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:
Back in April this year we enjoyed a nice long weekend thanks to Freedom Day falling on a Monday, and looking back at the photos, it looks like we might just have filled up the weekend with visits to perennial weekend favourites of ours – namely Root 44 market, Mondeor Garden Restaurant, and of course, ponies and pancakes at the Blaauwklippen Family Market.
Seems like a decent way to spend a family-orientated weekend to me! :)
And Monday the public holiday? Well that saw us drive through to Grabouw of all places.
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Related Link: Freedom Day
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! :)
Following our feeding of the ducks at the Strand duck pond (kicking off our jam-packed family activities weekend), we found ourselves driving down the R44 in the direction of Stellenbosch, our destination being the always family friendly Root 44 market – the end goal… well pancakes with the kids of course!
As always, Pure Pancakes didn’t disappoint, and soon we found ourselves a nice little spot on the grass in the kids play area on the edge of yet another bustling market day, and with all the pancakes now happily devoured piece by piece, it was time to play!
In the blink of an eye, Emily was clambering up and over everything (loving the slide at the moment it would seem – keeps me on my toes mind you!), whilst Jessica made a beeline for the sand pit – where she pretty much spent the rest of the morning!
Chantelle wandered off to browse the market (she doesn’t get to come out here quite as often as I do), whilst I just sat back and watched the kids at play.
So certainly not a horrible way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning then! :)
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Well that’s a bit embarrassing isn’t it? You see, I was on daddy duty with the girls on Saturday thanks to Chantelle working, and so I thought it would be nice to get out for a bit with a trip first to Root 44 Market, followed by some time in Stellenbosch.
The embarrassing bit is that it turns out that Saturday 28 February was The Office of the Consul of Japan in Cape Town’s Japan Day at the Root 44 market on the Audacia wine estate – and I pretty much took absolutely NO photos at all.
Zip, zero, zilch.
In other words, you’ll just have to take my work for it then! (Below? Not my photo.)
With our shopping at Somerset Mall done and dusted, Jessica, Emily and I then headed down the R44 until we reached the Audacia wine estate, ready for some Root 44 market action. As we climbed out of the car, the distinctive sound of taiko drums being beaten could be heard – in fact, it was our usual Helderberg culprits in the form of the Tamashii Daiko drumming troupe!
We had in fact just arrived for the start of Japan Day 2015, and dotted around the market were all sorts of Japanese related tables and exhibitions, from Bonzai to Calligraphy to Sumi-e art, and Origami to koi fish to Ikebana flower arrangement – and even a display of traditional Japanese children’s toys!
The main stage featured a continuous rotation of displays that included things like the taiko drumming, aikido, Japanese flute playing, kenjutso, kendo, karate, Japanese food preparation – and of course cosplay. (It goes without saying that the Cape Town Cosplay crew pretty much always show their faces if an event even mentions the words Japan or comic book!)
Anyway, perhaps the reason for me not taking any photos was the fact that the girls weren’t too interested in all of this going on around them – as far as they were concerned (well by ‘they’ I mean Jessica), we were there for one thing and one thing only – pancakes!
Of course, this DID mean that after much ambling about, we settled down with some pancakes, playfully devoured them, and then spent much time playing in the kids’ area on all the slides and swings – which needless to say both Jessica and Emily rather enjoyed.
With the market (and thus Japan Day 2015) done and dusted, my next leg of the day out with the girls was a scenic drive down Adam Tas to meet up with Baden Powell, travelling past Spier and then into Stellenbosch, all with the plan to hit the market up at the Oude Libertas amphitheater.
However, on arrival there, my plans were somewhat dashed when I found both Jessica and Emily to be fast, fast asleep, and so in an effort not to disturb my two little sleeping beauties, I instead drove through Stellenbosch in the direction of home, stopping only once we were back in Somerset West in order to surprise Jessica with an McDonalds ice cream.
Of course she decided to then pick a burger and chips instead. Sigh.
Still, it was a great day out with my two little girls – as always! :)
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As per usual, we had a nice and busy weekend, with things kicking off on Friday when Chantelle abandoned us for Bellville in order to go and watch the much hyped 50 Shades of Grey movie with Natasha and Michelle Garrett. She opted to take Emily with in order to leave her with Ouma and free up some Daddy/Daughter time for me with Jessica, and taking full advantage of this generous offer, I picked up Jessica from Vergeet-My-Nie at the end of the work day and headed off to the Gordon’s Bay Spur!
Needless to say, Jessica was particularly excited, even more so when we were handed a table literally next to the play area! For the next hour and a half she was bobbing between playing in the kids area (our Spur has really jacked this part of their operation up!), eating food and drinking pink milkshake with her dad, and running around with two other random little girls who seemed to be having just as much fun over at the Spur as what she was!
(Footnote: I didn’t stay up to find out how much Chantelle enjoyed the BDSM-tinged 50 Shades of Grey movie – which as it turns out was quite a lot – but I am rather pleased to report that I didn’t wake up chained to the bed or something like that the next morning).
With Chantelle working and an Eskom loadshed looming, Saturday morning saw me escape to Somerset West with the girls for some retail therapy (no, actually just household and DIY shopping – lightbulbs seem to be really, really expensive these days, not to mention the price of garden tools!), followed by a visit to the always busy, always pleasant Root 44 market at Audacia.
There it was to be pancakes, playing in the sand pit and of course going down the slides (yes, even Emily joined in) that was the order of the day!
The rest of the afternoon/evening was pretty uneventful now that I think about it – Chantelle and I attempted to watch Liam Neeson getting rather confused in the movie Unknown, but sadly as we got just over half way, Chantelle’s gentle snoring and permanently shut eyes became a subtle enough hint, and so we abandoned the film for some much enjoyed bed time.
Sunday was work day for Chantelle once more, but I had more than enough on my own plate to keep me busy. I had invited all the friends around for a Boerewors braai at our place – the first informal get together at Country Mews of the friends in I don’t know how long!
Anyway, all the rushing around paid off, because by the time our guests in Michelle, Damen and Logan, and Evan, Natasha and Evalynne arrived, everything was set up and ready, meaning that chilling in the driveway around our newly bought outside table could commence in ernest!
What followed was an enjoyable afternoon of chatter, boerewors and spanspek, and even a short trip to the park here in Country Mews. Of course, boys will be boys and FIFA did at one point get hauled out and played – and to make things even better, Ryan eventually showed up in Gordon’s Bay, coming through for a visit and some FIFA following his outing to the Art of Brick exhibition in Waterfront earlier in the day.
Eventually though, the day and early evening were done, and with the kids in bed and the last of our guests gone back across the Boerewors curtain, Chantelle and I settled down to finish off the enjoyable Unknown (for the record, Chantelle didn’t quite make it – she’d have to catch the ending again the next morning), rounding off what was a great little weekend.
I had to laugh, but poor old Jess has properly outgrown all of her 2-3 size clothes. Today I got her all dressed up for our Daddy and Daughter day of entertainment while Mommy worked the Willowbridge Market, and the plain and simple green t-shirt that Jess had picked out to wear pretty much left the whole of the bottom of her tummy uncovered!
However, she was determined to wear this piece today, so we hopped into the car and after stopping off to purchase some baking ingredients for Chantelle, I made a detour off to the mall, where we parked, marched in to Pick ‘n Pay Clothing, grabbed a 3-4 t-shirt in the same shade of green, purchased it, and once outside the store, promptly whipped off the tummy-baring, offending top for the much better fitting new wardrobe addition!
(Full disclaimer, she made me buy a pink one as well).
With her tummy now nicely covered, we were ready for the rest of the expedition, which saw us head out for some time spent at the Root 44 Market, playing in the play area on the slides and in the sand pit, not to mention wolfing down pancakes and listening to the live music on show.
Following on from there we also popped down to Helderberg Farm where we bought some carrots and feed and spent a decent amount of time strolling around and feeding the bunny rabbits, ducks, and rather vicious goats!
Oh, and there was even enough time before mommy arrived back home to still pop into the shops on our way home for supplies and booze (we’ve got visitors in the form of Retha and Miguel this evening), as well as spend some time crashing an endless amount of planes into the water in Battlestations: Pacific on the XBOX 360 – something that seems to amuse Jessica to no end!
Anyway, the point is that once we had gotten home and I threw her now very dirty clothes in the wash, I was forced to dig through her wardrobe to find something that fits her – the end result being that I had to settle on her new, just purchased this morning, bright pink t-shirt.
In other words, my little baby girl is definitely growing “up” quickly! :)
P.S. She went down the slide pictured above really, REALLY fast. Probably explains the expression!
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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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