This post isn’t about the must-see places in the Blackheath village, it’s about my favourite places. Those places that have become part of our routine, that we visit regularly and places we routinely love to share with visitors. Hopefully by sharing my love of Blackheath and its community will make your next visit that bit more meaningful. A way to connect with the people not just the place, making Blackheath more than a Blue Mountains village to visit but a place you feel more connected to.
Blackheath has a community full of interesting, quirky, diverse and generous people. The diversity of its people is one of the things we love the most. Showing visitors Blackheath is more than going to popular tourist spots (although Govetts Leap at sunrise is a favourite of mine) but more about sharing what I love most about my home.
Perfect for a Girl’s Weekend
Last weekend I hosted three friends. Since moving here I have been a little disconnected, happy to explore and enjoy my new surroundings and create a new life. I have been an absent friend, not catching up or keeping in contact as much as I should.
But I had been harbouring the idea of a girl’s weekend here since Christmas. And finally, it all came together. Dan went to his sister’s in Balmain and my friends came to stay.
Showing the girls around made me realise how very much I love this place with its sense of community and how grateful I am that we have met people that make Blackheath such a special place to live.
It was a relaxed weekend with shopping, catching a sunrise at Govetts Leap, a leisurely walk into the village and a stop at my favourite coffee shop. Twice.
We managed to drag ourselves out of bed on the first morning to meet the sunrise at Govetts Leap. It was freezing! But as always magical to watch.
Coming home to warm up!
Later we started our walk into the village by meandering up tree-lined lanes, past quaint mountain homes and through Memorial Park and out to the Great Western Highway.
Our first stop was at Twig. I was glad for the chance to finally go in and check it out. Its doors haven’t been open long, but Twig was a huge hit with my guests. I loved it too with quirky homewares, things to keep you warm in the cold weather like hats, scarves, wraps and more. It’s one of those shops you can spend time browsing, looking at all the things on display.
Blackheath Community Op Shop
We headed across the railway line to the other side of Blackheath where I took them to the Blackheath Community Op Shop.
Dan and I love this place. I have mentioned the op shop before in my post, Loving Blackheath. All profits made go back into the community. It is well run by amazing people with huge hearts and a sense of community that is enviable.
We just can’t stay away. Even though Dan donated ¾ of a container full of furniture upon our arrival here in the mountains so that we could rid ourselves of excess furniture and household goods, we rarely walk away empty handed. Although now each piece is chosen by us together, specifically to fit in with our life here. But Dan has been warned. He gets carried away sometimes.
My friend Elida brews Turkish coffee and then reads the cups. It’s a delightful experience that I look forward to each time I see her. On the weekend she bought a container full of her coffee cups, coffee and pot. She said she wanted to create a small travel set so that whenever she hits the road she could just pick it up and go. And wouldn’t you know it, she found the perfect set of cups at the Op Shop.
She was happy, and now she can take her coffee readings on the road.
What a great find!
Hunger was setting in by now so of course, I had to take everyone to the Deli for food and turmeric lattes which were a huge hit. It’s no secret I love it here, it is our favourite café. Robin and Ray do a great job, their customer service is wonderful.
You can find Dan and me in there at least a couple times a week enjoying a late breakfast or a coffee. In fact, Jock, from Harmony at Home next door (another great store too) thinks that we are there all the time!
It’s not true; we do work sometimes.
By then we were all ready for some nana naps. Something about the good food and crisp mountain air made us all tired. But before indulging, we had to duck into Ravir Boutique.
Ladies, if you are visiting in the cooler months and you have been caught by surprise by just how cold it can get here in the mountains, and you need to add a few items to your suitcase then I would highly recommend visiting Raelene at Ravir Boutique.
The clothes are classic, stylish and high quality. The service you get from Raelene is outstanding, and I am always impressed by the range of clothes she has to offer.
Fingers crossed all my travel plans work out for the end of the year, and if they do, I will be visiting Raelene to fill the gaps in my travel wardrobe.
Blackheath Community Market
Sunday morning found us at the Blackheath Community Market held the first Sunday of every month at the Blackheath Public School.
It’s a lovely market where we buy our seedlings for our vegetable garden and stock up on local raw honey. There’s an eclectic mix of stalls which are fun to browse. The markets encourage sustainability, recycling and creative artisans. It has a lovely community vibe to it.
The steamed dumplings at one of the food stalls are a treat on a cold Sunday morning.
After the market, we drove over to Shipley to get apples at Logan Brae Orchard. The girls didn’t know what to expect.
When Melinda walked out of the apple barn needing help carrying her box of mixed apples, apple pies, a bottle of apple juice and a cup of hot spiced apple juice I knew she was a fan. And that was before I led them out the back to the view.
The outlook is stunning and sitting on a bench, sipping hot spiced apple juice and catching up with my dear friends was one of the highlights of my weekend.
Experience the Village
I had written about Blackheath before not long after we moved here. But 12 months on, these places have become a constant in our lives. Some things have come and gone, and there are still places for us to try and explore, but I have never lived anywhere that offers me the constant joy, satisfaction and contentment that Blackheath does.
I didn’t want this post to sound like an advertisement for the shops in Blackheath. It’s more than that. If you are a visitor to Blackheath, I implore you to be more than just a tourist and understand, even just a little bit, of what makes Blackheath so great, which is the people.
For example, if you are staying in a house and self-catering, visit Bruce at the Blackheath Butchery. Bruce a great guy, generous and supportive. The quality of meat is outstanding, and you would not be disappointed stocking your freezer for your stay. And tell Bruce Cindy and Dan sent you.
Pop into the Blackheath Deli and grab the makings of a cheeseboard. And then Ice Box next door for that perfect bottle of wine to accompany it.
Enjoy conversations; everyone loves to chat.
So, on your next visit to the mountains, come to Blackheath and maybe after reading this you might feel a little more connected to the people behind the coffee machines and counters, to the way locals feel about this beautiful little village and share with us what it is that we love so much about this place.