Orchards, Johannesburg

The rather small, well established suburb of Orchards lies virtually around the corner from trendy Norwood, its tree-lined streets and large, timeless homes, many of which have either been renovated or subdivided into apartments, places one in the heart of the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, close to neighbouring Oaklands, and only a 10 minute leisurely drive along the back roads to Sandton.

Melrose Arch, just up the road, is constantly expanding and provides a rather unique mix of work, play and home space with a number of restaurants set on the square, reminiscent of the street culture so evident in Europe.

Melrose Arch is a combination of apartments, lofts and penthouses above shops and office space, touted as the height of fashionable living in the city. The humming high street of Norwood with its boutiques, cafés, restaurants and coffee bars is probably one of Johannesburg’s best kept secrets.

Comparable with other popular ‘street culture’ suburbs, such as Melville and Parktown, Norwood has a distinctly bohemian flavour, and there is a colourful mix of cultures that create a distinctively cosmopolitan atmosphere sadly lacking in some of the city’s other northern suburbs.

Melrose Bird Sanctuary, not far from Orchards, is one of Johannesburg’s many green spaces where over 120 different species of wild birds skim through the indigenous trees and reed beds that surround the pretty lake in the sanctuary.

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