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November 27, 2018

Sub-Saharan Africa: Creative Event Spaces

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There are literally hundreds of event spaces across the country, and it’s often such a mission to find one that’s beautiful, functional, flexible, and unique all at once. These days, everyone’s in search of something different and new – from a delicious gourmet dish to a space that’s designed to create a full sensory experience. Whatever the case may be, we bring you a selection of the most edgy and sought after venues across South Africa.


A café setting that’s ideal for small creative gatherings, Chalkboard is a restaurant and craft beer bar adjacent to The Bioscope in Johannesburg. The walls and table tops are writable chalkboards, making it ideal for brainstorming meetings and artistic expression. Here visitors can dine on comfort food at affordable prices, and then head upstairs for a movie – complete with bottomless popcorn and hot chocolate options on ‘movie weather’ days. Chalkboard provides an assortment of pizzas for events served buffet style, agree with the event planner on a tab limit, and only bill based on what is consumed. thebioscope.co.za/chalkboardcafe

Emily Moon River Lodge

An exclusive, family-run lodge set on the banks fo the Bitou River in Plettenberg Bay, Emily Moon comprises ten suites and a multi-purpose venue set in an indigenous garden, allowing for up to 100 guests for functions. Emily’s Restaurant offers homegrown and locally sourced organic gourmet meals, while Simon’s Bar, located just above, offers spectacular riverside views and some of the best wood-fired signature pizzas. This venue is ideal for those in search of a company pow wow or retreat. emilymoon.co.za

Hallmark House

Situated in the all-too-trendy Maboneng precinct, Hallmark House is designed by David Adjaye, one of the top architects globally and offers visitors layers of experience. On its rooftop, one finds the restaurant and bar, while underground one will find a jazz bar and coffee shop. The floors in between comprise of penthouses, apartments and a hotel. The state-of-the-art conference centre offers space for up to 50 delegates. hallmarkhouse.co.za


A restaurant that celebrates quintessential South African fare, Marble is located in the food hub of Rosebank, Joburg, and utilizes a grand wood-fired grill as the focus point of the space. An acclaimed selection of artisans collaborated with the founders to design its interior, including Damien Grivas, Peter Mthombeni, Krisjan Rossouw, and Mervyn Gers. The devil truly is in the detail of this venue, and will enthral art patrons and enthusiasts, from its hand-woven macramé screen and ceramic tableware and Dolos figurines, to avante-garde photography shot exclusively for Marble. Awarded chef David Higgs brings the delicious diversity of cooking with fire to life in this establishment, which can host between 50 and 220 guests for events. marble.restaurant

Pier Place

An exciting new venue located in Cape Town’s Foreshore, Pier Place has an exclusive rooftop garden area, and a dedicated common area with canteen and meeting facilities. It forms part of a new initiative called Shared Office Space, which also offers a boardroom at North Wharf. The indoor space is ideal for parties, networking events or banquet dinners, and their graffiti mural of Table Mountain is a real feature for the room. The rooftop area has a natural feel with Astroturf and wooden furnishings, with a splendid view of the city. sharedofficespace.co.za

Riverine Rabbit

A new fine dining venue that opened in Cape Town in October, Riverine Rabbit is run by Chef Patron Ash Heeger. The clean, modern design speaks to the event space’s offerings and contemporary appeal. It offers chefs table experiences for up to 6 people, and also caters to events on request. Meal ingredients are locally sourced, seasonal, sustainable, and cooked over hot coals in a Josper Oven. riverinerabbit.com

Rovos Rail

Whoever thought an unforgettable event could take place on a train? Rovos Rail offers planners a unique experience on their Events Train, which includes a three-hour circular trip around Pretoria, or a one-way journey to any destination within eight hours’ rail travel time from Pretoria. They can host four-course sit-down dinners for up to 120 guests, or canapes and cocktails for 250. With old world charm and vintage grandeur, Rovos Rail’s steam locomotives and Edwardian station are an enchanting way to spend an afternoon or evening. rovos.com

The Munro Boutique Hotel

Those in search of sheer luxury will find The Munro an absolute delight. It offers a modern take on old European design, and is steeped in greenery both inside and out. Located in the heart of Houghton, Johannesburg, it offers guests magnificent panoramic views of the city, and is actually a three-story Victorian conservatory surrounded by waterfalls, exotic plant life and marble passageways. While they are not open to the public for day or evening visits, they do offer conferencing options and special events venues. The can cater for between 10 and 100 guests, and offer a formal dining room with your own exclusive chef. The Mediterranean-style terrace allows for a more casual atmosphere. themunrohotel.co.za

Tjing Tjing House

This unique Cape Town space was recently renovated and redecorated, and now offers visitors four distinctly different experiences and venues. On the ground floor, Tjing Tjing Torii provides a casual Japases street food experience, in a space inspired by the multiple layers of old and modern Tokyo. Tjing Tjing Momiji is a simple, calm space designed for savouring Kaiseki – a multi-course gastronomic experience for up to 16 guests per sitting. The moody yet sophisticated Momiji Lounge is located on the second floor, and is available for drinks from 5pm till late. Japanese Whiskies and a unique wine list complete the experience catering for parties of up to 20. Perhaps the best know part of Tjing Tjing is its rooftop bar, which offers visitors bespoke cocktails in a casual setting. The Tjing Tjing Rooftop caters to private events on Sundays and Mondays. tjingtjing.co.za

More venues to tickle your fancy

* Akinat: a quaint, fairytale garden venue in the Helderberg | wineryroadevents.com
* Cathedral Peak: for unparalleled Drakensberg views | cathedralpeak.co.za
* Colourlab: a prestigious and modern Cape Town rooftop venue | colourlab.co.za
* Floreal: incredible food and exclusive wines in Stellenbosch | floreal.co.za
* House of H: a parking lot-cum-gourmet eatery in the Mother City | houseofh.co.za
* Intundla: Pretoria lodge for team builds, events, and game sightings | intundla.co.za
* Jack Black’s Brewing Co: cosy brewery ‘Taproom’ in the Cape | jackblackbeer.com
* Morrells: a magical castle-like boutique estate in Northcliff | morrells.co.za
* Strandkombuis: West Coast gastronomy with B&B and event area | strandkombuis.co.za

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