KCC La Vie En Rose

La Vie En Rose is known as the 'garden jewel' of the Killarney Country Club. Looking out over the lush lawns, this posh cafe is idyllic. You can dine al fresco on their open air patio, decorated with sweet fairy lights at night. Their menu includes scrumptious breakfasts, homestyle burgers and delightful high tea with finger sandwiches, petit fours and pastries. Bring the kiddies along for a tranquil, yet entertaining dining experience.

Details: 60 Fifth Street, Lower Houghton, Johannesburg | (011) 268 6144 | [email protected]

Random Harvest Nursery 

Random Harvest Nursery is one of the best garden centres in Gauteng. While you may have to travel a way out of the city to Krugersdorp, their tea garden is well worth it. Surrounded by plant life and birdsong, this outdoor cafe is the ideal place to unwind. The menu is simple - offering homemade classics like toasties, burgers and scones. Their milk comes directly from the small herd kept at the nursery, as does the homemade butter. Chef Linda's mother also makes the strawberry jam which is oh-so-good. With fresh greens from their own garden, the Random Harvest Tea Garden hearkens back to simpler times. Visit them as soon as you can.

Details: Random Harvest Country Cottages, Plot 57, Kontiki Road, Muldersdrift, Gauteng | 082 553 0598 | [email protected]

garden

Random Harvest Nursery (photo credit Ronald Zulu)

The Herb Farm

If it's gardens you want, then gardens you shall find at the Herb Farm in Midrand. Sprawling lavender bushes, manicured rose hedges and an abundance of fragrance is what you will find here. Plus, there is a dedicated kids play area and family-friendly restaurant! Serving breakfast buffets, high teas, picnics and ordinary family lunch, this bistro is perfect for baby showers, kitchen teas, birthdays and Sunday afternoon get-togethers. Their milkshakes are pretty good, too. So, pack up the kids and head out for peace of mind and great food.

Details: 264 Summit Rd, Blue Hills, Midrand, Gauteng | 010 447 3517 | [email protected]

The Victorian Secret 

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time to when ladies carried parasols and gentlemen wore top hats? Embrace the tradition of English afternoon tea at The Victorian Secret in Benoni. This little gem is quaint and welcoming, with a wonderful shady oak to keep you cool while sipping on your Earl Grey. While there is little grass here, the outdoor seating is enchanting enough. Don't skip out on the macarons while you're there. The restaurant is famed for their colourful French meringues. It's a place for sophisticated, grownup garden dining.

Details: 140 Woburn St (Cnr Russel St), Western Ext, Benoni, Gauteng | 011 420 1912 | [email protected].

La Tazzina

Now for an Alice in Wonderland themed cakery, tucked away in the avenues of Edenvale. La Tazzina is a cake and coffee lover's paradise, serving up the most delicious confections and Italian brews. Their pressed paninis are super satisfying, too. However, it is their garden which enchants most - with its cobble stones, delicate rose bushes and pops of pastel. Often hosting intimate parties, La Tazzina is also a wonderful, quiet spot to do some light reading by oneself. This is a restaurant with a garden of which Lewis Carrol himself would be proud.

Details: Cnr of 1st Ave & Amelia St, Edenvale, Johannesburg | 011 454 4334 | [email protected] 

Gia's on Montrose

Gia's Restaurant at Montrose Nursery in Morningside is made for outdoor summer brunches. Their patio is adorned with hanging flower baskets, and there is a great view of the garden centre from this viewpoint. Gia's seasonally inspired menu showcases the best that summer has to offer. Pop in for a hearty Nordic breakfast or a healthy salad for lunch. Their baked cheesecake is well-renowned by Joburg foodies as well, so give it a try as a treat. Despite its location in Sandton, Gia's is the ultimate antidote to busy city living.

Details: Montrose Nursery, 66B South Road, Morningside, Sandton, Johannesburg | 011 326 5074 | [email protected]

garden

Leafy Greens Cafe

Leafy Greens Cafe is a firm favourite among Joburg vegans and health food fundis. Their food ethos is all about eating fresh and green, both for a better lifestyle and for the environment. Leafy Greens is located just outside the city in Muldersdrift, however this eclectic cafe feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle. Situated on a working farm, this is where you should be if a return to nature is what you seek. With a separate kiddies menu, Leafy Greens offers family bonding time and delicious, healthy meals within an exquisite garden setting.

Details: Rocky Ridge Rd, Muldersdrift, Gauteng | 010 595 4563 | [email protected]

The Secret Garden

The name says it all, doesn't it? The Secret Garden, situated within Norscot Manor in Fourways, provides the ultimate alternative to fast food mall restaurants and impersonal service. You will feel right at home here, relaxing on the terrace overlooking the manicured lawns and distant views. There is also a fun play park for the kids, so everyone can have a good time outdoors. Bring the whole brood along for an old fashion Roast Sunday Lunch - roast lamb, chicken and potatoes served with fluffy rice, mixed vegetables, mint sauce and moreish gravy. Reserve a booking by contacting Steven Orchard on 011 467 1191.

Details: 16B Penguin Avenue, Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, Fourways, Sandton, Johannesburg | [email protected]

Garden

Majestic Garden Centre

Johannesburg East has a very different atmosphere to it. Germiston is especially 'old-worldy', with its railways and bygone accents in the architecture of buildings and houses. Visit Simply Majestic Nursery to experience this one-of-a-kind vibe. This spot offers a garden centre, children's play areas, a hairdresser, seamstress and Victorian-style coffee shop with a garden. Again, you won't find fine dining here, but their chilled berry cheesecake, Bar One fudge cake and scones served with cheese and jam are all you really need. When you have nothing to do on a weekend afternoon, stop in at the Majestic Garden Centre. The kids will be well entertained on the playground while you admire the garden features and yummy tea time treats.

Details: Simply Majestic Garden Centre, 90 Webber Road, Lambton, 1401 Germiston, Gauteng | 011 827 7202 | [email protected] 

Bryanston Country Club

Rounding off this list of garden gems is the Bryanston Country Club Phoenix Restaurant. Overlooking the stunning golf course, this outdoor setting often plays host to wedding receptions, large family reunions and Christmas lunches. Their menu offers much variety, including hearty hamburgers, curries, vegetarian bowls and beer battered hake, as well as kiddies specials. Finish your meal with a Lavender Infused Creme Brulee - perfectly light set custard tinged with the herbal notes of lavender. Paired with a sundowner and the view of green lawns, lakes and the setting Joburg sun, al fresco doesn't get any better.

Details: 63 Bryanston Drive, Bryanston, Johannesburg | +27 11 706 1361 /2/3 | [email protected]

garden

Do you know of any other restaurants with gardens in Johannesburg? Let us know about them!

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

Picnics

Zoo Lake

Zoo Lake offers an escape from the concrete jungle that surrounds it. The willow trees that line the banks of the lake act as a wall against the Park more traffic. What once was a favourite amongst the Joburg Randlords is now a melting pot of different creeds and cultures. Zoo Lake is a public park situated right across the road from the Johannesburg Zoo and hosts lazy boat rides, an African market and the iconic Moyo Restaurant. The park is famed for being dog-friendly and often pooches can be seen chasing sticks and catching balls. It is always busy and often varsity students from UJ and Wits frequent the park to take a break from their studies.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/53-zoo-lake

Emmarentia Dam

Set in the heartland of Joburg, Emmarentia Park has two major attractions for visitors. The Johannesburg Botanic Gardens, and Emmarentia Dam. The garden has seven distinct gardens - the Herb Garden, the Hedge Garden, the Succulent Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Chapel Garden and the Arboretum (a collection composed exclusively of trees). The dam offers rowing enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their sport within the city. The dam attracts a variety of bird life, while on the wide spaces to the north west of the dam people walk their dogs, picnic, jog along the pathways, or simply chill out.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/conservation-contents-95/botanical-gardens-contents-96

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

The gardens are the perfect place to have a picnic, go on a hike or take a leisurely stroll through the vegetation. The area in the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is known as the ‘Rocky Highveld Grassland’ and consists of a mosaic of grassland and savanna, with dense bush in kloofs and along streams. The variety of habitats accommodates over 600 naturally occurring plant species. The Botanical Gardens are also famed for their abundance of wildlife, including over 220 bird species. The beautiful waterfalls at the bottom of the garden boasts a breeding pair of majestic Verreaux’s Eagles that many a visitor spend a great amount of time watching.

Details: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu/

bird watching

Al Fresco Dining

Moyo Zoo Lake

Take advantage of the warm weather and the sun deck or outside dining section of Moyo Zoo Lake. Have you face painted, enjoy a couple of cocktails and indulge in the best ethnic food in the city. Moyo is best experienced with friends and family, so make sure you load the car chock-full of friendly faces before heading to the restaurant. Enjoy pap en vleis like it's meant to be enjoyd - in good company!

Details: http://www.moyo.co.za/moyo-zoo-lake/

Tasha's Melrose Arch

Grab the gang and head to Tasha's at Melrose Arch for a laid back and relaxed dining experience in the shade. The heart of Tasha's can be split into two section: 1. their food is good. 2. Their service is amazing... and the third bit would be their take on the classic hamburger. At Tasha's Cafe you can grab two 125g homemade mini beef burger patties built up with red onion, tomato, and gem lettuce served with fries... and if you add an extra R5 (at the time of writing) you can change that burger into a... cheese burger! There's a reason why we've included them in the best burgers of Melrose Arch hall of fame.

Details: http://www.tashascafe.com/

Dog Parks

James & Ethel Gray Park

Pretty laid back and relaxed, James & Ethel Gray Park is a great place to take your new puppy as it's not as busy as those mentioned above. The park is patrolled by local security and managed and monitored by the Melrose Rates Payers' Association, owing to a clean and safe environment. Be sure to take your leash with as we're not too sure about leash laws here – we've seen doggies off their leashes but can't confirm whether this is the rule.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/122-james-a-ethel-gray

 

Golden Harvest

This park is a stone's throw away from NorthGate and boasts 55ha of walking space and a very special hiking path that goes around the dam. The venue is a local favourite and a popular Sunday braai spot. Be sure to check it out whenever you're in the area. Bring a ball along, and maybe your sausage dog as well.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/39-golden-harvest

Walkhaven

A stone's throw away from the Cradle Of Human Kind lies a safe space for dogs to run free, kick it with the cool kids and make new friends. With 22 hectares of awesomeness, your dog will feel right at home at Walkhaven. There are two dams for the dogs to swim in, various hiking trails, braai and picnic facilities that have been spread out to avoid congestion, and loads of maintained space in which to walk, picnic, play and enjoy a day out. The best part is that dogs are not required to be on a leash – in fact, the facility prefers them to run around and play freely. Just be sure to clean up after your dog (poo bags are available in the bar and on the deck area). The park also has a little pub and grub area which serves cold beer and hot pizza, and the restrooms are serviced regularly and remarkably clean. Check the link below to find out about the entrance fee.

Details: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Walkhaven/

Public Pools

Zoo Lake Public Swimming Pool

From its Cape Dutch Architecture to its crisp, clean water the Zoo Lake Public Pool is a summer hot spot. Entrance won't break the bank but be sure to take some sun screen and floaties with. For a very, very long time this public spot has served the community to the fullest extend. Crisp clean water fill the main and kiddies pools. This is also where Desmond and the Tutus played a free show for the kids with their faces covered in ice cream and sunblock. If it were up to us we'd label this venue a heritage site.

Details: 57 Lower Park Dr, Parkview, Randburg, 2193

Linden Swimming Pool

With a half Olympic sized main pool indoors, a smaller pool outside, and a baby pool, the Linden Swimming Pool complex is a hidden gem in the heart of suburbia. Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic basket and soak up the sun and go for a splash or three. The entrance fee is kept low and pensioners get in for free. Season passes are also available at a once-off fee. All pools except for the baby pool are heated. The facility is handicap friendly as well, including everyone in the fun.

Details: https://www.jozikids.co.za/listing/linden-indoor-heated-public-swimming-pool/

By Shawn Greyling

 

 

Picnics

Zoo Lake

Zoo Lake offers an escape from the concrete jungle that surrounds it. The willow trees that line the banks of the lake act as a wall against the Park more traffic. What once was a favourite amongst the Joburg Randlords is now a melting pot of different creeds and cultures. Zoo Lake is a public park situated right across the road from the Johannesburg Zoo and hosts lazy boat rides, an African market and the iconic Moyo Restaurant. The park is famed for being dog-friendly and often pooches can be seen chasing sticks and catching balls. It is always busy and often varsity students from UJ and Wits frequent the park to take a break from their studies.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/53-zoo-lake

Emmarentia Dam

Set in the heartland of Joburg, Emmarentia Park has two major attractions for visitors. The Johannesburg Botanic Gardens, and Emmarentia Dam. The garden has seven distinct gardens - the Herb Garden, the Hedge Garden, the Succulent Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Chapel Garden and the Arboretum (a collection composed exclusively of trees). The dam offers rowing enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their sport within the city. The dam attracts a variety of bird life, while on the wide spaces to the north west of the dam people walk their dogs, picnic, jog along the pathways, or simply chill out.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/conservation-contents-95/botanical-gardens-contents-96

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

The gardens are the perfect place to have a picnic, go on a hike or take a leisurely stroll through the vegetation. The area in the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is known as the ‘Rocky Highveld Grassland’ and consists of a mosaic of grassland and savanna, with dense bush in kloofs and along streams. The variety of habitats accommodates over 600 naturally occurring plant species. The Botanical Gardens are also famed for their abundance of wildlife, including over 220 bird species. The beautiful waterfalls at the bottom of the garden boasts a breeding pair of majestic Verreaux’s Eagles that many a visitor spend a great amount of time watching.

Details: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu/

bird watching

Al Fresco Dining

Moyo Zoo Lake

Take advantage of the warm weather and the sun deck or outside dining section of Moyo Zoo Lake. Have you face painted, enjoy a couple of cocktails and indulge in the best ethnic food in the city. Moyo is best experienced with friends and family, so make sure you load the car chock-full of friendly faces before heading to the restaurant. Enjoy pap en vleis like it's meant to be enjoyd - in good company!

Details: http://www.moyo.co.za/moyo-zoo-lake/

Tasha's Melrose Arch

Grab the gang and head to Tasha's at Melrose Arch for a laid back and relaxed dining experience in the shade. The heart of Tasha's can be split into two section: 1. their food is good. 2. Their service is amazing... and the third bit would be their take on the classic hamburger. At Tasha's Cafe you can grab two 125g homemade mini beef burger patties built up with red onion, tomato, and gem lettuce served with fries... and if you add an extra R5 (at the time of writing) you can change that burger into a... cheese burger! There's a reason why we've included them in the best burgers of Melrose Arch hall of fame.

Details: http://www.tashascafe.com/

Dog Parks

James & Ethel Gray Park

Pretty laid back and relaxed, James & Ethel Gray Park is a great place to take your new puppy as it's not as busy as those mentioned above. The park is patrolled by local security and managed and monitored by the Melrose Rates Payers' Association, owing to a clean and safe environment. Be sure to take your leash with as we're not too sure about leash laws here – we've seen doggies off their leashes but can't confirm whether this is the rule.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/122-james-a-ethel-gray

 

Golden Harvest

This park is a stone's throw away from NorthGate and boasts 55ha of walking space and a very special hiking path that goes around the dam. The venue is a local favourite and a popular Sunday braai spot. Be sure to check it out whenever you're in the area. Bring a ball along, and maybe your sausage dog as well.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/39-golden-harvest

Walkhaven

A stone's throw away from the Cradle Of Human Kind lies a safe space for dogs to run free, kick it with the cool kids and make new friends. With 22 hectares of awesomeness, your dog will feel right at home at Walkhaven. There are two dams for the dogs to swim in, various hiking trails, braai and picnic facilities that have been spread out to avoid congestion, and loads of maintained space in which to walk, picnic, play and enjoy a day out. The best part is that dogs are not required to be on a leash – in fact, the facility prefers them to run around and play freely. Just be sure to clean up after your dog (poo bags are available in the bar and on the deck area). The park also has a little pub and grub area which serves cold beer and hot pizza, and the restrooms are serviced regularly and remarkably clean. Check the link below to find out about the entrance fee.

Details: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Walkhaven/

Public Pools

Zoo Lake Public Swimming Pool

From its Cape Dutch Architecture to its crisp, clean water the Zoo Lake Public Pool is a summer hot spot. Entrance won't break the bank but be sure to take some sun screen and floaties with. For a very, very long time this public spot has served the community to the fullest extend. Crisp clean water fill the main and kiddies pools. This is also where Desmond and the Tutus played a free show for the kids with their faces covered in ice cream and sunblock. If it were up to us we'd label this venue a heritage site.

Details: 57 Lower Park Dr, Parkview, Randburg, 2193

Linden Swimming Pool

With a half Olympic sized main pool indoors, a smaller pool outside, and a baby pool, the Linden Swimming Pool complex is a hidden gem in the heart of suburbia. Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic basket and soak up the sun and go for a splash or three. The entrance fee is kept low and pensioners get in for free. Season passes are also available at a once-off fee. All pools except for the baby pool are heated. The facility is handicap friendly as well, including everyone in the fun.

Details: https://www.jozikids.co.za/listing/linden-indoor-heated-public-swimming-pool/

By Shawn Greyling

 

 

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