And so we reach December, and the silly season is upon us.  It’s a whopper of a weekend ahead, and the week that follows is also pretty jam packed… Here, as always, are my top picks from the Mother City Living ‘What’s On’ Calendar.

Spier Festival of White Lights

Friday 4 Dec ’09.  8pm.  R100.  Spier Estate, near Stellenbosch. (more info)

This is where I’m going this evening… a spectacular Spectacular.  Shembe dancers carrying flame torches; light installations amongst the trees; light-footed pantsula and hip hop performed with electric torches; and a classical Indian dancer with 100 bells around her ankles. All of which finally come together in a “display of interlocking rhythms, sound and dance—an intercultural feast for the senses”.  Yes, please!

Folio Books – The Artist in the Garden

Friday 4 Dec. 6pm for 6.30pm. Folio Books, 207 Main Rd, Newlands.

Folio Books will be introducing The Artist in the Garden – The Quest for Moses Tladi by Angela Read Lloyd. “This wonderfully illustrated book uncovers the life and works of one of our hitherto forgotten artists, Moses Tladi. Tladi was discovered by Herbert Read while working as his gardener, and was the first black African to formally exhibit his paintings, done in an international style, inspired especially by Monet.” Angela will be there to talk about the book. Please RSVP for catering 021 685 7190 or

Franschhoek Cap Classique & Champagne Festival

Friday 4th to Sunday 6th December ’09.  Various times.  Franschhoek. (more info).

The 4th annual The Franschhoek ‘Magic of Bubbles’ Cap Classique and Champagne Festival takes place over the weekend of the 4th to the 6th of December. Spend the Champagne festival weekend popping corks, filling flutes, sipping vivacious bubbly and snacking on delicacies prepared by some of the valley’s gourmet masterminds. Cost:  Weekend Pass R350; Single day pass R180 – available from WebTickets.

A Few of My Favourite Things: A Christmas Gift Shopping Fair

Friday 4 Dec 10am-6pm, Saturday 5 Dec 10am-4pm. 18 Matapan Rd, Rondebosch.

In addition to the established Christmas markets, there seem to be little informal markets popping up just for the festive season.  This weekend, there will be one held at 18 Matapan Rd, Rondebosch (Fri 4 Dec 10am-6pm; Sat 5 Dec 10am-4pm – phone Cathy on 082 570 5317).

Rondebosch Craft Market (at Oude Molen)

Saturday 5 Dec ’09. 9am-2pm. Oude Molen Eco Village, Alexander Road, Pinelands (Nr Vincent Pallotti)

Held now at two venues, the Rondebosch Craft Market will be on at Oude Molen this Saturday. The Eco Village has horse rides and a petting farm for the children, and quite a few other attractions, including the lovely Millstone Cafe.

Obs Holistic Fair

Sunday 6 Dec ’09. 10am-4pm. R8 for adults, u/16’s free. Observatory Recreation Centre, corner of Station, Lower Main and Drake streets.

Holistic therapists and life readers; vegetarian and organic food; ‘green’ products, plants and herbs; esoteric books and world music; unusual handcrafted goods; funky clothing, body art and jewellery; décor, unusual art and crafts: you’ll find all this and more at this popular bohemian lifestyle market in Obs this Sunday, and again just before Christmas.

Cape Quarter Classics

Sunday 6 Dec ’09. Midday to 3pm.  Cape Quarter, Greenpoint.

The newly launched Cape Quarter will be having two sets of classical performances: CLASSICS ON THE PIAZZA Sunday 6th December – Palm Strings Duo – 12noon to 3pm. CLASSICS ON THE SQUARE Sunday 6th December – Keys and Strings – also 12noon to 3pm. Enquiries: 021- 421 0737.

Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts – Jesse Clegg

Sunday 6 December ’09. 5.30pm to 6.45pm. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Rhodes Ave, Newlands.

“To have two Clegg’s on the line –up is a coup and though his Dad is a legend, Jesse is making a name for himself in his chosen genre: rock. Settling on the guitar as his instrument of choice this multi talented singer/songwriter musician has already seen his single “Today” debut at number 1 on the Highveld “Homebrew” Chart.. ”

Tickets cost R50-R75 (  Contact 021 799 8783/8620 or visit the website

Atlantic Seaboard Green Drinks

Wednesday 9 December ’09.  6.30pm for 7pm.  La Bruixa on 341 Main Road, Sea Point.

Speakers: Richard Palmer, representative of WSP Africa, Member of the Green Building Council SA (GBCSA). To be confirmed : representative of Think Twice – recycling company contracted by Cape Town City for Sea Point area.

Neighbourgoods Christmas Market

Thursday 10 December ’09. From 6pm.  Biscuit Mill on Albert Rd, Woodstock. (more info)

The ever-popular Neighbourgoods Market is having their annual Christmas night market on the 10th of December.  I went last year, and really enjoyed it… there’s generally an emphasis on the crafty, gifty side of things, rather than the usual food focus, and there’s all sorts of interesting hand-made stuff to look at and buy.

Terra Madre Day Market / Christmas Fair

Thursday 10 December ’09. Midday to 9pm. Pinelands Community Hall, St Stephens Rd off Forest Drive Pinelands. (more info)

World Terra Madre Day is being celebrated in 150 countries in support of locally grown produce and handmade traditional foods (a Slow Food initiative).  In this spirit, the creators of the Slow Food Community Market normally held in Lansdowne will be “Celebrating a Green Christmas” by combining Terra Madre Day festivities with those of the silly season.

Upcoming events to look out for

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