This centrally located neighbourhood in Durban is minutes away from the beach, nightlife, shopping and schools.
Leafy with heart-stopping sea views and grand old houses, history has it that the first home in Morningside, the Elephant House, built in 1850, heralded the move out of the City Bowl. For those who could afford the move, the suburb offered cool breezes, relief from mosquitoes and still the opportunity to keep an eye on the sea for approaching vessels.
Although a lot has changed in Morningside since then, it now offers everything from tattoo parlours to eateries that serve tofu. The multicultural residents enjoy a sense of space and grace in an area characterised by a creativity, artistic flair, architecture (Colonial, Art Deco, ’70s), and many contemporary developments.
One such testimony is the Elizabeth Gordon Gallery which has been in the area for nearly 30 years. Owner Joy Reynolds has lived in Morningside for many years. “I love it,” she says, “the convenience, the light, the buildings, and the green breathing spaces – my dog couldn’t do without Jameson Park!”
Morningside is highly sought-after for family homes due to the proximity of good schools, and residents enjoy everything from the real old dames of Durban to loft-style living in Florida Road.
“I’m in a contemporary, airy unit in Lambert Road which offers all I need – great security, it’s close to my work and has a small garden and pool. A great source of pleasure for me is pottering in the garden and, of course, entertaining over weekends and on lovely balmy summer evenings.” Residents of Morningside often laugh about having to travel less than 3km to do everything. Windermere Centre has everything from a Woolworths to a hardware store and unique boutiques.
Close by you can find artisan bread, organic veggies and a handful of shops that sell collectables, while Florida Road is known for its trendy nightlife and eateries. “There are plenty of good food spots,” says Joy. “My favourite coffee spot is Vida, Quarters makes the best eggs Benedict, Mali is a great Indian restaurant, and for a special treat for lunch or dinner, Green Mango’s sushi platter is the best in Durban.”
Centrally located, Morningside is close to everything, from the N3 inland, to roads north and south. Still, residents enjoy staying put, the strong sense of community very evident at the evening markets.
“My kids as littlies loved their excursions to Mitchell Park with granny – what happy memories of my hood! And it still offers so much, with easy access for the young and elderly, and the vast green lawns enjoyed by so many every day.” -Joy Reynolds.
- Clifton School
- Durban Girls’ College
- Maris Stella
- Durban Preparatory High School
- Gordon Road Girls’ School
Things to do:
- Visit Mitchell Park with the family and Jameson Park with the dogs
- Go to Mark Gold for coffee and jewellery
- Visit the art galleries in Florida Road – Elizabeth Gordon, Artisan, Stepping Stones and the African Art Centre
- Go decor shopping - Cecile & Boyd, Inside Out, Hertex, Black Fabrics, and St Leger and Viney
- Mama Luciana’s for fab pasta
- Story Restaurant and The Library Bar at Emakhosini
- Charlie’s opposite the parks
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.
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