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Today we talk about shopping for the very different, the exquisite and often the exotic: Ainsley Fine Jewellery, Quidditas and Teddy Sinclair -- three of the finest in Leura.
AINSLEY FINE JEWELLERY
Address:175 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 2807
Hours: Open 7 days 10am-5pm
A stunning collection of fine jewellery is now in Leura and the staging and display of beautiful pieces in Ainsley Fine Jewellery is a work of art. .Rings - diamond, gold, pearl and gorgeous amber capture our attention on our first visit. You will also find necklaces of gemstones, amethyst, garnet, lemon quartz and a 'stop-in-your-tracks' pair of gold and silver spiral aquamarine drop earrings.
Owner, Ainsley Whelan is a jewellery designer, a gemmologist and a diamond grader. With these credentials, we were surprised to find such a young talent heading up the business. Her attention to detail and to design is unusual and exciting for her years.
QUIDDITAS CREATIVE ART & GALLERY
Address:88 Railway Parade
Hours: Open Thu-Mon 10am-5pm
Phone: 02 4784 3625
Quidditas is a well turned-out collection of exhibition space, art gallery and shop of exquisite gifts - all rolled into the heritage-listed house and garden on Leura's prestigious Railway Parade.
In the Quidditas exhibition room, the focus is upon past and present textiles and cultural artefacts from around the world. With items collected by the owner, a clothing and textile designer, exhibition themes change with some frequency.
The gallery shop choices - clothing, jewellery, and tableware are sourced from around the world and you won't find these and other items outside the doors of Quidditas. Unusual French tableware, with an amusing and functional design, was such a temptation for us. Jewellery or the more common term "bling" are all the rage, but the baubles at Quidditas are beyond extraordinary. Gorgeous crocheted Turkish jewellery exceeds even our jaded expectation.
Elegant handmade scarves by French designer Sophie Digard are hand dyed and in lovely colours: merino, mohair and velvets with unrepeatable patterns and designs. Linens and pillows, painted lampshades, gifts for children, striking wrapping paper and cards. Browsing and shopping requires time.
Address:177-179 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 3154
Two shops under one umbrella, each with a separate shopfront and entrance is unusual for Leura, but proprietors Lindy and Paul Du Moulin seem to manage this unique arrangement with ease and flair.
While we love Teddy's trendy women's shop, in this issue we want to highlight Teddy's 'man cave' shop as it is unique in Leura. Men shopping is, well … rarely easy, but your man won't feel out of place or 'out of sorts' in this stylish tiny shop.
For that edgy look, guys can find modish leather jackets, gorgeous wool or cashmere coats, belts and great Italian or Irish caps and hats for the outing in that sporty car. We purchased a hip Italian wool cap for a friend's 21st and he loved it!
For the traditional guy, don't overlook briefcases, man bags and satchels, which are the exceptional leather accessory. The Toowoomba overnight or carry-on satchel is fantastic - a gorgeous leather in chocolate. This leather is soft and will age beautifully.
Shaving gear, cuff links, watches, scarves and umbrellas: all under one roof. Life made easy for a man who is particular about his style. And if he isn't, dressing your man has never been made easier.
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Trees at the top and bottom of The Mall are decorated. Garlands and big stars are suspended from above shops and cafes. And, a festive ding-a-ling can be heard from the hundreds of tiny bells hung along the walk of Post Office Lane.
Weekend buskers claimed their favourite (and most profitable) spot by early Saturday, so music adds to our excitement. December is moving along at its usual fast pace and we suggest marking off your gift list with a day of shopping in holiday Leura will relieve a bit of the stress.
For those of us who like the charged thrill of gift-shopping hanging over our heads, Leura is throwing a party Friday, 16 December. I vow each year to shop early, but . . . So, with Santa in tow, caroling by choirs and various and sundry wonderful buskers, we will go looking for the Leura parade. The village is all decked out so we will pull out and put on our Santa hat and join in the festivities.
For a little assist with your shopping dilemmas:
Leura Toy Shop is stocked from floor to ceiling with toys, games, puzzles and smart-science activities.
Megalong Books is our favourite shopping stop for books on Blue Mountains trails and outdoor adventures. Children’s books are well stocked and this staff can help you be it fact or fiction you desire. They read!
Mrs Peel, the vintage shop of choice in Leura has smashing selections for that Christmas party you are planning. The summer shoes are to die for and if you want some crazy accessories: jewellery, socks, hair combs – browsing is the order of the day!
As is the case, we are rushing around gift-searching for the hard to please, so we’ll have a few more recommendations later this week. Ah, it is the Silly Season!