WORDS: EMILY SHAW IMAGES: TER HOLLMANN
Originally part of the Driefontein farm established in 1840, Bryanston has retained some of its country feel, which is amplified by the Braamfontein Spruit, the spacious properties, and, of course, the mature and established trees that line many of these affluent streets.
While Bryanston is most famous for its stand-alone, four-plus bedroom homes, it now offers many premium cluster options. These spaces consist of between three and five large properties in secure estates, which were once single home dwellings. You’ll spot these developments by their ornate gates, entrance fountains and boomed-off streets. In this kind of construct, residents have the privacy of an individually conceptualised house and garden but in the safety of a secure community. But this convenience and luxury comes at a rather hefty price tag, so these residents tend to be older and more financially free.
However, all is not lost for the younger set. Bryanston is full of duplex and apartment buildings, many with extra amenities like club houses, pools and shared recreational spaces.
The area is now producing more affordable (but still premium) clusters specifically close to schools and the big corporates that have sunk roots in the area like Ogilvy, Google, Facebook, GlaxoSmithKline and Dimension Data.
“There are lots of Summercon developments here now, which are all really modern and quite affordable designs. I bought an apartment in one of these complexes a few years ago and it has been interesting to see the mix of residents in my particular block – mainly young professionals and couples. It’s the security and centrality that make it so attractive,” says resident Greg Baker.
Bryanston is home to St Stithians, the well-known private Methodist school with separate colleges for boys and girls and education from foundation level to matric. With entrances on Peter Place and Main Road, the campus is well situated for the suburb-city commute and the college offers boarding facilities as well.
Bryanston High and Primary Schools offer another conveniently placed option, which is co-educational and public and known for its cheerleading. Little ones can attend the well-known and loved Bryneven and Bryan Park Primary Schools which are situated on both sides of Grosvenor Road.
Those looking for a less traditional curriculum can look to Michael Mount Waldorf School for all grades. Parents wanting a Catholic education for their girls have the option of Brescia House School, a private institute on Sloane Street.
There are many high-end retail spots to frequent in Bryanston and you’re never more than a couple of hundred metres from a Woolies.
For excellent takeaway food that’s homemade, try the Spar at Hobart Grove or enjoy a taste of Mexico at Perron, just across the car park. This cosy little shopping centre also offers luxury pet grooming at Twisted Whiskers and a barber service for human heads at The Colonel. On the weekends at night, Rocket gives the foot-loose and fancy-free a spot to see and be seen, while Saturday mornings have Zen Hot Yoga, Pinnacle Health and Wellness, and BodyTec buzzing with yummy mummies.
The Bryanston Country Club delivers a host of activities for the very young to the very lazy, including a beautiful course to play, large swimming pool, tennis and squash, bowls and monthly clubs that meet over wine and fine dining. With a festive pub, full-service restaurant and many venues to hire, there’s not a week that passes without some kind of celebration.
The Organic Market is a fun excursion and takes place every Saturday. Choose between fresh fruit and veg stands, jewellery and pottery, delicious cakes and coffee as well as preserves, oils and even handmade linen clothing. Dogs are welcome if friendly and on a lead.
Life in Bryanston is busy and there’s an energy from the big business that separates this suburb from the lull of the usual. But just a few roads away from work, you’ll be enveloped by the lush shade of greenery, the presence of large stately homes, and the quiet of a once rural countryside.
I chose to buy in Bryanston for a couple of reasons: the convenience of its location, the design of the property, quality of restaurants and shops, and the proximity to friends and family. Having grown up here, there’s a great feeling of familiarity and homeliness in Bryanston that I love. GREG BAKER, RESIDENT
- Parilla Bar and Grill: a huge gin cocktail menu and excellent tapas; catch the live music on a Sunday
- LBV Bistro: tucked away in an unassuming location, the bistro often offers exquisite seven-course tasting menus with wine pairings. Keep an eye on the website for these specials.
- Wombles Steakhouse Restaurant: a throwback to another era, this sumptuous old-world restaurant provides open brazier fires and couches in the courtyard.
- Bryanston Country Club: apart from golf, the club offers beautiful gardens and reasonably priced restaurants
- Bryanston Organic Market: a great Saturday-morning excursion to pick up organic veg, delicious cheeses and a great cup of coffee
- Bryanston parkrun: a well-attended and pretty parkrun, starting at Riverside Centre
- Pick n Pay on William Nichol: one of the brand’s flagship stores with easy access and lots of parking
- Mediclinic Sandton: conveniently located medical professionals, from dentists to gynaecologists to a fullservice hospital
- Hobart Grove: the famous Spar here creates delicious homemade food to take away, the chicken lasagne is particularly good