For the last few weeks everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has been telling us how beautiful the Blue Mountains are. I had only been once before on a very boring and very long ago school excursion. I had memories of standing in front of the Three Sisters and trekking through the Jenolan Caves. All very beautiful but alas I was too young to soak up the glorious bohemian shops, vintage wonders, yummy cafes and artistic vibe of Leura and Katoomba.
We left the stinking hot Central Coast and made the 2 and a half hour drive up the mountain. It was a pleasant trip, along which we noticed a bunch of second hand stores and warehouses. (YAY!) Apart from a mini getaway our main aim was to hit all the second hand and vintage shops in the area for some new stock for Dapper Darlings!
Buying stock for the shop is a huge part of our lives. Our first point of call is visiting a whole sale warehouse a few times a year. At a vintage wholesaler we can purchase vintage items scourced from overseas. All gorgeous quality. It makes life a lot easier having all that amazing stuff at your fingertips but it kind of takes the thrill out of digging through a pile of crap at your local op shop to find that one gem! Doing trips like these, keep us excited about finding the unique pieces, that the fashionistas of past have grown out of. It has been a long time hobby of mine and I am quite good at finding rare items. Even if I do say so myself!
We arrived at Daniels Aunty Mary’s holiday house at Wentworth Falls, one town across from Leura. It was gorgeous. Within 5 minutes I had pictured myself moved in and renovating the bathroom. All claw-foot bath tubs and exposed pipes! It is a classic cottage house with aga, fireplace and apple tree in the backyard. Add some chooks and a vege patch and I am in heaven!
That night we got a bite to eat in Katoomba at the most amazing little Italian pizza restaurant with Dans mum and brother who were also up on a holiday! Great timing! We took a walk up to the historic Carrington Hotel, daydreamed about holidaying there and having high tea on the front veranda, with the afternoon light streaming through the stained glass windows! Sigh. We also checked out the three old girls. Just as beautiful as I remembered as an 11 year old.
The next morning we were up early and ready to go! We had a breakfast of olive sourdough and tea and honey and drove into town. Katoomba has a huge selection of amazing shops, ranging from speciality vintage stores similar to Dapper Darlings, as well as the local Antique shops, old book stores, Vinnie’s and Cat Care op-shops. We checked them all out! I found a 1970’s green velvet number, some gorgeous 1950’s blouses and some 1980-1990’s dresses!
After saying good bye to Karen and Alex we headed into Leura for a spot of lunch. I ate an amazing pumpkin soup and Dan had a vegetarian baguette. The vintage stores in Leura are out of this world. They are well stocked with a range of beautiful vintage dresses, accessories and handcrafts. I was proud to chat to shop owners about my shop and swap a few tips with them. We dug our way through a few more op-shops and after finding some amazing gems we started the long drive home.
All in all we had a fantastic time in the Blue Mountains. The scenery is beyond picturesque, the food is yummy and the vintage stores are first class! You should get up there. If that sounds like too much of an effort, come into Dapper Darlings over the next week while we start stocking the shelves with all the amazing finds we made in the mountains!!
Love and Peace, Linda x
All photos were taken on my iPhone 4S.