The City Guide: Cape Town With Jewelry Designer Katherine-Mary Pichulik
As a young girl Katherine-Mary Pichulik developed creative interests, and could be found assembling her mother’s costume jewelry or reading art and history books. Inspired by feminine narratives, today, the accessories she creates for her eponymous jewelry brand are designed to age with women, each constructed to coincide with the journey of life and the moments that resonate with them.
Despite growing up in Johannesburg, it is in Cape Town that Katherine-Mary found her passions; the city is home to the brand’s flagship atelier, located in the creative East City Precinct.
The natural beauty of Cape Town will be familiar to many. From the famous Table Mountain and scenic views of the Atlantic ocean to the historic Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, there is no shortage of attractions to visit. However, we all know that the best places are the ones not overrun by visitors—the cafés where locals only hang out, or the art gallery that houses lesser-known cultural gems.
Over the course of the pandemic, Katherine-Mary has missed watching movies in the theater and relaxing at saunas, but she still finds plenty to enjoy in her home city. Read on to discover her daily routine, the best lunch spots and where to find the best view in Cape Town.
Katherine-Mary Pichulik, founder and creative director of Pichulik
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I am the creative director, designer and founder of Pichulik. I am inspired by the sacred and storytelling relationship between women and jewelry.
Where is the most memorable place you’ve been to, and why?
Istanbul. I love Turkey! The heritage, the refinement of decorative arts. The Bosphorus and water taxis from the Asian to the European side of the city. I also love the food, the small coffees and the sound of the “call to prayer” from all the mosques across the city.
Where in your city do you consider a home from home, and why?
I guess our Pichulik Atelier in the East City. I spend most of my time there, and nothing is quite as wonderful as a summer’s day with courtyard doors open, music playing and all of our team in flow creating together.
The Pichulik Atelier in East City, Cape Town
How do you start your day? What’s your morning routine?
I am generally awoken by a coffee in bed made by my husband. Thereafter, it‘s generally meditation, exercise or an early morning ice-cold swim in the ocean.
What are your favourite restaurants in Cape Town? Where would you recommend for the best breakfast, lunch or dinner?
For breakfast, there is Between Us, Hemelhuijs and Clarke’s Diner. For lunch, Seed & Circus, New York Bagels and Arthur’s Mini Super are great. You can have after-work drinks at Publik wine bar or Tamboers Winkel. For dinner, I recommend Thali, Tomson, Black Sheep and Madam Tatou.
Where, or what, would you say is the best-kept secret in the city?
Small cove beaches such as Bali Bay. Ice cream from Unframed on Kloof Street. Leo’s Wine Bar (book the back table), Nude Foods and Wild Sprout for vegan treats at lunchtime. Pick roses at Chart Farm in Wynberg on a Sunday with dreamy views of Constantia.
A brunch spread at Clarke’s bar and dining room
Where would you say is the best view in Cape Town?
Chapman’s Peak Drive, definitely.
Where do you go to unwind?
The ocean, always!
Are there any museums, galleries, shows, clubs or markets that you enjoy visiting?
A4 Arts Foundation, Blank Projects and THE FOURTH. You have to visit the Oranjezicht Market in Granger Bay; go early enough to get bunches of dahlias at Adene’s, a Deluxe coffee and a Hoghouse pasteis de nata.
Installation view of “The Spectacle” exhibition at THE FOURTH
Where do you get the most inspiration from in the city and how does it influence your design process?
The extraordinarily diverse yet subtle color palettes of the fynbos kingdom after a veld fire.
Where is your favourite place to stay, or where would you recommend someone stay on a trip to Cape Town?
To be near the ocean it’s Scarborough, St James or Kalk Bay. In the city, Tamboerskloof.
Adene’s Farm Flowers at Oranjezicht Market
Name five things you don’t leave home without and always have in your bag
A silk scarf for its multifunctional purpose (as a mask, a headpiece or a neck scarf), Pichulik Samba or Lua hoops, my great-grandmother’s gold bangle, red lipstick and my Moleskin.
What is the best part of living in Cape Town?
The proximity to jaw-dropping nature.
If you could only wear one Pichulik piece for the rest of the year, which one would you choose and why?
This is a hard one! I would say the Lua hoop earrings. These Phoenician-shaped moon hoops are heirlooms, they symbolize collecting blessings and feel both modern and ancient at the same time. I would also sneak in the Circe necklace—it is a sculptural statement with an elegance that feels regal and timeless.