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Umhlanga Rocks, Bru


If you speak to the locals, you’ll hear two things. The first is often a gross mispronunciation of “Oemshlonga”. The other is almost always made in reference to some place called ‘The Village’.

The village, of course, refers to Chartwell Street. This is Umhlanga’s main strip – the business end of the North Coast’s darling. The village is a foodie’s delight. Here you’ll find a selection of fine dining establishments, traditional pub vibes and even a taste of the exotic.

Accommodation is also plentiful, with many Bed and Breakfasts a mere amble away from the strip. Or, should you require something a little more 5star hotel-esque, then the fabled Oyster Box hotel is an absolute must. Check out www.accommodirect.com, to find your perfect holiday accommodation.

Regardless of where you decide to lay your head for a long weekend, or quick business trip, you’ll want to explore the area. So, here’s a quick guide to how a typical weekend in Umhlanga plays out.

If the weather is divine, – and let’s be honest, it normally is in this part of the world – you’ll more than likely find yourself soaking up the sights, sounds and rays on the beach. Come lunch time, or brunch for that matter, we suggest you wander up from the main beach and over the road into the simply magnificent Life Savours café on McCausland Crescent. Their menu is intentionally small as the emphasis is on their specials board. Owner managed and driven, this little café is all about the artisan and specializes in crafted food (and crafted beer! The view is exceptional and who wants to sit and contemplate the gorgeous beaches without a craft beer, or a cocktail?).

Let’s say you aren’t much of a beach person, or the weather is a little iffy, coffee shops abound. Head up the hill towards the Gateway Shopping Centre (but not into it!) and you’ll find a plethora of boutique coffee-making places. These are hidden all over the area. Lurking up and down little alley’s and nestled in the nooks and crannies of office blocks. Be sure to engage with a local hipster to find out where the best brews are brewed.

After you’ve taken in the magnificence that is the Mhlanga promenade, admired the utterly epic pier – which takes its inspiration from that of a whale’s ribcage – and had a few more cocktails, you’ll probably be angling for a night out.

In the evening, the village really comes alive. Your choices of where to have dinner are infinite. In fact, you can take your pallet on quite the journey around the world. From local fresh caught fish at –predictably – ‘Fish’ to Italian at Remo’s, the best of Asia at Kung Khai, or fine dining at the Chef’s Table, your stomach will be well catered to. And should you feel a hankering for the basics, you can find your pub grub at The George or Steak n Ale. The latter makes the most amazing Steak Sandwich and Jalapeno Poppers #justsaying

Or, if you’re feeling for something a little more ‘tapas’ – make a booking at Pixada and experience flavours you’d not normally piece together, but that are simply heavenly!

Once dinner is done, and at this point a few bottles of vino has been consumed, you’ll be looking to take the night into the early hours and of course cocktail bar abound… but once all the other drinking holes have called last rounds, all roads tend to lead to the legendary ‘Raffles’. But be warned – what happens in Raffles, is bound to leave a mark.

If you’re planning to take a trip to this neck of the coastline, visit https://www.accommodirect.com/destinations/umhlanga/ for the best in online booking deals.

And if you do happen to stumble into a group of locals, be sure to let them know that that you love Oomshlonga too, bru.

Philippa Rose-Tite
About me

Director | Wordsmith ~ Philippa worked her proverbial rear-end off to gain her MBA in 2006, while working full time, getting married, and having 2 babies. Though not regretting it, it certainly taught her how under-appreciated the art of juggling can be. After having worked in a number of sales and operational roles, she got tired of making money for other people and now only works with people and companies she loves. Her company is Purple Raindrop and they are a BigCityLife Partner on all things fabulous.

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