The atmosphere is laid back, there is always chill music on the go, you have the openness that comes from being situated in Central Park, you are surrounded by the gorgeous modern architecture that makes up Century City, and most important of all, this always feels like a market that is catering directly for families as opposed to just trying to look cool.
That said, it is a little sad to see the market in its current shrinking form. The number of stall holders is definitely and very noticeably diminishing, which is a pity because as the stall holders become less in number and thus less diverse in offerings, so too does the number of visitors also eventually drop.
Nevertheless, there is still more than enough life in the market, as the girls and I found out for ourselves with an impromptu trip through to Century City at the end of January.
As expected, the music was good, the mini train ride lots of fun, the dog show via Dogz Cool entertained the kids, and all those little treats like hand-folded ice cream, fudge and millionaire’s shortbread delicious!
Not a bad way for the girls and I to start off a day that would eventually see us slumming with the Ostriches down at the Cape Town Ostrich Ranch!
(Naturally, I greatly annoyed the girls by taking pictures at every opportunity that it occurred to me to do so! These are some of the better ones that I decided to hold on to…)
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As always, a handy map:
Related Link: Century City Natural Goods Market
I spotted on Facebook that the Century City Natural Goods Market was at last kicking off for the 2016 Summer Season, and seeing as we had in the past spent quite a few Sundays selling cupcakes there as part of the Chantelle’s Cupcakery food markets phase a couple of years back, I was eager to head out that way and catch some of that good old nostalgia vibe.
Getting the girls on board was remarkably easy of course – just one mention of the Temperance Flyer mini train being at the market was more than enough to have them jumping up and down with excitement!
As always, the market was being held on the big green circular Central Park in the heart of Century City, right next to Railroad Square and of course Intaka Island.
The main trading action was all taking place under a large central Bedouin tent, with the other food trucks/trailers being accommodated along the wings of the market space. There was plenty of shaded seating and tables available (all very popular due to the great Summer’s weather on the day), with live music coming courtesy from the talented Capetonian singer Ryan Kidwell (former front man of the reggae outfit The Little Kings).
For the kids, there was a magic show courtesy of family magician Magic Nick (which sadly we missed due to arriving too late), a jumping castle, a zorb orb, and of course the Temperance Flyer train!
Interestingly enough though, and I’m not sure if it is just because it was the first market of the Summer Season or perhaps an indication of something else, the market certainly seemed a LOT smaller than what it used to be in terms of the number of traders on the day.
Sadly, this then meant that there wasn’t a heck of a lot of cool/interesting food choices on offer (like say what you might find at the bigger market cousins like the massive Root 44 or Lourensford), but nevertheless, we all managed to find something that we liked and in the end had a good morning soaking up the great sun, music and vibe that one can only get from coming to an outdoor market like this!
(So, maybe worth jotting down, but come the evening of the 7th December from 4 to 9pm, they will be having their first ever Summer Night Market which could be pretty cool to attend as well!)
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Having enjoyed our time spent at the Century City Natural Goods Market then, we next headed down the road to the gigantic Canal Walk shopping mall, literally the first time in years since I’ve last been there. (We don’t come through to this side of Cape Town much in case you were wondering!)
It is as always, an easy on the eye shopping centre, one of the nicest in terms of both architecture and design, though we didn’t have all that much time to admire our surroundings because Chantelle was pretty much focussed entirely on one very important mission – locating the newly opened Lindt boutique chocolate store ASAP!
Seventh heaven for any lover of Lindt let me tell you, especially because you can buy flavours there that you can’t normally find on the retailer shelves. (Amazingly enough, Chantelle actually shared her Lindt haul with both the girls and myself. Talk about true love! :P)
(Oh, she wanted to check out Dunkin’ Donuts as well, but they were far too busy for us to be bothered with trying their stuff out. Plus, I was rather pleased to see that Baskin Robbins is hitting South Africa in the near future as well. I LOVED checking out all their ice cream flavours during my Japan 2014 trip!).
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Anyway, here’s a handy map to Central Park if you want to catch the next Century City Natural Goods Market!
Chantelle’s Cupcakery starts up again for 2014, kicking things off by manning a stall at the always bustling Willowbridge Slow Food Market on Saturday 25 January, followed by a stall showing at the impossible not to love Century City Natural Goods Market on Sunday 26 January.
So with that in mind, I’ve ripped the rest of this directly from their Facebook event: It’s back! The first Century City Natural Goods Market of 2014 kicks off this weekend giving visitors the chance to eat good, do good, listen good and shop good at the popular summer fair.
Shopping and eating at Cape Town’s premier natural goods market will be accompanied by the sounds of seven-piece country dub band The Suitcase Hearts. The band, with powerful vocalist Ilse Lotz at the fore, will play a set ranging from country to blues, jazz and folk. The rest of the 7 piece band are all stars in their own right and consists of Kyla-Rose Smith on backing vocals and violin, Simon Annet on drums, Doug Armstrong on trumpet, keyboard and effects, Dean Pienaar on bass guitar, Bood Carver on acoustic guitar and Brydon Bolton on electric guitar. (Starting at 11h00).
While adults enjoy the music, children will be thrilled by the exotic animal show by Zoo2You, an animal outreach programme that both entertains and educates. Kids will see farm animals, amphibians, insects, and baby mammals. (Open from 10h00 – 13h00).
Be sure not to miss the ‘Art on the Island’ exhibition of works by Thomas Mulcaire ‘Mirror 2014’ curated by Mirjam Asmal-Dik at the Eco Centre at Intaka Island.
Visitors to Intaka Island can expect a different artist’s studio showcase each month, interactive cultural events such as storytelling sessions or portrait photo studios, and a variety of high-end craft artists too.
While there’s an entertaining menu for visitors, the market gives shoppers time to celebrate the festive side of life with a glass of organic bubbly while browsing around the great selection of quality products and delicious food, kept cool and safe under Bedouin stretch tents created by Dimensions Tents & Structures.
We’re renowned for our food stalls so as always, there are healthy gourmet meals, curries, wraps, salads, samoosas, smoked fish, kudu burgers, biltong, pies, vegetarian, cheeses, beer, champagne, wine, specialty coffees, tea, cakes, cookies, preserves, olives, freshly baked farm breads, confectionary, jams, freshly squeezed juice and smoothies – we’ve got it all!
If you are looking for original gifts, there will be stalls selling crafts and clothing at reasonable prices, or you can spoil yourself with fabulous natural body care products and jewelry.
The on-site clubhouse has seating facilities, and offers coffee, tea and a bar. Visitors can also enjoy boat trips from Intaka Island to Canal Walk.
For the mutt lovers, African Tails will be hosting an adoption day with the cutest brakkies and puppies. Their stunning calendar is also on sale, and makes a wonderful gift.
Summer 2014 market dates:
Sunday 23 February 2014
Sunday 30 March 2014
Sunday 27 April 2014
Trading Hours: 09h00 – 14h00
Location: Central Park, Park Lane in Century City (follow Intaka Island signs)
There is ample and secure parking.
Directions: If you are coming from Cape Town along the N1, take the Sable road turn off, at the top of the off ramp turn left. Follow the road around the bend into Ratanga Rd. Follow Ratanga Road and at the third set of robots, turn right into Century Boulevard. Go over one speed bump, and you will come to a circle, go around the circle, and exit it right (3 o’clock) into Century Way (follow Intaka Island signs). Once in Century Way take your first left into Park Lane
Contact & Enquiries:
Tel/Fax: 021 531 2173
After the slightly disappointing Doilie Market at D’Aria in Durbanville, followed by the more than a little inconvenient crashing of her car coming home via the R300 on Saturday afternoon, Chantelle and I really needed things to go our way on Sunday if there was to be any hope of salvaging our work weekend – and pleasingly the Century City Natural Goods Market turned out to be a good one!
(Although it didn’t start out that way – I made the awful mistake of handing the cupcakes over to a porter to transport for me without completely thinking it through: sadly he did the transporting via a tilted two wheel trolley, which obviously squished everything up in their containers! The Pina Colada cupcakes were a complete write-off, but thankfully the rest could be saved/salvaged. I wanted to cry, shame, Chantelle did cry!)
Anyway, trade was brisk and Chantelle and I managed to sell most of our stock out over the course of the glorious summer’s day, with the market operating in the usual 09:00 to 14:00 time slot. Loads of people, a great vibe, awesome music (live band was a group of older gentleman performing under the name of Time Flies – what an awesome, awesome party vibe these guys manage to create!), entertainment for the kids (dog trick show, train rides, etc), and best of all (well for Chantelle and myself anyway) – Mom and Dad brought Jessica over for a visit!
(Jessica also had a good adventure this weekend: Saturday with Oupa and Ouma – with a sleepover – and Sunday with Granny and Grandpa!)
So all in all it was a fabulous way to spend a sunny Sunday (and not just because of the fantastic Kudu burger I had for lunch) – even if technically we were working! ;)
So Chantelle has now officially stopped working at Gordon’s Beach Lodge (thanks Whammy and Louise for treating us to a fantastic farewell lunch out at 96 Winery Road on her last day!), and quite frankly has yet to have had a chance to sit down and take it all in. She has a massive amount of orders to take care of at the moment, all of which will probably take her well into January just to wade through. (In fact, it feels a little like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire at the moment). Of course our triple market weekend this weekend didn’t help her baking schedule in the slightest, and while I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten what colour my kitchen counters are, I’m pretty sure she’s forgotten what her bed looks like!
Anyway, the point I want to make is that we just came off a weekend of three market appearances, meaning that I’ve started off this week needing a weekend to recover from this weekend – something which makes me long for the upcoming year end break even harder now!
Saturday was Willowbridge Slow Food Market as per usual, and unfortunately for us, again a real lack of foot traffic meant a relatively poor day in terms of takings, though it certainly was a slight improvement on the previous weekend, where we had seen our lowest overall takings to date!
(It was quite cute though when on Friday night, after arriving home after a long day behind the keyboard, I was pretty much in by the front gate and then straight back out with Jessie tucked under my arm, heading out first for a hour long beach playing in the sand session, followed by an impromptu shopping and electricity-buying trip, all in the name of getting the rather niggly Jess Jess out from under wifey’s feet in the hope that Chantelle could get a little bit of baking done before the drawn out bed time routine kicked in.)
Anyway, with Chantelle still desperately baking and Cheryl having to look after Jessica because my folks still being on holiday in the Kruger National Park, I tackled Saturday’s market single-handedly, and despite REALLY not wanting to do it come the morning (plus the broken lift in Willowbridge which meant trekking along the underground parking to reach the alternative), the dynamic duo of Mario and Marcel in the pie stand next to us did an excellent job of cheering me up, which means that in the end, despite not having a financially rewarding market like I mentioned before, I did rather enjoy the day.
So that wasn’t too horrible then.
Because of the dual markets pencilled in for Sunday, it had been previously decided that Jessica would sleep over in Bellville with Oupa and Ouma, which then meant that Sunday’s morning packing for market departure was a lot more smoother than Saturday morning’s operation, where we obviously still had our little tantrum thrower under foot.
Despite the heavy rain in the morning, the sun did eventually take over proceedings and from all accounts the Hathersage market in Somerset West was a wonderful experience on the day, with Chantelle even coaxing her parents to make the trip through to come and join her and soak up a little of the Marimba-infused atmosphere with Little Miss Jess.
As for myself, I made the trip through to Century City, where despite the slightly overcast weather, the people arrived in droves for a fun day of train rides, dog shows, live music and of course market goods. I had a particularly good day behind the stall, walking away with the most takings out of the three stalls that we had run over the course of the weekend, meaning that I ended up being pretty chuffed with myself.
Though still dead tired.
Sigh, at least all of Chantelle’s deli and wedding baking this week means I’m getting a weekend free of markets this coming weekend – which is something to celebrate it these days in my opinion! :)
[P.S. Should be fun. Hear that our dear friend Retha has flown in from Spain and will be staying over at us for a couple of days. Needless to say, I don’t think she realise just how much work Chantelle has planned out for her!]
So no weekend for me last weekend, no, I was occupied for pretty much every single minute of it, having taken it upon myself to handle Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes market stalls for both Saturday and Sunday, a first for Chantelle’s fledgling business.
Friday evening took the usual form that pretty much every Friday night has taken since March this year, basically Chantelle in the kitchen until the early hours of the morning, while I pottered around the house picking up on whatever would keep me busy for a little while.
Saturday morning it was up bright and early, as I carted Jessica through to Bellville to be looked after by my folks for the day, and then straight through to Willowbridge to meet up with Cheryl and Robert in order to set up shop for the day. (Though the journey took much longer than expected – the N2 was shut down due to flooding, meaning quite a detour through some rather dodgy areas that I didn’t know even existed up until now!)
Unfortunately for us, the Slow Market group had again decided to place us on the other side of the market for a second time in a row, right between the Tupperware stall and the Dog toys and meal stall – in other words not exactly a place where one would expect to locate mouth-watering, delicious cupcakes, cake pops and brownies!
The weather wasn’t particularly awesome, pretty gloomy, but despite this, the placing and the fact that it was school holidays, we didn’t have a completely awful market, though we did finish up the day with quite a bit of left over stock.
Having organised that Jessica sleepover at Monty and Cheryl’s place after returning from Constantia with Mom and Dad who had been out visiting with Claire for the day, I hit the road back to Gordon’s Bay, where I set about preparing for Sunday’s market, later joined by Chantelle who eventually arrived home from work and who then jumped straight into the baking fray, finishing up… yup you guessed it, in the early hours of the morning!
With Chantelle working and Cheryl looking after Jessica, I was flying solo for our first ever Sunday market, the Century City Natural Goods market. With a heavily packed car, I left nice and early, and unlike the previous morning where I had sat in bumper to bumper traffic as the cars were routed off the flooded N2, I made Century City with plenty of time to spare, taking some time to dawdle through the stunningly beautiful surrounds, a first for me who has up to now, only ever been to the Canal Walk shopping centre in Century City!
Eventually though the huge Bedouin tent on the green commons was open for business, and I unloaded the car and set up shop. This was the first time I had ever been to this market (which runs once a month, 09:00 to 14:00), and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the vibe, the people, the live entertainment and music, and just the whole setup in general. Trade was good, and a couple of hours into the morning, Chantelle managed to break away from work to join me and help me with manning the stall, which of course just served to make the day even better!
(A quick surprise visit from Jessica and the whole Montgomery Clan was pretty cool to!)
Eventually the afternoon had to draw to a close though, and so it was back to work for Chantelle, while I collected Jessica from Bellville and made the trip back myself.
So that was pretty much my weekend – work, work, work. Still, I did enjoy it so it wasn’t all that bad, though I certainly wouldn’t have minded another public holiday to pad it out just a little bit! :)