Hobart is full of bespoke shops jammed with some surprising finds
CWA GIFT SHOP, ELIZABETH STREET
I have never encountered a retail outlet quite like this. The team at the local Country Women’s Association keeps this old-fashioned shop stocked to the rafters with hand-knitted garments, especially exquisite baby clothes in matching sets beautifully laid out in open-fronted polished-wood drawers.
There are also hand-made conserves in every seasonal variety, from rosehip and black cherry to various marmalades, as well as beetroot chutney, tomato relish and green tomato pickles (from $2.50). Square fruit cakes are ready for a mantle of marzipan, there are round cakes and loaves, frosted, plain or studded with pineapple slices and cherries, all immaculately wrapped in cellophane (from $6). It’s a school fete every day of the week. Knitted toys (such as Willy Wombat) and dolls are another speciality and I see a knitted tea cosy shaped as a hedgehog (or is it a chicken?) and another as a little house with a red roof and embroidered windows. More: cwaintas.org.au.
A COMMON GROUND, SALAMANCA ARTS CENTRE
It sounds as though it should be a coffee shop, but no, the words traced in white on the glass wall of the shop, meandering out from the drawing of a chair beneath an arching tree, anchor it in the soil.
Tucked away in an arcade near the Peacock Theatre at harbourside Salamanca, this is the food shop opened by mainland escapee, now local farmer and television presenter, Matthew Evans, with Ross O’Meara and Bruny Island cheesemaker Nick Haddow. It’s a hardcore larder of the very best local things to eat, including Bruny Island cheeses. The website (also buy online) says it’s stocked from ‘‘the artisan growers, farmers, fishermen, winemakers, brewers and producers of Tasmania’’. Hanging hams, bakery products and grains, condiments, Kentish Ale made by local brewer Willie Simpson at Seven Sheds ($12), local raspberry cordial ($14), Huon Dark Apple Ale ($10) and more, including pear cider. I’m offered a taste from a big wheel of potent unpasteurised cheese. More: acommonground.com.au.
ANTIQUES MARKET, ELIZABETH STREET
When I visit, it’s ‘‘Antiques Market and Cafe’’, but the adjoining antiques-furnished cafe is going, so the shop is likely to be even more crowded. But almost every piece is a gem — a peeling wooden rocking horse, leather suitcases, a chocolate-brown bakelite Kriesler mantle radio ($350), oil lamps, a copper jam cauldron and odd bits of furniture. The collection of antique costumes and estate jewellery is a knockout, at perfectly reasonable prices. There are vintage clothes, shoes and handbags, but the exquisite pieces of painted china (a green-leafed Victorian cup and saucer, $65) and ruby glassware deserve serious scrutiny. More: theantiquesmarket.com.au.
DEJA VU BOOKS, SALAMANCA ARTS CENTRE
The open front of this secondhand and antiquarian bookshop, tucked away in the little warren of craft shops and cafes, internal corridors and alcoves at Salamanca Arts Centre (its neighbours are A Common Ground, Spacebar Gallery and The Spindle Tree), reveals a working library-like space of wall frames, wooden trolleys and table-top cupboards, pillars of book racks, little stools,