I've just got back from two weeks in Johannesburg. The last time I was there was 2000 and the city has changed a lot. Back then it wasn't uncommon to see CBD office blocks mothballed with the first couple of floors bricked up. I stayed in Sandton and very much felt confined to barracks in an apartment block - particular at night. There's only so much of interest at a local shopping mall. Hardly cultural.
This time round my colleague suggested we stay in Melville. Sure, your personal security is always going to be a consideration in Joburg but the combination of a comfy B&B close to the city and a foodie's paradise on nearby 7th Street made my stay very enjoyable. Well worth the 2 kilos I put on!
For journos looking for a place to stay your best bet is The Melville House B&B. Journalist Heidi Holland is a grand host. TV types might be in trouble if you're inclined to fret over your waistline - the full English brekky of a morning is something to look forward to. Heidi loves a chat and of an evening you'll no doubt meet other guests over a glass of wine.
Over the fortnight we were in residence we met correspondents from BBC, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, Mail & Guardian and people from the NGO's WWF and Amnesty among others.
You can just imagine what happens when you mix that lot together and add a yummy glass of SA white wine.