Bamboo: An urban bohemian experience

2011-05-06 12:40

From the outside, the Bamboo Lifestyle Centre is an ­unassuming, small collection of shops. On a cold day, you can see ­people reading or catching up over a cup of java, while on sunny days, you can see rows of colourful ware displayed on the pavement.

This small lifestyle centre, which has been around since 1999, is situated on a corner that makes it easy to miss if you don’t know about the ­interesting stores it has to offer.

The interior is aesthetically ­pleasing, with cheerfully colourful ­décor throughout the eight ­interlinked stores. Here you’ll find unique, ­high-end lifestyle services and South African-made goods.

In fact, if you’re not careful, you might find yourself spending nearly the whole day at the centre.

Start the day off by getting ­something to munch at ­Service ­Station, where you’ll be treated to an array of delicious light dishes. Then walk it off by going up to the gallery, Upstairs@Bamboo, to check out artists’ exhibitions.

When you’re ready to shop, start downstairs at WineSense, where you can view a wide selection of wines in a perfect little space designed to ­showcase the vino, with a view of some of Melville’s ancient trees in the background.

For some high-couture threads, ­designers of the clothing brand Black Coffee are right there (and across the street is Suzaan Heyns). There’s no better place to pick up an amazingly constructed pleated coat or winter item, especially if you have no qualms about parting with thousands of rands on clothing.

Add pizzazz to your new outfit with some jewellery from Tinsel, a contemporary jewellery store that carries ­designer handmade jewellery by some of South Africa’s top jewellers.

The stuff may be pricy, but you can rest assured that they’re one of a kind. Tinsel celebrates its fifth anniversary on May 22, so pop by to take advantage of the 20% discount and enjoy some bubbly.

Once you’re done with the selfish shopping, focus on turning your ­living space into a warm haven by adding some locally made decor ­pieces from Nap, an up-market lifestyle shop with a contemporary farm-store feel. The products are uncomplicated and make for lasting quality gifts for those who are sick and tired of the steel and austere interior look.

When was the last time you saw ­anyone whip out some cutlery and crockery with pride? Seems like those days ended with our moms. ­Rejuvenate the art of dining by ­exploring The Blooming Plate, a little haven of dainty and quirky hand-painted ceramics by popular ­local ­artists such as Peter Nthombeni and Wendy McLachlan.

Another fun store to visit is Smelt, which showcases glassware designed by local artists and glassblowers. The glass studio, owned by Martli Janse van Rensburg and Ilse Doyer, offers customers a chance to experience the process of glassblowing and casting at workshops.

At the end of your shopping experience, you can either relax with a book at Love Books, where they serve a glass of wine or coffee while you catch up on your reading. They also host fun, hour-long story telling sessions every Saturday for children between four and six years old.

Alternatively, you can work out the kinks at Renue, a tiny spa that ­offers body therapy treatments designed for stress relief.

The topping on the cake is that­ ­every third Saturday of each month, there’s a farmers’ market at the centre, starting early until everything is sold.

Grab yourself some fresh produce that’s grown organically: free range meat, poultry and eggs, handmade cheese from various farmsteads, fresh flowers, baked goods, wine and olive products.

So if you enjoy the finest things in life – and have deep pockets to pay for it – this luxurious lifestyle centre is tailor-made for you.

For the rest, it’s a simple and lovely browsing experience away from the sameness of megamalls.

» For more information, contact Bamboo on 011 726 1701 / 5657 or visit the corner of Rustenburg Road and Ninth Street, Melville, Joburg

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