This article was first published on 19 April 2016 and was updated on 7 August 2018.
Plan your weekends around local country markets and stock up on fresh, homemade treats. These are our favourites in and around the Free State…
1. Hartelus Mark, Parys
It’s all about a picnic vibe on the banks of the Vaal River. Some 60 stalls offer craft beer, a wide variety of nibbles from wraps, pancakes, home-made biscuits and decadent fudge, to kebabs, calamari and lamb. There are plants for sale including succulents, and interesting crafts, handbags and jewellery. With live music in the background and open spaces for the kids, you have the ideal family outing. (R10 entrance fee goes to the bands. Under 16s and pensioners free).
- When: First Saturday of every month, 9am to 3pm
- Where: 2 Van Coller Street
2. Clarens Country Market, Clarens
This weekly market features home-grown produce and handmade crafts. You can also buy seedlings, home-made pickles and jams, fresh veg and freshly baked bread. Check out the ingenious kettle braais and baking ovens made from gas canisters, and don’t miss out on the genuine English-style pork pies and decadent dessert from the local ‘koeksister queen’ (who is also a water diviner). Seasonal market stalls include bric-a-brac, the Petronella nursery, haberdashery and jewellery.
- When: Saturdays 10h00-15h00
- Where: 312 Church Street outside the quaint family bookstore Bibliophile
It’s Bloem’s best-kept secret as visitors have not yet cottoned on to this great market. If you are in the area, you simply have to pop in, but make sure you get there early as the fresh produce sells fast. There’s also a variety of stalls with clothing, coffee, books, food, arts and crafts, jewellery and toys. Kids will enjoy the pony rides and jumping castles. Unfortunately, no pets are allowed.
- When: Saturday mornings (except public holidays) 7am to 1pm
- Where: Langenhovenpark, Bloemfontein