The Old Biscuit Mill, in Albert Rd, Woodstock, was once a run down mill and an eyesore. Courageous developers had a daring vision to create a unique space for creatives and designers who could work and showcase their creations in the same space. The idea was to see people at work, to witness the source of the creations. The introduction of the Neighbourgoods Market on a Saturday helped catapult the amount of visitors to the old Biscuit Mill on Saturdays, although many people began to think the entire building only operated on a Saturday. This is obviously not the case – there are many incredible businesses, coffee shops and restaurants there that are world-class and deserve your attention. Take the time to visit the Old Biscuit Mill during the week if you want to avoid the chaos of a Saturday morning and you’ll understand the appeal of the carefully curated businesses occupying this amazing space.
The first shop to the left as one walks into the mill, is aptly named Quirky Me/Abode. These two stores share one space, successfully pooling their beautiful wares sourced from local designers. Desirable ‘lust-haves’ range from natural lampshades, notebooks, mirrors and hanging basket chairs to ceramics and soft furnishings. I could have gone completely wild inside this store, as everything is as curious as it is lovely.
Casamento, the showcase for Cape Town’s most covetable retro inspired furniture, is situated next door to Quirky Me/Abode. I’ve had a Casamento sofa on every wish list I’ve ever made and I suspect so has everyone else in Cape Town! Their furniture is breathtakingly beautiful, skillfully made and every piece is a work of art.
Mu & Me is another one of my favourite stores. It’s a stationery and gift-wrap store, centred on a theme of illustrated characters. Mu & Me now not only make the beautiful notebooks, cards and gift wrap we love them for, they also stock shoppers, t-shirts and kids clothing, amongst other goodies.
My next favourite store is Exposure Gallery, which stocks lomo and instant cameras and specializes in lomography. It is one of the only stores of its kind in South Africa and although it may seem to appeal to a niche market, lomography and instant photography is fast becoming an obsession. Exposure Gallery stocks Diana F+, the original Lomo camera, fish eye lenses, underwater casing, Fujifilm instant cameras and many other brands, lenses and accessories.
You have to own a lomo camera and an instant camera to understand the feeling, so be sure to stop in at Exposure when you’re at the Old Biscuit Mill again to buy one, as they priced from as little as R750.
My favourite places for a bite and coffee at the mill are Saucisse Deli. Build yourself an unforgettable gourmet sandwich or wrap at Saucisse Deli while the fantastic baristas at Espressolab make you a perfect cup of coffee next door. I’ve found myself at Saucisse several times in the past week, enjoying lunch and loving the unique atmosphere of the Old Biscuit Mill.
Stores I didn’t get a chance to photograph include The Test Kitchen, a chocolaterie, clothing boutiques, décor and gift stores and more. There are new stores popping up at the mill all the time, so best you get down there and see it all for yourself.
Address & Contact Details:
The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 – 375 Albert Road Woodstock, Cape Town
Photographs: Click to enlarge