We love traveling overseas to explore and collect little travel treasures, however sometimes you don’t have to go very far to find charming spots and cute pieces for your home. We love nothing more than a good road trip for a long weekend getaway, especially when it’s combined with discovering some charming places to pick up a few unique and quirky items.
Our most recent road trip was just before Christmas for a three hour drive from Sydney to a quaint little town called Mollymook on the South Coast of New South Wales. It has a lovely coastal country vibe and makes for the perfect long weekend for busy city folk who want to unwind with lazy beach days on uncrowded stretches of sand, stroll through interesting vintage and gift stores and indulge in some local culinary favourites.
If you’re after a bit more activitity, then there are some great beaches in the area for surfing as well as calmer family friendly beaches. Some sand, surf and sunshine was definitely in order and our little H&D bubba really loved dipping her baby toes in the waves.
There is a golf coarse in the area as well if you’re that way inclined, however you can guess where we would rather be… browsing those enchantingly charming stores!
Along the main road there are rows of alluring stores and the first that caught our eye was Bunyas Organics and Antiques where we were immediately drawn in by the homemade organic relishes and spreads on display. But what we found indoors was a large large space filled with so many great finds. You know you’re in a great space when you have to pause and have a conversation in your own head about how to map out your route through the store so that you get maximum coverage and absolutely no item goes untouched!
The store was full of country charm, and we don’t mean potpourri, dried flowers in frames and cheesy reproductions. We’re talking real, rustic and weathered items from actual farm houses and country estate sales. The owners Susan & Gary have been collecting items from these sales and auctions for years and go far and wide to collect their unique pieces (some are hand restored by Gary). There is a very sweet vintage sewing theme running through the store to reflect the owner’s personal passion – vintage fabrics, sewing machines, threads, patterns are scattered casually across the store and they cosy up the former old garage space.
Susan shares with us that many Sydney-siders make the drive over to her store and grab actual industrial and farmhouse pieces that are interpreted seamlessly into modern settings in city homes (minus the often inflated price tags that we’re acustomed to in metropolitan zones). Often these pieces are one-offs and have been purpose built for a farmhouse or estate using local timbers, materials and trades… and you can’t help but daydream about their former life in a quaint country setting. Bunyas Organics and Antiques :: shop 2/127 Pricess Highway. (The Old Garage) Milton, NSW 2538. Email: Susan.firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: +61 2 4455 7022 | If you’re not able to travel to the store, then check out their online store at: etsybunyasatmilton.com
The second store we love was Nikki B’s Vintage Collectables and Giftware which stocked more charming vintage pieces, a few antiques and some quirky new wares – less industrial influences and more feminine touches with an assortment of adorable mismatched teacup and saucer sets. Nikki B’s Vintage Collectables & Giftware :: Shop 76 Princess Highway, Milton NSW 2538 | Phone: +61 2 4454 5661
Revival was our third stop and it certainly did not disappoint. It was full of mid-century pieces that were lovingly restored under the watchful eye of the owner Gino (who is clearly a perfectionist with a brilliant eye for detail). We didn’t manage to get any pictures from there, but there is wide range of some of the most classic mid century pieces like the ‘Swan’ chair and Eames era items. Visiting Revival was a good adjunct to the more industrial and vintage country themes throughout the first two stores… and you can pick yourself up an piece that is not only beautiful and iconic, but also an appreciating asset and for only a little more than the cost of a reproduction version. Revival Antiques & 20th Century Design :: Shop 2A, The Settlement. MILTON, NSW, 2538 | Phone +612 4455 1200.
Nothing builds up a good apetite like vintage shopping, so if you find yourself in Mollymook, a must is the famous Hayden’s Pies. Hands down the best pies we’ve had. Especially the seafood pie (only available on Fridays). Chase that with a ice cream or sorbet from Woodburn Deli and you’re left with one of two choices – a doze at the beach (much like a beached whale because you couldn’t stop at just one pie), or treat the feasting as an exercise in refuelling befor more shopping! Hayden’s Pies :: 166 Princes Highway. Ulladulla, NSW 2539 | Phone +612 4455 7798.
Oh and on your way back to Sydney, you’ll pass through another small town called Berry (now, that’s another whole post right there), where there is an unassumingly magical little Donut Van that dishes out fresh cinnamon sugar donuts. Stretch your legs (and your stomach) with a coffee and donut for a perfect end to an indulgent weekend and to prepare you for your cruise back into the city. Berry Donut Van :: 73 Queen street. Berry, NSW 2535 | Phone +61 423 319 413
It really is a great idea to wonder a little further out of the cities we live in and combine a long weekend getaway with sourcing some interesting items for your home. Most of the places on the outskirts of cities will cater to the weekend crowd and offer delivery of their items very inexpensively, and you’re sure to find a very functional and unique statement piece for less than you think. Plus, you may be lucky enough to pick up a little bit of local history in the process!