I recently discovered this Sunday market en route to a picnic at Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay. I wasn't planning on shopping but who can walk past an antiquarian book, a hand-knitted teddy – let alone a genuine crocodile vintage Gucci handbag at bargain prices without going to the ATM?
No one had told me about this market in Potts Point which is open every Sunday by the El Alamein Fountain in Potts Point at the end the Kings Cross strip. It is also the area where Channel 10's Underbelly is set. Film crews are always knocking about the backstreets shooting films and TV shows as this is Sydney's equivalent of the Left Bank in Paris. You cannot walk three feet without tripping over a croissant. The area is teeming with actors, authors, writers, models, artists, musicians, media folk and general eccentrics making it the perfect audience for eclectic treasures.
It has become my favourite market after I purchased a set of circa 1800 cutlery for an absolute steal and ordered a tailor-made 1950's style suit from one of the stalls. I love vintage clothes but usually find they are too small, too worn or too smelly, so being able to have a vintage dress or suit made to order at less than I'd pay for a standard suit or vintage dress has completely revolutionised the way I shop for clothes. They charge $300 and offer a choice of textured fabrics of all colours and hues and a form to help you measure yourself correctly. Last year I bought my clothes on-line, this year I have gone back to shopping from another era. When friends ask (and they do) "where did you buy that dress/or suit" I love saying – "I have all my clothes tailor made"….and I don't even have to travel to Hong Kong! I love it!
The entire market is small but an Aladdin's cave of unimaginable treasures. Each week I discover different stalls. Nowhere else in the world can you hope to find a genuine vintage Celine and Gucci bag and designer sample clothes for under $1000 a few minutes from a panoramic view of the one of the world's most spectacular harbours. If inclined you can even have your fortune told by the resident astrologer Tricia. Another great find is a unique candle maker - she puts her candles in collectable glass wear and silver vessels. You can even provide your own favourite container. I gave her an old tea pot. She has a choice of organic fragrances and she uses soy wax which burns cleanly and slowly.
Last Sunday I joined friends at the nearby outdoor Fountain Cafe where after 3pm they have a happy hour. This is now my favourite people watching cafe in Sydney – at least on a weekend. It is like watching a street cabaret and reminds me of cafes in Paris as the parades of chic ladies, eccentric Potts Point locals and sweet little dogs wander past.
We were not the only ones people watching either. I spotted three photographers that first Sunday snapping the eccentric locals while international tourists clicked snaps of themselves in front of the El Alamein fountain. As our afternoons slip into evenings, a Hare Krishna band jingle jangle past. I go every Sunday now. Whether in search of a designer dress, a bargain antique, a discounted book or simply a slice of Sydney street life, the Kings Cross Sunday bric-a-brac market is unbeatable.