Category Archives: Markets

Fruit and Food at the Outeniqua Family Market in George (2020-01-04) Markets | Photo Gallery 20 MAY 2020

Out and about on the Garden Route, and not to be outdone by Sedgefield’s hugely popular Wild Oats, Mosaic, and Scarab Saturday morning markets, George too is home to a pretty impressive and rather enjoyable family market experience in the form of the excellently kitted out Outeniqua Family Market.

Rated as one of the top 5 things to do in George on Tripadvisor, the Outeniqua Family Market is open every Saturday from 08:00 to 14:00. Featuring more than 150 food and craft stalls, the market actually takes a fair time to wander through and peruse all the admittedly quite interesting stalls. From food to fresh produce to plants (there is in fact a full nursery hiding in there) to arts and crafts, there is literally something here for everyone.

The big trees provide plenty of shaded seating areas, there is always some live music to entertain (on this particular visit we watched a local Country music act perform), and pleasingly parking is abundant and not a headache at all. For the kids there is a massive play park, a Boere train ride, pedal cars, ponycycle rides, face painting, sand are and bunnies, or just let them walk your own dog seeing as the whole market is actually pet friendly!

This particular outing (part of our last December holiday in Mossel Bay) was the first time that any of us had visited the Outeniqua Family Market before, and I have to say that we left quite impressed (plus with juicy watermelon in hand). So much so in fact that Chantelle has gone on record as saying that the next time we are holidaying along the Garden Route she may just forgo the “usual must go to Wild Oats” trip through to Sedgefield in favour of this slightly shorter hop to George! :)

Arts and Crafts at the Mosaic Village and Outdoor Market in Sedgefield (2020-01-04) Markets | Photo Gallery 15 APR 2020

Sedgefield. After purchasing all your fresh farm produce from the excellent (and famous) Wild Oats Community Farmers Market on a Saturday morning, your next step would undoubtedly be to simply cross the road and mosey in among the craft stalls of sister markets, the Mosaic Outdoor Market and the Scarab Village Craft Market.

The Mosaic Outdoor Market forms part of the Mosaic Village complex, a space mostly dedicated to art and sculpture businesses and its Saturday morning market offering strongly reflects this, with a large portion of the stallholders presenting the results of their artistic endeavours for sale.

Of course, all the other little odds and ends that you would expect from a market are also on sale, and to round off the offering, there are a few interesting food options as well. There’s a spacious space in the middle to sit down and enjoy a beer or two, and of course, given the general buzz of this part of Sedgefield on a Saturday morning, the vibe and bustle make for a great morning outing.

Right next door to the Mosaic Village (separated this time by an Engen garage) is the Scarab Art and Craft Village with its Saturday morning craft market, which is equally filled with a wide range of interesting art and textile products. Of course, the elephant dung paper, wooden owl boxes and the all important Sedgefield Craft Brewery all put on a strong show, and as with the Mosaic market, there is plenty of seating available for you to sit down and enjoy the hustle, as well as a small area to let the kids get rid of some of their pent up energy. (After all, it’s pretty boring going stall hopping if you’re a kid. Or at least that is what my two girls tell me!)

The Sedgefield market scene is incredibly strong and vibrant and the amount of visitors it attracts on a Saturday morning is truly something to behold. Something for literally everyone and you can easily lose yourself for an entire morning here among all the stalls. We kind of did.

Bunnies and Decor at Root 44 in Stellenbosch (2019-11-10) Markets | Photo Gallery 11 APR 2020

Having already wrapped up some stall browsing and pancake snacking at the always vibey Winelands Markets at Blaauwklippen (aka the old Blaauwklippen Family Market), we decided to also pop our heads in at the equally enjoyable Root44 market more or less just down the road, pretty much only because it had been quite a while since Chantelle had last visited there.

Situated on the Audacia Wines estate (right next to the big Mooiberge strawberry farm with all its crazy colourful scarecrows), Root44 is a sprawling market space with its ample food and craft traders operating out of big sturdy marquee tents, absolute loads of seating for visitors (both covered and uncovered), space for the kids to get rid of their energy, and constant music to entertain the seemingly never ending stream of people paying them a visit every Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 all the way to 16:00 in the afternoon!

Lots of beer and wine swirl together with all manner of prepared foods across a variety cuisine styles, all mixing it up with a wide variety of crafters showing off their wares. Simply put, there is usually a little something for pretty much everyone that visits. In addition to all of that, the fact that the market is situated in the Stellenbosch winelands also means then that the experience comes with some pretty spectacular mountain and vineyard views, thus making it a particularly perfect spot for groups of friends or families to congregate and enjoy a lazy day outside in each other’s company.

Chantelle, the girls, and I enjoyed a leisurely explorative stroll through all the big tents, managed to gather a small helping of various snacks from the food stall section, and amazingly found a table to claim and hunker down around. Also, as expected, I took a lot of photos.

And yes, those are indeed giant wooden bunnies in the picture above.

Biltong and Pancakes at the Wild Oats Community Farmers Market in Sedgefield (2020-01-04) Markets | Photo Gallery 02 APR 2020

This past December holiday period saw us spending a bit of time up in Mossel Bay, and for one of our planned day excursions we decided to take the girls out for a boat trip to the Knysna Heads. Of course, getting to Knysna from Mossel Bay means passing through my beloved Sedgefield, and if you are going to be passing through Sedgefield on a Saturday morning then it is virtually impossible to ignore the massive throng of people turning off to pay a visit to the award-winning Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market.

Situated adjacent to the beautiful Swartvlei lagoon on the outskirts of Sedgefield, this 20 year old, world renowned farmers’ market was first launched back in 1999 and operates, come rain or shine, every Saturday morning from 08:00 (07:30 in Summer) to 12:00. The market brims with locally produced foods, free-range meats, cheese and dairy, bakes, and of course, fresh-from-the-field fruit and vegetables. There is also coffee and all sorts of breakfast on offer, so basically no reason at all to stay inside and make your own breakfast back home then.

The stalls are all neatly covered (i.e. there is no product sitting baking under the hot sun), there are loads of trees to provide enough shade where needed, and the constant buzz of people milling about or sitting and enjoying the company of friends and family over a good cup of coffee all swirls together to make for a wonderful vibe.

The market is pet friendly, and in general comes across as very earth friendly too, and certainly whatever it is doing it is getting right, because the amount of people visiting the area each and every Saturday morning is quite the sight to behold!

While fresh farm produce wasn’t really on our minds for this particular visit, hunting down delicious nibbles, pancakes and fresh fruit juice most certainly was, and on that mission front I’m pleased to announce that we had great success! (After all, this seems to be Chantelle’s natural environment!)

Cotton Candy Cuties at ROOT 44 Market in Stellenbosch (2019-07-21) Markets | Photo Gallery 15 FEB 2020

So I had successfully managed to convince the girls (my Jessica and Emily plus one Cara) to come out with me for a healthy late afternoon walk in Somerset West’s Radloff Park – the only catch being of course that they TOTALLY expected a reward for having agreed to the outing in the first place!

The walk was lots of fun (primarily because the numerous dogs being walked around Radloff at any point in time always give my girls a big entertaining fright), but with that now done and dusted it was time to pony up with a reward – so I decided to take a drive down the road to Stellenbosch for some pancakes and cotton candy at the Root44 Market.

The Stellenbosch/Somerset West area is blessed with a number of amazing family friendly market experiences, from the likes of the exceptional Lourensford Market, the Oude Libertas Slow Market, the Blaauwklippen Family Market and of course the aforementioned Root44 Market, a market that we have certainly visited more than just a few times in the past.

Situated on the Audacia Wines estate (right next to the big Mooiberge strawberry farm with all its crazy colourful scarecrows), Root44 is a sprawling market space with its ample food and craft traders operating out of big sturdy marquee tents, absolute loads of seating for visitors (both covered and uncovered), space for the kids to get rid of their energy, constant live music to entertain, seemingly endless wine and beer options, and of course the constant energy and buzz of what is basically a never ending crowd of excited patrons.

It’s an incredibly busy market with just about something for everyone and of course the incredibly stunning mountain and vineyard backdrop that is the hallmark of any Stellenbosch winelands experience.

As for our visit, I managed to successfully browse through everything without losing a single child, indulge in pancakes, samoosas, springrolls and all manner of other little spicy bites, entangle the girls in seemingly endless cotton candy (so, so sticky), and then watch them attempt to climb the nearby trees.

Winelands Markets fun at Blaauwklippen in Stellenbosch (2019-11-10) Markets | Photo Gallery 10 JAN 2020

It’s all a little confusing really, but for all intents and purposes the famous Blaauwklippen Family Market (which has been running since 2011) doesn’t exist any more – except that it is still very much thriving if you rock up at the beautiful Blaauwklippen wine estate on a Sunday. So what gives?

Well the organisers behind the super successful market have decided to flex their market organizing wings a bit and as such having a name that ties them to a single estate is a bit limiting – hence the birth of Winelands Markets. (Not the most distinct of company names to run a web search against to be honest!)

Anyway, as part of this process they dropped the whole Blaauwklippen Family Market moniker, the signage has all come down, and instead their most famous creation now operates under the name of Winelands Markets at Blaauwklippen, with I suppose the idea being that they can substitute the @ part of the name with each new venue that comes aboard.

Naming shenanigans aside though, the lush green, family-orientated, pet-friendly market still makes for one of the best lazy Sunday afternoons out and about, with plenty of vibe, delicious food and drink options, and interesting crafters offering up all manner of wares for your perusal.

Mind you, on this particular visit both Chantelle and I thought that the number of stalls is now markedly less than what we remember (bear in mind that we did take a year long break from markets), and the market area itself is definitely looking a little more tired than what it used to – but so long as Catje’s and their delicious pancakes remain onboard, we’ll be okay! ;)

Steam Train at the Elgin Railway Market in Grabouw (2018-12-16) Markets | Photo Gallery 25 SEP 2019

An excellent addition to the Grabouw/Elgin Valley tourism scene is without a doubt the fantastic Elgin Railway Market. Residing in an old apple packing warehouse right on the Elgin train station, this Art Deco/Art Noveau styled market is an absolute must visit come weekend time – especially on days when the steam train comes rolling in!

With a carefully curated list of stall vendors, the market has a little taste of something for everyone, with flavours from all over the world, including proper South African market fare, on offer. A few well made arts, crafts and designs are on show, and of course there is local craft brewed gin to be had. (Seriously, gin is everywhere at the moment).

And don’t forget to admire the fantastic metal and wood work that has gone into crafting the ornate Art Deco styling of the building itself!

Then there is the innovative Liberty Books bookstore parked outside, showing off the second addition to their book-bearing fleet, the Liberty Books Brigade – a 1970s Provincial Library Bus! (I’ve mentioned their Burning Books fire engine on these pages before.)

But of course, the star of the show for me is whenever the Ceres Rail Company comes steaming into the station with one of their classic locomotive and coaches combination. On this particular visit pictured below, it was Jessica, a Class 19D-3321 steam locomotive from the 1940’s that chugged into view bearing its load of market visitors!

So yes, trains were admired, food devoured, and photos taken:

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Fresh Farm Produce at Wild Oats Community Farmers Market in Sedgefield (2019-01-05) Markets | Photo Gallery 20 AUG 2019

There are a lot of weekend markets dotted around Cape Town and the winelands, but to be honest, very few (okay fine, Oranjezicht City Farm Market counts as one) are actual proper farmers’ markets. That said, even if there were a couple in easy reach of you, you would still be doing yourself a massive disservice if you never ever make the trip up along the Garden Route to Sedgefield, home of the multiple award-winning Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market.

Situated adjacent to the beautiful Swartvlei lagoon on the outskirts of Sedgefield, this 20 year old, world renowned farmers’ market was first launched back in 1999 and operates every Saturday morning from 08:00 to 12:00 (07:30 in Summer) come rain or shine. The market brims with the choicest locally produced foods, including all sorts of free-range meats, cheeses and dairy, bakes, and of course, fresh-from-the-field fruit and vegetables.

(And given the huge amount of locals and visitors who descend upon the market, there is a mass of vendors catering with a range of fresh breakfasts, coffee and other treats!)

The stalls are all covered, there are loads of trees to provide shade for everyone, and the constant buzz of people happily milling about or sitting and enjoying company of friends and family over a good cup of coffee (or pancakes like we did) makes for a wonderfully charming and vibey atmosphere.

The market is of course pet friendly, and if you want a little more visually, then the equally impressive Mosaic Outdoor Market at the Scarab Arts & Crafts Village is literally across the entrance from the Wild Oats Market.

It is fun, authentic and home to some truly delectable tastes of the Garden Route.

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Food and Crafts at Lourensford Market in Somerset West (2018-12-16) Markets | Photo Gallery 20 JUL 2019

I do think that it is impossible not to love the Lourensford Market experience. Situated on the gloriously scenic (and historic) Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, everything about a visit to this well run (and well supported) market screams class, from the well maintained estate, manicured gardens, and exquisite sculptures, all the way through to its excellent vendor space.

The traders themselves are a wonderfully diverse lot, with delicacies from all around the world on offer, some good wine, beer and ciders available, and loads of sweet treats wherever you look, all mixed in with a creative mishmash of art, clothing and craft stalls. (And on this particular visit, even a 3D Printing booth).

The live music and excited vibe completes the experience, and as if all of that isn’t enough, then there is still the rest of experiences of the estate itself on offer – wine tasting, a coffee shop or two, art galleries, clay pigeon shooting, and thanks to the recent(ish) introduction of the MOTOR Studio, even vintage cars on display!

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