PLAYING #TouristInYourCity IN WOODSTOCK
I lost my heart to Woodstock about two years ago while on a trip to Cape Town for another project I was involved in at the time. My then project partner, Daniella, and friend and photographer, Lebz Skywalker, joined me for a week of craziness that saw Woodstock as our base. We stayed in a little house I found on Air BnB aptly named The Pumpkin Palace (owing to its outer colour) and Lebz and I drank coffee every morning at Salisbury’s just down the road, as we waited for Daniella to get dressed.
Ever since that time, I have been captivated by Woodstock, and on each successive trip to Cape Town, I can often be found working from Salisbury’s between meetings and shoots. On my last trip, one of the staff asked if I had been on holiday, having not seen me for a while. Took some explaining that I didn’t actually live in Cape Town.
But that’s the vibe.
And, that’s why Woodstock has been firmly on my radar for my new #TouristInYourCity series here on the blog. So, let the Woodstock piece commence!
Woodstock is a place of contrasts. Once a small fishing village, it was originally known as Papendorp in the mid-1800s. When the Cape Town Harbour was extended in the 1950s the Woodstock Beach was subject to land reclamation and was lost. The town has always been a mixed community, both from a race and religious perspective, something very few areas in the South Africa of old could claim. Woodstock was able to escape the horrors of forced removals under the draconian apartheid rule and residents were left to go about their business in relative peace.
In 2007 the Cape Town City Council designated Woodstock as a priority Urban Development Zone to encourage urban upgrades, as the city sought to support the growth of the CBD eastwards. This initiative saw the development of The Old Biscuit Mill (and its Neighbourgoods Market) and The Woodstock Exchange, an art, design and technology hub stretching across two repurposed buildings.
You will recall my recent post on SA Menswear Week, hosted at the Palms Lifestyle Centre in Woodstock. Much of the imagery for that post was shot in Woodstock, as was the shot above.
While I was exploring Woodstock, I stayed at the Double Tree By Hilton Upper Eastside Hotel. Located smack-bang in the heart of Woodstock, the hotel allowed me the space to experience this trendy and rapidly developing node. The hotel really has the best of both worlds, backed by breathtaking mountain views, with equally splendid ocean views from the front. All this and just minutes away from the city centre, V&A Waterfront and everyone’s favourite, Table Mountain.
Join me in my video below as I take you on a personal tour of the Double Tree By Hilton Upper Eastside Hotel, and share a bit more of the Woodstock community vibe.
Before arriving at the hotel, I had been told about an amazing cookie I would receive upon arrival. All Double Tree hotels around the world give each guest the same cookie upon arrival, just another way Hilton are making you feel at home in their establishments. Did you see the excitement on my face when I received my cookie in the video above? Let me tell you, it was everything I was expecting, and more! Have you had one of these cookies?
The hotel has every amenity you could desire and the Liberty’s Bar and Liberty’s Restaurant cater to all your needs. I enjoyed their handmade hamburger for supper on the first night, a real treat and work of culinary art.
Exploring Woodstock, I found a city I can only describe as raw, and real. As I walked its streets, I met locals working in the area, who are only too happy for the regeneration and development the recent years have brought. Like Martin Walker, who works as a security guard on contract. The day I met him he was working security detail outside an old church on one of the main streets, which had been repurposed into a film set.
Further up the same street, I came across a great little antique shop called Collect MeA Story, named after the owner and local resident, Mea. I am a sucker for an antique shop and can literally spend the better part of a morning in one. And that’s exactly what I did. Talk about a treasure trove, Mea’s store has a wide variety of interesting things that occupied my intense interest that Monday morning.
My mind only wonders as to whose telephone number 3218 was, where their home was located and how life has treated them since they last used that device to communicate with a friend, family member or neighbour.
But not everyone’s story of how they have been affected by the gentrification of Woodstock is positive. Many reports have done the rounds over the years of long-standing Woodstock residents, entire families in fact, being relocated after their properties were bought by new landlords. Raised rentals and increasing arrears resulted in court orders and displaced residents. Many of which have been moved 30km out of Cape Town to a settlement known as Blikkiesdorp (Tin Town). One has to ask how, after more than 20 plus years of democracy, certain South African’s are still subject to forced removals.
My last night in Woodstock saw me at the Woodstock Grill and Tap enjoying the fine dining on offer as well as a pint of the best from the Woodstock Breweries located on the same premises. A rather fitting celebration of my last night in this truly cosmopolitan place, rich with history and abounding in character.
NOW I’D LIKE YOU TO EXPERIENCE WOODSTOCK TOO!
That’s right, I want you to experience the Woodstock that I discovered, for yourself. Double Tree By Hilton Upper Eastside Hotel is giving away a night for two in one of their exclusive suites plus breakfast the next morning, to one lucky My Lime Boots couple.
All you have to do to enter is find my post about my stay at Double Tree By Hiton Upper Eastside on my Twitter feed and Facebook account, retweet it on Twitter or share it on Facebook, then comment on the post with why you and your significant other would enjoy the suite for a night. While you are there give Double Tree By Hilton Upper Eastside a follow on Twitter feed and Facebook account, retweet it on Twitter or share it on Facebook, then comment on the post with why you and your significant other would enjoy the suite for a night. While you are there give Double Tree By Hilton Upper Eastside a follow on Twitter and Facebook too.
THE NITTY GRITTY
Please note that the giveaway is only open to readers living in South Africa, who are able to get to Cape Town at their own cost. The giveaway closes on Thursday 16 March 2017 at 14h00. The winner will be announced on SoapBox Radio during the 16h00 show on the same day and later here on the blog. You may enter as many times as you like, on either platform.
AND THE LUCKY WINNER IS…
Well done Chantal Oliver who entered via Twitter. Chantal urgently needs some downtime and it’s a birthday weekend coming up for both Chantal and her husban at the end of March. Enjoy your spoil and tag me in lots and lots of pics!