Durban - The latest offering on Durban’s famous party street Florida Road opens over the Easter weekend. Florida Fields, at 295 Florida Road, was formerly a parking lot, but is now a luscious garden offering shaded walkways, water features, a selection of South African art and delicious food and drink retailers.
The project is Urban Lime Properties latest foray into relaunching the famous street after the Haçienda at 281 Florida Road in 2017 and the Florida Exchange at 223-233 Florida Road last year.
Jonny Friedman of Urban Lime said: “Florida Fields is the culmination of two years of planning and is an important part of our wider plan to transform Florida Road into the most exciting, vibrant and diverse high street in the country.”
Florida Fields features an assortment of eateries, bars, retail and coffee shops set in beautiful gardens. Jack Salmon is the anchor restaurant in the listed heritage villa Atherton (built in 1904) at the centre of the gardens. There's also House of Bravo, a no-waste organic grocer, Flamin’ Wok Asian offering wok noodle and rice dishes, Bird & Co chicken rotisserie, Paul’s Ice Cream bringing a taste of Jozi to Durban, Juice Farmacy, Barn Owl Coffee, Two & a Half Men for bunny chows, Glam Wich gourmet sandwiches and Bohemian Beach Bumz which offer cannabis infused food and drink. Stepping Stones Studio and San Marco Hair, one of Durban’s best loved hairdressers, make up the retail side.
Exterior décor, landscaping and architecture was by Robert Sherwood Design, a Cape Town and Durban based practice with over 30 years’ experience in local and international projects. The main contractors were master builders MRC Group.
Florida Fields opens to the public on Saturday April 20 with an Easter Egg Hunt for children under 12, which is free and starts at 10am. Parents can have a relaxed coffee while the children are entertained.
On April 21 sees the start of a series of Sunday gatherings aptly named As The Sun Goes Down hosted by local personality George Mthembu (formerly of Spiga d’Oro) and Durban born DJ and international model Tamara Chetty offering chilled Latin style-tunes that stretch into long, lazy Sunday evenings until 8pm. Opening each Sunday from 2pm, the event is family friendly and offers a relaxed environment to enjoy late Sunday- lunches, ice-creams, coffees, bubbles and cocktails.
Chetty said this was a game-changer for Durban. "The ‘sleeping Miami’ of South Africa is crying out for chic, chilled afternoon vibes. I’m thrilled to be part of this sea-change in my beloved home-town, playing the music that I love.”
Mthembu was excited to be back on Florida Road. "I’ve always loved the mix and diversity of locals and visitors, and our laid-back vibe means you always go home with new friends. As The Sun Goes Down is free to everyone – a weekly Sunday celebration of everything Durban. A very warm welcome awaits Florida Fields visitors, friends and families, young, old and everything in between.”The Independent on Saturday