We thought it was time we gave the suburb of Melville a little love and attention. Melville is a fashionable and charming neighbourhood where you will find the beautifully restored Melville Manor guest house. It is conveniently located close to the heart of the city and designed with comfort in mind to make your stay that much more memorable. The vibe in Melville can only be described as ‘cool.’ The guesthouses that are here attract interesting people – visiting academics, students, musicians or artists. 7th Street is a funky street, filled with coffee shops, bars, clubs, clothing stores and the famous Cafe De la Crème that has been there forever and makes the best and most delicious bread and pastries.
The IT Corner Café is my favorite. This is the local coffee shop/restaurant where work meets life. There are the regular Melville customers who use The IT Corner as their office, the tourists who come in to use the complimentary Wi-Fi, and the regular lunchtime crowd who come for the daily hot special. The Moroccan mint tea is as good as the cappuccino and the menu is as eclectic as the crowd.
There is the very up market Hobo Couture Collection selling gorgeous stylish clothing, mostly from Europe, with a few local designers thrown in. I try and stay away from Hobo because my entire salary can go on one dress, but many a ‘northern suburbs’ visitor can be seen shopping, and the foreigners love it because the exchange rate is as good as the shoe collection.
Melville has a ‘hippy’ side, with bohemian shops and second hand bookstores, antique stores, charity shops and people wandering around in fashions ranging from bell-bottoms to hipster beards!
And beards are big. Freedom Hair is a really fabulous hair stylist that serves brilliant coffee and cheese cake (it is a coffee shop too), and Boyden is as good with hair as he is with facial hair. It’s also next door to the new Hells-Kitchen Whisky Bar with a fantastic selection of whiskeys.
At night Melville changes. Early evenings are filled with young people, families too, enjoying a pizza at The Ant or a burger at Bambanani. But from 10 pm the groovy crowd starts streaming in and out of the nightclubs, and The Liberation Café, Buzz 9 and Liquid Blue all pump. It is a cosmopolitan crowd, and one could be in New York or London, it is such an alive and busy scene.
Melville Manor is a gorgeous place to stay if you want to be in the heart of things. Situated on quiet 2nd Avenue, it has been beautifully restored, has seven suites, a stunning garden and large swimming pool, and is within easy walking distance to 7th Street and all the shops and restaurants. And it is close enough to the Melville Koppies, a wide open gorgeous space, offering beautiful views of Johannesburg, fab for both people and dog walks.
There’s going to be a full day Christmas street fair in Melville on the 6th of December, starting at 10 am and culminating in the Christmas light being switched on. Come walk around the street and see the lights. And the neighborhood. It’s a lot of fun.