Our other visitor guides
- Created on Monday, 06 June 2016 14:03
- Hits: 374
The weather was absolutely stunning for several months April and May – gorgeous temperate days but with sufficient rain to fill our waterfalls to overflowing. We had an unending supply of visiting tourists: the Mall was crowded with shoppers; cafes were busy preparing lunch; day-trekkers walk the trails along the escarpment and we came across excited grinning rock climbers practicing early morning rappelling at Sublime Point.
We live in the natural beauty of the Blue Mountains where a thick misty layer appears at dawn, but within minutes the sun dispenses with it – the grandeur of the escarpment now apparent. Assuming the role of ‘tour guide’ to an American guest this week gets us out exploring the natural world surrounding Leura.
Along Cliff Drive, the sandstone walls constantly shift colours. With each imperceptible movement of the early morning sun, surprises unfold. Rust coloured crevices appear where yellow flat sandstone walls had been only moments before.
The eucalypt valley below seems to ripple with a slow incoming green tide. The eerie silence over the smooth rock of Sublime Point Lookout takes our breath away – civilization is removed. Well, civilization is at least remote.
Everglades House & Garden
Everglades House & Gardens is in its autumnal beauty – a thin mist veils the Grotto pool and the waterfall high above plummets with mesmerizing resonance to the lush greenery below. Busy gardeners cut and clear for winter, plant for and anticipate spring. The natural milieu surrounding Leura is our backdrop – a scenic background upon which we carry out our lives, century after century after century.
An Edwardian Village Begins
By eight, morning life in Leura stirs – the smell of strong coffee and baking croissants wafts over The Mall. A few visitors are out, but the quiet of a cathedral is present – soundless steps, voices low. Only excited birds seem indifferent to our slow-waking, somewhat sacred rituals. Leura is our respite – the holiday getaway of many as it has been since land speculators recognized the possibilities of the area in 1881.
VIEW FROM THE ALEX ABOVE LEURA'S TRAIN STATION
Leura, with its wide streets, its proximity to the bush and its frequently changing weather was a draw to Sydney-siders then as it is now. In 1905, The Alexandra Guesthouse and Hotel looking out to Jamison Valley and overlooking the train tracks was built. Weatherboard buildings were dual purposed: retail shops on the ground level and family housing on the first. The structures weathered, faded and fell into disarray as the years passed. By 1921, The Mall was dusty or muddy, depending upon the season. By the 1950s Leura was asleep, forgotten by its neighbors in Medlow Bath, Katoomba and Wentworth Falls. Two decades passed and Leura awoke. Instigated by residents and proprietors, veranda posts were replaced and store fronts painted once again in muted colours. Its Edwardian charm and its Sydney-sider visitors returned.
Today the Edwardian look, much like the colours of that day, is muted and you may overlook that era’s influence. But the charm is only a step away: inside Leura Cellars, Wayzgoose Café, Gifts–n-Things, Max & Me, and Silks Brasserie with its 15 foot ceilings and recessed doorway you are carried back to Leura’s early days.
On the corner of The Mall and Megalong Streets, Bon-Ton Bistro began life as a 1917 butcher shop and a 1920’s petrol station is now home to Bakehouse on Wentworth. At the corner of Grose and Megalong Streets, a large brick bungalow began life as a residence in 1913. Today, with its impressive verandah, By Gone Beautys Museum and Tea Room serve up elegant high tea.
And up on Railway Parade, Quidditas Gallery is housed in one of the elegant buildings occupying that street at the turn of the century. Granted, building fronts have been modernized, additions have been completed but the interiors are a lovely reminder of those early residents and businesses who brought Leura to its feet once again.
- Created on Tuesday, 17 May 2016 09:14
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2016 LEURA'S MAY HARVEST FAIR
The Leura Village Association and Quidditas Creative Art Gallery sponsored the Festival again this year and Mother Nature threw in a beautiful day. The infamous Blue Mountains windy weather came up late in the afternoon, so we had a glorious day, browsing, tasting and people watching. Quidditas, located at 88 Railway Parade is once again (2016) the major sponsor and LVA sponsored and put the Event together -- not a simple task!
Leura Village Association (LVA) began in 1980 when business proprietors began to worry about Leura's fall into disarray. These women and men worked hard to put Leura back on the map. Today the organization plays a vital role in promoting Leura activities and caring for the landscaping and beauty of The Mall, Grose Street and Megalong Street. The group organises the Harvest Festival and the spring Leura Fair. These events are well organised -- lots of vendors eagerly await each -- and well attended. The public loves the opportunity to walk The Mall, shop and enjoy food. We caught President Barry Jarrott tending to this event like a mother hen!
Pres Barry: Takin' Care of Business
The Blue Mountains folk like to compete: The Chook Show, The Scarecrow Competition and the Chocolate Cake Bakeoff.
Everyone must love chocolate, including The Judges:
THE CHOOK COMPETITION:
No Animal Was Harmed. In fact, these chooks are loved dearly by their young handlers! They were only caged so that the Harvest Festival did have to report to the Blue Mountains Gazette: Chooks on the Loose!
(2015 Winner: two beauties)
And the Mountains creative side pops up again in the Scarecrow Competition:
OUR HARVEST FESTIVAL "INSTAGRAM"
"Phone Home, E.T, " The Harvest Festival will be bigger & better May 2017.