I've never been much of a shopper. I can generally manage a couple of hours if the shops are empty and I can go straight to exactly what I'm looking for, before it all becomes too much and I have to push the 'eject' button. Nowadays, having lived in the bush for a few years, my tolerance for busy shopping malls, noise and consumerism has plumeted to an all time low.
I do however love markets. Real markets though, not the disappointing, 'plastic tat and junk food' kind. I mean the kind that sell a huge variety of organic, artizan food that you can eat right then and there at huge, communal, wooden tables with tin mugs filled with fresh flowers. I especially love those that believe passionately in supporting local foods, designers and products. Add to that mix an eclectic line-up of live music and nine different craft beers on tap, and I'm as happy as a pig in...a market.
The market sprang from the imaginations of founders and friends Paul Rutzen and Anthony Stroebel when they happened to discover an old, disused fish factory in the authentic, working part of Hout Bay Harbour and recognised its development potential for community and social upliftment.
It is now home to over 100 stalls with the producer/traders themselves interacting with customers and selling their own unique arts, crafts, fashion, interior design... and loads of yummy food!
The venue itself is weather-proof, providing an all-year-round experience, a 'uniquely-social shopping and eating experience in an atmosphere which is friendly, vibrant and entertaining'. Brilliantly, it is also open all weekend, so you don't have to get up painfully early (the only downside to a lot of markets). Doors are open from 5 – 9pm on Fridays, 9.30am – 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
There is plenty of parking around the market too, which is overseen during trading hours by dedicated Bay Harbour parking marshalls, as well as round the clock security for added peace of mind and no nasty little surprises to spoil your fun.
For more information, directions and upcoming events go to www.bayharbour.co.za
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All images courtesy of Bay Harbour Market