What’s Up & Coming in 2023

The Midlands MagazineFebruary 10, 2023

With the new year underway, we thought we’d introduce a few new kids on the block, as they say. There is a bit of everything for everyone, all the way from food, beverages and event spaces to beauty and (yes, you heard it!) modelling.


Hilton is a hot spot this new year and welcomes several places, namely the Hilton Siding Centre. Although all of the tenants are new, you don’t want to miss out on two restaurants. Bird & Co. has ruffled some feathers amongst some well-known chicken takeaway franchises, but you’re probably thinking, “Ah, not another chicken place!” With a comprehensive menu including chicken, pizza, wraps, burgers and salads, it is no wonder that the demand for a localised “coop” has been incessant across KwaZulu-Natal, making it not just another chicken place.

It first hatched in Ballito and, throughout its fledgling years, news spread around the local area about their succulent chicken and amazing pizzas. They were recently voted having the best peri-peri chicken by Durban Restaurants, and the developers intend to bring the roosters home to roost at their new coop situated at Hilton Siding. We know that the grilled chicken offering market is constantly growing – and with good reason – but Bird & Co. will provide an alternative poultry experience for diners of this persuasion.



Tiger’s Milk has been described as the best destination for “dude food made good” and “epitomising handcrafted goodness”, offering everything from pizzas, burgers and grills to the exceptional and locally made Tiger’s Milk Lager that will pair well with just about anything. It has branches in Camp’s Bay, Melrose Arch, Blouberg, Long Street and Suncoast Casino, and is now bringing an upmarket bar and kitchen dining experience to the Midlands community.



Ace Models International is finally in KwaZulu-Natal! Their slogan is “Become Your Dream”, so if you are an aspiring model or simply just want to become the best version of yourself, then Ace Models is for you. They are known and recognised as South Africa’s premier modelling academy boasting over 25 franchises nationally and abroad.

The Director of ACE Models Midlands and Upper Highway is Courtney Talbot, who is a businesswoman and has worked for many years in the corporate world. She is also a qualified aesthetician, somatologist and professional makeup artist. She has extensive knowledge and experience in the modelling, beauty, fashion and fitness industries. Through their curriculum, students can learn modelling, pageantry, runway, general etiquette, deportment and identity styling, as well as develop necessary soft life skills like self-confidence, public speaking, and much more. Classes are held weekly in Howick, Pietermaritzburg and Hillcrest.



Speaking of beauty, Heygate Aesthetics is a medical aesthetics salon owned by Camille Heygate, who is an aesthetics master with a decade of experience and is now operating in Howick. Along with high-quality products and equipment, some offerings include micropigmentation, microblading, skin scar camouflage, scalp micropigmentation and much more. Alongside consultations, Camille also runs a training academy that offers students an opportunity to become their best selves and establish themselves within the beauty industry. Interestingly, some of Camille’s clients included Mary Berry from the Great British Bake Off and Tess Daly from Dancing with the Stars.

Instagram: @heygate_aesthetics


The Old Mushroom Farm, just outside Howick, is always expanding. Their latest addition, &Kin, is a unique venue and attractive meeting place with a spacious event area that consists of The Lobby, The Boardroom and The Auditorium, which can host up to 100 people, whether for private functions or corporate events. The two-bedroom Loft Apartment above the venue can be rented out for short-term accommodation. What used to be a shed has been transformed into a modern venue where tradition meets innovation. A mix of vintage and modern furnishings, as well as furniture designed in-house for &Kin, lead the creative direction within the industrial architectural style.

Enjoy an ambiance at &Kin characteristic of visionary architect Nick Crooks, with interior design by daughter Pip Crooks. Nostalgic masonry, cool steel, and warm wooden elements are integrated to form a stimulating whole. Nick, with a hands-on approach, has created custom fixtures on site such as moulds for concrete stairs, sinks and benches, steel window frames and lightwells, and the incredible encaustic tiles that decorate the bathroom floors. These are elements that make the building truly unique.

&Kin is a retreat that benefits from its proximity to the vibrant community of The Old Mushroom Farm. The venue looks out over The Old Mushroom Farm’s allotment garden and welcomes guests to spill out into the green space or take a short stroll to the tunnels where artisans procure shops and restaurants.



Words: Alicia du Plessis