Make a trunk call in Ade­laide

Louis Vuit­ton lug­gage, Dan­ish de­signs and Abo­rig­i­nal art in the South Aus­tralian cap­i­tal

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - CHRIS­TINE McCABE

Leigh St Lug­gage, City: Es­tab­lished more than 30 years ago by for­mer Ansett flight at­ten­dant Julie Barnes and lo­cated in quaint Leigh Street, Ade­laide’s first nod to a laneway cul­ture, this charm­ing shop is stuffed to the gun­wales with the world’s best lug­gage brands.

Barnes’s col­lec­tion of vin­tage ports is scat­tered about the shop and in­cludes 19th-cen­tury Louis Vuit­ton as well as a gi­gan­tic trunk used by a Ger­man cou­ple to tote their pots and pans en va­cances to the Baltic.

There are more old cases in the work­room (Barnes stocks noth­ing she can’t re­pair), and shelves of use­ful trav­el­ling ac­cou­trements such as pigskin money belts, writ­ing com­pendi­ums, even an in­flat­able ex­er­cise cush­ion in­tended to ward off (heaven for­bid) econ­omy-class syn­drome.

Barnes has served three gen­er­a­tions of many fam­i­lies and el­derly clients pop in to dis­cuss their travel plans, oth­ers to ad­mire the ‘‘golden age of travel’’ win­dow dis­plays. The creme de la creme of lug­gage? Glo­be­trot­ter, ‘‘as used by the Queen’’ and ‘ ‘ toted to base camp by Ed­mund Hil­lary’’, says Barnes, as she pro­duces sev­eral todie-for, old-fash­ioned and hand­made leather cases, but on wheels and in colours such as cool blue or Her­mes orange.

You can be­gin your hol­i­day by wheel­ing them across the street to Ud­aberri, Ade­laide’s first pin­txos bar and the hottest ticket in town af­ter 5pm. More: leigh­stlug­ Dan­ish Vin­tage Mod­ern, Nor­wood: Adrian Cut­ting and Amelia An­saldi have been vis­it­ing Scan­di­navia for more than 12 years to source clas­sic fur­ni­ture.

They spe­cialise in the golden age of Dan­ish de­sign, the 1950s and 60s, and their store on Mag­ill Road in Nor­wood (a street dot­ted with an­tiques and vin­tage em­po­ri­ums; Khai Liew’s show­room is nearby) is a mod­ernist’s dream, ar­rayed with sleek side- boards, tables and easy chairs. Pre-loved, fetch­ingly worn leather so­fas and Dan­ish land­scapes in oil are good buys. Trad­ing hours are lim­ited (Thurs­day-Satur­day).

If you’re vis­it­ing the Ade­laide Hills, the cou­ple also keeps a small but very charm­ing an­tiques store, sell­ing Scan­di­na­vian and French fur­ni­ture and art, in Mead­ows ( open Sun­day af­ter­noons at 76 Maw­son St). More: dan­ishv­in­tage­mod­ Bet­ter World Arts, Port Ade­laide: Es­tab­lished in 1996 by Carolyn Wil­son, this won­der­ful so­cial en­ter­prise brings to­gether Abo­rig­i­nal artists, many from the re­mote Anangu Pit­jan­t­jat­jara Yankun­yt­jat­jara and Yuen­dumu com­mu­ni­ties, with ar­ti­sans in Kash­mir, Peru and Nepal. The re­sult­ing rugs, cush­ions and jewel- lery are dis­trib­uted across the world but at the home base in Port Ade­laide you can see a wide se­lec­tion of art, tex­tiles and gifts be­neath the soar­ing ceil­ings of the art deco-era Ma­sonic Cen­tre built in Egyp­tian re­vival style and daubed with hi­ero­glyph­ics.

To­gether with a fair-trade shop and gallery (stag­ing reg­u­lar exhibitions), Bet­ter World Arts is home to a stu­dio and cul­tural cen­tre, so you might be lucky enough to see painters at work. Prices range from about $12 for a Kash­miri-made Christ­mas bauble to $4000 for a rug hand­crafted by Ti­betan weavers in Nepal.

Chain-stitch kil­ims can be had for as lit­tle as $230 and the cush­ions are par­tic­u­larly beau­ti­ful. Many prod­ucts fea­ture the work of cel­e­brated artists, in­clud­ing Imi­yari Yilpi Adam­son and Rama Kaltu-Kaltu Samp­son, but Bet­ter World Arts strives to sup­port the work of artists of all skill lev­els. More: bet­ter­worl­ Coun­cil of Ob­jects, City: With a back­ground in in­te­rior ar­chi­tec­ture and an unerring eye for cut­ting-edge de­sign, Elise Short cu­rates, rather than stocks, her de­light­ful lit­tle store, opened late last year at 248 Gren­fell St in Ade­laide’s fash­ion and food­fo­cused East End precinct, with must-have, hand­made ob­jects. Sell­ing pieces only from Aus­tralian (and mostly South Aus­tralian) artists and ar­ti­sans, Short is ex­pand­ing up­stairs with work by lo­cal fur­ni­ture mak­ers Oak & Elm, Lex Sto­bie, An­drew Bartlett, Caren El­lis and John Quan (whom Short has com­mis­sioned to make pieces es­pe­cially for the shop). Pop in here for Nick Mo­ran’s in­tri­cate and be­guil­ing pa­per-art Pea­coat Pocket brooches and Su­san Frost’s dainty hand-thrown ce­ram­ics in pas­tel hues (a real steal from just $20).

And there’s a lovely se­lec­tion of tex­tiles (scarves and cush­ions), cards and jew­ellery. More: coun­cilo­fob­ Push Pin, City: The pop­u­lar­ity of Mad Men has seen a cor­re­spond­ing rise in the for­tunes of vin­tage­fash­ion re­tail­ers.

At Push Pin bou­tique, Clare Matthews crams the racks with glam 50s and 60s fash­ion, in­clud­ing frocks and coats sourced from as far afield as Ber­lin and Paris (with a buy­ing trip to New York sched­uled for later this year).

On Compton Street just off the bustling Gouger ‘‘eat street’’, this yes­ter­year sa­lon is sit­u­ated in a peel­ing but very pretty, her­itage­listed build­ing that a cen­tury ago was home to a fa­mously raff­ish tea room and two-up den. (Next door, Mark Hei­den­re­ich throws el­e­gant gar­den pots and urns in the rather more se­date sur­rounds of the for­mer Housewives As­so­ci­a­tion head­quar­ters.)

In ad­di­tion to vin­tage clob­ber, Matthews whips up gor­geous 40s and 50s-era frocks us­ing old fab­rics and is happy to take be­spoke com­mis­sions. More: 8 Compton St, Ade­laide; (08) 8410 9707. Im­prints Book­sellers, City: Ev­ery great city has a book­store that’s be­come part of the fur­ni­ture. In Ade­laide it’s Im­prints, in the ev­erso-slightly seedy West End at 107 Hind­ley St and a favourite haunt for bib­lio­philes since the early 80s. It forms a book­end, as it were, to an­other favourite, the Mary Martin Book­shop on Run­dle Street East (es­tab­lished in 1945).

At Im­prints, the small but very charm­ing room is laid out along old-fash­ioned lines, with gleam­ing shelves de­voted to ev­ery­thing from film and mu­sic to pol­i­tics, his­tory, food and fic­tion.

Own­ers Katherine Woehlert and Ja­son Lake keep a good se­lec­tion of per­form­ing arts and po­etry ti­tles and the tables are fetch­ingly ar­ranged to en­cour­age leisurely brows­ing (more re­cently, e-books have be­come part of the mix). When you’ve found some­thing to read (the store is open seven days and late Wed­nes­day-Fri­day), pop across to The Apothecary 1878 wine bar, a place even more loaded with old-fash­ioned charm, for a glass of South Aus­tralia’s finest. More: im­ B. Heaven, An­ti­quar­ian, City: This shop is so se­cret it’s open by ap­point­ment only and caters to se­ri­ous col­lec­tors, but I men­tion it be­cause there are few stores or gal­leries so evoca­tive of an undis­cov­ered trea­sure trove.

Bar­rie and Ju­dith Heaven, who long ago owned sev­eral In­dian restau­rants in Ade­laide, have in re­cent decades spe­cialised in an­tiques from the sub­con­ti­nent and the Is­lamic Mogul pe­riod in par­tic­u­lar, in­clud­ing stat­ues, fab­rics and paint­ings.

This is most cer­tainly not cu­rio ter­ri­tory; you’ll need to bring a very fat cheque­book or loaded credit card, but the net­work of dimly lit rooms is an Aladdin’s cave. Nes­tled on Syn­a­gogue Place, mo­ments from Run­dle Mall but a thou­sand miles from mod­ern-day retailing, the Heav­ens’ hand­some shop, with Ra­jasthani doors guard­ing the goods en­trance, is tucked be­tween a new 15-storey apart­ment block and Ade­laide’s old­est syn­a­gogue (to­day a night­club).

There’s no web­site, of course; (08) 8223 3418.

Those on a tighter bud­get might want to check out the al­ways di­vert­ing An­tique Mar­ket (at 32 Grote St), for ev­ery­thing from books and vin­tage clob­ber to toys and bric-a-brac. More: an­tique­mar­

southaus­ NEXT WEEK in our Se­cret Shop­per se­ries: Sydney


Julie Barnes serves a cus­tomer at Leigh St Lug­gage, which stocks the world’s best brands as well as shelves of travel ac­cou­trements

Ja­son Lake, co-owner of Im­prints Book­sellers and, right, Coun­cil of Ob­jects’ hand­made pieces


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