WEEKENDS STORE, AVOCA BEACH
Weekends Store at Avoca Beach has become a hot-spot for tourists and Coast residents since it opened its doors 12 months ago. Store owner, Alison Daley, also happens to be a picnic queen and let us in on her top tips.
‘You need to start with the rug,’ she says. ‘In store, we have some incredible heavy weighted tapestry rugs from Hendeer. We are also seeing really good insulated baskets coming out now, and ones from The Beach People also double as a table; they’re chic and practical.’
To really elevate your picnic experience, Alison also recommends getting soft scatter cushions and good serve-ware, suggesting the acrylic Champagne flutes, look-alikes for heavyweight cut crystal, and some of the stunning handmade Walter Gordon Ceylon range.
PLAIN JANES, LONG JETTY
Located on the main strip of Long Jetty, Plain Janes is a light-filled boutique loved by locals and visitors. The gorgeous and vibrant range of retro-inspired chairs from Salty Shadows will really lift your picnic game and are already a hot item in store. While you’re there, nab a bottle of Sipps Margaritas and acrylic cocktail glasses to take your day out to the next level.
Plain Janes owner, April Mills, says we are spoiled for choice in our corner of paradise.
‘The Central Coast is a picnic paradise with beautiful beaches, lake edges and long stretches of national parks,’ she says. ‘Our must-have items for any picnic include a lush grazing board of delicious cheese, crackers and nibbles with an icy cold Sipps Margarita in hand.’
HAVEN AT HOME, ERINA HEIGHTS
Beautiful homeware for all styles and tastes is the hallmark of this Erina store. Haven at Home has a welcoming vibe that has been a beacon for locals for more than a decade. Owner, Tracey Abrahams, has an eye for quality pieces, jumping into action as you enter the store with her top three things you need for a successful picnic.
‘It starts with a nice rug, one that is washable and easy-care, as well as being a nice, big size,’ Tracey says. ‘The Wandering Folk blankets we have in store have such vibrant patterns and so much variety. You also need a cooler bag; something like those from Somewhere Co. are
really stylish. Finally, a really good grazing board, and we have plenty on offer.’
SUPPORT ‘SMALL’ WITH HANDMADE MARKET FINDS
From Warners Bay to Avoca Beach, our markets have everything you need for your picnic set-up. Two regulars on the market scene, popular among locals for their handmade creations, are Shelly Bay Co. and Snowflake Ceramics.
Snowflake Ceramics is run by Narara local, Mads Smith. Her small handmade bowls are essential for any grazing board, adding extra decadence and flair.
‘Not only are the mini bowls perfect for all of those “tricky to contain” items, they also have a multi-functional purpose so you will always find a reason to use them. The handcrafted nature of each piece means no two are the same and with countless colours and designs, there is something to fit everyone’s taste,’ she says.
While Snowflake will set you up with the accessories, Shelly Bay Co will sort you out with its glorious picnic tables. Shelly Bay Co. owner, Nadine Huxtable, says all of the tables are constructed by hand, so they can be customised.
‘Our most popular, however, is the small picnic wine table which holds four glasses, a bottle of wine and your nibbles,’ Nadine says. ‘Although, our larger table with an ice bucket is certainly catching the eye of a lot of people. They are now equally as popular as the other.”
Markets in general on the Coast are stocked with picnic items, not to mention local produce to pop into your basket and impress your friends with.