As the sun sets in Big Bay and the lifesavers retreat from the ocean and make their way back to their lookout, they clear the area for the food vendors, craft beer bars and stallholders that make up the I Love Big Bay market.
For those who don’t know, the market pops up once a month on the last Wednesday evening of the month during the warmer season, and is a melting pot of unique, out-of-the-box, vendors who offer a range of food and clothing that tests the limits of culinary creation and design and can be described as anything but ordinary.
From German bratwurst to Belgian waffles and smoked pulled beef brisket, the market has everything you did not know your heart desired. This makes it an overwhelming challenge when it comes to settling on a treat to eat.
Angelie’s Addiction displays an array of gourmet Oreo, red velvet and Bar One muffins that look big enough to house a large family of Smurfs.
They come with a syringe filled with syrupy goodness, just in case you need a shot of goo to cure yourself from the delicious taste.
“These are my wife’s muffins; she has done all the hard work. This one is an Oreo muffin with a white condensed milk sauce and this one is Bar One muffin with a dark chocolate syringe, and the other is Red Velvet with a cheescake filling,” says the man behind the muffins, Joshua Smith.
Steams Up owner Rory McKinnon’s wares look like they’ve swaggered out of a steampunk movie – his mix of watch parts and copper figurines all echo a time when clockwork gadgetry was the marvel of the age.
“I have made all of these; I put it together from bits and pieces such as these goggles. They’re all hand made. A lot of skill is involved in making these. I gave up my job as a CEO of a shipping company to do this full time,” says Rory, donning a top hat with a pair of steampunk goggles resting on the brim.
Tribute Heart sells personalised jewellery which puts a fresh spin on the traditional heart locket. Desiré de Klerk designs personalised gold and silver merchandise that can be customised to include the names of your loved one’s inside.
“It is small and personal; I have my daughter’s name in mine,” she says displaying shiny silver trinkets in her palm. “Tribute heart is one of my projects. I design jewellry on a commercial basis as well.” .
Over at the makeshift watering hole, The Beer Merchants, Bradley Ndlovu and Iain Todd, sell a range of craft beer and alcoholic grape juice to quench the thirst.
“These are all our beers; they’re all crafted in the Western Cape. We’re at Big Bay every month,” says Bradley, while squirting beer from a silver canister into a plastic tumbler.
They sell the Jan Braai Lager, Ystervark, Bontebok and Dragon Brewing Company’s Fiery Ginger Beer. Grabbing a Fiery Dragon, I head to the most notable and recommended food truck by locals. It’s called The Nob, and it professes to sell “no ordinary burger”.
Their burgers include the Original Captain, Porra, Porker and Chilli Cheese and local have used expressions such “mmmmmmh,” and “tasting like more” to describe them.
The smell of hamburger and pizza waft in the air as the sun slips below the horizon and sets on the I Love Big Bay market, which goes into hibernation until summer returns.