After shutting their popular Gandhi Square restaurant and venue space Thunderwalker, JoburgPlaces' Gerald Garner and Charlie Moyo moved to a new home at the old Johannesburg Stock Exchange building in Newtown. The JoburgPlaces Hub is where they start their city tours, and also – for the month of July – the place to enjoy their delicious Sidla Sonke Sunday lunch (We Eat Together). JoburgPlaces tours cover Marshalltown, Newtown, the Fashion District and Little Addis, Maboneng, as well as Braamfontein, Soweto and more. Each tour offers a unique look into the city, delving into Joburg's migrant history.
There are half-day tours available, but to get the best of Joburg you can combine two half-day tours to have a full-day exploration. Private walking tours are also an option if you prefer a more intimate touring experience. There is also a special offer for Winter at reduced rates. Visit the JoburgPlaces website for more.
City Lodge goes green
Over the last decade there has been an increase in eco-consciousness, and we've noticed that those miniature plastic body gel and shampoo containers in hotel bathrooms are slowly becoming a thing of the past. Instead of scrapping this amenity entirely, the City Lodge Hotel Group has come up with an innovative way to reduce plastic consumption, but not forego any nice-to-haves. In June 2020, the hotel chain introduced a zero-plastics bathroom amenities range for all its hotels and lodges. Manufactured by a South African company, the Zero Bar products are plastic- and cruelty-free, and use ingredients that are locally sourced. The bars are said to last between 55 and 70 hair washes. It's a good reminder that you don't have to compromise on quality to go green.
Who said you have to travel far to do something different? We recenly enjoyed a scrumptious high tea at the award-winning boutique hotel, 54 on Bath. The indulgent experience is served at their Level Four restaurant, and offers three afternoon tea options from which to choose (starting at R345 p.p.): a traditional afternoon tea comprising a welcome drink and your choice of loose-leaf tea alongside a whimsical array of bite-sized sweets and savouries, a royal afternoon tea which includes a Kir Royal cocktail, and a champagne afternoon tea which includes a glass of Perrier-Jouët Champagne. On weekdays the afternoon tea is served from 14:30–16:30 and on Saturdays, from 13:30–16:30. It is essential to book in advance (and to go with an empty stomach).
Sometimes one has to leave this city for a proper adventure. Returning for its fifth year is Eswatini's Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival that offers a chic, African-vintage celebration of "the local, the wholesome, the creative and the delicious". It's said to be exceptional sensory experience, and the two-day event is packed with music, fashion, entertainment, culinary delights and connoisseur-led premium wine and whisky showcases. Performing artists include the Big Zulu, Zoe Modiga, Vuma Levin, Lwazi Dlamini, The Joy, Painted Flowers, and many more. The festival takes place from Sat, Aug 4 – Sun, Aug 5, so get that passport ready and visit here for more information.
For a trip of a different kind, visit the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden for Seeing the Invisible, a global exhibition where artists have created Augmented Reality (AR) artworks displayed in parks and gardens. Currently running at Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden, it's an intriguing way to experience the beauty of nature. The exhibition features works by more than a dozen international artists such as Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Isaac Julien CBE RA, Mohammed Kazem, Sigalit Landau, Sarah Meyohas, Pamela Rosenkranz and Timur Si-Qin. The AR exhibition touches on themes of nature, the environment and sustainability, and explores the interplay of the physical world with the digital, creating an immersive and expansive experience. Book tickets here.