I remember the first time I went to Constitution Hill in December 2010. I was enchanted by this beautiful and underrated tourist attraction - the sense of history, the brilliant architecture, the high-profile artwork, and the amazing city views from the ramparts of the Old Fort. I've been recommending Constitution Hill to everyone and anyone who will listen to me ever since.
On that day in December 2010, I remember being thirsty and stepping into a small coffee shop - right inside the Old Fort - for a bottle of water. The next time I went to Constitution Hill that coffee shop was gone, leaving the entire complex devoid of anywhere to eat or drink.
Every time I visited Constitution Hill for the next four years, I would stare hungrily and thirstily at the empty space where that coffee shop used to be and feel profoundly sad until two months ago when a friend informed me that at long last a new restaurant - aptly named "The Hill" - had finally taken over that empty space.
The Hill is a legit dining establishment - far more so than your average museum coffee shop. The design is sleek and modern, employing that all-plywood look that has become so popular in Jozi establishments as of late. The menu includes diverse options like steak carpaccio, haloumi and red lentil salad, and BBQ pulled pork (Joburg's newest American food craze). Of course there is fancy coffee, craft beer, and wifi.
A reliable and well-travelled friend told me that the Hill's pulled pork is the best he's ever tasted, so I was excited to try that when I went for lunch. Unfortunately it was already sold out (I was told I must arrive by 11am next time) and I had to settle for the bacon cheeseburger. It was solid, as far as burgers go, and the bun was baked fresh on the premises. The accompanying chocolate milkshake was tasty and decadent.
The Hill is funded by the Awethu Project, a program that supports high-potential entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities in South Africa. The Hill's owner, Vincent Chipendo, used to work for mega-chains like Spur and Woolworths but has taken this opportunity to branch out on his own. He seems to be off to a good start - most of the tables were full when I was there and the restaurant's veggie garden is blossoming nicely.
For now, the Hill is only open from 9 to 5 on weekdays. But that's better than nothing, and museum-goers are welcome to stop in for a bottle of water or a cold drink.
Where? Constitution Hill, 1 Kotze Street, Johannesburg
When? Monday to Friday: 09:00 - 17:00
Tel: 011 756 9124
Check out our pieces on parties at Con Hill here:
by Heather Mason
Whether you're visiting the museum or are there for a party, check out Con Hill's latest offering - a restaurant. https://bit.ly/2XLE2UA