Artisan Shopping With No Mall In Site
When it comes to shopping in South Africa, Malls reign supreme! They are convenient, air conditioned and provide easy parking but let’s face it, whether the malls is in Durban, Cape Town or Gauteng they are all very much the same. You see one, you’ve seen them all. The shops are the same, the merchandise is the same and the food spots are the same, which can leave you feeling flat and underwhelmed.
Thankfully Dullstroom does it differently!
All article image credits: Ludwig Sevenster
This Highlands Meander town is all about providing visitors with the artisan experience, while some of its shops are franchises they are by no means chain stores, meaning visitors here will feel like they’ve finally found something entirely new.
Even reluctant husbands who would normally rather opt for elective dentistry will catch the shopaholic sickness in this small town thanks to it marvellous array of unique, bespoke and fascinating shops. So bring you wallets because there really is no better place to get your Christmas shopping done in one big hit and thanks to Santa’s Charms whether it is December or June you will be feeling festive!
The only problem is where to start…
My morning was spent browsing through the many fashion, homeware and gift shops scattered the length of the town. Each offering its own range of fabulous wares that really are found nowhere else, meaning a dress brought from Jo Bangles or Mooch is unlikely to be seen on someone else at a party and a beautiful Tsonga leather bag is unlikely to be found as a knock off in a China Mall.
When it comes to clothes stores, Wild n Woolly always ends up on my credit card statements thanks to their ‘to die for’ range of knitwear, while Outback Lifestyle provides a bit of variety in my husband’s otherwise ‘Old Khaki’ wardrobe - although the fishing shops are by far his favourite place to whittle away a few hours.
Kobsia Décor Design and Décor Warehouse always have me drooling, as it feels like stepping into the pages of an international home and lifestyle magazine. While I can spend hours poring through the bookshelves of the Smokey Owl Bookstore and Dullstroom’s Heritage Society’s second hand Bookstore. Yet it is Kosmos where I tend to go overboard, as my inner stationary junkie just cannot seem to get enough of their decadent array of all things stationary.
Delagoa has a huge pull for international tourists looking for something ‘truly African’ to take home, while Simply Carolls is considered by many to be the best gift shop in town, although to me it’s a draw with Country Gifts! I love browsing through Trams, whose range of antiquities takes me to lands I one day hope to visit whilst Eska Claire has the jewellery I one day hope to own.
By now hours have often passed and the smell of fresh coffee and the thought of Bergen’s decadent range of locally crafted cheeses are too much to ignore and draw my attention for while!
Although, only for long enough for my hunger pangs to subside as the lure of Dullstroom’s Clock Shop is simply too much!
Before going back to the shopping with a vengeance take a tour of the towns art galleries. I dare anyone not to find one piece that they love at Dimitrov’s or Art@67 I normally find several and this is where my husband often has to help me out of the shop before I buy yet another piece.
Even writing this my heart still yearns for my first Arend Eloff, whose beautiful sculptures are by far some of the best I have ever seen.
For people with a passion for art who want to take their shopping experience to the next level, the ICreate Studio and Anything but Dull both do amazing classes, where you will end up taking home your own masterpiece. Just remember to stop at Shautany Chocolatiers, Chocolat or Bert’s Sweet Shop along the way, because for this artisan shopping experience keeping your energy up is vital and very tasty too!
A shopping trip in Dullstroom is likely to turn into an extravaganza! So save up the cents and then enjoy an artisan shopping experience like none other. Believe me; no trip to the mall will leave you feeling this good!
SOME MORE INFORMATION:
· www.aboutdullstroom.co.za has some great information about the shops found in Dullstroom. Including opening times and street addresses.
· www.dullstroomaccommodation.co.za is the town’s unofficial tourist information office and the one-stop shop for finding out more when it comes to what’s happening in Dullstroom.