Tucked away in a quiet Kloof street is a treat of a spot, Fat Tuesday Gallery and Shop. Run by Shannon Johnstone, whose enthusiasm for her space is contagious, Fat Tuesday has recently expanded into a series of spaces full of interesting things. It is impossible to just pop in so when you go, make sure you have some time on your hands.

Before you walk in, stop to browse a selection of beautiful and quirky crockery displayed on an antique sideboard painted a cheerful red.

Shannon has worked very hard to offer her customers a selection of items which are unusual and delightful. Although Fat Tuesday has all the things you expect in a gift shop – greeting cards, jewellery, ornaments, bags, books – nothing is generic or expected. Each item has been hand selected and you are certain to find things here that you won’t see elsewhere as much of Fat Tuesday’s stock has been imported from abroad. In addition to the imported goodies, Fat Tuesday supports many of our most talented local crafters. Jewellery by Christy-Anne Bestwick and Lady Peculiar, framed photographs by Harry Lock and children’s books with a South African flavour are all on Fat Tuesday’s shelves.

Fat Tuesday has some great gifts for men, who are always tricky to buy for. I liked these bar games coasters and everyone likes a Magic 8 Ball.

Fat Tuesday has become known as the home of lomography in Durban. “Lomography?” I hear you say. Lomography is the creation of photographs the old fashioned way: using analogue film cameras. This creates an imperfect beauty to the pictures which are saturated with colour, often blurred and quite artistic. Fat Tuesday stocks a wide range of lomography products and often holds meetings and exhibitions which deal with lomography.

At the moment, the shop is very festive and filled with wonderful Christmas goodies. If you are looking for unusual decorations for your tree or home, there are some really lovely choices here and you can’t help but leave feeling inspired to transfer some of this Christmas spirit into your own home.

All of these exciting things can be found downstairs in the shop.

Fat Tuesday began as a gallery and they have recreated the original upstairs space back into a showcase for a series of local artists as well as a selection of gifts with a particularly artistic feel. The exhibitions change regularly and the space is always curated carefully to expose visitors to beautiful art in a setting which is not in the slightest bit intimidating.

Something else unique to Fat Tuesday is their selection of toys. All with a vintage feel, the ideal gift for someone who has it all is probably sitting on a shelf in the gallery.

My favourite piece in the gallery at the moment is this exquisite sculpture by Helena Vogelzang.

As you may have realised as you’ve read this post, I could go on for millions of words about how much I love Fat Tuesday but I will leave you instead with these pictures and hope they speak thousands of words.

Fat Tuesday also host different workshops and art classes. For more information, call 031 717 2785. Fat Tuesday is situated at 5 Bellevue Road, Kloof. Also see their website www.fattuesday.co.za

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