2 pop-up design stores with staying power

Present Space and Fabricate started as pop-up design emporiums in Cape Town malls, and soon became permanent fixtures – proving that quality local design can hold its own amongst commercial brands.

Cape Town is not short of high-end shopping malls, but with the vibrant design community growing from strength to strength and a host of new designers emerging each year, good quality, local design is becoming more and more accessible.

This was one of the core values set out by Cape Town as World Design Capital 2014: to make good design that’s proudly South African readily available to everyone.  Present Space and Fabricate are doing just that. Both started out as pop-up stores, but have retained their presence and become permanent fixtures at the respective malls they’re located in.

Present Space, at the Lifestyle on Kloof centre in Kloof Street, is beautifully curated with warm, golden lighting washing the shelves packed with locally-designed products. The mainly monochrome aesthetic consists of homeware and lifestyle goods, such as Sugar & Vice and Zana, lighting by The Artisan and ceramics by Elsa Burger, as well as some jewellery and fashion accessory designers. Present Space pride themselves on representing close to 100 young South African design brands and are passionate about the abundance of local talent in Cape Town.

Likewise, Fabricate in the Gardens Centre, Cape Town’s oldest shopping mall, is a champion of local design, and markets itself as a gift emporium. Their range of products extends across the design disciplines of jewellery, home décor, accessories and other gifting goods. Look out for intricate prints and artworks by Lauren Fowler, Dayfeels and Artymiss, amongst others, as well as bespoke paper products by Chandler House. Their home décor and accessories side include wood items by Milkshed and The Ark, and cork and copper accessories by Leg Studios.

Both of these local design emporiums stock a vast range of products and you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking gifts or accessories that capture the vibrancy and talent of Cape Town’s design scene here.

Earth Fair Market: the place to go for farm fresh goods in the inner city

Food markets may conjure up images of country farms and chickens clucking underfoot, but on Thursday afternoons the country comes to the city centre at Cape Town’s delightful Earth Fair Market on St George’s Mall.

At most hours of the day St George’s Mall – the pedestrian boulevard that runs almost the length of the centre of Cape Town – is abuzz with commuters and office workers. Pigeons flap underfoot and hawkers sell T-shirts and African artworks to tourists.

But come Thursday midday, the end of the mall closest to the St. George’s Cathedral and Company’s Garden is transformed into a vibrant food and produce market that draws locals and tourists alike.

Perhaps the closest thing to a European-style street market you’ll find in the city, stalls line the mall offering up wonderful baked goods, fresh vegetables, charcuterie, cheese and meats.

Along with plenty of great produce to take home, there are also stalls selling delicious street food: either enjoy it in the mall, or grab a take-away and wander into the scenic Company’s Garden.

The market runs from 11h00 -15h00 every Thursday in St George’s Mall.