I BLUE MOUN­TAINS, NSW Art and par­cel

Head west from Syd­ney for chic cook­ware bou­tiques, spe­cial­ity tea and choco­late shops and cov­etable an­tiques

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Tucked be­hind a cot­tage fa­cade at the end of Black­heath’s Govett’s Leap Road shop­ping strip, Stu­dio 52 is easy to miss. In­side, though, there’s plenty to catch the eye, with two small rooms full of con­tem­po­rary pieces from the lo­cal creative com­mu­nity. There are pho­to­graphs and prints, gift cards, women’s and chil­dren’s cloth­ing, ce­ram­ics, tex­tiles, hand­bags and jewellery. A stun­ning hand-cro­cheted throw and colour­ful screen-printed hemp tote bags catch my eye, and I can’t re­sist a Helen Poser fab­ric-cov­ered bangle. Bas­kets are a spe­cialty, hand- made from nat­u­ral and re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als. (Sign up for a class to see how it’s done.) Es­tab­lished by busy mums Han­nah Sur­tees and Emma Kelly, Stu­dio 52 is open Fri­day to Mon­day. More: stu­dio52.net.au. Hous­ing the Blue Moun­tains City Art Gallery and World Her­itage Ex­hi­bi­tion, the swanky Blue Moun­tains Cul­tural Cen­tre opened last year in the cen­tre of Ka­toomba. Its light-filled shop show­cases the work of lo­cal de­sign­ers along­side ma­jor Aus­tralian names such as Di­nosaur De­signs. I dis­cover beau­ti­ful amor­phic etched-glass vases by Black­heath artist Kayo Yokoyama, sweet ce­ramic bowls and cups by Kan­im­bla Clay (Kan­im­bla Val­ley), Wyck can­dles hand­made in Mount Vic­to­ria and screen-printed tea tow­els by Laugh­ing Bird (Ka­toomba).

Check out the cen­tre’s exhibitions (the National Pho­to­graphic Por­trait Prize is on when I visit), en­joy a bite at the cafe, then duck be­hind the cen­tre to the his­toric Car­ring­ton Ho­tel’s cel­lars and deli for bou­tique lo­cal wines and pro­duce. More: blue­moun­tain­scul­tur­al­cen­tre.com.au; the­car­ring­ton.com.au. Jodie Van Der Velden be­gan cre­at­ing her sig­na­ture choco­lates in 2005, orig­i­nal­lyon the site now oc­cu­pied by sis­ter ven­ture Cafe Madeleine (also on Leura Mall). Her delectably in­fused chocs are hand­made from nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents and preser­va­tive-free. . The some­times quirky flavours in­clude lime and basil, fresh mint leaves, straw­berry and bal­samic vine­gar. I can’t re­sist a bag of or­ange and macadamia rocky road in dark Bel­gian choco­late (my non-sweet-toothed hus­band later de­vours the lot). So pop­u­lar are Van Der Velden’s cre­ations that a sec­ond shop re­cently opened in Syd­ney’s CBD. For a choco­late fix with a sense of his­tory, I also visit Ka­toomba’s Paragon Cafe, fea­tur­ing an orig­i­nal art deco in­te­rior and choco­lates hand­made from deco-era moulds. More: joso­phans.com.au; face­book.com/TheParagonCafe. Step into Ikou’s light and wel­com­ing store and you could feel as if you’re walk­ing into any sk­in­care spe­cial­ist. The dif­fer­ence is that it’s a proudly lo­cal ven­ture, with Paul and Naomi Whit­feld us­ing eth­i­cally sourced pure, nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents in their sk­in­care range, body prod­ucts and

Emma Kelly and Han­nah Sur­tees at Black­heath’s Stu­dio 52

STU­DIO 52, BLACK­HEATH BLUE MOUN­TAINS CUL­TURAL CEN­TRE GIFT SHOP, KA­TOOMBA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.