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August 13, 2012

Cape Town market browsing under cover

Everything I love about winter, including the familiar comforts of Sunday lunch at mom's and an earnest raid through grandmother's closet, I can find while browsing through the indoor markets of Cape Town.

A marriage of home-made goodness and an admirable sense of entrepreneurship and initiative await you at the Cape Town markets, which offer some of the best local produce, lovingly wrapped in a charming shopping experience.

City Bowl market: Gourmet food and fashionistas

The historical building that hosts the market is filled with delicious smells and a bustling variety of foodies, fashionistas and families who sample their way around cosy stalls.

Wood-fired bread from Dirk Bakes Bread and a fruity, classic marmalade are irresistable. Dirk is a Cape Town-based artisan baker who believes in traditional methods and the best organic ingredients. He loves what he does and it shows – he is completely sold out by 12h00.

As a self-professed macaroon enthusiast, it doesn't take me long to spot Swoon Treats. Lynette's (owner of Swoon Treats) creative outlet takes its form via Pina Colada, Perky Passion Fruit and Red Velvet french-style macaroons.

Upstairs you will find a massive closet richly stocked with young Cape Town designers, who passionately source and create unique pieces. Keep an eye out for vintage, one-of-a-kind items from Vintage Lover and designer steals from Adam and Eve. I adore the collection from The Little Hattery of adorable miniature hats!

Once a month, they host the fashion market on the top floor. Pop in for fabulous fresh produce, handmade pastas and a variety of home-made goodies.

The market is perfectly situated within the City Bowl (Gardens) and is open every Saturday from 9h00 until 14h00.

Bay Harbour market: Organic

Bay Harbour Market. Photo courtesy coda

What I love about this market is that you won't pay an arm and a leg for everything. For most people, “organic” is synonymous with “expensive” but that's simply not the case at Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay.

You will find this market, consisting of a rather fun hobnob of stalls, inside the old fish factory on Bay Harbour area of Hout Bay. In one corner you may find delicious delicacies and in another an aspiring designer or specialist in a particular craft. It's all quite random and makes for an inviting change to the usual market floorplan.

If you have not had the pleasure of bacon, camembert and fig preserve baguette you simply must try one from the reasonably priced Bon Apetit. They also have an inviting selection of crossaints and omelettes. If you fancy a little cake, sweet treat or a frothy cappucino, put Nap on your list of places to visit. But if your taste buds are craving a hearty beer, pop along to Keg Kings for a craft beer or two.

It's the vibe that makes the experience so welcoming. Maybe its the musicians (quite synonymous with the cheerful bunch who serenade on the harbour itself) or the people – a merry mix of old and young. With more than 100 polished stalls and variety, you will be indulged for choice – it's the perfect way to spend your Sunday afternoon.

It's open every Friday evening from 17h00 to  21h00 and Saturday from 09h30 until 16h00.

Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market: Vintage

Affectionately dubbed “BBG”, the surfers' village of Muizenberg hosts the Blue Bird Garage Food and Goods Market every Friday night.

Inside a beautiful, old warehouse, delight in tongue-and-cheek goodies including “What the f**** chilli paste” and “Life outside the box” chocolates. Sample potjiekos from Potjie Boytjie while local talent perform to create a wonderful Proudly South African atmosphere.

Vintage is king here – find quirky collectibles such as books, designer furniture and reworked novel clothing. If you want a keepsake, you can have a portrait created by Penny (Tristam And-them Magnes) on rizla paper.

Face painting will keep kids enthralled for while while adults can sample some of the delicious wines on offer. 

It's quite local and very lekker so don't miss the festive atmosphere each Friday night in Muizenberg from 16h00 until 22h00.

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