The Irene Village Market at The Big Red Barn
The Irene Village Market at The Big Red Barn is one of the most mesmerizing, authentic art & craft markets in the Johannesburg area with a great many local crafted goods and food to choose from.
History and the Venue of the Market
The market was established in 1989 and has been strongly trading ever since. The secret to their success is the strict quality control every craftsman’s product has to go through in order to make it to the stalls. The market has been recently moved from its original location, the Jan Smuts House in Irene, but all for the better.
The new venue with its charming, farm-like atmosphere and with a handful of well-established shops and restaurants further enhances the market to an outstanding weekend fair, which is a perfect family outing. The stalls are cleverly positioned, forming a sort of never-ending network of alleys under the shade of ancient Eucalyptus trees. Browsing among the stands, visitors can find a vast variety of handcrafted and uniquely designed merchandise, and it is not uncommon to stumble upon numerous masterpieces along the way. As one venture deeper and deeper into the charming realm of the Irene Village Market, eventually, the captivating atmosphere gets all unsuspected customers hooked. The medley of fascinating handmade goods finally turns into a variety of irresistible bouquet of craft food freshly prepared at the stalls. From a myriad of spices, you’ve never even heard of to special homemade sauces followed by Italian grilled delicacies and irresistible freshly baked goods that will all leave you with an inescapable urge to try them all and come back for more.
Shops and Restaurants at the Irene Village Market
One of the shops, just to mention a few of these great additions, is The Clay Cafe. This DIY pottery creates a unique opportunity to visitors of all ages to discover their artistic side by hand painting unfired bisque crockery with the colors of the entire rainbow to choose from. Exceptional Coffee, freshly baked cakes and heavenly homemade ice cream is served here to keep you inspired.
Another shop that can’t be left out is the Olifants Cafe at the Barn, which is a phenomenal farmland restaurant with ample culinary treasures to choose from. Whether you are looking for a wholesome, generous plate of food to satisfy your craving, or just want a quick bite of “yummy” to eat, you will unquestionably find something to your taste.
There is always room to improve your garden. And when it comes to flowers, Ludwig’s Roses is probably your best bet to find the crown jewel for your lawn from the countless variety of roses available at his world-renowned flower shop.
Finally, there is a service provider that is also important to mention here is the Acrobranch tree-top adventure. This is one of Gauteng’s most exciting tree adventure parks, where a true action-filled experience is waiting for children and for adults with four difficulty level adventure course to choose from. A fantastic long zip-slide called the Big Zip and an Acrotwigs-bungy is also featured here for the more enthusiastic adventurers.
Final thoughts before visiting the Market
If you’ve never been to the Irene Market, then you just haven’t seen a real market yet. If you’ve been before, you know very well that you are going to have to go back again for another great experience.
The normal opening schedule for the Irene Market is: the first and the last Saturday of every month from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Exceptions are December and January. The special opening date schedule for the Christmas season can be found on their website calendar.
We hope you’ll enjoy your time there.
Photo credit: Antal Ujvari
Post updated: 30 November 2018
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