The fifth annual Sanlam Handmade Contemporary Fair was a smash hit once more this year. This fair, previously the Sanlam FoodWineDesign Fair held on the rooftop of Hyde Park Corner. With over 100 exhibitors and the fair spanning 3 days there truly was something for everyone.
The exhibitors included leather workers, handmade ice cream makers, hand pulled noodle experts (no really), ceramic craftsmen, a LifePOD, smoked whisky, great chefs and plenty of wine.
The decor was upmarket and classy, with outdoor furniture and plants incorporated and integrated into the other design elements by Joe Paine, the designer for this year’s fair.
Let’s run through the highlights for the Audaciously team:
After wondering through all the stand to see what was available we got stuck at the Arbour Cafe stand. Humongous Porcini mushrooms fresh from the Natal Midlands were on display and we just had to try some.
We tasted some brandy sautéed mushrooms (lovely) and ended up eating a Spanish Chorizo Buckwheat pancake, with rosa tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. With the initial stomach grumbling subdued, we wondered onwards.
However, even with a satisfied stomach we couldn’t help noticing a lot of people were walking around munching something that looked like a thick pancake. And it looked good.
We discovered near the end of the exhibition hall the Delish Sisters. Well, discover paints the wrong picture. We suddenly found ourselves standing in a long queue, and then we knew we found “something” worthwhile. Turns out the food of choice was the slow roasted lamb and tzatziki naan. Wow. Delicious.
Look at this picture and tell me you don’t just want to stuff everything in your face…you can’t can you. The Braeside Meat Boutique brought out the big guns with this delectable Nose to Tail Platter.
Here we had the opportunity to sample some craft distillery goods. Most notable was their Primitiv Vodka (distilled from organic Spelt from the Cedarberg), as well as Hopscotch Moonshine, (distilled from Devil’s Peak Blockhouse IPA). Their distillery is old school, using copper pot stills. Truly a great South African product and something to look out for.
Next we came upon the wonderful Marianne Wine Estate, a farm situated at the foothills of Simonsberg. They are a boutique winery, with a limited production of only between 80 000 and 100 000 bottles per vintage.
We tasted some wine, and ended up with a couple of bottles of their 2009 Merlot.
Of course you know we are coffee addicts, and Braamfontein’s own Father coffee was there to give us our fix. Had a wonderful double espresso, and was pleased to see drinks like “Long Black” and “V60″ on the menu. Well done gents.
Highland Park Whisky
The fair was the South African launch of the new drink from Highland Park – Dark Origins. They did a cool exhibition where they smoked some whisky and also did tastings.
Unfortunately we never got around to tasting some of this ourselves, so we’ll look out for it on a shelf soon.
We love the story of this South African startup. They literally started in a garage, slowly building their brand, and now you’ll find them in iStores and Dion Wired all over the country. Great craftmanship, and the Brand Manager Christian is proud to point out every stitch is done by hand. We got hooked up with an awesome iPad Mini Leather pouch.
All you mad hatters out there, gentleman need to recover the lost art of wearing hats. And Simon & Mary, a local millinery , will sort you out. They have a broad range of hats made according to the old school traditions. Add some style to your wardrobe.
The folk over at Dark Horse are no newcomers to the game. They’ve been around for almost 4 years and have established quite a name for themselves. We love their quality and designs.
Rumour has it they have plans on opening up shop somewhere in Joburg in the short-term, which will get their awesome leather goods into the hands of all you Joburg fans.
A South African Gin using Fynbos as botanicals.
Some of the best ice cream in South Africa. Trust us, get some.
A small artisanal chocolate company based in Cape Town, they make hand tempered chocolate from raw cocoa. Also contains no processed sugar or dairy.
LifePOD is a modular, prefabricated living system design specifically for a Southern African context. An example of contemporary nano-living – an exploration of how future living and building could be. Very cool installation that was styled by Dokter and Misses.
We cannot wait for next years fair, and we urge you to swing by too. Bring the lass and make it a day trip.