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Leura Guidebook

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Leura Streetscapes & Landscapes

Leura Streetscapes & Landscapes

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There are a number of cafes and restaurants in and around Leura to keep you well fed and happy! If you are attending Everglades' Leura Shakespeare Festival, ask about a hamper to make the theatre experience even more special. We suggest you call ahead for booking the hamper, so telephone numbers are included below.

 

The Alexandra (The Alex Bistro)

62 Great Western Highway, Leura

02 4782 4422

Hours: Open daily from 12noon, Music on Sunday 1pm–4pm

 

We love the ambience of ‘The Alex’ and its newly restored look. Under new management, the old gal has been given an interior facelift – a remodel that provides the Blue Mountains with a classy bistro. A pizza oven for that perfect pub-food option was installed adjacent to a newly furnished and family-oriented game room. A petite library in front of the fireplace for relaxing with friends over a glass of wine is a charming surprise of the new reconfiguration. Finally, the ‘Carriages’ function room, an extension to the historic Redfern Bistro opens out to the Beer Garden (terrace)and is perfect for 40 or more guests. The terrace is an incredible setting; you can see the whole of Leura below with the added bonus of watching passengers debark on the Blue Mountains trains. Trains, coming and going entrance our little ones. This is the new Alex. We suggest bookings for weekends -- The Alex does get busy!

 

Bon Ton Bistro & Wine Bar

 192 The Mall, Leura
 02 4782 4377
Hours: Open Fri–Tue 11am ‘til late, Sun 9am–3.30pm

   

 

Bon Ton Bistro is modelled on the cheery and modern European-style bistro, occupying the entire corner of Megalong Street and The Mall. In summer, leafy trees shade the garden terrace seating – alfresco dining is very special! Some 14 years ago on a lovely summer day, we shared a family lunch at Bon Ton – our first foray into Leura – and we’ve been returning annually for a holiday celebration in the garden.  Bon Ton has an upmarket yet casual ambience. A fixed price menu selection – two or three courses – offers a range of choices, from 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. 

 

The Rooster Restaurant

48 Merriwa Street, Katoomba
02 4782 1206 
Hours: Open Fri–Tue Breakfast weekends 8am–10am, Lunch 12noon–2.30pm, Dinner 6pm ‘til late

   

Views,views, views! Located midway between Leura and Katoomba, The Rooster, built 125 years ago, perhaps offers an unimpeded view of Jamison Valley and the escarpment. Out front, tables and umbrellas offer a casual lunch setting for trekkers and backpackers – or perhaps that celebratory glass of champagne after a day of rock climbing. Inside, windows open out to the escarpment and the warm ambience of the bar, which features gorgeous woods and a sophisticated display of flagons and magnums of favourite malts and scotch whiskeys, creating an impressive reception area.

Formality is reserved for evenings where the traditional French menu is superb: slow cooked veal, duck confit leisurely cooked and served with lentils in potato baskets, grain-fed beef with onion compote and, of course, desserts to die for.

Wayzgoose Cafe

174 The Mall, Leura 

 02 4784 1973
Hours: Open daily 9am–5pm

   

Wayzgoose, a café with outdoor seating, occupies an historic building where in 1910, publisher Peter Giles Hart established the Federal Printing Works. This heritage building has an unusual shape – perfect for booths and tables of customers today yet we can imagine the long room filled with presses of the past.

Behind what could have been the printer’s customer counter in 1910, homemade brownies, cupcakes, tarts and flowerless orange and almond cakes beckon. Along with the famous ‘Flower-Pot Scone’, most offerings are made in-house. The espresso machine is constantly in motion as locals stop by in the early morning for a sweet and a shot of caffeine. ‘Huge Mountain Breakfast’ or waffles or Pesto Mushrooms are on the ‘all day’ menu.

 

Solitary Restaurant

90 Cliff Drive, Leura Falls 
02 4782 1164
Hours: Open Wed–Sun lunch 11am–4pm, Sat dinner from 6.30 pm

Solitary owns the most stunning escarpment views in all of Leura – we see the weather changing minute by minute in this prime location. In this heritage cottage and garden overlooking Mt Solitary and Jamison Valley, refreshments have been served from the early days of the twentieth century. Since 1913, trekkers have been delighted to come upon the kiosk after a day of walking along the escarpment. Check out the garden menu. Delicious options are available from 11:30am – 3:30pm. French toast served with bacon, maple syrup, ricotta and caramelised pecans is the trekkers’ favourite.

      

 

   

Unique, unusual, out-of-the-ordinary -- this is the range of Christmas shopping found in our charming village. One long street, The Mall and Megalong Street offer some very great shopping opportunities for your gift giving. So focus on your shopping this week and next week, we will highlight our cafes and bistros where you can rest your weary (and tired) feet and enjoy a cuppa and a sweet or a tasty dinner. The gift wrapping can wait!

 

The Toy Shop may be incomparable with gifts for kids and Megalong Books will open doors to a wider world for kids and adults alike through picture books, travel books and novels!. If there is a gardner in your family, you need look no further than Birches of Leura -- smashing pots and plaques, beautiful plants and trees -- and inside, some charming and unusual gifts for the house.

 

 

Today, we will highlight two spectular shopping experiences. Shop 175 and next door, Teddy Sinclair. Each is a delight to browse, talk with staff and purchase that very different gift.We begin with Teddy -- the shops where you must lock your purse or wallets or leave your credit cards at home. . . we cannot resist the many temptations: leathers, scarves, jewellery --  there is such a range on offer! So be forwarned!

 

 

   

TEDDY SINCLAIR

Address: 177-179 The Mall

Phone: 02 4784 3154 
Hours: Open 7 days 9.30am–5.15pm, Sun 10am–5pm

Teddy Sinclair claims a high rung on the ladder of great shops - two shops under one umbrella, each with a separate shopfront and entrance and each with extraordinary items for women or men. This is unusual for Leura, but proprietors Lindy and Paul Du Moulin seem to manage this unique arrangement with ease and flair. (In each shop, you will find the unusual and items priced to fit every pocketbook.)

The women’s side of Teddy Sinclair is the equivalent of discovering the best of Christmas surprises every day. Smart and chic leather Amelia Earhart aviator-style jackets or hip double-breasted biker jackets that awaken our fantasy to ‘hit the road’. Not-your-nanna’s travel bags in wonderful colours, soft and durable, prove a favourite. Scarves, many made exclusively made for Teddy’s, along with belts and bags of every style and colour adorn the walls throughout.

Teddy’s ‘man cave’ shop is stocked with modish leather jackets and gorgeous wools or cashmeres for men. Two items you won’t want to overlook are the gorgeous chocolate leather satchels and the very popular soft leather wallets.

But it is the jewellery that keeps loyal fans returning to this wonderful shop. Check out Ayala Bar, and Teddy Sinclair’s own brand of unusual earrings, rings and necklaces. To find the shop just follow the crowd.

 

    

One brief look in this petite Shop 175 and the options are amazing. The staff will help you locate gifts to excite most any recipient. Plan on browsing!

Address: 175 The Mall

Phone: 0400 507 157
Hours: Open 7 days 10am–5pm

Eclectic and elegant, this shop features a substantial collection of antique, vintage, retro and new homewares, gifts, jewellery and clothing. Perhaps a ‘rub and wish’ on Aladdin’s Lamp could have delivered more choices but we’re not convinced. With glamorous and posh items on display throughout this petite shop, the proprietor of Shop 175 is not to be outdone by a ‘temperamental and often wicked’ genie.

We are somewhat compromised in our visual field when many choices are offered – we must look carefully and perhaps twice. So, we recommend that you set aside ample time for browsing. Ask questions and be sure to see some of the gorgeous jewellery up close. Our proprietor attends estate sales around the country – he learned the trade at the knee of a skilled relative, owner of an auction house – and he has an eye for the unusual when it comes to clothing, jewellery or art.

Don’t miss the Japanese kimonos – a stunning example is often hanging on the wall. And from the UK, colourful opera shawls of velvet and silk are standouts.

A framed pencil sketch of artist Bill Coleman could be the start of your art collection – you’ll find affordable 20th century artists at Shop 175. If you have always wanted your own Waterford collection, this is the shop for you.

Plan ahead for those chilly winter days, a large collection of scarves is on hand – cashmere and Australian wools in colours you will love. A sophisticated shop, but you’ll find something for everyone.

 This is our Leura -- a shopper's dream come true!