ALRIGHT! It may be looking a little gloomy in Melbourne this week... but get ready for some sunshine, as we bring you a week of highlights from the beautiful North Coast of NSW!
As you may know if you follow TDF on instagram, I recently spent a week in Byron Bay and the surrounding region, soaking up the sun and surf (ok I didn't actually go in the water but you get the idea) and finding out first hand just what makes this beautiful part of Australia so special. I met SO many generous, incredibly friendly and talented people, I ate some outrageously good food, I parted with a good chunk of hard earned cash at a handful of seriously beautiful shops, and I also worked very hard with the brilliant Toby Scott to produce a little round-up of highlights to share with you all here!
SO we're kicking things off today with a regional guide which lists of some of my favourite discoveries on the NSW North Coast (incorporating Byron Bay, Bangalow, Newrybar, Federal and Coolangatta). I have to say I'm somewhat hesitant to call it a 'guide' actually, because this region is so full of amazing creative people and interesting places, I am sure I've left a million things out! But anyway... it's just a little taste, and I do hope it will be helpful for anyone planning a trip soon!
We thrilled also to have a very special Byron-inspired GIVEAWAY running all week, thanks to artist David Bromley and his partner, fashion designer Yuge Yu! David and Yuge relocated from Melbourne to Byron around two years ago, and have created the most incredible home and business in the main street of Byron Bay. Their shop, In This Street, stocks David's artwork and homewares, alongwide Yuge's beautiful range of womenswear.
From Yuge - a choice of any piece from Yuge's current womenswear range - do check out her website and online store for a look at her designs!
From David - A stunning linen quilt valued at $1,100, depicting Bromley's distinctive childhood-inspired imagery. Bromley's new range of quilts are all individually stitched and embroidered, and are filled with cosy bamboo fibre wadding.
Huge thanks to David and Yuge for this generous giveaway... and a big CONGRATS is in order too - they tied the knot just last week!
To be in the running, simply leave a comment on today’s post before 10.00pm Melbourne time by this Friday (17th May 2013).
Please be patient if WordPress behaves a little slower than usual this morning, as you have a whole week to enter! A winner will be selected at random and contacted by email next Monday (20th May 2013).
**UPDATE, the winners has now been drawn and contacted. Comments 484 and 677 we hope you enjoy your prizes!
Stay tuned all this week as we'll introduce you to many more creative people and places from this beautiful part of Australia...!
Massive thanks to lovely locals Leah Bartholomew and Sonya Marish for showing us around and sharing their favourite local haunts with us! Thanks to Jess Lillico for creating our fabulous North Coast NSW branding / banner you can see up the top there. Thanks also to the beautiful Atlantic Byron Bay, who generously subsidised our accommodation in Byron. AND to Mr Toby Scott, who took ALL the pics AND drove me around the entire region in his Ute. What a star!
Jai Vasicek is AMAZING. He's twenty something, full of infectious buzzing energy and never seen without a smile from ear to ear. He is the owner of Ahoy Trader, one of Byron's loveliest homewares / gift shops. Jai spent his childhood living on a boat for over 10 years, sailing the globe with his family! So he has a few nautical tattoos, but they are totally legit.
1/3 Marvel Street
As mentioned above, In This Street is one of Byron's most amazing shops, and it's owned by artist David Bromley and his partner, fashion designer Yuge Yu. The shop sells a mix of David's artwork, homewares and collectables, and Yuge's beautiful womenswear, as well as a range of vintage pieces and ceramics sourced by David and Yuge from Australia and beyond. Don't forget to leave a comment on today's post to enter our generous giveaway from David and Yuge!
We were very lucky also to have the opportunity to photograph David and Yuge's INCREDIBLE home whilst in Byron. Nothing can prepare you for it's madness and beauty! Stay tuned for that on Wednesday...
In This Street
1/58 Jonson Street
Island Luxe have two stores in this region - one in Marvel street Byron Bay and the other in Bangalow. They are both SO GOOD. Each represent the very best international fashion and accessories labels for both men and women, including Maison Martin Margiela (!!), Belstaff, Golden Goose and many more. They also have beautiful homewares - cashmere blankets, handcrafted ceramics... etc etc. The Byron store (known as Island Luxe Tribe) is a little darker, a little edgier, more leather, more masculine... the Bangalow store a little softer, stocking a slightly more neutral palette. You must visit BOTH.
Island Luxe Tribe
1/11 Marvel Street
As mentioned above, Toby and I were extremely lucky to stay at The Atlantic Byron Bay during our time in Byron. The guesthouse incorporates self contained cottage rooms which each open onto the luscious shared gardens (pictured above), as well as 'The Lodge' - a beautifully renovated guest house offering private rooms with ensuites, as well as shared kitchen / living spaces, and of course, amongst a backdrop of palm trees sits the American Airstream Trailer, which you can stay in too!
Atlantic Byron Bay was in the best location we could have imagined - on our favourite street, just metres from some of Byron's best eating spots (Targa, Naked Treaties and Bayleaf Cafe) and just 5 mins walk to the beach!
Atlantic Byron Bay
13 Marvel Street
Heath's Old Wares probably needs no introduction - this place has a cult following! This huge warehouse just off the main street at Bangalow is stocked to the brim with industrial finds and collectables such as timber crates, antique ladders, vintage tools, pottery, glassware, cane baskets, enamelware, books, furniture and much much more.... you really could lose a whole afternoon in here!
Proprietor Ross Heath is a character too - a lovely guy who always has a twinkle in his eye!
Heath's Old Wares
12 Station Street
The lovely Corner Store in Bangalow is a relatively new addition to the main street, having been here about 18 months. It's full of lovely gift ideas from clothing to stationery to kids gifts and the odd handcrafted gem.
Our Corner Store
1/36 Byron Street
As mentioned above, Island Luxe in Bangalow is the sister store to Island Luxe Tribe in Byron. Both are seriously amazing, but I think my personal fave is the Bangalow store.. they have such truly exquisite things. I wanted to buy 2 jumpers, 1 jacket, a pair of amazing Golden Goose shoes and a cashmere blanket! I restrained myself... although I did leave with an excellent pair of sunglasses.
I would travel to Bangalow just to visit this store, it is that good. Man I wish they had an online shop!
62 Byron Street
When you tell people you're going to Byron Bay, EVERYONE tells you to go to one place for lunch, and that place is Harvest Cafe. Everyone loves Harvest. Oldies, kids, families, foodies and tradies. No matter who you are, you really can't go past the charm of this place, with its perfect mix of seriously excellent food, lovely local staff and beautiful surroundings.
Harvest is housed in a beautiful Victorian weatherboard cottage, surrounded on all sides by a wide verandah and leafy gardens. They have their own vegetable garden from which they harvest much of their seasonal produce. Harvest have also recently opened an amazing delicatessen next door to the restaurant, where you can buy house baked bread, cheeses and cured meats and all kinds of delicious take home morsels.
Harvest is open 7 days for breakfast and lunch from 8.30am. They also serve dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. It's best to book for lunch, no matter what day of the week!
18 Old Pacific Highway
Chinderah Bay Antiques and Museum of the Sea really must be seen to be believed. It's overflowing with the most incredible collection of vintage nautical treasures, scavenged and sourced by proprietor Ray Evans. It's not an entirely straight forward retail experience, however - this place is part antiques shop, part 'Museum of the sea' - meaning that there's a good chunk of stuff here that is so random and brilliant that it's actually not even for sale. The original vintage diving suits, for instance. And the shark jaws.
Still, it's seriously jaw droppingly awesome. A must visit!
Chinderah Bay Antiques and Museum of the Sea
Corner of Chinderah Bay Street and Waugh Street
During our time on the NSW coast we made time to have lunch with the lovely Leah Bartholomew of Beneath the Sun, who relocated from Melbourne to Coolangatta last year. Leah gave us lots of leads and introduced us to some of her favourite local hangouts, one of which was the wonderful Cafe Loren at the Southern end of the Gold Coast in Tugun (OK officially this is Queensland not NSW but you know, it's all interchangeable).
We ate the most delicious plate of lamb kofte with a selection of house-made salad... it was SO GOOD! I can be quite snobbish when it comes to salads (ahem, you know after all I am the salad queen), but believe me when I say the salads here are to die for! The sweet potato one was out of this world. Highly recommend.
Cafe Loren are open for breakfast 7 days, and for lunch Monday to Saturday.
Shop 5, 5 Toolona Street
Kelly Nuss and her husband Matt own Found Furniture on the Gold Coast, specialising in Mid Century and Danish pieces. After many requests for outdoor cane lounge furniture, Kelly and Matt have also developed their own range of fabulous antique-style Manila Cane Chairs and lounges, upholstered in a variety of stunning mid century inspired fabrics.
Found Furniture are open Tuesday - Saturday, 9.30am until 4.00pm. They also happily shop anywhere in Australia.
2/471 Golden Four Drive
Federal is a teeny tiny town about 15 minutes from Byron Bay. There isn't really much there at all. A general store, and a few houses. That's about it. BUT no matter where I went, as soon as I mentioned I had planned to go to Federal, people kept telling me about this amazing little Japanese cafe.
No one told me the name of it, or the address. But that didn't really matter, because all you really have to do is drive into Federal and you will see it. As far as I could gather, Federal Doma cafe is owned by two Japanese couples who moved to Federal less than a year ago. They cook amazing sushi and simple, authentic Japanese meals, and it's all super fresh and tasty and so reasonably priced.
There's no signage. There's no website. Just go.
Federal Doma Cafe
Just go to Federal and you will see it.