#1 on the shopping itinerary yesterday was the Gorman House Markets.
I'm always excited to discover and visit markets that I've not been to...you know, the anticipation of finding bargains mixed in with the thrill of not knowing what to expect?
I loved the vibe the moment we got out of the car! The comforting smell of bacon and eggs on the grill being cooked at the food stalls greeted us and the heritage-listed building (formerly a hostel in the 1920s, now an arts centre) is oh-so-cute! Kind of reminded me of my primary school.
Walking by the food vendors in the front yard, we found ourselves in a huge courtyard, surrounded on all sides by covered corridors and it was along this long connected walkway and in some of the smaller rooms that the market regulars set up shop.
Secondhand clothes, bric-a-brac, handmade items, homemade foodstuff...the sort of stalls that you'll find at most flea markets but somehow, the Gorman House Markets has retained that quaint old-world charm and a sense of community that I find slowly being eroded at a lot of other markets. The lady who sold me some antique lace kind of articulated it for me, "Nah, this is the only place where you'll find me. I've been here for years and I don't want to be at any of the new markets...too professional and commercial for me."
I think the people, like the lace lady and the other lovely stall owners, involved make the place. I love the stories that they take the time to tell about their wares, when asked. Making a quick sale to one customer and moving on to the next is not what they are about.
Like this cute old farmer who was chewing on his bacon and egg roll when I bought some pink grapefruits and blood oranges from him.
I always look forward to the red orange season every year, more than any other fruit (start being nice to me now if you want a bottle of my marmalade) and it might not matter to someone else but to me, to have the man tell me that the oranges that I bought were the first batch of the year from his trees made it a whole different purchasing experience.
The bubbly owner of Material Pleasures, a secondhand clothes corner, was another person who made my day with her massive collection and wealth of knowledge.
My first fashion-y purchase of the trip was from her - this crazy floral-print Japanese jersey top with sleeves that are a cross between mutton chops and batwings. It's actually three sizes too big for me but it didn't matter because I loved the print and the larger size meant flappier wings!
Gorman House Markets
Every Saturday from 10.00am to 4.00pm