Sandton Snapshot: Sundowners at Higher Ground

UPDATE: SandtonPlaces was published in June 2014 and is now available in bookstores around Johannesburg. For more information contact Gerald Garner at

You know that book about Sandton that I’ve been working on? It’s going to be published. Soon.

I’ve been working on this project for months. At some point along the line, I think I forgot that at the end of it all there would be an actual book with my name on the cover (along with the names of my two co-authors, Gerald Garner and Brian Unsted), and my writing and photos inside.

Then, Gerald sent me this:

Mock Cover

This is a mock-up of the SandtonPlaces cover.

I won’t lie: I’m pretty freaking excited about this. Not only is that my name on the cover, but I took that photo, too. (This won’t necessarily be the final design of the cover — it’s a mockup to be used for marketing purposes.)

Speaking of the photo on the cover, does anyone recognize this dog? I shot the photo at the Sandton Field and Study Centre last June. I had a fairly lengthy conversation with the owner of the dog (a woman), and I mentioned the book and asked her dog’s name. She told me, but I didn’t write it down and now I’ve forgotten.

Anyway, the book will be launching some time in April. I’ll provide more details as I learn them.

In the meantime, every week between now and when the book is published, I’m going to post a snapshot of an interesting place in Sandton. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Joburg, Sandton is an affluent area in Joburg’s northern suburbs. The Joburg Stock Exchange is there.)

Now, I know what the Joburg city folk among you are thinking. You are thinking: “Whatever. There aren’t any interesting places in Sandton.” Don’t lie, I know you’re thinking it.

However, you’re wrong. There are indeed many interesting places in Sandton and its surrounds — I’ve spent the last ten months finding them. So please reserve judgement and read on.

My first Sandton snapshot is Higher Ground.

Higher Ground

The deck at Higher Ground.

Higher Ground is a restaurant on the western edge of Bryanston. It has very good food, a full bar, it’s open late (by Jozi standards), and it has one of the best views in town overlooking the Sandton City skyline. And yet it remains relatively unknown. Strange, right? Joburg suffers from a major shortage of venues with nice skyline views — especially venues that are always open to the public and don’t have ridiculous cover charges. Why has this one remained a secret?

I’ll tell you why. Higher Ground is on the campus of St. Stithians College, a private prep school/high school, and there are no prominent signs for Higher Ground at the school’s entrances. Perhaps the students, parents, and staff at St. Stithians want to keep Higher Ground for themselves? Well, sorry guys. I’m blowing your cover.

Skyline from Higher Ground

A view of Sandton from Higher Ground.

St. Stithians has entrances on both Bram Fischer Drive and Peter Place. Simply drive up to either of the entrances and ask the security guards to direct you to Higher Ground. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.

More Sandton snapshots coming soon.

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  • Reply Ros February 5, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Damn, now everyone’s gonna get to know about one of my favourite Jozi places! The food is fabulous too.

  • Reply yojoburg February 5, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    Oooh! Totally checking that out first chance I get! Yay for the book! Very excited for you.

  • Reply Sine February 5, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I love it Heather! Can’t wait for more snapshots, and can’t wait for the actual book. Which will come out shortly after mine (or, if I keep dragging my feet, together with mine:-). Isn’t it exciting to see the first mock-up cover? Except then, in my case, the agony of deciding which one is best sets in. Maybe I should start posting snapshots of it…

    • Reply 2summers February 6, 2014 at 7:40 am

      Haha, I can imagine. Fortunately I am not the major decision-maker in that area 🙂

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish February 6, 2014 at 4:01 am

    Fantastic! Who’s it being published through? I can’t wait.

    • Reply 2summers February 6, 2014 at 7:39 am

      Gerald has his own publishing company called Double G Media. This will be the fourth book that he’s published about Joburg. Really cool!

  • Reply eremophila February 6, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Fabulously exciting!! Doing happy dance for you Heather!!

  • Reply buddhableu2000 February 6, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Heather, i do enjoy reading your posts. Makes me kinda homesick (specially Melville). I wish you every success with your soon to be published book. Alex, Safrican,Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    • Reply 2summers February 6, 2014 at 7:38 am

      Thanks so much, Alex. Glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog. Enjoy Thailand!

  • Reply Yashik Nanan February 6, 2014 at 7:03 am

    A book – wow! Can’t wait for it!! Well-done Heather!!!

  • Reply Lani February 6, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Congrats! Looks clean and sharp! Savor the moment!

    • Reply 2summers February 6, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Thanks, I definitely will.

  • Reply MiaMusings February 6, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Congrats on the book!!! And yeah, higher grounds is one of the lovely quiet places in the city….went for brunch once. Was great!

    • Reply 2summers February 6, 2014 at 11:33 am

      I’m glad you agree.

  • Reply Lungile Zakwe February 6, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Absolutely brilliant work H! Cannot wait to get my hands on that book and to get your signature on it! WELL DONE my friend!!!! 🙂

    • Reply 2summers February 6, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Aw, thanks my friend. I can’t wait to sign one for you.

  • Reply Justcallmegertie February 6, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Wow! Awesome. Can’t wait to see the book. Will definitely get a copy. Btw, have never heard of Higher ground and I thought I knew most of the Sandton spots…

    • Reply 2summers February 9, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      I’m so happy to hear that I’ve clued you in!

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough February 9, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Congratulations, Heather. All wonderful news. Love the dog photo. Hope your weekend is going well.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

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