If you are looking for a day out of Sydney, or just happen to be in the neighbourhood, I urge you to take a spin at the artisian town of Long Jetty.
Long Jetty is a little-known, Central Coast epicentre of vintage, fashion and homewares. It is just waiting for you to discover its delights. Over the past five or so years, the area has turned from a neighbourhood of vacant shops and trash 'n treasure stores into a thriving artistic, haphazard, crafted populous for textiles and food.
They take all things vintage, retro and artisan very seriously here. Even the former mayor of Long Jetty has an artistic outlet (read shop) to call his own. Do not come without the ability to stow some great things in your car! But never fear, they will help with delivery too.
The best thing about Long Jetty, is you can start your experience with a hearty meal from one of the very cool (sorry, no other word accurately describes them), very healthy and slightly off centre café’s.
Many moons ago, pre-children, I would regularly frequent what is perhaps the flagship of coffee shops of the Long Jetty Scene. The Glass Onion Society used to be our favourite due to the cosiness in winter and free wi-fi. The staff are helpful, and the food and coffee... good!!! (We still come here with two kids, two dogs, mother in law in tow…)
Over the road, The Green Tangerine took over an old fish and oyster shop and hasn’t looked back. It specialises in bread and pastries and is associated with Henry Lee’s Redfern Cafe at the Tramsheds, Redfern, which took out 2016 best new cafe award.
And one of our favourites where the whole family can fit on one table is the Common Ground. Great food, unashamedly loves a bit of meat, and is good for breakfast or lunch.
Alternatively, if you love a bit of authentic pub grub (no Merivale look-alikes at Long Jetty people - you have been warned), the Long Jetty Hotel serves the basics with a smile, and usually has an early evening band on the weekends.
Once you have a full tummy, it's time to work off some of the breakfast with a tour of all things retro, vintage, small run clothing and homewares.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a myriad of other small business who treat their livelihoods as a craft rather than just items to flog. Stores include a home brew store, the vinyl record store, the skateboard expert, the organic food shop and All Things Hemp shop.
My favourite, and probably the most homewares focused, is the Kylie Long’s Long Road Home shop.
Kylie also studied and works as an interior designer in the local area, has put her touch on four homes she and her husband built, and is happy to give you tips in all things design. I love this store because it has current on-trend flavours mixed with individual, authentic one-offs.
The bulldog bookends, although arguably not a one off, is currently one of my favourites.
Nestled alongside Long Road Home is Dapper Darlings Vintage. If you want the low down of what is new in Long Jetty, pop in and see the owner Linda Coy. Linda is also a photographer and boy, can this woman point a lens! I'm sourcing a couple of her photos in this blog. You can see her love for art and design reflected in Dapper Darling’s Instagram feed and web page. This store is more focused on vintage clothes but also features periodically local artist collections. When I last visited, it had an awesome collection of Art Deco Mirrors, the image below shows a collection by Local surfer Paul Mason.
The Dapper Darlings store is more focused on vintage clothes, but also exhibits periodically local artist collections. When I last visited, it had an awesome collection of Art Deco Mirrors. The image below shows te same space exhibiting a collection by Local surfer Paul Mason.
Paisley Vintage is all about recycling and restoring second-hand furniture including bedroom furniture, and also crafting handmade designs. Catherine’s love of her craft is infectious, and if you plan ahead, you can take with you a piece of furniture you have been meaning to get to to the weekend workshops she holds in her shop. She also holds Annie Sloan Paint workshops.
I don’t think Denise and Steven Koszek will mind when I describe their 296 Antique Store as ‘old school antiquity’. They are licenced antique dealers and are happy to have a chat. If you are looking for something special, speak with them because if they don’t have it in the front shop, or the sprawling two storey warehouse out the back, then they will probably know where you could get it.
If you are looking for something special, speak with them because if they don’t have it in the front shop, or the sprawling two storey warehouse out the back, then they will probably know where you could get it.
I personally don’t think the name of House of Stuff gives full credit to this store's trove of treasures. There is an exceptionally eclectic mix of homewares and collectables. There is the ability to have the items delivered; which is good because there are some large and lovely items that may tempt you.
If you complete the above and are still hungry for more, there are heaps of smaller stores I haven't mentioned. Everyone at Long Jetty seems to yearn to have their artistic outlet in a shop. Even on the days immediately after Christmas when I last visited, there were new shops popping open.
Alternatively, you can go into The Entrance and visit The Base Homewares. A two-dollar-meets-fantastic-furniture-meets-bali-meets beach-kitch place. One thing going for it, the place is huge! It takes up three very large stores on the main street of The Entrance, so you are bound to find a bargain there.
If you prefer something more upmarket, Toowoon Bay has giftwares and galleries, or Terrigal, a short drive away, also has a myriad of homeware and gift stores.
Long Jetty is approximately a1.5-hour drive north of Sydney. It's approximately 20 minutes north of Gosford.