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Waterkloof Ridge, Faerie Glen, Erasmuskloof , Val de Grace, Lynnwood Ridge, Silver Lakes , Colbyn , Kameeldrift, Pretoria North, Moreleta Park, Pretoria (Tshwane), Rietondale, Wapadrand, Hatfield, Brooklyn Pretoria, Die Wilgers, Waterkloof, Akasia, Garsfontein, Equestria
The Pretoria suburb of Menlo Park is an expensive area with a blend of old money and luxury developments offering a secure outdoor lifestyle. These gated communities are favoured by educated millennials and young families wanting accessible amenities and lock up & go facilities, no Sunday afternoon lawn mowing here!
At the suburb’s core is a lively restaurant scene set in parklike surroundings and within walking distance of all Menlo Park properties. A large shopping centre is located in an adjoining suburb and Menlyn Maine – a city within a city and new green urban living concept – is nearby.
It’s likely that Menlo Park was named after the Silicon Valley city of the same name in California and where the new Facebook headquarters are located.
Menlo Park is home to a few foreign embassies and the Law Society. The national north-south highway runs to the east of the suburb.
Top 8 reasons to visit Menlo Park
1. Saturday in Menlo Park is market day and the Hazel Food Market is popular with the residents and visitors from surrounding neighbourhoods. The market has over 70 stalls to enjoy the food on offer and the creative crafts on sale. Try the roosterkoek (bread dough toasted over an open fire) with homemade jam.
2. Productions at the Brooklyn Theatre include piano recitals, local plays and music concerts presented by the renowned Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra.
3. Visit the Capital Craft Beer Academy for a lesson in the art of beer making. The friendly owners strive to educate patrons on the process and offer a wide selection of brands.
4. Browse the more than 250 stores at nearby Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. The award-winning centre regularly hosts exciting events and promotions, and has 30 restaurants in the food court.
5. A week’s stay in Menlo Park gives the visitor an opportunity to try a different restaurant every evening without leaving the suburb! Make new friends while sampling the local cuisine.
6. Enjoy a game drive through the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. The reserve has 40km of flat bushland for easy viewing of rhino, cheetah, antelope and various other mammals. Boating (wind-powered craft only) and fishing are permitted on the dam.
7. Ever wanted to scuba dive? Blue Wave Scuba and Ocean Divers at the Greenlyn Village offer courses from beginner to professional diving. Complete the theory online followed by open diving practical sessions in their swimming pool.
8. The Pretoria East Toastmasters Club welcomes guests and helps them rid their fear of public speaking. Conquering this fear has a knock-on effect and has proved to enhance leadership skills.
The nearest airport is OR Tambo International Airport, 43km from Menlo Park. Catch the Gautrain, a fast train service that travels between the OR Tambo Airport and the Hatfield business district, less than 5km north of Menlo Park. Car rental agencies are located at the airport and throughout Pretoria city or book a vehicle online. Metered taxi companies are based in and around Menlo Park. If you have the Uber app, order a ride via your mobile phone.
Did you know?
Menlo Park has a host of unusually named restaurants such as Toni’s Fully Furnished Pizza Company, Bistrot BOER’geoisie (bistro bourgeoisie) and L’Epis Dorè (golden spike?). Innovative names like these hint at charismatic restaurateurs offering inventive dishes.
South Africa’s answer to Theodor Geisel (Dr Seuss author), Walter Battiss was a long-time resident in Menlo Park, teaching at the nearby university whilst painting and creating his fantasy Fook Island. His island had its own currency and there is a story of a traveller exchanging a Fook note for $10 while in Europe. Battiss’ work is exhibited around the country.