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Blue Mountains Tourist : Spring 2010
chip ethical fibres, as well as some quality new Australian-owned labels, such as Queen, featuring individual designs and fantastic detailing for women of all shapes and sizes. At the other end of the spectrum, there's a modern, cuttting-edge look with with labels such as Manque and Ataya, also Australian-made and with plenty to choose from here. If after accessories, beautiful Kirsten Ash designs featuring pieces with resin and brass and a distinctive vintage feel, go well with many of the clothes on offer. Heading down Katoomba Street, Mountain Style Clothing with soya and bamboo fibre shirts, trousers, undies, socks and varied clothing items is worth a look, as is After-A Fashion Recycled Clothing and Retro, always with eye-catching window displays and another shop supporting Presbyterian Social Services. Okay, so The Hattery doesn't have recycled hats, but it is one of the biggest hatteries in Australia and stocks a diverse range, including the all-important beanies and woollen hats, de rigeur when the cold winds blow, and a limited stock of ethical fibre hats. Near The Hattery is the Anglicare Shop, managed by Stephanie deVasquez, containing recycled, preloved and donated (new) clothing. There's also an extensive range of children's clothing and the all-important accessories for fashionistas, such as jewellery, bags and shoes. The Anglicare Shop has partnerships with the local parish offering services to the community -- another good reason to support this store. Feeling like a coffee? Take your pick from one of the many cafés and restaurants in the precinct for coffee or something more substantial and make sure you go up Halfpenny Lane to the much-loved Blue Mountains Food Cooperative, where good food doesn't cost the earth. Mingle with the locals on Tuesdays -- which is Soup Kitchen Day here -- operated by Sid Stolk from Lushious Gourmet Vegetarian Catering. In Waratah Street, Very Fashion will excite fashionistas. Described by owner Helen Mountford as "fun, funky and fabbo" and "recycled, rescued or rare", there are also great accessories, lots of colour and intricate, locally-made felted shawls and other local crafts. Helen also makes bags from vintage fabric and baby wear. Duck down to St Vincent de Paul in the same street stocking clothing for men, women and children, accessories and lots of other items. Admire the Reverence Mural in this location done by local artists to commemorate the Year of Tibet 2006. How about a change of pace as you go to the other side of Katoomba, away from the Central strip and yes, it is all accessible on foot. Blue Mountains Cancer Help Op Shop in Whitton Street (off Camp Street) has a wealth of clothing, in a spacious shop and all clearly marked. Unusual and one-off clothing can be found here -- and good labels. Fashionistas will experience the 'feel good factor' in abundance while they shop here as this charity was established to provide support for local residents who have been diagnosed with cancer, helping to fund support groups, complementary therapies, a buddy system and assistance with transport. On your way back to central Katoomba, go to The Handy Store, corner of Victoria Street and Camp Street. Yes, the traditional corner store is back! Purchase something to take with you as you wander a little further down Victoria Street to the Blue Mountains Community Gardens. Get a little dirt on your hands and do a spot of gardening, mingle with the locals, meditate a while and walk the labyrinth, smell the herbs and meander through the apple arch, admiring the wide variety of heirloom apple trees as you go. Find a quiet corner for a picnic lunch, perhaps. Afterwards, take a S L O W stroll back up to Katoomba Station to catch the train for the fashionistas' last stop -- Blackheath. The original railway platform at Blackheath opened in December 1869. The mural on the eastern end of the building depicting bushranger Govett with sacks of gold was painted in 2004 by Vernon Treweeke. Fashionistas should visit Ravir Boutique, specialising in clothes for men and women, and manufactured from hemp, bamboo, and alpaca silk, for example. The clothing is produced with the welfare of the environment in mind and this shop also supports local artisans. Two other shops here specialise in recycled, pre-loved goods -- Chic But Not Shabby, good for collectables, accessories, decorative items, and Margarita's, for funky clothing, 60/70s linen and bric-a-brac. The Victory Theatre, containing an extensive range of antiques and collectables as well as interesting clothing, has a café in front, famous for all-day breakfasts, with the menu changing daily. Another popular eating place for locals is Mementos, featuring ricotta tarts, mezze plate, Hungarian goulash and other creative fare. Don't forget to go over the railway line to the Vinnie's located in Station Street. Slow Food is an international non-profit association formed in 1989 as a response to the standardising effects of fast food and the 'fast life'. There are now thousands of members in over 100 countries, divided into local focus groups called, convivia, of which Slow Food Blue Mountains is just one. To join, tap into local events for find out more about Slow Food Blue Mountains email firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit the Slow Food Australia website at: www.slowfoodaustralia.com.au Cittaslow (Italian for Slow City) is derived from the Italian Slow Food Movement, whose principles are based on using local, seasonal produce, supporting small producers and restoring time-honoured methods of production. There are around 100 Cittaslow towns in the world, mostly in Europe. Goolwa in South Australia and Katoomba Blue Mountains are the first in the Southern Hemisphere. Cittaslow towns take the time to identify what is important and special about their town and region and then implement strategies to preserve these unique qualities. A current major ongoing project for our region is a Cittaslow-created A KITCHEN GARDEN IN EVERY BLUE MOUNTAINS' HOME, with our goal of most residents producing their own leafy, green vegetables within 5 years. Essentially, Cittaslow is all about creating a great quality of life that brings benefits to the community. For further information on Cittaslow, visit www.cittaslow.org.au or email email@example.com High Tea in Springtime... Make sure you're dressed for the occasion! If High Teas (or afternoon teas for that matter) are your "thing" while visiting the Blue Mountains this Spring, why not visit some of the stores mentioned in the Slow Shopping Trail for Fashionistas to create your special High Tea look! A great idea for hens' party weekends or just a little bit of indulgence with a conscience! Source stores mentioned not only for the dress, but also hats, gloves, shoes, beads and any other accessories! Mix your styles and have fun, while supporting some great charities and small businesses in our region. Send your favourite pic of your hens' party High Tea group, dressed in their finery from some of the stores mentioned to firstname.lastname@example.org and go in the draw for a great prize, courtesy of Slow Food Blue Mountains! Winning entry will be announced in the next edition of Blue Mountains Tourist Newspaper, complete with photo, of course Janice Stone at Linen and Lace in Glenbrook Very Fashion and the Reverence Mural, Katoomba From Dawn Wigg's art clothing Rare Birds at Wentworth Falls www.bluemountainstouristnewspaper.com.au spring 2010 30