Firstly, prepare yourself for it being rather busy, as its popularity is continuing to rise. But the buzz is amazing! South Africans, unlike European cities, don’t normally socialise outdoors, in public at night (mainly due to security issues), so it was lovely to see everyone out and about, enjoying themselves in a beautiful and safe environment.
Now let’s talk food – and we’ll start with one of my favourites: Gourmet Boerie Rolls. Don’t be fooled, they may look a lot like a ‘normal’ boerewors roll, but the home-made sauces you get to put on top, makes them incredibly tasty.
And my other favourite is the roosterkoek
. If you don’t know what roosterkoek
is, it’s bread dough braaied (BBQed) to form a flat looking bread roll. Essential to any South African braai (BBQ). Always nice … but … then you get Hilde’s roosterkoek
! All the flavours are good, but try the ‘Ultimate’. It is a combination of all the fantastic ingredients onto one monster roosterkoek bursting with flavour!
My suggestion is: go to the market in a group. Order as many items from as many stalls possible, cut them up (bring your penknife for the purpose) and treat them like tapas. That way you get to taste a bit of everything!
And what better to add to your tapas, than olives? If you want to know whether Heidi’s products from The Olive Pit
are good, ask my 12-year old niece Jaimee, who couldn’t get enough of them! She’s always going to be the best judge as her best food in the world are olives. (And she asked me for an olive pitter for her 8th birthday!) If you want to contact them directly, you can also find The Olive Pit on Facebook
But what food is complete without a drink? And as it is a night market, they serve alcohol! And not just beer and wine, cocktails too. Fresh ingredients, made in front of you – but beware, too many of these and you’ll be wonky on your feet…
And not all drinks are alcoholic. The Soda Bar has enough choice to quench any thirst. But I prefer the drink not on display: home-made ginger beer. And I have another favourite, although I am not sure if they make them during night markets. At the day markets they make frozen lattes / iced coffees / frappecinos – or whatever you call them. Coffee blended with ice – deliciously refreshing (especially if you’re the one driving!)
Remember not too eat too much, because next it is time for sweet delights. And here you’re spoilt for choice: koeksisters & biscuits, cakes (which can also be ordered for special occasions) and more.
But there are a few which deserve a special mention. Minkie’s cupcakes must be the moistest (is that a real word?) cupcakes I have ever eaten. I am not a big sweet fan, but I will definitely make an exception for these cupcakes. In fact, I was at the market again yesterday, walked past the stall and commended myself on my willpower. However, for the last 24 hours I have been lusting after a cupcake!
If you’re more a ‘sweets not cake’ person, you could get enticed by these. They’re not called Sweet Temptations
for nothing! And they’re soft toffees, so won’t take your teeth out. But an incredibly wide range of flavours. I still have a mint one sitting in my cupboard, but I know if I open it, I’ll have to share it!
You can see why the Hazel Food Market
remains one of my favourite things to do in Pretoria. If you haven’t tried it yet, they have another Candlelight Market
scheduled for Saturday, 7th December 5pm-9pm, and of course you’ll also find them there every Saturday from 8am-2pm.
But it comes with a warning: it is addictive!