The Secret Tea Garden
Set in the tranquil gardens of Norscot Manor in the heart of Fourways, The Secret Tea Garden offers you a lovely quiet escape from the malls. It’s a fabulous, affordable venue for a leisurely family breakfast or an afternoon filled with tea and cake. Relax on the beautiful terrace overlooking the manicured garden and distant views while your little ones amuse themselves in the impressive play park, which is guaranteed to give parents a much-needed break over the busy weekend!
Where: 16A Penguin Drive, Fourways, Johannesburg.
Montecasino Bird Garden
If you haven’t yet visited the incredible Montecasino Bird Garden, why not pay the place a visit over the weekend? There are beautiful walkways past countless exotic birds, an impressive cycad garden, a frog room as well as the longest snake in the world… how cool is that? Plus, you’ll also find other unusual mammals like sloths and lemurs in the bird gardens; it’s an outing that’s sure to thrill the whole family! You can even attend a wonderful Flights of Fantasy show any day at 11:00, 13:00 or 15:00.
Where: Montecasino, 1 Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways, Johannesburg.
Pretty much everyone likes chocolate, right? And you can trust us when we say that there’s no better place to get your chocolate fix than Melt Chocolates! The family-owned chocolatier offers an extensive variety of chocolates for you to taste and shop, as well as a delightful little cafe. At the cafe you can order up some of the very best chocolate milkshakes and cupcakes that we’ve tasted in Joburg… just be prepared for a sugar rush of note following your visit.
Where: Nicolway Shopping Centre, corner of William Nicol & Wedgewood Link, Bryanston, Johannesburg.
Zoo Lake Swimming Pool
Before you stick your nose up at this, hear us out… we know we’re not really in the age of using public pools any more, but Zoo Lake Swimming Pool is beautifully maintained and kept looking fresh at all times. It’s a great place for some family fun or time with your loved one on a warm day; simply grab your costume, pack a picnic basket and you’re ready to go!
Where: Zoo Lake Sports Club, Avonwold Road, Parkwood, Johannesburg.
Situated in the leafy Melrose Arch centre, Roast Cafe offer the most drool-worthy cakes along with top-notch coffees. You’ll be able to choose from divine options including roasted coconut, cashew cream, salted peanut butter, red velvet, red velvet and meringue, Bar One Cheesecake, Smarties and rainbow… tempting, isn’t it?
Where: 10A High Street, Melrose Arch, Melrose, Johannesburg.
Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens
If you’re looking to spend some time in the great outdoors this weekend, the gorgeous Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens sure is the place to go. One of SA’s eight botanical gardens, you can snack on sarmies beneath the waterfall while watching the Verreaux’s Eagles perched at the top with your binoculars or, you could walk through the breath-taking rocket and fern garden and breathe in some real fresh air. Otherwise, if you prefer, you can organise yourself a guided tour of the gardens.
Where: Malcolm Road, Poortview, Roodepoort, Johannesburg.
The Living Room
If your idea of a great weekend goes hand in hand with a great party, then there’s no place to be seen other than The Living Room. The uber-trendy rooftop venue in Maboneng overlooks the fabulous city skyline and feels as if you’re sitting in a nursery, hence its name. Lounge around snacking on tapas and sipping on cocktails as the sun goes down, and then get ready for a real party which is sure to pick up later in the evening.
Where: 20 Kruger Street, Maboneng, Johannesburg.
The Maboneng Precinct
When it comes to Maboneng, we love going on Sundays because this is when the Market on Main comes alive. However, there’s plenty to do in this renewed and vibrant inner-city area that’s brimming with the trendy on any other day. Take in a movie at The Bioscope, tuck into a meal at Grain Restaurant, sip on a cocktail at The Living Room, or even take a swim at the newly-opened Poolside Café.
Where: Corner of Fox & Kruger Street, Maboneng, Johannesburg.
Hennops Hiking Trail
If nature is your thing, you’ll absolutely love spending your weekend walking in nature on the fantastic Hennops Hiking Trail, which is a short 40 minute drive out of Sandton. There are two main hikes, plus a shorter trail, which is suitable for kids. All trails boast wonderful scenery to soak up, and there’s even a swimming pool to splash in post-hike. The range of landscapes is enough to get the soul stirring... trust us on this!
Where: Hadeda Camp, Pretoria Rural, Pretoria.
Le Sel @ The Cradle
Last on our list, but by no means least, is the relaxed, contemporary eatery that is Le Sel @ The Cradle. Architecturally magnificent with extensive outdoor seating and the most amazing views of the Cradle of Humankind, the restaurant offers diners an experience like no other. Their menu is extensive, offering up everything from wild mushroom risotto and grilled tuna to braised lamb shank and duck confit. And, on Sundays, they have a special set menu for you to indulge in, which also comes highly recommended.
Where: Route T9, Kromdraai Road (R540), Cradle of Humankind.
By Candice May
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.