Sundays are a favourite for me because it’s the day when I rest, reset and plan for the week ahead. It’s also the day designated to fueling my creativity. I spend Sundays exploring neighbourhoods of Johannesburg, getting familiar with what each area has to offer. I love trying new restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, boutiques and absorbing the vibe of the neighbourhood i’m in. Sunday is also the day that Lebo and I usually spend with each other — during the week, we are focused on our individual endeavors and Sunday is the one day we always come together to enjoy both life and each other.
I was reading about things to do in Johannesburg online and came across Victoria Yards. Located on the eastern edge of the Johannesburg CBD (a.k.a the “new Maboneng”), Victoria Yards is a hub of industrial buildings and home to many resident artists — both established and up-and-coming. Victoria Yards is revolutionary to Johannesburg because it forms a complex network where the resident artists come together and form a community. This urban complex is open on weekdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Saturdays from 10:00am to 5:00pm — however, not all of the artists studios are open everyday. Luckily, every 1st Sunday of every month, Victoria Yards is open and so are every artists studio. First Sundays are a chance for the public to meet the artists and even get to experience a bit of their creative process.
After reading about Victoria Yards, I concluded that this is absolutely a spot I had to visit and I was so excited when I realised the upcoming Sunday would be the 1st Sunday of February. I dragged Lebo with me, and we went to see what First Sundays at Victoria Yards is like.
Upon entering, we were greeted with food vendors, music and people with a kindred love of art, design and culture. We walked through the maze-like industrial complex, visiting artists studios and fashion boutiques. The artists at Victoria Yards mediums are a wide range — from painters, furniture designers, potters, jewelry makers, fashion designers, and everything in between: Victoria Yards embraces all artists. There is a pop-up barbershop there as well so you can freshen up your haircut to look your Sunday best.
Although there were many food vendors, we had just eaten and didn’t try any foods. From what I saw, there were a wide variety of food options ranging from tacos, pasta, vegan options, fish + chips, beef rolls, alcoholic drinks (a brewery!), coffee and desserts. There is also a farmer’s market where you can stock up on organic produce from the gardens at Victoria Yards and the nearby Bertrams Inner City Farm. A tip to myself and future visitors: arrive with an empty stomach!
I enjoyed Victoria Yards so much that I was reluctant to leave; making sure that I saw everything! I am definitely going to check out First Sunday again but this time with an appetite and more money to spend. I think it is super important to shop locally and ethically and I would love to support the artists by purchasing their work.
If all of this isn’t awesome enough: I learned that the creator of Victoria Yards, Brian Green, intentionally involves the local community by having the vegetable garden, programmes for skill building and creating jobs!
See more photos below:
First Sunday at Victoria Yards was the perfect way to spend my Sunday and usher in February!
As always, thank you for reading,