Melville is an artsty, charming town on the Northwest outskirts of Johannesburg. My new friend Chantelle graciously offered to show me around and I jumped at the chance of seeing a new town! We met in Melville at Chantelle’s friend’s house. Her friend is former artist, which explains why the house is just dripping in charm. The decor was completely different to what I had seen so far in South African interior design. Most of the houses I’ve seen are surprisingly modern and sleek, which is lovely, but this house was so quaint and and full of character. I just had to snap a few photos.
Remember when I hiked the Melville Koppies? Well, this house has a breathtaking view of the Koppies!
The weather looked a little ominous as you can see, but we borrowed an umbrella from a neighbor and made our way to the streets of Melville. The first street we explored was 7th Street, which I learned is actually famous here. A South African soap opera, 7 de Laan, is named after the street and the opening credits were filmed on the street itself! Chantelle pointed out that the show’s name, 7 de Laan means translates to “7th Avenue” in Afrikaans, so it’s actually named incorrectly.
We explored the streets a little bit while searching for a restaurant to relax at. We passed by cute little vintage shops and charity shops. Chantelle said people around these parts are very much into antiques, DIY furniture and making old new again. We walked by a Mexican restaurant and the thought of a refreshing margarita took over. Mexican/Latin restaurants in Johannesburg are hard to come by here, unlike Florida where you can get a burrito practically anywhere. Not so much here. I haven’t even been able to find black beans in the supermarket! Sorry for the lack of a photo… the margarita was divine and it was gone before I even thought of taking a photo!
We then drove over to 44 Stanley, a hidden industrial area that has been converted into interesting little specialty shops and restaurants. Unfortunately it was Sunday and most of the shops were closed, but from the windows I could see neat little gifts and amazing artwork. I definitely want to go back and check it out sometime during the week.
We wandered into the 44 Stanley beer yard and sat outside for about 2 minutes until it began to rain. Luckily they had an indoor space that we found refuge in. The vibe inside was very hip and trendy but at somehow still relaxed. If craft beers are your thing, they have quite the variety. You can read more about the 44 Stanley beer yard and other craft beer hot spots in Joburg here.
I’m so grateful that I had a local to show me around Melville! Overall I felt it to be a great place to meander through, shop for antiques, or get a coffee or cocktail with a friend. I highly recommend the margarita from Cafe Mexico, and please don’t leave without exploring 44 Stanley! But look up the directions ahead of time because I mean it when I say it is a HIDDEN gem!