Category / Culture

The Best of Woodstock

Posted on 05 October 2011 by Cecile Blake

 We are often asked about the must-see destinations in Woodstock, so here is a Top 10 round-up of the ILW teams’ favourite Woodstock haunts. Of course this is by no means definitive, so let us know what yours are! In no particular order, here we go!:

Can't go wrong with breakfast at Superette!*

1. Breakfast: A good day starts with great coffee, and it’s unanimous that the best coffee is from Espresso Lab, also served at Superette. While you are there, the breakfasts are superb, but a firm favourite is the French toast with bacon and maple syryp! The Deli on the Sir Lowry strip also serves fantastic omelettes.

* image from their website.

Conrad Botes is currently on show at the Stevenson Gallery

2. Art Galleries: In the past few years many of Cape Town’s most established Art Galleries such as the Stevenson Gallery and the Goodmann Gallery  have moved to Woodstock, and many independent galleries have also popped up in the area. Most of these can be found on the Sir Lowry strip, and visiting the different exhibitions is a great way to spend a few hours in Woodstock. If you are shopping for emerging artists, then don’t miss the Lovell Gallery and the What if the World Gallery (run by the owners of the Neighbourgoods market and now in new premises), both of which are in Albert road and always have fresh and interesting new talent on show.

3. Architecture: Simply stroll around Woodstock! Almost anywhere in Woodstock you will find that much of the historic architecture is still intact. The buildings mostly date from the turn of the century, but there are some lovely art deco buildings (all over the place but Albert Rd in particular) as well. Some buildings have already been beautifully renovated, others are derelict jewels-in-the-rough waiting to be restored, but charming nevertheless with the patina of years.

4. Lunch: There are many great places to have lunch on weekdays in Woodstock. If you can find a spot, The Kitchen has outstanding sandwiches and salads, always served with verve. The Deli across the road also has delicious lunch specials. Another highlight are the hearty pies at The Artisan Baker, (I Iove the Beef and Burgundy pie so much I have never been able to order something else, but I hear the Chocolate Chilly is also delicious – CB) and the Torchbearer does traditional pub fare.

Bustling crowds at the Neighbourgoods market

5. Neighbourgoods market: If you are spending a weekend in Woodstock, then visiting the Neighbourgoods market at the Old Biscuit Mill is a must.  Browse the bustling food stalls for the perfect lunch or stock up for the week from a wide selection of mouth-watering products such as wood-fired breads, cheeses, organic and free-range produce, luxury beers and other fine foods. The real hot chocolate from the Chocolate Company is a profound hot and cold experience. In addition, the Biscuit Mill is littered with local designers, vintage & collectibles, live music and more.

6. Vintage and 2nd hand Furniture shopping: Woodstock is a great place to find bargains for your home. If you are looking for renovated, mid-century style pieces then Vamp should be your first stop.  For authentic mid-century pieces in original condition, try Mid-Century Modern, just off the Salt River circle.

But if you are a treasure hunter who likes to find your own bargains, try The Woodstocker at the old Altona Hotel, for great restored and unrestored Cape furniture. Clustered around Van der Merwe’s Furnishers along Albert Rd is a strip of 2nd hand furniture shops that are worth poking your nose into, and if you know your furniture, there is always the chance that you might pick up a real bargain, and have a great story to tell.

7. Best view in Woodstock: For the best view of the hood and Table Bay try the benches on the grassy knoll between Upper Roodebloem and De Waal. Booking not essential but can help.

left: The Bromwell ; right: The Cat's Meow

8. Fashion shopping: As with most things in Woodstock, you can now find everything from Designer gear to vintage to dirt cheap fashion and accessories in our ‘hood. Representing the top of the scale, The Bromwell sells incredible designer clothes at matching prices. The Cat’s Meow Vintage is a great place to pick up some nostalgic pieces, and on weekends, the Designer goods market at the Biscuit Mill next door has gorgeous handmade shoes and clothes by emerging designers. And then of course, if you walk the streets there are lots of shops selling cheap Chinese imported shoes and clothes – perfect for the occasional bargain.

 9. Supper: Recently featured in both the New York Times and Time magazine, everyone should visit The Test Kitchen at least once. Chef Luke Dale-Roberts uses the space for maximum innovation as a chef, as well as a ‘creative hub’ for a variety of different projects, including regular cooking demonstrations.

If you are looking for something more casual, then the Woodstock Lounge in Roodebloem serves great home made burgers and thin crust pizzas. Also on Roodebloem,Chandani’s  serves authentic Indian (and vegetarian) dishes at reasonable prices.

 10. Nightlife:

 Meet for food and music every second Sunday at Cold Turkey, hosted at aMadoda Braai restaurant from 1pm till late (in a cul de sac off Strand Street) for dubstep, UK funk, kwaito and hip-hop beats.  Hoodwinx  is more laid back and offers various events such as music, poetry readings and even art exhibitions. For the traditionalists Dom Pedros is a Woodstock institution, and at least it’s always open for a drink!

What do you think are Woodstock’s best kept secrects? We can’t wait to hear!




1 Comments For This Post

  1. Mary ann Says:

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