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Melbourne vintage outing

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Natalie Gruzlewski was chuffed to meet Betty and Miss Shirley in Melbourne for a shopping outing — after all it is Australia's fashion capital.

Betty and Miss Shirley (aka Lynn Gardiner and Danielle Pumo) know some of Melbourne's best shopping spots and have included them in their Vintage Day Out, arranged by Hidden Secrets Tours.

Tourists are chauffeur-driven in a 1960s vintage Fiat and given a vintage-inspired shopping bag, personal journal and pencil for making notes.

Empire Vintage

Oh, what a place! It has everything you need to put vintage glamour into your life. Furniture, gowns, hats, handbags, shoes, fabrics, superb sterling-silver jewellery; a wonderfully eclectic range spanning the 1920s to 1950s. Handmade lingerie has been inspired by items from the same period and vintage ribbons and laces are used where possible. It's like playing in your mum's wardrobe.

The Deborah Bowness wallpapers are enough to make you want to do a complete makeover at home. The trompe l'oeil pieces are digitally printed or and hand-printed and can be tailored to your needs and colour scheme.

For something truly different, check out the Empire Vintage wooden letters. They come in red, black and white in bold capitals or delicate cursive. They can be useful indicators, or just add a bit of fun to your home or office.

The Junk Company

Miscellaneous antiques and objects make up a treasure trove of bric-a-brac at The Junk Company. It proves that one person's trash is another person's treasure.

The store has antique furniture, art nouveau and art deco pieces, pottery, vintage fabric and textiles, antique toys, art glass — really, there are too many things to list. Even if you visit the website, you'll see only a small percentage as there is such a large weekly turnover.

Like Natalie, you could easily spend hours fossicking around — but it was time to hop in the Fiat and continue the Vintage Day Out.

Thread Den

Thread Den is the creation of four women who share a love of fashion, particularly vintage fashion. You can join one of their classes and learn new skills or chat with them about your sewing aspirations.

A walk up the stairs leads you into a sanctuary for sewers and lovers of vintage fashion. There are three rooms of Australian-designed men's and women's vintage pieces, and you are invited to fossick through fabrics, patterns and sewing notions, knitting needles, zippers and quite possibly you may find something you have previously been searching for unsuccessfully.

There are racks of carefully chosen garments and lots of accessories. All new clothing is locally designed and they encourage Australian designers to contact them.

Madame Brussels

A fun place to stop for refreshments and see what everyone's found while shopping, Madame Brussels is a rather fancy terrace and public house. Its inspiration was drawn from the tale of Madame Brussels who once resided there, and was a brothel owner in the late 1800s.

It is now a popular place for high tea, lunch and drinks. It opens at noon and stays open until 1am every day.

The Hedged Bar has many liquid delights behind its trellising and The Terrace overlooks Melbourne's east end. Recline on a divan as you sip a Pimm's No 1 and enjoy! The Den of Iniquity has more than 20 of the world's finest rums and other rare spirits.


Melbourne, Victoria's hidden shopping places.


Hidden Secrets Tours has a four-hour vintage outing in Melbourne. It includes a chauffeur, hostess and brunch and costs $245 per person. The meeting place is Bourke and Spring streets at 10.30am on Thursday, 9.30am and 2pm on Saturday and 10.30am on Sunday, year-round.

Virgin Blue has flights to Melbourne.

One-way fares from:

  • Adelaide $69
  • Sydney $89
  • Brisbane $139
  • Darwin $169
  • Perth $209

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at July 30, 2009, and are subject to change.

For further information

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789

Hidden Secrets Tours
7/37 Swanston Street
Melbourne 3000
Ph: (03) 9663 3358

Empire Vintage
63 Cardigan Place
Albert Park 3206
Ph: (03) 9682 6677

The Junk Company
583 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne 3000
Ph: (03) 9328 8121

Thread Den
1/16 Errol Street
North Melbourne 3061
Ph: (03) 9329 5305

Madame Brussels
59-63 Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000
Ph: (03) 9662 2775

User comments
Madame Brussels sounds great, needs more pics on their site. Would love to visit next time I'm in Melbourne
Hi, My girlfriends and I are very interested in your shopping day out. How many people can go on the shopping tour at once? Do you have a group booking price? If not do you offer a cheaper rate than the one stated per person? Thanks.
I looovvve vintage but all these shops are a bit out of my way. Are there any closer to Ringwood or Maroondah area?

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