We go up to the Mangawhai area quite often so let me share my favourite things to do while up there.
There is a St John’s op shop in Kaiwaka (that little town on SH1 that is decorated with lights), at the beginning of the Kaiwaka-Mangawhai Road, on the right, next to the playground. It is open Wed-Sat, opening at 9.30. It is quite small and a lot cheaper than the Mangawhai one. I haven’t found much there, but it’s worth popping in and checking out – I love my retro puzzles that I bought for 50c. After you have a rummage, make sure you cross over SH1 and load up on cheese and other Dutch treats from the Dutch cheese shop. We always eat so well when we’re up there.
One of the great things about Mangawhai is that the op shop is open all weekend! The bad thing about it is the Nanas in the op shop know their Trade Me prices so things can be a bit expensive. There is a St John’s Ambulance op shop in Mangawhai, just next to the petrol station, that opens at 10am on both Saturday and Sunday. It’s always worth a rummage, and there is some good vintage but it usually is costly.
Saturday morning is market day at the hall (opposite the petrol station), starting at 9am, so make sure you stop in and load up on good bread, coffee, fresh vegetables and home-baked goodies. I even get my jewellery cleaned there for $1 a piece. This weekend they have started a ‘Junk and Disorderly’ market on Sunday afternoon from 1-4pm. I’m going to check it out.
In the milder months, there is also a regular flea market/car boot sale on irregular Sunday mornings from 9am, with the next one starting on October 21, and usually finishing in April. It is at the domain, which is on Moir Street.
There is a great Retro Shop called Co-ollectables, not far from Mangawhai village, going back toward Kaiwaka on the Kaiwaka-Mangawhai Road, just past Tara Road. She has a wee shop attached to her house, so I guess that keeps prices down and there is always plenty I covet. She has clothing, paintings, books, furniture and crockery and knick-knacks. I really recommend it! In the warmer months she is open Thurs-Sunday but I noticed that right at the moment she is open only on the weekends from 10am.
If you are in Mangawhai and you like chocolate, you must must must stop in at Bennetts Cafe – which is in the fab Bennetts Chocolate Factory building on Moir Street (sadly closed for June). You will feel like you are in an imitation Tuscany, the building is lovely. I just want to live there! And the mochas and hot chocolates are out of this world! They just stick a big block of real chocolate into your hot milk or coffee. Rich and yum.
Then once you’ve loaded up with all the good food, done your vintage shopping, kick back and relax! Mangawhai is wonderful for doing not much.
I dropped in to our local Red Cross shop today where I nearly always find something small, and sure enough they had this great short coffee pot made by English potters Denby. I am going to use as a teapot. They actually had the tall coffee pot as well, but I have several coffee pots I never use (note to self: research what else I could use them for) so I restrained myself, and just got the short one.
The best thing about getting it home was to realise that my atomic tea cosy (that’s the puffy fabric thing in the photo) fits it perfectly, and it looks great with my small teacups (I have 6 of these, not sure what they are, they just have ENGLAND stamped on the bottom). I hardly use small teacups as they are a hassle to refill, but now I have my teapot, life is good. I finally am going to get some use out of my old finds – these have been hanging around for a couple of years. I knew I’d get to use them eventually.
Drinking my refill cup of tea, and it is still hot. Bliss!
My guess is this pot is 1970s, I like it’s simplicity. Although I wouldn’t mind stumbling onto some of their patterned pots and vases from the 1960s and 70s:Read More
I can’t recommend enough The Big Island of Hawaii for a holiday. We had a wonderful time relaxing, eating and swimming. And op-shopping! Everywhere I went there were op shops – Thrift Stores in American-speak. Not only was I staying across the road from a beautiful beach with the American and the sprog, I averaged an op-shop/junk shop visit a day.
I wasn’t able to bring much back with me (this time, I might add). As we were baby-wrangling on the plane, I felt less confident about hauling precious cargo in my hand luggage. Pre-child I have brought all sorts of things home in my hand luggage, and have the fake ‘this bag is so light’ look down pat (when actually I have a dinner set tucked away). But next time, I tell you, things will be different. The sprog is going into wearing-earphone training and will just have to do with less toys! Mummy needs vintage stuff!
If I lived there, life would be perfect…well except for having to work in a service industry as that’s where most of the jobs are. But besides that, the weather is amazing, the beaches beautiful, the people seem friendly, it’s not too expensive – expensive in American terms, but about normal for us Kiwis, I could eat Poke (a Hawaiian-style sashimi) everyday, and miraculously I would drop three dress sizes because I’d just be eating fruit and raw fish. There seemed to be two types of people in Hawaii – gorgeous, sun-tanned and six-packed, or those, as my American commented after trying to snorkel around them, that resembled barges in the water. I am sure I would be in the former group once I got used to living there.
Anyway I digress! The main reason life would be perfect if I lived there is because of all the great vintage stuff I found but could not bring home with me. So much vintage Hawaiiana that I loved but left behind. Vintage hula lamps, seahorse white vases, random American tin signs, velvet paintings, vintage swimsuits and mumus, and mostly reasonably priced. Imagine the house-load of treasures you could have if you lived there! Garage sales were popular as well, but I couldn’t escape my entourage and check them out this time.
I’ll write again about some of the favourite spots for vintage hunting. And I may as well pop in some favourite places for food and drink as some was amazing! If you’re planning a holiday, get yourself to The Big Island – it was wonderful!Read More
If you are visiting Nelson, this opshopping article from the Nelson Mail will help you search out the stores in town. Declaring ‘Op Shops are the New Cool’ it goes on to list the following shops (probably much to the annoyance of regular hunters).
Vanguard Street area seems to be a popular op-shop location:
SPCA Op Shop: 80 Vanguard St, Nelson
Red Cross Op Shop: 76 Vanguard St, Nelson
St Vincent de Paul Op Shop : 77 Vanguard Street, Nelson
Salvation Army Family Store: 57 Rutherford St, Nelson
There are quite a few more listed in the article so worth taking a look if you’re in the region.Read More