As the new year rolls into gear, most of us become swept up in the mania of declaring our New Year's Resolutions. From the traditional goals to lose weight, quit smoking and hit the gym, to a new wave of self care priorities, there seem to be an endless stream of changes that need to be made to our lives as soon as the clock strikes midnight on 1 January. But, what if we could ditch the stress and simply be grateful for having made it through another manic year?

We, at Joburg.co.za, have decided to ditch the New Year's Resolutions in 2020. Instead, we have resolved to dedicate our time and energy towards exploring all that our eclectic city has to offer. To join us on this journey, read on to find out the best places in the city to ditch those New Year's Resolutions and discover a new lease on life!

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It's A Sweet Existence

Joburg is a sweet tooth's paradise. With an array of world class patisseries, fine dining restaurants and unique bakeries, the city offers a wonderland well worth exploring. Whether you are in the mood for a decadent slice of chocolate ganache, delicate French pastries or the messiest ice cream dessert, there is a spot to have your cake and eat it in the city of gold. This Ditch Your Resolutions Day, why not let go the reigns and indulge in a pudding worthy of a few extra hours at the gym? Here are our top dessert picks from Joburg's best sweet mongers:

1. Raffaelo Coconut And White Chocolate Cake - Walnut Grove

If there is only one dessert spot you visit this January, let it be Walnut Grove. The shining star of cakes and pastries at Sandton City, this spot should be on your foodie bucket list for 2020. Their cake display is too good to pass by, so you might as well let live and let cake! You could tuck into a slice of 'pretend it's healthy' carrot cake, or a delightful wedge of rainbow cake. But, we have it on good authority that their Raffaelo Coconut and White Chocolate Cake is by far the best indulgence on offer. The subtle flavour of coconut and white chocolate make it the ideal cheat, just sweet enough to activate your brain's happy centre without sending you into a sugar spin.

2.  Chocolate Brownie - The Fat Zebra

In keeping with the theme of chocolate treasures, we direct your attention to the Fat Zebra in Linden. This quirky bistro offers one of the most moreish chocolate desserts in the city - a Cashew Caramel Lindt Chocolate Brownie, served with a perfectly percolated and frothy cappuccino. If there was ever a dessert worth kicking your resolutions to the curb for, this would be it.

ditch your resolutions

3. Afternoon Tea - Level Four Restaurant

The 19th century tradition of afternoon tea has truly taken off in Joburg in recent years, with a number of restaurants offering finger sandwiches, mini cakes, French delicacies and an assortment of teas. However, there is one venue that stands above the rest - Level Four Restaurant at 54 on Bath in Rosebank. Not only is their high tea simply delicious, but the restaurant provides ample privacy for long chats and romantic whispers. Book a table before the Valentine's Day frenzy begins!

4. Vegan Indulgences

Joburg is becoming increasingly vegan-friendly with dairy-free and gelatine-free ice creams, desserts and milkshakes. Go on, you deserve a sweet treat for all the eco-conscious eating you do all year round.

A Tipple Or Two

We know that clean living is all the rage at the moment, with many shunning off alcoholic drinks in favour of a sober lifestyle. However, we also know that there are those of you out there who truly enjoy your few vices. If you've already fallen off the bandwagon in the new year, despite making resolutions to change your ways, you may as well check out Joburg's top wine, whisky and cigar bars. But, be responsible and don't drink and drive!

Churchills Bar - Melrose Arch

Churchills is one of the best places to kick back, relax and sample some of the finest whiskies Joburg has to offer. A verified 'cool kids' hangout, this classic bar at Melrose Arch is the ideal spot to embrace the carefree attitude of Ditch Your Resolutions Day 2020.

Churchills also hosts regular wine tasting evenings with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Steenberg Vineyards and Deetlefs Wine Estate. Check out their Facebook page for upcoming events.

ditch your resolutions

Katzy's Rosebank

Katzy's is the ultimate hot spot for sophisticated indulgences. With its leather finishes and oak accents, this bar is made for old souls. Come and enjoy a whisky (or two) in their lounge. Or, try something new and ask to sample one of Katzy's curated cigars. If you must bend to your vices this new year, you may as well do it here.

Katzy's Live Rosebank

One Potato, Couch Potato

Just because you've resolved to be more active in 2020 doesn't mean that you shouldn't make time for your favourite TV series. Ditch your resolutions by catching up on these must-watch shows on Netflix and Showmax. You could also head out into the city for a movie night at Cinema Nouveau Rosebank or Jozi's only independent cinema, The Bioscope in Maboneng. While you're there, stop by at POPArt - Maboneng's finest independent theatre space. They kick off the 2020 theatre season with one of their most popular features - Naked Girls Reading. This show is all about the sensuality of the female form and a deep passion for literature. We think it's certainly worth skipping that spin class for.

In keeping with our goal to explore the city more in 2020, we encourage you to check out Joburg's independent film and theatre scene. Not only will you be exposed to new corners of Joburg, but you are likely to meet new friends to make lasting memories with. Plus, it's a much easier resolution to stick by than counting your daily steps!

Me Time

Don't let Janu-worry get you down. If you have somehow managed to spare a few pennies after the festive season, treat yourself to a spa treatment at one of Joburg's top spas. In fact, scheduling a little 'me time' may be exactly the resolution you should keep for the year ahead. You need not blow the bank, but a new haircut or mani-pedi is an assured must before the start of the new work year. If you are looking for a budget-friendly and accessible beauty salon, look no further than your nearest Dischem Skin Strategy salon. Their list of beauty treatments is wide ranging and won't burn a hole in your pocket.

Alternatively, book yourself into the Renaissance Day Spa at the Michelangelo in Sandton. With a heated spa pool, sauna and sensation shower, visiting this luxury day spa feels like a mini vacation. In this case, it's less about ditching your resolutions and adding to your list instead. Either way, we hope you start the year with a clear mind and tons of self appreciation.

Happy Ditch Your Resolutions Day! 

It's Surrounded By History, Culture & Heritage

The Marabi Club is a hidden gem that you definitely need to experience if you're paying the inner city a visit. This unique jazz venue was established in 2017 by TJ Steyn and Dale de Ruig, and has formed part of the inner-city regeneration. This space was an abandoned basement parking lot in an old diamond industry building before it was recreated into a trendy and interesting live music hotspot which harnesses the vibe and grit of real, down-town Jozi.

The thing is, you need to know where to find it! Tucked underneath 46 hotel rooms, a conference centre, gym, spa and rooftop bar, The Marabi Club isn't as obvious as you'd think. It can be found at the very bottom of Maboneng’s iconic, Hallmark House. If you're having trouble locating it, just keep an eye out for the discreet black canopy above a small metal door. Quick tip: make use of their valet service for parking!

The Marabi Club

The Decor Will Take You Back In Time

We believe that Marabi Club is a well disguised time machine. It teleports visitors back in time with their 20s inspired décor, yet also spends you straight into the future with their trendy, cosmopolitan style and new age African ambiance. The careful detail that captures the history of the building and surrounds as well as the present culture and diversity in the inner city definitely makes it a truly unique venue to relax, indulge and enjoy a few pleasures, which we will get into shortly. Not only that, from the moment you step in through the door, it certainly doesn't feel like you're in the heart of Jozi anymore! With all the interesting décor and atmosphere, it feels more like you've fallen down a rabbit hole and landed in one jazzy, top-notch kind of place.

The Marabi Club

The Chef Is Remarkable!

The Marabi Club's Head Chef, Vusi Ndlovu, is the master behind the amazing menu! His take on the tapas menu has pushed guests to experience something new and explore the boundaries of dishes they thought they would never try. Oysters and beef fat, calamari and grapes are a few of the dishes he serves to his diners. Vibrant, assertive and confident; Vusi lives up to the reputation that he has built, a chef who challenges the norms and pushes the envelop to create unique and astonishing food that'll wow your senses.

He was named one of the top seven in the 2018 San Pellegrino Best Young Chef Awards and the top-ranked in Middle East and Africa, using skills, techniques and flavour combinations learnt from his tenure under Chef David Higgs as well as in one of Europe’s top restaurants, In de Wulf in Belgium. Vusi’s menu is true to the Marabi style and is a progressive representation of Joburg’s fusion of tradition and future.

The Marabi Club

The Food Is Incredible

The cuisine at The Marabi Club is not what you expect it to be. The food here is not your traditional bar basket grub, oh no! It's far more than that. Vusi really wanted to do something creative, interesting and exquisite with The cuisine at Marabi Club and designed a menu that'll blow your mind (and taste buds). A great example of his creativity and skill on a plate is with his twist on broccoli. When you think of this simple vegetable, what comes to mind? Little green trees of not-so-goodness? Well, then you need to try the broccoli here - it was prepared with various different textures, flavours and surprises, our taste buds didn't know what hit them. It’s certainly not what you'd think it would be - it's even better!

Another must are their cocktails. They're everything you'd want in a cocktail and are definitely dream-worthy. Just like the venue, they're flamboyant and quirky, and will have you coming back for more. Other than the top-class food and trendy cocktails, they also have a fantastic selection of wine as well as cigars to indulge your senses. This combination of delights presents a 360˚ experience that is one-of-a-kind for its visitors.

The Marabi Club

"And All That Jazz!"

The music at The Marabi Club reflects the popular genre during Joburg’s heyday. During the gold rush, Marabi's music and lifestyle was born - blues, jazz and soul, the perfect remedy when one needs to escape the hardships of the working week in the 20s and 30s.

The stage at The Marabi Club is the focal point of the restaurant, offering diners a platform for a premium jazz experience. Pictures of the Master of Jazz pantheon adorn the walls and it is the ideal stage for talented emerging artists wanting to perform and share their craft. Guests will be delighted with a variety of solo artists and bands throughout the evenings.

The Marabi Club

For More Information

For more information about the Marabi Club, visit www.themarabiclub.com. You can also call the on 010 591 2879 or email them at [email protected].

Don't forget to give them a follow on Instagram and Facebook.

Some people have a fascination with cigars, and yes, I am one of them. In America, over 3.8 billion cigars are smoked annually, however, back in South Africa, they aren't often available in stores or clubs. The younger market is also the least likely to be seen smoking them. But, if you're part of the niche few who enjoys a deep puff or two, here's where you can find them around town...

The Cigar Club

You can’t smoke cigars without buying some first. We've found that the best place to get good imported cigars at the best prices is at The Cigar Club. They require you to register as a club member before making a purchase, but membership is FREE, so don't stress. Tip: take a look at their offerings carefully because they have special packages worked out for weddings or sample packs of the five top-rated cigars etc. These packages are also cool because you save a bit off a regular purchase… and that’s always good.

Katzy's Rosebank

Katzy’s is a five-star experience as far as bars and lounges go. They specialise in live jazz with that wall to wall leather and wood look, expensive whiskeys and of course smoking stoggies. They have a range of cigars on hand to add to your eventful night out.

Cubana

Cubana, as the name so implies, is a Cuban themed venue where you can buy cigars, kick back and relax in a faux Cuban type environment. Their claim to fame is that they are singularly the biggest cigar traders in South Africa with all the Cuban and Dominican cigars a connoisseur might want. They also boast their own brand of cigars which is apparently quite pleasing.

cigars

Chevy Lane

While this 1950's retro dinner functions mainly as a family restaurant, there are a few secret treasures to behold here too. With an open balcony and a dedicated whisky and cigar bar, Chevy Lane offers you vintage-inspired sophistication. Completely separate from the kids play area, this is the ideal place to blow off some steam (literally).

Churchill's Bar

Churchill's Bar is styled to look just like an upmarket British gentleman's club, which means it had to include a special place to smoke a cigar or two. Choose from an impressive selection of cigars on offer and pair it with an even more impressive choice of whiskies. All that's missing is a smoking jacket and a pair of loafers.

The Polo Bar at the Four Seasons Westcliff Hotel

The Polo Bar boasts a stylish colonial setting with a polo based design giving it a very regal feel. The view from the bar is spectacular and is a perfect spot to light up, chat or reflect on the busy week that was. A little later, it's worth digging into one of their delicious cocktails and possibly lighting another stoggie… what could be better?

Know other cigar venues or retailers not mentioned above? Let us know below!

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.

Some people have a fascination with cigars, and yes, I am one of them. In America, over 3.8 billion cigars are smoked annually, however, back in South Africa, they aren't often available in stores or clubs. The younger market is also the least likely to be seen smoking them. But, if you're part of the niche few who enjoys a deep puff or two, here's where you can find them around town...

The Cigar Club

You can’t smoke cigars without buying some first. I found the best place to get good imported cigars at the best prices is at The Cigar Club. They require you to register as a club member before making a purchase, but membership is FREE, so don't stress. Tip: take a look at their offerings carefully because they have special packages worked out for weddings or sample packs of the five top-rated cigars etc. These packages are also cool because you save a bit off a regular purchase… and that’s always good.

Katzy's Rosebank

Katzy’s is a five-star experience as far as bars and lounges go. They specialise in live jazz with that wall to wall leather and wood look, expensive whiskeys and of course smoking stoggies. They have a range of cigars on hand to add to your eventful night out.

Cubana

Cubana, as the name so implies, is a Cuban themed venue where you can buy cigars, kick back and relax in a faux Cuban type environment. Their claim to fame is that they are singularly the biggest cigar traders in South Africa with all the Cuban and Dominican cigars a connoisseur might want. They also boast their own brand of cigars which is apparently quite pleasing.

Churchill's Bar

Churchill's Bar is styled to look just like an upmarket British gentleman's club, which means it had to include a special place to smoke a cigar or two. Choose from an impressive selection of cigars on offer and pair it with an even more impressive choice of whiskies. All that's missing is a smoking jacket and a pair of loafers.

The Polo Bar at the Four Seasons Westcliff Hotel

The Polo Bar boasts a stylish colonial setting with a polo based design giving it a very regal feel. The view from the bar is spectacular and is a perfect spot to light up, chat or reflect on the busy week that was. A little later, it's worth digging into one of their delicious cocktails and possibly lighting another stoggie… what could be better?

Know other cigar venues or retailers not mentioned above? Let us know below!

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.

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