First Thursdays: May 2015

This May was my first First Thursday! After hearing about it for years, literally, I finally made my way onto the streets of the CBD. I love art and First Thursday is centered around art galleries and food stores for locals wanting to explore the city’s gems. I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my most favourite things to do, in the whole world, is to walk in cities at night. I love it. So I was stoked when my friend, Mrs Kitten D, was keen to have a little mission.

I feel you can see things far more clearly at night time. During the day there are so many people and cars and delivery vans and beggars all contributing to the noise of the city. This doesn’t lend itself to showcasing what’s actually inside stores and usually we’re just keeping focused and rushing into the store we came to visit.

While First Thursday is busy, there’s a feeling that everyone is there to explore. The city traffic is much quieter at night and the lights from every shop allows the stock to shine from within and be easily seen.  I parked my car and made my way to the House of Machines where I agreed to meet my friend of happiness. I found this along the way…

Boring Cape Town Chick IMG_0733Spray painter in Long street  Boring Cape Town Chick IMG_0735This man was spray painting a lion design onto a jacket outside South African store Issa Leo. I asked them about their brand (as I know nothing about them) and they are a local designer with their first store in town. Pop in, you may like some of their items and be able to support local fashion and design.

Isso Leo

I carried on down Loop street taking in the night lights and undertones.

Long Street at Night

I found my friend at the House of Machines along with, the owner, Andy. HoM has just gotten brand new lights, don’t you think they look pretty? They make it feel like day time! I also found a stranger there who was talking to me about something, I can’t even remember what because his voice was IDENTICAL to Derick Watts! I mean, IDENTICAL! I literally just looked at his mouth moving, I couldn’t tell you a single thing that he actually said! There were many friendly people at First Thursday which I really liked. We were given a map but I didn’t really feel I needed it. I just wanted to walk along and stumble upon things, I wasn’t too worried about any particular attraction.

House of Machines, Cape Town

As soon as we set off from HoM, I realised I didn’t have a SINGLE cent on me. Not one Ront! So I figured I’d just moseyed around and see how far I got without having to seek out an ATM. So rounded the corner and popped into the Red Bull studios. I’d never been there before so it was interesting to see. Did you know we had a Red Bull recording studio in Cape Town?

Red Bull STudios on First Thursday Cape TownRed Bull STudios on First Thursday Cape Town

We then found the South African Market which was filled with locally designed items. This was interesting to see as I have no idea what things South Africans are designing. It’s a great way to keep in touch.

South AFrican MarketSAM marketSouth African Market in Bree StreetLauren Fowler Cards

We found a balcony selling apple juice and beer, which we declined but took in the view:

Cape Town at NightCape Town at Night

After our little mission to SAM, we missioned past LaParada where we found Lonesome Dave Ferguson adding some tunes to the evening’s events…

Lonely Dave Ferguson at First Thursdays

Just before we reached Clarke’s a little further up Bree Street, I found my favourite hot dog stand! If you know me, you know I’m all about this tasty bagette goodness! But how could I buy one with no money? *sad face* The answer? SNAPSCANVILLE! YES! I’ve used Snapscan at work with our sandwich lady and for Butler’s Pizza. The clever people of Bree Street now also offer the service and it makes life SOOOO much better! If you don’t know about Snapscan, let me know and I’ll do a piece on it. But ya, you scan, enter the amount, your snapscan pin and bob’s your uncle!

Baguettes in Cape TownOh yeah! With sauerkraut, French mustard (just a touch as it’s very strong), ketchup, baguette roll awesomeness and sausage, SUPER tasty! And for dessert…the devils of Honest Chocolate! We rounded the corner and couldn’t resist entering the artisan chocolate spot.

Honest Chocolate Cafe in Cape TownHonest Chocolate Cafe in Cape TownHonest Chocolate Cafe in Cape Town

It’s important to note that Honest Chocolate is a totally different eating experience. My friend gave me 80% chocolate at work a few weeks ago and it almost didn’t seem worth eating. Forget the easy to melt, smooth dairy style of chocolate, this is far less sweet and more savoury. It’s more like pure cocoa powder than indulgent chocolate pudding, but it’s also a lot healthier for you. I really enjoyed the Honest Chocolate that I had. Pop in, buy some and give it a go. It’s something different.

After we had sampled half the shop the good, we realised the art gallery and gin bar we were looking for were hidden behind the chocolate shop. It was SUPER fun to sneak through passageways to the back of the buildings where the wall surfaces had been really well treated and the light gave such the space such a beautiful glow.

Secret Hide away in Cape TownGin Bar, Cape Town

I entered the Gin Bar (NOT Mother’s Ruin in Bree Street) and asked the name of the place and they said they didn’t have one! But what they did have was, Snapscan! So I bought a signature gin drink from them that was pretty tasty.

Cape Town Gin BarCape Town Gin Bar

There was also an art exhibition on in the gallery which we took a look at (and I participated in my own funny way):

Boring Cape Town Chick IMG_0758  Boring Cape Town Chick IMG_0759

By the time we crept out of the Gin Bar, Honest Chocolate was absolutely packed! We seemed to have just missed the crowds everywhere we went, it was great. If you’re not a crowd person, get to First Thursdays by 7pm then.

Boring Cape Town Chick IMG_0771


We continued on our little night walk and made our way to Era where we found Hyphen playing a set. People were sitting on the various lounge seats and enjoying the easy beats, having a toot and some banter with friends.Boring Cape Town Chick IMG_0773

After a toot Mrs Kitten D and I decided to call it a night. It was wonderful to be out in the city bowl in the early evening, exploring the wares, visiting new venues. But it was also lovely to go home and be in bed at a reasonable hour so as not to ruin Friday at work, or Friday evening for that matter.

While various people in the street did give us maps, we just wanted to navigate our own way. Seemed more fun. If you haven’t been to first Thursday yet, I highly recommend that you get your butt down there. If you don’t have cash then don’t worry, just make sure you have Snapscan (free on the app store) and you should be good to go 🙂

Here’s the First Thursday Facebook Group should you require further information.

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