Retro Rabbit antique shop in Pretoria

#Gauteng52, Week 26: Pretoria’s Quirky Antique Route 6

Welcome to Week 26 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I will visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit Antique Route 6 in Pretoria.

South Africa has a tumultuous past and a tumultuous present. The only thing that’s consistent here is change. South Africans tend to be constantly on the move, coming and going, accumulating and leaving behind trails of possessions that must be bought and sold, and bought and sold again.

This state of flux leads to many interesting cultural phenomena, one of which is an abundance of antique shops.

Antique shops are everywhere in South Africa but in certain places they concentrate together in clumps. Johannesburg’s Long Street is one example. Pretoria’s Antique Route 6 is another.

Retro Rabbit antique shop in PretoriaThe Retro Rabbit Antique Shop in Pretoria North.

Antique Route 6 is a bunch of antique shops in Pretoria North, not far from the Hatfield Gautrain station, clustered mainly around Pierneef Street and Soutpansberg Road. The route has its own online map, at www.antiqueroute6pretoria.co.za.

I have no idea why this route is called Antique Route 6. Are there another five antique routes somewhere? If anyone knows the answer I’d love to hear it.

I’m not much of an antique shopper. Shops like this are crammed full of a million things, most of which are junk, and I don’t have the patience to sort through it all looking for treasures. But I do love taking quirky antique photos. So I spent a morning browsing Antique Route 6 with my friends Kate and Alessio, who spend a lot of time in Pretoria and are semi-regulars on the Route. Here are the photographic highlights.

Browsing Antique Route 6

Owner of Retro Rabbit on Antique Route 6The owner of Retro Rabbit Antiques, which wins the prize for best shop name, relaxes in the sun on the cluttered stoep.

Dolls in Retro RabbitCreepy cupie dolls at Retro Rabbit. Creepy doll photography is one of my favorite antique-shopping activities.

Creepy mannequin at Bellbottoms AntiquesA creepy mannequin (almost like a creepy doll) at Bellbottoms Antiques. Bellbottoms was my favorite shop of the day.

Dolls at Sinkhuisie AntiquesThe creepiest dolls of all at Sinkhuisie Antiques. Check out the one doll’s hairy ear.

Street signs at SinkhuisieLots and lots of street signs. Kate wondered aloud how they got here…Isn’t it illegal to take these signs from the road? Nonetheless, I’m kicking myself for not buying one.

Kate browses watches at SinkhuisieKate browses watches at Sinkhuisie, which has two locations along Antique Route 6.

Medicine bottles at SinkhuisieAntique bottles with weird stuff still in them.

The Labyrinth House Antique Shop yielded the best quirky antique photo of the day.

Heather outside Labyrinth Antiques
This is me outside Labyrinth House, posing for a shot on an antique gynecological examination table. We were rushing to take the picture before the staff noticed, and Alessio was already walking off in embarrassment, pretending he didn’t know us. But I think the result was worth it. (Photo: Kate Els)

Where to Eat Along Antique Route 6

There are some real culinary finds along Antique Route 6. We managed to sample three of them.

Grounded at Echo

Grounded at Echo (353 24th Ave, Villieria) is a cozy coffee shop/restaurant with a lovely community vibe.

Leonard, server at GroundedLeonard, our server at Grounded.

Cake from Grounded at EchoA slice of pumpkin spice cake at Grounded. Incidentally, while we were there we bumped into my friends Jenny and Ryan, who live in Pretoria North and are regulars at Grounded. Jenny actually baked this cake.

Pure Café

Pure (137 Thomson Street, West Colbyn) offers a unique menu with innovative flavor combinations and good prices. We had lunch there and I loved the dish I ordered, an aubergine stuffed with cheese and pine nuts and herbs.

Lunch at Pure CafeLunch at Pure.

We had a strange service experience at Pure, which I feel obliged to mention. I found a small piece of plastic in my meal — an honest mistake that could happen anywhere, but nonetheless quite serious. The weird part is that no one really apologized or did anything to remedy the problem when we pointed it out, perhaps out of embarrassment. I’m going to chalk this up as a fluke and still recommend the restaurant because the food was otherwise great.

Royal Danish Home Made Ice Cream

Royal Danish (198 Bernard St, Colbyn), in the same shopping center as Pure, is a delightfully retro ice cream shop serving really good ice cream. Great ice cream like this is hard to find in South Africa.

Ice cream cone from Royal DanishA double scoop from Royal Danish.

Find all the locations for the Antique Route 6 shops on their website.

This week marks the halfway point in my #Gauteng52 challenge. Yay! I’m really enjoying it and excited for all of the new places still in store. To celebrate, I’ve created an interactive Google Map showing all of the places I’ve blogged about so far, with photos and links to each blog post. Enjoy. You can also find a reverse chronological list of my #Gauteng52 posts here.

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11 Comments

  • Reply Kat Ji June 30, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    wow, That’s a lot of creepy dolls, in one day! Quite weird.

    • Reply 2summers June 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Hahahaha. Any antique shop, anywhere in SA, you’ll find these 😂

  • Reply Gail Scott Wilson June 30, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    I love that route and have bought a few road signs but need to go back for a robot (traffic light). Love the sneaky photo of you on that examination table.

    • Reply 2summers June 30, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      I read somewhere else about the traffic lights but didn’t see any the day we went. They might be out of stock 🙂

  • Reply Mark June 30, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I’m going to have nightmares now about that hairy ear creepy doll…

    • Reply 2summers June 30, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Hahaha, I already have!

  • Reply autumnashbough June 30, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Okay, the mannequin is super, super creepy. And so is the old examining table.

    • Reply 2summers June 30, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Thinking about that table in actual use is pretty creepy, I must say.

  • Reply MapleAndMarula July 25, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Love this post! I definitely need to make my way there. I found your comment about the lack of apology at Pure interesting, because I’ve found similar things often in South Africa. Even when something is completely messed up, people act like nothing happened.

    We moved into our house on Nov 1, and we’ve been fighting with the real estate company since then to get some repairs done. Even after I commented on how inconvenient it was to be told numerous times that the repairs were complete (they weren’t), only to have the “handy” man come back, there was no sort of apology or acknowledgment that there was any sort of stuff up on their end, even after 8 months of screw-ups!

    And I found the same thing when I just wanted to buy some simple lawn chairs! I wrote about that experience here: http://www.mapleandmarula.com/south-african-customer-disservice/

    I’m totally not miffed about it- I just find it kind of funny. Your experience with the plastic seems pretty par for the course!

    • Reply MapleAndMarula July 25, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      OK, now I see that you already read and commented on that post. But ya, the lack of apology thing. Hilarious.

      • Reply 2summers July 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm

        Hahaha. Yes I loved your lawn chair post 😂

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