Friday, 31 March 2017
A hinterland best kept secret, Lismore
My blogs are always linked to self love, which shopping has alot to do with . However right now , this blog is about giving some love to a town that is defiantly going to need some back.
Hidden amongst the mountains an hour away from one of the most popular Aussie destinations over the past decade (Byron Bay) is a sweet little town that has such a diversity of things to offer from a regional country town . Lismore
When I was growing up , it was just a place on the map I had never been to. In more recent times it is a town I love to visit and experience the diversity . And as of today it is going to need visitors , support and love.
In the northern rivers region tucked between beautiful valleys along side the Richmond River, Lismore has been an integral part of the district for over 150 years.. The first time I passed through it I saw it as a very typical country town with you beaut utes , a big pub on the corner and the standard shops , I was with a dear friend and didn't give it much attention.
However having spent many days there, on the way to my friend's house , I have found a delightful cacophony of unique shops, wonderful art and amazing food. For me the big star is the Star Arcade. Once upon at time it was a beautiful theatre, and is often the case developers tugged and pulled it into a different shape. Usually this means they destroyed it. Not so in Lismore.
Strolling down there is a variety of great shops. The funky barber with the beautifully fitted out 50's memorabilia . The stunning Erika with beautiful fashion , natural fibres and the eye catching chandelier when you walk in. Opposite is Mis Mildred's . A selection of beautiful handmade clothes from vintage style fabrics , on Sundays there is a knitting group sharing time together food and I was stoked to see a young male in there learning the skills that to my mothers' dismay I never acquired (she was a highly skilled knitter btw). As you keep wandering more fabulous women running their own businesses.
When shopping everyone needs a cake break. You will find a wonderful shop fitted out to perfection . When I stopped in they were so friendly, and I love the fact the the husband of Miss Mildred's was telling me to go and see her fabulous shop . Opposite a young teacher sells her art and fabulous Japanese style fashion for the funky and fabulous. You can also get a massage in the arcade too.
A wonderful full vegetarian cafe selling charcoal noodles, raw cheesecake and all sorts of wonderful food, Is another highlight . If that is not enough for you towards the end of the arcade you can find another fabulous seamstress making fab outfits from vintage fabrics, I spotted a few classic Australiana tea towels turned into beautiful skirts. She made clothes up to a size 20 as well .
To cap it off was a funky little shop selling all the best in leopard print skirts, lace and other things for those of us with an lean towards the alternative or for those looking for great stuff for a fun party.
Now this is just one little arcade in Lismore. If you have a stroll around you will find beautiful homewares, high class fashion and more funky cafe's and food that would be more likely to be seen on the streets of Melbourne or Sydney.
Now as semi local I am not going to give you all the addresses for the fab op shops , I have to have some secrets but I would like to say that if you are planning a trip to the Northern Rivers and think that Byron is the main attraction , take a drive and hour inland, the scenery is beautiful and see Lismore. There are art galleries and beautiful buildings to admire, fro the late 1800's - you don't get that in Byron .
On my travels between Victoria and New South wales every stop we made the country towns did not fail to impress me time and time again with their unique and interesting history , beautiful buildings and often very funky shops. Take a moment more out of your busy holiday time and actual sit in a small town for a minute, it might teach you something, it might delight you and I bet you it will surprise you.
On the 30th of March they have had a huge flood, so give them a week to mop up and then go for a drive and support a great community of diversity and talent.