A kilometre from Cape Town’s city centre, Woodstock used to be home to more textile factories than fashion outlets. But in very recent years this industrial area with mountains views has dramatically changed. The transformation of the Old Biscuit Mill into a hub of cafes and creativity led the way for further regeneration in the area. More recently the opening of the Woodstock Exchange, a collection of workshops-cum-boutiques, cafes and collectives, has bought even more fashion and design to the area. We moseyed around the streets, shops and restaurants, sampling the food and fashion and meeting their creators, to bring you this guide to shopping in Woodstock.
The Woodstock Exchange
The Woodstock Exchange is a new edition to the Woodstock shopping scene but already many of its boutiques are occupied by young entrepreneurs. Most of the shops are also the designers’ workshops, a little peek behind a screen and you can see the products being made. The Exchange is a project by the founders of the Grand Daddy Group who also own the Grand Daddy Hotel, famous for its roof-top trailer park!
These are some of our favourite stores in the Woodstock Exchange:
Dark Horse – Dark Horse describe themselves as a designer brand for the world’s most seasoned travellers. Using locally sourced materials they craft beautiful leather accessories and quirky furniture. Dark Horse share their home in the Exchange with Kingdom who stock a collection of internationally sourced trinkets and vintage treasures. The result is a boutique fit for endless browsing and gift inspiring.
Find It: Ground Floor Retail – Unit AG09, Woodstock Exchange Building, 66 – 68 Albert Rd
Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour – We were drawn into this shop by the smell alone – it was like a combination of Moroccan market spices and a sweet-smelling cake shop. The tea parlour started life as a vintage travelling caravan – Lady Bonin’s idea was to travel from place to place selling modernly and quickly brewed loose-leaf tea in biodegradable packaging. Jessica Bonin’s product selection also includes various ice-teas and packaged tea in beautifully designed reusable and enviro-friendly glass jars. At the Woodstock tea parlour not only did we love the huge range of tea on offer but we were also inspired by the interior design – how cute are those vintage luggage shelves?
Find It: Shop AG11b The Woodstock Exchange, 66 Albert Road
Find It: Ground Floor Woodstock Exchange and 66 Wale Street, Cape Town
Superette – Superette refer to themselves a neighbourhood café and are open from 7am on a weekday to provide Woodstocker’s with their daily dose of caffeine. The coffee served is by local roasters Deluxe and Rosetta and there is also a selection of craft beers on tap. Brunch here is particularly popular – who wouldn’t like French Toast smeared with Blue Berry Marscapone?
The Old Biscuit Mill
It may not churn out biscuits anymore but The Old Biscuit Mill is now generating chocolate, ceramics, coffee, art, and much more instead. The Old Mill grounds have a village feel with shops and restaurants spread around courtyards, the old industrial building and an on-site car park. Foodwise there are some great options including Luke Dale-Roberts’ award-wining restaurant The Test Kitchen and the option of sharing dishes with a fantastic view at The Pot Luck Club.
Our favourite shops include:
Kat Van Duinen Design – this store incited immediate handbag lust in us. Kan Van Duinen designs and manufactures divine totes and clutches from exotic leathers. Her clothes range is a bright and fluid collection of South African designs and the store is an equally arty venue for them to be housed in – the back wall of the shop is a 4x5ft mural by artist Kelly John Gough.
Find It: Shop 101A, The Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock
Ma Mere Maison – cake alert! Ma Mere Maison is a colourful and quirky French-style confectionery boasting an amazing assortment of hand-crafted treats, all made on site.
Find It: Unit C102, The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Road, Woodstock
Espresso Lab Microroasters – you’ll need some coffee to go with that cake and luckily Espresso Lab are brewing their perfect cup just around the corner. The mission of the Espresso Lab Microroasters is to find optimal ways of enjoying coffee, from sourcing the best green coffee, to finding the right roasting profiles and espresso techniques that will make the process from bean to cup a perfect one.
Find It: In right hand corner of courtyard, The Old Biscuit Mill
Cocoafair – don’t worry chocolate lovers are catered for here too. Cocoafair is the first bean to bar chocolate factory in Africa that is 100% organic and based on social entrepreneurship (read more here). The glass panels in the shop let you watch the chocolatiers in action before you buy their super tasty products in bulk!
Find It: Down the stairs at the bottom of the Silo Building, The Old Biscuit Mill
The Old Biscuit Mill is also home to Cape Town’s Neighbourgoods Market every Saturday. The market offers fresh, local produce, as well as fashion and crafts. Read our review of the delicious Jo-burg version here.
Have we tempted you into taking a trip to Woodstock? What are your favourite stores? Let us know in the comments below.
View Woodstock Shopping in a larger map