Spotting the sign ‘I Love my Laundry’ from across the street in Heritage Square, it is unclear exactly what services the little place is offering. Venturing inside is likely to only confuse you further…
The interior catches that delicate balance between glamorous and quirky, and although aesthetically pleasing, it is sensually puzzling. There is a large table in the centre of the room with +- 16 or so chairs around it, where you are likely to find people munching upon various types of Dim Sum, passing round a bottle of Merlot and chatting gamely to the strangers next to them. Encouraged to take a seat yourself, you take a closer look at your surroundings and see pieces of artwork hanging from the walls off washing lines. Listening closely, under the merry hubbub and clatter of crockery, you will hear washing machines spinning the eponymous laundry.
In practice, ‘I Love my Laundry’ is a variety of things. It is a Dim Sum restaurant, offering the Asian cuisine with radish or turnip or marinated cabbage. It also a wine shop, an art studio, and hosts weekly fondue parties. Next to the wine one can also buy sheets and pillow cases. And on top of all this – indeed, the place’s principle function – ‘I Love my Laundry’ is a launderette.
The business is just one of many across the world that has adapted to the global recession through the process of what the New York Times calls the ‘cross-pollination’ of services. In arty cities such as Cape Town, where a tourist can’t blink without missing one of the many seductive eateries that the city has to offer, the weirder the business, the more success it will see. Indeed, ‘I Love my Laundry’ already has the reputation of a landmark much older than its two years.
As the place becomes more and more popular, those heading towards the city who are tempted by the combination of clean sheets and Cantonese cuisine, can check the limousine services in Cape Town offered here, to get your Dim Sum while its hot, and your laundry in before the last load.