A new market is coming to the City Bowl, and I have a very strong feeling it’s going to give the ol’ Neighbour Goods Market some stiff competition.

Curious as I always am about new markets, I arranged to meet up with market organiser Madelen Johansson last week, to see the new venue, and to have a chat about what’s in store for us market-mad Capetonians.

The new market is located in a beautiful old building on Hope Street.  It has an impressive facade, and a wonderful well-lit interior with huge windows streaming in light.  There’s a main hall with lofty ceilings, and a sort of mezzanine level, where they plan to show black and white movies and place a few tables at which marketgoers can eat and drink.

City Bowl Market on HopeUpstairs, overlooking the main market area,  there’s an area for chilling and having a few drinks.  Outside, to one side, there’s a secure grassy section just for kids, and on the opposite end of the building a lovely area, complete with small pool (not for swimming) which they plan to use for braaiing and hanging out away from the general market hubbub.

It has a lovely feel to it, and I could immediately picture it filled with the sounds and smells of a big market… Madelen has spent a lot of time exploring existing markets (sounds like fun to me!) and selecting only the best traders for this new market.  Previously from the catering industry, she seems to know quite a bit about good food, and an instinct for what makes a market great.

My feeling is that whilst the Neighbour Goods Market is by far the most popular and populated market around, there are many of us who no longer go there regularly because it’s such a bunfight.  The food is extraordinary, yes, and the products exemplary, but having to elbow one’s way in to get any of them isn’t really my idea of a good time, and not being able to chat to producers about their wares just doesn’t make sense.

So, I’m very very excited about this new market which will, I hope, create a new arena for exceptional producers to showcase their talents, and the space for us to explore them.

The City Bowl Market on Hope (14 Hope Street, Gardens) launches on Saturday the 16th of March April 2011 – and will be on every Saturday morning thereafter (9am-2pm).  I can’t wait!

Their website isn’t working just yet, but you can follow the latest market news on their Facebook Page, or via Twitter.  Madelen Johansson can be contacted via email on citybowlmarket@gmail.com.

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