The Old Mushroom Farm: Where Architecture meets Tranquility

The Old Mushroom Farm new apartments

By Renate Engelbrecht

Tuesday, Jun 04

Just outside of KwaZulu-Natal’s quaint little town, Howick, lies The Old Mushroom Farm. It’s a destination that always comes with new offerings and experiences, while delivering the same quality of tranquility. Our first visit to the farm was pure luck. We were in the area for a birthday and we were looking for family accommodation in the Midlands which boasted a farm-like atmosphere.

Now, we keep returning to The Old Mushroom Farm, which has since expanded its offering to include a loft apartment dubbed &Kin, with an impressive, unique events venue underneath, as well as their latest horizontally stacked apartments. These new one- and two-bedroom apartments are where we stayed for two nights during our last visit.

Authentically local

If there is one place in the Midlands I’d recommend staying if you’d like to mingle with locals (and likeminded travellers), it’s The Old Mushroom Farm. Not only have the former mushroom farm buildings been beautifully restored with the architectural knack and interior genius of the Crooks family who own the land, but the shops on the premises are also run by locals. From a lovely book shop where you will most certainly get lost between second-hand coffee table books and the writings of Paolo Coelho, to Pip, Nick’s daughter’s décor and gift shop – there are many stores to pop into. There is also a gym, a chocolate shop and more. The Old Mushroom Farm’s manager, Sandy runs the popular Home Slice Café here too, which is where those staying at the recently launched apartments, can get their breakfast fix.


A quick apartment tour

The Old Mushroom Farm’s new apartments have been beautifully designed by Crooks, using the foundations and most of the standing walls as inspiration and guide. High, diagonal ceilings impress as you enter, with the usual minimalistic simplicity (as I’ve come to know the Crooks’ style) evident all over.

The team is always focused on creating an authentic space, with many furniture pieces and floor finishes made in-house. We loved the architecture, self-made tiles and vintage décor elements. The kitchen cabinets have been made from scratch, with its funky, mint colour an artful addition to the apartments. The shower’s tiles – also made in-house – bring some vintage flair, in addition to the old-worldly basin and mirror that encourage a feeling of nostalgia. In fact, from the apartment, you can merely walk around the corner to find the little factory where they make these tiles on site.

Vintage couches and warm blankets make the apartments feel like home, with views across the green Midlands veld that make you want to stay for longer.

Make The Old Mushroom Farm your home away from home

The Old Mushroom Farm has become our go-to whenever we head to the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. With the latest apartment offering also being self-catering (there is the bonus of breakfast from Home Slice Café being included), it’s easy to make The Old Mushroom Farm your home away from home. At a rather affordable rate per night, it’s also not too hard to stay for more than two nights and to truly submerge yourself in the region’s happenings.

There is an impressive vegetable garden on site, as well as a lovely playground for kids. Not that I think the kids would ever get bored. In fact, this is one of the few places where kids can run wild and enjoy the freedom of imaginary play. Plus, there is a Saturday market just next door for weekend visitors to explore.

Home Slice Cafe

The Old Mushroom Farm makes one realise the importance of family in many ways. From the way in which the Crooks family have used their collaborative talents and knowledge to build it up to where it is today, to the opportunities it presents for families to spend some quality time together. I would love to share the experience with one lucky family…

WIN with Suitcase & Chardonnay and The Old Mushroom Farm

Pack your bags and get ready to win a two-night stay for a family of four in one of The Old Mushroom Farm’s brand-new, boutique apartments on a B&B basis! The competition will run until midnight on Thursday, 11 July 2024 and the winner will be announced on Friday, 12 July 2024. Subject to availability. This competition excludes the December holiday. Ts & Cs apply.

How do you enter? Click here.

Good luck!


  1. Sandy

    What a lovely read ! Thank you for your kind words xx The Old Mushroom Farm Team


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended Articles

‘Oui’ for these new looks from Emily in Paris

‘Oui’ for these new looks from Emily in Paris

When it comes to fashion, I’ll always return for another episode of Emily in Paris. That is why I am happy to say that the fun fashion series’ 4th season will soon be releasing on Netflix. In fact, they have recently revealed first look images from the upcoming...