For books Kate Rogan's Love Books lives up to its name. The selection - general fiction and non-fiction as well as a great selection of South African titles - displayed exhibits thoughtful and considered choices, award-winning books, books people are or should be talking about. With chairs for reading, and place for browsing Love Books is a welcoming space in which to while away a few hours.
Adjoining Love Books is Service Station. A popular neighbourhood corner cafe serving breakfasts, lunches and tea with a view over the rocky Melville Koppies, at lunchtime there's a self-service harvest table laden with a fresh selection of salads and lasagne or quiches. Pile up your plate and pay by the weight. The breakfast of yoghurt, granola, fresh fruit and honey is the best in town.
Other prominent stores in the centre include Convoy, a fashion boutique showcasing clothing, jewellery and accessories by six South African designers. A collection of youthful brands, the clothing pieces are well-cut and the overall focus is on wearability. Look out for Celeste Lee Arendse’s innovative label Selfi inspired by architectural forms and patterns found in nature, and Lesley Whitter’s well-cut Heart & Heritage designs. Black Betty’s jewellery incorporates precious and semi-precious stones that are hand-cut.
Also worth a visit is the gorgeous flower shop Orchid Co-Op, which specialises in orchids and indoor plants. A fabulous space where every available space is filled with blooming flowers, you can also buy plant pots here and get excellent expert advice on how to look after your house plants.
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Service Station open 07:30–18:00, Sat 08:00–17:00, Sun 08:30–15:30. Other stores 09:00–17:00, Sat, Sun 09:00–15:00.
The Bamboo Centre, cnr Rustenburg Rd and Ninth St, Melville
Bamboo, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville
Melville Koppies Nature Reserve
Cnr Judith Rd and Orange Rd, Melville
A nature reserve and heritage site, the Melville Koppies (koppie means small hill in Afrikaans) boast archaeological remains of Stone Age and Iron Age settlements, and great views over the city. The geology of the koppies goes back three
Service Station Cafe & Catering
Bamboo, cnr 9th St and Rustenburg Rd, Melville
Carmen van der Merwe’s neighbourhood corner cafe in Melville's pretty Bamboo Centre is an institution. Sandwiched between one of Joburg’s best book stores