If you’re looking for an upmarket address in a Durban suburb, you’ll probably find it in the leafy suburb of Morningside.
Close enough to the pulse of the city centre to be convenient but far enough away to remain a quiet place to live, Morningside is home to many Edwardian- and Victorian-style homes. As old-world architecture seamlessly meshes with a more cosmopolitan way of life, Morningside takes on a unique character and charm.
Set in the heart of Morningside, Florida Road resembles the Las Vegas Strip, as nightclub patrons spill out onto the streets and fantastic restaurants serve up delectable cuisine until the wee hours. But the best part of Florida Road isn’t just the wide variety of establishments or eateries; it’s the location. Easy to get to and even easier to get home from, Florida Road meets up with most of the public transport routes, taking revellers home with ease after a great night out.
The famous Spiga D’Oro can be found right in the middle of Florida Road, but that’s not the only renowned eatery in the neighbourhood. Head a little further down the road to discover the unforgettable Marco’s, the pumping pizza palace Hashtag and the unconventional Freedom Café. Travel a little further along to Windermere Road and experience a culinary adventure at Indian Connection, or pop in for a steak like no other at Joop’s Place.
For visitors to Durban who would prefer not to stay along the beachfront, Morningside offers a wide variety of boutique hotels that are situated conveniently close to the action at Moses Mabhida Stadium. Giving tourists a far more personal touch, Morningside’s boutique hotels present a charming alternative to the larger chain hotels and often at a lower price too. The St James on Venice, The Benjamin, Quarters and eMakhosini are known and loved for their unique charms and top-quality service.
Living in Morningside
Sarah Mackintosh, writer and Morningside resident, has a deep love for the suburb, especially as its multifaceted atmosphere has catered so well for her family as it transforms. Sarah says, “I love the atmosphere and lifestyle of Morningside. Before we had a child, it was so convenient to go out at the drop of a hat – everything is so close.
I love the nightlife in Morningside. Now that we have a toddler, I appreciate a different aspect of the area: there are so many parks and activities close by for the kids to enjoy and, of course, the beach is on our doorstep. I love all the quirky markets and hidden gems in the area. I’m constantly discovering new experiences and places. It’s very vibrant.
There’s also a definite sense of community in Morningside. There are so many young families in the community, yet there are also many ‘old’ families in the area that have lived here for decades.”
A multicultural Morningside
Martin Meyer, councillor: Ward 27 Morningside-Greyville, finds it to be a truly cosmopolitan area where multiculturalism is very evident. “This makes it a very vibrant neighbourhood,” he says. “Of course, this comes with its own set of challenges, but to me this area symbolises what our country can be.”
Some rather famous residents
We couldn’t talk about Morningside without mentioning that it is home to quite a number of celebrities. In fact, the President has a home in this area, as do a number of high-rolling executives and some other rather well-known characters. Pop into Avondale Spar at the weekend and you might just spy a celebrity or two.
Stop by at these parks…
• Sutton Park: go for a dip in the Sutton Park swimming pool and take your turn on the jungle gym.
• Jameson Park: admire the roses and be sure to check in over the festive season for the Highway Hospice Tree of Light switch-on ceremony.
• Mitchell Park: take a picnic basket and enjoy the rolling lawns, or pop into Blue Zoo for a tasty treat. Take a walk through the animal enclosures and keep your eyes peeled for the giant tortoises.
Property prices in Morningside
A typical property for sale in Morningside is a two-bedroom apartment.
• Average asking price: R1,04m
• 44% of properties for sale are flats and apartments with an average asking price of R2,45m
• 43% of properties for sale are houses with an average asking price of R1,1m
• 13% of properties for sale are in complexes, with an average asking price of R1,85m
• Average monthly rental for a two-bedroom apartment: R7 000
Morningside sees a lot of interest in both sales and rental properties on Private Property.
• 18% of the interest in property for sale
• 29% of the interest in property for rent
• 23% more views per listing for sale
• 30% more views per listing for rent
than properties elsewhere in Durban Central.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times