Angela is a freelance writer and radio producer living in the heart of Newcastle. She is endeavouring to find and share the best the city has to offer no matter how many delicious restaurants she has to endure.
Published September 1st 2012
Be Wooed by Mrs Woo
"Life is like a cup of tea, it's all in how you make it". This proverb greets me as I look curiously into the Darby Street window of High Tea With Mrs Woo, the creation of sisters Rowena, Juliana and Angela Foong.
Being an absolute tea devotee, I decide that any place with such a motto must be my kind of place and enter, stepping into a bright, cosy (yet not at all cluttered) space, bordered by long racks of similarly lovely, airy clothing. Think earthy colours - grey, fawn, coffee, and breezy, light fabrics - linen, cotton and twine.
There is one particular dress that I imagine myself sporting at the seaside - big floppy hat lolling in the breeze, canvas bag in hand, lazily picking through shells amongst the seagulls.
The next thing I notice is the gorgeous smell of essential oils hanging headily in the air. Upon further inspection I find the perpetrators sitting in a basket-nest upon a wooden desk - lovely, rustic homemade balls of olive oil soap, the scent even nicer when picked up and lifted to the face to drink in.
I am welcomed with a friendly smile and sunny greeting from Angela who, along with her two sisters, has brought up Mrs Woo from small beginnings in Newcastle, to a second boutique in Sydney and an online store (with very reasonable shipping prices).
The sisters not only sell gorgeous clothing (all made in Newcastle) for women of all figures, they also stock an enchanting array of home-wares and gifts. Aside from the aforementioned delicious soap balls, the gift-buyer or Santa in the family can choose from a variety of hand-made jewellery, handbags, gift cards, creative rubber stamps, fun-sized chalk boards for writing sweet notes and, my personal favourite, chunks of graphite hand-carved into amazing forms and likenesses.
In a city known for its boutiques and gift stores, a tiny shop like this would be forgiven for submitting and melting into the crowd. High Tea With Mrs Woo, although small, rises to the challenge of standing out on Newcastle's insanely popular Darby street, offering its customers adorable high-quality, hand-made goods for discerning tastes.