I’d recently seen photographs of Treviso Cafe splashed all over Facebook so decided to go and check it out for myself. It wasn’t so much the pics of the food that had astonished me, rather the pics of the view. And if there is a good view in Johannesburg, I want to see it! I arranged lunch with a few girlfriends, booked a table, picked up a bottle of wine (they’re not licensed) and headed by Uber to New Doornfontein.
The view from Treviso Cafe
Treviso is on the 4th floor of Morkel House in Voorhout Street, New Doornfontein. The building is pretty ordinary from the outside but inside it’s really cool, home to advertising agencies, architects and a few different studios. We walked up the stairs and like everyone does, headed straight to the deck. The view is stunning, overlooking the Emirates Stadium, the Hillbrow Tower, Ponte and downtown Jozi. Equally impressive are all the solar panels on the surrounding rooftops – inner city buildings being run off solar, making us very proud of our city.
Lunch was good, considering I had french toast for lunch. My girlfriends ate pizza, we drank wine out of jam jars, loved the personal and friendly service and also loved watching interesting people from the building popping in and out. It’s good standard Italian food, freshly prepared and rather delicious. Check out their Facebook page for opening hours or call 082 402 9539.
The owner, Sergio Caon, is very hands-on. We told him it was our first time to New Doornfontein for a ‘jol’ and he insisted we go to the building down the road. ‘You’ll see amazing art and an even better view,’ he assured us. And so, after a fab and very well priced meal, we paid our bill, and off we went.
The ArtEye Gallery is on the 5th floor in the Ellis House Art Studios, also on Voorhout Street. You can easily walk from Treviso to ArtEye and the views are once again incredible. The gallery windows look out over the suburb of Troyville with stunning church spires and red rooftops in the distance. And oh my! This gallery was a huge surprise.
ArtEye is made up of The Studio, a Project Room, a Gallery and exhibition spaces. There is a ton of art by new upcoming artists and then just occasionally, there’s a Robert Hodgins or a Trevor Coleman thrown in. The space is brilliant, huge and filled with treasures. It’s also a fab space to watch artists at work. They have the nicest cosiest couches in amazing fabrics set out by the windows and more importantly, a Foosball table.
You can spend a lot of time in this gallery so pay them a visit. They have an excellent collection of contemporary art as well as sculpture, so take your time looking. And don’t forget to look up because there are gorgeous pieces hanging everywhere!
As we left ArtEye there was another surprise in store for us. We found Piece on the other side of the corridor. You may remember Piece from when it was in The Saxon Hotel? Well, it has a new home in very arty and creative New Doornfontein and it is indeed the perfect home. Once again we found ourselves in a huge open contemporary space, filled with the most exquisite hand-made beaded jewels, amazing dresses, exquisite handbags, ceramics, extraordinary photographs and artworks. Everything is inspired by Africa or is African. Wow! I didn’t mean to spend money but I did, coming home with really pretty hand-made bracelets and a Merle Payne handbag to die for.
Eugenie Drakes and Beauty Maswanganyi are the brains behind Piece. You can ask them about any item in their gallery and they’ll tell you the story behind it. They both have a brilliant eye. Each artwork, necklace or bracelet is hand selected and absolutely exquisite. Beauty also runs beading workshops from the gallery which I of course signed up for! Watch this space, I’ll be sure to blog about that too.