Ask a Local: Johannesburg


21 Nov 2016

Architects and designers Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens reveal their top spots for shopping, eating and drinking in South Africa's largest city

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Elsa Young

Elsa Young

FOOD & DRINK

A popular weekday breakfast spot is in Parkview. Otherwise, we might go for a delicious breakfast served on enamel plates at in Stanley Avenue. and , both in Parkhurst, have the best burgers and craft beer in town, but for dinner, we love EB Social Kitchen & Bar - which we designed - at Hyde Park Corner shopping centre. There, the shop has a coffee bar and restaurant with Michelin-star chef Russell Armstrong at the helm. in Parktown North has a mouth-watering menu by chef Dario d'Angeli. On Saturdays, we might head to Braamfontein for a French breakfast at Post on Juta Street. Sundays are a great day to visit the food market at Maboneng, followed by the rooftop café .

Elsa Young

Elsa Young

Elsa Young

SHOPPING

Johannesburg is a series of interconnected suburbs, each with its own little strip of trendy retail and eating spots. Public transport is limited, but now that Uber has come to town, this is the best way to get around. If we go to Greenside, we often visit on Greenway Road, where the collection of artisan rugs looks more like paintings. At nearby Parkhurst, a stroll down the 4th Avenue strip takes you past for contemporary furniture with a retro vibe, and Take it for Granted, one of the best antique shops in the city. At 7th Avenue in Parktown North, shows off a beautifully crafted and quirky range of furniture and light fittings, while a 10-minute drive away on St Andrew Street in Birdhaven, the shared shop of for leather bags, and for hand-crafted jewellery, is not to be missed.

There is an exciting new energy in regenerating downtown Johannesburg - Braamfontein and Maboneng being two such areas. A favourite shop in the former is on Juta Street, a design collective showcasing colourful and graphic lighting and furniture. In Maboneng - a creative hub with emerging artists and fashion designers - we like to catch an art movie at , or go to for a workshop on printmaking and to browse through prints by top and up-and-coming South African artists.

Kramerville is a hotspot for interior-design shops. We particularly love on Desmond Street - a warehouse of fabulous African art. We are also great admirers of Trevyn and Julian McGowan of . Their new retail concept, , offers pieces by emerging fashion and jewellery designers.

Elsa Young
Elsa Young
Elsa Young

ACCOMMODATION

Occupying a prime spot on Westcliff Ridge, overlooking the heavily wooded area of Johannesburg's zoo, is both urban retreat and chic resort and is designed as a hillside village. The rooms - all 117 - are deeply comfortable, with just enough Africa in their fabrics and furnishings to ensure you know where you are when you wake up. Particularly special are the spa, with its lap pool and street-side 'deli', and View, a casual dining bar and restaurant from where the Johannesburg panorama unfurls before your eyes. Double rooms cost from £270.

Elsa Young

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