A melting pot of flavours as fests celebrate Women’s Day

Frida Kahlo in an Umhlanga flavoured photomontage/

Two festivals, sweet deals for dames dining à deux and a little pampering – just some of Women’s Day fare on offer north of the Umgeni on Friday, 9 August.

The Umhlanga Food and Music Festival takes place at Chris Saunders Park from noon until 8pm and the promoters have secured a fleet of food trucks and stallholders to feed the public holiday crowd. 

Here’s a sample of what’s on the menu:

  • Pizza;
  • Tacos and nachos;
  • Gourmet burgers;
  • Bubble waffles (a spherical, egg-based waffle popular in the East, we understand);
  • Chicken strips and chips;
  • Potato twisters,
  • Falafels;
  • Pulled pork; and
  • Shisa nyama (AKA braaivleis). 

In short, a kind of a United Nations or melting pot of street food. 

To wash it all down will be those contempoarary festival staples: craft beer and artisanal gin, plus the obligatory espresso-machine coffee. 

Much has changed in South Africa since the Women’s March of 9 August 1956, not least on the culinary front.

Entertainment comes in the form of two Durban-based acts, Freddy L and Veranda Panda

The pleasantly gruff-voiced Freddy Lalendle would be familiar to Umhlanga audience having performed in the ‘burb on a number of occasions, when not touring. 

Veranda Panda duo Jane and Liam Magner have also played extensively across the country and bring audiences a quirky take on electronic dance music.

Tickets are R80; children under 8 get in free.

Friday on my mind

In a somewhat similar vein, but with less emphasis on food, is the Big Fat Friday Funday, from 10am at Crusaders sports club in Durban North. 

Live music, food stalls and children’s entertainment are promised.

On the bill are The Carmen Rodrigues Band, Courtney Elizabeth Koekemoer, Kayla Vosloo, Shomon, Cheryl Joelson, Tatum Holder, Savanna Thunder, Luisa Scarpa, Carmen Louisa Rodrigues and Four 5 Seconds.

Tickets can be booked for free and with a long lineup of musicians, the organisers have promised the event “will be off the charts”. 

Barely 10 kilometres separate the Crusaders and Chris Saunders events and many of the differences are more about style than substance, so Friday may be less a battle of the bands than a fight of the festivals, with the public likely to profit.


But if you are not keen on crowds or prefer your good times a little more subdued, there are alternatives.

The Incredible India, at the Pearls Of Umhlanga, are offering a Women’s Day buffet. 

The Chefs’ Table, on Chartwell Drive, have introduced a new seasonal ladies’ lunch menu, valid for August. The deal includes a complimentary drink.  

Is afternoon tea more your style?

Try the Beverly Hills which has a special Women’s Day one planned, with sweets and savouries and, oh yes, French sparkling wine. 

Finally, after all that dining, fine and otherwise, and listening to music you may wish to unwind.

If so, good news. For the month of August, The Oyster Box is offering a pamper session spa special, to help you rejuvenate and “celebrate the woman you are”.

Suitably enigmatic – we’ll raise a glass to that. 

FEATURED COMPOSITE IMAGE: The great self-portrait artist Frida Kahlo re-imagined. in Umhlanga. What does Women’s Day mean and how do we mark it? Food for thought, certainly, and you could mull it over while trying some Mexican flavours (in a salute to Kahlo) at the Umhlanga Food and Music Festival or while sipping some French bubbly at The Oyster Box.
Source images: Mike Licht and Lynn Greyling.

For another Women’s Day dining option, here’s an old favourite. . .

Umhlanga Tourism