In 1914, a biscuit mill – a literal biscuit mill – was opened at 375 Albert Road in Woodstock, an industrial bordering on somewhat run-down residential area located adjacent to Cape Town’s Foreshore. For over 30 years, the mill was the happily chugging engine behind Pyott LTD, a rather successful South African biscuit company.
The factory closed in 1946 after which its story becomes shrouded in mystery. In recent years, however, with the surge in appreciation for industrial architecture, the mill and its surrounding factory buildings underwent significant renovations. Today, the Old Biscuit Mill is a foodie paradise, trendy hotspot, and arts, culture, and retail epicentre in Woodstock and in greater Cape Town. In other words, it’s a big, big deal and here’s why…
The weekly Neighbourgoods Market
The award-winning Neighbourgoods Market, which takes place every Saturday from 09:00 to 14:00 (come rain or shine), is perhaps what the Old Biscuit Mill is most famous for and if you’re looking for a place to take an out-of-town visitor and impress them with the best that Cape Town has got to offer, this simply has to be your destination. This trendy and vibrant market offers visitors a delightful array (over 100 specialty traders) of fresh produce, artisanal coffee, craft beer, and internationally inspired food options.
It also serves as a vital platform for the nurturing of crafty artisans who are turning their passion into prosperity, so be sure to peruse the collection of art, crafts, clothing, accessory, and fashion boutique stalls.
Home to Cape Town’s best restaurants
The Old Biscuit Mill is home to Cape Town’s best restaurant, repeatedly voted number one for many years in a row by many organisations, establishments, and publications: The Test Kitchen. This ultra contemporary eatery delivers a sublime multi-course fine dining and wining experience with the unstoppable Executive Chef Luke Dale-Roberts at its helm. It’s also home to another of Chef Luke’s restaurants: the Pot Luck Club, a sophisticated, trendy, and chic, yet laid back tapas eatery that sprawls out on the sixth floor of the Silo at the Old Biscuit Mill.
If you’re unable to secure a booking (or can’t be bothered to try) at either of these two fine restaurants, there are many other options. Burrata serves gourmet pizzas and other Italian-inspired fare in a modern rustic wood-and-brick room with an open kitchen; Redemption Burgers delivers good old fashioned burgers, which you can wash down with craft beer in an unpretentious and laid-back atmosphere; and Saucisse, a deli and restaurant located in a charming courtyard, is the place to go for farm-fresh breakfasts and lunches.
You’ll also discover Espresso Lab Microroasters, where you can get your caffeine fix in style, and Openwine, a boutique wine and craft gin store stocked with brands you simply won’t find anywhere else. By the way, they also offer wine tastings. You’re welcome.
Retail therapy: arts, crafts, fashion, and more
The Old Biscuit Mill is a vibrant and warm-hearted little village that, aside from its restaurants and weekend market, also houses a collection of designer fashion stores, creative workshops, and African handicraft shops. Forget mainstream, big brand retail outlets, too. Every member of this collection is wholly unique and specialises in locally designed and hand-made items, from art and décor to clothing, jewellery, furniture, and more. There’s Kat van Duinen, Ruby Yaya, and Michelle Harper for clothing and accessories; Mu & Me for kids’ clothes and stationery; Karoo Moon Country Store, Quirky Me, and Abode for décor and furnishing; and the charming and eclectic antique shop Plush Bazaar.
There are also several artisans who work at their craft at the Old Biscuit Mill, advertising their wares in galleries and allowing visitors a glimpse behind the finished products. Heartworks specialises in jewellery and gifts; Clementina Ceramics does handcrafted ceramics for the table, interior décor, and more; Hendre Louw Private Gallery and Exposure Gallery exhibits photographic works and sells equipment and paraphernalia; and the Glass and Bead Cabin produces a fabulous assortment of glass products from the very useful to the ornamental. These are just to name a few and we encourage you to go discover them all!
The best of all worlds
Fine dining, casual tapas sharing, craft beer, gin, boutique wine, arts, crafts, jewellery, fresh produce, artisanal coffee, and more…what makes the Old Biscuit Mill the crown jewel of the gentrified Woodstock area is the fact that, beneath its handsomely upgraded roofs, visitors can discover the best of all worlds. It’s enchanting, convenient, and a full day’s spoil all wrapped in one and no visit to Cape Town should be complete without a day’s meander through its magic.
The Biscuit Mill is open Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 16:00 | Saturday, 09:00 to 14:00 (retail hours). The Neighbourgoods Market is open Saturday, 09:00 to 14:00.
Contact: 021 447 8194 | email@example.com