An African trio to bring you joy

House of H Steakhouse

Steak in a carpark? Obviously! The founders of House of H, Heinrich and Christina (or H and Poppie as they’re affectionately known), created their vision of a laid-back self-service steakhouse in an empty rooftop parking lot… and they’ve got the yellow painted lines on the floor to prove it.

South African Heinrich trained at Zevenwacht wine estate before spreading his wings to work in London with renowned chef Aldo Zilli, and consult to the Jamie Oliver restaurant chain. When you’re ready to order from the ever-changing chalkboard menu, he’ll cut your steak or cook your ribs or burger right in front of you.

Situated in Cape Town’s epicentre, House of H didn’t come with any substantial infrastructure – not even wifi! Now this warm space boasts shelves packed with vintage tins, graffitied floors and human-sized Marmite stools. The casually assembled organic produce that’s available for purchase forms part of the décor and there’s a bathroom light that switches on as you walk through the door. Très eco.

If veggies-only is your vibe, opt for a burger made from an oyster mushroom lovingly grown by House of H itself, or choose soup or salads that pull in elements like charred broccoli or deep-fried parsnip. Wash it all down (yes, it’s that kind of place) with a Corona, a pink gin or a nice little number by Deluxe Coffeeworks.

The self-service card swipe system means everyone has their own bill: no awkwardness at the end! When the sun goes down, a DJ can often be found spinning tunes. Time to chill, brah.

Visit House of H at 112 Loop Street, Cape Town. They’re open Mondays to Saturdays from 7.30am to 11pm, and closed on Sundays. For more info, go to www.houseofh.co.za or email them at info@houseofh.co.za

Mess Café

Locals claim that Mess Café makes the best coffee in the area, but visitors stand to get much more than a good caffeine fix. This delightful coffee shop in the multi-cultural suburb of Mowbray in Cape Town offers a window on hope and redemption that’s likely to brighten your whole day.

The café is staffed by ex-prisoners who would otherwise struggle to find employment with a criminal record around their necks: a sure invitation to go back to less fragrant ways of earning a living. If you want to be inspired, ask any of them their story and they’ll happily share how they’ve turned their lives around.

It’s job creation and mentoring like this that helps prevent youth crime and gangsterism. At its heart, Mess Café is a paradigm-shifting story of hope.

Visit Mess Cafe at 65 Main Road, Mowbray in Cape Town, right opposite Forest Hill. They’re open weekdays from 7am to 4pm and Saturdays from 7.30am to 3pm. For more info, visit www.message.org.za

Hope Art

The Hope Art Project started in 2009 when a group of impoverished and mainly HIV-positive widows came together in Zambia to rise above their circumstances. Lovingly hand-creating beautiful paper beads, these women are on a mission to change their worlds, and the worlds of those around them, by creating jewellery, bags, knitted toys and accessories.

Hope Art not only gives them an income – usually the only one in their household – but donates the profits to give Zambian orphans and vulnerable children access to basic needs many of us take for granted: clean water, food, shelter, education and healthcare.

We love the goals at the heart of this project, and are equally won over by the unique products the women have crafted. Have a look through their bespoke items – you’re bound to find something you love and something someone you know will love! They also make corporate gifts so instead of doing the same-old same-old for business events, consider placing an order that will improve lives. Pass it on!

Goods are currently only available to order in Zambia and South Africa but by the end of 2018 Hope Art should have online ordering in the USA, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Can you think of a better cause to support?
If you’re in a major South African city delivery takes 2 to 3 days; in other South African areas it’s around 5 days. Order online or visit the shops in Mongu, Zambia and Wilderness Heights, Western Cape, South Africa.
To shop Hope Art, visit www.hopeart.co.za
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