A weekend of vintage indulgence

Every February, the Blue Mountains about 1 hr away from Sydney, is host to an Art Deco Festival.  This year, we packed our bags full of 20s vintage glamour and headed for the delightful Harmony Cottage.  This little haven, just a short stroll from the Leura Mall was absolutely charming.  Our hosts had taken care of every little detail, from welcome packs to four poster beds. The large outdoor deck was perfect by day and the fire place (yes, it was jusssst cool enough) was perfectly atmospheric by night.

Our main reason for heading to the Art Deco Festival was to "charleston" the night away, roaring 20s style, at the "great dame" of hotels, the Carrington's art deco ball. An event not to be missed! Excellent music, flowing wine, a delicious three course meal - all in luxe art deco surrounds. However, taking advantage of the opportunity for some leisurely lunching combined with some serious vintage shopping was a fantastic bonus.

First stop was Leura Mall. It has a distinct "so french so chic" vibe and is home to some fantastic cafes including the very, very funky Leura Garage. At this little gem it was hard to choose between all of the delicious offerings, including a range of tapas. The wine list was also outstanding.  After indulging ones tastebuds, it was time to indulge in an orgy of french imported goodies. The beautiful Maison Montage  was absolutely filled to the brim with everything from rustic pieces of pewter, to crisp napery, glassware and fragrances all direct from La Belle France. The Cat's Meow also had some gorgeous little trinkets, such as very girly pink and mint green tea cups, along with a selection of very impressive furniture, including huge french farmhouse dinning tables.

While I don't want to play favourites, I would have to say that I could have spent all the money in my piggy bank at Leura Vintage.  Consisting of four rooms, the walls of this treasure trove of vintage finds, were adorned with 50s wiggle dresses, stunning art deco beaded dresses, turbans, tuxedos, top hats and silk scarves, to name but a few. It was hard to walk away with only one small purchase! 

While we were based in Leura, it was decided that we would jump in the car and head up the hill to Blackheath and the mecca of antique stores, Victory Theatre Antiques . From this amazing emporium we all walked away with a little treasure, from glass Japanese fishing balls, to demure netted 40s hats, bold 60s ramekins and a random pair of stilettos.

Mentally exhausted from the hard decision making of vintage purchases,  we toyed with the idea of popping into the wonderfully shabby chic Ivanhoe Hotel for a beer, pie and some smoky jazz, but alas no - the decision was made to press onwards and down the other side of the great dividing range. And, thank heavens we did. Driving towards Little Hartley we stumbled upon a small group of stalls just off the side of the road. Here we met a delightful half Italian - half Uruguayan gentleman with a bounty of black Russian tomatoes, organic potatoes and zucchini, along with a huge array of traditional Uruguayan preserves including thick caramely dulce de Leche and quince paste. A divine filling for our french crepes later that evening. We also picked up a large tub of lightly golden orange blossom honey from Lithgow and a punnet of glossy local blackberries. So thrilled were we with our purchases, we called it a day and headed the car for Harmony Cottage to prepare a good old Sunday night roast  - with all the organic trimmings, a light glass of italian red (or two) and a night of Cluedo.  Thank you blue montains for a wonderful weekend - we will be back very soon!

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Maira Gall