Shopping Spree: an afternoon in Northcote

High Street, Northcote. Photo: Michael Rayner

High Street, Northcote. Photo: Michael Rayner

Take a trip on the No. 86 tram to the inner-north’s hub of music, shopping and food. High Street, Northcote, is an ever-changing shopping strip, where even the locals can always find something new. Among the just-opened cafes, pop-up shops and restaurants, this quirky-cool ’burb has a bunch of stalwarts that continue to deliver good vibes, unique wares and delicious eats. Here are our suggestions for a perfect afternoon.

2pm \ Top of the Hill

Top of the Hill. Photo: Michael Rayner

Photo: Michael Rayner

These new kids on the block have fast become the locals’ favourite coffee peddler – just ask the line of people waiting at the counter for their afternoon pick-me-up. Open just over a year, the teeny cafe has a bar opposite the counter where you can pull up a Scandi-style stool, and outdoor tables if you want to take in some rays. Besides coffee, they also do some sinful pastries, killer sandwiches and a tasty array
of bagels.

2.30pm \ Big Dreams

Big Dreams. Photo: Michael Rayner

Photo: Michael Rayner

If you’re a parent, an aunty, uncle or just a big kid, look no further than Big Dreams. This wonder emporium has been my go-to for gifts since the first of my seven nieces and nephews came along nine years ago. They specialise in super-cute yet funky clothing, beautiful baby blankets, and toys – so many toys. Wooden, interactive, educational and more, they’re all high quality and sure to provide hours of fun.

3pm \ A Quirk of Fate

A Quirk Of Fate. Photo: Michael Rayner

Photo: Michael Rayner

A little further north on the same side of the street, you’ll find a toy shop for grown-ups. Clothes, shoes, books, jewellery, sunnies and more: this cosy shop is a trove of hip wares. Much of what owner Kylie Weir stocks is by local designers, including knitwear brand Uimi (made in Thornbury), and eye masks and wheatbags from Northcote’s Wheatbags Love.

  • 289 High Street, Northcote
  • Instagram: @aqof

3.30pm \ The Wesley Anne

The Wesley Anne. Photo: Michael Rayner

Photo: Michael Rayner

Walk through the slightly rickety french doors into watering hole, Wesley Anne, with its towering stone walls and abundance of candles, and you’re transported back in time. To the left is a band room that attracts up-and-coming and established acts. Down the back, you’ll find a beer garden overhung by fig trees. Of course, there’s a great range of wines and beer on hand, along with share plates or something larger if you’re in for dinner.

4pm \ Wine Republic

Photo: Michael Rayner

Photo: Michael Rayner

It would be wrong to head to High Street without bringing home some vino from Wine Republic. This is the expert sellers’ second outlet, which opened in late 2015, and you can’t walk in without being introduced to something new from local and international growers. My favourite right now is the Longline Bimini Twist – a beautiful rosé perfect for the warmer evenings we’ve been having lately.

 

We also love

Estelle by Scott Pickett

Fine dining at its modern best.

Joe’s Shoe Store

Uber-cool bar housed in an old shoe shop.

  • 233 High Street, Northcote
  • 9482 7666

Obus

Funky clothing for women.

 

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