everything family. A very chilled picnic area, with colourful blankets, random table and chairs and family's galore. Wow, what a feeling, what a festive vibe emanating from all around. Just spot on!

A great thing about some markets is that they think of the kids too. The Secret Garden Market hit the mark. The kids play area was well supervised, colourful, and kept all entertained. I was so tempted to take the shoes off and go jump on the awesome jumping castle, but alas, I kept the big kid in me supervised.

Nature showing off. I am pretty sure somewhere in this magical world there are many fairies, princes, goblins and toads. I will return to find out.

When next the secret is let out, I would highly recommend taking a trip to this magical world, it was well worth it.

This is me...... and this is my story :)

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