The Richmond Studio Cafe recently launched in Richmond, Johannesburg.
Richmond, a small suburb was most notably known for the Rand Steam Laundries that stood on the corner of Barry Hertzog and Napier streets. They were sadly demolished in 2008 by Imperial Holdings to make way for a car dealership. Thankfully the Heritage Foundation put up a big fight regarding this illegal action.

Glam guests attended the Siya Travel Travel lounge series morning event held on a wet and rainy morning. We could not have asked for a better venue, in my mind as an avid coffee lover, grey skies, a comfy couch, good company and the smell of brewing coffee makes for the perfect setting.

The theme was Travel to Turkey, and each attendee adorned herself with a splash of red in recognition of the rich and warm colour that forms the basis of the Turkish flag. The venue was decorated with magnificent rich colours celebrating the heritage of the Turkish culture. From beautiful images of Istanbul that hung the back wall, to the bright ceramic hand painted bowls in various sizes and the turquoise table cloth symbolic of the famous Turquoise coast in Turkey which is filled with tourists each summer making it a more affordable “ French Rivera “ . The Ottoman music that played in the background set the theme to whisk guests off to a far off land that is found on two continents.

Original Turkish Delight ( Lokum ) from Turkey. The beautiful Turkish tray and Lokum was supplied by the Grand Bazaar SA

Mantombi, founder of Siyatravel and I crossed paths when she published an article I wrote about one of my many trips to Turkey. At the time Mantombi was the travel editor of the Independent Traveller.Who would have guessed that a few months later her and I would be sitting together and planning a trip to experience hot air balloons and shopping at the biggest indoor bazaar in the world with other women.

Mantombi from Siyatravel and The Girl in Blue Jeans

The Richmond is a delightful spot, classy and trendy it immediately has a feeling of warmth and friendship that oozes out of the wide windows and front door. Set on the corner of a busy street that carries traffic out of Melville on one side and Auckland Park on the other side I couldn’t help but realise that if you are stalker of photographers or journalists this is the spot to sit. With the SABC, CNN, Media 24 and many more just around the corner it has become a daily stop for those coffee addicts.

The wifi signal is strong and ideal for those who have some work to do. The parquet flooring,the hanging cameras and the greenery that dangles in the windows are a visual delight. Personally it brings back memories of watching the TV series Friends, this coffee shop will become part of any local friends group daily schedule and many tales will be shared over a cup of cuppochino which is made from Origin Coffee and maybe a scrumptious Sandwich.

Antoine De Ras and Mantombi Makhubele are partners in this delightful spot. Antoine is a documentary photographer, some of his amazing photos adorn the walls and this location was formerly his studio. Mantombi, a journalist turned travel enthusiast runs her travel company from here also.

The Travel to Turkey event was sponsored and supported by Turkish airlines, Yunus Emre Institute where one can go to learn Turkish, the Grand Bazaar in JHB which brings in various products from Turkey and The Honourable Ambassador, Mrs Elif Ulgen from the Turkish Embassy in Pretoria. Mrs Ulgen braced the rainy weather and together with her college took the long drive in the morning traffic to address the crowd of women on the 83rd anniversary of Women’s Rights day which is celebrated every year in Turkey on the same day after women’s political rights were recognised in 1934.

Honourable Ambassador Mrs Elif Ulgen from the Turkish Embassy


This was a memorable, stylish affair that the heeled guests enjoyed fully. Drinking authentic Turkish tea and mingling once the speakers had finished their presentations inspired each person to go home and start planning their trip to the land of magic carpets.

The Richmond Studio Cafe: 14 Menton Road, 083 460 1967, Hours: Monday – Saturday all day.

Yunus Emre : 1 Pretoria street, Oaklands Johannesburg

Grand Bazaar SA: Dorado Avenue & Main Reef Road