Durban and KwaZulu-Natal Feature

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The Florida Road Strip

From its intersection with Sandile Thusi (Argyle) Road to where it meets Innes Road, the Florida Road strip has been the social heart of the Berea and Morningside since restaurants and clubs started opening here a dozen years ago. The area has continued to grow and is known particularly for its bustling nightlife. These stops on the strip are listed in geographical order.

African Art Centre carries an outstanding collection of art and crafts from local artisans. It'll ship overseas. 94 Florida Rd., Morningside, Durban, 4001. 031/312–3804 or 031/312–3805. www.afriart.org.za.

If you're looking for a bite, Bangkok Wok, serves delicious Thai dishes—duck entrées are particularly good.

The small Elizabeth Gordon Gallery carries a wide selection of work—including prints—by local and international artists and photographers. 120 Florida Rd., Morningside, Durban, 4001. 031/303–8133.

The Space carries fashion from the best Durban designers, with a few quirky accessories and collectibles thrown into the mix. 150 Florida Rd., Morningside, Durban, 4001. 031/312–7565. thespace.co.za.

Asian-fusion restaurant and bar/lounge Society is just that, a see-and-be-seen place for the mover and shakers, swathed in elegant-yet-funky South Pacific decor. 178 Florida Rd., Morningside, Durban, 4001. 031/312–3211.

Spiga d'Oro is a local institution. Open all day and into the early hours of every morning, it dishes up reasonably priced Italian food in an upbeat atmosphere.

Super-stylish interiors store Cécile & Boyd's cleverly combines the best of African and colonial design in a contemporary space. 253 Florida Rd., Durban. 031/303–1005. www.cecileandboyds.com.

Mo's Noodles is for those who have a predilection for Eastern food. The decor is minimalist but unpretentious. Reservations aren't taken. Shop 5, Florida Centre, 275 Florida Rd., Durban. 031/312–4193.

At the top of Florida Road (technically on Innes Road), Mitchell Park entices and invites with rolling green lawns and manicured gardens.

Vida e Caffè, just across the street from Mitchell Park, sells perfect coffees in various forms (accompanied by a piece of Lindt chocolate), and freshly squeezed orange juice, muffins, rolls, and a few pastries. Shop 2, Oakwood Centre, 465–471 Innes Rd., Morningside, Durban, 4001. 031/312–4606. www.caffe.co.za.

Mark Gold Jewels sells contemporary handcrafted pieces, many featuring diamonds. Oakwood Centre, 469 Innes Rd., Morningside, Durban, 4001. 031/303–4177. www.markgold.net.

Alongside Mark Gold is Harvey's, a chic restaurant with a fabulous wine list. Each dish is presented in four portions, which facilitates sharing. Think tapas, but bigger portions. Oakwood Centre, 465 Innes Rd., Morningside, Durban, 4001. 031/312–5706.

If you want to stay in the middle of the action, try one of two small hotels in the road: Quarters or The Benjamin.

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