Mostly about markets

Cheerful red berets, caps and aprons put bright sparks of colour into the wintry Kliphouse garden on Saturday.

French Day, or Bastille Day, commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison at the start of the French Revolution on July 14, 1789. It’s the national day of France and, I gather, has been celebrated in Henley on Klip for years.

It was a suave, elegant and intimate gathering of Henleyites dining and wining on a crisp, frosty morning to the mellow strains of French chansons in the shadow of the red, white and blue.

Alas, my acquaintance with France is sketchy, but anyone could appreciate the ambience, boosted by stylish artwork in quiet corners and festoons of lacy candles.

Red dominates at the French Day at the Kliphouse.
Inviting ambience in the tasteful art market at the Kliphouse French Day.

The menu board proudly displayed the results of Henley kitchens – quiche and croissants, coq au vin (chicken in red wine for the uninitiated), beautifully presented cheese platters and French onion soup.

The market at the Showgrounds slowly disappeared. Recently the Red Windmill closed down and on Saturday there were only five exhibitors rattling around among the stalls at the Farmer’s Market – the place with the donkeys and bunnies. It was the final day, I was told later.

The Lions had opted for lavish chocolate offerings, wine, gin and coffee were on offer and the Rotarians were raffling an enormous basket of wine and chocolates.

The theatre had been turned into a cosy and tasteful art market offering glass art, clothing, jewellery and home bakes among others. Henley on Klip is a talented community.

From market to market … when we first arrived here almost 18 months ago, we were startled to discover three Walkerville markets within a couple of kilometres of each other. It caused some family arguments when we tried to remember what we had found where!

However, the Walkerville Showgrounds off the R82 is back on the map, so we went to inspect the new Niche Community Market.

There is plenty of space at the new Niche market at the Walkerville Showgrounds.

Hello, everyone! All our favourite vendors were there and a few extras too. The Serendipity bookstall from the Red Windmill is back, sharing quarters with what looks like an expanded Balls’ n All shop of animal-aligned goodies, food, trinkets, dog toys … you name it. The Vintage Treasures Charity Shop sets the scene on the way in and we scored a leather handbag for a bargain price.

Otherwise, we were delighted to find our Asian chef and his crew – he does the best! – craft beer and gin, biltong and wors, fresh produce, including frozen berries, breads, soaps, jams, toys, clothing, food, honey … an appetising mix of everything. We’ll be back. The shops are open during the week and stall holders are there on Saturdays.

For another taste of the red, white and blue, you will have to wait until next July!

See more from the Henley Hoopoe at www.henley-on-klip.co.za