By the time we deck the halls and stuff the stockings, Christmas and summer holidays will be upon us. Cricket fans have arrived for The Ashes and shoppers have converged on city stores as Adelaide falls into Christmas madness. It’s enough to make you want to hit the road and take in a deep breath of seaside air!
A super little spot to escape to for a day, a weekend or a breezy summer break is Port Elliot, just an hour’s drive from Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula. With an old-world feel this laid-back little village near Horseshoe Bay is, surprisingly, just the place to snatch up some last-minute Christmas gifts or to spoil yourself with a stylish memento from your beach-side holiday.
Here are three favourite boutiques…I’m sure you won’t leave empty handed.
Coast by Design
A sister store to the gorgeous Balhannah by Design in the Adelaide Hills, this French-inspired homewares emporium has a relaxed style and is filled with delicious things. Mon Bowring, the dynamic owner of both stores, has an eye for beauty and it’s always a joy to discover what treasures she has picked up on her travels and buying trips through Australia and Europe.
As well as trinkets and home accessories, from chic Christmas baubles and wreaths to Côte Noire scented candles and Laguiole cutlery, there are larger items such as European sideboards and French-inspired washed oak cabinets. I love the ceramic platters and bowls in shades of vanilla and duck egg blue, the pressed metal jugs with a floral design and the vintage French seeding pots.
Elliot and Me
Snap up a scarf, a pretty wallet or a strand of bright beads in this welcoming, cheery boutique just off the main street.
The Elk range of original accessories, leather handbags and contemporary women’s fashion stars but it’s difficult not to be wooed by a pair of pearl earrings from gingerlily, a bracelet from Pigeonhole or an artisan ring from Ottoman. Made in Turkey, the metal is hand beaten and rolled in silver. There’s also Eb & Ive for fun, colourful beads and bangles and affordable clothing and accessories.
All That Jazz
The name may be naff but inside, room after room in this old stone house is filled with style. A couple of doors down from the popular Port Elliot Bakery, the accent is on French-inspired homewares (of both the faux variety and the real thing) along with billowing racks of casual women’s fashion and beautiful jewellery. Parisian café aprons made from raw linen hang from a door; there are whimsical Christmas decorations twirling from trees and crockery for the table.
French glassware from the La Rochère collection, the oldest running glassworks in Europe, sits on silver trays. The super-strong pressed glass is dishwasher and microwave safe. Choose from water, wine or Champagne flutes decorated with motifs of the Eiffel Tower, Fleur de Lys or the iconic bee, an instantly recognisable symbol of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Empire.
After your gift-buying expedition, slip around to No. 58 Cellar Door & Gallery on Waterport Road for coffee and cake, or sample some small batch wines from Thunderbird and Mt Billy with a regional tasting plate. Here in the rustic gallery you can browse works by local, national and international artists. For a very special gift, consider a light-filled landscape painting by Tom O’Callaghan, a renowned local artist who captures the moods and atmosphere of the Australian coast on canvas.
Open Friday to Monday, on sunny days you can sit on the deck overlooking the vineyard with Maggie and Mollie, two friendly border collies who welcome you at the door.