The trip to Wandin to visit the Mont De Lancey Country Market made for a really pleasant morning. The weather was perfect and the surrounds, picturesque. It's only when one finds oneself surrounded by the beauty of nature that one realises it's good to inject a little bit of 'country' into one's life. The property of the Mont De Lancey Historic Homestead in the Yarra Valley where the market is situated is such a place. Located at 71 Wellington Road, Wandin North, it reminds us to stop and smell the roses. Market days also gives you the opportunity to view a working blacksmith and woodturning shed, along with the opportunity to enjoy the gardens, museum, gallery, gift shop and Savoia Restaurant on the property.
The market is not a very big one, yet perfect for its setting. Well spread out, it doesn't intrude on its surrounds and maintains that relaxed 'country feel'. I arrived hungry and even though there was a 'volunteer' stand that was selling tea, coffee, hot dogs, sausage in bread, egg & bacon rolls and sandwiches along with soft drinks between $2 and $4, I opted for the fudge and cake stand that also sold pumpkin soup and pea and ham soup served in a soft bread roll and topped with either natural yoghurt or sour cream. An emulation of the seafood chowders in a big sour dough crusty roll from San Francisco? It was delicious and that was brunch done and dusted for $6.
I didn't intend to eat any cakes, but I did. There was a cake stall selling all kinds of slices and cupcakes and I chose a slice of brownie and a slice of lemon cake all in the name of fundraising for the Breast Cancer Foundation. The stall next door with freshly made vanilla slices was also fundraising, so I bought a couple to bring home. Just don't ask me if there's any left. Such are the stalls at this market. They're not all on Facebook or have business cards which adds to the appeal of being a little bit 'country'. If you're traveling to Wandin, why not make it relaxing. Enjoy a meal, check out the market stalls, look up the blacksmith, the woodturners, the homestead and so on. There's even entertainment in the form of 'live' performances to serenade you and he wasn't so loud as to shatter the country air or compete with the chirping of the birds.
Be warned that like me, your GPS might not like the word Wandin at all. Mine just would not accept the address. I ended up calling the market organiser for more clues and she told me to key in Clegg Road, which I did, and instead of putting in the house number, I just chose the intersection of Clegg and Wellington Road. With Clegg in it, it was at last happy with me keying in Wandin. You may well ask just what GPS system I'm using, but I'll never tell.
The other issue I had was with signage. There may have been signs if you came from a different direction, but coming up from Wellington road, and then crossing Clegg to continue on to Wellington road towards the homestead, once I hit that intersection, there were no signs at all that assured me once I crossed Clegg, I'd come upon the market. In fact, after crossing Clegg and continuing onto Wellington, I thought perhaps I had missed the market completely and decided to stop at the unmissable homestead to ask for directions. Security at the gate told me the market was in fact on the homestead itself and that I had arrived!
Perhaps it would have been easier had the 'market bookmark' flyer simply mentioned that it was 'on the property' of the homestead. If your route happens to take you the same way up Wellington street to get to the market, be warned that you need to be careful and stop at the intersection of Wellington and Clegg, look left and right and then left again like your mummy told you, before you cross, as it could be fraught with danger from oncoming traffic.
This, like all markets, have more and different stallholders on some days than on others. On this day, some of the stalls I encountered without Facebook or business cards were the charity cake stalls I mentioned earlier, a plant stall, a couple of greeting card stalls, a soap and candle stall, an ethnic goods stall that sold bags, bowls and jewellery, a toy stall and even a secondhand stall. I guess you could add the pumpkin soup stall to this list as I don't recall seeing a business card. These are the hidden unlisted treasures to discover at the market.
Among some established stalls, there were some rather impressive stalls that caught my eye. Spiced Aromatics was present with their handmade eco luxe soy candles and melts. They had quite a huge range of fragrances and an aromatherapy collection.
I was duly impressed by Kreativ Wanderlust who calls herself a 'maker' and make she does, some wonderful things. She has picture/photograph blocks and a lot of handmade double stitched clutch bags in beautiful fabrics. She also has 'Jenny' bags which are the perfect size to store your 'tablets' in. Have you heard of 'Worry Gobblers'? Well, she has them.
They are beautifully sewn characters with their own names like Dorothy, George and Babs for instance, with a zippered mouth. The idea is that you write down or draw your fear or worry, then you let your new friend gobble it up inside their zippered mouth and take these worries away for good. It certainly has a lot of 'cute factor' going for it. You can have them customised to suit your special someone.
The other service provided by Kreativ Wanderlust, is for old jeans. If you have a favourite pair you can't wear any longer but can't bear to throw out, you can have it turned into a bag for you. That way you're still holding on to your little bit of precious memories that has been up-cycled into a useful bag.
Kookaburra Heatpacks doesn't appear to have a Facebook page but is definitely noteworthy. I loved the scented tea pot trivets that were filled with cinnamon and clove. The eye pillows were also infused with roman chamomile. The signature heat packs were made with beautiful luxurious fabric uncommonly seen for items as such, with soft velvet that goes against your skin.
Beyond the Picket Fence needs no introduction as they are at several markets I've reviewed. They were out in full force with their country craft and beautiful unusual glass garden ornaments.
What would a country market be without lotions and potions. Extreme Brown is a totally natural remedy for the relief of health pain. The link I've given is to give you an idea of the product, however it's not one that belongs to it's representative Maree the stallholder at the market. You can contact her on 0403 406 666 or email email@example.com The product comes with a 100% money back guarantee and seems to cover sciatica, knees, gout, feet, headaches, migraine and skeletal pain. As their catch-cry goes; 'trying is believing'.
Ontheshelf by Sharon is a very crafty woman with a lot creative ideas and her stall oozes with personality. You'll find all that is cute, functional and decorative, yet carries that air of 'natural' and 'quality' about them. I guess such is the look of well made products, so check her out for her quirky knitted chooks, dream catchers, even bird nest starters (I did say she just has ideas popping out of her head and they all seem to come together) and lots more.
Last but not least is 'Mmmm Pate' who have a range of home-made delicious pate and preserves, touted to be the way food used to taste. Along with their chutneys, pates and preserves, they even had some lemon barley water and cute snack jars (filled with snacks) with labels like 'Dad's nuts and bolts - keep out' and 'My nuts and bolts - keep out'. Such has been my adventure to the Mont De Lancey Country Market . Check out their Facebook page. The organiser tells me she's not very Facebook savvy but at least you'll get an idea of when the next market is going to be. I will definitely be going again and this time to spend a longer more leisurely time there to soak in that little bit of 'country' instead of just for a couple of hours.
The next market dates are the 10th of October, 14th of November and 12th of December for this year, so put them in your diary. If you have any enquiries of want to be a part of the market, call Sheryl on 0403 415 194.