11 July 2012

Table Tonic Tour Guide: The Blue Mountains

For the third year in a row, we recently made our annual July pilgrimage to the beautiful Blue Mountains. This is what went down (and what I highly recommend).

(above) Avoid peak travel days: Traditionally, we leave on a Friday (this time we left on Thursday) and return on a Monday. Life's too short to sit in traffic, right?

(above) The Vintage clothing shop on Leura Mall (just down the hill from the Westpac, but upstairs): well worth a visit! Lots of rummaging to be done.

(above) Gratuitous cute child shot: Noushie wears Kmart jacket (I want one!), Country Road skirt.

(above) Scenic World: Kids or no kids, will blow your mind. This was our second time, and the "Scenic Skyway" (that big yellow box) is insane. It takes you 720 metres across the valley, 270 metres above ground level...

(above)... and this is where you end up! Spectacular views as far as the eye can see.

(above) Go bush: I never thought I'd be able to say I went bushwalking in Isabel Marant sneakers, but I (now) can. True story. Good for the soul - look at it! This is part of the visit to Scenic World as well.

(above) Gratuitous beautiful old church shot.

(above) Take a seat: Enough said.

(above) Logan Brae Apple Farm: Go there. Buy apples, apple juice and if they have any warm apple pies left? Jump on them! It's just across the railway from Blackheath town centre. Apparently you can pick apples in... apple picking season.

(above) I looked up one day. The branches were bare, the air was crisp. The sun was shining. I soaked it up.

(above) Red Door Cafe: Divine for breakfast (the omelettes are tops, so are their home made baked beans - which Noushie had each morning for breakfast). Excellent for lunch too.

(above) Princess Pantry: It was closed when we walked past, but I'll be popping back next time for sure. Very cute and fun!

(above) You know when you go away and you pack a suitcase full of clothes, but wear the same thing every day and the same thing every night? That. Trenery knit, Sportsgirl coat, Country Road scarf, Clare Vivier clutch from Suede Online. Travel tip: In the background, you can just see my Castle pillowcase/pillow. I once read that you should take your pillow in a coloured pillowcase when you go away - less chance of leaving it behind that way! See? Clever.

(above) We stayed at the same house as last year, despite being 2 people down. It just ticks so many boxes, and the central heating, despite the fact that it destroyed my lips, was a beeaautiful indulgence. For more details or to book, visit Crabapple Cottage.

(above) The bed. No words.

(above) The bookshelf at Crabapple Cottage was as impressive and well stocked as the rest of the house. Somehow I didn't manage to find the time to get stuck into any of it...

(above) And two couches + two plasma telly's = no fighting children (yeah right?!).

(above) Did I mention there were blankets everywhere?

(above) Leura Garage: Still excellent food (tapas and pizza), but no nutella/strawberry/ricotta desert pizza/calzone on the menu any more! We almost shed a tear. 

(above) I also met (genius stylist) Jane Frosh for the first time, as she lives locally. Made me want to cut my hair short and dye it pink. Jane has such a beautiful aesthetic in her styling work - earthy and natural and rustic. So clever. Her blog is way bookmark-worthy.

(above) Nikita Espresso Bar, on Leura Mall (Jane's recommendation): The vibe is quirky/hipster-y and the coffee is gooood. You just have to taste it to believe it. Our caffeine stop of choice, every day. Oh, and the orange and almond cake? Seriously. Just taste it if they have it. It was to die for. Full of almonds!

So there you have it! 
Click to read about our 2010 trip.
Click to read about our 2011 trip.

Please feel free to share your hot tips and must-sees in the comments section! Happy Hump Day Tonic-ettes!


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