Tag Archives: shops

Inner City : R5 Store on Plein Street

Inner City : R5 Store on Plein Street
A store where all products cost R5. Let me put that into perspective - at today's exchange rate that's $0.50 and about £0.30.

I never crossed the road to actually walk inside and take a look. But I can't imagine that the 50%-off pillows and curtains sign in the window could mean that they'd be selling curtains for R2.50, or could it? And, could that mirror, the frame, and those flowers all cost R5 each? That's insane. I'll make a mental note to inspect the store next time I'm in the area!

Inner City : Sima & Tino Mini Market on Plein Street

Inner City : Sima & Tino Mini Market on Plein Street
This area on Plein Street is a little run down, and the stores certainly aren't fancy, and small stores like Sima & Tino Mini Market tend to be packed with a variety of products, from sweets and cooldrinks to shampoo, shoe polish, and even take-away coffee.

The heart of good food in St George’s Mall

The heart of good food
We don't frequent the open-air St George's Mall that often - so we were really surprised when we stumbled upon Fruit 'n Veg City, a fresh food chain that started off many years ago as an alternative to regular supermarkets, selling only fruit and vegetables (normally directly from local farmers).

In subsequent years they expanded, introduced more variety, branched out into selling meat, dairy, and baked goods, and is now in many ways South Africa's equivalent of the renown American Whole Foods Market.

This particular Fruit 'n Veg store (near the top of St George's Mall in Cape Town) surprised us a little - it was fantastic. The food looked especially yummy. The store was neat and squeaky clean. It wasn't thronging with people, and the variety of food was simply awesome.

If you're hungry and looking for take-away food (other than fast-food), then pop in at Fruit 'n Veg near the top of St George's Mall. I think I even spied an informal group of tables and chairs where you can sit down to quickly devour your meal.

Truth’s old coffee machines

Truth's old coffee machines
For the sake of general knowledge and trivia, did you know, the first steam espresso machine was developed and patented in 1884 in Italy by one Angelo Moriondo? That's not so long ago, now is it?

I found this gem at Truth Coffee Roasting, a popular coffee shop in Buitenkant Street. I'm sure it's no longer in use - they do, after all, have far more sophisticated espresso machines these days. But still, it's quite pretty - don't you think?

Lindt factory and shop

Lindt factory and shop
For the sake of your belt, butt, and general health, I suggest that you stay clear of the Cape Quarter in De Waterkant. Temptation in the form of this Lindt chocolate factory shop lies in wait. Fortunately for my tummy, the shop was closed at the time of this photo. :)

Lady Peculiar

Lady Peculiar
Lady Peculiar was closed when I walked past, so I wasn't able to inspect their wares, but, a quick browse of their site suggests that it's a place that I should rather not take Kerry-Anne to visit. :)

They seem to have quite a variety of beautiful accessories. While they don't appear to list prices on their website, I'm going to hazard a guess that they're not particularly cheap, though probably not unaffordable. Perhaps pay them a visit next time you're in Stellenbosch.

The Milnerton Fleamarket

The Milnerton Fleamarket
The Milnerton Informal Traders Association organise the weekend fleamarket along the R27 between the suburbs of Paarden Island and Milnerton. The fleamarket is a genuine bric-à-brac market where traders are allowed only to sell second-hand goods.

The market was previously located a little further along the R27 at a particularly dusty spot which, combined with the wind, made visiting the market a little unpleasant. Today the market is located on a long stretch of dust-free tarmac and each trader has a clearly marked out and numbered spot (which makes it easier to find particular stalls on return visits).

Elevator buttons

Elevator buttons
Are you ever confused by the array of buttons presented to you upon entering an elevator? I find it especially confusing when:

  1. a combination of numbers and letters are used for floors
  2. the letter G isn't used for the ground floor
  3. basement parking levels start at a number greater than 0
  4. floors are numbered with various colours that seem to mean something important
  5. floors are labeled with landmarks unknown to me

This is the elevator at the Cape Quarter. Upon entering one is met with a combination of the points I made above. Not only this, but one's also overwhelmed by a large poster, a confusing legend, that attempts to guide visitors to the right button.

All that I wanted was to go to the ground level - but as the doors closed and the elevator departed, overwhelmed, I found myself pondering the merits of taking a trip to destination unknown.

Spaza Shops

A spaza shop
This was one of the informal shops located along the Fan Walk during the World Cup. Spaza shops are informal shops that often operate in peoples homes, caravans, or similar structures. According to Spazanews there are about 100,000 such shops located across the country, bringing in a combined turnover of 7 billion Rand each year!

Combined, imagine what buying power they would have!

Books are verbatim

Verbatim Books

Verbatim Books is a quaint old-style second-hand bookshop in a quiet and shady part of Stellenbosch (here's a map to their location).

If Kerry-Anne were made of iron, books would be like magnets. The moment she saw Verbatim Books, and the old bicycle parked outside, with flowers, my fate was sealed, we just *had* to stop in to explore. And explore we did. The bookshop isn't very big, but is filled mostly with second-hand books that are in pristine condition. They have everything from traditional old story books that you'd read to your kids at bed-time, to old classics like Kerry-Anne's favourite book ever, Jane Eyre (2006 movie), which I ended up buying because she hadn't ever seen the French edition and just *had* to have it. ;)

If you're a book person, you definitely should make a visit to Verbatim Books an item on your long to-do list. Kerry-Anne says it's the best bookshop she's ever been to. And she should know, I guess. :)

Weighed, measured and found wanting

Old weighing scale

I'm a bit of a sucker for antiques and retro housewares. I spotted this old scale hanging in a lovely little gift and décor shop in the Cape Quarter, called Baraka. If you like unusual curios, antique kitchen utensils, handmade leather-bound photo albums, and brightly coloured cushions, then put Baraka on your list of places to visit. I hinted an awful lot while we were browsing around, but unfortunately all Paul got me was this photo. :-)

I guess I'll have to go back on my own one of these days, armed with my credit card and a very large shopping bag. Also, comfortable shoes, because I could be there for several hours. And Paul doesn't need to know, okay? ;-)

Shopping for the holidays

Shopping for clothes
In addition to the inevitable madness of Christmas shopping, it's summer and a huge proportion of us are on holiday. Shops are overrun with large families shopping in troupes, girlfriends shopping together for summer fashion, couples walking slowly from store to store and (of course) tired-looking shop assistants.

It's certainly not a time to be spent in the shops. As Christmas draws close the madness will cease - for a day or two - and then it'll be back to large families shopping in troupes, girlfriends shopping together...

As a side note, I'm interested to hear how this December's retail earnings compare to those of the last few years. Perhaps it's just that I've avoided the shops as far as possible, but it seems to me as though spending is somewhat depressed.

The Book Lounge in Roeland Street

The Book Lounge in Roeland Street

We popped in to The Book Lounge on Tuesday for my first outing to a book launch ever. The Book Lounge is one of those traditional book shops with authentic dark-wood book shelves and comfy couches, and it's perfectly situated on the corner of the city's well-known Roeland and Buitenkant Streets.

The shop became very crowded and a little stuffy a few moments after I took this shot, as the book launch guests streamed upstairs for the evening's formalities. It seems as though The Perfect Weekend by author Dominique Herman and photographer Brett Florens drew more attention that I'd anticipated! Unfortunately we had to leave just as the talks were starting so that we could to make it to the Silicon Cape event on time.

It’s a hair salon, not a barber

Vivacious Hair

I have the impression (right or wrong) that guys in many other countries visit "the barber" to get their hair cut, beard trimmed, and nose-hairs snipped (*eeuw*).

For a few reasons, I've never visited a "barber". The one is that the thought of having a stranger who's a guy so in my personal space is a little weird, and the other is that there are very few men-only salons around these days. Apart from these reasons, given the option of a guy tending to your needs versus a beautiful woman... erm, don't you think the latter wins hands-down?

Kerry-Anne and I have our hair snipped and trimmed by Mariechen-scissorhands, the owner of Vivacious Hair in the Willowbridge shopping mall. What's cool about Mariechen is that she's down-to-earth, unpretentious, and snappy with the scissors. :)

Warm bread and cool butter

Our local Kwikspar
Instructed to find fresh bread, rolls and a pack of very lean bacon, I hurried over to our local Kwikspar, which is only a short walk from our house and (for the record) is one of the best Kwikspars that I've ever shopped at. The staff are normally pretty friendly, and the managers are even more so. The shop is always clean and tidy. The veggies look pretty fresh. The meat is of pretty good quality. There's always a variety of fresh bread and rolls.

I've found myself buying more bread from the Kwikspar's bakery lately. For the last few years we've been buying a brand of "toaster bread" that's manufactured in bulk by large manufacturers. What started to concern us about this bread is how long it lasts... I mean, is it normal for bread to last 2 weeks and still be soft? When we thought about it we remembered that when we were kids bread bought on Monday was stale by Tuesday... and I think this is the way it ought to be, else there's something terribly wrong with the substance we call bread.

As I said, lately I've been buying fresh rolls and bread from the Kwikspar... and I can definitely say that it's way better than the artificial bread we were previously buying. I mean, what's better than a thick slice of warm bread with a chunk of butter? Yum!

Waterfront shopping

Shopping at the V&A Waterfront

This is the Barrow Mall on the first floor of the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre at the V&A Waterfront. At these barrows you can buy anything from pet's clothing to jewellery, and from sporting merchandise to mugs. This is presumably a slightly cheaper option for retailers, offering them a space to sell their products at a very popular mall, but without the high costs associated with renting an actual shop. Of course, it means they miss out on some of the luxuries of a shop too, like, say, a door...

As someone who used to sell products at a craft market, I think it would be awesome if these barrows were actual trailers that could be towed behind a car - you'd be able to sell your products anywhere you liked, without having to pack and unpack every time. Of course, with the way I take corners in my car, I'd have to tape everything down with duct tape, or stick to selling soft, non-breakable items like cushions. ;-)

Shopping at a bar?

The shop at Kink Bar

I mentioned in the previous post that we visited Kink Bar Boutique for a birthday get-together. What I didn't mention though was that the bar's name contains the word Boutique because, while most people socialise downstairs, some people wander upstairs to the little lingerie and... well... toy shop. ;-)

Before fully realising the nature of the shop I took a walk upstairs to see what it was all about. Needless to say I was quickly scared off by the beautiful garments and the ladies browsing them. :P I didn't even have a chance to take in all the goods that were for sale. I've since taken a quick look at the catalogue on their website (rated 18+), so I have a pretty good idea of what I missed out on...

Lego – fun for all ages

Lego, fun for all ages

Come on now, admit it, everyone loves playing with Lego... don't they? After chatting with several friends who have kids I've decided that guys (and perhaps a few girls) have kids only so that they can justify buying Lego. I believe that our stand-in photographer Mandy has no kids and is unashamedly a Lego-lover (which is why we have this photo today!).

An interesting thing that I discovered from the Wikipedia article on Lego is that Ole Kirk Christiansen, Lego's inventor, actually used a patented design by Hilary Harry Fisher Page called Kiddicraft. Kiddicraft was developed in the 1930s, while Lego materialised in the 1940s. Lego (due to its remarkable success) eventually succeeded in purchasing the rights to Kiddicraft in 1981.

Aren't we all lucky that Ole "leveraged" the Kiddicraft design? Were it not for this small part of history, it's possible that millions would never have experienced the joy of Lego!

These Four Walls, a fine art gallery

These Four Walls fine art gallery
Substitute photographer, Super Sleuth Watson, attended the opening of the These Four Walls fine art gallery in Observatory. While this was the opening, the gallery is certainly not new, and has in fact been running from a small flat in Woodstock for some time.

The idea behind These Four Walls is for it to be a gallery with a semi-informal atmosphere where "average people" are able to purchase original works of art at affordable prices. What I like about the gallery is that their website's homepage has a link to photos of the works displayed in the current exhibition.

These Four Walls is at 169 Lower Main Road in Observatory, and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10h00 to 17h00, and Saturday from 10h00 to 13h00. Most artists don't paint to make money, they paint to express something for others to enjoy. So, if you find yourself in the area, if you love art, and even if you're not shopping, visit the gallery and stimulate your creativity.

Where to buy tyre swings

Tyre swings for sale

At the end of last month I posted a photo of a swing made from an old car tyre. Today I happened to spot a road-side vendor selling these tyre swings pretty close to where I live. Don't you think it's far better to put these tyres to use as a swing than to have them lie about polluting the environment? I just wish that they would make swings for big people. Perhaps some old 4x4 tyres would work nicely... heh, one could even have a premium-class swing made from BMW run-flat tyres! :D

I didn't think of it at the time, but I should have asked the vendor (sitting in the far right corner of the photo) how much these cost. I can't believe that they would be expensive, so if anyone is interested, leave a comment and I'll stop by to find out for you.

If you'd like one for your kids (or even for someone else's), you'll find this vendor just up the road from the Stodels Nursery in Bellville. I've marked it here on Wikimapia.

Why not consider buying two of these and some tough rope, and then setting them up in a field or forest somewhere where someone would use them? You'd support the vendor and possibly make some kids (or skinny big people) happy at the same time... the butterfly effect, you know! :)

Charly’s Bakery, don’t you think we deserve cake?

Charly's Bakery - new building
The legendary Charly's Bakery in Canterbury Street is what you behold in this photo. The Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-like building accurately reflects the childlike manner in which one should enter the premises. Charly's Bakery is the place to go if you'd like to buy awesome-tasting-and-fantastically-decorated cakes. Just take a look at some of the wedding cakes in their gallery, but be careful not to even look at their cupcakes - as I fear that you could become an addict with just one glance!

One or two of our visitors recently alluded to the fact that there has been some irregularity with our daily posts. It's not your eyes deceiving you, or your RSS reader acting up; it's indeed Cape Town Daily Photo that's been in a little bit of turmoil for about a week.

Last week we had an incident with our hosting provider, with the result that I spent a large part of the week sourcing an alternative provider, setting up a brand new server, and migrating Cape Town Daily Photo away from the previous provider. Over this time, I have to admit that we slipped on posting for a few days, and so we're currently trying to catch up the lost days (which is almost like trying to catch up on last week's school homework!).

So, we've now found a new home in the Rackspace cloud and so far, so good. And, to be honest, it seems as though the site is just a tiny bit faster on our new server. Now, don't you think some kind of celebratory cake is in order? ;)

Glaceau Vitaminwater spotted in Loop Street


I first heard about Glaceau Vitaminwater a few weeks ago, when one after the other my Twitter friends began saying that they'd received these promotional suitcases from the company. Look, I'm not going to lie to you - we were pretty envious. I watched at the window day after day, wondering when my suitcase full of (apparently awesome) vitaminwater would arrive. But alas, it never did. The life of a B-list blogger is filled with disappointment. ;-)

I have to say though, their stealthy launch campaign has been really well-executed and clearly very effective. I was visiting one of my clients in Loop Street yesterday, when someone in the office spied this truck downstairs, offloading crates and crates and crates of something liquidy. As soon as I saw the truck, I exclaimed, "Glaceau Vitaminwater!" with perhaps a bit toooo much excitement, considering I haven't even tasted it yet. :) It turns out their store/office/temporary home is right next to my client's offices, on the corner of Loop and Bloem Streets, and they were preparing for their launch party.