WORDS: EMILY SHAW IMAGES: TER HOLLMANN & SHUTTERSTOCK
For those who work in this epicentre of commerce, the pace and energy make up for the sometimes excruciating, traffic-paralysed commute. Chock-a-block from 6am, business people can sometimes be gridlocked for an hour upon entering or exiting the CBD.
Faulty traffic lights, fender-benders and the occasional protest are often to blame, as well as the sheer volume of workers entering the area each day. However, this inconvenience is for some a small price to pay for the reward of excellent restaurants, world-class shopping and stunning vistas from the high-rise office buildings. The key is to be smart in the planning of your day.
Taryn Snyman has worked in the CBD for five years as a lawyer and loved every minute of it. “If you want to avoid traffic, it’s super convenient to use the Gautrain, or even to head to Virgin Active Sandton CBD first to miss the congestion. It’s awesome to be able to walk everywhere here or catch a Tuk-Tuk or Uber.”
Understandably, Sandton CBD isn’t an educational hot spot, but if you work here you’ll most certainly pass some of the country’s favourite schools on your way in, making the morning school run a little more practical.
Options like Sandton, Grayston and the St Stithian’s Colleges won’t take you wildly out of your way and dependent on where you work or if you don’t mind doubling back, there’s also Crawford College, King David, Roedean and St David’s in and about the outlying areas.
Once you’re in the CBD after the morning’s drop-off, you’ll be hard-pressed to leave, as any service you might need is almost invariably a block away.
Last minute wardrobe crises are solved by Sandton City’s broad retail offering and handily Levinger’s Dry Clean and Shoe Clinic will fix any wrinkled or broken accessories.
If you get in early and want a different environment in which to crunch out a few emails, Sandton is full of hot-desking and co-working spaces.
Sandton CBD is so rich in wining and dining spots that Joburgers flood the area over the weekends. Given its size and offerings, Sandton City allows for a full Saturday out – starting with breakfast, punctuated by shopping, and ending with a movie at the Ster-Kinekor.
If it’s a more social evening you’re after, look no further than Alice Lane. Here Nikos delivers delicious Greek fare with an option of eating inside or outside if the weather allows.
If malls bore you and art before dinner is more up your alley, browse the Berman Contemporary gallery to work up an appetite before enjoying a meal at Alice & Fifth, the private dining room and club in Sandton’s Diamond Walk.
“With Sandton City, you have every shop you could ever want or need within a short walk, with other great shopping options such as The Marc and Benmore Shopping Centre all within a short distance. My favourite lunch spots are Tasha’s or Big Mouth at Nelson Mandela Square. Lexi’s Healthy Eatery at 24 Central is also a must visit.
There’s something for everyone on this menu and they have great specials during the week as well,” says Taryn.
While the law firm she works at has its own bar, when the need arises to leave the office, Taryn enjoys San Deck Bar and Restaurant at the Sandton Sun for its incredible view. Saint also offers a great venue for client dinners or a celebratory spot for friends and family.
“All in all, Sandton is about as close to London or New York living that you’ll find in SA, with tall skyscrapers and coffee spots on every corner! It’s generally safe to walk around the CBD, as long as you don’t have your phone out,” warns Taryn.
“With so many great restaurants and shopping options, Sandton really has everything you could want and need – apart from a mountain and an ocean!”
I’ve loved working in Sandton. It’s effectively the business hub of Joburg these days with most big firms having offices here. There’s a great vibe in the CBD, you can walk everywhere and there are so many options to grab a great take-away coffee to start your day. TARYN SNYMAN, LAWYER
- Tasha’s: fool-proof choice for business lunches and brunches
- Naked: Taryn’s favourite coffee house
- Lexi’s Healthy Eatery: the go-to spot for those with special dietary requirements, along with great weekly specials
- The Grill House: New York-style grill restaurant with a huge deck and mouth-watering steak
- San Deck Restaurant and Bar: Enjoy after-work drinks here and take in the view from the top of the Sandton Sun Hotel
- Saint: David Higgs has created a sumptuous experience excellent for cocktails and people-watching
- Sandton City: everything you never knew you needed, under one roof
- Urban Sass: have your hair and nails done at the same time
- The Marc: private medical suites, a gym and even more shopping options for those tired of Sandton City