I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published July 24th 2013
Everything is made with love and sold with a smile
In Melbourne we are spoilt for choice when it comes to weekend markets. You can choose from a variety on any given weekend, be it second hand, antique, collectable, designer, vintage or even a farmers market for all things fresh and juicy.
It really is a lovely way to spend a few hours just lazily wandering around, stopping to admire or to be amazed by the innovative thinking of some or the precise craftsmanship of others. And of course, who doesn't love finding that perfect bargain, or unique gift.
For others it's all about the food and eating the day away, starting with a take away coffee and a hot egg and bacon roll, nibbling on samples as you stroll and finally as the day draws to an end, it's a hot chocolate and Anzac biscuit from the cake stall.
The Masonic Hall hosts a cosy craft market monthly
However nice a market outing can be, sometimes it's just as enjoyable to find a smaller, local version and enjoy the same atmosphere but on a more intimate scale. That's what I was leaning towards when the rain and wind on the other side of my window declared outside as a "no go zone."
We decided to head to the shelter of the Sandringham Masonic Hall on Abbott Street for their monthly craft market and it was like walking into nanna's house during morning tea. The market was cosy and quaint. Store holders sat huddled beside heaters, knitting, talking and sipping on cups of tea whilst nibbling on ginger biscuits. They're excited to see visitors and greet them with warm and welcoming smiles.
Gifts reminiscent to those from my primary school fete
There's about 20 stalls with handcrafted and beautiful items to entice you, jewellery, herbs, knitted goods, candles, relishes, baby gifts, cards, stationary, plants and prints to name just a few. There's also a small produce stand with fresh and ripe vegetables perfect for winter soups and casseroles, so bring your wicker basket or wheely trolley and stock up.
You can't go past some homemade relish or chutney
The more you look, the more treasures you find and the prices are certainly appealing. I bought some lovely birthday cards from the Phoenix range for only $3.60 each and dolls clothing for under $5 a piece, which is simply unheard of, especially considering they were all hand sewn by the lady behind the table.
Unique cards and stationary for all occassions
There are gorgeous fresh chutneys and relishes to sample and take home ranging from $6-$8 a jar. Who can leave a market without some Orange and Date or some Fiery Chilli Tomato Chutney? Not me! And why not grab a bees wax candle kit and create a beautiful centrepiece for your home whilst devouring the chutney on crackers?
Why not take home a kit and make your own bee wax candles
Once you have done a few rounds of the aisles and picked up something unique made delicately and with love, treat yourself to a hot and crunchy cheesy melt. They sure must be good as the vendors were swallowing them up at a rapid pace. If that's not your thing try the muffins, cookies or scones which I'm told are as good as the ones you remember from your childhood.
Scones, cakes and biscuits just like nana used to make
You don't need a long time to peruse the Sandringham market, but the calm, serenity and inviting feel will have you looking for reasons to stay a little longer and keep the outside world at bay. We ended up stopping to have a mini knitting lesson with a stall owner who was more than happy to share her time and skills with us.
Lots of time and effort put into each individual item
The Masonic Hall sits right in the midst of the Sandringham Village which is brimming with lovely cafes, gift and specialty store, places to pamper yourself, the beach and even a train station. A sweet old world village worth exploring while you are here.
The market has plenty of street parking around it or catch the Sandringham train line right to the end and then it's just a short walk across the street. It's a cash only operation so stop by the ATM on your way. The craft market runs the first Saturday of every month from 9-1 with the next being scheduled for August 3rd.
Anyone interested in becoming a stall holder is welcome to apply for a space at the Sandringham Craft Market by phoning 95843398. But be aware, a smile, a happy disposition and a love for a long chat are all essential credentials, and the ability to knit and chat at the same time are a definite bonus.
Now, what are the chances of me remembering those macrame knots from grade 3?