Canvas & Cabernet: the perfect blend of fun at Jozi's Social Kitchen & Bar

If you’re a fan of wine, good food and art, this one’s for you, writes Sanet Oberholzer

11 April 2019 - 09:25
By Sanet Oberholzer
Artists have long found inspiration from the grape and now you can too.
Image: 123RF/serezniy Artists have long found inspiration from the grape and now you can too.

What do a Marilyn Monroe painting, a few glasses of beautiful wine, tapas and a new WhatsApp friend group have in common? Well, a Canvas & Cabernet evening, of course.

A new offering for curious wine connoisseurs looking for something different to do, the Social Kitchen & Bar at the back of Exclusive Books in Hyde Park, Johannesburg, recently held their second event in partnership with Canvas & Cabernet.

What makes these events so appealing is the fact that everything is perfectly planned for you to sit back, relax and enjoy the therapeutic effects of art. Each place seating is set up with a mini easel, a canvas, palette, paint and brushes.

Fear not: the picture taped to the easel is there for reference only and participants are encouraged to experiment. The night I attended was pop-art themed and the Marilyn Monroes we were commissioned to paint developed a style of their own: one came out looking more like Janis Joplin and another like Madonna.

The writer gets in on the action.
Image: Canvas & Cabernet The writer gets in on the action.

The brilliant Angi Kunn from Canvas & Cabernet gets it. “People are very sick of the movies and the dinner. It’s something different for people to do and something creative and people like that. Everyone is on Pinterest these days trying to find something creative to do.”

I must admit: the last time I had put paint to canvas is more than ten years ago – I had no idea if the artist in me could still be conjured up, never mind if she could be relied upon to paint anything remotely aesthetic. But all that didn’t matter. Anyone can join, regardless of their artistic brilliance (or lack thereof).

If wine be the food of creativity, drink on.
Image: Sanet Oberholzer If wine be the food of creativity, drink on.

After my initial glass of MCC, I moved on to a delicious and refreshing chardonnay. By the time the Merlot was being poured, all artists had grabbed plates of falafel disks with avocado mousse, smoky chicken wings, exotic olives and the most tender calamari bites served with a delicate tartar sauce.

Each month will have a different theme and will be sponsored by diverse wine brands. In between the brush strokes and nibbles, we learned something new about Boschendal Wine Estate and the selection of four different wines they had on offer.

A friendly tip: there’s no shortage of wine so you might consider catching an Uber in the spirit of making responsible choices.

Whether through the food, the wine or the tantalising conversation with the strangers around me, I found the inspiration I needed to complete my Marilyn (a Marilyn, I might add, that actually looked like Marilyn!).

The general manager of the Social Kitchen & Bar, Owen Lloyd plans to host these evenings as monthly events on the first Wednesday of every month. His idea behind the nights is exactly how I experienced it: “We’re art and books and conversation and wine. That’s why it’s very fitting to have someone like Angi on board to come here, paint, and have a conversation. You also get to meet other people because you’re painting together.”

And I did, in fact, meet other people. Because you’re coming into a different environment that requires you to use your hands and creative side, you forget about the phone in your bag that you would’ve reached for fifteen minutes into the night. Somehow, you manage to spend three hours in conversation, laughing and remembering to not take yourself quite so seriously.

• Visit the Canvas & Cabernet Facebook page for details of upcoming events.