Writer Gwynne Bramley Conlyn knows Johannesburg. She knows its people, its restaurants, and she knows how to write about it so eloquently. The eternally stylish Gwynne knows which Jozi trends have hype and which ones have substance. If Gwynne knows about something, you want to know about it too.
What do you love about Jozi?
The incredible choice of things to do, see, experience. Its diversity includes one of my favourites: ‘hidden’ places and experiences like JoburgPlaces. They offer bespoke inner-city tours and provide guests with real insight into the history and the mesmerizing current-day existence of the thriving African metropolis that is Johannesburg.
What do you do in Jozi?
Presently writing my third book about food.
Are you a morning or evening person?
An evening person. I love the gentleness of the day turning into dusk. Then I immerse myself in trying my hand at cooking a new dish.
Describe a typical or ideal day in your life?
Before Covid there was the invariable restaurant launch. That was a time of socializing with other food writers, too.
These days I make time to have lunch with friends but mostly I concentrate on writing my book. In between, I shop at Tyrone Fruit & Veg in Parkview in my neighborhood for ingredients. The place is more than a fruit and veg place – I shop there for herbs and spices, meats and the like, too.
What makes someone a JoziStyler?
Someone who creates trends because of what they do, and/or appears on social pages showing off the latest styles.
How do you spend your weekends in Jozi?
I have a young friend who is making serious waves on the art scene. I go to his exhibitions. He’s James Thomas, colloquially known as ‘Hond’. He says, “I like to think of myself as a graphic gonzo journalist. I capture the deep, dark and honest truths of my time and place, be them good or bad.”
His work appears on WhatsApp: Hond_011.
What’s your favourite season in Jozi?
Definitely the promise of spring and the energy of summer.
Your number one reason for people to visit Jozi?
So much to see and do! Such a diverse city: think the various ethnic shopping areas, for instance.
Your favourite hotel in Jozi for a #Staycation?
The Munro Boutique Hotel. Those views!
Your favourite holiday spot outside Jozi?
Quiet Mountain Country House. It really is quiet and so relaxed. And they serve an excellent plate of food, too.
Your favourite restaurant in Jozi?
The Green Room at Pirate’s Bowls Club.
Fiona Cooper who opened The Green Room with Kendra Callow were both pastry chefs at the Saxon before being laid off. The menu at The Green Room might appear ordinary (butter chicken, hake & chips, and as it turns out perfect chips) but the execution is done with love and abandon. Oh, and there’s a list of sandwiches on various toasted breads, with fillings with serious attitude. Glass domes show off meltingly delicious-looking cakes and scones baked by the ladies themselves.
Describe yourself as a cocktail?
Always a Martini. No embellishments and always very dry.
Favourite spot for sundowners with friends?
What do you do to relax in your spare time?
Read food and cookbooks. I enjoy reading (and re-reading) biographies about famous cooks like Julia Child, for instance. And I cook.
Which city do you miss visiting?
Paris, for the food and the architecture. The same applies to Venice.
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