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.

%d bloggers like this: