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!
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!
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.
Go Travel Leura: Make Time for a walk along the edge
EVERGLADES HOUSE & GARDEN
Address:37 Everglades Avenue Phone: 02 4784 1938 Hours: Open daily March to September 10am–4pm, October to February 10am–5pm (entry fee)
Perched along the edge of the escarpment, Everglades is truly a mountain destination for a day-trip. Views out to the edge are stunning. This is the perfect season for a walk up and down the 'lanes' of a gorgeous cool-mountain garden. Lunch or tea is available in the art deco tearoom or courtyard daily – tea, coffee, cakes, sweets and old-fashioned fare. Book in advance is our advice.
Everglades House in Snow
Danish-born Paul Sorensen designed these park-like gardens with million-dollar views into the Jamison Valley in 1933 for owner and Sydney businessman, Henri Van de Velde. A workforce of 60 men built miles of curving dry-pack retaining walls – Sorenson’s signature – and gently sloping paths. A property this size requires a staff to maintain it and in 1962 the National Trust of Australia purchased the property.
In spring, red tulips and yellow daffodils fill the gardens along the Upper Drive and in autumn the golden arch of the Garden Theatre is in perfect harmony with the muted gold and reds among the trees. The winter scene is no less beautiful – leafless trees and empty flowerbeds offer us a barren landscape but the view to the magnificent sandstone escarpment is a magnificent backdrop. The gardens regardless of the season are a magical place for all.
In 2018-19, the grand old house and gardens will host a series of ‘happenings’ – art exhibitions, Easter-egg hunts and several sophisticated events properly staged and open to the public. In January 2019, Everglades, as it has since 2010, hosts the Leura Shakespeare Festival for consecutive weekends commencing 12 January.
'War of the Roses'
The Art Deco house and gardens, perhaps as they were in Van de Velde’s day, will come alive with festivities and entertainments – merrymakers all!