Beach Cottage Goes to France in Sydney, the fringe & a giveaway

Fri 21st, Jun, 2013

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Good Morning Beach Cottage ladies, would you like a little walk around a lovely place in Sydney this morning,  which boasts some of my favourite old Sydney buildings and houses, some beautiful places to grab a coffee, my new fringe and do some shopping at the same time?

Yep?  Well settle down and come on in because at the weekend I arranged the manic sport that goes on in this family on Saturday mornings to go ahead without me, pulled on my boots, grabbed my Me-Time scarf and headed off to go and sample a little of what Surry Hills has to offer.

This is a Sponsored Post MasterCard


I was experiencing one of MasterCard’s Priceless Sydney’s offers and I had the tough old time, cough, of having to go to one of Sydney’s loveliest shopping districts, soaking up the café vibe, meeting up with a stylist and walk around gushing over homewares.



It’s almost shameful how good life can be when it’s just a case of mooching around with a coffee in hand for a few hours in the sunshine with nothing much to worry about other than what you are going to come across next.


So, I was meeting up with lovely Fleur (always adored that name so I had good vibes before I met her) from Mr Aristotle’s Chic in the City who runs shopping tours… dream dream job right?  I was on the life and home tour with a healthy dose of vintage thrown in for good measure.


We started off on the right footing at the meeting place, Sparkle Cupcakery, ooooh lala, I have walked past this place a few times when I have been in Surry Hills in the past and for one reason or another never made it in…big mistake…the cupcakes are delicious, the coffee divine and the staff very very lovely….I had one of their cupcakes for morning tea, delicious and the coffee hit the mark too (you know when sometimes you go to a cake shop and the coffee is meh?  That’s not the case here).


After coffee and a good old chat with Fleur, who told me all about her lovely business, and some stories about how her business came about and her passion for taking people who are in Sydney to its hidden gems, we stepped out into a beautiful Australian Winter’s day and got the party started…


 The tour had been tweaked to the things I like… I love a bit of tweaking  in my life and I was a tad on the apprehensive side that it all might be way over my head and all designer and, well, you know what I mean.  Well it wasn’t, Fleur was spot on and it was just right and so so up my alley… if you want designer she’s the girl for you, but if you want old, raggedy, vintage and a leelte bit of French then she’s your girl too.  Hello vintage cheeseboard, come to mumma.

We walked around with me gazing and lusting after buildings and again falling in love with Sydney and we popped in here and there to places she thought I might just love…I did for sure…

I love gazing in some shops at how things are put together and get a lot of inspiration that way…here it is in abundance at every single turn, no chain stores here, but many speciality owner-run and independently owned boutiques with people passionate about their business, working their socks off to bring it all together and wanting to get to know you – a bit different to the recent experiences I have had at the mall here on the beaches, I can tell you.


The three hours flew by in a host of chat, picture taking and fun…this really is good me-time, I know we are always talking about it on here but it’s great to get out and do something just for you…


My fave two shops had to be the Frenchies – I will admit that from a person who used to live in a place where you could hop over to France for lunch, it is on the odd side for me, literally on the other side of the world, to be surrounded by French stuff, but this girl who loves white is not complaining.



 The people in Ici et La were lovely as was the resident canine


…. and a mooch around Elements I Love, with its unique mix of Indian and French wares well yes, I love them too.



I found myself contemplating this rather huge boulangerie sign, I mean it’s even already leaning casually around as if it were made for me.


And then, well then there was the little red car, say no more other than this would go very nicely on the beaches I believe.


Here are some of the other things I absolutely loved, be still my vintage beating heart…take a big big breath ladies, these are Beach Cottage coastal vintage style gold…

Beautiful old lights…and lots of other goodies

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And what did I come home with…ahhh well more on those soon, did anyone say cheese on a vintage cheeseboard and a bottle of milk a la Francais?

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But now for the good bit and a Beach Cottage Giveaway!

For the chance to win a fabulous shopping tour and see a bit of Sydney’s inner most secrets for two plus $500 to spend each, hello, all you have to do is tell me in the comments

What would you love to gawp at and do on a shopping tour of Sydney’s best kept secrets – would you love to take in the old architecture while you shop, sip a coffee and spend or kick back and enjoy a few hours just for you in boutique heaven?


I hope you enjoyed this, I know someone who did!





This shopping tour is brought to you by Mr Aristotle, part of Mastercard’s Priceless Sydney program  where you get the chance over on the Facebook Page to win any of the other four experiences too.  To enter visit Mastercard Australia on Facebook.

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this giveaway is now closed, winner here


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101 Responses to “Beach Cottage Goes to France in Sydney, the fringe & a giveaway”

  1. ali thompson says:

    oh my word, those flowers–those glass jars–ah, everything! i would love to sip a hot americano and explore there!

  2. Rukmini Roy says:

    The cute dog was on sale too? okay i am just kiddin around :)
    My My sarah, did you say you were 40? You could pass off as a 27er! You are gorgeous.

  3. jody says:

    yes, i love the frenchy stuff too, but what i couldn’t get over is how adorable your hair is!
    oui ,oui, Sarah!
    fun post, thank you! xo jody

  4. Tracy says:

    Oh my! In the middle of the day, your “me time” became my ‘Me time”. Thank you for the much needed time out

  5. I adore beautiful architecture as well as quaint shops. What a fun time you had. And yes, I am trying to take some precious moments here and there to treat myself a bit. My daughter is off living on her own now, so 20 years of child focusing has left my own cup a bit empty and looking for fulfillment of things I hold dear.
    On my ‘Bucket List’ is a wish to one day visit Australia. As a very, very young child, my father picked up a hitchhiker. He was hitchhiking throughout the entire USA. He had an Australian flag on his back, and as a young man had come yo America to see the countryside, while hitch hiking. He lives to this day in Australia and my Dad at age 90 still keeps in touch with him, through Christmas cards each year. I Believe he was from Sydney. What a fun city to journey too.

  6. Sarah says:

    Love everything about this post except the small detail of me not living in Australia. Love your new bangs though!

  7. Sally Gee says:

    Needless to say, but, I want it all! By the way, love your hair!

  8. Erika says:

    I just came back from my first trip to France – how fun to see French stuff in Australia! I would love it all – the walking, chatting, gawking, coffeeing…thanks for the glimpse in to a fun day! Cheers

  9. Rochelle says:

    Ooh love this post! Might I add, you are looking very o la la yourself. Gorgeous indeed, love the hair. What would I do, all of the above. But if I win, I would give it to my sister who lives in Melbourne. xx

  10. MDN says:

    Je suis en amour avec la vie que voux vivez! (I’m in love with the life you live!)

    Oh, my! Thanks for sharing your day with us: what a superlative experience! When my parents took me to Disneyland, it was so terrific…everywhere…that I didn’t know what to do first, and told my parents, “I think I’m going to go madly wild!” Well, that’s the feeling you stirred with your pics and words…THANKS!

    PS – Your coif is so great for you! Keep those bangs! Major LIKE…

  11. pam says:

    Looks like you had fun Sarah. Like a kid in a candy store. Think I just added Surrey hills to my Sydney Bucket List.
    Great photos -bet there were hundreds more.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Pam x

  12. Jan Withers says:

    As I’ve passed Surrey Hills on the Bondi Beach bus I didn’t realise what a wonderful place I was passing. I’m from Goolwa Beach in South Australia big we often visit my son and his family in Bondi. My favourite place in the world is Paris so to see those two vintage shops with all their “French Stuff” made my heart skip a beat. The cupcakes and coffee looked fabulous. We are coming to Sydney in August so will get off the bus in Surrey Hills next time.

  13. Susanne says:

    I want a day exactly like yours!!!!
    What fun to wander through all that amazing visual yumminess. (If that’s not a word, it should be!) x

  14. Judy says:

    Oh I didn’t get to check out Surrey Hills but looks so lovely… A cupcake and me-time browsing around sounds lovely.

  15. Melinda says:

    Well, being a Melbourne girl Id be pretty happy ( understatement) to be introduced to Sydney’s best kept shopping secrets !
    Im seaching for some fabulous lights for my home … thats where Id be spending my winnings – oh and probably a cup of coffee or two.
    What a fabulous fabulous giveaway – fingers crossed big time

  16. Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh I am speechless!! To date I just pop in and browse around your blog in awe of all of your beautiful things. Today I think I am literally drooling. I simply adore everything French….my most recent purchase was a re-purposed old sash window with a photo of the Eiffel Tower in it…love it !!
    With 5 children hubby and I are usually run off our feet with a tag team approach….generally he walks in the door from work, I tell him where dinner is up to and head off to meetings or kids activities…so we are always saying we should do something special and spend a child free day together….it has been a long time since we’ve gone anywhere alone!!!!
    This would be absolutely perfect. I think we would retrace your steps…I am in love with everywhere that you went! We both adore old architecture, we love fossicking through second hand shops and antique stores and seeking out treasures and if there is hot chocolate and cup cakes to be had I would be in heaven.
    I have seriously looked at your photos a hundred times already and am in love with everything I can see…the fabrics, the glass bottles, oh those white chairs and all the other chairs (love chairs !!) and the old books and I would so not be able to leave without the boulangerie sign I adore it!!
    Oh it is going to be so hard to go and sort my tax papers now….. :-(

  17. Amanda says:

    SARAH… Thank goodness you posted this… I saw your pic yesterday of the French mirror and fell in love (and was in heaven)… so thanks for giving up the deets…

    And what would I gawp at and do on a shopping tour of Sydney… well, ring Fleur for starters (already bookmarked for future reference)… and if it were for me?.. I would simply say “I’ll have what’s she’s having”.. ie your day looked divine… if I was inclined to do a mother daughter day with Miss Tween, then I would ask Fleur to show us all the hidden haunts and stylists favourites…. vintagey, secondhand, high end that would blow open the Miss Tween’s mind as a wannabee fashion designer. Get ‘em in young ;-)

  18. mellie lang says:

    I love your new fringe sarah, I wasn’t sure when you mentioned it but it definitely looks fab on you. It’s so nice to see so many pics of you having ‘such fun’ :)
    It all looks fantastic and I was considering the Boulangerie sign just from your blog! It just looks cool, just propped there.
    I love the chairs the lights but I also love textiles, the rolls of fabric, the cushions, the deck chairs so that is what I would love to gawp at in Sydney or anywhere for that matter.

  19. Karli says:

    Wowsers! What an amazing day Sarah.

    I’m from Melbourne – everyone seems to come here to “shop”, but I don’t think we have anything quite like the day you experienced!

    My boyfriend and I just bought our first home, on the bay. I would LOVE to come up and explore all Sydney has to offer, to bring some inspirational real beauty into our new home, to create a place of retreat and loveliness – one off pieces, coastal vibes, mirrors, lights, fabrics. Pieces that have a history and a special story behind them. We’re starting from scratch (and on a budget!), I love a blank canvas!

    (of course, the day would begin with quality coffee and cake, and a lovely hairdo, because, why not!?)

  20. Annie M says:

    My oh my Sarah….you look soooo different with a fringe..it is adorable! Well your day sounds just perfect to me. I am thinking that my nearly 21 year old daughter and I could just re trace your steps exactly. We both love anything French or vintage and have had a cup cake fetish ever since my friend bought us a Primrose Bakery cupcake cook book 2 years ago. So yes please put me in the draw, I would love to drool over all those beautiful boutiques and madly snap away with my camera as I glide by all that gorgeous architecture. Thank you again for another chance in one of your fantastic giveaways. Annie M x

  21. Keren says:

    Ohhhhh awesome post. I LOVE the look of those shops. I could spend hours… That sounds like a perfect day to me. Spending hours just looking at the Frenchie goodness, and then kicking back at a quiet little cafe sipping something warm and eating something French-style ie buttery/chocolatey/pastry/etc etc (and not thinking about the calorie intake!). Thanks for the little slice of France! I haven’t seen much of Sydney but if you can go to places like that, yes please!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I think it would be great to have a tour of some of the funky, arty farty sydney markets…I have been to Paddington Markets….and love the Rocks Markets….but I bet there are lots of little hidden gems out there. Or what about a tour of fabulous fabric stores…I love to sew but find spotlight & lindcraft a bit ho hum….or imagine a chocolate appreciation tour, tasting the finest chocolates sydney has to offer. Or you could have the best of sydney op shops – although there could be some fighting over who spotted the must have treasure first….Ohhh yeah sign me up. Sarah your Frenchie Tour looked great…I wanted to reach through the screen of my computer and wipe my finger across the icing on those yummy cupcakes. Have a great weekend everybody…

  23. Emma says:

    Oh what a dream! Sounds just fantastic!! In a past life (it seems centuries ago) we visited Budapest and this post reminded me of this! Daily we headed into the city, had coffee & cake and headed to discover what we could. I would love to do this again in our own country, just the Mr and me :-)

  24. Honeyaar says:

    Wow Sarah! Your posts are a such a pleasure everyday but this was really Fantastique!! Tres Bien! It’s been a hundred and fifty years since I last saw Paris and now I don’t feel so deprived. Surry Hills , Fleur, ici et la, cupcakery and all those divine Aladdins Caves full of spectacular treasures…sigh.
    Be still my beating heart. I’m in love with my home town all over again ;-)
    If I had the privilege of doing this tour I would love it all……The architecture, the hidden gems , the vintage finds, the food: cupcakes and cawfee, or should I say cafe au Lait? The company of an entertaining flower such as the lovely Fleur. The freedom to spend guiltfree according to my will. The atmosphere and ambience of France in Sydney…and the sense of youth and lightness of being that rushes back when I’m in Surry Hills …..all of it and more than words can express… ALL.OF.IT lovely Sarah….. Thanks for your post…I would loove to be there walkin the walk. Lastly I love your new look….it’s very French. Oui?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Firstly…love your new hair.

    Secondly…I wouldn’t know where to start on such a shopping tour! Thank you for showing ici et la, I keep reading about it.

    This tour would be perfect for my friend, St Therese (because she is), for her birthday next week. She loves everything French.


  26. Gen says:

    Sarah, it all looks lovely…your fringe, the bread board you are holding, the Frenchy, vintagey shops and your fantastic outfit. I would love it if you could do a fashion post for winter down under – I love your boots (and your bag!!)

  27. Jo says:

    Wow! What an awesome day out! I grew up in Sydney, but had no idea about the beautiful hidden treasures in Surry Hills. Would love to grab my beautiful friend Mel, organise our husbands to look after our kids (we both have 4), jump on the train and travel down from the Central Coast and then just enjoy a delightful day out together. Coffee, cupcakes, and rustic, french shops sounds divine. What a treat! :)

  28. Julie says:

    OMG!!! Are you serious Sarah? I am hyperventilating at the prospect of winning this one ….. No wonder yours is the first and only blog I check in on. every. single. day!!!! Your photos are always beautiful, your styling inspirational and your comments bring a happy smile to my sometimes sad face. My beautiful 26 year old daughter moved to Sydney from Melbourne a little over a year ago and oh how I miss our shopping expeditions. We loved nothing more than mooching around vintage shops and homewares stores oohing and aahing at every turn, dreaming of what we would buy if we had money to spare and sometimes taking home a precious find to secretly love and ogle at when nobody is watching. (I’m sure you know what I am on about here Sarah!) Mixed in with that was always coffee and food shared, along with secrets and gossip that only a mother and daughter understands. I am pining for those special days and my heart skips a beat at the thought of winning. Sometimes dreams do come true…..

  29. Anonymous says:

    Long time lurker…first time commenter! To start with I love your fringe, you look so young! I love shopping but not in a Westfield mega mall, I much prefer strolling around quaint streets like you have been doing. I would love to see beautiful florists, lovely second hand furniture and some stylish dress shops. Lunch would be at a funky pub. I would cheer up my best friend who is having some serious health issues by bringing her along to share it with me.
    Ps love the blog.

  30. Lyn says:

    Haaaaa…….. Love a shopping tour!!! Tour kick off – coffee & pastry soaking up the atmosphere. Then a wander & a shop oooooohing & aaaaaahing at the buildings the decorating the purchases! Lunch break with a glass of wine of course & discussion of all things vintage with a touch of hamptons / French / industrial . Ooooooh bring on the retail therapy!!!:)).

  31. Leisa says:

    Cupcakes, coffee, French antiques. Hyperventilating at the thought that I could have the opportunity to explore such beautiful shops in such a beautiful city. I wouldn’t know where to look first! I would come with an empty suitcase from my vintage inspired home and garden and shop till I could shop no more.

  32. Neen says:

    Eye spy with my leeetle eye……light fittings to die for……..gorgeous jeans ( hint hint where to buy) and a lovely new fringe that soooooo suits you.
    A day in Sydney just like yours……a PERFECT way to bring in the new solstice, longer daylight hours for shopping yay!!
    Another amazing post Sarah, Neen ;)

  33. Jan says:

    It’s all too much! Your great hair. ..the architecture.. all that French loveliness….. And one could climb the bridge! ooh aah yes please..

  34. Jo says:

    Hi Sarah, Love love love it all. What is the name of the vintage wares shop? Have been looking for shops like that for forever.
    Love your blog, photographs , everything and coming from the northern beaches and now living elsewhere it gives me a chance to escape to a former life.
    Keep up the good work

  35. tracey says:

    Oh my, what an absolutely perfect day!!! LOVE those French shops!


    :) T

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sarah, I love looking at your beautiful site each day and who could resist such a fantastic competition. I would take my lovely sister who is always helping everyone else (nurse) for a much needed escape from the country (and her 4 teenage kids) to the city for a shop till you drop kinda day (or weekend). Drooling over the gorgeous vintage things and getting lots of ideas, then recharging the batteries with a much needed coffee and cake to power on again and drool and shop some more. I have got such beautiful fabric from the shop Ici et la (don’t ask me how to say it) sent out to me and I would love to go to the shop in person, WOW it looks like you could get lost in there, imagine mmmm!!!. I get so excited even just window shopping (very sad I know) because in the country there is no Surry Hills (shame). Imagine telling your husband that you won a competition and you had to go to Surry Hills shopping for the whole day (with no kids), as if he would believe you! Thanks again Sarah for such a great competition. PS. Your fringe looks great.

  37. Claire says:

    This place looks absolutely gorgeous Sarah – what a great day you had! Can’t wait to see what you came home with. Your fringe looks gorge by the way, very youthful : ) x

  38. Shar Y says:

    Any adventure that starts with coffee and cupcakes sounds devine to me! Great post about fun stuff. Glad you shared with us. Love the mirror and my goodness, your hair is adorable! Thank you so much for including us in your good times!

  39. Shannon D says:

    I would love to be part of a tour simply for the history and getting to know some hidden gems of Sydney. I love story telling and capturing the history of places and years gone by. My family used to live in Newtown so I would love to learn a bit more about the area and what it was like. I am also passionate about keeping alive old traditions like sewing handcrafting wares and skills that seem to be being left behind with our grandparents. I want my kids to experience what it was to do things for yourself not by it from a shop. And I feel a lot of these shops need our support to be able to pass these things along. The shopping would just be a huge bonus :)

  40. natski says:

    Oh my gosh, I think I would have to do the same tour as you, it’s just all so amazing!!! What a fantastic giveaway thanks so much for tha chance to win :)

  41. Lorraine says:

    This store has just inspired a whole new trip idea to Sydney next year – I think a whole weekend based around this place would be just perfect…………..fabulous!

  42. Jan Witsoe says:

    I’m especial partial to bangs Sarah so congrats on the great new ‘do……you look m-a-h-v-e-l-o-u-s!!!

    Poking around small, creative shops is my idea of heaven no matter where I am. Visiting them in Australia just might put me over the edge – and that’s a good thing. At my age of 70, how much longer will I have to live my dreams? It’s time to pull up my big girl panties and start checking items off of my bucket list!

  43. Pip says:

    What a dream day you had! This is a more quaint and rustic side to Sydney than I have ever seen before. How can I sneak that Boulangerie sign into my hand luggage for the flight back to Perth…

  44. This would perfect perfect perfect for when I move back to Australia in a little while I’ll have a house to furnish and some of these inspiring pieces would be amazing! Love your photography, as always.

  45. Shanina says:

    Oh my… I would love almost everything in that shop with the little red car… I might not be able to bring it all back to Queensland with me, but I’d certainly have room for a Boulangerie sign for my kitchen, to give the impression that it is used for baking.

  46. Kathryn Besanko says:

    Hi Sarah, Love your story on vintage Sydney, if I was to win, I would make sure I had room on the credit card, buy a big suitcase, keep the courier van on hold, and run to the next aeroplane leaving Melbourne for Sydney, altho it is 4 hours for me to get the airport, and I crave that sort of shopping which is thin on where I live (Tipsville is the closest I get to vintage). Just like you I would take my camera, marvel and the hip/creative/fun vibe to be had in a town where things are buzzing, pick me pick me…

  47. Liz Johnson says:

    Oh my, what a wonderful time it would be to live in your shoes! I love going to your site and dreaming of your life. It sounds so awesome! You are so adorable, love your hair. I would want to do it all, if I was there! Much too hard to choose. I’m french, and never been out of the USA. My dream is to visit France one day. I love vintage things, shabby chic, girly, old bottles, beachy, boutiques, and just having me time! Shopping is my “me time”, it always makes me feel better! Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  48. Deb says:

    Wish I lived closer to you so I could go poke around in those shops myself! So many wonderful things to see. And a bakery must never be passed up!!

    Really love your hair. I think you’ve given me the courage to change my “past it’s time” hairdo. Maybe I’ll look as young as you do!

    Debbie in Texas

  49. Felicity says:

    I would just love a chance to shop at these types of shops. We have nothing like this near us and it’s a dream to be able to browse and have real coffee. That would be the life. Your new “do” looks great too.

  50. paula winspear says:

    I would love to mooch around Sydney looking at the out of the way shops that I keep hearing about but are not in my neighbourhood…sigh… It would especially be wonderful to do a tour with a like-minded stylist who gets where I’m coming from, yes white, yes tatty, yes french, yes old, yes pre-loved, yes new-life. My renovator’s dream house is crying out to me as we speak Yes, Yes, Yes!

  51. Well, firstly I want Fleur’s job!
    That would be my ‘to die for’ dream job.
    As a born and bred Gold Coaster, I know all the nooks and crannies of the Gold Coast’s hidden treasures, but to do that in big fabulous Sydney – WOW!
    We spend a lot of time in Sydney but mostly around Manly (very familiar with all the coolest spots it has to offer – funky at its best), but the rest of Sydney often eludes me.
    My Sydney BFF’s aren’t as fond of a day of perusing all Sydney has to offer, so I am sure I miss out on a lot.
    My dream day would be exploring quaint local boutiques, vintage stores, rustic cafes, markets….I am just so happy as long as I am shopping!
    There’s just something so more eclectic about everything in Sydney though that we just don’t have here on the Gold Coast?
    I would feel like I’d died and gone to heaven just, I think, to spend the day shopping with Fleur and picking her brain on how one starts such an amazing business!
    And if your ever on the Gold Coast Sarah, I would love to show you around all that’s fabulous here

  52. Rukmini Roy says:

    Ah! well, I’d gawp. at everything, cover as much as i can of ydney, soak in local food (ye, i’d spend in food) and eat at the flying fish. That’s owned by Peter Kuruvita!!! And I’d visit this particular shop and pick up those vintage milk bottles. How I love them.And if I can- the dog too :D
    Honestly since the time I have started following this blog- I’m saving for a that Ticket to Australia.

  53. Sarah SB says:

    Ohhh shopping heaven!! I would be on a plane from Melbs in a heart beat & there would be no stopping me……..heaven!

  54. Robyn says:

    Love it all and love your boots! I want them! Where are they from? X

  55. Jules says:

    Love, love, love these vintage homewares shops – I would love to visit them all! I’m married to a barista, so we would have to throw in a few of Sydney’s best coffee spots (with some gluten free cake options for me) and then a cute little wine bar to finish. Yep, that would be a perfect day :)

  56. Dale Sherar says:

    My daughter & I would love to spend the day in Sydney drooling our way through all these amazing shops, of course we would definitely check out the Coffee shops and Cafes as well ……
    I would LOVE to share this with her ♥

  57. Dale Sherar says:


  58. Jen says:

    I’d looooove to win this experience. Living up on the Sunshine Coast is great for the most part but the lack of anything cultural does take it’s toll on an old soul like mine, I need some 1890′s not so much 1980′s! – it would be nice to sniff some old leather, drink in the sights of the buildings, let the mind wander and become immersed if only for one day….oh and also give my postie a bit of a break, there is only so much stuff a girl can order on the internet.
    Pick me! Picke me!

  59. Margaret says:

    I don’t know what I would do, but I want to win this for my sister, who lives in Moranbah and has two little girls. She and her husband would love some alone time in Sydney!

  60. Pia says:

    Oh Wow, made me feel so home sick for Sydney with all these georgous pictures of devine treasure shops you have visited.(its been 8 years since I have been home, and I am pleased to say I am coming back for three weeks in October – Yippeee)
    Memories of the hours I would spend pottering around the stores in Sydney, in my 20′s, after attending a photo shoot (lost of studios in Surry Hills)come flooding back.

    ohhhhh to step into these photos and have a mouch, what treasures would I find, and to do it with a coffee in hand and no complaining children (who I do love very much but do not apprecaicate my love for found treasures and pottering) – thank you so much for posting. The pictures have made me smile Also ….Dare I ask why the Houptoun is all boarded up? Thanks again Pia

  61. Ros says:

    I love this idea of rediscovering parts of Sydney you often miss or don’t have the time to visit on weekends. I would love to trawl and meander my way through vintage shops like you did… Taking in all the pieces and their stories and hopefully some secret finds with the assistance of Fleur. Sounds likes the perfect way to spend an afternoon!

  62. Isabeau says:

    Oh how I love the atmosphere of Sydney being in a place where you an truly be who you are with no one to judge you! I would love to e lost in my own thoughts with all the gorgeous inspiration this place has to offer.
    I would love for my mum and I to browse all those delights together and bond more without the distractions of day to day life.

  63. Oh wow this tour with my bestie looks like the perfect birthday gift for me. As someone who runs a kids decor business including restyling preloved vintage pieces and who is studying interior decorating, this would be heaven. I would not only gawp at beautiful old buildings, I would drool over vintage finds as I imagine them in spaces I am creating, I would definitely be trying cupcakes and drinking coffee and more coffee. And the light fixtures! Oh my oh my I could fill my car with those lights!
    Why haven’t I yet hit the streets of surry hills? I recently discovered there r great fabric places there as well. This little coastie has been bewitched by your photos.

  64. Anonymous says:

    Gawp, Gawp, Gawp!!
    Gawping is by far the best release of natural endorphins for me. Even if I buy the smallest thing I have a smile as big as Luna Parks for a whole day.
    As much as I love where I live in Corlette, situated in the beautiful Port Stephens area surrounded by natural beauty, I do so miss Sydney’s amazing shopping!
    Not the big malls and arcades but the little owner operated stores and cafes full of love and amtosphere that create an exciting place for us to enjoy :-)

  65. Katrina Harvey says:

    Gawp, Gawp, Gawp!!
    Gawping is by far the best release of natural endorphins for me. Even if I buy the smallest thing I have a smile as big as Luna Parks for a whole day.
    As much as I love where I live in Corlette, situated in the beautiful Port Stephens area surrounded by natural beauty, I do so miss Sydney’s amazing shopping!
    Not the big malls and arcades but the little owner operated stores and cafes full of love and amtosphere that create an exciting place for us to enjoy :-)

  66. Lucinda says:

    Oh me oh my! As soon as I saw your pics I was calling hubby to come
    And see how much I like your blog and why we love the same things
    He laughed when he saw and agreed I would love all those shops
    I have 15 wooden ladders at last count most from council clean ups
    But a couple from friends sightings and absolutely adore how you repaint an old chair to look like new, I love to do the same paint and sand to appear shabby chic and to put all my favorite bits together on display, keep up the great work
    It’s lovely to see and get great ideas from, one of my favorites is the old jars with flowers on coat rack xx

  67. Kerrie says:

    Oh I would love to do a vintage tour. Shopping without having to drag children treasure hunting would be bliss!!

  68. Marz says:

    Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!!! It would be hard to know where to start such a delicious day of tour de France Sydney-style but I would have to say your tour was right up my alley so long as it starts with a nice big coffee. I would take my hubby who loves anything Frenchie and chic. I love vintage and rustique. This mum and dad could do with a kid-free day and it’s his 40th soon and he is a very hard man to buy for. Looks like you had a wonderous time on your field trip for this post. Cheers and thanks!!! Mara :)

  69. Lesley Fechner says:

    I’m on my lunch hour at work love your blog it so relaxing feel like I was there with you in Sydney shopping you made me need to go and buy a coffee , would love the chance to visit were you got to shop

  70. Sarah says:

    Your new hairdo looks great! We call them bangs here in the USA-I’m noticing that Australians call them a “fringe”. They are the latest style here too.

  71. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    I would love to just look at everything the people the homewares the shoes the vintage shopping ,I love to go to new places and discover things and do some people watching have a good coffee and a great cake.
    You certainly look like you had a lovely ME time day and they are my favourites.

  72. Shelley says:

    What a great post Sarah, my sort of shops! Your fringe looks fab too.

  73. What a fantabulous day! Having a baby free day to wander around tinkering at all the fantastic wares would be my idea of heaven right now! My favourite thing to do is explore unchartered places. i love this post and I will be heading to these places ASAP.


  74. Joanne says:

    Op Shopping that’s my thing. Show me where!

  75. I love the car and dog! I could go CRAZY in that store!!! You bring such awesome things to show what is available and great ideas!! Good Day!

  76. Chantel says:

    Oh, I would love a getaway for me and my husband. We haven’t had a getaway with the two of us since our second oldest was born. I’d love to spend a day thrifting and antiquing. I bet Sydney has much better giddy-jump-squeal and dance finds than the states. That large blue cabinet in your pic was enough to give me a very long ooohhh. And of course I’d take tons of photos of all the old architecture.

  77. Danielle Freeman says:

    Isn’t life amazing? I have just come back to Melbourne after a weekend in Sydney to see my wonderful sister and we seem to have practically followed your footsteps around Surrey Hills (‘though in the rain, alas). I fear it has been two years since I last spent an afternoon with her whizzing around her favourite places (free of darling encumbrances) and it was such a SHOT in the arm. I was hyperventilating in Elements I Love (it was the MERCURY GLASS lights, the galvanised tubs and the indian print blocks in particular). I might have been skipping a little in Ici et La (THE mirror, not to mention the linens, the garden chairs and the bottles).

    Thank you so much for posting these wonderful, essence of Sydney photos. I think we stood for a while in front of the BLUE AMOIRE and Lisa lost her head a little over a marble-topped table. The inspiration and styling and warmth of these lovely shops make them so worth visiting, even on my minuscule budget. I came home determined to get on with the ‘painting everything white stage’ so I can start on the ‘wow, I have a blank canvas’ phase. Even though there is much to be done, I got great pleasure in creating a vignette with a ‘new’ old white bowl that now holds my old blue and green glass Japanese fishing net floats (so essential in our modern world) and my girls and I made ACORN biscuits with our super cute acorn cutter from The Bay Tree. Hours of fun for $3.50!

    I would adore to return the favour whizz my sister around for once, not to mention showing her a few of the places she has MISSED – can could we have passed by the Sparkle Cupcakery?! Madness. Thank you again for a wonderful post and for re-enforcing that Sydney vibe I bought away with me – just get on and do it!

  78. Rosie says:

    Best shopping trip in Sydney, well Surry Hills would be on the list by the look of all that gorgeousness.
    Catching up with old friends. One is particular called the cute chick with the new fringe.
    Share your shopping tips and secrets in person and have a coffee.

    Seeing Sydneys beautiful Camelias, even on the streets.

  79. Dimity says:

    I would be putting on my super comfy sporty joggers because boy oh boy, would I be getting a walking work out! My get up and go would have to be kicked off with a coffee and a slice of something sweet, but then its game face on (and a warning call to my accountant that some damage is about to be done!). I have recently established my style is very Hamptons/French country chic, so point me at those shops sister!

  80. Sue Mahaffie says:

    I would love shopping/gazing at homewares/furniture that aren’t the normal run of mill- the thinks you find at every shopping centre- this mixed with a great coffee (all being child free) would be my idea of heaven. My eldest daughter ( now 23) would love it too- we have both gone a bit vintage lately..and loving it..
    thanks for sharing your day and giving someone an opportunity to do the same..

  81. Jodi R says:

    I would love some one to help me find my home decor style. I am not beach cottage but I love bits of it. I am not modern or vintage entirely but I like parts of them. I am about to do a major renovation and I need a stylist and guide to help me find a path I can walk on happily – oh and well $500 bucks each to spend — we could make that go a long long way in the right shops :) Thanks for sharing.

  82. Janie Nottingham says:

    Oh I would definitely require the guide and to be steered along. Please enter me in this fabulous competition

  83. Kim says:

    Love the hair-do Sarah … and my oh my that is the hugest french cheeseboard ever :)

  84. Jo Robertson says:

    All of the above :)))))))

  85. jan says:

    my stay in Sydney would include flea markets, tag sales estate sales, rummage sales…whatever they call it………….what treasures I would find………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  86. Lisa Wood says:

    As a lover of Old Vintage I so would love to visit the Buildings that Hold the history with the structure and with the items on sale.
    I think that I was born in the Wrong Era – I love anything that looks OLD but is classy!
    And to see more of Sydney would be so wonderful :)

  87. Kate says:

    Hi Sarah ,
    Great post ! I’ve been following for ages now … Only commented a couple of times . This would be something just for me , after having a horrid 12mths with a major health scare and surgery and caring for 3 young kiddos it’s taken it’s toll. To mooch around with a friend in tow would be great therapy.. Thanks for sharing such great daily inspiration:)

  88. Irene Santiago says:

    I would love to win the shopping trip God knows I could use a get away, I have been basically homebound for the past year for medical reasons and the cost of medical treatments and my not working has been well ….let just say its been a very rough year………..

  89. Amanda Gorton says:

    I would love to have the time to visit and purely appreciate all the tourist attractions that Sydney has to offer. Although I have lived in the western suburbs of Sydney for the last 15 years I have never had the time or opportunity to be like a tourist in my home city.

  90. Skye says:

    Oh Sarah loved everything about this post! Loving sick the new hair..have always wanted a fringe maybe I will finally go get myself one! Adore the shopping experience with Fleur and would choose your exact French themed tour for my beautiful Mum who lives on the Northern Beaches but has a real French interiors appreciation. Both her husband and parents have all ended up in hospital over the past 3 months, she is the primary carer for my disabled sister and with her birthday in July I can’t think of a more amazing gift to give such an amazing mum!

  91. Liz Clark says:

    Well I live in country WA so eat more can I say about your sensory overload shopping experience? Drool squared!!! Pick me!

  92. Diana Panuccio says:

    How amazing. Would LOVE to do it all.

  93. Alison says:

    Wow!! Sarah!! I seriously think this is your best post!! Your photos and writing made me feel like I was there!!! What a dream come true!! Your shopping tour was amazing!! Fleur could take me to exactly the same places!! Add in a cute English style teashop! I love finding all the places only locals would know about! Does Fleur have a book? she should!! with your gorgeous photos. I must ask.. Is the car for sale!!? What a gorgeous colour!! Finally… Your hair is gorgeous!!! You look so young!!!! :)

  94. LIsa says:

    Hi Sarah
    Great timing – i have to entertain my 7yo during the school hols – I think we might leave the beaches and head on over to surreyHills tomorrow!
    I would love a ‘reinvent’ tour. Ideally for the around 40 year olds!
    Where can I shop that’s not too young, but not bog standard mall shops. Who does a makeover that can teach me some new tips on hair / makeup without making me look like nightclubbing? Wouldn’t it be great to have a quick hour with a stylist then go with them to some of their haunts to put into practice what you have just learnt?
    Very easy when limited with time to just pop on down to the mall – but I’d love a tour of a new area to inspire me to get out of the same old…

  95. Petra says:

    I love the look of that amazing big old factory shop in the photos above – now THAT is bliss for me! The last 4 times I went to Sydney (over an 8 year period), I had my young son with me so didn’t get to do ANY shopping! Oh, that’s right, we did have to find a children’s wear shop for him because the weather had turned warm suddenly and we didn’t have any board-shorts for him to swim in! So yes please, I would love the chance to win a “shopping day”! How cool would that be???!!!! :-)

  96. Shawna says:

    I love the shops in these pictures. It would be so much fun to spend a day going through these shops.

  97. Lou says:

    This tour would be FAB-UUUU-LOUS! I’d love to find a collection of vintage Australian (or French) pendants lights to hang as an ensemble in my hallway. I love old architecture and would probably spend the time (between looking at old wares) taking photos of wrought iron on old buildings. I’m yet to find any genuine antique gargoyles on buildings in Sydney, so it would be great to go gargoyle-spotting too! Thank God the rain has stopped… let’s hope it stays that way for a few more days.. :)

  98. Donna Sigler says:

    I would MOST certainly shop the vintage shops. I ADORE this type of decor, and recently lost everything I had. Currently living with my brother until I can get “back” on my feet, but when I do… look out.. I will be one woman on the “hunt” for the treasures as I call them. I so enjoyed reading this and hearing about a place I can only dream of… and have for years.