Strathalbyn, in South Australia's North East, ain't 'unofficially' known as the antique capital of SA for nothing; it boasts six antique stores on High Street alone. There are others of course, peppered throughout the picturesque rural town, so I can safely say that vintage shoppers, collectors, and those of you who just like to browse, won't be let down.
Antique Bazaar of Strathalbyn has to be one of the largest stores in Strath, so you could definitely spend over a good hour scouring the glass cabinets full of antique silverware, estate jewellery, car badges, ceramics, and apothecary bottles. Not to mention furniture, children's toys, clothing and accessories, books, telescopes, garden utensils and all the in-betweens that seem to have slipped my over excited mind.
Harrington's has some beautiful stock, and an amazing collection of rings. If I knew for certain that their past owners wouldn't haunt me, I'd have bought them… all. And if you're crazy enough (*cough* Steve) you can pat the fox fur shawl draped over that chair near their entrance; it still has its head, tail, and feet attached. Yeah I know I can't talk, I love taxidermy - whatever.
Now I have one word of advice while browsing – remember to look far above and below eye level. I can't tell you how many things I had to have pointed out to me, which would have made me cry had I missed them completely.
Oh yeah, and take someone that shows some kind of restraint with you. It's a good thing my boyfriend isn't quite as impulsive as me, because while old stuff doesn't always come cheap, it always, always, pulls on my heart strings.
While venturing off the beaten track, we came across some stores who lend the word 'antique' to their name quite loosely; perhaps pawn would have been a more appropriate description. One housed white goods which are now one of those 50 shades of grey, or have I got the wrong book? And one, yes one, still haunts me.
Dark, silent, reminiscent of Texas-chainsaw-massacre (just the feeling that film evokes, not all the weird inbreds), with hundreds of swaying ceiling-high shelves only a few feet apart, old ceramic doll heads on spikes (okay, not on spikes), and a chilling scream that still bounces off my ear drums (exaggeratiooon... exaggeratioooon... exagge... *fade to nothing*). No I will not name this store, as I'm sure there were a tonne of great, cheap finds in there, for you oh-fearless ones (and you other unsuspecting ones).
Strath also have your trusty Salvo's store, do I hear loyalty?
So if you're now so scared you need immediate company, or have found your mouth's running dry because of all the drool you've spilled over that taxidermy peacock in Harrington's, stop off to one of the many divine watering holes down High Street. Then why not walk through the quaint Soldiers Memorial Gardens around the Angas River in the centre of town, or even visit gorgeous St Andrew's Church.
Oh the possibilities. Good thing it's only 50 minutes out of Adelaide's CBD; I'll go get the car running.
If the Unnamed Store is the one I'm thinking of, that place is just mad! It looks like the product of a good half-century of hoarding, and it's worth a browse to soak up the atmosphere. I think the reason the place is filled to the gunwales is because their stuff seems to be quite expensive for what it is, which is completely at odds with the whole indoor junkyard atmosphere of the place.