What do you do when you have an hour to yourself out of the house to do whatever you want? Today I went commando – shopping, that is 🙂
I used to do that in Melbourne when Christmas shopping at Chadstone on the weekend*. All you have to do is know where to go, what to buy or do, and set yourself a time limit**.
Leaving the kids at home with Mr BG, I squeezed in an appointment at a salon, a visit to a cute gift shop, an op shop and a cafe before heading home via the bakery with bread for lunch.
Most of it was done in one fell swoop in Sturt Street. It’s incredibly long, very wide, but has an incredibly varied array of shops along its length. This is largely due to the cold weather Ballarat is famous for in the winter. People are less likely to schlep up and down Sturt Street when it’s cold, preferring to stick to a particular block of shops to do what they need to do. As a result each block seems to have an eaterie/cafe, a real estate agency, a dress shop and an ATM within 50 metres of each other.
I visited Azeno mainly for a browse of their bags, check out their cards and simply admire just how much pretty (and pricey things) there were in the store.
The next stop was the Australian Red Cross op shop a couple of doors down from Azeno. It is a step up from the run of the mill op shops which can have crammed racks of clothes and a funny smell***. The display clothes in the shopfront window are changed regularly, and the it’s not overly expensive. I scored, picking up an outfit comprising a stripy top, a pair of blue-grey trousers and a clutch purse. Win!
I celebrated my shopping stash with a coffee and almond shortbread at the Yummy Patisserie. The service was quick, staff were friendly and the coffee strong. They also had a huge array of scrummy looking foccaccias and pastries which were begging to be eaten. Definitely worth a return visit…
I could have gone across the road to visit L’Espresso, Europa, and Blonde Vintage, but they will have to have for another commando raid on another Saturday. ****
*I was usually in and out of Chaddy in under 2 hours before the crowds began building and the cars began circling the car parks like vultures.
**Note- commando shopping does not work at Ikea, but I have it on good authority the best time to visit Ikea is a)on a weekday when it has just opened or b) at night during the week.
***Not that there is anything wrong with overstuffed racks and funny smells- I have scored quite well from said op shops. The key is looking for your colours amongst the racks.
****Sorry for all the asterisks. I was reading Mark Dapin‘s column in The Good Weekend, and they’re kinda addictive…