Fashion designer, Thomas Thomson, tells us why he loves living in Elardus Park, Pretoria.
Thomas Thomson grew up in Harrismith in the Free State. “I have a twin sister and together we created a world of our own in a wonderful countryside town.” In 1993, the young Thomas moved to Pretoria to start his career as a designer. Four years later he established the Thomas Thomson haute couture label.
When Thomas decided to move to Elardus Park from Menlo Park, where he lived for many years, one of the key attractions of this established suburb was its location. “Elardus Park is so well placed in terms of accessibility. I’m very close to all highways and tra¬ffic flows rather easily.” Safety also added to the appeal. “This neighbourhood has been fairly safe in comparison to many others.”
Thomas loves that the suburb reminds him of Harrismith, especially on quiet days. “I can hide away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I often just take long walks and look at the different kinds of houses one finds here. Many days I go jogging and sometimes I stop to say hello to the birds doing a chorus line. It all reminds me of my childhood in a profound, joyful way. Altogether, a more relaxed vibe is very tangible.”
He says the suburb has all the facilities and amenities required to satisfy residents’ daily needs. “Everything you need is within range. I’m positioned in the middle of three shopping centres, which makes life very convenient. Elardus Park is located next to one of Pretoria’s most popular high schools and, therefore, is a very family-oriented suburb. People here are unpretentious and have a ‘live and let live’ attitude.”
On his favourite spots to visit in the area, he says, “I still love the big screen, so I often go to the cinema, which is about 5km from me. We have two shopping centres and I do enjoy Cornwall View shopping centre. There’s a wonderful sushi restaurant in both these centres that I like to visit.”
When asked if he draws inspiration from his neighbourhood, Thomas – who has dressed more than 40 South African celebrities over a 25-year career, including Lizz Meiring, Laurika Rauch, Thuli Sithole, to name a few – says, “I’m not sure that it’s the neighbourhood per se, but I do find a new and different energy since I moved here. My inspiration is drawn from many things in life: music, people and even just watching a movie. I do, however, find myself creatively excited with a new desire for creating since being here.”
I can hide away from the hustle and bustle of city life
Transport links from Elardus Park:
- In close proximity to the major routes to OR Tambo International Airport, Midrand, Centurion, Johannesburg and Pretoria CBD
- Highways nearby are the N1, R21 with easy access to the N14 and N4
- On the municipal bus route
Nature spots near Elardus Park:
- Rietvlei Nature Reserve offers fishing, game viewing, hiking, cycling and refreshments or light meals at the coffee shop housed in the original historical farm house.
- Moreletakloof Nature Reserves offers exciting nature walks and talks. (NB* The reserve is wheelchair friendly).
Schools near Elardus Park:
- Laerskool Elarduspark
- Glenstantia Primary School
- Hoërskool Waterkloof
- The Glen High School
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood,Sunday Times.