To some I may be pointing out the obvious but living in Johannesburg has some disadvantages. OK, many disadvantages. We may not have majestic mountain ranges, an azure blue ocean and an abundance of wildlife but at least have a surplus of grey concrete buildings. And if you have a hankering for a meal from a franchise fast-food outlet, Johannesburg is the place to be. We may not offer variety but if you’re looking for a meal that disappoints Tim Noakes we are tough to beat.
The second half of the year always excites me. You see, the last six months are filled with wine and beer festivals. Many of them take place in function venues or cold halls and while they may not offer the same towering trees you’ll find on a wine farm, once you’ve had a few glasses you fail to care.
Whether you stay in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban or Pofadder, I can highly recommend taking a trip to Johannesburg to attend a festival. While you are here be sure to visit one of our many shopping malls or grab a pie from one of our petrol stations. And stop in at one of the following festivals.
13 – 14 September, 2013 Tintswalo Waterfall Hotel, Kyalami
The website states that you’ll get to rub shoulders with the winemakers though I’m not sure I should. If they saw me drinking their vintages they might rethink the type of clientele their wines attract.
21 – 24 September 2013, Coca Cola Dome, Northriding
The name tells you all you need to know. Wine. Food. More Wine. You’ll get to taste a the finest of the Cape and snack on everything from oysters to chocolates. I’m not proud of it, but last year I ate about a kilogram of nougat and consumed my body weight’s worth of free sausage rolls.
26 – 29 September, Montecasino, Fourways
The finest eateries in Johannesburg prepare their best dishes while select wineries and craft breweries provide refreshments. This festival is always busy and if you are really lucky, you’ll be able to have your photo taken with a prominent blogger or B-grade celebrity.
10 – 13 October, Montecasino, Fourways
It might not be on the same scale as the festivals that take place in Germany but if you want large pitchers of beer, eisbein and an Oompah band, Bierfest is a winner. Despite the large crowd that the event draws, punters are seldom left waiting for food and drink.
While it’s all fun and games at festivals you still need to get home safely. Various services now exist that allow revellers to return home safely after attending a festival.
GoodFellas - www.gfellas.co.za
Nite Owls - www.niteowl.co.za
For an extra fee you could ask the driver to take you to one of our finest 24-hour pie merchants.