The day greeted us with sunshine. Despite the winter chill it was a cloudless opportunity to explore the beauty of the Cape. Only natural to head to Stellenbosch to experience the much anticipated De Warenmarkt, newly opened but offering something a little different, a little more authentic.
This cosy, intimate market hosts several small food purveyors that offer continental fare. Situated in the heart of Stellenbosch in a historical building that dates back to the 18th Century, it’s a carefully curated mix of culinary boons. The Cape’s rich and diverse cultural heritage is reflected in the medley of offerings, including fresh produce, speciality meats, cheese, bread, vegetables, craft beer, coffee and wine.
Paying tribute to the age old marketplace pasttime – where you get your fresh produce, meat, bread and dairy separate – De Warenmarkt has an old-world feel that accentuates its charm.
The space isn’t large, so it’s a pleasure to seize it now in its early phase before overcrowding permeates its four walls (our prediction is that this will happen, although hopefully we’re wrong).
The market also plays host to regular ‘pop up’ kitchens that coincide with the regular traders. Currently Chef George Jardine is spoiling visitors with his renowned fair until the end of September 2015.
Start your morning with a Deluxe coffee, buy cheese handcrafted from Around Cheese, fresh baked (and perfectly charred at the edges) baguette from Mano’s Bakery and sliced-in-front-of-you charcuterie from Ryan Boon Speciality Butcher. From there move onto wine from a uniquely curated wine list that includes the likes of Sijnn Low Profile, Craven Pinot Noir and Spioenkop ‘1900’ Chenin Blanc 2013. Alternatively, the Devil’s Peak & Friends bar will no doubt have a craft beer to suit your palate.
In warmer weather, sit on the small terrace overlooking the quaint ‘high street’ of Stellenbosch, or cosy up indoors at a table in front of the brick fireplace. Markets have become a dime a dozen, but De Warenmarkt truly is a breath of fresh air in that the indoor space offers vendors a permanent space to call their own and take pride in. It’s an enviable space to spend a Saturday morning, or grab your fresh produce and cheese mid week (it’s open seven days a week). The stylish attention to detail, in the signage, interiors and restaurant finishes makes for a space that exudes comfort and ease. A visit should not be stalled – go now.
PS. Stock up on pantry favourites on exit – the rhubarb jam being a tried and tested winner.