Just 20 minutes from Johannesburg you can visit an area called Muldersdrift where the Ngwenya Glass Blowing Factory is located. It is definitely one of those day trips that everyone has to do. The village has a plethora of interesting activities and shops for the whole family to enjoy. The main attraction is the “Shades of Ngwenya” glass blowing factory where you can see the ancient art of glassblowing and glass art. It is quite an interesting craft and you can watch skilled craftsman as they make animals, birds and other small objects with glass. The shop itself has a variety of glassware items to buy, from crystal trophies, paperweights, colourful plates, glasses and even flowers made from only glass. The factory makes use of recycled crushed glass and processes about 500 kilograms a day, which it melts in a 1400 degrees Celsius furnace.
The village is more than just the glass works and is home to a variety of interesting craft and curio shops as well, which include: Gilroy Brewery This spot is located at the far end of Ngwenya Glass Village and is a well known gem in Gauteng. The establishment is headed by Steve Gilroy, a beer connoisseur and brew master. His easy going fun personality has become a hit with patrons and is part of the reason why so many return. All his beers are created and brewed on site at Ngwenya Village and he only makes use of 100% natural ingredients. Within the variety of beers to enjoy you can find a Pale Ale, Ruby Ale, European Lager and the famous Gilroy 7.75% alcohol dark ale famously known as “Serious”. Besides a good beer you can enjoy some great food which pair well with Gilroy beers. The famous fish and chips and bangers and mash are crowd favourites. If that was not enough already, you can even listen to live music and if you’re lucky enough, you can catch Steve Gilroy himself performing on stage. Moonstruck Moonstruck Decor and Gifts delivers a unique experience of shopping for delights from all over the world, which have been handcrafted. A shopper’s haven to purchase items that create good karma for oneself or one’s home, bringing you love, peace, and light. Come and experience something special and different with friendly and humble service. Each piece has been personally selected by the owner to accommodate different tastes and wishes. Quality handcrafted furniture, garden decor, artifacts, gifts, and jewellery are on offer. All items have been lovingly made and each piece has its own originality.
A word or two This is a fascinating stop while you at Ngwenya Glass Village. They specialize in laser cutting and design of individual, corporate and wedding gifts. Neolien Botes, a designer with 20 years of experience in designing kitchens and cupboards, runs this shop. The quotes, trees and décor she and those that venture into Narnia, as her shop is so affectionately known, produce pretties up many homes and her select corporate clients like nothing better than to throw her curve balls that push her imagination to the limit. Someone walking out of the shop with a little smile, with their chosen trinket or item underarm, gives Neolien immense joy – to know they’re taking something home with them that the Narnia team has created with love and passion. Her motto is “Anything is possible”, so pay her a visit to see some of her amazing laser cut creations.
Jocks Studio At Jocks Studio you will find some of their unique product offerings, which include candles, kid’s crafts, printed mugs and printed candles. They have plenty for the kids to enjoy as well. We noticed that the candle making workshop is a favorite with kids, as they can create their own unique candle creations and learn more about the process of making a candle. Kids will also enjoy the sand art station where they can use colorful sands to create cards and pictures. Buggy Parks This is off-road go-karting at its best.
The Buggy Parks dirt track allows for extreme drifting and is wide enough to enable overtaking. The fully imported karts are fitted with “fat takkies” and are powered by 200cc engines. Since the karts are pretty fast, they are fitted with hydraulic disk brakes, which provide stopping power when required. The karts do not have gears, making them simple to drive. The accelerator and brake controls are located on the racing steering wheel (there are no foot pedals). Safety equipment in the form of helmets and neck braces are provided and for hygiene purposes hair nets are provided. Every race gets a free practice lap so that you can learn the track and get used to the karts.The practice lap allows drivers (particularly novice drivers) the opportunity to get a feel of the kart and the track before they get down to serious off-roading.
Earthly Mosaics Earthly Mosaics is a proudly South African mosaic company, eager and happy to preserve Mother Nature in any way they can. Their inserts and mosaics are not manufactured with the use of energy sapping kilns; instead they have formulated a recipe that doesn’t demand a firing process, thus helping in a small way to preserve our planet. Each insert is lovingly made for you and each piece is like a small piece of their hearts. There is sure to be something within their collection for the varied and unique styles and tastes of all mosaic artists and mosaic lovers out there. Cozinha Amidst all the variety available at Ngwenya Glass Village is a family friendly Spanish and Portuguese Restaurant called Cozinha. This establishment is run by Joe, who is passionate about Portuguese and Spanish food. His recipes are all sourced from Portugal and Mozambique and come together with the freshest local ingredients available.
So if you fancy an authentic Espetada, Portuguese chicken or a Paella, then visit Joe at Cozinha where great food and hospitality go hand in hand. Details: Where: Corner of Beyers Naude and Diepsloot Road, Muldersdrift Times: Open daily Contact: 011 796-3000 / 082 785 7397 (Buzz)/082 497 6054 (Viv) GPS Coordinates: S26 1.32; E27 52.9