Barton Street’s Casabella Lane is a small, Spanishthemed, boutique-lined walkway where you can happily spend half a day browsing through hard-to-find titles at Poppies Bookshop or fossicking through old china cake plates, creamers, teapots and sugar bowls at Casa Manana Antiques.
This is where the Croatiandance-loving fashion designer Deanna Didovich also showcases her label, Ruby. Didovich, who is regarded as one of the country’s fashion talents, inherited the fashion gene from her grandmother who was a dressmaker, and believes fashion should be fun as well as funky.
At the end of the lane is Gordon Harris, New Zealand’s largest supplier of arts and graphic materials. Artists inspired to paint the pretty courtyard and fountain need walk only five paces to stock up on pastels and paper.
Casabella is a lovely oasis in the busy business district and, when the sun is shining, it’s a great place to have lunch or grab a coffee and listen to the buskers while you admire the contents of your shopping bag.