Property: Spotlight on South End
Restaurateurs and chef couple Allan and Simone Bezuidenhout tell us about their neighbourhood
Restaurateurs and chef couple Allan and Simone Bezuidenhout tell us about their neighbourhood.
llan and Simone Bezuidenhout met while they were studying at the Capsicum Culinary Studio. They quickly fell for each other and a year after graduating, in 2013, they tied the knot.
Now, the young couple run their own successful restaurant, Muse, in Richmond Hill. They’ve lived in South End for just over five years now and couldn’t be happier.
“The area is close to work and the beach. I enjoy surfing, so it was definitely part of the reason we wanted to stay here,” says Allan. “The area is central to everything we do in a day: the beach, our gym and work. South End is a great place to live and invest in because it’s a developing area.”The suburb of South End lies just south of the centre of Port Elizabeth overlooking the harbour. It’s steeped in history. In the past, it was regarded as the District Six of PE when, before the apartheid-era forced removals, it was home to a vibrant, cosmopolitan and well-integrated community.
Old South End had a broad spectrum of residents who all lived peacefully side by side. There were churches, temples and mosques, and residents also had access to their own bioscope, dance hall, park, shops, doctors’ rooms, medical clinic, hospital, post office, schools and more. That changed in 1948 when the National Party came to power and the Group Areas Act was implemented.
Coloured residents were moved to areas such as Gelvandale, Korsten and Chatty. The Chinese community was moved to Kabega Park, Indians to Malabar and black people to townships such as New Brighton.
Over the years, things have changed and the area is once again populated by people of all races, cultures and backgrounds.Home sweet home
The couple lives in a complex in South End and love the lifestyle that being based there offers.
“The view from our balcony is amazing and it’s so relaxing to look out onto the Baakens Valley and harbour,” says Allan. He adds that South End mainly comprises complexes, so where they live is relatively standard for the area.Suburb focus
According to Allan, the area has helped to breathe new life into the Baakens Valley down below.
“South End has a relaxed vibe with a view of the ocean, yet it’s just around the corner from the vibe of the Baakens.”
The couple says they’ve loved their years spent in South End.
“We have always enjoyed it here and feel it’s very central. Besides the beach it’s also close to shopping centres and restaurants,” Allan says.Gems in the neighbourhood
The SA Air Force Museum, just a stone’s throw from South End, is something not many people know about.
The museum, which is run by dedicated volunteers, houses a fascinating collection of airforce memorabilia and historic aircraft. These include Mirage, Impala, Alouette, De Havilland, Bosbok, Oxford Aviator, Harvard, Puma and loads of interesting displays.
There’s also a “play plane” for the kiddies. Entry is free, but donations are welcome.
The area is also known for its eclectic mix of restaurants including Bridge Street Brewery, Friendly Stranger, Sticky Fingers and Gunston’s Gastropub.
Another gem in the neighbourhood is the Good Night Market, held monthly in the beautifully renovated Tramways Building opposite the harbour and there’s also a popular day version, the Valley Market, at pop-up venues in the valley each month.
At both, you’ll find delicious food and drinks, plus entertainment, making it a fun get-together spot with friends.
The couple enjoys cooking and playing musical instruments when at home.
“The perfect Sunday for us would be to have a braai on our balcony,” says Allan. “Our three favourite places around the area are the beach, the valley and our church.”DO
Baakens Valley and Settlers Park: a popular choice for mountain bikers;
The Goodnight Market: a monthly gathering of Port Elizabeth’s top artisanal food vendors;
The Valley Market: a pop-up artisan food market where all proceeds go to the Love Story charity organisation;
Food Truck Funday at Chicky’s Yard: enjoy a variety of foods dished up by the city’s top food truck vendors;
Valley Crag Indoor Climbing Centre: provides a safe and exciting climbing space for children and adults;
PE Harbour: always a good choice for a takeaway or informal sit-down meal;
The South End Museum: documents the history of the old South End and commemorates the former residents’ poignant and, at times, painful journeys.EAT..