Neighbourhood of the week: Groenkloof, Pretoria

Posted on 27 August 2018

Only five minutes from Pretoria’s CBD is one of the city’s greenest and most gracious suburbs. Cafe manager of Cafe 41 Alet Van Der Merwe gives us a local’s tour.

Image from Cafe 41

Groenkloof Plaza, where we are, is the heart of Groenkloof and has various small shops. It’s a tranquil, leafy green suburb away from the bustle of the city, and home to various embassies and two university campuses. It’s a village-like environment to live and play in the heart of Pretoria; you always see families taking a stroll with the kids and dogs, and groups of runners, walkers and cyclists. Café 41 got its name when the original owner gave the shop to his wife as a 41st birthday present over 20 years ago. It’s always been the place to go for a quick coffee, a pit stop for cyclists, or to linger with friends and family on the veranda. Many patrons regard it as a home away from home. The menu is cosmopolitan – there are many Greek dishes, mouth-watering Moroccan lamb, and the signature Portuguese trinchado is by far the number-one seller. The dish consists of chicken or beef strips in our secret peri-peri sauce and served with your choice of bread or over pasta.’ 43 Bronkhorst Street, 0124605216


Social scene

‘Culture vultures can flock to one of Unisa’s concerts for an afternoon or evening of music. They are mostly classical, hosted by the university’s music department throughout the year.’ Preller Street ‘Or you can dance the night away at Vanity, an upmarket nightclub with an Afrocentric vibe.’ Groenkloof Plaza, 0123461169

Unique finds

‘At Groenkloof Plaza, the Pieter Scheenloop Gallery (0767538991) is a haven for all art fundis, while Yves Delorme (0723108558) is where you can find fine French bedding. The famous Groenkloof Slaghuis (0124606449), also at Groenkloof Plaza, is the go-to place for the best biltong and dry wors. On the corner of Florence Ribeiro and Middle Street you’ll find African artists selling their crafts. That’s also worth a stop.’

Image from Pieter Scheenloop

Coffee spots

Isabella’s serves good coffee, light lunches, quiches and cake. Give them a call to order your next birthday cake.’ Groenkloof Forum, 57 George Storrar Drive, 0795042535. Dining out ‘Del Forno (0124604651) is perfect for pizza, pasta or ribs, and its macaroni and cheese is delicious soul food. Don’t miss the Wednesday quiz night. If you prefer fine-dining Italian, there’s Fumo (0123460916), which does a Risotto Costa d’Amalfi with calamari, mussels, octopus and prawns.’ Both are on the corner of George Storrar Drive and Baines Street.

Image from Isabella’s.

Great Outdoors

For a panoramic view of the city, take a drive up to historic Fort Klapperkop. I also love the hiking and cycling trails in the Groenkloof Nature Reserve (0124408316), where small game and birds are easily spotted. The magnificent Magnolia Dell Park (125 Queen Wilhelmina Drive) is a great picnic spot and home to Huckleberry’s cafe (0123464588). Magnolia Dell and the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary (corner of Roper and Boshoff streets) are a favourite for bird watchers. Next door to Austin Roberts is the Blue Crane Restaurant (0124607615), where you can dine on the deck with a view of the dam.’

Image from Blue Crane Restaurant and Bar

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