Life is about the journey - some roads are not always what they seem but you sure learn a great deal from them!
Published October 31st 2013
Somerset West, 30 minutes south of Cape Town, hosts one of the best country craft markets in the world. Of course, this is a bold statement, however once you have visited this market you will soon understand why I came to that conclusion!
The Country Craft Market - Somerset West, which was originally called the Southey's Vine Craft Market, started from humble beginnings in the early 1980's. Craft enthusiasts had an opportunity to showcase and sell their work.
Under Oak Trees with the Helderberg Mountain as your Backdrop, it is no wonder it is the center of attraction! (photo courtesy of Country Craft Market Somerset West)
Over the years, many of these home based craft businesses were spotted by entrepreneurs, which help develop their business into an international brand. There are others that preferred to remain small so that they could keep it more manageable. However, what sets this market apart from every other market is that every stall owners creates something uniquely different which cannot be found in commercialized stores.
It has been a long time since I visited this market, and believe me it was hard making a choice of what to buy and what not to buy. After all, I had a plane trip to think about. Imagine me checking in a full size beaded lion as baggage? It would definitely set off a number of alarms!.
One of the additions to the market is the cafe. This little venue allowed you to enjoy a South African meal with the Helderberg Mountains as the backdrop. I could not resist a piece of the 'melk tert' (milk tart) with a nice cup of 'rooibos' (red bush) tea.
Of course, we did not leave empty handed. There were many little treasures we brought home. Needless to say, I always feel that I should have purchased just a few more things. Lucky for me, I was on a budget, otherwise I would be looking at a full sized beaded lion while writing this article.
The Country Craft Market - Somerset West can be found on the Main Road just north of the town. It is held on Saturdays through Spring and Summer.
There is ample of parking either down the main road itself, or off a side road. It is wise to tip the parking attendant who will ensure your car is safe and no one will break in to it. For more information, you can visit the Country Craft Market - Somerset West's website.