Shop, sip and party in Hout Bay harbour

The Bay Harbour Market in the fishing village of Hout Bay — a 30-minute drive from the Cape Town’s city centre — takes a littler insider knowledge to discover, but it’s well worth seeking out.

Let’s be honest: the fishing harbour of Hout Bay is unlikely to win any awards for glamour. With ‘fragrant’ fishing trawlers and rusted warehouses, it’s a working harbour that values function over form.

This makes the Bay Harbour Market, hidden in an old warehouse on its fringes, such a wonderful surprise each weekend.

Open Friday evening and almost all day Saturdays and Sundays, the market is a happy blend of retail therapy, delicious food and a place to hang out with friends and family.

A range of arts, crafts, clothing and bric-a-brac greet you at the door, but a few steps takes you into the food hall that is the heart of the market. Grab a plate of sushi, rustle up a Middle Eastern shwarma, or step outside for fresh fish off the grill. In the morning, you’ll find great coffee and fresh pastries on offer to get you started.

It’s a family-friendly spot, but come nighttime the volume gets turned up a notch. The tables are packed with merrymakers, craft beers flow freely and the stage in the corner is filled with live acts from across Cape Town. It’s a market. It’s a bar. It’s a restaurant. Simply put, it’s just a great place to while away a Cape Town weekend.