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BON TON CAFE GARDEN
The weather has been oh so warm in Leura and the Blue Mountains in the lead up to Australia Day, but myriad visitors crowded The Mall. A respite in cooler cafes was quite popular, and in the shade of Bon Ton's lovely garden setting, we detected German, Japanese and perhaps American dialects quietly chatting over a late morning brunch. An animated group of French arrived -- a small bus tour out of Sydney -- adding to the international flavour. This was a typical Leura morning.
BON TON CAFE & BISTRO
Address:192 The Mall, Leura
Phone: 02 4782 4377
Hours: Open Fri–Tue 11am to late, Sun 9am to 3.30pm
Bon Ton Bistro occupies the entire corner of Megalong Street and The Mall. In summer, beautiful leafy trees shade the garden terrace seating. Christmas celebrations are very popular here. Some 14 years ago on a lovely February day, we shared a family lunch at Bon Ton – our first foray into Leura – and we've been returning annually. The Bistro is modelled on the European-style bistro and bar and is tres chic!
In winter or wet weather, there is no argument about being drawn inside to the Edwardian-style dining room complete with open fire.
In the early evening and on into the dining hours, Bon Ton has an upmarket yet casual ambience. A fixed price selection – two or three course – is on the menu offering hearty soups and large salads to full mains and delicate desserts.
Petite samplings along with wine or beer make Bon Ton a popular hangout for Leura's literati in the early evening and on ay, a crowd gathers for the $10 Bar Burger and chips.
This is a family business – father and son love their work and definitely love their food!
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Lindy Du Moulin
Teddy Sinclair Shops
‘Leura appeals to everyone regardless of age’ and so it must be as daily, internationals and locals alike fill cafés, restaurants and shops. Even when socked-in with fog as thick as pea soup, rarely will The Mall be empty. Perhaps snow in July keeps everyone at home, but a heavy snow blanketing the Blue Mountains has been rare in the 21st century.
In Leura, Teddy Sinclair is that unusual shop we often seek, and the owner, Lindy is one of those unusual entrepreneurs with a vision and a strategy. Her vision: “I want people to spend time and to experience the store as one would a gallery. A bit like an art instillation.” Her strategy: Travel, watch carefully for trends, but don’t chase trends – they tend to fade. Show the work of artists who create and keep high quality and lots of appeal.
New York, Berlin, Bangkok and Indonesia have often been the hotspots for creativity, so she and artist husband travel the world. An exceptional couple, artist Paul seeks out the creative atmosphere abroad and Lindy finds and chooses the product. Uncommon and extraordinary items – not the flash in the pan or trends that will or can change overnight.
With a background in interior design and paying attention to her intuition – that often illusive sixth sense – Lindy felt confident in predicting ‘what would sell.’ In the eighties, after a lengthy trip across Europe, she and Paul settled into the Blue Mountains upon their return. With Paul’s career launched, Lindy worked with a business mentor – someone who believed in her. And with her charming personality, believing in Lindy is uncomplicated and stress-free.
So, who is Teddy Sinclair? A favourite and loved uncle to Lindy. The next time you are in the shop, ask her for a story or two.
A year or so after the shop’s opening with sensational women’s clothing and accessories, a tiny space next door came available. With panache and fearlessness, the fabulous men’s apparel of Teddy Sinclair came to life. Others over the years in Leura have tried men’s apparel – none have lasted long. However, Lindy’s ‘cool’ composure and firm conviction has built success and today Teddy’s is one of Leura’s most well-liked and fashionable shops for men – and for women.
We know the combination of quality, affordability and very interesting items play a big role in Teddy Sinclair’s success on The Mall. But then again, an owner’s warm personality, her ability to hire great staff and to build a unique niche are not easy to come by. With Lindy, these traits come naturally.