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Leura is renowned for its shops - you can spend an entire day browsing and buying. Many shops have multiple rooms as they have been converted from turn-of-the century cottages. An old church, St David's Presbyterian, is home to elegant home wares and gifts. As you step out of your car or hop off the tour bus, you will find a number of shops located around the periphery of the carpark. So many choices…
Address:167 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 2094
Hours: Open 7 days 10am-5pm
Under a 'starry, starry sky' the petite toyshop is so filled with toys that visiting children are left speechless - for a moment only - before shrieks of excitement explode throughout.
The owner, 'Papa' to two young ones, stocks fun along with serious educational toys. Toys and puzzles that help develop motor skills of pre-schoolers are now in stock. Always available are the loveable plush animals. Often 10 to 12 year olds get bypassed by the toy industry, but we found fascinating and colourful construction sets that will certainly challenge this age group.
This is a wonderland - a labyrinth of trucks and china tea sets, dolls and prams and enormous toy cars. There are toys from floor to ceiling - some hanging from the stars above keep the imagination afloat. Childhood dreams come true in the Toy Shop!
Address:175 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 2807
Hours: Open 7 days 10am-5pm
A stunning collection of fine jewellery is now in Leura and the staging and display of beautiful pieces in Ainsley Fine Jewellery is a work of art. Owner, Ainsley Whelan is a jewellery designer, a gemmologist and a diamond grader. With these credentials, we were surprised to find such a young talent in Leura. Her attention to detail and to design is unusual and exciting for her years.
Rings - diamond, gold, pearl and gorgeous amber capture our attention on our first visit. You will also find necklaces of gemstones, amethyst, garnet, lemon quartz and a 'stop-in-your-tracks' pair of gold and silver spiral aquamarine drop earrings.
Our descriptions cannot do justice to the beautifully designed pieces - we recommend enthusiastically that you visit Ainsley when in Leura. The 'next-best-thing' is a visit to her website.
Address:177-179 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 3154
Two shops under one umbrella, each with a separate shopfront and entrance is unusual for Leura, but proprietors Lindy and Paul Du Moulin seem to manage this unique arrangement with ease and flair.
While we love Teddy's trendy women's shop, in this issue we want to highlight Teddy's 'man cave' shop as it is unique in Leura. Men shopping is, well … rarely easy, but your man won't feel out of place or 'out of sorts' in this stylish tiny shop.
For that edgy look, guys can find modish leather jackets, gorgeous wool or cashmere coats, belts and great Italian or Irish caps and hats for the outing in that sporty car. We purchased a hip Italian wool cap for a friend's 21st and he loved it!
For the traditional guy, don't overlook briefcases, man bags and satchels, which are the exceptional leather accessory. The Toowoomba overnight or carry-on satchel is fantastic - a gorgeous leather in chocolate. This leather is soft and will age beautifully.
Shaving gear, cuff links, watches, scarves and umbrellas: all under one roof. Life made easy for a man who is particular about his style. And if he isn't, dressing your man has never been made easier.
Address:183 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 1302
Hours: Open 7 days
Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm
This bookstore is a Leura 'institution,' a long-time mainstay on The Mall and a book version of comfort food for bibliophiles - calm, reassuring and so many titles.
We are drawn to Megalong Books for several reasons: walls and walls of books line shelves from floor to ceiling, along with DVDs of favourite flicks and great classical music CDs.
Tucked away on the quirky shelves are some must-reads: fiction and non-fiction, geography, history. Travel and specialty books about the Blue Mountains are in large supply, if you're seeking a memento of your visit. Don't overlook Megalong's outstanding titles on walks and trails around Leura and elsewhere in the mountains.
Staff are fantastic - knowledgeable readers, capable in making suggestions for fact or fiction, and rare in this day of chains stores or Internet ordering. Service is personal and prompt and if you adore books, well, having 15,000 titles in stock is an impressive reason to hang around, browse and buy. We must keep our independent booksellers financially healthy!
A note to grandparents: the selection of children's books (in the back room) is quite extraordinary. You'll find the perfect book for that little one back home expecting a gift. This is one remarkable bookstore!
Address:166 The Mall
We've been around Leura for a number of years now and it is our observation that the Aspects of Leura has found, in 2015, a great combination of shops. The Aspects is a long hallway of delightful surprises, specialties and so many colourful window fronts. Don't be timid: walk into this mini-mall of shops!
There are two entrances - from Leura Mall, turn in at Mrs. Peel and Leura Whisk and from the carpark, through the glass doors entrance. Before moving down the hallway, note the stairs and the surrounding shops: Celena is located on the ground level and Rubyfruit Café, up the steps on level one.
'vintage to modern'
Vintage in this decade is the rage and carries so many meanings along with varied styles or looks. Mrs. Peel, much like a museum of the '50s, '60s and '70s, also offers us a modern vintage collection - fine wools for the cooler seasons and snazzy colourful dresses for spring and summer. Here you can cross your vintage styles with multiple colourful options. And, if you want modern - this definitely is the shop. We have friends who travel from The Hills to Leura's Mrs Peel in order to maintain their vintage style. These are serious vintage shoppers and owner Jacquie seems to connect with them.
Sunglasses, jewellery - particularly the colourful bracelets - go so well with chic hats: red or black is trendy again this year. Belts and other accessories are stocked in plentiful supply and are reasonably priced. No matter the season, boots or shoes fly off the shelves of this popular shop but you must drop in frequently - shoes go so quickly.
The atmosphere is casual - we find it easy to browse (and shop) here and the staff is quite attentive.
Address:Shop 6, 166 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 2383
Hours: Open 7 days 9.30am-5pm
A charming little shop - all things French: aprons and umbrellas, soaps and skin products - luscious fragrances waft through the air. Arty displays load centre tables and on tall shelves along the walls, lavender or rose imbued sachet packets peek out. The Shoppe has a Blue Mountains exclusive with L'Occitane hand and body products famous for emollients of shea butter, honey, and sweet almond extract - yummy for the skin.
Address:Shop 2 & 3, 166 The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 1389
Hours: Open 7 days 9.30am-5pm
An eruption of pastels, a burst of reds, blues and greens rush forth as we enter this sizeable shop down the Aspects of Leura Arcade. Shirts of every hue, sweaters, coats, jackets and scarves - fine knitwear for men and women fill this shop from top to bottom. We all know that fashion is mercurial and likely to change without warning. But here the style is classic and casual - this fashion enduring - never losing its stylishness.
We discover the season's temperatures may change, but The Shirt Lady doesn't let winter's black overtake our lives. Alpaca, possum, merino, lamb's wool, angora and flawless, delicious cashmere - all arrive in many colours. Of course, the greys, charcoals, blacks and browns that will always occupy a sizeable portion of our wardrobe can be found here as well.
For those new to Leura, the Shirt Lady has built a sterling reputation around her shirts - long sleeved, short sleeve, three-quarter sleeve. If you can't find your shirt here, in all probability you won't find it anywhere. The Shirt Lady's 'know-how' in shirts and jumpers is a well-known secret among the locals.
Address:134a The Mall
Phone: 02 4784 3832
Hours: Open 7 days 10am-5pm
Of the numerous shops along the Mall, Gifts-n-Things stays true to the Edwardian-look of Leura. Recently, with a fresh coat of a deep slate and a peppermint green door, the exterior is a reminder of 1885 Leura.
Over the years, we've observed that owner Jo Davidson is always charming and treats every customer as a special guest, rare in today's hustle and bustle. Jo is a second-generation proprietor - her father, in his Katoomba shop, taught her the trade.
This is the little shop of delights: strappy colourful sundresses in summer and trendy autumn sweaters once weather turns chilly. From beautiful scarves and wraps to Threadz, Clarity and Orientique fashion, you'll find something special for every season. Check out the accessories - so many choices. Gifts 'n' Things is an appointed stockist of Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries and fragrances.
From its front verandah through the multiple rooms (with open fire), this is the ultimate gift shop. You'll need browsing time, as each room has its surprises - remarkable gifts and homewares line the shelves of this turn-of-the-century building and will charm their way into your heart and home.