City Bowl Market on Hope is just the best little local market in town


WE’RE spoiled for choice when it comes to markets, where we can get everything from jam to jewellery directly from the makers.

Indoors or outdoors, take your pick from any number of regular weekly events – most of them are on Saturdays, some extend to Sundays as well – and then there is the lovely little City Bowl Market On Hope every Thursday. It takes place inside a hall from 4.30pm till 8.30pm, which makes it perfect as an after-work stop, especially if you don’t feel like cooking.

That’s exactly and literally what my friend Nicole does. “Have you been to this market before?” I asked her when we met up there. “Oh yes!” she replied. “It’s my go-to when I don’t want to cook on a Thursday.”

So there you have it.

The space is set out with stalls all the way around the perimeter, with tables and chairs in the middle where you can sit down to enjoy your food and drinks while listening to the live music taking place on the stage at the far end of the hall.

Before that, however, as you come in the front door there is a room to the left which is occupied by Knext Gallery. Attracted by the display of comic books outside, I immediately veered inside to peruse the goods. Within minutes it became apparent I had not brought enough cash with me, and quickly dispatched a message to Nicole – who was still on her way – to bring more. There is an ATM on site but it (probably wisely) limits how much you can draw.

I left my pile of Archie comics with the nice young man who called me “Ma’am”, to collect on my way out later, and the very next stall I saw was selling Canabella Cachaça. The distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice is most popular in Brazil and well-known for the part it plays in the caipirinha cocktail. So of course, I had to have a fruity alcoholic drink while I waited for Nicole.

When she got there we took the ATM for everything it had, and began our tour. So much amazing food, sweet and savoury, meat and vegetarian, eat there or take away…there’s always something different so keep an eye on the Facebook page for tempting updates.

On our way around we found Ryan Wyness (above), who makes red and white wines under the Wyness Vineyards label, as well as beer and mead. He’s married to Lisa, daughter of legendary winemaker Hempies du Toit, and we spent enough time chatting for everyone to loosen up and hear the stories (and see the photos) of Ryan and Lisa’s most recent child which had been born the day before.

We also had a lovely chat with Ray Codron who sells gorgeous one-of-a-kind jewellery handcrafted by his daughter Keshia Lee. I tried on some beautiful silver rings and then sadly handed them back. The budget didn’t stretch quite that far. “Think about it,” said Ray. I assured him I would be doing a lot of that, and that is still true today.

As with any market worth its carrots, you can stock up on all your fresh fruit and veggies as well, and relax a little while listening to the live music.

City Bowl Market On Hope is at 14 Hope Street, Gardens. For more information, call 083 676 6104 or follow on Facebook.

  • This story first appeared in Weekend Argus Saturday Live on August 11, 2018


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