PIN­POINT

From a slick bar­ber­shop to quaint cafés and bou­tique bars, Bloem­fontein has a foodie and creative cul­ture just wait­ing to be ex­plored – all wrapped up in some real Free State hos­pi­tal­ity

House and Leisure (South Africa) - - Contents - TEXT TRACY LYNN CHEMALY PRO­DUC­TION IAN MARTIN PHOTOGRAPHS MICKY HOYLE

Ex­pect the un­ex­pected in our hit list of all the best things to eat, shop and do in bur­geon­ing and very hos­pitable Bloem­fontein

1. BELLA CASA TRAT­TO­RIA

Each room in the City of Roses’ favourite trat­to­ria of­fers a dif­fer­ent din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Book a ta­ble next to the fire­place in win­ter or bask in the court­yard in sum­mer. Whether it’s Pe­can Brit­tle pizza or Black Beast steak, there’s a rec­om­mended wine pair­ing for each dish. 31 Pres­i­dent Steyn Ave, West­dene, 051-448-9573. Bella Casa Trat­to­ria Restau­rant

2. BLOEM­FONTEIN AU­THEN­TIC BAR­BERS

This in­ti­mate three-seater bar­ber­shop sports replica AJ Rollert chairs on which Bloem’s beaus are groomed. The or­ganic Bad Ass Beard oil made by owner An­norien Geyer is the per­fect after-care for her pop­u­lar DKW (dans, kerk, werk) hair­cut. Check in on Face­book and re­ceive a free beer while you’re pam­pered. 32 Louw Wepener St, Dan Pien­aar, 074-583-3218. BAB Bar­bers

3. BOUDOIR BOU­TIQUE BAR

Quirky decor – gilded mir­rors, flo­ral wall­pa­per and bird­cages – make this cosy bar pop­u­lar for after-work drinks. Quaff wine slushies or glüh­wein with light meals such as Parme­san-crumbed pork chops and the leg­endary jalapeño pop­pers with na­chos and gua­camole. Don’t leave with­out try­ing the Mex­i­can hot choco­late with tequila. Shop 3C, Bays Vil­lage, Bayswa­ter, 051-436-5610. Boudoir Bou­tique Bar

4. CREATIVE EDGE

Make this con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture store your go-to for its wide se­lec­tion of kitchen, din­ing and café chairs, sourced from abroad or de­signed in-house. Here, you’ll find ev­ery­thing from branching globe chan­de­liers and cus­tom-made Bel­gian linen cush­ions to dec­o­ra­tive ceram­ics and glass­ware, shelv­ing, cab­i­netry and be­spoke cof­fee ta­bles. 1 Tor­bet St, No­ord­hoek, 051-011-7091. Creative Edge

5. THE STAFFORD­SHIRE

With live mu­sic from Wed­nes­day to Satur­day, The Staffy, as it is af­fec­tion­ately called, is Bloem’s late-night jol. The mod­ern pub’s gar­den seat­ing makes for sunny day-time catch-ups, but sit in­side around the de­signer cop­per-clad bar if you want to make friends with the town’s best barpeo­ple. Look out for the monthly quiz nights and karaoke events. 5 Faan Fer­reira Ave, 087-897-0419. The Stafford­shire

8. JOHNNY’S FRUIT MAR­KET

For more than 20 years, this friendly fam­ily busi­ness has been sup­ply­ing lo­cals with daily sea­sonal fruit and veg­gies. The baby veg se­lec­tion makes for per­fect potjies, and ready-to-cook soup packs sim­plify shop­ping. Grab a R100 combo spe­cial filled with a choice crop of fresh pro­duce to last all week. 43 2nd Ave, West­dene, 051-430-1541. john­nys­fruit­mar­ket.co.za

6. GALLERY ON LEVISEUR

De­signed by lo­cal ar­chi­tect Ser­gio Nunes, this gallery’s struc­ture is a ma­jor part of its al­lure. Floor-to-ceil­ing glass panes al­low nat­u­ral light to il­lu­mi­nate the works, which are of­ten se­lected by guest cu­ra­tors, with a fo­cus on re­gional artists, pho­tog­ra­phers and ce­ram­i­cists. Take some time for cof­fee at the ad­join­ing café, 59Plenty. 59 Gen­eral Dan Pien­aar Dr, West­dene, 082-626-7606, 051-444-1683. gallery­on­le­viseur.co.za; cafe­plenty.co.za

9. OLIEWENHUIS ART MU­SEUM

Once the gover­nor gen­eral’s home, this Neo Dutch-style man­sion has a no­table per­ma­nent col­lec­tion that in­cludes JH Pierneef’s ‘Rusten­burg Kloof’, Willem Boshoff’s ‘Blind Al­pha­bet A’ (for the vis­ually im­paired), and works by ac­claimed Bel­gium-born Free State artist Frans Claer­hout, as well as a de­light­ful sculp­ture gar­den. 16 Harry Smith St, Dan Pien­aar, 051-011-0525. nas­mus.co.za

7. JACK AND JILL FOOD CO.

The place for a whole­some ‘brek­fis’. Try their ver­sion of the croque-madame – The French Lady – with smoked pork neck in­stead of ham, or Tres Leches french toast, made with con­densed milk, co­conut milk and Ideal milk. The fo­cus on fresh pro­duce is ob­vi­ous even in its gin bar, with a botan­i­cal rec­om­mended for each drink. Shop UG8, Loch Lo­gan Water­front, 105 Henry St, 063-675-9502 Jack and Jill Food Co.

10. STEL­LAR BREW­ERY

Hand­crafted in the city, Man­gaung Gold, Noc­tis Stout, Free State Lager and Bloem Weiss are made by the city’s only cer­ti­fied beer judge, Dr Ja­siu Lew­tak, whose chem­istry PhD gives these beers ex­tra street cred. Look out for the re­cently launched Free State Lite and African Queen IPA. Bet­ter yet, book a tast­ing ses­sion at the brew­ery. 21 Maas­dorp St, Ou Oo­seinde, 079-562-7083. stel­lar­brew­ery.co.za

11. THE ROYAL FIS­CHER HO­TEL

Sit­u­ated amid the indige­nous veg­e­ta­tion of a wildlife es­tate, this five-suite, five-star bou­tique ho­tel hosts mag­i­cal sun­down­ers at its boma. Book the Abra­ham suite, and bask in a bub­ble bath on the bal­cony as gi­raffes and ze­bras wan­der by. It’s open to the pub­lic for din­ner and high tea by ap­point­ment. 65 Kameel­dor­ing Draai, Wood­land Hills, 051-433-7977.

12. THE ZAR LAB

Life­style and con­cept cre­ator ex­traor­di­naire Tony Peng launched The ZAR LAB as an ex­per­i­men­tal venue for creatives and busi­ness minds to come to­gether and ex­change ideas. Avail­able for meet­ings, events and as a co-work­ing space, its con­tem­po­rary Zen aes­thetic and sooth­ing playlist lend them­selves to free-flow think­ing. Plus, the Wi-Fi’s fast! 30 Louw Wepener St, Dan Pien­aar, 072-280-8922. The ZAR LAB

Owner of The Stafford­shire, Kee­gan Hep­burn, and Waska, the staffy.

The ZAR LAB’s Tony Peng Jill Now­ers of Jack and Jill Food Co.

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