Text Katharyn Williams-Jaftha Photographs Sabie Botha WHAT: Irene Village Market, sprawling among the rows of giant trees on the serene and shaded grounds of the Smuts House Museum, has been a regular weekend destination for hundreds of loyal marketgoers since 1989. Just 40 kilometres outside Jozi, it has over 300 stalls selling everything from fresh flowers and food to fashion, art and antiques. It’s open from 9am to 2pm on the second and last Saturday of every month. WHO: Expect a mixed crowd of young and old, mainly from the surrounding areas of Centurion, Irene and Pretoria. Families with their enthusiastic dogs, and young couples with bouncing toddlers spend hours exploring every exciting nook and cranny of the market. WHAT TO EXPECT: From the minute you walk through the gates, you’ll be spoilt for choice – there’s so much to eat, drink and buy. The food court has dozens of vendors who will have been cooking up a storm since they arrived on site at 6am. Treat yourself to delicious vetkoek, rusks and coffee, breakfast wraps, baked roosterkoek (filled with bacon and egg or biltong and cheese), as well as a handful of Asian delights, gourmet boerewors rolls and even fry-ups (yep, we witnessed people eating fried fish and chips at 9am). The market also boasts a fascinating antiques wing, an arts and crafts corner and a few clothing stalls. DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT… trying the Mzansi burger or Thai chicken slider from the 5 Star Street Chef food truck. Pair either of these with a cold craft beer and end off with a decadent waffle on a stick (smothered in divine Belgian chocolate) from The Pink Waffle Cabin. Yum. X-FACTOR: Besides the great food and live entertainment, we love the fact that you’re able to buy everyday goods such as freshly baked bread, pâté, home-made cheese, organic eggs, and an array of spices, potted herbs and fresh flowers. Irene Village Market is located at Smuts House Museum, Jan Smuts Avenue, Irene, 012-667-1659, irenemarket.co.za This article was originally featured in the July 2014 issue of House and Leisure.