A new market launches this weekend in Hout Bay.  Called the Bay Harbour Market, this is a weekend-long market that aims to “become a space that showcases delights for the senses – a lively indoor and outdoor market, bringing an authentic taste of the diverse culture that is Cape Town – offering the best of art, craft, fashion, music and food together into one unique melting pot that celebrates the incredible spirit that defines the uniqueness of South African society”.

Their press release is a little over the top and verbose (in my opinion), but in essence this is what the new market appears to be about:

  • This is a venture that includes people from both ends of the economic scale, and serves to marry the skills and interests of the empowered and the underprivileged.
  • The aim of the project is to uplift the area as a whole, extending to the aesthetic quality of the harbour – starting with the site itself, the team is currently working on planting in excess of 50 trees, and landscaping the grounds of the West Fort Heritage Site, which is adjacent to the market premises.
  • Market organisers have granted 20% of the trading rights on beneficial terms to the local impoverished communities, many of whom worked in the very same fish factory that now houses the market, thereby “imbuing the market ambience with an authentic Cape Town energy and flavour”.
  • In addition, the programme seeks to identify and nurture young creative talent in the area, particularly from Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu, through skills development initiatives on the premises that will ultimately result in commercial opportunities and job creation provided by the market itself.
  • The performance arts, particularly music, will also form an integral part of Bay Harbour’s energy, with the Performer’s Stage being a permanent fixture at the venue – providing an opportunity for both professional and amateur musicians, comics, actors and dancers from across the board to perform, both during the market operating hours as well as at specific events to be held outside of these at the venue.

So what kind of food will there be…  A bit of everything, it would seem:

Much like the mixed heritage of South Africa, a journey of flavour fetching from all corners of the globe is the catch of the day, the proverbial net has been cast widely across different styles of cuisine, and made them available at the Bay Harbour Market. From Kreef and snoek raai’s, to crafted chocolates, there are tastes to entice all palates.

Hmmmm… Sounds a little bit like trying to cover everything at once, but I’m all for diversity and am game to see how they do with this.

And my favourite final paragraph:

The sheer eccentricity of South Africa is expected to come alive in an artistic way that we believe will give tourists something to write home about and locals a boost of national pride.  For example, characters from every layer of society will mirror the outlandish variety of food on offer.  Bay Harbour is the place where both the local fisherman and the well-heeled fashionista can be found.  It’s a place where koeksisters, crayfish, chakkalakka, umnqusho, smoked snoek, oysters, cappuccino, bunny chows, and methode champenoise live side by side with fashionable leathercraft, accessories, clothing, beadwork and art –  It’s a celebration of our cultural and creative diversity.  And everyone’s invited.

Sjoe – ‘sheer eccentricity’, ‘outlandish variety of food’ – I really do have to see this for myself!   I’ll be there tomorrow… come along if you’re as intrigued as I am.

Bay Harbour Market Details:

The Bay Harbour Market launches this Saturday (2 July 2011) at 9am (until 4pm).  Thereafter, the market will be open every Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 4pm, as well as on Friday evenings from 4pm-9pm (from 8 July 2011).

31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay (next to Fish on the Rocks)

Over 80 food, art and fashion stalls. Authentic indoor factory venue, right on the water’s edge. Roaring fire places and unique draught bar. Live music (and other entertainment). Ample, secure parking. www.bayharbour.co.za

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