The Root44 (or Root 44 depending on what marketing material you look at) market is one of those unusually nice markets precisely because so much money has been thrown in behind it. (Also, the fact that its surrounds are so damn pretty doesn’t hurt either!)
There is literally loads of seating and chill areas (more than enough to cater for the massive crowds that seem to visit the market each and every weekend), plenty of different stall vendors, evenly split between crafts and foods, constant live entertainment, and even better still, actually roofing which make this one of the more weather resistant markets in the area.
(One of the only minor complaints that I have is that they stole away most of what was an okay kids play area and commercialized it into an offering that is okay if you plan on hanging out at the market for most of the day, but completely overboard in price if you are just popping in for a half hour long visit.)
Whilst both Chantelle and I actually prefer Somerset West’s Lourensford market in terms of the actual food stalls, there is no denying the absolutely pleasurable vibe that you get from visiting Root 44 – thus effortlessly retaining its spot as one of the most popular Saturday morning hangouts in the Stellenbosch surrounds.
(Oh, and have I mentioned that its weekly Parkrun is apparently one of the prettiest in Cape Town?)
We took a bit of a break from visiting markets last year, with these photos from November 2016 being one of the few occasions that we did actually venture down to Audacia’s grounds for a Root 44 market excursion… meaning that we are probably now somewhat overdue another Saturday morning pancakes fix! :)
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Bonus: As always, here is a handy map, just in case you want to figure out for yourself where in the world this place I’m talking about actually is:
It was girls and I again last weekend, so after we did all the chores (that involved riding around trying to source fridge lightbulbs and other odds and ends), I figured it a great idea to take advantage of the unusually warm weather and drive out towards Stellenbosch for a visit at the always super popular and busy Root 44 market at Audacia.
As expected, the vibes were great, The Professors were creating some fantastic music up on stage, and Jessica and Emily enjoyed clambering about the sandpit and jungle gym.
Sadly for me though, Pure Pancakes continues to disappoint with its pancakes that leave that horrible dry, baking soda taste in your mouth once they’re done. Sigh, I really wish they’d fix their recipe! (Or at least copy Catje’s Pancakes of Blaauwklippen Market fame’s delicious recipe!)
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Oh, and because I had dressed the girls for Winter and in the end it was more like Summer, I was ‘forced’ to stop for a quick ice-cream at our local Burger King in Somerset Mall – mainly because I wanted to see what their kids play area looks like…
Turns out Emily is rather fond of ice-cream…
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And thanks to all that… stickiness, it was completely impossible for us to escape bath time come evening! :)
Last weekend was a good mixture of DIY and family time, with the week having ended off on a particularly good note, what with a successful SPI audit demonstration of my Kinetica project at Touchwork, followed by the fixing of my car’s central locking (finally) by Hyundai Helderberg. As it was, Friday had I worked from home, meaning that I got to spend the early evening with Jessica, and after she was in bed, spend a little time with Chantelle as we gobbled down some KFC so that she could get back to work on an emergency birthday cake for a client, meaning I was free to tinker away the rest of the evening on the PC.
Saturday morning we did a bit of tidying up around the house, before I got out my notepad, measuring tape and pen, and started making calculations for the shelving job that I was about to tackle. All of these plans culminated in a 3 hour long trip to Builder’s Warehouse where I secured all the boards, railings, brackets, fasteners, etc., which obviously then meant then that the rest of my Saturday was spent putting up shelves all over the braai room!
With Jessica finally in bed, Chantelle and I snuggled up on the couch to watch He’s Just Not That Into You, before heading for a rather well deserved evening’s rest.
Sunday morning saw me pick up my tools and complete the final bit of the shelving project left over from Saturday, before shifting focus to put up a bracket on the wall of my office in order to wall-mount my second monitor. By this stage Monty, Cheryl and Rob had arrived, and so we all hopped into our cars and drove off for a afternoon of markets, first popping in at the vibey (well, they were doing a Christmas in July theme after all) Blaauwklippen market to observe their new giant marquee tent that provides shelter for the traders (and visitors!), before popping down the road to introduce (meaning of course browsing followed by beer and food!) the Montgomery Clan to the big Root 44 market at Audacia.
Rushing back home, we made it just in time for the arrival of Mom, Dad and Ryan, who joined us for a big combined family braai, which was capped off with a hilarious round of 30 Seconds for good measure! After bidding everyone farewell (fitting because in a couple of days Mom and Dad were to embark on their a couple of weeks’ long safari trip to the Serengeti!), Chantelle and I set about tidying up, before I unfortunately had to hole myself up in my office and tackle some outstanding Touchwork work.
Still, a pretty enjoyable – and productive – weekend after all! :)
Despite the rainy weekend that most of Cape Town seemed to experience this past weekend, we here at Gordon’s Bay enjoyed quite a pleasant weekend weather-wise, meaning that Chantelle, Jess and I actually had a pretty good weekend together.
Friday evening we entertained Monty and Cheryl for supper (they had been here the whole day helping Chantelle out with her baking), and after they left, I ended up playing Fable III well into the early hours of the morning, meaning that in terms of beauty sleep, well I didn’t get all that much of it in the end!
Saturday morning Chantelle and I first took Jessica out for a stroll along the Bikini Beach road and then on to the harbour wall, before deciding to hop into the car and make the trip out to the Audacia Wine Estate to pay a visit to the popular Root 44 market.
And boy, they sure have been busy over the last couple of months, that’s for sure! They’ve significantly altered the layout for the better, everyone is now in covered tents meaning they can operate come rain or shine, there is plenty of seating both inside and out, and more importantly, they’ve finally managed to make the foot traffic flow such that it’s actually a benefit to the traders – at the start their layout was a little wrong, meaning that most people would in fact bypass the traders completely, one of the main reasons Chantelle and I decided against trading there in the first place!
We strolled around, took in the sights, enjoyed some tasty German food, and just plain and simple relaxed in the good vibe and ambiance created by the very talented live musician plying his trade on the day.
Eventually we headed off home and after a bit of an afternoon nap for Jess and Chantelle (more Fable III for me), we popped into the local Pick ‘n Pay for supplies, returning home to whip up two fabulous homemade pizzas and then settle down to watch the thoroughly entertaining The Avengers (still one of the best comic book movies done right!).
Sunday we took a trip through to Somerset Mall so that Chantelle could go and get a deep tissue massage in order to try and alleviate the terrible neck and back pain she’s currently suffering from. Luckily for Jess and me it turned out that Somerset Mall was actually hosting their charity book event over the weekend, meaning that Jess and I happily strolled from stall to stall, paging through kid’s book after kid’s book, and eventually coming home with a nice little haul of new things to read to Jess!
On the way home we stopped at the Mountain Streams Nursery to partake in some hot coffee and something a little sweet (A scone for Chantelle and a slice of Lemon Meringue for me!) at the homely Garden Café, a visit which little Jess in particular enjoyed, because after she polished off her chips, it was outside to investigate the birds and the fish, not to mention the horses which we spotted on the farm next door!
Back home, it was more Fable III for me, some Joy Ride Turbo on the XBOX with Chantelle, a delicious lamb and pork braai for supper, and a surprise viewing of Dumb and Dumber (seriously couldn’t remember that movie any more), capping off a good Sunday on what had been a pretty enjoyable and relaxing family weekend.
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It was pretty hot and humid last weekend, pretty much keeping pace with how the rest of the week was, meaning that Friday evening was even more of a loss than normal, with Chantelle and I watching Big Bang Theory, eating Ostrich Mince Wraps and dealing with a fairly unsettled Jess during the evening. Saturday morning saw the three of us stock up Chantelle’s car with all the neatly boxed cakes and cupcakes, and then make the long drive through to Franschhoek for the usual Sacred Ground Deli delivery.
Whilst Chantelle was organising things at the deli, Jess and I took the opportunity to stroll down Franschhoek main road for a bit, visiting the giant teddy sitting in front of one of the stores (which Jessie was absolutely thrilled to see), ambling through the bustling Saturday goods market, and finally snack on some delicious pancakes we grabbed from the aforementioned market! On our drive back we spotted on of those newly disguised speed cameras which look like green power utility boxes coming into Stellenbosch (very sneak), and at the last minute we decided to pull off at the Root 44 market at Audacia to get a feeling of what the atmosphere is like on a Saturday. Turns out that it is pretty much the same as on a Sunday! (Shame, while we were walking around, Jess must have slipped and fell, because she ended up with a nasty, bloody injury at the back of her head!)
Back home it was back to baking for Chantelle, who needed to finish a Strawberry Shortcake decorated Chocolate Cake for Annelie’s little girl’s birthday party the next day. Meanwhile, Jessie and I nipped out to the shops and stocked up for a braai, which in the end turned out pretty damn nice if I say so myself! Annelie loaned her Lollos DVDs to Jessica who turns out to be a huge fan, which pretty much kept her occupied until bedtime, meaning that I was left free to plonk myself down and watch the all important Bafana Bafana AFCON game against Mali, which sadly we lost in the end but not for the lack of trying I must add! (Shame, the unpleasant heat must have again been too much for Jess, as she again had a rather unsettled night).
Sunday say Chantelle, Jess and myself nip out early to the mall in order to purchase a few odds and ends that I needed, before returning home to welcome the Montgomery clan who stopped by for a quick visit before their luncheon date out in Botrivier. The afternoon arrived and once again we headed out towards Stellenbosch, this time to meet up with all the friends on an outing to Wakaberry, a delightful frozen yoghurt (froyo) bar that allows you to put together the yummiest of desserts! A seriously kid’s friendly location and outing, which also just happened to sport a foosball table which proceeded to keep the guys occupied for what felt like hours (even with all the foraging for 2 Rand coins!).
From there the group took a stroll to the quaint Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens, and as the day was beginning to wind down for the little ones, we grabbed a quick drink from the little restaurant before making our exit (which was initially thwarted by the locked gates which was a little scary truth be told) and heading back towards Gordon’s Bay. Not feeling like the effort of making supper or stopping at the shop to purchase something to eat, we made a snap call to pull in at the McDonalds at Somerset Mall, a decision we later regretted, what with having forgotten just how bad McDonalds “food” actually is!
Back home it was the usual bedtime routine for young Jess, followed by some viewing of the original X-Men movie, and finally a tasty little dose of ice-cream, before hitting the sack to bring to an end yet another busy weekend.
A new market recently opened up on the R44 on your way into Stellenbosch, named Root 44 (well, it is on the wine farm Audacia after all). Being a direct challenger to Blaauwklippen as well as Oude Libertas markets, Chantelle and I thought it would be cool to head on down and check out what this new kid on the block offers – and boy were we impressed. A lot of things still need to be tweaked, particularly for the traders, but other than that, this new market definitely has the potential to become big.
Loads of space, plenty of activities for families to do, so definitely a thumbs up from us then!
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