This story was first published on 23 April 2015 and was updated on 6 August 2019.
Our editor, Nita Hazell, has rather a thing for country markets – as you’re about to find out
Markets are big. Just about every village and town has a farmers market and cities have several. They are social events where friends get together to catch up on the latest skinner and come to support neighbours. For me there’s no better way of spending a Saturday or Sunday morning than stocking up on fresh veggies, bread, cheese, cold meats, even ready-made meals for the week ahead.
My 5 favourite markets (in no particular order)
1. Fourways Farmers Market
Gee whiz how this market has grown since it opened in 2014 at the Outdoor Living Nursery. Enjoy beer on tap or even bubbly and oysters and listen to live music. There’s a play area for the little ones and well-behaved pooches on leads are welcome. I go specially to stock up on Sugar Ray II’s freshly baked potato and sourdough breads, but there’s loads of delicious food and a good excuse not to cook Sunday lunch.
Friday evenings from 3:30pm to 10:30pm and Sunday mornings from 9am to 4pm
Next to Montecasino on William Nicol Drive
2. Bryanston Organic & Natural Market
A well-established market that’s been going since 1976 when fresh produce was sold from car boots on the road outside Michael Mount Waldorf School in Bryanston. Since then it has moved onto the school premises. Obviously the place to buy anything organic – from vegetables to plants and exquisite alpaca wool jerseys. A firm favourite are the homemade lasagnes and melanzane – they freeze well. Try a slice of apple cake and a frothy cappuccino at Bettina’s coffee shop. You’ll thank me.
Thursday and Saturday from 9am to 3pm
Michael Mount Waldorf School, Bryanston
3. Hermanus Country Market
Wonderful vibe and a great place to meet friends for a bite. In fact it’s my granddaughter Maria’s (she’s all of five years’ old!) favourite hangout. She loves the melktert springrolls and pumpkin fritters and insists on a ride on the little choo-choo pulled by a tractor. If you are Banting look out for the wheat-free bakes and muesli. If not you need to try Kyle and Mart-Mari’s lamb shawarmas. Easy parking makes it a real pleasure.
Saturday morning from 8:30am to 1pm
Hermanus Cricket Club
4. Stanford Sunset Market
Great way to celebrate payday! This market really takes you back to the days when, I imagine, the farmers and traders from the Overberg had their goods on display for all to see and buy – it is still like that. Locals and visitors mingle after the sun has long set and enjoy a glass or two or three of wines from the area, music (by Pappa Jer) and real southern hospitality.
Every last Friday of the month from 6pm to 8pm from September through to May.
Stanford Village Green
5. Shongweni Farmers and Craft Market
You have to get up bright and early before the fresh produce is sold out but you won’t be disappointed. There’s excellent coffee from several merchants, one of whom adds a tot of brandy or liqueur to give bleary-eyed early shoppers a boost. Take a big basket. You can buy most of what you need – from artichokes to meat to bread – directly from the farmer or baker. Top of my list: Chrissie Briscoe’s extraordinary and sometimes colourful cheeses and duck confit from the Duck Lady. Best of all, hounds are most welcome and are even served breakfast.
Every Saturday from 6:30am to 12:30pm
Lot 457, Mr551, Shongweni
Got a favourite market? Tell us about it on our Facebook page.