Monday, 30 September 2013

the meeting tree

My very first 'the meeting tree' market.
I loved it. I will be going back.
I took my mom and daughter along and the three of us thoroughly enjoyed our time under the pine trees.

The biggest draw card 'the meeting tree' has is the vibe.
My attempt at describing the vibe:
wine by the bottle (or glass), chatter, dogs missioning, bunting flowing in the wind, happiness, sunshine, blankets set down in long grass, pine needles, fresh air, live jazz, deck chairs, preloved books, never-ending views, family loving, tasty food and snacks, flowers in hair, laughter and some home brewed beer.

Thank you to Candice from Sliced Cheese for providing me with some more details about this laid back shopping experience.
'the meeting tree' all started on a piece of land overlooking Shongweni dam.  The owners apparently "just love the land and know that it is going to be a place where people will come and find rest and space as it is so beautiful."  The two-tiered pine tree forest is the perfect location for this market.  Not just "another flea market" but, an experiential market where one can come and enjoy a day out with their family, have great food, listen to live music and shop at Hillcrest's top handmade craft stalls.

Sliced Cheese got involved when the owners asked them to help them start a market.  Sliced Cheese came up with 'the meeting tree' concept and put the look and feel together.  The inspiration for the name comes from the tree that the band plays under. What a great place to meet it is. Sliced Cheese then started the official Facebook page and did a few flyer drops.

The first market was held in December 2012 after only one month of planning!

All the work has been done for the love of it and to see a market of this calibre take off in the Upper Highway area.

There are usually between 30 and 40 stalls but this fluctuates each month.  The stalls are also always changing as new vendors come along. At this stage 50 stalls would be the maximum.

The chosen band used every month is called 5th Season Jazz Band.  It is a three piece jazz band with drums, bass and guitar.  According to Candice "they are so groovy and provide a wonderful vibe to come and relax and enjoy a day out." I must admit that I didn't hear them play. The photo of the musicians below are not 5th Season Jazz Band. These two sand some really mellow acoustic music after 5th Season Jazz left. Great music. 

According to Candice the venue can also be hired as a rustic wedding venue or party venue. There is a rustic chapel on the property that they want to repair and a stone main house with a big open plan lounge and deck overlooking the view.

People who are interested should contact Candice from Sliced Cheese Designs at Stalls are R200 for foodies, R150 for crafts and R100 if you don't need a table.
The selection process involves sending an email with pictures and a description of what you do. Don't bother popping Candice an email if you sell imported Chinese bits and bobs, because you are not going to make the cut. 'the meeting tree' team only select handmade or well-made crafts that are unique. The Meeting Tree have vendors from as far as Pietermaritzburg, South Coast, North Coast, Howick, Nottingham Road and Durban.

Have a look at 'the meeting tree' on Facebook here.
This is a good place to keep up to date for dates and vendors.
The market is usually on the first Sunday of every month.

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