Along the Nicol
Joburg Style discovers some of the best that William Nicol Drive and its surrounds has on offer...
Talk to any Joburg local and without a doubt they have spent some time on William Nicol Drive, either shopping up a storm, enjoying a meal with friends or, more likely, stuck in traffic. Running from Diepsloot to Hyde Park straight through Bryanston and Sandton, this is one of Johannesburg’s busiest thoroughfares. But, William Nicol Drive and its surroundings also have some pretty cool stuff to do, so why not pull in, miss the traffic and enjoy some of our top picks.
Load the kids (the four-legged furry kind, too) into the car and head for a fun morning at the Field Market. Situated along the Braamfontein Spruit and nestled under bunting clad trees, this family oriented market takes place on the second Saturday of every month and has some great food, drinks and crafts on offer.
www.fieldmarket.co.za, Field & Study Park, cnr 14th Street & Louise Avenue, Parkmore
Part of ever-popular Pick n Pay on Nicol is popular in-house café Thyme on Nicol, which offers a large selection of breakfasts, salads, sandwiches and sushi. The supermarket itself includes a Bean There Coffee counter and a small clinic and pharmacy.
Thyme on Nicol, Facebook: Thyme on Nicol
Ghazal is one of the city’s best Indian eateries, with an ardent fan base who swear by its delicious North Indian cuisine and great service. We recommend the garlic naan, chicken korma, and don’t forget to try the spicy masala tea.
www.ghazal.co.za, Shop 28/29 Coachman’s Crossing, Peter Place Sandton
Talking of markets, let’s not forget the legendary Bryanston Organic Market, open from 9am to 3pm every Thursday and Saturday (with a moonlight market from 5 to 9pm until 19 December). Located in Culross Road, off Main Road, it’s another world when it comes to markets – very established, with lots of healthy fare on offer, not to mention all sorts of crafts and wholesome food to take home.
Fun fact: William Nicol Drive dates to the 1940s and was named after a well-known minister of the Dutch Reformed Church
Bryanston Shopping Centre
Café del Sol Botanico is part of the popular family-run Café del Sol brand. This stylish greenhouse inspired dining experience is the perfect place for a special celebration. An extensive menu of fresh, colourful produce will wow any patron. Think Organic Beetroot Carpaccio, home-made pasta and its famous ‘drowned ice cream’. This is a must-try.
Snog Clothing isn’t just a clothing store, but rather offers an entire fashion service to its clients, helping them put together a classy, feminine and chic look. We love its structurally unique dresses sourced from a fashion house in Istanbul.
Bryanston Shopping Centre, www.bryanstoncentre.co.za, cnr William Nicol Drive & Ballyclare Drive, Bryanston
Snog Clothing, Facebook: SnogBryanston
Café del Sol Botanico, www.cafedelsol.co.za
New on the block and increasingly hip is Rockets Bryanston in Hobart Grove Shopping Centre, a unique space that is both restaurant and events space. This new branch of the trendy Rockets restaurants is a four-storey wonderland, still featuring the innovative salads and simple, fresh fare that made its Parkhurst iteration so popular, but it offers a lot more – there’s a rooftop garden, Lolita’s Bar and Lounge, ladies’ champagne lounge and gent’s cognac lounge, making it another experience entirely. Hobart Grove is also home to Wombles Steakhouse Restaurant, the popular eatery that was a landmark in Parktown North. Like its predecessor, also owned and managed ty Duncan and Yvette Barker, the restaurant takes guests back to an African colonial lifestyle, where the food is as glamorous as the surroundings.
Hobart Grove Shopping Cntre, www.hobartgrove.co.za, 52 Hobart Road, Bryanston
Jackson’s Real Food Market is, in a word, amazing. This food mecca focuses on artisanal food producers, grass-fed and pasture raised animals and organic, naturally grown produce. It also has a huge selection of Banting products and a restaurant offering fresh, healthy food. Hint: Grab a coffee from Origin Coffee to sip while you wander the aisles. Afterwards, head on over to Tiger’s Milk, situated just next door. This uber cool Cape Town brand has some really yummy, gastro-pub style eats, perfectly paired with a pint of Tiger’s Milk lager.
Jacksonsrealfoodmarket.co.za, 300 Bryanston Drive, Bryanston
Tigers Milk, Shop 1, cnr St James & Bryanston Drive, Bryanston
There‘s plenty to do in Bryanston if you’re active, starting with the cyclist’s haven, the PwC Bike Park, an adventure and skills playground that is part of a natural wetland bordering the N1 and Bryanston’s Main Road. It features 20 hectares of land that offers 13km of cycling trails for enthusiasts and is the perfect spot to learn, practice and cycle in a contained environment. Also on Main Road, at the Norman Road intersection, one finds Roll Egoli, rollerskating heaven for the more adventurous. If you don’t want to skate, there’s also a trampoline, jungle gym, zip lining and plenty of space to relax and have fun.
Nicolway Bryanston’s major drawcard is the Food Lover’s Market, known for fresh produce, nuts, dried fruit and olive oil. But, while picking up your groceries, you should also see what else the centre has to offer. Melt Chocolates is family-owned and run, and offers a huge selection of decadent chocolates, flavoured slabs and cakes.
Nicolway Bryanston, www.nicolwaybryanston.co.za, cnr William Nicol Drive & Wedgewood Drive
Food Lover’s Market, foodloversmarket.co.za
Melt Chocolates, www.meltchocolates.co.za
A little bit extra…
If you are exploring William Nicol, you definitely can’t forget one of Johannesburg’s premier entertainment venues, Montecasino. With a bit of everything on offer, including great hotels, a little casino action and retail, you definitely won’t be bored. For live entertainment, the Teatro and Pieter Toerien Theatres are Jozi institutions, offering world-class musical productions and local theatre. Comedy fans should check out Parker’s Comedy and Jive for a nightly fix of live comedy that will have you crying with laughter. If you’re feeling a little more studious, we love Skoobs Theatre of Books, which has a great selection and an in-house coffee shop where you can while away a few hours with a good book.
One of our favourite Jozi markets has to be the ever popular Fourways Farmers Market, situated just across the road from Montecasino. This delightful market will make you forget you are in the big bad city, with its garden fresh artisanal products, relaxed atmosphere and even the occasional hay bale or scarecrow.
Montecasino, www.tsogosun.com/montecasino, Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways
Fourways Farmers Market, www.ffmarket.co.za , cnr Montecasino Boulevard & William Nicol Drive
Parker’s Comedy and Jive, http://parkerscomedy.com
Skoobs Theatre of Books, Facebook: Skoobs, Theatre of Books
Photographer: Channay Harvey
Words: Jo Buitendach
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