A Little Bit About Kensington

The Kensington suburb was established by Max Langermann in 1897 amongst the hilly slopes to the East of the city centre. Roads were laid in 1902, bringing an influx of families into the area. The streets were planted with broad Jacaranda shrubs and leafy oaks, which still line the streets today. Over the course of a century this large Joburg suburb has seen immense change. However, its many landmark monuments and historical sites give the area a feel of nostalgia.

Kensington is the perfect place to stay over for a night, as it borders the inner city and is only a 20-minute drive from OR Tambo International airport. The area boasts great artisan restaurants, antique stores deluxe and above all else a wonderful sense of community.

kensington

Where To Eat

Kensington natives will be the first to tell you to head down to Queen street for a lekker bite to eat. This bustling street is home to a number of restaurants, cafes, antique stores and social hangouts.

The Rusty Lady Bistro

One of our favourite Queen street watering holes is the Rusty Lady. She is a rustic, South African meets Mediterranean bistro with an indomitable spirit. Once a residential home, this restaurant is both perfect for a romantic night out and the place to watch weekend rugby with the boys on the big screen. Ask your waitron for an outdoor table to make the most of the experience.

Our favourite item on the menu is the droewors platter starter. This proudly South African snack is the best way to start a meal (you cannot convince us otherwise, so don't even try.) For mains we recommend one of the Rusty Lady's thin-crust wood-fired pizza's. If you have space for pudding, try out their variety of Belgian waffles.

Die Kneipe

Another Kensington favourite is Die Kneipe. This German pub and restaurant is a hive of activity, perched right at the top of Queen street. On Wednesdays they feature live music acts and often give patrons a delicious weekly menu special to feast on with their choice of ice cold beer. Don't expect gourmet dining here, just good old fashioned hearty food. We recommend the pork roast which comes with a variety of veg and roast potatoes.

Jambo African Restaurant

If you are looking for something a little more Joburg authentic, pop into Jambo African Restaurant. This two-storey eatery come club serves up an array of traditional African dishes including, mogoudu (fried tripe), beef isiskopo (boiled cow head parts) and even Durban bunny chow. A section of the restaurant is reserved specifically for coffee lovers, too. They specialise in Kenyan coffee blends, perfect for when you have had a little too much to drink at the bar. 

Bennigan's

Lastly, for an upmarket, family friendly dining experience, visit Bennigan's on Langermann Drive. The Bennigan's family have been in the business of serving up American style steak strips since 1972. Their signature 400g fillet on the bone is a must-try. Otherwise, customise your steak dinner - once you have chosen your cut of premium quality beef, pick your basting sauce or spice crust option. From there, select your adds on such as onion straws, mash potato or straight cut fries. For an extra treat, add a decadent sauce to your meal. We would go for the classic Bearnaise or creamy peppercorn.

Bennigan's also serves up a range of in-house desserts. These American diner inspired puds are the ultimate way to end off a big meal. From the key lime pie to the Mississippi Mud pie, there is something for every kind of sweet tooth.

bennigan's

Where To Shop

Barter Buy Antiques

If you visit only one antique store along Queen street, Barter Buy is the place to go. This seemingly never-ending antique wonderland boats collections from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras, as well as fine reproduction furniture. Make sure to explore every nook and cranny of the store to find some of the most magnificent treasure troves. There is an upstairs too, which houses a coffee shop and a collection of retro mannequins adorned in the best of yesteryear's fashions.

Eastgate Shopping Mall

We know that not everyone is into antiquing. For a more commercial shopping experience, head out to Eastgate Shopping Centre. As a world-class retail mall with over 300 stores, an IMAX cinema and a large outdoor food court, Eastgate is your one-stop shopping haven.

Fun Activities & Tours

Kensington is a history buffs paradise. This suburb is home to a secluded castle (yes, a castle), a Scottish Horse war memorial, a spooky sanitarium and Johannesburg's oldest public school. There are also lots of fun community activities to take part in, such as open day social bowls at the Kensington Bowling Club and group walks through Rhodes Park.

Scottish horse memorial

Kensington Historical Walks

Walk & Talk Tours offer a self-guided tour through Kensington and its neighbouring suburb Troyeville. You can book for a party of eight or more and Walk & Talk will provide you with a handy route map and electronic guidance. Visit the Scottish War Memorial, which commemorates officers, non-commissioned officers and men killed in action and died of wounds, disease and accident, who were members of the Scottish Horse Regiment, in the South African War (1899 - 1902). The view from the top of Calendonia Hill is worth the hike alone.

Mystery Ghost Bus Tour

For those of you not inclined to hike, take the Mystery Ghost Bus Tour of Johannesburg. The tour passes right through Kensington, stopping off at the old women's sanitarium, the castle and the aptly named Poltergeist House. Passengers board the bus at sundown and travel through the spookiest spots in Joburg, ending the night off in the Braamfontein cemetery at the call of midnight. Are you brave enough?

The October Jacaranda Walk

Finally, for the rest of us easily spooked adventurists, there is an annual Spring walk that takes place along the purple blanket streets of Kensington. The event is organised around early October every year by fitandfunnow.com. Check out their Facebook events page for details on this year's walk.

jacarandas

Ever Heard Of A Poshtel?

Once in Joburg exploded onto the Jozi scene at the end of 2016, as the first *poshtel, identified under the umbrella company Once Travel, with sister hotel Once in Cape Town. A poshtel - AKA a posh hostel - combines the luxuries of a boutique hotel with the energy and excitement of a backpackers hostel! It's a unique concept and is definitely something you need to check out if you're looking to experience the best of Joburg. And with the launch of their brand-new “Once Business” concept, it's a new space where you can do it all - sleep, eat, work and explore.

Once in Joburg

So, What's The Accommodation Like?

This hybrid accommodation concept boasts both private double and twin standard rooms, and four-bed multi-share dorms, all with en suite bathrooms. All rooms offer basic luxuries such as hair conditioner, crisp white linen, flat screen TVs (privates only), safety deposit box and block out curtains. As for the multi-share rooms, they provide a more budget-friendly option for the solo traveller or a group of friends look for adventure. Costs start from R190 per person*.

Let's move onto the facilities! This includes a cinema room, small conference and meeting rooms, co-working space, communal entertainment area, large open kitchen, free Wi-Fi, free on-site parking, a restaurant and bar, laundry service, bike hire and 24-hour reception. Breakfast is included at the on-site restaurant and bar called The Immigrant.

Once in Joburg

Location, Location, Location!

Once in Joburg is centrally located in trendy downtown Braamfontein. The Braamfontein precinct is up and coming, offering inner-city goers endless options of co-working spaces, art galleries, museums, designer boutiques, vintage shopping, nightlife hot spots, farmer’s markets and so much more.

The dynamic team curates a variety of experiences to showcase the best of our bustling city. Join in on local adventures such as the Braam By Bike tour which is curated, owned and led by Zodwa, a local Sowetan. She will take you around the neighbourhood on a bicycle, uncovering street art, culture, history and cuisine. It's an absolute must! Try a traditional beer brewing experience (umqomboti) set in a family home in Soweto, or attend their monthly First Thursdays with live DJs and film screenings.

Once in Joburg

There's also daily free walking tours, graffiti walks, yoga classes and pub crawls leave from reception – locals are more than welcome to join in! Let's not forget to mention, an artist exchange is offered where a large blank canvas in every room is painted by an artist, both local and international, in exchange for accommodation. It brings people from different parts of the world together to share stories and experiences, as well as culture, music and art. How unique!

This One Is For The Music Lovers!

If you're a virtuoso, then make sure you hop on an overland truck with Once in Joburg and go on a musical journey to the coolest events around the country, such as AfrikaBurn (Africa’s version of Burning Man: Karoo - April), Bushfire Festival (Swaziland - May), Rocking The Daisies (Darling – September), OppiKoppi (Limpopo – October), and Afropunk which will be returning to Constitution Hill for NYE 2018 – a stones throw from Once in Joburg. Join the festivities: you’re never alone and never without a local.

Once in Joburg

For More Information

For bookings or more information about Once In Joburg, call 087 057 2638 or visit www.once.travel.

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