Archive for July, 2012

Laundry in the 21st Century

I like my laundry clean – I love my laundry with whiskey.
I like my laundry dried, ironed and folded – I love my laundry with wine (although I’d prefer it with beer)
I like my laundry smelling fresh – I love it with snacks and art.

@ILovemyLaundry is laundry in the 21st century. A Laundromat that not only cleans your laundry but sells coffee, sweet treats, wine & dim sum and throw some damn cool parties.

The Laundromat sits at the back of the shop where dirty clothes are put through their paces. The front section includes their cool coffee maker and a stylish dining table, suitable for sipping lattes or tasting fine wines and whisky. With larger crowds the parties tend to spill out onto the pavement outside their shop at 59 Buitengracht Street, Heritage Square.

Arno Carstens at @ilovemylaundry

Arno Carstens at @ilovemylaundry

The first party I attended was a whisky deconstructed evening with Glenffiddich, where the well known Scotch was…well, deconstructed. We got to taste it in its various formats, and then paired it with different foods. An interesting and fun evening with a small crowd allowing us to network with the help of some fine Scotch.

I was back there the following week when Arno Carstens launched his new art exhibition at the venue. Yes, Arno is an artist, yet another over achiever in our local creative scene. So while we quaffed Graham Beck wines, and some people snapped up Arno Art – I think one piece sold for R35k – others popped in to collect or drop off their laundry. I wasn’t mad for the art but the eclectic crowd, made up of a mixed bag of bloggers, art lovers & curious Capetonians, made for another cool laundry night out.

After discovering Arno’s art we moved down the drag to @Union where The Kolo Novo Music Band was playing. Lead by founder member and musical director, Grada Djeri, their Eastern European roots and Balkan style of music – is, to use an overused word, awesome.

The band comprises a collection of 12 musicians, with any number or combination playing together at one time to produce an eclectic brand of Euro, techno, gypsy style music. The 12 include Kyla-Rose Smith and Zolani Mahola from Freshlyground but on this night there were five members playing with Kyla-Rose doing her thing on the violin. There’s still nothing sexier than a woman playing the violin, well except maybe those playing the sax, but the mixed bag of sounds coming from the mixed bag of musos was a real treat.

@ILovemyLaundry host regular wine tastings at their Wednesday evening laundry parties and sell wines though their @ILoveMyWine brand, selling only via Twitter and Linkedin; and business is booming according to the owners Clayton Howard and Mico Botha. Not bad for a business that only opened in March

Their events serve many purposes, exposing hospitality linked brands to a new audience, networking, partying or killing time while your suits are pressed or running gear washed.

From a funky multi-purpose Laundromat to craft beer and Eastern European style music, Cape Town is still leading the way in terms of creativity, fun and good business sense.

21st Century laundromat

21st Century laundromat