Paris in the spring it may not be, however I recently discovered Parys in the autumn has charms all of its own. Having ridden through Prays several times on my motorbike, I decided the rather quaint looking shops had enticed me sufficiently and deserved a proper investigation.
So it was on a recent sunny, warm autumn day a friend and I set off soon leaving the city skyline behind. One hour later we were soaking up the village atmosphere of Parys and ambling down Bree Street perusing whichever shops took our fancy.
Common to all shops we visited were the friendly and attentive assistant’s which all seemed more than happy to chat and pass the time of day; a far cry from the surly, sulky attitude often displayed in mall shops in the city.
I suggest parking in Bree Street and walking up one side of the road, crossing over at the end and walking back down the other until you have gone full circle. If you haven’t managed to leave the significant other behind, plonk him in one of the many restaurants with coffee and a sports screen which will leave you free to browse to your heart’s content.
My favourite find was a shop called Bluff which stocks a few local designers to include Cape Town’s Maya Prass. We also discovered tucked away above an art studio an ‘attic’ of vintage finds and a small display of clothes amongst a furniture /deco shop where we both grabbed matching 100% cashmere poncho’s for R400.
Parys has numerous art, furniture and deco shops; although I personally found most of it on the fussy side there were items I did find attractive and given the consensus that pricing in Parys is far more friendly than comparative items one hour back in Joburg, provides another reason to visit.
Having worked up a healthy appetite plus the shops had closed (3pm close on Sunday) we trotted up the very steep stairs to the atmospheric Hoi Polloi restaurant ( 73 Bree Street) a great menu for foodies and lovers of fine craft beers and wines. Those with simpler tastes will do well at the Pickled Pig next door for a traditional pub lunch.
We were in a Hoi Polloi mood and I ordered the salmon which came with what looked like to me Sunlight dish washing liquid bubbles on top, my friend assured me it was an on trend thing to do in food, since it didn’t taste like dish wash liquid I took her word for it and ate it.
So it was a lazy Sunday lunch with good wine that we closed the restaurant lunch shift and rounded off a sublime day trip to Parys.