QUEEN STREET WOOLLAHRA
If Queen Street Woollahra isn’t the ritziest shopping strip in Australia, it would have to be in the Top 5. Walking down its tree lined streets is like witnessing your Vogue Magazine fantasies come to life (except the one about the yacht). In between the art galleries and the antique dealerships, the upmarket boutiques are housed in funked up terraces. These small squares of conspicuous consumption have an inverse price to floor space ratio (the smaller the shop, the higher the prices). I’m ashamed to admit that despite my middle class credentials I felt slightly intimidated, like I had no business being amid the “labels sweetie labels”. Like my almost 3 year old daughter (p2) I put on my cheeky face and decided to have some fun.
First I stopped was for coffee in this very cute “hole in the wall” cafe. It was technically on Spicer St but oozed the Queen St vibe. I chuckled to myself as I read an editorial in the Wentworth Courier (The Wentie) entitled “I eat muesli and I vote”. It was decrying the ridicule that “inner city values” tend to receive from the Alan Jones’ of this world. I tried not to smile too hard for fear of attracting sneers from the crowd of cashed up senior hippizens united by their taste for on-trend eye wear.
My next destination was one of Queen Street’s most famous landmarks – the Victor Churchill Fine Family Butcher. This place has to be seen to be believed so I will let the pictures do the talking.
So ludicrous is this place that my visit to the renowned hipster hang out – Jones the Grocer with its huge refrigerated cheese room was a bit of a let down.
In Woollahra even the concept of the humble local bottlo is taken to another level.
The historic Post Office building displays a whopping big “Australia Post” sign. On closer inspection I found it is actually home to Napoleon Perdis’ flagship “lifestyle” store. I plucked up the audacity to enter and ended up being thoroughly entertained. The “lifestyle” banner translates to “all things stylish and amazing about Napoleon”. I’d love to show you some pictures but in-store photography is outlawed
The foppish young shop assistant soon became my new gay best friend. He preached the gospel according to Napoleon and gave me the guided tour of fabulousness. I had the privilege enough of being shown through “vintage” cabinet which harbored a dining set identical to one owned by “The Queen”. ”Really, don’t you mean A Queen?” I quipped. “No darling Queen Elizabeth has one just like it”.
Either my new bestie was taking a shine to me or was bored because he got out the big guns. “Do you like Chanel?” he asked. “Aaah weeeeell” I stuttered. I wanted to say something like “Karl Lagerfeld is an A grade jerk who resembles Michael Jackson’s corpse”. Luckily I held my tongue. “Who doesn’t?” enthused my friend. He unlocked the glass display and produced the Chanel Cuff. ”Its 1980s vintage. Feel the weight in that. Every day I try and try but it just doesn’t fit “. He handed it over to and like Cinderella (Chanelarella?) it slipped straight on my dainty wrist. Then with a clunk my arm collapsed under its weight. I admitted that was the closest I’d ever been to Chanel and that I couldn’t be changing nappies in it. I think the message that there was no sale here was beginning to dawn on him. I did manage to impart that I had met the divine Napoleon before he was famous. “What doooo you mean? He’s always been famous”. I told him that nearly 20 years ago Napoleon himself did the make up for a wedding where I was bridesmaiding. My bosom buddy would have been in short pants back then. Nup, on second thoughts he was probably in short pants at the Stonewall last weekend.
I gathered my last shreds of dignity and left before I was forcibly removed. Just minutes later I encountered the funkiest Garden/Homewear store I have ever seen!
Feast your eyes.
Isn’t this retro chair wonderful? Wouldn’t you just like to swing in it with Don Draper and a margarita?
There was more awesomeness in the courtyard out the back. When I am Queen this will be my throne.
This caught my eye for kitsch. It looks like the flamingo lovers in the movie Gnomeo and Juilet.
I needed one more fashion fix before I headed back to my mundane and Mumsy life. Lisa Ho gave me what I needed. Her silk prints are gorgeous this season. However could someone please hurry up and do a knock off of this! I cant justify $700 on a day dress!
I returned to my comfort zone, happy that my wallet and I had escaped the experience unscathed.