The Club City Guide
Cool by the Jacarandas
You know the “oh if only I could I would” game, right? It normally starts with a glass or 4 of wine (not just 4 I hear you snigger), and the conversation seamlessly flows away from the hard week, the spoiled boss and endless demands of everyday life and moves to the land of wishes and dreams. The roads not travelled, the countries not visited and even the city’s that we would want to settle in. Somewhere more fun. More bohemian, and definitely more ‘in’ than where we currently live.
In Ingrid’s and my case, we tend to play this game while away on strategy sessions, which now happen with alarming frequency in the Kommetjie beach cottage. The game starts with “Why don’t we live in Cape Town? The food’s amazing! Everything is so pretty! There’s art everywhere, and it’s all so convenient!”- This from two people who haven’t gone more than 3km in days! We moan and whine and make plans to move to the pretty, friendly, arty place, even as we book our flights back to Jozi and the certainty of things that just won’t live up to the Cape Town standard. Except that now, much to our alarm we have found a pretty, friendly, arty place and it’s in Gauteng!
I speak – of course – of The Club in Hazelwood Pretoria. I recently found myself betwixt and between appointments with one ending too early to go all the way home, and another starting much later in the day. Being in the vicinity, I decided to take a little stroll through what – I was assured – would prove to be an enchanting retail and entertainment space. Never a big fan of shopping or its centres I had my doubts, but it was coming on for lunch time, and a girl’s got to eat! Preferably something delicious.
Beautifully designed with lots of open spaces, curves and rounded edges as well as clean light wood, you would be forgiven for thinking that this space is some kind of green office space instead of a luxurious shopping destination. I was immediately taken by the fountain containing a statue of a young girl, in the centre of the open area. It’s beautifully put together and makes the space personal and warm.
But as gorgeous as the aesthetics were (and trust me, on a clear, sunny day with not a cloud in the sky they were exceptional) lunch beckoned and so it was with this in mind that I stopped to survey my options. What would it be?
I feel in love with the ceiling at Harissa Bistro. Beautifully configured like a wild woman’s Lego it’s the perfect ‘topping’ to an open and natural feeling space. And the staff was super friendly. I am a sucker for good service so nearly camped out here, before remembering I needed to stroll!!
My next find was Hogshead, with more class than any self-respecting pub should have, with gorgeous looking home-made fare! It’s a grill and smokehouse diner as well and serves not only the usual SAB beer but no less than 12 local craft beers on tap! Regretfully I had to decline as I had a meeting with a new client in the afternoon and it just wouldn’t do to arrive all liquored up. Sad I know.
I continued to roam and may have lurked a little (like a good stalker) to watch food emerge from kitchens , and I came across the meat-faring Hinterland, with just the perfect number of patrons even on this weekday afternoon – always a good sign! They produce their own meat in the Kalahari – and well I do love a good story! I nearly seated myself again, before remembering my promise to roam free and see what else was on offer!
Life Grand Café, which as we know, is always a great way to spend ones lunchtime moments (and of course beautiful enough for a romantic night out, or dinner with the girls), Pachas, a well-known and much-loved classic foodie destination and of course the Fish Restaurant, which is beautiful and stocked to the gills with champagne, so naturally I gravitated there almost by instinct.
My wanderings had taken me past some of the shops in the centre, and I was singularly impressed with the layout of the environment, making it feel as though I was merely going for a stroll as opposed to searching for a destination and I so it was that I discovered the Sorbet (have you seen their new nail polish colours? I had to get 1…ok 2), Paul Mitchell Salon (I have the thickest, most uncontrollable hair, so knowing where to go to get it looking fabulous features high on my weekly agenda!) and Skin PHD (an aesthetic salon, with doctors available for that lunch time lift!) as well as a high-end clothing boutique called Jolie Boutique, before getting caught up at the Engel and Volkers (I just adore looking at houses. It’s actually a problem, when I was little we used to go and look at houses on weekends. Not to buy. Just to look and see what they looked like, get inspiration for our own decorating. Or possibly to snoop through our neighbour’s things. Things were weird in the 80’s 90’s).
I had taken so long looking at houses and choosing nail polish colours, that all I ended up getting was some groceries and a quick salad from the Woollies (sad really considering the extensive options at this particular café), but I will definitely be back, lugging the demanding and hard to please off-spring with me, because I am absolutely certain than a chilled lunch in the open air is exactly the thing to calm the hungry beasts. And of course… champagne…
Atterbury Property (the owners and developers of The Club), have brought the gorgeous new eatery Khaleo to The Space
It’s a retro chic. I can’t wait to give this a try!.
Another useful addition is the oh-so-cool Brooklyn Optica which takes optometry chic to a whole new level!
The demand-driven development of the 10,000sqm Club Three will include a medical day hospital and 15 residential units. Also, construction is already well underway on The Club Advocates’ Chambers.
Atterbury Properties now being home at Die Klubhuis.
Click here to view more info.
Article photos by: Ingrid Irsigler
Khaleo image by: Jonine Coetzer