Berrima Village Pottery may sound familiar to some of you…it left the Highlands for a little while only to make its return last November – giving Berrima a much needed breath of fresh air in the retail department! Sitting just down the hill on the corner of the Old Hume Highway and Wingecarribee street, Berrima Village Pottery provides a stunning selection of hand-crafted ceramics and homewares.
Owners Louise and Paul Bruce have turned the once dark and dank bakery / cafe into a fresh, light-filled retail and studio space. They have beautifully preserved certain unique features and quirks of the site to pay homage to its history, including the original bakers oven and stone floor. Make sure you stop in here while you’re in the Highlands and see the spread of textures, neutral tones and natural materials for yourself.
Watch this space as Berrima Village Pottery continues to build its collection of hand-made pieces as well as possibly providing pottery classes down the track…
Where: Corner of Old Hume Highway and Wingecarribee street, Berrima
When: From 10am 7 days
I love a good op. And yes, I use ‘op’ as a verb. Not so long ago Mr. Someplacesouth and I set ourselves a challenge to buy clothes exclusively from second-hand stores for twelve months. We are nine months in and going strong, excluding one or two necessary new items that the humble op shop could not provide. Fortunately, the Southern Highlands is home to a really solid selection of op shops which has made our challenge all the more possible. Seriously, it is AMAZING what people offload to charity shops down here. I’m talking tags-still-on-maybe-never-worn-mostly-brand-name-sometimes-fancy-european-designer kind of stuff.
For your benefit and because I am feeling crafty, here are some handy maps showing the go-to op shops in the area, specifically in Moss Vale and Bowral. Note that most op shops in the area are closed weekends. All the more reason to hang around the Highlands a little longer I say! Now, go forth and op!
When you hear the word craft the mind tends to conjure images of paste, glitter and egg cartons fashioned into trucks. The Sturt Gallery in leafy Mittagong is Australia’s oldest craft centre. However, craft in this instance refers to some of the most exquisite and refined woodwork, porcelain, weaving and pottery one might find.
Sitting just behind Frensham Girls’ School on Range Road, Sturt boasts an exhibition space for Australian artists and craftspeople, a gallery shop and a small pop-up cafe. Throughout the year there are various craft courses for people of all ages and skill levels in jewellery, woodwork, ceramics and weaving.
There is always reason to pop in to Sturt on your way through Mittagong. I find the shop an excellent place for discovering uniquely Australian gifts and one-of-a-kind homewares, espcially considering you can sip on a coffee while you browse! Not to mention the gardens around the site are just gorgeous.
Visit their website for further details on upcoming exhibitions and courses at http://www.sturt.nsw.edu.au/.
Where: Corner Range Road & Waverley Parade, Mittagong
When: Open 7 Days 10am – 5pm
Without giving away too much ‘insider information’ on the who’s who of the Highlands (yes, I have some local know how now!), I can tell you there are a few big names in the Australian art world who call this region home. Generally speaking, the Southern Highlands has quite an established and impressive art scene with notable galleries and exhibitions in Mittagong, Bowral and Berrima.
If we can be frank – and I think we can – I really do not know that much about art at all. But I like the idea of knowing a lot about art! I would say, with some embarrassment, that I err on the ‘craft’ side of the art spectrum. You know, homemade cards, recycled wrapping paper, putting decorative things in jars and tying them with string etc. Which is maybe why The Artist’s Deli in Bowral makes an exhibition space with real grown up art so appealing to a crafty person like myself.
Beyond the artworks on display themselves, this little business offers an outstanding selection of beautiful big sheets of recycled textured saa (mulberry) paper from Thailand and Bali. There are also some general art supplies – brushes, paints, charcoals, oils, pencils – and some general quirky handmade giftware. My personal favourite is the range of Uashmama washable paper lunchboxes, handbags and satchels.
The Artist’s Deli is a fun place to visit and I think a good indication of the kind of creativity and ingenuity that seems to thrive in this part of New South Wales. Pop in for a look on your way to breakfast at the Milk Factory Gallery Cafe next door, or alternatively on your way to Rivers if you’re that way inclined..!
Where: 6-7/31 Station Street, Bowral
When: Closed Tuesday Wednesday, Thursday – Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday + Monday 11am – 3pm.
I don’t know that anyone really knows how auctions work (I certainly do not), but I still think you should reserve this Sunday morning for Dirty Jane’s Antiques auction anyway. Once every couple of months the back parking lot of Dirty Jane’s antiques warehouse is converted into something resembling a posh flea market with all items up for auction as the day progresses. To my fellow penniless plebs, this is our time to shine in the antiques domain with most bids starting at the very reasonable price of $5.00! Less than the price of a cup of coffee on soy with an extra shot in a mug a day!
The forecast for this weekend is clear, sunny and mild but if the morning chill hangs around too long you can always nip inside to Your Vintage Occasion for a tea and scone. Items available range from random scraps of used timber to vintage scales and pirate chests. If you’re looking for something in particular, you will probably find it. And if you’re not looking, you will probably find what you never knew you missed! I will be busy working for the man this time round but I’ve left you with a few snaps of some of my favourite pieces from last time..
Where: 391 Bong Bong street, Bowral
When: 9am onwards Sunday 14 September (Bi-monthly from then onwards)
Markets like these are the stuff that dreams are made of.
Every second Saturday of the month the grounds of Bowral Public School are inundated with people, pets, plants and produce and the playground is transformed into a bustling marketplace. These are by far the best attended markets in the district, both in terms of vendors and the general public. It’s a real comfort to see such gusto in the community’s support for something like this.
The atmosphere is super relaxed and the selection of stalls feels like a perfect mix between Glebe and Paddington markets in Sydney…with less beards. Here can be found good coffee, cute clothes, weird seedling varieties, colourful fresh flowers, organic vegetables, damn good pho, talented buskers, tulip bulbs, turkish towels, foie gras…and the list goes on! You may even catch a glimpse of Geoff Jansz the man himself!
If you can time your visit to the Highlands with these markets, your weekend will be all the better for it I promise you. Go for a caramel shortbread from City Biscuits, spuds from Highland Gourmet Potatoes, and – if your budget allows it – leather ware from the cute boys at Paterson and Salisbury.
Where: Bowral Public School, Bendooley Street, Bowral
When: Every second Saturday of the month, 8am – 1pm