Craving sushi? Here’s where to head in your area.
Not your average thriftshop.
Cereal fa’real! Maybe my new favourite breakfast spot.
A little sneak peak into my humble abode…
Y’know, because I have no skaam in publishing my life on the internet.
Some of you may remember this post, where I excitedly announced that I’d be moving into my very own spot. Well, said spot is finally coming together and I thought I’d share the progress. There’s still so much more I want to do, but y’know, cash money, so I have to be patient.
Being my first young-professional-flat, it’s been a process of acquiring old family furniture (see Kitkat couch), hand-making my own decor, getting the odd new piece and making it all work together. I managed to tick off the Persian rugs, black accents and framed pictures on the checklist from my decor post, but the leafy plants that don’t die wasn’t a possible feat.
It’s still a major work in progress, but I’ve loved having my own space. Record evenings, tea on the balcony, hour-long baths. It’s been bliss.
I highly recommend it.
Thanks for visiting, it was lovely to have you over. xx
A few tried and tested spots to grab good chow in and around the 031.
It’s mos def worth the mission to this Midlands eatery. Country vibes, spectacular views and a cheesecake that makes them famous.
along some extra cash money for the shop (The Winkel), next door.
Also, if you
ask nicely, they may make you the world’s most amazing veggie burger.
Hungry, in a
rush and feel like the best Mexican food in Durbs?
Hit up El
Hombre and order like, everything. Especially
the chili-chocolate churros.
Chili-chocolate churros. Oh and chili-chocolate churros.
Well yes, I’m
limited to chips but the rest of you meat-eaters can chow down on some pretty
impressive looking chicken strips and burgers (and they’re delicious according to my carnivorous crew). Everyone can enjoy the unique vibe and friendly staff.
Tip: Return your plate to the counter like a decent person and score some Wilson’s toffees.
express enough how wonderful this Indian-vegetarian food joint is. Slap bang in
the middle of town’s chaos, cheap as chips and tasty and hell.
Tip: Order a
veg thali and get a selection of all sorts of curries, chutneys and sambals. Also,
try the masala chai tea for a heavenly sugar rush.
Bon Appetit yo!
As it happens, I have had a few people asking me what do to over the holidays as they introduce friends/family/partners to their beloved home city. It’s a difficult thing – showing someone the place you grew up in and trying to get them to fall in love with it that same way you have.How do you take the essence of a place and get another person to understand it when they only have a few days with you – whether they’ve traveled from abroad or even just from the other side of the country?
While there are no doubt many impressive places in the 031, here’s some of my first choices that I took a certain individual to for “Durban’s Best Date Ever."
We kicked off the morning at Bike and Bean along the beachfront. The promenade is best in the earlier hours of the morning – there’s just the right balance of still, ocean tranquility and the day bursting into life with surfers, joggers and skaters on the go.
After we felt sufficiently caffeinated, we headed to Warwick Junction for a guided tour through the 9 markets. Warwick really is the heartbeat of Durban, with over 460 000 people passing through the stalls and station daily. This kids, is Durban at its most honest and raw. (BTW FYI, I did a full post on the tour a while back – read it here.)
We also got to check out the Faith47 murals up close, which is something I’ve been dying to do since blurry snaps taken through car windows flooded my Instagram feed. These portraits represent prominent members from each of the markets and really are a sight to see, reminding us of the city’s intense history and diversity. Try to hold back those tears now folks.
Two hours of walking through the crazy bustle of a Monday morning warranted some decent chow, so I swopped out my usual lunching spots for a gem in the CBD called Little Gujarat. This tiny vegetarian restaurant pumps at lunchtime and our whole bill came to a grand total of R96. The food was ridiculously delicious and we didn’t even make a dent in all the selections of curries, sambals and rotis that we got with our two veg thalis.
The Durban Natural Sciences Museum is possibly one of my favourite places, no matter how old I get or how many times I see it. I still get stoked to meander in between the animal displays and mummy replicas and of course, checking out what art exhibitions are on rotation upstairs. And guys, it’s mahala.
My little un-airconditioned car was well over the crazy CBD traffic and relentless sun by 2pm so we headed out of the city towards Mitchell Park Zoo for an ice-cream and walk through the gardens. Most of their animals are rescues and all the grounds and enclosures are kept impressively immaculate. It’s only but R10 to get in and check out monkeys, parrots, meerkats and over-enthusiastic toddlers. And me talking to the guinea pigs like I’m Doctor Doolittle reincarnate. True story.
We had some time to kill before the final destinations so we hit up Bay of Plenty for a quick swim. Even in the Christmas chaos, our beaches shine. At about 3pm the water is perfect, the sun glints off of the Elangeni and the skaters regroup at the skate park to take advantage of the afternoon shade. You’re just waiting for Ludacris to pop out and film another music video.
Even in all its predicable cheese, the Roma Revolving is still something to show 031 newcomers (or even just individuals you are trying to woo). The view, the history, the kitschy décor that has been untouched since the 80’s – it’s all worth hitting up the bar for a whiskey to watch Durban spin as the sun sets over our harbor.
I had left dinner plans open, not knowing how we would be feeling after a day of feasting and festivities, so we chose to make the most of the exquisite summer’s evening and chowed down on Blue Dolphin’s famous pizzas.
Durban ya little show-off!
Try this new spot out for size. It’s like, erm, so hot right now!
The Boiler room is fast becoming one of the most Instagrammed things in Durban since sunset shots of the stadium. It’s not our own local version of underground music site, Boiler Room, but rather a sweet spot to grab some decent chow. As per usual, I had to try and not be the very last person to check it out so I rounded up a few work homies from Friday night’s jol, for a Saturday morning hangover breakfast.
This place has an effortless industrial edge about it and an open and airy atmosphere. It’s the second child from the creators of 9th Avenue Bistro, and caters to a much more relaxed crowd who still like to enjoy some good, good eatin’. We loved our coffee and croissants so much that we sat there for over 2 hours taking in the place and chugging back our dark roast cappuccinos. (Which is notably, much better than the medium roast dear Coffee Addicts Anonymous.)
Hit it up for your next laid back lunch or get out of the friendzone by taking your crush on a date to the 031’s hippest restaurant. They’ll be so impressed that you aren’t taking them to Dropkicks, or to the stadium at sunset.
Tel: 031 3129134
Address: Lion Match Office Park,
892 Umgeni Rd,
Mon – Fri 7:30 – 3:30
Sat: 8am -2pm
As many of you will know, living on my own has been a very big dream of mine. And it’s finally one that’s becoming a reality.
I grew up with a sibling in shared spaces, moved into a res during varsity with 300-and-something other girls, shared a small flat with my best friend, lived with locals in India and enjoyed a glorified “working class digs”. I’ve loved each and every experience but my inner independence has always wanted a space to call my own.
Decor has always been a big deal to me. Growing up, I asked for bedroom things come birthday time – completely submersing myself in different themes. Dolphin-esque, faerie clad, African Safari, Boho Chic – you name it. Over the last 7 years all my living spaces have been shared and temporary in between the studies and travel, and I’ve had to relinquish my passion for decorating my breathing space. This is why I so badly needed my own spot – to call the shots and be the master of my own ship. Something to decorate with my “hippiehendrix” style – a little bit eclectic, a little bit rock ‘n roll!
I’ll finally have my own time and space to journal and paint and dance around nekkid! A place that I pay for, that I made happen after months and months of searching and planning. My own little Jenna Kelly milestone. Because the gap closes in life when you get to do this flying-solo-thing.
I pretty much can’t sleep at night planning my little spot, so I thought I’d share some of my design inspiration. I will probably be sitting on the floor and eating off paper plates for a good while, but a girl can dream (some more).
Leafy plants that don’t die
Down the south coast, past kilometers of coastal bliss and into a tropical paradise, you’ll find the hippie folk of Mantis and Moon.
This rad backpackers in Umzumbe is the most perfect getaway for Durbanites. It’s not too far from home, cost effective and makes you feel like you’ve traveled to a Thai island. No passports needed, just pack your cozzie, some mozzie spray and snacks!
There are tree houses, double rooms and teepees all scattered around the dense palm jungle. I took the boyfriend for a romantic weekend, as a birthday prezzie and we had such a jam that we’re returning with friends later this month. Not only do you meet interesting travelers at the bar, but you can also relax in the jacuzzi, dip in the pool and share the communal kitchen. The beach is only a walk away so Paul and I set up camp, brought out his guitar, had a smoke and sang silly songs until sunset.
Tips: Make sure to stop at the epic fruit stands along the drive home or venture a little further to The Waffle House.
You can also book breaki and dinner at the backpackers if you’re not keen to cart along your own foods! They make mean meals every night.
Stay in the Taj Mahal double room, if you want your own roofless en suite bathroom, where you can bath under the stars.
Every so often, you come across a little gem tucked away in between the status quo and busy bustle. This veggie cafe, snuggled in Hillcrest as part of a re-purposed 1950’s castle, is the perfect example of said gems.
Thanks to my dad, I came to find out about Conscious Cafe at the Castle – a vegetarian cafe with plenty of vegan options too. No cool creds to me, it’s all Mr Kelly here. Smoothies, juices, wraps and all – this Indo-Indi haunt of my dreams had me wondering why I didn’t know about it until now.
The castle was built over 60 years ago when the ‘crest was all mall-less forestry and has now become home to this cafe, a tattoo artist, a hypnotist and a crystal shop. It’s pretty much earthy hippie happiness in one single spot. I have to admit, this place was breathtaking and a complete culmination of every childhood dream I had of faeries and unicorns. Vine creeps up the abandoned areas and dilapidated look-out towers and pathways twist and wind around the gardens.
The gardens are host to veggie patches and soon, an in-house organic shop. The food is fresh, hella tasty and could convert a few meat lovers I’m sure. Basically, it’s a retreat for those looking for peaceful Sunday coffee in and amongst a bonsai garden and Buddhist prayer flags.
The cafe has previously been hired out for functions and hosts talks, music gigs and other events to keep an eye out for. You can pop in for food and juices from Tuesday to Sunday and experience the place that is a successful blend of my childhood fairytales and adult environmental ideologies. Deep.
Hit the click through link at the beginning of this post for more info and don’t forget to peep Soul Crystals while you’re there for your next nut milk chino.