The All New Brooklyn Design Fair in Pretoria

I must say, it is about time that the Jacaranda city has a go-to afternoon-slash-evening market with beautiful design, yummy food and a bar. On their website the fair is described as a “sustainable pop-up event”, which I don’t really understand, although I do hope they don’t stop popping up every first Friday of the month. Situated in the parking area on the second floor of Brooklyn Square, it’s in a cosy undercover space, protected from rainy weather and home to a welcoming atmosphere.

I’ve only visited on a Friday evening when the live music was pumping and food and wine was flowing freely, but in the late afternoon it’s apparently child-friendly and safe – open from 16h00 to 21h00 – such a clever way to accommodate young families, an after-work rendezvous and young creative minds!

Now let’s get to the good stuff – what you can buy, eat and drink. The market focuses on contemporary design and interesting food vendors who offer up delicious baked goods, culinary experiments, once-off clothing pieces, beautiful handmade leather products and home ware including incredible ceramics, laser cut décor and handmade pillows and cushions. The vendors are hand-selected and only sell goods that they themselves have sourced, designed or hand-crafted. Expect a one-man show selling biltong, pop-up versions of the ever-popular Ginger & Fig restaurant, and an incredibly large bar at the centre.

Freshly-baked breads and homemade ginger beers can be added to your shopping list as well as some black cupcakes with a pinch of salt, traditional koeksisters, olives, macaroons and rusks – all in time to kick off the weekend. If you want to eat dinner there, there is a selection of tapas-style snacks and artisanal cheeses, nachos, burgers, pastas, curries, flat breads and more. To drink, there’s something for everyone too – coffees and craft beers, wine, cocktails and homemade lemonade. The fair is rounded off with live music that sets the tone for a vibey Friday night where wooden, bar-style tables and crates provide plenty of space to sit down and enjoy the food, music and drinks (I love the very clever wine-by-the-glass-in-a-sealable-cup sold at the bar).

The Brooklyn Design Square might be new to the neighbourhood, but based on what it was like in winter, I can’t wait to see what summer evenings in this parking lot will be like. It is and will be a great way to start the month.

Visit their website at for more information.

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