We’re always looking for great spaces and experiences to share with theSQUAD’s clients and guests. Our city and its surrounds arefull of gems - from spas to rooftop bars. Here are our latest top ten Joburg recommendations.
1) Urban Oasis – Beechwood Gardens
We’ve held many corporate functions at Beachwood Gardens and I even celebrated my birthday there two years ago. It’s been a three and a half acre oasis in the city since1945 when it was first designed by landscape architect Joane Pym. The gardens have monumental trees including a Water Oak which is thought to be the largest tree in Johannesburg. There’s also a water lily lake, waterfalls, five ponds, a formal rose garden as well as a lush vegetable garden. It’s owned by the Greig family and Susan Greig also hosts cooking courses there, which are lots of fun.
2) Rasul Chamber – Life Day Spa Rosebank
The bliss of detoxifying in medicinal earth mud is hard to communicate. The Rasul Chamber at Life Day Spa in Rosebank also has herb-infused steam to soften the skin and extract impurities. At the end of the“ceremony” (what it feels like) you’re left cleansed and rejuvenated. Highly recommended as a bespoke gift for or for a group visit - if you need a team build that truly brings people together...
3) Luxury Country Venue - De Hoek, Magaliesburg
I recently stayed at De Hoek and it was amazing. The service was on point, the accommodation is beautiful and the food is incredible, locally sourced and the chef was so very accommodating with all the special dietaries. Nothing was a problem and they went out of their way at short notice to make our event a success. As they say on their website it covers all types of visits from romantic getaways to executive conferences. With five star food and attention to detail you’ll never want to leave.
4) Edgy and Classy - Urbanologi
I loved reading Heather Mason’s 2Summers write up on Urbanologi where she says it all, really; “Urbanologi is definitely my number one Jozi date night recommendation for people who are adventurous - in both the places they go and the food they eat... The restaurant’s decor is the perfect combination of edgy and classy, and the food is innovative, beautifully presented, and insanely flavourful. Urbanologi is also vegetarian-friendly.”
Another fabulous thing about the restaurant is their Project 150 menu, an innovation by Chef Jack Coetzee. All the ingredients on this menu are from farms within a 150-kilometer radius of the restaurant and it tells you exactly where the produce is from. How awesome it that?
5) Culture and Fun -Jozi Walks
The Jozi Walks team will take you all over the city and even further afield in with a convivial bunch of other walkers. One of the perambulations is at Constitution Hill which includes the Old Fort, the Constitutional Court, the notorious Number 4 prison block and the Women's Jail which was built in 1909 and had black and white female prisoners in separate areas. There’s also a walk at Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge - part of the 1600 hectare Cradle Moon Conservancy which is teeming with wildlife – sounds like a good one to book.
6) More than Movies - The Bioscope Independent Cinema
It’s not just watching movies at The Bioscope, they also have a range of interesting talks. How does learning about “How to Manage Your Money like a Grownup” grab you? On the cinema side there are special events for the public and you can hire out The Bioscope for corporate events, which they call “Pie charts, Popcorn and Pizza”, as well as using it for independent film premieres and birthday parties.
7) Inner City Eco-System - Victoria Yards
The concept behind Victoria Yards is inspiring. It’s a large, inner-city eco-system where tenants thrive as a community. They call it a “uniquely integrated urban complex that is as much about social development as it is commercial enterprise.”
The main focus is on urban agriculture, growing fruit and vegetables and encouraging job creation through this. (Contact them if you’d like to buy a box their produce.) It’s not open to the public except on the first Sunday of the month where you can see it with the art studios and restaurants all open. There are also different size spaces to hire. We held the Night of 1000 Drawings charity event there recently and the eclectic space really suited the creative spirit of the evening.
8) World Heritage Site - Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park
There’s magic at Nirox, it’s a fact. You keep looking around the beautiful spaces expecting to catch a glimpse of a fairy or maybe one of Shakespeare’s characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The sculpture park itself is made up of landscaped gardens and water ways which show off the sculpture as well as semi-private pause areas for visitors. The upkeep is done with attention and love and it shows. Nirox has both artist and musician residencies and studios which adds to the creative flavour. Sign up for the Nirox Howler (their newsletter) for updates of what’s on. Coming up soon are Open Days and Long to Long – Little Sun Walk – not to be missed.
9) Uber Exposure -Block Rooftop
Fancy an unparalleled, unique view of Johannesburg with the only Helicopter landing pad in Sandton? Capital Block on the 8th floor of Capital Hill in Sandton is a blank canvas ideal for experiential events, brand launches, event theatre, conferencing, exhibitions – pretty much anything. With a venue space 0f 900 square metreswhich can be subdivided into blocks and an outstanding view it’s a memorable space.
10) More than Ink - Sally Mustang Tattoos
Sally Mustang Tattoos is a high-end tattoo studio based in Sandton. As well as doing quality tattoos their space is world class if anyone is looking for an unusual location for their next event. Keep your eye on their Facebook page as they also have Band Nights and themed parties (Cowboys and Indians anyone?) Go and support local talent in a place where the good vibes are unlike any other or use as an amazing event spot as we did for the recent KFC Wrapsta Launch.
Kelly McGillivray, Squad Leader