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Tuesday, November 24, 2020


Article written by Christine Sole, courtesy of the Berea Mail

(Above: Theresa Reinecke, Durban Central Tourism Committee Member), Sanabelle Ebrahim (DCT Committee Member, Route Development) and Mikhail Peppas (DCT Deputy Chairman) wander through the sculpture garden on the way to Jack's Grill Co at Florida Fields. Photo Christine Prescott Sole)

Showcasing what the Berea has to offer in the way of cuisine and green space destinations, the Musgrave Meander Hoppa Bus excursion was piloted in time for whatever the “new normal” will deliver with the 2020 festive season.

Imagine hopping on a designer bus which meanders past Berea restaurants and coffee shops, taking in the views of the city, stopping at two of Durban’s green attractions, the Durban Botanic Gardens and Mitchell Park.

Pop off to dine here, enjoy coffee or cocktails there, rounded off by a dessert menu elsewhere and all not having to worry about parking or being over the limit along the way.

(Left: A friendly smile behind the mask. Head waiter, Ntando Myeza greets guests at Times Square which lies tucked down a lane off Florida Road where a brightly coloured mural beckons their patrons. Photo Christine Prescott Sole)

Well, this is about to become a reality with the innovative ‘The Musgrave Meander’, thanks to the vision of Mikhail Peppas and Sanabelle Ebrahim from KulturKonneKt and Durban Central Tourism (DCT).

Tourism activations arranged by the DCT have led to the organisation gaining prominence with efforts to reinvigorate the arena, alongside Durban Tourism.

Showcasing what the Berea has to offer in the way of cuisine and green space destinations, the Musgrave Meander Hoppa Bus excursion was piloted in time for whatever the ‘new normal’ will deliver with the 2020 festive season.

(Right: The new addition to the 'front of house' of St Clements Restaurant, Musgrave Road - a fine fresh fruit, vegetable and herb stall, run by Indran Nair, and it's all organic! Photo Christine Prescott Sole)

“The Hoppa Bus will travel a never-ending loop along Musgrave, Florida and Lilian Ngoyi (formerly Windermere) Roads stopping at a selection of eateries and outdoor spaces along the way,” said Peppas, originator of the project. “It’s most unusual for there to be an easy, continuous, city route that takes in such a wide range of sights and restaurants without ever doubling back!”

A media contingent experienced a taste of what is to come this month, courtesy of DCT, during a pilot run that took them out and about the eateries of the Berea from the starting point at the scenic Cube View Site in Innes Road, Morningside..

Covid-19 has taken its toll on dining spots and boutique coffee shops on the Berea sadly, which is evident with some having closed their doors for good.

But, the spirit of proprietors is stern and determined to rise with vibey new comers like Next Chapter which has emerged from the former Europa, in Florida Road.

Still going strong are stalwarts of the restaurant and eateries trade.

(Left: "Morphus" by South African artist, Lionel Smit, graces the Florida Fields square. Depicting twin heads, one looking forward and ones backwards "evokes questions of time and the balancing point at which our country finds itself" says Smit. Photo Christine Prescott Sole)

The route passes a fascinating collection of churches on one corner in Musgrave Road, all within the call of a soon-to-be-finished mosque and later passes the St Mary’s Anglican Church in Greyville with its bell tower where the chimes are rung out by hand, on Sundays.

Traverse the Berea, along Stephen Dlamini (formerly Essenwood) Road, under the shady, magnificent Forest Mahoganys that line the street, then, it’s down the ever-bustling Florida Road, Durban with its clusters of beautifully restored stately Victorian homes that house business and restaurants and stops at Florida Fields where an array of coffee shops, bars and eateries look out onto a pleasant green space filled with trees and tables.

(Right: Zanele Mbandlwa & Jean Francois Alleaume, managers of the quaint Antique Café, Windermere, that really lives up to its name - old era service, atmosphere and fare. Photo Christine Prescott Sole)

Just off Lilian Ngoyi Road, the bus stops at the lovely old building that houses the aptly named Antique Café, a haven of history and tranquility with their garden setting in a courtyard. And these are but a sample of the many places to be explored and enjoyed along the way.

“The Musgrave Meander is already being established as a route with available maps while brochures and apps are in development. Participating restaurants are eager to welcome guests,” said Ebrahim, who heads up route development at DCT.

“The next phase anticipates a feasibility study and if it proves viable, to be followed by the introduction of a preliminary designer, electric-powered Hoppa Bus that will have all the correct Covid-19 protocols in place,” added Peppas.

Contact KulturKonneKt on 076 891 1152 or email: