There is something really fun about pretending to be a tourist in your own home town. So last night we headed into the city to enjoy “1st Thursday” – when the art galleries open late and the streets of central CT are filled with locals (not tourists as it turned out) enjoying the cultural heritage and food and bars of our beautiful city!
As you arrive at your first gallery, you notice people drinking wine from plastic glasses (really!!!) and strolling on the streets. Turns out that the wine is freely available at all venues, with just a donation required – or not – your call! So armed with out plastic wine glass and a little “entry level ” quaffing wine, we join the the crowds and attempt to become a little more “cultured”!
Every spot adds to the fun- including wonderful old 60’s cars on sale! Crowds spill out of the many restaurant, but they have learned how to serve us quickly – limited food and booze options mean that no queue is forever!
As this is a spontaneous evening – you have no idea which galleries will make you want to spend more time, which bars and restaurants will grab your attention and how your evening will take shape… we nearly tripped and fell at the first hurdle… having taken a taxi into town, we were dropped outside the Alexander Bar in Strand St – the vibe was good, we nearly got comfortable and dismissed the galleries – rookie error!
The main focus point seems to be around Church Street and the many galleries around Greenmarket Square. At every venue there is a map highlighting galleries (open till 9) and the many bars and restaurants – far more available to play than there is time to do. The map however gives you a fake feeling of being in control of your evening!
So, we drifted into the first gallery and found not only free wine, but also a guest speaker and the presence of a number of artists. To be fair, we realized that not all art is to everyone’s taste – thank goodness, as many pieces were well above what we could afford – any many pieces we simply did not understand – or like! What a pleasure to pretend that we could be furnishing our home and with no pressure to buy!
The crowd was eclectic, very few tourists it seemed. Plenty of cool Capetonians just hanging out and enjoying the inner city life style. So maybe we would have felt more part of the crowd if we had a few facial body piercings – or if our hair was a fabulous green – but as Joe Middle Class Aging Groupie – we were completely accepted. We are not cool, but we are welcome!
We were slightly daunted by the crowds on the pavements outside the many bars and restaurants, and wanted to eat outside (still enjoying sadly scary warm winter weather) – so we settled on the Weinhaus & Biergarten on Heritage Square. It was vibey and full of fun people, but again, with the clever menu selection, getting great food was really quick and easy. We joined a crowded table, ordered a house red at R150 ($8) and had a delicious lamb shwarma (minus pita bread) and a grilled sticky pork neck steak with tzatziki and salads (both R70, or about $4.50) – basically a free night out!
Fabulous fun evening. In July we will be in Scotland, but first Thursday in August – guess where we will be found! Join us!!!!